OP Sequence

OP: 「片翼の鳥」 (Katayoku no Tori) by 志方あきこ (Shikata Akiko)
Watch the OP! Mirror 1, Mirror 2, Streaming ▼



It is the year 1986, and a teen named Ushiromiya Battler arrives on an island owned by his family for an annual gathering. With him are his cousins George and Maria, his aunts Rosa and Eva, his uncle Hideyoshi, and his parents Rudolf and Kyrie, and Battler is soon reunited with his other cousin Jessica. At the dock, George notices that there oddly aren’t any seagulls around, and Maria further notices that a shrine that was once on some nearby rocks is now gone, which she treats as an ominous sign. The group then moves toward the main mansion, but they stop in the rose garden outside of it, and Maria finds a single sickly-looking rose. George decides to tie a ribbon around it so that Maria can take care of it until they have to leave. Battler then meets some of the servants around the house, including the quiet Kanon and the pretty Shannon. He also notices a large painting of a woman that apparently his grandfather had commissioned, and Maria identifies the woman as the witch Beatrice.

It turns out that Battler’s grandfather Kinzou was the one who revived the family’s fortunes after the devastating 1923 earthquake, and he supposedly got the capital to do so – 10 tons of gold – from the Golden Witch Beatrice in exchange for his soul. Kinzou now has only three months left to live, and his children – Battler’s parents, aunts, and uncles – have gathered to discuss the family fortune and their suspicions about the eldest son Krauss’s investments using the money. When an argument breaks out between Krauss’s wife Natsuhi and Eva, with Eva insulting Natsuhi because she married into the family, Krauss makes her leave. With Natsuhi out of the way, the rest of the siblings make a bunch of demands to Krauss to ensure what they see as a fair split of the fortune. Krauss, however, knows that each of them has their own financial problems, and he claims not to have any of their father’s hidden gold right now. Finding it would involve solving a mysterious inscription that was placed beside Beatrice’s painting.

Although the others might not believe in the witch Beatrice, Maria certainly does, and she gives Battler and Jessica a pair of charms to protect them. Later, they try to find the sickly rose again, but they’re unable to. Maria insists on staying out to look for it, even during a storm and after her mother Rosa hits her and then abandons her outside. Battler and the others, including Rosa, eventually get concerned and go back outside to look for Maria, and they find her with an umbrella standing quietly. Maria wasn’t able to find the rose, but what surprises everyone is how she explains that she borrowed the umbrella from Beatrice.

ED Sequence

ED: 「la divina tragedia~魔曲~」 (la divina tragedia~Makyoku~) by じまんぐ (Jimang)
Watch the ED! Mirror 1, Mirror 2, Streaming ▼

I didn’t like the opening song very much when I first heard it (reminded me of ALI PROJECT for whatever reason), but it grew on me after listening to it a few more times. It’s certainly fitting for the series in that haunting sort of way. The ending song, on the other hand, I just can’t seem to appreciate no matter how much I listen to it.

So I’ve been told by a lot of people how good this title is, and I was curious to say the least on what the fuss was all about. Well, I’m still not quite sure after having watched this first episode, but I can see some promise in the creepy mystery story. A lot of this episode was introduction, and the middle of it was kind of boring with all of the plotting going on (save for the Eva vs Natsuhi argument), but the whole Beatrice thing was intriguing, especially after she showed up in front of Maria. Speaking of which, Maria may be one of the most annoying characters I’ve seen/heard in a long time. It’s probably intentional, but the way Horie Yui voices her just gets on my nerves to the point where I want to turn off the sound whenever she opens her mouth. Her eyes also make her really creepy too, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she ends up killing someone. The rest of the cast was great though, and it’s worth mentioning again how star-studded the list is with Inoue Marina, Koshimizu Ami, Kugimiya Rie, and Ono Daisuke, all of whom I enjoyed listening to. I’m actually kind of surprised that they didn’t get Wakamoto Norio to voice Kinzou since it would have been the perfect role for him, though Mugihito still did a pretty good job.

I’m still trying to sort out what I want to watch on Wednesdays this season, but this first episode was promising enough to get me to watch a few more. Hopefully the story will really start to pick up speed now that all the background and introductions are out of the way.


  1. Maria has a reason for doing that sound all the time
    A very important one, actually..
    But it was revealed only in the fourth episode of the novel
    IMO, the story is way better than Higurashi.. I just have to see how they’ll handle some scenes, but this episode was a good start..

