Thanksgiving Day and Umineko: When They Cry

Happy Thanksgiving! But today isn’t Thanksgiving Day in Japan. That happened on November 23. People in Japan weren’t celebrating pilgrims landing on their shores, though. Labor Thanksgiving Day was formerly a harvest festival, but now is a day to thank people for their service and commemorate labor and production. Odds are you didn’t know about it, because it doesn’t really come up in video games. There’s only one game that really celebrates Labor Thanksgiving Day, and that’s a fan disc for Umineko: When They Cry.

Umineko: When They Cry is a sound novel. That means it’s a kinetic visual novel, where players make no choices and enjoy the story, voice acting and aural ambiance. This title follows a group of 18 people living on an island as they attempt to figure out how people are suddenly dying and why.

umineko ps3 box

But how does Labor Thanksgiving Day tie in to a game that can best be described as a thriller? Well, it all has to do with that fan disc I mentioned earlier, Umineko no Naku Koro ni Tsubasa. It’s filled with side stories starring characters from Umineko when they’re alive and experiencing happier times.

One of these interludes follows four prominent characters — Battler, Jessica, George and Maria — as they go to get Labor Thanksgiving Day gifts for their parents. That’s one of the traditions that may be observed by people in Japan on the holiday. Things don’t go exactly as planned, in an entertaining way, but it offers a peek at how the holiday is celebrated in another country.

Unfortunately, neither Umineko: When They Cry nor its Umineko no Naku Koro ni Tsubasa fan disc are available in English just yet. MangaGamer is working on a localization of the original Umineko and will be releasing it on Steam with a new translation, new art and a full soundtrack.

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