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Umineko When They Cry Episode 1: Legend of the Golden Witch, Vol. 1 [Paperback]

Ryukishi07 , Kei Natsumi
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 13.99
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Book Description

20 Nov 2012 Umineko When They Cry (Book 1)
Each year, the Ushiromiya family gathers at the secluded mansion of its patriarch, the elderly Kinzo. It has been six years since Battler joined his cousins at the annual event, but their happy reunion is overshadowed by worsening weather and an eerie premonition from his youngest cousin. When their parents' conversation turns to the division of the inheritance upon Kinzo's imminent death, Battler and his cousins reminisce about the stories their parents teased them with as children-tales of the witch, Beatrice, who haunts the island's forest. But when people start dying unnatural deaths, Battler can't help but wonder...

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Umineko When They Cry Episode 1: Legend of the Golden Witch, Vol. 1 + Umineko When They Cry Episode 1: Legend of the Golden Witch, Vol. 2 + Umineko When They Cry Episode 2: Turn of the Golden Witch, Vol. 1
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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Yen Press (20 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316229164
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316229166
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14.5 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 150,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

A closed-circle mystery from the creator of the New York Times bestselling Higurashi WHEN THEY CRY!

About the Author

Ryukishi07 leapt into the spotlight with HIGURASHI NO NAKU KORO NI which was originally conceived as a series of visual novels and later adapted into the popular manga and anime franchise.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Umineko no Naku Koro Ni was a meta-fictional deconstruction of the mystery and fantasy genre and its premise was essentially showing you a mystery disguised as fantasy through unreliable narration. This did not translate well into animated form as the source material hinged on being written work as well as overall cutting out seemingly padded scenes that ultimately did provide hints for the answers. The manga, solely on the merit of being in a medium much closer to its source,
comes out being a much more solid adaptation, and, coupled with solid artwork that knows how to give you the chills
results in a surprisingly solid alternative to the original work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent translation of the novels into manga! 14 Jun 2013
By Alex
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having read and loved the original Visual Novels, was a little bit curious about how well it could be translated into manga, as the the attrocity-for-an-anime version was beyond horrible. But, it turns out that the manga version is portraying the story perfectly! The story, the characters and the atmosphere of the VN are captivated and presented masterfully! Up to volume one of the 2nd episode, this continues to be the case, and I'm sure it will go on. A definite must-buy for fans and new-comers to the series alike!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect adaption 24 Dec 2012
By Luigi
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Perfect adaption of one of the best sound novels out there. Way better than the horrible anime adaption. If you are a fan of the anime, buy this and forget it. If you are a fan of the novel, buy this too... you won't be disappointed.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When the Seagulls Cry: Umineko No Naku Koro Ni 20 Nov 2012
By Eerie42 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I wondered at first why this book was being sold for twenty dollars. When I finally saw it, I could see why.
It's the equivalent size of three books in one, and it's actually two REALLY thick books in one volume, with pristine color inserts (eight of them). It's pretty good for the price, and since this is Amazon, and you can buy for even cheaper, it's probably an even BETTER deal.

For those who KNOW this story, this translation is pretty solid, and everything you read in the fan-translation is pretty close. Everyone speaks how they're supposed to, and very rarely did I come across a line that sounded...off. I give it a good little thumbs up.
Sadly, this doesn't have the entire first arc. They're going to have to publish another big book, but you'll have the first ten chapters, which is pretty good, since this arc is 22 chapters long.

For those who HAVEN'T read this story...firstly, you probably should. Don't let the male figure and the mischievous-looking little girl scare you into thinking this is something...um...questionable.
It's the story of an incredibly rich family going on a vacation on their private island. Little do they know that tragedy awaits them as a mysterious "witch" threatens to take away the inheritance the head of the family has worked so hard to achieve.
A family vacation turns into a murder mystery, and it's a battle of logic between the world of humans and the world of witches, if they even exist.