  2. I have to agree with assessment of the episode. The makers could have put in something a bit more creepy just to make your skin crawl, something like Rena and the axe in Higurashi’s first ep. In addition, the damn sound from Maria is incredibly annoying. It might be important in the story for her to make it, but couldn’t they have chosen something else? Opening theme was good but the ending theme boring and out of place, it sounded like something from a 70s series. I do have some hope from the opening images that suggest Battler (WTF with his name) will be facing Beatrice sooner or later, hopefully after half the family is dead and the other half running around with knives.

  3. Haha.. so I guess I’m the only one who thinks Maria is awesome? It’s weird, though, because in Higurashi I couldn’t stand it when Satoko always made that laugh and yet I can stand hearing Maria’s “Auuuuu Uuuu”. Whatever.

    I thought the opening was absolutely awesome. I just can’t get into the ending theme, though.

    This anime looks really promising and I’m hoping it gets really freaky. It may surpass Higurashi, you never know.

  4. lol. I like Maria toooo~ I think she’s adorable. Anyways, I agree that this episode skipped and rushed through quite a few of the introductory scenes, but I don’t think that poses much of a problem and instead is an indicator that we’ll get to the blood and guts of the series soon. =P Don’t drop Umineko yet, the plot gets pretty crazy-good from this point onwards. =]

  5. @Grant
    Umineko isn’t really horror. It’s mystery vs fantasy. You’ll figure out what that means later. And “uu-uu” was in the VN, and it has a certain meaning behind it too, which means it’s not meaningless loli crying. And most likely…
    Show Spoiler ▼

    And Maria being annoying means Horie is doing her job right. *Rosaslap*

  6. Nobody should be saying Higurashi >>> Umineko, or vice versa.

    Each series started out differently, with its own plot twists and settings, so you can’t really say which is better. I can see why most people don’t like this series, probably because of the large amount of characters and bizarre plot of witches and gold…

    But try to think back to the first episode of Higurashi, and your first impression of it. Was it any different? If the animation is a concern here, think about Higurashi 1st and 2nd season…

    Once this series hits halfway, you’ll be shatting bricks.

  7. I like this opening song. It’s being quiet some time since I listen to her new song. Since Ar Tonelico 2, I’ve being missing her song…

    The story line looks promising – the greed of the human being…

  8. I thought Battler was just a screwed up attempt at translating “Butler” (a still weird but occasionally used name) rather than just a fucking retarded actual name for the character.

    The cast is also very underwhelming. It might be star-studded but everything is overacted to the point of ridiculousness.

    I’m glad Maria got smacked around. I hope she dies.

    Cheshire Lion
  9. Same novel, episode 1 so boring.
    Not first impression type like higurashi and look like normal mystery series.
    It’s reason why episode 1 – 2 from sound novel not popular in 2 years ago.
    But it will better at episode 2, especially episode 3 – 4.

    reason for a lot of character without charm like higurashi (maybe huge spoil).
    Show Spoiler ▼

  10. Same novel, episode 1 so boring. Not first impression type like higurashi and look like normal mystery series.
    It’s reason why episode 1 – 2 from sound novel not popular in 2 years ago.
    But it will better at episode 2, especially episode 3 – 4.

    reason for a lot of character without charm like higurashi (maybe huge spoil).
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Saku Taro
  11. Maria was most annoying, but most interesting character

    oh the rich spoiled kids..

    Higurashi made me say wtf.. this is awesome… I’m hoping to get same surprise from this show down the road after all the plot setting has been done

  12. I rather enjoyed the use of BGM from the VN, and the shattered glass for the halfway mark.

    Maria’s uu’ing is explained in the 4th VN.

    And like it was mentioned before me the reality vs fantasy theme is important.

  13. Not going to be as good as Higurashi? Um, what?

    Umineko puts Higurashi to shame, and rubs its face in the mud.

    Anyways, blogger guy, stick with it. Eps 1 and 2 are slight setup, though Ep2 has some crazy shit. Eps 3 and 4 are where it’s really at.

  14. I got the same feeling listenin to Horie Yui like when she was crying, I really wanted to slap and drown her like her mom for some odd reason. I almost feel like dropping this if i have to listen to her crying goddamitt!

