Umineko Chiru Voices Are Going to Take Some Getting Use to

It didn’t take too long for Chiru game to be released. Everything is smooth and nice. My only criticism would be the voices they chose for the new Chiru characters – namely those in the trailer. Namely whatever they were thinking when they chose some of them and namely a first impression.

The voice they gave Erika is far from what I imaged what she would sound like. Call me weird but often when I read VN with no voice acting I tend to create them after a few hours and getting to know the characters based on their persona and appearance. It’s a type of voice which would fit them better, one that would be around the ballpark of what a character would sound like. Erika’s case isn’t like this one.

Erika’s VA is far from what she would sound like. It’s not high pitch enough. Erika’s voice in the trailer is too soft even in the parts where she isn’t supposed to act this way. The soft spoken I get to a degree because it tries to make Erika sound composed and distant. Her voice also has the same volume which gets repetitive and more than anything it lacks the proper emotion from the character.

Redeeming point: In the chopsticks part (first image) Erika’s voice lacks impact, but it is far better than the usual monotonous tone used in her introduction. These types of scenes are where Erika’s voice is supposed to sound much energetic and overjoyed much like she would sound when talking about mysteries without the sneering tone. Erika’s VA gets half way there with the most emphasis on the “Chopsticks are the best!” So there’s some level of cuteness there which some of it ought to be put in her regular voice to not make her voice sound so violently dull.

It wouldn’t be Erika without some sneering voice because Erika’s voice is a combination of a cute voice, hyper, and creepy when she gets serious which a character with a hidden agenda would sound like. There’s also a bit of sadistic demeanor still perceptible buried in her tone also which in the last segment of her introduction which is one of the best parts of the video. The last part sounds especially what Erika would sound like in the regular basis instead of that dull tone. The obvious benefit of the doubt is Erika not having many good scenes to judge how well her character is being handled.

My criticism is that Dlanor sounds too much like Furudo Erika that they could very much share the same VA. Dlanor and Erika’s voice are completely different in my mind. They are different characters with different personalities that their voice shouldn’t resemble one another.

If Erika is soft-spoken Dlanor is barely audible. Dlanor’s voice should be deeper no matter how we look at it. They got the monotonous part right for Dlanor which in here it makes plenty of sense instead of having it on Erika. Dlanor’s voice should sound “dull” as in a single deep droning voice almost like there is an echo. So even though Dlanor herself says she’s a kid thus possibly not having an “adult voice” a commanding vooice makes more sense to fit her personality. Dlanor is the chief of heresy, a commander of her troop so she should have a more commanding voice which would be heard throughout a whole room. They could’ve also gone for a voice which would sound like a female “knight” which sound righteous and stoic (extra for Dlanor).

Dlanor should have a deeper, audible voice with low intonation yet can be heard CLEARLY unlike the Dlanor’s VA which to hear her voice one would have to turn up the volume.  Much like a machine Dlanor’s voice should sound like

She – Speaks – Like. THIS.

Taking her time yet impossible to not hear and understand her voice. One long droning monotonous  tone. If you’ve ever heard Maaya Sakamoto monotonous voice you’d had a better idea of what a proper monotonous and serious female voice sounds like. However, Maaya’s voice sounds too grown up for Dlanor that Minori Chihara‘s similar monotonous voice yet one sounding quiet young would fit Dlanor better.

Redeeming point: Any? The trailer doesn’t have enough scenes where Dlanor is fighting (though that encounter with Beatrice SHOULD BE one of them.) that it is hard to tell if this will be the voice she would be always using. That’s a matter of concern especially when she is supposed to raise her VOICE when she talks in CAPS like in the game. Unfortunately that way of speaking seems to be lost, if not barely noticeable, in all the scenes in the trailer. Compared to Erika’s voice Dlanor needs plenty of work particularly in regular scenes.

Not much here other than learning that’s how they pronounce their names. I’m fine with their voices. Should there be anything to be said is that I expected them to sound more dramatic, which they do sound to some degree. If I could remotely make some changes I’d make their voices sound a bit more like they were singing to fit their music theme.  Though expecting them to sound like the actors of the Phantom of the Opera would be too much asking.

Another thing is that the mystery of who is the male/female of the pair is completely gone now that they both have voices added to the fact they both have distinctly clear voices to tell them apart. I wouldn’t be opposed to have given both of them a more girlish voice since the game itself (descriptions) make a big deal out of “one is a different gender than the other”. It makes better sense to keep this matter a secret by making it more difficult for the reader to distinguish their genders by their voices. Though in Ougon Musou Kyoku they already gave them voice I believe so not much that can be done anyway.

Conclusion
Furudo Erika VA’s was fairly off the mark, however there were moments where her voice started to sound like Erika, mainly when she acted the cynical part. The element that lack was not combining more often a higher pitch voice to create a cuter and hyper voice to better properly nail her persona. The other one was more emotion to fit the scenes in which the character gets excited.

Dlanor’s voice is the one that needs more work out of all of them. It doesn’t sound like Dlanor, rather it sounds like a regular timid person. Dlanor’s PS3 voice doesn’t give the impression she is the commander of anything even of her own voice. Dlanor’s character is built on her status as Inquisitor of Heresy and she is well-respected commander which inspires fear and respect. The PS3 seriously lack this effect, Dlanor should be a character possessing an audible LOUD and monotonous voice much like a machine who when she gets serious has a surprising powerful voice.

