In Defense of Furudo Erika

by eternal on September 19, 2010


So, Erika might not be the most popular character in Umineko no Naku Koro ni. I can understand that. I suppose the shippers will always fawn over the servants and their respective pairings, or Battler’s and Beatrice’s mysterious bond. Pitting her against the entire When They Cry universe, she’s destined to lose to the classic niipah~, even if such thoughts are wrong.

Even so, Erika Furudo was the first character aside from Battler and Beato to make a strong impression on me, and she quickly earned herself Waifu Status for the WTC universe. The girl is worthy of more than people give her credit for, and here’s why.

(While this post contains spoilers, it has nothing to do with Umineko’s plot and it doesn’t matter if you agree with me. Think of it as a fanboy analysis.)

(This makes a pretty good iPhone wallpaper)

  • Erika is smart

Simple enough, right? Intelligence is usually seen as an attractive quality for members of the opposite sex, and that applies to 2D as well. I’ve always been a meganekko fan, and I enjoy characters who appear to be more intelligent than their peers. In fact, I’d like to see the intelligence angle played more by eroge writers; there’s no rule saying that smart = not cute, especially in 2D.

Either way, you can’t doubt that Erika Furudo is an intelligent human being. Her abilities are exaggerated, but even if you imagine her as a real person, she would still have an above-average intelligence level and it would be a pleasure to discuss mystery novels with her. Remember, she only gets serious when a puzzle is involved, and her lack of politeness in Rokkenjima is due to the fact that she knew a crime was coming and, in episode 6, she already hated Battler. I propose that Erika Furudo would be able to hold a pleasant, intelligent conversation outside of Rokkenjima. Her animosity toward the cast is due to the fact that she was at “work” – working on her job of being the detective!

  • Erika is confident and she plays to win

I’ll be the first to admit that emotional dependence in 2D girls is cute. It’s not because of male dominance or whatever propaganda gullible non-moe fans believe in; it’s because girls who depend on the player create the illusion that the player is actually necessary in some way, as opposed to the cold truth that she could do just fine without you. Having said that, Erika’s appeal is the exact opposite: she isn’t someone I would fall for at first sight, but she’s certainly someone that I would be interested in.

What I mean is that I have something in common with Erika, and that mutual understanding, like the attraction between two anime fans, can go beyond the concept of an “ideal” personality. Erika is well-read; her knowledge of the mystery genre matches Battler’s, which is even more impressive for someone of her age. No only that, but she – Erika Furudo – has proven that she plays to win. Remember Maria’s quiz book in episode 6? If you’re playing a Jeopardy-style quiz game, what’s the point of holding your tongue until everyone gets a chance to think? You can’t call it a quiz “game” if you’re not going to play, and games only become games when you play to win. Likewise, she never made the detective proclamation in the sixth game for the sake of overwriting her prior loss with an overwhelming victory, and she even took the risk of challenging Battler head on and trapping him with a Logic Error. She knows how to play the game, and even when she lost, she was defeated by Beatrice, not Battler.

Winning is important, and there’s a difference between cheating and skillfully deceiving. According to this evidence, I believe that Erika’s personality would cause her to be a confident and skilled competitor in the real world, regardless of the game. That’s certainly something I can admire. Realistically, this would be much better than trying to teach Nagisa Furukawa how to play Magic: The Gathering.

  • I have something in common with Erika

Obviously this doesn’t apply to everyone, but I have a bias toward Erika for the same reason that some people sympathize with delinquents and playboys and genuine NEETs. Erika’s “flaws” are the same as mine, and I can relate to her coldness with regards to problem solving. Does it matter why a person takes pleasure in winning battles and solving mysteries? As long as you’re not using that ability for evil, it’s no one’s business but your own. I can appreciate someone who uses their intellect to boast their superiority. In fact, I’ll challenge it; we’ll fight for the title of Rokkenjima’s greatest detective. The loser relinquishes their bragging rights; no need for sympathy. Few things in life are more satisfying than an all-out duel on the chess board, figuratively or literally.

  • Erika is not the “worst” character in Umineko

“Evil” is a tricky word, so I’ll stick with something broad like “worst”. What I mean is that even though Erika is twisted, her crimes are exaggerated due to the nature of the story, and I’d rather have her sins over many of the horrible things the rest of the cast did. Rudolf is a self-indulgent flirt who might have screwed things up for an entire family; the only reason I’d forgive him is because any woman with a grain of common sense should be able to see through him. Rosa’s pain is understandable, but she’s still a terrible mother who apparently forgot what it means to be nine years old. Erika only shows the same level of cruelty as the witches in one situation – the wedding – and that’s at least somewhat understandable since Battler was her enemy to begin with. She’s certainly less twisted than whoever it was who tore apart Ange’s body just for the sake of provoking a reaction from Battler. In comparison to the rest of the cast, Erika’s crimes are no worse, and she has her own emotional weaknesses that lead to her outbursts. Liking Erika despite her crimes is no worse than liking Beatrice!

