Ryukishi07 Wants More Umineko Anime, Comments on Higurashi 2020, Gerokasu, Favorite Characters And More

Ryukishi07, Sayaka Ohara (Beatrice) and Kyoko Namekawa (Kasumi Hotoda) chatted about Higurashi, Umineko, and Gerokasu on a special stream by Entergram.

Entergram held on September 10 a live stream featuring Ryukishi07, Sayaka Ohara, and Kyoko Namekawa. Ryukishi07 is the main author of Higurashi, Umineko, and Ciconia. He’s also the writer of a new ADV coming this December, Kaleidoscope of Phantasm Prison, also known as Gensou Rougoku no Kaleidoscope or Gerokasu. Ryukishi07 doesn’t really need an introduction if you clicked on this article in the first place.

Sayaka Ohara is the seiyuu of Beatrice in Umineko. She was cosplaying her on the live stream. Kyoko Namekawa acted as the stream’s MC, she’s the seiyuu of Kasumi Hotoda in the game adaptation of Hinamizawa Bus Stop in Higurashi Hou, and acted Kasumi in the Higurashi stageplay too. Kyoko Namekawa was cosplaying Lucifer.

The stream was held in a special studio reminiscent of the meta world in Umineko and lasted for around 45 minutes, which is pretty short for these types of Japanese streams. Entergram is a small company, so it’s likely they could only loan the studio for a short amount of time. There’s also the setup time and the media interviews they did to take into account.

The stream had the trio comment on the upcoming ultimate version of Umineko on PS4, Switch: Umineko no Naku Koro ni Saku: Nekobako to Musou no Symphony. Be sure to check our previous coverage for everything you need to know on the game. They also chatted a bit about Higurashi and its 2020 new anime. Lastly, they mentioned Gerokasu, showing some gameplay of it for the first time.

Note that Entergram asked viewers to refrain from reuploading parts of the stream, so we won’t include that Gerokasu gameplay sequence in this article. And the stream’s video was made private soon after it ended as well. However, it’s highly likely Entergram will upload on YouTube the Gerokasu gameplay sequence separately later on. An edited version of the stream might be uploaded as well.

Anyways, here’s a summary of everything that happened during the stream.

Umineko Saku:

After the introductions, with Sayaka Ohara greeting the audience in Beato’s voice, and complimenting Kyoko Namekawa and her “nice thighs”, the trio started chatting about Umineko.

Ryukishi07 started by quickly re-explaining Umineko Saku Nekobako to Musou no Symphony. How it’s the original 8 Episodes plus all the bonus stories released later on, gathered in one game. The bonus Umineko stories he wrote since Episode 8 all take place after the ending, so they tend to be comedy focused, show certain characters on a new light, and show the characters we didn’t get to see before such as Siesta 556.

Sayaka Ohara said they just finished recording Last Note of the Golden Witch and all the new parts recently. Ryukishi07 jokingly apologized to all the seiyuu for Umineko being so long and taking so much work to be fully voiced.

After that, Ryukishi07 introduced the new characters appearing in the bonus stories:

First, we’ve got Witch of the Piece, who appears in Last Note of the Golden Witch. And then we have Flauros, who appears in Our Confession. This is the first time we saw their new artwork. Ryukishi07 didn’t talk much about Piece to avoid spoiling, besides saying it’s obvious with how she looks that she’s a witch. As for Flauros, he explained her inclusion in the story is a different possibility than what we saw in Episode 1-8: she’s one of the demons Beato could have summoned. Flauros is like the other demons in how she might act nice and cute but shouldn’t be judged by appearance.

Ryukishi07 said the seiyuu for Piece and Flauros will be revealed at a later date and they’re purposefully keeping it secret for now.

Next up, they chatted about their favorite characters and scenes in Umineko. Sayaka Ohara can’t really pick one, but she really likes the Valentine event, which is one of the additions of Umineko Saku, so she voiced it recently. She did partly voice the Valentine episode for a Drama CD in the past, but now it got fully voiced. She really liked it and found Beato ultra cute. Ryukishi added Beato is the character with the widest range of voices he has ever written, with how she can be cute, scary, funny, etc, and praised Sayaka Ohara for making Beato into such an iconic character. Which prompted her to answer that she’s still waiting for Episode 5-8 to get an anime adaptation, and how every fan is waiting for it. Ryukshi himself would love more anime to happen, and he jokingly said he’d be so hyped he might write a new Episode specifically for it.

Sayaka Ohara then spoke of her other favorite characters besides Beato. It’s pretty hard to choose, but she’d say master Virgilia.There’s also how she respects Kikuko Inoue a lot. Back when they recorded the anime it was really fun, especially when they voiced things like the Beato vs Virgilia duel. One of the new stories of Umineko Saku voiced for the first time here has a focus on Virgilia and Kikuko Inoue’s eternally 17 years old joke. Ryukishi said “it’s a really fun but really mean story”.