Furfur & Zepar sound fine for most part even if they could use some changes their voices are around the ballpark. Everything that could’ve been said about them have already been discussed. If you’ve listened to their theme vocal that’s a better idea of how they would sound like.

Next – Willard, Lion, and Featherine? So much left to be desired.

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9 Responses to Umineko Chiru Voices Are Going to Take Some Getting Use to

  1. Yopee says:

    To clear up a common misconception about Dlanor’s speech – the capital words at the end of her sentences does not mean an increase in volume.
    Capitalization was just a method arbitrarily chosen by Witch Hunt to depict ryukishi’s weird writing of the last word of most of Dlanor’s sentences. It could instead have been italicized, underlined, etc etc.
    (Think Battler and BATTLER)

    • keikakudoori says:

      That’s most unfortunate because it was one of her plus points. The increase in volume was one of the crucial ways of making her a special character. Having a peculiar way of speech, that intonation in her voice, would make her sound different than everyone in the story and also be actually fitting for her character whose voice most people would imagine sound almost robotic.

      • Mahoutsukai says:

        I like your point about Chihara Minori voicing Dlanor. Btw, I wonder why couldn’t Erika also be voiced by Tamura Yukari – she’s Bern’s figure after all.

        • keikakudoori says:

          I won’t lie and say I didn’t imagine Erika’s voice to have a bit of cheerful Rika in it. If it was possible to combine a bit of regular Rika’s voice to the fandub video below and I’d be a happy theatergoer. Tamaru Yukari can surprisingly change her voice enough that I would be ok with her voicing Erika seeing that it also makes plenty of sense.

  2. Hagane says:

    Yep, i agree with your conclusions, these voices are quite a letdown. I don’t really mind Zepar and Furfur’s CVs (except that Zepar’s shouldn’t sound so manly, you gotta try keeping the mystery lol), but both Erika’s and Dlanor’s are quite different from what i had imagined when reading the novels.
    By the way, Ryukishi must’ve made a really good job depicting their characters couse i imagined their voices just the same way you did!

    Some time ago i watched a fan made Chiru voice drama where they made a great job with Erika’s voice and Zepar didn’t sound that manly; Dlanor’s wasn’t all that good though. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=serJr51qi5Y
    In that channel they’ve got the final fight in Ep5 and the duel between Kanon and Shanon from Ep6, both with fanmade voices and the images from the novel in case you wanna watch them. The subtitles are in spanish though.

    • keikakudoori says:

      The better the characters are made the easier for the readers to imagine and capture their voices while they’re reading it.

      Umineko TV had some VAs, then again R07 picked them but I’m glad to see some Umineko characters get some different voices – namely Battler and Lambda who never really did it for me. Btw, that Bernkastel wasn’t too bad.

      Battler’s voice receives a plus from me. It is so MANLY. Daisuke Ono as great as everyone says he is doesn’t capture Battler’s personality for so many reasons. I always imagined Battler would sound more *rough* for one thing. Granted Battler’s voice in that fandub sounds a lot cooler than reg Battler but I’m guessing that’s his “serious mode” voice. Battler TV sounded too goofy (goofy I know) for me even when he got serious that that video depicts him better.

      That Dlanor is more like how I imagined her (regular voice) but she lost me when she started shouting and her voice got all weird like nasal channeling Chiaki Omigawa a few times. Still a better Dlanor than the one in the trailer.

      Erika is just better. Not all 100% what I imaged but her voice is really getting closer to what she would sound like. Props to those in that video they did a decent job.

  3. Haya says:

    Why do I feel like I’ve heard Erika’s voice? And I think I’ve heard AuAu’s voice as well.
    Erika sounded like Megumi Takamoto for me. Or maybe I think it sounds like her role as Saitohimea in Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi. I’d have to see her handling some scene like the Kinzo flying out of the window one.

    As for AuAu, apparently the blog who is guessing the VAs and I agree on something. I definitively thought it was Michiko Neya. I didn’t think it was bad, actually.

    Dlanor is terrible, in my opinion. I mean, I expected something deep, that monotone you mentioned. And I got this.
    Zepar and Furfur are fine, but they dropped the whole “gender ambiguity” out of the window.
    The same as Lion. I mean, I always thought of Lion as a girl (and I think them keeping her gender as a secret adds some depth and trouble to her character and situation as the heir) but it was supposed to be open, a cat box itself. I like her voice, but they sacrificed the whole ambiguity which was a big point.
    Will… I am not sure. I did wanted Nakamura to voice him, mainly because I love the man, but this guy isn’t bad. But there’s something missing. And I wasn’t like “OH GOD, THAT IS WILL WRIGHT!”.

    • keikakudoori says:

      Long time no see!

      Absolutely, Dlanor is fairly bad right now. Disappointed with how they handled Furfur and Zepar since they made a big deal out of it then again I assume most ps3 gamers have already played the VN anyway so, yeah. I have some thoughts on the 2nd trailer which came out a few days ago. Hmm.. mostly positive reactions compared to this trailer. More of that later.

  4. Mormel says:

    Here are Will, Lion and Featherine in a non-listed video:

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