Umineko no Naku Koro ni (うみねこのなく頃に, Umineko no Naku Koro ni, lit. When the Seagulls Cry) is a Japanese media mix franchise created by 07th Expansion. It is a part of 07th Expansion's wider When They Cry franchise. The story focuses on the Ushiromiya family and their servants, all of whom are on a secluded island for a period of two days while beset by mysterious murders. Incorporating elements of fantasy and metafiction, the goal of the each story is to discern not only the identity of the murderer, but whether the culprit is even human at all.
The franchise began with the release of the sound novel Legend of the Golden Witch in 2007. The series continued for a total of eight sound novels, all of which were written by Ryukishi07 and published by 07th Expansion. Square Enix, Ichijinsha, Kadokawa Shoten, and ASCII Media Works all published various manga adaptations of the series, all written by Ryukishi07. Kodansha Box published a series of light novels also written by Ryukishi07. The series was also made into a 26-episode anime by Studio Deen, which aired in Japan between July and December 2009. The game was re-released by Alchemist under the name Umineko no Naku Koro ni ~Rondo of the Witch and Reasoning~ with updated graphics on December 16th, 2010. A fighting game based on the franchise was released by 07th Expansion on December 31, 2010.
The word umineko is the name of a type of seagull known as the black-tailed gull. Naku means to make sound (鳴く), specifically referring to the sounds made by non-human organisms. According to the original creator, Ryukishi07, the red character Na (な) in the logo is an official part of the title.
Umineko no Naku Koro ni takes place primarily in the year 1986, during the time frame of October 4 and October 5 on a small, secluded island named Rokkenjima (六軒島) owned and lived on by Kinzo, the head of the wealthy Ushiromiya family. Kinzo is near death, and eight of his family members arrive on the island for the annual family conference, where the adults plan to discuss how Kinzo's assets will be divided once he is dead. Also on the island are three family members who live there, five of Kinzo's servants, and his personal physician. After the eight family members arrive, a typhoon traps them on the island, and shortly after, strange things start to happen and people start dying.
The main character of the story is Battler Ushiromiya, son of Kinzo's second son Rudolf. Battler has not been to the annual Ushiromiya conference in six years due to living with his maternal grandparents ever since his mother Asumu died, and even took his mother's maiden name instead of Ushiromiya. When his grandparents died, he went back to living with his father, his second wife Kyrie, and their daughter Ange, his half-sister. Once on the island, Battler once again becomes acquainted with the legend of the golden witch Beatrice who supposedly lives in the naturally dense forest on Rokkenjima. A portrait of her lies in the entrance hall of the Ushiromiya family mansion, and a puzzling epitaph is written below the portrait. Rumor has it on the island that Beatrice gave ten tons of gold to Kinzo in the past to restart the Ushiromiya family after being crippled in the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake. It is said that whoever solves the riddle of the witch's epitaph will receive the gold and be the next successor to the Ushiromiya family.
Once the typhoon hits, a ghastly game begins, starting with the murder of six people on the island. If the witch's epitaph cannot be solved, people will continue to die in mysterious deaths, following the outline given by the epitaph itself, until the witch Beatrice ultimately revives. From this point on, Battler and Beatrice are locked in a game of twisted logic where Battler must attempt to explain all of the mysterious events on Rokkenjima from the standpoint that they are caused by a human, and Beatrice attempts to explain everything with witches and magic. If Beatrice can get Battler to ultimately surrender and accept witches and magic, Beatrice wins.
List of sound novels
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni Tsubasa
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni Hane
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni Saku (compilation)
In other media
A 26-episode anime adaptation based on the visual novel series aired in Japan between July 2 and December 24, 2009 on Chiba TV, and aired on additional stations at later times. The anime is produced by the animation studio Studio Deen, directed by Chiaki Kon, and written by Toshifumi Kawase. The opening theme of the anime is "Katayoku no Tori" (片翼の鳥, lit. "One-Winged Bird") by Akiko Shikata, and the ending theme is "La Divina Tragedia: Makyoku" (la divina tragedia～魔曲～, lit. "The Divine Tragedy: Diabolic Song") by Jimang from Sound Horizon. The singles for both songs were released on August 19 and September 16, 2009, respectively. The anime is licensed by NIS America for release in North America and was released in two Blu-ray Disc compilation volumes in December 2012.
