Today, being the 31st of July, is the last day of July (of course, unless there’s a 32st of July I haven’t even heard about.) That being said, this would mark the end of my fourth month in blogging over at WordPress. Well not exactly, seeing as how I started blogging in WordPress sometime during April. I vaguely recall the moment where I contemplated whether I should move my tiny,obscure blog that no-one visits of 3 years and over 100 posts over to WordPress, seeing as how a classmate of mine who started to blog again opened up his blog in WordPress. I was an avid reader of random anime blogs out there hosted on WordPress, many of which I had already forgotten. I wondered , “Would WordPress be as customizable as Blogspot?”
My Blogspot blog was littered with self-customizations. I made my own Blogskin, own wallpaper, not to mention countless widgets placed on the side. I think the first thing anyone would hear when entering that blog was Tasukete Eirin or Tabi no Tochuu or something like that. My header was this general , badly designed compilation of as many random anime I’d watched during that period in November, which to be honest, was a tiny mediocre amount.
Nevertheless, I made the shift to WordPress, and found it much more user-friendly than Blogspot, to the extent that when I had to use Blogspot again for a school project, I’d completely forgot how to use it. As a result, Ambivalen.wordpress.com was born, mostly due to the lack of available punny blog addresses. I found myself having actual readers. Unlike Blogspot, where judging from the Cbox, I had about 2 readers, WordPress opened me up to the blogging fraternity, or circle to be more adequate. I could get connected to others, it was easy due to the comment systems as well as well-designed themes. I admit, I think I have about 10 actual readers, but nevertheless it’s better than no-one, right?
I also found that blogging gave me a personality change. I’m was a pessimist –probably still am – but I find that I’m getting more cheery as of late. When I failed to get anything in PIR from NPCC, I initially felt depressed and wallowed in a misguided sense of self-hate. I felt like a piece of trash, I felt like someone trying to fit in when I did what the others were doing. But soon I felt more optimistic. I felt a sense of encouragement flowing through me, to work harder nonetheless to achieve my dreams. I felt like I would want to work harder to try and get a post in the EXCO next year, just like how my officers told me of another Deputy Head who did the same thing. I felt encouraged – which I hardly ever do. I always used to reject motivational stuff like this like the plague, but this time I listened. I found myself comforting others – instead of being the other way around. I found myself trying to brighten things up -instead of the other way around. It was then that I realised that blogging fills me with confidence as well. I feel a little bit of ‘victory’ when I get a certain number of blog views per day (incidentally I’m quite happy right now), and I find it to motivate me to keep working.
Being the fourth month of existence, I decided to check up on my Blog Stats.
Holy smokes, I seem to have doubled the view count from last month! Despite last month being the Holidays and July being study-intensive I seem to have succeeded anyway. Fingers crossed for continued and everlasting growth?
And anyway, I find myself having a shift in blogging style, albeit my English being as horrid as always. I’m still not doing well in school, and to no surprise,given my blog style. I’m rummaging over my archives at Blogspot, checking how old posts were written. My posts about life were slipshod and frankly, immature and a pain to read. I wrote like I was some kind of boss, propping his trouser-clad legs upon a random lackee’s back . Then came the Anime addiction, which ended up in posts about anime- but just about watching habits. Like how I watched and what I watched. Nothing about the actual show whatsoever. Who cares?
Then came the reviews.
[Image]I just finished Umineko no Naku Karo Ni and decided to write a review, just for the heck of it.[Image]Really? So did I. To me, Umineko is just trying too much to be Phoenix Wright. I mean, seriously. Battler seems to be an exact clone of Phoenix, come with the pose and getup, but I digress. [Image]So basically the story revolves around the intellectual battle between Battler and Beatrice ..or something like that.
After a series of brutal murders on Rokkenjima island based on Beatrice’s epithet , Battler confronts Beatrice and refuses to believe her “magic” is real. It’s like being hit by Utsuho’s 5 card spell in UNL and not trying to graze. Even a dog will obey if you hit it hard enough, but since I don’t support animal abuse, let’s move on.
So each arc has a different twist, or murder or some random new character is added. By the third arc I was hoping : “Either one of you..just die already.”
And Battler’s catchphrase sucks. Period.
So Battler says that when he attempts to turn the tables on Beatrice during their “Red-Blue Truth Game”, or whatever it’s called.
But what the hell does “Let me turn the chessboard around” mean? Do you mean switch it so that your opponent’s pieces are yours? Then wouldn’t you take over the opponent? In that sense it makes a tiny bit of sense I guess, but a Phoenix-Wright style “OBJECTION!!!” or “HOLD IT!!!” will do just fine. I could just keep mocking this but I get bored as well.
And then they bring in the combat scenes. Kanon becomes a Jedi. Random Goat-headed soldiers come in and eat everything. Witches attack them with cakes. Blood is spilt.
I mean, I could take the fact that Beatrice can stop time, control dimensions and summon creatures and yet is still denied her existence by Battler but seriously? Fight scenes? And what was with the two bunnies anyway? So Beatrice ( or in that case Eva-Beatrice) is supposed to be a cruel witch…who uses bunnies. Right. I spat on my drink when I saw them two bunnies appear.
