Umineko: An Anime and VN ComparisonPosted: March 1, 2011
Yeah, so here’s the surprise post finally. This took SO much longer to get out than I expected. My bad. The combination of health problems, massive amounts of homework, and uploading issues delayed this much longer than needed. Though all of those are taken care of now.
Anyways, this post isn’t one of those “OMG THE ANIME IS SO TERRIBLE HERE’S MY SUPER AMAZING LIST OF REASONS WHY.” I’m just going to point out all the major differences between the two mediums that I noticed when watching. I’m not going to point out every little thing, that would take an eternity.
Well, okay, some bias is unavoidable, but I will point out a few blurbs the anime version did of its own accord. Also, I know Umineko is classified as a sound novel rather than a visual novel, but big freaking difference.
And finally, do excuse me if I’m not the most vocal person in the world during this post. I have an essay due tomorrow, and I haven’t gotten to freaking start yet. SPEED BLOGGING, GO!
NOTE: IF YOU HAVEN’T AT LEAST WATCHED THE ANIME VERSION OF UMINEKO, IT IS HIGHLY ADVISED TO NOT CONTINUE. MASSIVE SPOILERS ARE ABOUND.
ARC 1: LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN WITCH
I don’t actually have anything for this one. I could nitpick, but everything major was adapted. Next.
ARC 2: TURN OF THE GOLDEN WITCH
In the anime, Rosa explains her Kanon theory, Beatrice heckles Battler a little, and then Battler pops out the theory which shows Kanon is likely innocent.
The visual novel featured ghosts of Kanon and Jessica pleading with people to listen to them. Beatrice also heckled them a bit.
Unfortunately, the difference in this episode made me really upset with the anime adaptation. It left out one of my favorite parts.
In the anime, upon heading to the servants’ room to find both Nanjo and Kumasawa’s bodies missing, Beatrice and Battler popped up. Beato used some quick red to confirm that the door was locked by a key, and you need a key to open the door, etc.
Hey, it’s true, or she wouldn’t have been able to say it in red!
In the VN, she also stops him in the middle of his sentence, but doesn’t say anything. You just get flashes of blood/kill screens and troll laughing. I don’t have pictures of the VN for this, for obvious reasons. ‘Dem flashing images.
Also, the tea party missed yet another favorite part that fans liked, and were quite looking forward to. In the anime, Beato trolls Rosa, goes all “IT’S PAHFECTO” on us, then Battler shows up and says he’s ready for round 3.
Everyone looking forward to the face-smashing was sorely disappointed.
ARC 3: BANQUET OF THE GOLDEN WITCH
The scene had the sisters pestering Battler for answers for the mysteries of the last arc, and when he failed, they attacked him. Battler get torn to pieces multiple times, where Beatrice then had to revive him constantly. The scene helped show the Sisters’ personalities more.
I will admit, it did make for the bigger impact since her eyes only opened during “LOL I TROLL U” mode, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. VN fans need to chill out sometimes.
In the VN, the same things happened (though they only happened to Rosa, not Maria too), but then Eva-Beatrice followed up with one more. Just like another one of Rosa’s childhood dreams, she turned Rosa into a butterfly. However, Rosa got stuck in something shortly afterwards.
Again, not the biggest difference in the world, but I thought this one was the creepiest of all the deaths, which is why I noticed it was left out. I also think the anime should have focused more why Eva-Beatrice did the sort of killings she did. The whole point was that up until now, you’ve seen Beatrice as the most evil thing in existence, and then all of a sudden here comes a character who enjoys turning your childhood dreams into nightmarish realities. It helps drive the nail home for hating Eva-Beatrice, and adds to the foreshadowing of Beatrice not being as evil as you think.
The scene helped show that Beatrice, who was on her path of seeking forgiveness from Battler, had at least managed to get it from her teacher at this point. It also served to show that Eva-Beatrice was done screwing around with Beato at this point.
Admittedly, some of the extra information was a bit mundane, but it helped drive home the idea of “this murder is unsolvable!”
A second difference, and probably the anime’s biggest crime against the original source, was Lambdadelta’s characterization. In the tea party, she calmly asks Beato if she’s even trying to win, then acts like a schoolgirl who just learned a dirty secret and wants to blackmail you.
That is not how Lambdadelta is supposed to act according to the VN. Sure, she acts like a schoolgirl, but only when Bern is around. In fact, they cut the entire first half of the tea party out, which had Beato and Bern screwing with Lambda.
Then Bern disappears, and Lambda does act like a blackmailer, but definitely not a schoolgirl. She acts like the mastermind she’s supposed to sound like, and provides the big shock that Beato has been on Lambda’s leash the whole entire time.
In fact, the PS3 port of the VN did a fantastic job of this switch in personality. Someone on Youtube managed to splice the PS3 audio into the PC game, so check out how Lambdadelta was supposed to sound/act. Quite different from how the anime made her seem, right?
ARC 4: ALLIANCE OF THE GOLDEN WITCH
The first episode for Alliance actually has a fun opening with Ronove tricking Beatrice into thinking that Battler was still shaken up about the last game. In the anime, Beato starts feeling remorse, when Beelzebub and Battler show up out of nowhere, revealing Ronove’s little distortion of the truth.
