Newcomers to anime quickly learn that the easy genre labels that exist for Western media don't always apply to anime in a one-to-one way. A show that you think is in one genre may turn out to be in another, or two more, or five. Case in point: Umineko: When They Cry.
This show begins, quite ostensibly, as a Gothic drama / mystery, something like one of Agatha Christie's works. (That's two genres right there.) Then it adds generous doses of horror (three), fantasy (four), and even what-is-the-nature-of-reality science fiction / fantasy (five). The audience is either likely to be deeply impressed by the sheer degree of invention going on or deeply intimidated.
Which way did we go? Find out in our full review of this show, one of the latest offerings from boutique anime publisher NIS America (the folks who also gave us Arakawa under the Bridge, Katanagatari, Zakuro, and many other shows of distinction).
image: Umineko: When They Cry (Vol. 1) ©2009 Ryukishi07 / Umineko-P. Image courtesy NIS America.