It's a smartly written series, and if you like mysteries and such, you'll like this. It's less...jumpy scary (like this series predecessor, Higurashi) and more problem solve-y.
The art style choice, the Japanese manga look that we all know and love, seems not as fitting since this story is so different from the previous title, Higurashi WHEN THEY CRY. Still, this artist is pretty good at facial expressions, which contort and writhe making faces that are far scarier than the so-called witch in the story. When the art goes back to it's manga-esque style, it's a little jarring, but the artist makes it work really well.
I love the panel layouts, and Ryukishi07 is a fantastic writer.
There's not much else to say except that the writing is a lot smarter than what you would think it is. It's not as scary as Higurashi, but there's a suspense to it that's entertaining in and of itself, and if you like to dissect what you're reading, like I do, solving the mystery within this story is a LOT of fun.

So yeah, for fans and not-yet fans, it's a good book!
Buy it! You know...if you want to...
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More reading intensive than Higurashi, but just as good 3 Dec 2012
By ChibiNeko - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
One of the things I want to stress is that this is not Higurashi. It's a similar dynamic in that the murders will eventually repeat with slight variations, but the reasons why will be stated in the next volume or two. (I don't want to spoil things for you!) The other big difference here is that while Higurashi started off rather lighthearted, Umineko jumps directly into the action and it's rather fast-paced in comparison. It's also more reading intensive, with the pages seeming to be more dialogue laden than its predecessor. I imagine that most people coming into this series will be willing and ready for that, but I know that some people like their manga to be less time consuming to read, if that makes any sense. There's no shame in that, but I know that some will probably find themselves getting a little fatigued while reading this first episode since it is time consuming and in order to really process everything and the clues, you'll want to do so slowly despite the urge to do otherwise.

The story here is pretty cool: it's a locked room murder mystery with a bit of a twist. Everyone is on an island where presumably no one can get on or off of it. You have a mysterious witch that has the household staff somewhat terrified and a series of brutal bloody murders that happen unseen during the night. This might be seen as somewhat of a spoiler, but come on... this is Ryukishi07. If someone doesn't die, get beaten up, or blood isn't on the pages somewhere by the end of the first volume, then odds are you probably picked up another manga by mistake.

I rather liked the size of the volume, which is an overly large trade paperback type size, akin to that of the Higurashi When They Cry: Demon Exposing Arc. This means that you'll get a wonderful look at the artwork, which is really nice to look at. The artwork is sometimes one of the things I love most about the volume. The only downfall? It'll look mismatched next to the Higurashi volumes, although that's probably for the better. I'd rather have a larger volume that showcases the artwork better than to have a smaller tome that matched everything else.

Overall this is a fairly good start to the series. It won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it is definitely worth checking out.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When The Seagulls Cry... 8 Jan 2013
By Byrd - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Umineko When They Cry: Episode 1: Legend of the Golden Witch, Vol. 1 is an adaption of the visual novel epic of the same name into manga format.
Battler Ushiromiya is returning to the island of Rokkenjima for the first time in six years after a dispute with his father led him to live with his mother's family after her death. Everything is proceeding as normal (or as normally as any wealthy family with inheritance issues can get), until his youngest cousin, Maria, a sweet and naive young girl, is found in the rose garden during a storm holding an umbrella supposedly given to her by the Golden Witch, Beatrice, who haunts the manor house at night. At dinner while trying to figure out who really gave her the umbrella, she pulls out a letter given to her by 'Beatrice' with their grandfather, Kinzo's, seal printed on it in wax and a haunting letter proclaiming a grizzly fate for them unless they find out where the hidden gold she, Beatrice, gave to him is.
By far this is one of the best stories I have ever read. The first portion of the book really makes the second part hit hit all that much harder because its lighthearted nature contrasts massively with the disturbing violence that occurs and the struggle to find the killer. You feel right along with the characters, and trust me, it is like you opened a dam and are being crushed.
The characterization is wonderful. Each character is unique with their flaws slowly revealed. Natushi feels like a useless wife because of her inability to have children for a long time and the rest of the family, particularly her sister-in-law Eva, generally treats her like dirt. Rosa is abusive but tries to make up for her violent behavior. Rudolf is a known ladies man whose quick marriage to his second wife, Kirie, after the death of his first caused Battler to leave in the first place. Maria is bullied ruthlessly at school because of her verbal tic 'uuu'.
And the art! Kei Natsumi is a very talented person. The art is well done and beautiful, catching the mood of the original visual novel perfectly. It isn't similar to most manga I've ever read and fits very well. If only the book came with a CD holding the visual novel's music...
There are multiple color pages throughout the book, showing some bonus art and the the second volume's cover (since this is the first and second volume of the first episode in one). The little comedic stories at the end of each part are hilarious and clever.
Buyer, this is a large book at over five hundred pages, so the money you pay for it is well worth it. Size wise, it is larger than other volumes released by Yen Press and is about the same as the Max Ride manga in height and length.
Over all, I would recommend this to anyone as long as they aren't sensitive to violence and child abuse.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars finally in the US 18 Nov 2012
By tantei - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
when the seagulls cry has finally started to make it's way to the US in a slightly condensed version. this is a ok way to get into the series far better then the anime.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Story Ever Written 27 May 2013
By Michael Murphy (mmstick) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having read/watched an ungodly amount of stories, this is the greatest thing I have ever experienced in my entire life. I read the visual novels first, which I highly recommend for you to do so because this story is based on a visual sound novel that put in a significant amount of effort in creating an atmosphere with sound effects and the most amazing sound tracks I've ever heard for background music. The only thing lacking from the sound novels are the beautiful artwork present in the manga.

