Umineko no Naku Koro ni [TV]
Set in the year of 1986, Umineko no Naku Koro Ni (Translated as Umineko: When they cry in English) tells the tale of the affluent Ushiromiya family during their yearly tradition to gather in the island of Rokkenjima. But during this time in the island, family bonds are not strengthened. Instead, the gathering was created in order for members to discuss their present financial statuses with one another. In this year, the discussion has become crucial due to their family head’s declining health. Brothers and sisters do not treat each other like so due to their different reputations and desire for the family’s inheritance.
But not everyone in the family has a cut-throat relationship. The younger members share a peaceful relationship and enjoy each others’ company. During their reunion at the island’s port, Battler Ushiromiya, one of the younger members, describes each of the members in a positive light and even throws a joke at wanting to squeeze his cousin Jessica’s breasts. Although they have been told by the adults that the yearly gathering is for them to talk about what’s been going in their lives, the younger members are well aware that it was only a surface for more serious agendas.
While the older members are busy competing for who gets the family inheritance, Kinzou has brewed some trouble of his own. Knowing that his time was about to end soon, he hopelessly longs to see his one true love before finally resting in peace. But his true love is not someone ordinary. In the previous years of his life, Kinzou had become interested and practiced black magic. This led him to meet Beatrice, the Golden Witch, whom he later falls in love with. In an attempt to see her once more, Kinzou shouts out to Beatrice that he would let her take anything in return for her to appear before him.
A frightening storm then develops in the island of Rokkenjima, trapping not only just the Ushiromiya family members but everyone who is on the island. Not long after, a series of unexplained murders happen, giving everyone on the island no choice but to struggle for survival. Little does the Ushiromiya family know that these mysterious killings were actually the work of something more than just a simple murderer.
Ushiromiya Family Background and History
The Ushiromiya family had owned a huge number of spinning mills and was financially flourishing during the period between the late 1800s and early 1900s. But everything changed in 1923 when the Great Kanto Earthquake came. This led to the family losing not their members, but a great fraction of their wealth. In order to restore their wealth, Kinzou Ushiromiya, the present family head, used all of the money that had remained. Unbelievably, he was successful in doing so and has even made the family even wealthier than it is, all in a span of 20 short years. It was a miracle.
But Kinzou Ushiromiya did not make miracles happen out of sheer luck. He had come in contact with black magic, meeting the Golden Witch, Beatrice. The success of reviving the Ushiromiya family was all thanks to her. Kinzou had signed a contract with Beatrice, trading in his soul in exchange for gold and fame. This was no secret of course. Kinzou had an epitaph of gold created in his household to pay respects to Beatrice and have told the tale of their deal to the younger generation of the Ushiromiya family. Despite his authoritative aura, his children and grandchildren do not believe him and take it as an old man’s fantasy.
In the series, the Ushiromiya family consist of fourteen members including the wives and husbands. Its head, Kinzou Ushiromiya has four children namely: Krauss Ushiromiya the eldest son who is married to Natsuhi, Eva Ushiromiya the eldest daughter who is married to Hideyoshi, Rudolf Ushiromiya the second son who is married to Kyrie, and Rosa Ushiromiya the youngest daughter. Each of them brought both their partners and their children on the island. Kinzou has four grandchildren. They are Battler Ushiromiya, Jessica Ushiromiya, George Ushiromiya, and Maria Ushiromiya.
Along with the family are also the servants on the island. There is a total of five of them who have long served the Ushiromiyas. The head butler of the mansion is Genji Ronoue, the two younger servants are Shannon and Kanon, the head cook of the mansion is Toshiro Gohda, and an aged maid/domestic helper named Chiyo Kumasawa. Because of their loyalty and length of service to the Ushiromiya’s, the servants have become close to the family members.
Battler Ushiromiya is the protagonist of the Umineko no Naku Koro Ni series. He is eighteen years old and is the son of Rudolf Ushiromiya. Battler is a cheerful young man who enjoys flirting around with young women, even those within his family. He is somewhat stubborn and does not believe in things unless that do not make sense to him. But Battler also has a different side in which he is compassionate about others and is clever in some situations. Appearance wise, Battler has spiky red/auburn colored hair, blue eyes, light colored skin and wears a cream colored suit embedded with the Ushiromiya family wing crest.
Beatrice is the Golden Witch that which Kinzou Ushiromiya made a contract with. Often times, Beatrice is playful, whimsical and searches for things that might amuse her. She is very powerful and is rumored to grant people their wishes, no matter how greedy, in exchange for something else. It is said that when she is around, golden butterflies would appear. Beatrice appears to be a young lady with golden hair, blue eyes and wears a dark maroon dress.
