An unsolved mystery is an open canvas. It invites endless speculation and debate.
As long as it remains unsolved, it can continue to live. To provide the solution, though, is to kill it.
I loved the ambiguity of Umineko’s original ending. One solution to the series core mysteries was strongly hinted at, but never outright confirmed. I feel like this was the perfect balance between providing closure, while still keeping the mystery alive. Unfortunately, many readers hated it, both inside and outside of Japan.
The manga adaption has spelled out the “official truth” much more explicitly. Ryukishi07 recently did an English language interview with the gaming site APG Nation, and confirmed that “by no means is the manga version an individual interpretation. It is an official answer from me.” It’s hard to say whether did so in response to negative feedback, or intended to all along. Quite possibly the latter, considering his comments in the Higurashi Kai staff room about mysteries without a “solution book.”
Either way, I’m disappointed that Ryukishi07 had to open the cat box. Whether or not the cat has died, the mystery certainly has.
At least I’m heartened whenever I see the small mysteries that remain in Umineko. We can still find some shadowy corners where the light of an “official truth” has yet to shine: solutions of individual puzzles, Erika’s existence, and others.
It might seem irrational to seek out solutions, only to feel disappointed when given one. Sometimes, though, the journey is more important than the destination.