  15. I agree on how annoying Maria’s sound is, in fact I don’t blame her mom at all for trying to shut up her up (Heck I would hit her too probably =/)That aside, it was pretty ok for a first episode. I’m definitely looking forward to when the story starts getting more intense and the future appearances of Beatrice XD I read a bit of a manga too, and if they pull it off good, there’s definitely good horror scenes coming up soon >)

  16. Well, Maria doesn’t really cry that much, although the cute version of the “Uu-” shows up often. Don’t drop such a fantasic story for something so insignificant. :/

  17. Loved the OP,I like the song and it makes the series appear very interesting overall.
    On the other hand,the ED is just..wow.It’s so out of sync and crazy sounding.LOL.
    Ugh,and Maria is the annoying looking one?To think that she sounds annoying too doesn’t make it pleasant.What’s wrong with her mouth also? D: I have a bunch to watch(@__@) so I don’t think I’ll be picking this up yet.Looking forward to more coverage on this series though!

  18. Omni: Given the nature of this series, if you intend to blog this later I would suggest putting a restriction over people putting potential spoiler materials with their comments (even with spoiler tags), especially after I have seen what happened with Clannad and Clannad AS (where half the main plot of AS was spilled before the 1st season was over!)

  19. I might agree in the fact that this series will be far from what Higurashi was in what concerns gore and psychological trauma. Well I guess they didn’t really have a choice due to the numerous casualties Higurashi caused in Japan(They even made a second season in order to show viewers that solutions can be found to their problems, contrarily to the first season where each character chose the worst way out). Though, I must agree that they didn’t hold back AT ALL in the Umineko manga(which makes me very happy 🙂 ). On the other hand, maybe what happened with Higurashi will not influence the outcome of Umineko and this series will be as good as and maybe even surpass Higurashi itself.

  20. Heh I see most people find Maria very annoying. When I read the first episode I thought she was an annoying F*cking b*tch too. Only by ep4 she was one of my favorite characters and had me crying my eyes out. I hope the anime won’t skimp on her scenes.

  21. THEY BREEZED THIS EP! Well I can’t blame them though… Lot’s of members in the family. I know it’d be quite akward to have 2 ep of introduction when they’re just on one setting which is the island.

    About Maria… Well I didn’t see that coming since I didn’t know how it would sound like once spoken. Seriously though that was one irratating scene that served it’s purpose. It was meant to be an irratating tantraum by a kid. On the other side she is the cutest of them all in terms of the design.

    On the quality side… studio deen quality. Same incosistent things come not like this is a high budget show though. The same happened to higurashi. But I’m not in for the HQ visuals.. Story is what I want.

  22. I liked the episode, but I have a few negative comments.

    1. The ED. Excellent visuals, but the song made it gimmicky and overwrought. I listened through it just to hear if it gets better; however, since it didn’t I’m gonna skip it from now on.
    2. The eyecatch in the middle. The scene before it was a picture of Beatrice with some creepy music. I jumped at the sound of broken glass because I thought it was part of the episode, and then realized that they threw it in to catch you during a tense moment. Cheapshot. XD
    3. Too many characters. But since it’s the beginning, we haven’t seen any development for em yet. Let’s just hope that all will be used to their fullest potential.

  23. Early days yet since this was an introductory episode, but if it sticks to the VN, this will easily be the best show of the season.
    Manages to capture the creepy supernatural element while having the odd comedy scene.
    Can’t wait for the next 2 eps when everything goes into overdrive!

  24. The eyecatch is no eyecatch at all. It’s a throw to the VN, every time you progress to a new chapter it does that same effect with the sound.

    And don’t cite too many characters as a negative comment. 🙁 The problem here is that they aren’t giving the characters enough time to develop them. By this point in the VN, almost everybody has recieved PLENTY of development. This is just a rushed job. 🙁

  25. @ UshiromiyaBattler
    That was always one of the problems they were going to run into.
    It would take at least 2/3 eps to fully adapt the proper character introductions as in the VN. However, by that time you would have lost the audience since they’d have nothing exicting or interesting enough to sink their teeth into.
    What this ep did well was briefly introduce the characters, giving you a rough idea what each is like, while at the same time introducing and hinting at the supernatural/mystery elements that are forthcoming.

    Have to agree with others about the ED though. Sucked balls.

