Hello everyone! I’m happy to finally have a dedicated community to dive into 07th Expansion’s work with. Ryuukishi is my absolute favorite writer and one of my biggest influences.
My real name is Jason and I’m a 24 year old guy living in Canada. I’m a supervisor at Starbucks, where I worked all through university. Umineko, and to a lesser extent, Higurashi, have both had a huge impact on my life. Primarily through sending me on the path of studying Philosophy, of which I finished an undergraduate degree in last April.
(Spoilers for remarks about Higurashi and Umineko)
[spoiler]As many did, I watched Higurashi as a teenager back when it first aired and it really captured me, particularly when the first season ended and some lovely group of humans took it upon themselves the patch up the first chapter or two of Minagoroshi-hen. I must’ve read that section (our first taste of what we’d now call the ‘meta-world’) half a dozen times. Needless to say, I was incredibly interested when Umineko began and I followed the ups and downs of spoilers and patch releases as the series released. Of particular note is that EP3-EP6 was coming out around when I was in Gr.12 and first year University, where the series’ questions of reality and truth really came to the forefront and sent me hurdling towards a pursuing Philosophy (whereas I originally started in a Math degree). I used to chime in on the old Umineko Spoilers and Speculations thread at AnimeSuki once in awhile back in the day.
At this point Umineko has buried itself into who I am in such a profound way that it’s hard to really describe. From its narrative structure, explorations of ambiguity, focusing on understanding other people and other perspectives, questions of reality, metaphysics, metaphors; Umineko has a lot of depth. Not to mention it’s musical and thematic aesthetic has shaped my taste in music and narratives. It’s sparked a curiosity inside me that will probably never be extinguished and I owe that in small part due to the incredibly intricate nature of the work itself. One day I hope to become fluent in Japanese if only to express to Ryuukishi how much he’s impacted my life. A primary goal I have in life is to create some piece of art that reaches the level of depth I perceive Umineko to have achieved.[/spoiler]
That said, beyond 07th Expansion itself (though everything is always connected), I have a deep interest in JRPGs and japanese media. In terms of graduate studies I hope to engage in some sort of media studies, to work on expanding our understanding of games as a narrative artform. Even in areas such as this, Umineko has been heavily influential (being a story about a game). I’m slowly working towards creating a framework to understand game narratives in terms of the underlying structure of action/character/time and the different representations which these things take place in (battle/exploration/menu, et cetera). I hope to eventually combine my philosophy thinking with game design to evolve RPG systems past the stagnant ideologies they’re still immersed in (where ‘mental’ phenomena is synonymous with ‘magic’ in most cases and ‘experience’ is reduced to swinging a sword). I think the answer lies in creating a system built around perception and values, moving away from the vestiges of mind/body dualism, but that’s a discussion for another time if people are interested (and thank you Beatrice for being such an interesting character to draw inspiration from).
As such, some other big influences or favourites of mine are game series such as Final Fantasy, Shin Megami Tensei (with particular focus on Devil Survivor and Persona) and Danganronpa or anime such as Evangelion, Death Parade, Madoka and Psycho-Pass. I’m generally a big fan of series in general (including horror movie series) and anything that has substance and aesthetic style. Music is a huge factor for me for any media I seek out, which itself draws its origins from my love for Umineko.
There’s always more to say, but I’ll leave it there for now. Nice to meet everybody and looking forward to building a great new community here.