It’s not that big of a deal, but the multiple flags and confetti would’ve been pretty funny in anime format.
Rather than just casually revealing it, the point of the scene was for Lambda to brutally shove it in Ange’s face, making her waver about her conviction to help Battler win.
Rosa doesn’t remember who he is (well, she’s never seen his human form before, so it makes sense), but he tries to help her escape before Maria shows up. The scene was more… psychological in the VN. Maria swore vengeance for Sakutaro, yet Sakutaro himself tries to save Rosa from her fate.
The first difference for this episode was one everyone expected. As the parents and Nanjo and Kanon and Shannon are running away from the cell, they come across Virgilia and a goat minion. The VN then decides to have some comedic relief for once, and Krauss goes into a boxing match against the goat, who fans have dubbed Goat-kun, due to Nanjo referring to him as such.
The scene had a lot of talk about power levels, loser flags, and a goat minion that got far more characterization than anyone expected. Everyone was fully aware this was going to get cut from the anime, but it’s still a great scene.
Next on the list for this episode is Gaap. As her fight with George drew to a close, she revealed to not be in any danger, with the strangest troll face ever made.
That’s some creepy-ass
sideboob cat eyes.
The scene was funny, needless to say, but it also provided foreshadowing. I won’t spoil what it foreshadowed for you anime viewers, though, because I’m a meanie.
Needless to say, anime viewers figured Beatrice was lying when this happened. And in all fairness, they had every right to doubt it. DEEN shouldn’t have blown their budget like they did. I’ll prove later in this post that they did blow it, too.
Again, anime viewers casted suspicion on this scene, mainly because Battler was just using the red shortly beforehand. It wouldn’t become obvious that DEEN just pick and chose statements that needed to be in red to actually be in red due to their budget being gone until later.
Think last episode had a long list? The final episode of the anime was the biggest offender of them all. Put on your seatbelts, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
Beatrice gets cut off there, and can’t finish the sentence in red. It was the big reveal that anime viewers didn’t get.
Next on the list is yet another butchering of Lambda’s character. Yay! In the anime, after Beato is brought back to the meta-smoking room, Lambda can be heard laughing like an idiot, then pops up nearby.
Oh, Lambda. Your underlying evil side was so neglected…
Ah, this one’s my favorite. It’s the ultimate proof that DEEN’s budget went to hell. As you know, the red and blue statements were done in CG, so they were the very last thing added to the production. They definitely come after… oh, lets say, the script?
Wait a minute… that doesn’t sound quite right… So yeah, DEEN blew their budget. AWESOME DIRECTING, CHIAKI KON.
It helped solidify Ange’s decision to sacrifice herself, basically. Mainly due to Battler utterly failing in the “how to tell if somebody is an ally or not” department.
Next on the list actually doesn’t deal with the red at all, surprisingly. However, it deals with DEEN yet again failing to portray characters correctly. I’m starting to wonder if Chiaki Kon even read Umineko before directing this. Basically, Beatrice is all, “GRRR I’M SICK OF THIS SHIT, END IT, BATTLER!” Though she does get somewhat the right treatment near the end.
DEEN left out a pretty vital monologue by Beatrice, which helped reveal the whole concept that she wasn’t actually the main antagonist for the series. It also allowed Battler to reveal that he is actually capable of compassion, despite what DEEN may think.
Believe it or not, that last part is said by Beatrice, not Battler. But you wouldn’t know that just from the anime adaptation, huh DEEN?
Don’t really have much to add for that.
Right after asking it, Beatrice collapsed into his chest, crying, and Battler held her back. Where’s my compassion at, DEEN?
Moving along on the list, we have more red! Actually I can’t blame DEEN’s budgest on this one, since they blatantly left out these statements. Anyways, at the very end with Bern and Lambda, Lambda mentions that Battler’s theories are completely off.
The whole point was that up until this scene, the readers are going, “FUCK YEAH BATTLER, YOU’RE OWNING THOSE CLOSED ROOMS!” Then Lambda swoops down and we get a lot of “LOL U MAD?” This is where the reader’s brain explodes and they have to completely rethink their logic.
And the last one! Ready for this? It’s more characterization issues! At the end of the anime, Lambda and Bern
snuggle together in bed claim that Beatrice has no chance of winning, then giggle like schoolgirls.
Rather than laughing along the lines of “Teehee, Beato is so dumb~” the laugh at the end was supposed to be more of an “ALL ACCORDING TO KEIKAKU,” since it reveals that Bern and Lambda are trolls who have been on the same team since the beginning.
And that’s the end of the comparison! Holy shit I took way too many pictures. Took me like 8 hours altogether to write this. The hell is wrong with me? Umineko motivates me like nothing else can.
Anyways, I got far more biased at the end than I expected, sorry about that. It just pisses me off that Umineko of all things would be the show where the director doesn’t bother to calculate/allocate the budget correctly. I didn’t even point out all of the animation blurbs the show had. I think the DVD/BD releases only fixed one of those, too. Plus, a lot of the time the show looked like you were watching it through some kind of wet, blurry filter. The art style was strange sometimes.
But before I start ranting, I’d like to both thank and congratulate you for reaching the end of this post. You should get a medal for reading all of my bullshit.