12 Moments of Anime #7: The Golden Witch and the Sun Goddess

by eternal on December 19, 2009

The Golden Witch[鴉子]

Ah, When They Cry. What would we do without you? We’d all be slightly more sane, probably, but we’d also have missed out on an innovative and suspenseful story that goes beyond the proverbial locked room and doesn’t pull its punches until it’s too late.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni was a great show, and I’m sure it was seen as unique when it first aired. It’s hard to not feel disconcerted after being treated to a full serving of killer lolis, complete with a bloody hatchet on the side. Along the same lines, Umineko no Naku Koro ni really took off in 2009 with the development of the story in the games released in Japan, the speedy translations of Witch Hunt, and the controversial anime adaptation.

In addition to providing the same mind-bending mysteries and psychological intensity as its predecessor, Umineko also benefits from its setting as an apparently unoriginal murder mystery. The legend of the Golden Witch has the same foreboding atmosphere as Higurashi‘s Oyashiro-sama, but the excitement rises when Battler starts tearing apart the whodunnit tropes one after the other and the audience is left, often literally, at the edge of their seats. There’s no way Ryukishi07’s latest sublimely sinister web of mysteries won’t go down in anime and visual novel history as one of the most innovative and engrossing in its genre.

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As for the Sun Goddess portion of the post title, a certain efficient Amaterasu has been turning heads this year in the VN community. Their first notable achievement is that they work quickly – some of their patches were released before I even knew what they were working on, and NNL openly praised them for their efficiency at some point or the other. Suffice to say, they’ve probably also been producing quality translations otherwise someone would have picked up on it.

However, Amaterasu also had an interesting idea going for a few months where they ran polls to determine which games they should take on next. Of course, we all know how that turned out, but the fact that their reputation as translators grew to the point that their poll would be the talk of the community and the subject of cheating and trolling says something about their rapid ascent to the top. While I do appreciate their initial philosophy of letting the fans decide what gets translated, I also have faith in Ixrec’s judgment and I expect their future projects to live up to their name. The visual novel translation scene is still painfully barren, to the point that games like Love Plus and Muv-Luv often act as an incentive to start learning the language, but it’s groups like this that remind me that the scene is constantly growing, and I’m sure they can keep it up in the coming year.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

kristen February 4, 2010 at 6:46 pm

are thre any sun gods?


ETERNAL February 6, 2010 at 10:19 am

Amaterasu is a Sun Goddess in Japanese mythology, or something like that.


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