One should never feel ashamed for enjoying an anime (well, unless it’s some sexualized loli crap, then you should be ashamed and arrested). You shouldn’t feel embarrassed by it – even if it’s a terrible, flawed adaption. You enjoy it regardless. This is how I feel about Studio DEEN’s infamous animation adaption of the visual novel series “Umineko no Naku Koro ni” (When The Seagulls Cry). Despite the disrespect towards the original source material, such as key story elements left out (creating loose ends untied) and animation errors, I hold a small space in my heart for Umineko.
A space I use to make fun of shitty adaptions, but a space nonetheless.
The Umineko anime is garbage compared to the original visual novel and amazing manga counterparts. I can’t deny that Studio DEEN did a horrible job on it. Even if visual novels are awkward to adapt (I assume it’s hard to animated scenes from a source material that only has a static image, character sprites, and background music) , Studio Deen is known in the anime community for being lazy with their work and creating horrible adaptions (see: their version of the Fate/Zero anime). Umineko isn’t exempt from DEEN’s laziness.
The Umineko VN is heavy with detailed dialogue scenes which were omitted from the anime (which I can assume DEEN was being lazy). Any mention of kid Ange’s sickness preventing her to attend the Ushiromiya annual family meeting by her parents from Episode 1 in the anime? Nope! Did you love how Rosa barbarically jammed an ink pen in the eyes of a Goat Butler and saying her saying her epic line ‘I’ll show you how lukewarm the hell you came from is!’ before blowing it brains out with her gun in the visual novel? Well, DEEN decide to not add that in.
Reflect on how sorrowful you felt for Ange when she revealed her true identity was to her brother Battler, pleading to him to defeat Beatrice and return to Kid Ange to prevent living the lonely, depressing life as her future self as she was dying in the visual novel. Remember man?
Well, It’s in the anime, but DEEN managed to ruin that with one simple frame:
Because of Deen’s hilarious errors , the Umineko fanbase straight up loathe the anime. The very mention of the anime and anyone admitting that they enjoy it will trigger even the most chilliest Umineko fan. You’ll get attacked with great vigor by the diehards. It’s not worth it unless you like creating conflict. Go on the Umineko tag on tumblr or /jp/, say you think Studio DEEN did nothing wrong with the anime, sit back and watch the rage.
Despite the flaws of the anime, I still love it as it’s special to me.
There’s something about the anime that I can forgive its awfulness. It made me aware of narrative themes in anime such as abuse (sexual, emotional, and physical), the past returning, revenge, and suicide. Umineko (both the visual novel and anime) shows how abuse can be passed down within a family, as we see patriarch figure Kinzo passing down his abusive ways to his children. This results in mother Rosa abusing daughter Maria.
Hell, this gets worse with Eva (suffering from being the sole survival of the massacre of her family in Episode 4) abusing her niece Ange (who too was suffering from losing her love ones). The abuse from her aunt, the impact of losing her family (who was involved in some pretty illegal shit mind you), and being bullied in school drove her to become suicidal. Even with the awfulness of the anime, it made me aware of narrative themes within the story-line which got me hooked into the series.
I do not feel ashamed about my love for the Umineko anime. In fact, I feel given it got me into the original visual novel and the manga (which is a superior adaption compare to the anime), Yea, it’s garbage, but it made me notice themes in anime.
But seriously, you fucked up Studio Deen.