Umineko no Naku Koro ni, or When The Seagulls Cry, is an extremely long novel revolving around the events on Rokkenjima on October 4th through 5th in 1986. There is a large cast of characters full of personality, and the depictions portrayed throughout the story are believable that something like this could actually happen. The Ushiromiya family is a rich and powerful family thanks to the family head, Kinzo, who is said to have received ten tons of gold from a deal he made with a witch just after World War II. The whereabouts of the gold is unknown, or even if the gold exists at all. An epitaph is constructed in the mansion in front of a portrait of the witch, to which whoever can solve this epitaph will receive all the gold and become the next family head. In his old age, Kinzo has gone senile and dabbles deeply in the occult as he attempts to revive the witch, and does not have much time left to live. Due to a typhoon, the family and servants are trapped on the island for two days during their family conference, or squabble, over the inheritance. As the family and servants begin dropping one by one with seemingly impossible murders, by the time the seagulls cry, none shall be left alive.

I will present to you readers some hints as to what you should look for so you don't stray from the path. Many people get into this story only to become confused for their lack of intelligence and understanding of the material. There may potentially be a few minor spoilers, but they won't detract from your experience.

Like Higurashi, each episode here is an alternate world, a fragment, of what could have happened. Hidden within each fragment is the truth, with the culprit being the same for all fragments. Rokkenjima of October 4-5 in 1986 is a catbox. If you open the catbox, there can only be one true outcome. If you keep it closed, there are many possible truths. The story will end without opening the catbox completely yet arrive at a highly satisfactory outcome. For those looking to discover the truth, the clues are all provided throughout the story to piece together your own truth of what happened.

This story is more than just a single story. There is a story hidden within the story hidden within the story all playing at the same time. Ushiromiya Battler is our detective on the island of Rokkenjima. His perspective is that of the objective perspective, and therefore can be taken as reality; unless we are to believe that Battler is the culprit and his perspective is not reliable. Any scene not seen by him is the subjective perspective which may or may not have happened. The magical perspective also lies within the subjective perspective. Another perspective is the perspective of the metaworld, revealed to us at the end of episode one.

A game is pieced together starting in episode two as a crutch to help you think. This is the game of Blue Truth versus Red Truth. A battle of intellectual wits against the idea that magic is not real and the witch is a delusion, all crimes were committed by human hands. The Red Truth is the power the witch will use against Battler. The Red Truth is the absolute, undeniable truth. However, the red truth can be misleading as there may be multiple interpretations of this red truth. The goal of Blue Truth, similar to theories, must present a truth that does not violate the Red. If you can create a truth for this story that doesn't violate any of the Red truths presented in the story, then you have arrived at a truth for what happened, who did it, and why they did it.

The metaworld is an unknown realm existing alongside Rokkenjima; it cannot be proved nor disproved. Whether it is purgatory or some realm on a higher plane does not matter. To the characters here, Rokkenjima is like a chess board; they do not have anything directly to do with the events of Rokkenjima. The Battler presented here is not the same Battler you see on Rokkenjima. He is, at best, Battler from the first episode looking over the events of other fragments trying to piece together what happened.
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