Furthermore, Erika Furudo is a villain in the Umineko universe! You’re supposed to dislike her; she’s intentionally written as a villain, like Beatrice in the early arcs. I propose that Erika’s personality is less twisted than it appears because the narrative treats her as a villain! And don’t forget that crazy, borderline yandere girls are the norm in Ryukishi07’s work. Erika’s exaggerated ruthlessness is a result of her role as a villain in an already twisted horror/mystery story. She’s nothing but a chess piece on Ryukishi07’s board! Of course she appears to be evil through the narrative’s lens!

  • Erika still has her moe traits

Chopsticks. Man, I love those chopsticks. I can’t see any connection between the chopsticks and the main storyline, so I’m assuming that they’re only there for the obvious reason: to encourage things like this!

I’m not even a fan of chopsticks, but Erika’s obsession with them and subsequent mood swings show that she has her own special niipah~ and that she can be cute if she wants to. It’s pure pandering, and I love it. Who said that confidence and cuteness have to be mutually exclusive? Erika gets the best of both worlds, and it’s hard to not kyaa~ when her eyes brighten and she starts talking like a kid. In other words, there is more to Erika Furudo’s personality than a cold-blooded detective.

On top of this, she even manages to play the emotionally dependent card despite her overwhelming confidence thanks to her backstory with her traitorous, insensitive, unworthy boyfriend (he was probably a communist too). Don’t you want to heal her broken heart? I hope you don’t, actually, but you get my point.

  • Erika looks good

I’m not kidding, this girl has my favourite design in the When They Cry universe, closely followed by Lambdadelta (a slight sweet lolita flavour) and Beato (more for the butterfly motif than the design itself). The blue twintails, the childish stature and mature personality, the elegant white-pink-red dress that complements her hair, the stylish pantyhose and classic white Mary Janes… she’s perfect, or at least dangerously close to it. Pardon me if my description is off – my knowledge of women’s clothing comes entirely from Danbooru tags – but I think you get my drift (don’t worry if you miss that reference, it’s completely off-topic).

It’s also worth mentioning that she looks better in Jessica’s dress than Jessica. She might not have the breasts, but come on, you know this outfit was meant for her. She even looks great with her gun. Impossible! A middle school detective with a gun who only acts her age when chopsticks are involved? It exists! Erika Furudo’s bizarre combination of physical and mental traits exists, and it works spectacularly. She’s an extremely unique character, even in the Umineko world, and I propose that she’s a breath of fresh air to bishoujo fans who have grown accustomed to the tried-and-true archetypes.


In case it isn’t obvious, you’re under no obligation to agree with me; love her or hate her, Erika Furudo already played her role in Umineko‘s story, and the curtains have closed on her arc. For me, there’s no denying that she’s my favourite character in the game, despite her evolution into a rival and eventually an antagonist. I said it a while ago, but Erika is perfect for me in so many ways. Ryukishi somehow managed to create an interesting, original personality without completely removing her standard moe traits, and it works. Even if she isn’t popular, I’m okay as long as the fanartists like her.

At any rate, the conclusion is obvious by this point, isn’t it? Simply by the existence of this post, this level of reasoning is possible for Eternal. What do you think, everyone…?


{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Aspie Sincerity September 19, 2010 at 10:07 pm

I won’t say I don’t think you’re crazy, as to me the idea of analysing a character outside the universe of the text seems absurd, but I guess such is the nature of fanon. But I can’t help but agree with some of the things you’re saying. When I was first introduced to Erika, I developed an odd appreciation of her character. It was pretty much foe yay for me. I guess I admire her intellect and confidence, like you. I remember the scene from EP6 where Erika put on an act to get the tape really impacted me. It’s like, you want to feel for her, but she keeps trolling you. I’m surprised you didn’t talk about her relationship with Bernkastel, as I feel she has a huge influence on Erika’s identity. I can’t help but feel that as long as Bern is around, we’ll never see Erika’s true nature. She is only furniture, after all. I want to believe in the human Erika, but I’m not sure if there is enough evidence in the texts to say it’s justified.


Hisui September 19, 2010 at 11:33 pm

Well it is importnat to also note that Erika is fighting for her life. If she wins against Battler she might have been able to live (I say might becuase from what wen see with her dealings Ange that Bernkastel in the master of the fine print bargain) but is she loses then she dies. So you could (if you wanted to) see much of her malicious spirit as someone fighting desperately to hang onto her own life and be damned with anyone else.

