[Disclaimer]: This entry might contain MINOR spoilers. However, while the analysis might push you to these minor spoilers, NO foretelling spoiler is present. Therefore, please follow the same guideline, and understand that any spoiler can just ruin this critical part of the story for any reader. Good reading!
The first move of the witch has been done. A lot of things happened, yet it is going more interesting over time.
How can anyone be able not to yield before the witch after such demonstration?
As being on the “human culprit” side, I believe it is our turn to review the possible moves that would avoid the harsh blows Beatrice has used for this episode.
Turn of the Golden Witch Analysis with the list: [Episode 2-2]
Be sure to have watched the episode before reading this !
This week, I will focus mainly on the following points :
- First Twilight
- Random Comment: Stakes
I. First Twilight
The discovery was pretty shocking to say the least, but let’s see what we can review from this part:
4th october 1986, Krauss, Natsuhi, Eva, Hideyoshi, Rudolf, Kyrie and Rosa were in the chapel, confronting with “Beatrice”. Then, on 5th october, around 6-7AM, 6 corpses have been found in the very same chapel.
Now, can we expect them to be murdered few moments later? From a mystery perspective, it is difficult for us to believe a single person like Beatrice could incapacitate 7 persons.
Yes, you read it clearly: they were 7, which makes things even more weird.
Rosa was with them, but yet she was spared…? Of course, if we speculate that the culprit is obsessed into following neatly the epitaph, killing a seventh person for the first twilight would be a giant blunder.
However, there is then another weird point: why Rosa is acting as if she doesn’t know anything?
She was with the other siblings in the chapel, yet she doesn’t raise anything about it, nor the possibility of Beatrice being behind this.
Thus, her behavior is really not natural from what we can tell.
Another important point: Rosa received a letter from Beatrice. However, not only she didn’t read it during dinner, but… a letter was found on the table of the chapel.
There is a possibility that Rosa received a different letter, but since Beatrice told Rosa to read it during dinner, exactly the same way for Maria’s letter in Episode 1, it leaves some doubt about this possibility (not denied so far though). That said, if it was really different, why Rosa didn’t tell to the others when they learned about the letter found at the honor guest room?
This is where Rosa’s behavior becomes really strange: she could easily provide more evidence and information for the survivors, yet not only she doesn’t do that, but she conceals it.
But let’s see how it would go if Rosa isn’t the culprit nor an accomplice:
So, on 4th october night, all the adults were assembled at the chapel. If the letter is anything different, it might be something that would lure out all siblings over there.
Since Rosa AND Kyrie can testify she exists, there wouldn’t be any reason for the siblings not to meet her: the lack of information is not really any good for them in this kind of psychological warfare. To begin with, Kyrie had a discussion with the other siblings minus Krauss, and she also doubted about Beatrice’s “identity” because she was rather evasive. Thus, if they can expose her before she can appropriate the inheritance with a surprise attack, that would be their best position.
From this premise, we can assume that the siblings couldn’t refuse meeting her, as it is at her disadvantage, in its general sense.
This trick can also work without any need of letter though: she can shows herself before one of them and beckon the whole group to the chapel.
So, all the adults are gathered and all of them are forced to what Beatrice has shown them (the gold ingots?). From this point, we don’t know what happened exactly.
We don’t know exactly the time of death this time (no approximation), so there is a high chance that they left the chapel, then 6 of them were killed etc. The problem however is: they have to leave altogether, otherwise it means Rosa would leave the chapel, while the other siblings are discussing like nuts about the assets of the family? Like the rest of them, she needs a large sum of money right now, and as shown in Episode 1, she didn’t back up, unlike Eva. Therefore, it is difficult to imagine she was leaving while the rest were staying in the chapel.
Thus, they left the chapel, and something happened to everyone but Rosa.
This scenario is realistic, and the lack of evidence really can’t pinpoint Rosa as the culprit. However, what’s important isn’t the fact they died, but that Rosa doesn’t tell anything to the rest of the survivors. Realistically, if she was really innocent, she wouldn’t have trouble to imagine Beatrice trying to keep the gold/inheritance for herself, then killing her “rivals” as result. Furthermore, she acknowledged Beatrice herself… Thus, why would she omit such critical information regarding the whereabouts of everyone at that given time?
It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever, from the perspective of an innocent person. Also, it doesn’t make any sense that Rosa is left alive, unless they know she won’t say anything, which would mean she is an (tacit?) accomplice.
Until of course we speculate that everyone left the chapel first, then the murders occured afterwards.
Let’s turn the chessboard: why would Rosa remain silent (not lie) about this event?