- Manga released in English
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni
- Legend of the Golden Witch (1, 2, 3, 4)
- Turn of the Golden Witch (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
- Banquet of the Golden Witch (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
- Alliance of the Golden Witch (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
- End of the Golden Witch (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
- Dawn of the Golden Witch (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
- Requiem of the Golden Witch (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
- Twilight of the Golden Witch (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
- Manga not released in English
- Umineko Biyori: Rokkenjima e Yōkoso!!
- Umineko Dōri no Peru-san
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni Episode X
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni Shi: Forgery of the Purple Logic
- Ōgon Musōkyoku
|2007||December 31||M.Graveyard Special CD ~ Umaretekite Kurete Arigatou|
|2008||August 16||Umaretekite Kurete Arigatou|
|August 16||When they sing Vol.1|
|August 16||Gathered WiLL ~ Umineko no Naku Koro ni Special Tracks|
|August 29||Umineko no Naku Koro ni / Akiko Shikata|
|December 29||Sound of the golden witch|
|December 29||ACTIVE PAIN|
|December 29||Majo no Toki ~le moment de la SORCIERE~ Preview Ver.|
|August 15||Umineko no Naku Koro ni musicbox Blue||Soundtrack|
|Umineko no Naku Koro ni musicbox Red||Soundtrack|
|Observer ~Witch who lives~ for Umineko no Naku Koro ni|
|When they sing vol.2|
|PURECO WORKS Vol.1 ~Farewell gift~|
|August 19||Katayoku no Tori||Single|
|August 26||Umineko no Naku Koro ni Episode.1 Original Soundtrack Essence||Soundtrack|
|September 16||la divina tragedia ~Makyoku~||Single|
|September 23||Naku Naku Solo Guitar 2||Arrangement|
|November 26||Occultics no Majo||Single|
|December 9||TV Animation "Umineko no Naku Koro ni" Original Soundtrack ~Rose Crimson~|
|December 23||Umineko no Naku Koro ni Image Album "ROKKENJIMA in LOVE"|
|December 30||Wonderful World|
|Majo no Toki ~le moment de la SORCIERE~|
|Fluff ~Orgel Arrange Mini Album~|
|2010||August 14||Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru musicbox -Kiri no Pithos-||Soundtrack|
|Millenary for Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru|
|August 15||Lostwing - Umineko no Naku Koro ni image songs|
|When they sing vol.3|
|December 31||Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru musicbox Black (cancelled)||Soundtrack|
|Umineko no Naku Koro ni xaki works "xwerk"||Sountrack|
|Goldist -Konjiki no Chi ni Somaru Mae ni-|
|2011||January 26||Senkyou no Igreja||Single|
|May 1||zts on classics||Arrangement|
|May 5||RedSoul ~Image Soundtracks From Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru~||Soundtrack|
|June 8||Cocoon of White Dreams ~Ricordando il Passato~||Single|
|August 13||Dear Golden Witch||Arrangement|
|December 31||Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru musicbox Red||Soundtrack|
|When they sing vol.4||Arrangement|
|Nekomaneki-kagekidan presents. Uminekononakukoroni Collection of character image songs. ROKKENJIMA YAKAI||Image Song Collection|
|Golden Showtime! ~Ougon Musou Kyoku CROSS~||Soundtrack|
|2012||January 25||Inanna no Mita Yume||Single|
|August 11||Higurashi no Naku Koro ni 10th Anniversary CD MelonBooks Bonus CD you & history -another history disc-||Unused Soundtrack|
|Colors ~Futatsu no Naku Koro ni~|
|Umineko no Naku Koro ni Nekomaneki Arrange Album "Akoustika"||Arrangement|
|Higurashi no Naku Koro ni 10th Anniversary CD -you&history-||Arrangement|
|December 31||Umineko no Naku Koro ni Image Album "Shoujo≠M"|