Now if Ericka was ever alive/could have been saved during the course of episodes 5 and 6 is another question entirely. Maybe the last game will answer this question.


ETERNAL September 25, 2010 at 4:25 pm

I normally wouldn’t bother analyzing characters out of context, but this post is a bit of an exception, as you can tell. I wouldn’t normally use Blue and Red text either.

Thinking about Erika’s relationship with Bern, I suppose it’s inevitable that we’ll never get to see another side of her since she seems to have fulfilled her purpose. Ironically, though, I’m not as interested in her “true nature” as I am in her portrayal in the story. Something about her twisted intelligence appeals to me, and as you said, I have a feeling she’d be easier to not hate if she were to return as human rather than as furniture.


Hisui September 19, 2010 at 11:51 pm

I always saw Erika as someone you were supposed to love to hate. She is the detective that is trying to find the answer without love. She is the antithesis of the themes of the visual novel. Also as a member of the Reverse Thieves how could I like an evil detective? ;)

But she is a well written villain. I really like Ryukishi07’s ability to make villains who have human motivations beyond “evil is cool” and therefore are sympathetic while still clearly being the villainous antagonist. Miyo Takano was evil but you understood why and I think you can say the same for Erika Furudo.


ETERNAL September 25, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Her story certainly makes sense thematically, which is why I don’t have a particular grudge about her character being written as a villain. I think it’s an odd case of me falling for the personality traits of the character rather than her role in the narrative.


linger September 20, 2010 at 12:17 am

Oh god I love Erika. I knew there were other people out there who felt the same way. I’ll have to take a bit to digest this post.

## SPOILERS FOR EP 5-6 ## Possible follow-up topic: Proving that Erika existed on the island of Rokkenjima, and that Beatrice’s denial of her was based on intellectual trickery just like Erika asserting the “truth” that Natsuhi was the culprit in EP 5.


ETERNAL September 25, 2010 at 4:32 pm

It’s quite possible. To be honest, even though Erika’s main role is over, I’d be surprised to see her completely vanish from the story. I’m sure there’s at least some mention of the issue of her existence on the island and whether she was alive or dead in ep 7 (considering the cliffhanger at the end of 6) but I’m afraid to get my hopes up :P


choux September 23, 2010 at 8:22 pm

I loved Erika (especially the chopsticks scene) until she revealed that she killed everyone while they were still alive. And my sympathy for her completely went away at that wedding scene. But yeah, she’s definitely one of the most well-designed characters the guy has ever come up with. I have to say that that danbooru pic you linked to is creepy though. Seriously. Definitely. Honestly. 100%. Yeah…


ETERNAL September 25, 2010 at 4:30 pm

The chopsticks one? I dunno, it feels kinda normal after stuff like this (sorta NSFW)


linger September 29, 2010 at 2:40 am

You know who else killed everyone while they were still alive?

Beatrice. Many times over.

I can never understand how people see Beatrice as this charming, adorable figure while hating Erika, while the stuff Beatrice has done is many times worse.


AuraTwilight January 24, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Because Beatrice never did kill anyone. She just took credit for someone else’s murder.

You know, because Beatrice doesn’t actually exist, even in the narrative of the story. She’s an illusion. Moreover, Beatrice’s “murders”, as much as we can honestly give her credit for them, are a necessary part of the narrative she’s constructing. Erika, meanwhile, goes out of her way to decapitate five people in order to win an argument, and isn’t so much playing to win so much as humiliate her opponent and break and ruin the gameboard to secure her place as superior. That’s like breaking a chessboard and punching the other player in the face.

Still, Erika is an amazing character and a GREAT villain, but any attempt at “redeeming” her is merely Draco in Leather Pants in full swing.


DetectiveFunk September 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm

I though about the emphasis put on chopsticks, and I’ve come to the conclusion that someone with a small figure who is very dexterous with chopsticks could easily set and unset a chain-lock from the outside. YES! This level of reasoning is only possible for Detective Funk, don’t you agree….?


ETERNAL October 22, 2010 at 1:40 am

…The sad thing is that it almost sounds plausible XD


Amy December 16, 2010 at 8:01 am

I agree. Erika is also one of my favorite characters, mostly because she reminds me of my self so much.


LR Weizel June 2, 2011 at 4:25 pm

She saved Ange’s ass in Ep8 you know. Such a badass.


Mike October 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm

I LOVE ERIKA, she is brilliant!!!
I pretty much love every umineko character that people hates including bern, lambda, eva-beatrice, rosa, etc… (maybe not some of the minor characters like ange’s bullies)


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