And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie is the best-selling novel of the best-selling novelist of all time. (For those of you who whine about female writers facing discrimination, please choke on Agatha Christie’s enormous strap-on.) More importantly, ATTWN is the classic mystery novel that inspired Umineko no Naku Koro ni.
ATTWN is the mystery of 10 people who are killed one by one on a secluded island in accordance with a politically incorrect poem. Umineko attempted to improve upon this concept by adding witches and incest. Unfortunately, it also added the following:
- themes of love/joy/forgiveness
- tangential rambling
- saying the same thing over and over again
ATTWN was short and to the point. Umineko was needlessly long. ATTWN gave you a direct solution. Umineko refused to tell all, instead making you go back and read it over again if you want to piece the clues together. ATTWN kept its murders fresh. Umineko had more murders, but most of them are slight variations of the same closed-door puzzle. The only advantages to Umineko are the complexity, character development, character design, and background music.
If you’re too lazy to read ATTWN, you could listen to the audiobook version (I am, and I did). If you’re still too lazy for that, the copyright was allowed to lapse for the 1945 movie version, so you can legally view it online for free, just like you surely do with anime. Be forewarned however, the director had the bull testicles to turn ATTWN into a comedy and give it a happy ending. It also has a random cat.