Kinzou Ushiromiya is the aging head of the Ushiromiya family. Although he is already near death, Kinzou is still full of energy and appears to be a bit erratic. He has an obsession with black magic as shown when he sold his soul to Beatrice. He is the grandfather of Battler, Jessica, George and Maria Ushiromiya. Kinzou wears a white tuxedo underneath a black cape embedded with their family wing crest.
Jessica Ushiromiya is the cousin of Battler and the daughter of Krauss and Natsuhi Ushiromiya. Similar to Battler, she is eighteen years of age and energetic. She has no interest in the family inheritance whatsoever and at times, dislikes how her parents are so obsessed with it. Jessica has golden hair tied in a ponytail, bright blue eyes and wears a dark blue jacket with a white shirt underneath and a red skirt. The sleeve of her jacket has the family wing crest embedded on it.
George Ushiromiya is the son of Eva and Hideyoshi Ushiromiya, and Battler’s cousin. Unlike Jessica and Battler, George is twenty-three years old and is calmer and reserved. He is good-natured, and although he is described as average, George is fairly liked by everyone in the family. George is also diligent and brilliant as his parents raised him to be the next heir of the Ushiromiya family. He has black hair and eyes, has glasses and wears a pale green suit that also has the family wing crest on it.
Maria Ushiromiya is the youngest grandchild of Kinzou Ushiromiya, aged nine years old. She is the daughter of Rosa Ushiromiya and is the younger cousin of Battler. Maria often acts childish and whimsical which causes her mother to become infuriated and lead into her being slapped and abused. She strongly believes in Beatrice and her magic and has even memorized the epitaph. Maria has brown hair, violet eyes and wears a dress. Just like the other family members, Maria’s dress also has an embedded crest.
Krauss Ushiromiya is the eldest child of Kinzou Ushiromiya out of the four siblings, and the father of Jessica. Since he is the eldest, he is in charge in the family meetings. But because of his arrogant nature, his siblings often criticize him and even believe that he wants the family wealth all for himself.
Eva Ushiromiya is the second child of Kinzou Ushiromiya, and the mother of George. She dislikes her brother, Krauss, and is often hostile towards him. Unlike Rudolf and Rosa who appear to only want a share of the family wealth, Eva seems to aim to take the title of the family head from Krauss. But despite her sly and competitive behavior, Eva is caring and sweet towards her husband, Hideyoshi and her son, George.
Rudolf Ushiromiya is the third child of Kinzou Ushiromiya, and the father of Battler. Alongside his older sister, Eva, Rudolf is determined to stop Krauss from taking the entire family fortune for himself. He is very interested in getting a portion of the family wealth, doing what he can to criticize and reveal any of Krauss’s dirty tricks. After his first wife had died, Rudolf had married Kyrie, who now takes care of Battler as her own son.
Rosa Ushiromiya is the fourth and youngest child of Kinzou Ushiromiya, and the mother of Maria. During the family meetings, Rosa remains silently and gives no say, unlike her other siblings. This is mainly because of her being the youngest one out of the four. She does not seem that well interested in the family wealth compared to the others. Rosa is a calm person on the surface but is also short-tempered. She also has a tendency to become violent. In most cases, Rosa easily gets annoyed with her daughter’s gestures and habits, leading to both physical and verbal abuse towards her. But shortly, Rosa realizes what she does and begins to feel guilt for hurting Maria.
Kanon is one of the servants in the island of Rokkenjima. He is sixteen years old and is later revealed to be the love interest of Jessica. Like a doll, Kanon does not show much emotion because he does not consider himself and the other servants as people. In fact, he even refers those who are servants as furniture. Kanon has dark gray hair, blue eyes, and wears a dark shirt with a purple bow and red shorts. On the collar of the shirt is the Ushiromiya family wing crest.
Shannon, along with Kanon, is another one of the servants in the island of Rokkenjima. She is also sixteen years of age and is the fiancee of George. Shannon is the polar opposite of Kanon, always filled with emotions and sometimes she even becomes clumsy. But despite her blunders, Shannon is a hardworking and loyal servant of the Ushiromiya family. Like a servant, Shannon wears a maid outfit of black and white. Her hair is color brown and her eyes are of the color blue.
Genji Ronoue is the mansion’s head butler who is very skilled with knives. He is said to be the person who Kinzou trusts the most.
Chiyo Kumasawa is an aged woman who works part-time in the island. She often helps around with domestic work in the mansion.
Toshiro Gohda is a hired cook by Krauss and Natsuhi. He is known as the head chief of the mansion.