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2012-07-05

Umineko no Naku Koro ni Hane Review

Title: Umineko no Naku Koro ni Hane (うみねこのなく頃に羽)
Alias: When the Seagulls Cry: Feathers
Release date: 2011-12-31 (2012-05-23 in English)
Developer: 07th Expansion
English publisher: Ars Magica (as a fan-patch)

In my review of “Umineko Chiru” I have mentioned the two fandiscs that are also available. One of them – “Tsubasa” – is just a regular fandisk that was sold separately. “Hane” on the other hand was never sold in stores by itself and was only available in a bundle with “Higanbana the 2nd Night” and the fighting game “Ougon Musou Kyoku”. This time I’m gonna review “Hane”.

To my disappointment “Hane” is extremely short and the full fandisc can be finished in about half an hour. It contains two side stories: “Jessica and the Killer Electric Fan” and “Forgery no.XXX”.

Jessica and the Killer Electric Fan

This is the first of the tales, at least in the menu order and the less serious of the two. The basic gist is that Jessica has written a script for the school play and had a brain fart to claim that it will certainly succeed. What playing “Umineko” has taught me, is that you never mention words “certainty” and “miracle” aloud. Cue a fickle blonde witch who decides to grant with certainty that Jessie’s script really is a success.
Be wary what you wish for - it might just come true.
In order to get approval from other people Jessie enlists Battler and Shannon to act out the script before submitting it to the school project. I guess none of them expected the events portrayed in Jessica’s magnum opus coming to life.

In short, this is a hilarious little tale, that sadly comes to an end way too quickly just as it starts to become interesting. It serves almost no purpose as a TIP to “Umineko”. I believe that the moral of “Jessica and the Killer Electric Fan” is a self-conscious Ryuukishi07’s jab at broken English used in various Japanese visual novels. You can read the transcribed textual form of this story on Umineko Wiki page.

Forgery no.XXX

The second and the more serious short story, though it’s one I didn’t really like. It starts with Battler finally coming to Rokkenjima after 6 years (just like any of the chapters). From there it quickly devolves into Battler basically gloating how he is gonna be a villain in this chapter and how he will love seeing everyone’s anguished expressions as their loved ones die one after another. Das ende.
Wow! Battler got a new costume.
I don’t think that “Forgery” can be considered a TIP either as it doesn’t reveal anything of interest to us. The only good thing is the “dark Battler” – our beloved protagonist of “Umineko” series dressed in the clothes of darker hues. This new character symbolizes the cumulative desire of many many spectators to have Battler as the main culprit of the saga. Just like with the previous story, you can read the transcribed text of the TIP on Umineko Wiki page.

Postscript

“Postscript” is unlocked after the two main stories are completed and is just an afterword from Ryuukishi himself. He basically thanks fans for buying “Higanbana the 2nd Night” and talks about the new game he has recently started. Ryuukishi also practically confirms that he won’t be doing all of the art for that new game (“Rose Guns Days” I assume, though it isn’t named here) – a fact that I have already mentioned in my previous review. And… that’s all folks.
It's sad... sniff...
It’s a saving grace that “Hane” was not sold separately and was just a free bonus added to a bundle of two other games. If Ryuukishi ever decides to sell the fandisc by itself, I really hope he won’t try to cash more than 200¥ for a piece as it isn’t worth more. Actually, there is not enough material to pay for at all, as most of the crappy OELVNs are longer than “Hane”. It’s probably my fault that I expected something in the league of Saikoroshi from “Higurashi Rei” which was a nice little epilogue to “Higurashi” saga, even though it wasn’t longer than 2-3 hours. In the end, it’s really hard for me to allocate a rating for this, but I will try, based on my enjoyment or non-enjoyment.

Links of Interest

Visual Novel Database
Official Japanese site
Ars Magica site for English translation (and Italian too)

Final Verdict: 49%

1 comment:

  1. yeah hane was .. just I don't even know how to describe it. It just felt like r7 was building up something epic in the forgery xxx and I was expecting something so great/grand then it ends in gainax type style "you mad ending"

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