Next up, Ryukishi07 shared his own favorite Umineko characters. He mentioned that when you write a story that long, your favorites tend to change a lot. So at first he liked Battler and Beato the most. I can confirm this as during a conference in France in 2012, Ryukishi said his favorite character was Episode 1-4 Beato. Now though, he likes the family’s adults the most. Hideyoshi, the aunts like Eva, Rosa, Natsuhi, etc. Looking at Umineko again after all these years, he likes how they have typical adult problems. There’s no character he ever disliked too. Kyoko Namikawa and Sayaka Ohara said they’d love to see some kind of prequel one day, showing the lives of the Ushiromiya adults before the family conference. They asked fans to keep supporting the franchise, and buy Umineko Saku, so maybe it could happen one day.

Following up next, the discussion switched to the music aspect of Umineko Saku, and how it has four different opening theme songs: Senkyou no Igreja, Inanna no Mita Yume, Occultics no Majo, and Kasane Awase no Nekobako. The last song, sung by Sasaki Rico, was announced with Umineko Saku, but was still unpublished. Now, Entergram finished the opening sequence using the song, and we got to see and hear it for the first time. It focuses on the events of Episode 8, and teases the new scenarios with Piece and Flauros. If you haven’t played Episode 8 yet and wish to avoid spoilers, don’t watch it.

Umineko Saku Opening: Kasane Awase no Nekobako (Singer: Rico Sasaki. Composer, lyrics: Chiyomaru Shikura)

A message from Rico Sasaki was published as well. She’s a fan of the When They Cry series since she was in grade school so she was really happy singing a theme song for Umineko. She particularly likes how complex Umineko and is, and watched the anime multiple times. She was in awe the first time she heard the track. Chiyomaru Shikura used a lot of difficult words for the lyrics and she actually researched them all. The song is themed around Schrödinger’s Cat, and the lyrics also echoes many iconic dialogue lines of Umineko. Similarly to how Maria says “the truth changes depending on the observer”, Rico Sasaki believes Umineko is a work of art that brings forth multiple different feelings from each person who plays it, reads it, or watches it.

Rico Sasaki (Twitter) is a pretty new singer seiyuu, who debuted in 2016. She most notably voices Daia in the Kiratto Prichan arcade game and anime, part of the Pretty Series franchise.

Following next was the very short Higurashi corner:

Basically, Ryukishi07 explained he wrote the script for the Higurashi 2020 anime in a way that it’ll be interesting even if you already know how the story goes. Maybe there might be surprises in it. Sayaka Ohara funnily complained about how come he didn’t make a new Higurashi character for her to voice yet. Kyoko Namekawa is really into Higurashi Mei.

Next up was the Kaleidoscope of Phantasm Prison corner:

First off they showed the game’s first opening, which has been out for months. Everyone said it doesn’t look like a Ryukishi07 game at all. While he already worked with Hinoue Itaru on Rewrite, he always wanted to make something with super cute girls she chara designed.

Following that, Entergram showed some Gerokasu gameplay for the first time ever. The first part featured the girls at school, nothing surprising. The second part was a scene in the torture room, with Fuuka Gojo tied up to a torture chair and speaking to Yuasa Mina and Karin Tamaru. Fuuka got angrier and angrier, asking why the hell is she the one tied up while Yuasa and Karin aren’t, even though they’re complete idiots. She kept screaming at them, saying she’d be much more useful, and that one of the two should take over the Prisoner role from her.

What’s pretty weird is that the sequence had no voice acting, even though Entergram announced from the beginning Gerokasu would be fully voiced. The sequence had no BGM and SFX either though, so it’s more likely they screwed up when making that specific video, and the game will be full-voiced.

Next up, the grand opening was shown again:

Ryukishi07 reexplained Gerokasu and how it’s the players deciding which girl gets which card deciding their fate. This lets you see very different sides, “raw sides” of their personalities, each time you restart the game. He also specified that while the game focuses on the torture room, as the story progresses we’ll see many scenes outside of it. You can read more on the game here and here.

The final part of the stream had a little bit of Golden Phantasia gameplay running on PS/Switch. Nothing groundbreaking.

That’s pretty much all. As the stream ended, Ryukishi07 thanked the staff working on the games and the fans for supporting them. Sayaka Ohara thanks the fans and again asked everyone to support Umineko so more anime gets made.

Umineko no Naku Koro Saku: Nekobako to Musou no Symphony will launch on PS4 and Switch on January 28, 2021. Witch Hunt already said it’ll be pretty much impossible for them to bring the game west. It’s unlikely a publisher picks it up as well.

Kaleidoscope of Phantasm Prison will launch on PS Vita, PS4, and Switch on December 17, 2020. It’s unlikely to get a localization either.

Additional cosplay shots shared on Twitter by Sayaka Ohara and Kyoko Namekawa:

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Iyane Agossah

Living near Paris, Iyane is the head of Japanese content at DualShockers. You can reach him on Twitter at @A_iyane07

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