|2013||May 6||Umineko no Naku Koro ni Arrange Album "Akoustika II"||Arrangement|
|August 10||Higurashi no Naku Koro ni × Umineko no Naku Koro ni Piano Collections||Arrangement|
|August 12||Umineko no Naku Koro ni Arrange Album "Akoustika III"||Arrangement|
|December 31||Umineko no Naku Koro ni Arrange Album "Akoustika IV"||Arrangement|
|Watashi-tachi ga 07th Sakuhin wo Tsukuru no wa dou Kangaete mo ￮￮ ga Warui!||Arrangement|
Frontier Works began to produce a set of drama CDs for Umineko starting with the first volume Ōgon no Kakeratachi (黄金のカケラたち, lit. Golden Fragments) released on June 24, 2009. The second volume, Ōgon Chō no Miru Yume wa (黄金蝶の見る夢は, lit. The Dream Seen by the Golden Butterfly) followed on July 23, 2009. The voice cast is the same as the anime.
Kodansha Box released novelizations of the visual novel arcs, written by Ryukishi07 and illustrated by Tomohi, in two volume sets, beginning with Legend of the Golden Witch released on July 1, 2009 for volume one and August 4, 2009 for volume two. Fifteen volumes were released in total, with the last released on September 30, 2018, novelizing the last arc in one volume.
A dōjin 2D fighting game produced by 07th Expansion titled Ōgon Musōkyoku (Umineko: Golden Fantasia) was released on December 31, 2010 at Comiket 79. An append disc, titled Golden Fantasia Cross, was released at Comiket 81 in December 2011. In addition, an Xbox 360 port of the original game developed by Alchemist was released on October 6, 2011 under the title Golden Fantasia X.
Internet radio show
An Internet radio show titled Umineko no Naku Koro ni Episode R: Radio of the Golden Witch aired ten episodes between August 26, 2009 and January 13, 2010. Produced by Animate TV, the show was hosted by Sayaka Ohara (the voice of Beatrice in the anime adaptation) and featured numerous guests who were also voice actors from the anime such as Daisuke Ono (Battler Ushiromiya) and Marina Inoue (Jessica Ushiromiya). A special episode was later aired on April 28, 2010 featuring Rina Satō (Ange Ushiromiya) and Ryukishi07 as guests. Two CD compilation volumes containing two CDs each were released on December 23, 2009 and January 27, 2010 compiling the ten main episodes.
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni is sometimes referred to as "Seacats", a result of the fact that the Japanese words "umi" and "neko" separately mean "sea" and "cat".
- "Umineko Anime News" (in Japanese). Studio Deen. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
- "Umineko no Naku Koro ni staff and cast" (in Japanese). Studio Deen. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- "Theme songs section at the anime's official website" (in Japanese). Studio Deen. Retrieved 2009-06-27.
- "NIS America Adds Umineko: When They Cry Mystery Anime". Anime News Network. July 28, 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
- "Umineko no Naku Koro ni drama CD volume 1 product listing" (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- "Drama CDs section at the anime's official website" (in Japanese). Studio Deen. Retrieved 2009-06-27.
- "'Umineko no Naku Koro ni drama CD volume 2 product listing" (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- "黄金夢想曲/07th Expansion" [Dance of Golden Dreams/07th Expansion] (in Japanese). 07th Expansion. Retrieved November 21, 2010.
- "Umineko no Naku Koro ni Fighting Game Gets Sequel". Anime News Network. March 6, 2011. Retrieved July 28, 2011.
- "Xbox360で「うみねこのなく頃に」のタッグ式対戦格闘ゲームが遂に登場！ようこそ黄金夢想曲の世界へ!" (in Japanese). Alchemist. Archived from the original on 26 March 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2016.