From your usual criminal perspective, it avoids suspicion, because she would be the last person to see them alive, that “late”.
But it is actually a nonsense by itself: she would easily frame Beatrice if she wanted, because Maria can supplement her existence, and that the servants as well can confirm it. Therefore, if she is the culprit: why didn’t she push the guilt on Beatrice then?
You have the perfect scapegoat, and no one can have such evidence that Rosa did it, especially after Beatrice’s letter left at the honor guest room. Of course no one can prove it was Beatrice who wrote that letter, but all cirmcunstances just turn the whole situation into this natural conclusion.
It is actually the very same basis than the servants in episode 1: they are too suspicious to be the actual culprit.
The same goes for Rosa: as an accomplice or culprit, she has nothing to lose. She could easily use the ” half truth” (that Beatrice met all of them) to have an alibi: that she left before everyone (perhaps with a servant that saw her go back to the guesthouse, like Eva had during Ep1), and then the rest was killed by “Beatrice”.
It isn’t about a reversed psychology, but rather something about common sense: why would you reduce your own chance to be suspected? A golden chance that there is a scapegoat like this, yet…?
Therefore, even though Rosa has the “prime suspect” slot from this event, it is also something that is not absolute: thus, it is better to see how she will behave later on in this Episode.
This was yet another turn point for Umineko, which will leave a lot of you confused.
So, we have the following point: Witch Beatrice appearing out of nowhere, golden butterflies, Bunch of goat headed butlers, magical blades, demon stake with human forms, etc.
I assume a lot of you will just say “this is just stupid: it is magic, case closed”.
That said, from the very beginning: did you have any doubt?
My question is like this: the challenge here is to figure if it was a human or a witch that has done it…
However, from this premise, beneath such question, it would rather be: how a human can do it?
Why? Because with “it is a witch!” solution, there is absolutely nothing strange: you can accept magic that can craft even crazier stuff than what we have seen. Therefore, from the perspective of the author and the purpose of such story, it is meaningless if it was really a witch.
Therefore, there is a fundamental thing to realize with Umineko: it is useless to start to conclude if the culprit is a witch or a human. Rather, it is natural to start with: it IS a human, the problem is how they are doing it.
Think about Umineko as part of the mystery genre, except the magic is just noise. Like I said before: would you believe there is some golden butteflies around? It “may be possible”, but not the kind that can scatter into more of them when they are gunned down.
Thus, if we apply this kind of reasoning for the end of Episode 1, why shouldn’t we be allowed to doubt this scene as well?
Therefore, the fact we have seen goats and the like doesn’t mean anything: it could be Jessica’s (post) mortem dream, it could be an hallucination etc. Therefore, there is still a leeway for us, readers/watchers that don’t believe in the witch.
From the very beginning the witch tries to be the vainquisher in this intellectual story. Yet, it would be boring if nothing “exciting” happens right? But consequently, it would be boring if the simple demonstration of magic would seal the deal right?
Otherwise, Beatrice would be quickly bored since such move that early would assure her victory, quite an anticlimatic kiljoy.
The other important change in Umineko is obviously the introduction of the red text.
As explained by Battler, the lack of information just prevents any realistic way to determine how things could have happened at this point.
The problem is then like this: how is it even possible for either Battler and Beatrice to prove their points? Without any substantial evidence, both can just use the devil’s proof to advance their points through the loophole from an uncertain situation.
Thus, an absolute truth that provides fact would be unvaluable to advance the game between the two. As much as this means it would be highly dependant to Beato’s whim, there is no need to doubt the red. You can see as follow:
Beatrice: So from now on, when I speak the truth, I will use red.“
original jp: 真実を語る時、赤を使うことにする
Meta Battler: “Wh, what is this……?! Keep explaining!”
Beatrice: “No matter what magic move I use, you can always keep running away by repeating ‘lack of information’ and ‘denying the basis.”
Beatrice: “…Even though I would still win in the end that way, it would be extremely boring. ……Because of that, I think I’ll give you that ‘information’ and ‘basis’ that you want.”
Beatrice: “However, you’ll probably doubt each word I say. That isn’t bad in itself. I also will use every possible move to make you submit. I don’t dislike our posture of searching out the best moves for ourselves.”
Beatrice: “……But that won’t make a game. So I set up this rule.”
Beatrice: “Everything I speak in red is the truth! There’s absolutely no need to doubt it!”
original jp: 妾が赤で語ることは全て真実!
Meta Battler: “Are you telling me to believe that…?!”
Beatrice: “This is a game between you and me. In a game, the rules are sacred!! Those who take that lightly are not qualified to play!!”