  26. @Zed lol i know (that it wasnt ali project and how to of find out who it was) thats why i put Ali Project rocks AND OP rocks!!!!! it wasnt a lame attempt at illiteration but was for omnis benefit!! (cause he hates ali project pft, heathen! :P)

    Also it seems that everyones taking about how the opening’s already deviated from the VN (which btw i have never read) instead then why not accpet in it in a similar vein to tsubasa RC as somthing to get fans into reading it and somthing for current fans to enjoy watchibng one of thier favourite stories cos otherwise you end up complaining about the obvious as blinx01 put it which is accurately adapting an book (SORRY Visual Novel!)into anime/for television etc….

  27. If you thought your family reunions were bad, try joining this family. First, we start with dear old Dad on the verge of death, and the whole family is gathering to divide his assets despite the fact he is alive in the room two doors down. I’m starting a pool as to which of the siblings, will riffle through his pockets once he is dead. The oldest brother is accused of embezzlement, his wife is called a wh#*e…

    To me, this is a series that tries to incorporate elements of Agatha Christie’s classic novel And Then There Were None. The concept of people mysteriously dying on an isolated island is reminiscent of that.

    Also, the minute I heard Maria’s character, despite not reading the VN, I knew that the voice acting was designed to be more than just annoying. Listen closely, and you will hear that it is very frantic and self-conscious, and she spoke like that even when she was crying after Rose slapped her. This almost is like a speech impediment in the fact that she doesn’t appear to want to talk that way, but can’t control hereself. Either way, I am really curious to see the next episode.

    Yuri Rocks
  28. i like new anime and manga char designs
    x100000000000000 better than visual
    i think the killings will start next ep
    im hopin they censor it
    i can take the manga ver
    but if theres movement and music, i think i’ll puke

  29. Hey, is that Beatrice walking around in the background when they’re looking for Maria at the end? That a close look at the umbrella in the background at 20:40, particularly the person’s hairstyle.

    Seaside Messenger
  30. Note to myself: If you don’t want to be spoiled, then don’t stupidly choose the “Sub-track for VN Players”. It might have all those nifty honorifics (why aren’t those in the other subtitle track?), but too many damn spoilers. 🙁

  31. Pacing was kind of crappy, but they just wanted to get things out of the way since the games start really slow. It takes like 2 and a half hours to get through the first episode in game time. Then again, I may be mistaken, but it felt like forever.

    The show will eventually pick up, but they did a decent job showing the family strife and setting the stage for Beatrice.

  32. Totally agree with Libera. The game’s original pace for the introduction was much slower. When I watched the first episode I just couldn’t believe how much they had stuffed into 20mins Orz

  33. i thought the pacing was okay. everything necessary was there. o.o can’t wait for (i predict) the end of the next episode, and then the end of (game) Episode 2 . then the real shiz starts…

    Show Spoiler ▼

    bern x lamb
  34. Keep on blogging this, it won’t disappoint. And for anyone who wants horror, this anime probably won’t satisfy you because Umineko is Mystery vs. Fantasy. Same thing for Higurashi, it shouldn’t be classified as horror.

  35. I read the first chapter of the manga, and I automatically knew Maria was going to be this annoying little thing. Was so glad when the mother struck her down. Guess I’m horrible now. Oh well.

    OP and ED were cool, but this being the OMG show everyone keeps spouting about…I don’t see it at all.

  36. Ah….cant believe I got captivated by this anime, and quickly played the visual novel(now on Episode 3 of the visual).
    Well…..Beato Battler banters is the most captivating moment in this story, other than that actually I think the story just get weirder, but surely I will follow it.

  37. Higurashi was good, until they killed it second season.. No way a group of kids beat down a whole organization with all that kid nation crap. So when all of you that say Higurashi > Umineko, I do hope you guys aren’t including the ending. If you are, I’m sorry but you’ve got seriously horrible taste. Ugh..

    Just hope they don’t do that with this series. It does seem promising.

  38. “Speaking of which, Maria may be one of the most annoying characters I’ve seen/heard in a long time. It’s probably intentional, but the way Horie Yui voices her just gets on my nerves to the point where I want to turn off the sound whenever she opens her mouth. Her eyes also make her really creepy too, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she ends up killing someone. ”

    Of course it’s intentional, you’re just being an idiot…
    She’s MEANT to be creepy, she’s meant to be annoying (she’s a little kid)…


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