DVD Movie Review #10 Umineko
Welcome to my next DVD review. On the Slate this time is the series Uminkeo from the same peopel that brought us Higurashi (known as When they Cry in the US). This is a 26 episode series sold by NIS America available only on Blu-ray.
This is a story about a wealthy family with a checkered past rooted in the occult. In a meeting talking about family succession a simple rivalry ends in a bloodbath. According to the antagonist this was all purported by the evil golden witch Beatrice and her host of magical monstrosities. In this tail you get to see a frequent amount of bloodshed and a lot of madness.
Of course in truth this is all an elaborate game seemingly run but the family head Kinzo where the scene is repeated over and over again until all involved acknowledge that the evil witch Beatrice was involved using only magic. In the end only one person stands between Beatrice and total magical domination fighting her with his logic and disbelief of any magical means that could be used. So the pieces are set and the game is played again and again until either Beatrice is acknowledged or Battler (the protagonist) can prove no magic was involved. As the games pile up the battle becomes more difficult leaving Battler at a disadvantage.
Well let's start with the cast of characters. I really like the complexity of the relationships as they occur within each family dynamic. The story becomes more and more complex as they go on throughout the series giving most of the characters surprising depth. I was very much impressed by the way that they handled this part giving the repetition a little bit more suitability.
The animation is also well deserving of the blu-ray treatment leaving us with a show that we can all love to watch. The series has some very strong music as well having a beautiful opener and a lovely soundtrack. In the end I will have to say that the series with its complexity and beauty is a gem to watch.
Oh well I guess we can move on to the the down side of the series. The continued repetition is a problem and the story is very much confusing. I had a hard time getting this until the end and I know that there are others that would not get this at all. I also have a problem with the Protagonist. Battler is portrayed as a pretty cool and confident genius but acts like a bonehead having a hard time figuring anything out until the very end of the series. He is also easily frustrated and comes close to losing multiple times in their battle of wits. I really want to like this guy but he brings the series down. You can also tell that this was adapted from a video game series near immediately and the ending is well...lets just say it leaves you wanting more.
In the end I liked this series but it is undeserving of its reputation.
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