[Image]Okay, let’s take it from the context of the plot (or by turning the chessboard around.) Beatrice promises that everyone will not die when Battler proves that the crimes were not committed with magic, which he does in the last episode..
Or DOES HE? Beatrice dies (seemingly) and her spirit or whatever it is flies out and challenges Battler with a final question :
Who am I? Which , of course, he can’t solve since he proved that all the people on the island were his 16 other relatives and all were human.
Then it ends.
Yes. It just ends. Like that. A cliffhanger. But of course….
So it ends. The viewer is left (albeit unwillingly, perhaps.) that Battler is a genius and whatnot.
Genius? Really? The only way to see this as an above average anime is to see it from the anime’s context.
So what if I refuse to do so? Let’s see how it falls apart.
Firstly, Battler will deny the existence of magic and witches and use the same argument of “Culprit X” to solve the mystery. His belief is that in the world where they play in (presumely the afterlife) Beatrice will cease to exist if he can prove that the murders were not done by her and cause people to not believe in her existence. Lain much, huh?
Hmm. Let’s see now: Beatrice stops time with magic. Beatrice teleports with magic. Beatrice splits up into many butterflies with magic. Beatrice restarts everything with magic. We are supposed to believe that Battler must deny this as part of her game. But from someone who picks up the anime halfway, they must be thinking: “It’s magic.” But they probably don’t know why he is trying to prove that it is not magic, so they don’t understand. So does the viewer have to play the sound novel or watch from the start to understand? Sure, I did not get it at first, why he denied the existence of magic, but now I see why. It was only after rewatching that episode and reading the information did I understand. As a result everyone thinks that either A: Battler’s a tard or B: Battler’s a genius. I’m split between A and B.
Culprit X- sheesh. What is his main argument anyway? Main two arguments: “Culprit X is the murderer, thus no magic was involved. But since there are no family members involved, Beatrice is the murderer. ” And so on. It loops forever. Worse still Beatrice , who is supposedly acknowledging Battler’s theory, plays herself into the scenarios. A true genius would just set traps and wait for the creatures to fall prey, not risk herself, but I digress.
And what exactly were their individual motives anyway? While the sound novel is reputed for having motives for every character, Umineko anime lacks this. They seem “meh, let’s kill him for teh lulz.”
Bernkastel and Lambdadelta (or something like that) were useless characters by the way.
Ange seems to be a random unexplained last minute addition to the family, who seemed to have been forgotten until the end. Her existence just fills itself in.
Let’s examine the genre. Murder-Mystery. Quirky one in that sense but by the end there should have been a solid answer to the mystery. Not just that random cliffhanger. I was sincerely, expecting that Beatrice would lose and destroy his argument with “Who am I?”. Which she did. However, the mystery is assumed to continue once again. Thus there is no murderer. So the game of chess is stopped halfway and the chess pieces are placed back in their original places. And so on, it carries on ad infinitum . I was also hoping that Battler would just end the argument by saying that he, himself was the murderer. That would have been awesome.
Of course, I haven’t read the sound novel, but a little bird told me that the characters in the sound novel had more complex characters, and that as a result of their “game” one of them was guilty. So with the attachment to these characters, it is hard to believe that one of them was a mass murderer.
In the anime, it seems that the mass-murderer can only be ruled down to some people : if by some, I mean none at all. Based on the character’s behaviour it seems highly unlikely for any of Battler’s final theories to stand strong. They all become weak arguments. Is that how a grandmaster plays chess, with false moves played with no concern for the consequences on the game?
To summarise, Umineko no Naku Koro ni runs on the single thought that the viewer watches the anime for the mystery (mystery?) and from the context of the characters. If you felt that it was excellent, you fell for their trap – if not you must have been conscious of your thoughts throughout the anime. The characters (most of them anyway.) are cardboard misfits or overplayed stereotypes with the same, factory mass-produced personality , the arguments are based on destroying each other, and the grandfather is seriously screwed up in his head.
So although I did not hate this anime per se, I see many areas where it lacked. I’m going to read the manga, since it appears that the manga is better than the anime. Most people on the internet seem to agree that the manga beats the anime handsdown and that the anime is lacking and mediocre, if not under average. However,diehard Umineko fans will probably argue with this:
All the images not included , of course. Sorry ’bout that.
Like how Eminem got his rapping style from other rappers he listened to, I suppose I got my way of blogging from reading other blogs. I didn’t like the idea of being so-darn-polite or being so damn serious when blogging about Anime, although I suppose I must have been doing that recently. I was an avid reader of blogs which did not write episode reviews, but those which wrote editorials and those with good reviews. Reviews which looked beyond simply describing what happened in a particular episode of Show X, or something like that.
On a unrelated sidenote, I find myself spending more time blogging about Anime than actually watching it.
Nevertheless, to make a long story short, I shall persevere on! I believe that if I blog long enough, with the help of Aggregators and whatnot, I hope to have more readers, especially those who comment. I’m also on the verge of reaching 9000, with only around 1000 more hits to go.Come to think about it, if I did have only 10 readers, well then you guys are a persistent bunch! Thanks for supporting me all the way guys, I like your company on this blog – Don’t leave 😀
I just want you guys to know that I appreciate you guys.
Onward to reaching over 9000! My blogging life seems to not be able to end soon. Who knows what might happen in the future?