What’s the end for this title? That’s one of the hardest questions to answer. Umineko no Naku Koro Ni is still ongoing and I have no way of knowing when and what final conclusion it would reach. But I do occasionally wonder how the Umineko would end. That’s one of things I occasionally wonder when I watch any ongoing show/game. So I was pondering about what type of ending the author could eventually give Umineko no Naku Koro Ni. This post is closely related to character development in Umineko and thinking about its conclusion using a couple of rhetoric, some non-rhetoric questions and others questions you might have already considered. Keep in mind that this isn’t criticism since I enjoy Umineko very much but rather some Umineko musing about When they Cry and where is going.
As well all know, Umineko has a large cast, humans, witches, demons, furniture, etc etc. The whole cast undergoes some changes according to the situations and tests they’re put in but for most part, the interactions and character growth are limited to Beato’s game since don’t know what much about some of them. The issue is that things reset once a new game starts and the only one who is keeping record of what’s happening is Meta Battler. The rest of the cast (humans) don’t remember a thing that has happened in past arcs. As we’ve seen some of them just fall into the same mistakes they made in past arcs. Although some of the situations of a few of them change slightly for the better while others seem to get worse. For example, notice how Kannon and Jessica’s situation changed for the better in latter arcs or much in a more noticeable case, George’s and Shannon’s relationship. Shannon goes from hesitant and weak Shannon to a strong and certain Shannon. They hardly spend much time about talking about the engagement ring (I thanks them for that) and they move on onto bigger things, of course, until the Witch kills them. But you get the idea. They got something covered. They move on. Game ends. Game restarts.
But the pace that some game-board members move is relatively slow. I can’t really blame them because they might not hold a bit of the memories from past games. Would you say that they do? It doesn’t help that they are stuck in an island and everything that happens take place in only two days. Much less that more characters aren’t introduced to the game board and stir things up. (they might in the future) It isn’t like one of Kinzo’s unrecognized sons shows up on that day or something crazy like that. That’s why I enjoy a bit when they show about their past before the family conference because once they are on the island and the game starts their roles change to a surviving game. How much do we really know about them besides what we see or hear on-screen? Of course, we know better to doubt what we see on-screen. How much of it is actually true? Some characters that appear bad to us might actually be not that horrible. Some that appear to be good might actually be terrible. Are they going to remain that way? Are some of them going to finally change for the better or let the darkness inside them control them? Would it be fair to give them such ending?
In addition to the Battler vs Beato’s game, the rest of the characters and their stories are what make Umineko so interesting. I always enjoy seeing some twists and how things unfold when I watch/play Umineko. It goes without saying that in most cases Beato’s game gets out the worst in every one of them. They lie, doubt each other, and god knows what. Still, pretty much the difference on how game board pieces act is determined by the order the sacrifices take place. Some of them die, some get to let till very end. But ultimately, how things unfold is usually narrowed down the moment they set foot on Rokkenjima. That’s why sometimes I think that the Umineko setting isn’t so great since everything takes place on a single island and in a very limited amount of time. In other words, when it comes down to character development it has become a battle between Meta World (Battler & Beato’s fight) VS Game Board. What worries is this question: Is everything coming down to only Battler and Witches and the rest of the crew are fillers more or less? Are these ‘main characters’ more like supporting ones? Would all the characters get a fair , by fair I mean fitting, ending in the end?
I drive the main point of this post by saying that it would be a total waste if they don’t ever recall what happened on that day. Now don’t get the wrong idea and think that I am condemning what happens in Umineko since I know well that is necessary for the game to go in loops to make thing interesting. We got a mystery and we need to solve. That’s the main plot. We know this. What I am referring to is how this will ultimately affect the ending of When Seagulls cry. I would get really mad if they pulled something like everything happens inside Battlers’ head or he’s the only one who remembers the whole thing the rest don’t recall what happened on that day. Or even worse, there was never a family reunion on that day. Everything goes back to normal like nothing ever happened. That would suck big time. That would be a Bad End in my book. What would you consider a Bad End?
So I was thinking what type of ending Umineko would get. The ending I was thinking would a good ending simply because I enjoy good endings. This may not be the case but I’d like to see one where everyone would remember what happened to in past arcs. Now this sounds very Higurashi-ish and you’re probably tired of seeing people compared both titles but that’s the only title that comes to mind. I’d like it to end this way because I’d like everyone to see the good, the bad, and the ugly part of all of them. I have no way of knowing if they will (not asking for spoilers either) but that’s how I’d like it to end. By remembering all the errors they all committed they can learn how to avoid them Maybe not everyone but a great majority of the Ushiromiya members/others needs some drastic change in their lives. They’ve made great progress but I wonder if they can keep all their accomplishments in the end. Kannon accepting his feelings for Jessica, Battler getting along with his father, family members accepting George and Shannon’s relationship. Natsuhi and Krauss having a closer relationship with their daughter and vice versa. Rosa being a better mom and Maria being a better daughter. All of them have to deal with their terrible pasts such in more healthy way. They all have to deal with adversity and their inner demons that take over them, while others such as Kinzo need to be taken to a psych ward. Joking. Not really. What would it be of Kinzo, huh? Will they be able to change if they don’t recall what happened on those two days?
By remembering their own deaths they can be reborn into what they need to become. They shouldn’t be stuck in the past like most of them are and end the rivalry among them once end for all. They should learn to compromise and find what’s important. Money isn’t everything. Otherwise, they won’t be able to see the truth. I’ll finish this post with a uncompleted list of unanswered questions that I wish Umineko will eventually answer and possibly gives us a great finale.
Will magic be completely denied? Will the existence of witches be abolished? Would one of the siblings be the real mastermind behind everything and *It* will be punished appropriately by either humans or witches and sent to the prison or incarcerate for all eternity. Or are all humans on Rokkenjima be guilty and have become the culprits at some point? Is there *something* who made them do it? Will the truth be ultimately told and all mysteries explained? What will the destiny of witches be? What will it be of the Ushiromiya? Do you think that some of characters will accept magic in their own terms? Will they be given a chance to decide what a witch and magic means? Is it that hard for both reality and magic to coexist without being necessarily denied? Do you think they’re going for an Open ending or not? Are they going for a Good End or a Bad End? Is Umineko the end for the When they Cry series?
In other words, what do you expect of Umineko no Naku Koro Ni? What do you think the ending for When they Cry should be?