Remember how everyone was always bitching about the Umineko VN being SO much better than the anime? (Yeah, I know you could replace “Umineko” with any VN adaptation and hear the same bullshit.) I watched the anime. Then I read the VN. Then I rewatched the anime. Here’s the red truth:
1. The Anime was INCREDIBLY faithful to the VN
Based on all the bitching I’d heard, I was expecting massive discrepancies between the anime and VN. There weren’t any. Same story. Same characters. Same plot. Unbelievably, it even had much of the same background music and sound effects. I’d go so far as to say it’s the most faithful adaptation I’ve ever seen.
What did get cut? A lot of dialogue that the anime simply didn’t have time to squeeze in. Sure, there were a few lines I would’ve liked to see, but all things considered, the cuts were perfectly appropriate.
Another thing that thankfully got cut was that godawful synthesized witch cackle. The upgrade is a quadrillion times better.
2. The Anime had Better Art
The VN art was hideous, and this is coming from a guy who was content with the visuals in Akikan. Should’ve gone with the PS3 version.
Ryukishi07 needs to stop putting tits on little girls. Maria at nine years old had larger funbags than Japanese women twice her age. At least the anime had the decency to flatten her out. I don’t even want to think about what Satoko and Hanyuu might’ve looked like in the Higurashi VN.
3. The Anime Takes Less Than Three Geological Aeons to Complete
In the (very likely) event you haven’t been reading my twitter feed, you know exactly what my biggest gripe with the VN is: IT’S TOO FUCKING LONG. The fantastic content is spread way too thin for its own good (or its readers’ good). The anime compresses the story to a very manageable length and does so without making it feel rushed or unevenly paced. That deserves a Nobel Prize considering how long the VN is.
Original Grade: ++
Rewatch Grade: ++
Final Grade: ++
If you’re hellbent on solving the mystery yourself, read the VN. If you’re not a masochist, watch the anime or read the manga.
Full Umineko VN review forthcoming.