Meta Battler: “Alright, I got it, I’ll accept that rule!! Even an elementary school kid can get into an endless argument and find fault with everything. [...]“
Therefore, it would be meaningless if suddenly, Beatrice doesn’t follow this rule that can shape the game for both of them.
At first it looks like the red is just an unfair advantage for Beatrice, but as shown in this episode, the sole existence of the red can be a big disadvantage for her, because it can be an anchor for Battler to make his theories.
Of course, it is also a psychological weapon: does that mean all “non red” statements are really not “reliable”?
This is where it becomes subtle, because the red by itself is used by Beatrice to cut short Battler’s theories. But by itself, the red doesn’t mean the rest is “not” the truth. By extension, it also means that the red shouldn’t be that absolute, so long it isn’t the sole basis of a reasoning.
Example: Let’s assume we have X and Y in a room, while Z’s corpse is there. We have a red text like this “X didn’t kill Z!“. Normally, one would quickly conclude Y is the culprit but… what is the proof of it? The red is “true”, but that’s only about X’s status!
What if there was another character that managed to get away before? What if it was an accident?
See the problem? The thing with the red is that: it is only the truth for one aspect, so long Beatrice doesn’t expose everything related to it. Therefore, it is absolutely important to pay attention to the very wording of the red, and its context. Surely you can trust the information, but the way it is conveyed might be the misleading factor that can be the poison of such “invaluable information source”.
If we leave aside the whole “K-On!” seiyuu jokes and the flashy uniform of the stake girls, there is quite an interesting side of them: the very purpose of such stakes. For those who didn’t read the TIPS of the stake yet, here it is:
The Seven Stakes of Purgatory
They are stakes that possess seven magical powers that symbolize the seven deadly sins.
They follow the commands of the practitioner, and are driven with perfect accuracy into the desired part of the desired person hunted.
Because they fly at ultra-high speeds and change their ballistics freely by rebounding off of walls and the like, they have no blind spots, and even if the body is hidden by any kind of shelter, they can be made to unfailingly reach their target.
Furthermore, it is possible to control their force depending on the hit location.
They are an extremely powerful weapon, but an innocent person who has not committed any of the seven deadly sins, or a person who possesses a strong resistance against magical powers cannot be targeted.
And things might get more interesting regarding the choice of the victims according to the stakes.
As a reminder, here is the name of all stakes and their corresponding sins:
Please remember it is based on the lesser keys of Salomon, so “Lucifer” and “Satan” aren’t the same, they aren’t the fallen angel from the christianism in this context.
Now, the list of the “sins” from Episode 1:
Second Twilight, Eva: Asmodeus – Lust
Second Twilight, Hideyoshi: Belzeebub – Gluttony
Fourth Twilight, Kinzo: Mammon – Greed
Fifth Twilight, Kanon: Satan – Wrath
Sixth Twilight, Genji: Lucifer – Pride
Seventh Twilight, Nanjo: Belphegor – Sloth
Eighth Twilight, Kumasawa: Leviathan – Envy
If we analyze the reasons for these:
Eva was gouged by Asmodeus, because she had some “lust” when she was alone with Hideyoshi.
Hideyoshi was gouged by Belzeebub, because of his body frame, and the fact he is the president of a chain of fastfood restaurants.
Kinzo was gouged by Mammon, for his greed (leading to his business success and wealth)
Kanon was gouged by Satan, because he was infuriated that Shannon was killed.
Genji was gouged by Lucifer, most likely for his pride as the best furniture of Kinzo, the head of the Ushiromiya.
Nanjo was gouged by Belphegor… perhaps was he lazy in his work as a doctor before…? or during the 5th october (interesting possibility).
Kumasawa was gouged by Leviathan… perhaps of her old age and life, while she is surrounded by super rich people?
What’s even more interesting is: Kanon was again gouged by Satan, and to break even more the “fourth wall”, her human form even mention this, proving a weird sense of continuity.
Of course, this might be a stratagem for the culprit to give a false “crime/sin” to the victims…? It is absolutely nothing to rely that seriously considering that if you dig deeply in anyone’s past or personality, some “deadly sin can be applied”, even for the slightest detail.
That said, if there is a certain pattern after the second/third game, we might reconsider the relevance of this.
This article was really annoying to make because critical information from later Episode makes the odd points much easier to explain. That said it would be a disservice to explain the concept, which would kill the purpose of these explanations provided by the said later arc.
Anyway, I hope this analysis will help some of you who might have been giving up after such flashy show.
Again, instead of following what you have watched, rather keep a stance and weave a theory from the very “mystery” premise. Changing your theory after the facts obtained, based on this kind of premises is, I thought, the best way to go, instead of shapeshifting it for every single detail.