5th October 1986. 6 persons have been found dead in the storehouse of the rose garden. As the survivors barely have the time to understand what is going on, an unexpected event makes the situation even more difficult to grasp.
Doubts and suspicions are raised towards some people, yet another tragedy occurs…
George is completely shocked upon confirmation that Shannon is among the other 5 victims. Hideyoshi asks if the last time George met Shannon was last night and after his son’s confirmation, Hideyoshi wonders what kind of face Shannon had back then and George painfully states it was a beautiful smile.
Because of this, Hideyoshi believes that Shannon would prefer George to keep this smile as his last memories of her.
Barely able to refrain crying, George asks to his father if Shannon is wearing a ring and on which finger it is. Hideyoshi tells him that Shannon has a diamond ring on her left ring finger, concluding that Shannon was engaged with someone. Eva is shocked to hear that but Hideyoshi stops her, saying that regardless who gave Shannon that ring, the later accepted it, the happiness of a girl, which no one can be wrong about.
I was afraid they were about to skip the “face” and “ring” scene for George since they hinted that he saw Shannon’s hand but it all happened to be a rewinded scene. That said, I’m afraid I wasn’t convinced by Hideyoshi’s VA acting, especially if you compare with the Drama CD (there is no real justification of this: the time is remotely the same, the lines as well… so why did they ask him to downplay the emotions here?).
Please check this video, you will realize how much more emotionally involved Hideyoshi sounds in the dramaCD:
(game BGM version, with worldend (bp) is here).
One fun fact: George indeed said Shannon had a splendid smile but… it doesn’t look like the animators did that back in episode 1-2 (I wanted to say that back then, but it was rather irrelevant… until now). Surely, you are expecting me to see a smile on Shannon totally concerned face?
Another inconsistency would be Shannon’s tears: although they wanted to make it dramatic, it doesn’t make any sense: the dead were killed for like 6 hours ago, so how tears could remain like this? And no, the way how the tears are around her eye prevent it to be either hideyoshi or Kanon dropping rain water on her. Don’t make any theory about that, it is something only in the anime and shouldn’t be considered seriously.
08:45AM. Everyone is back to the mansion and Maria learns the news regarding the 6 victims, without really expressing any emotion.
Meanwhile, Natsuhi wants to report the matter to Kinzo so they can have guidance. Thinking sidetracked despite her rank, Eva wants to tag along as she became the highest ranked among the Ushiromiya since Krauss died. Although annoyed by this, Natsuhi can’t help but let Eva do as she pleases.
Although the change doesn’t matter that much, I don’t have any idea why they show Nanjo telling Maria about the dead at that point. It should have happened after the dining room inspection (this actually give a certain contrast that Maria cannot read the mood of the rest of the survivors, since she is happily watching TV).
Suddenly, Kumasawa dashes in the parlor and reports that something is wrong with the dinning room. There, the survivors are dejected to see important blood stains, indicating that the victims were killed there before being transported to the storehouse of the rose garden. Hideyoshi explains that he and Eva returned to the guesthouse a bit after midnight, so it is probably at that time the victims were assaulted.
Back to the parlor, Jessica wonders if Battler is fine. The later is now rather pissed, hoping to get the culprit and beating them up.
And this is where things are a bit weird to my understanding: why did they allow Maria, a 9 years old kid to be in the dinning room? I mean, from a character perspective, Maria’s mother is dead, and that room is perhaps the crime scene… and yet, they allow this little girl to roam around?
As stated before, originally, Maria learns about the dead only after this inspection because of Jessica’s behaviour, therefore her to be around, grinning at the sight of blood is a certain change. It isn’t Out of character mind you, but it certainly change the dynamic between her and the rest of the family: originally, Maria is like “who died?” without any concern after people realizing that the culprit is also stuck on the island, which made Jessica really pissed off. As Jessica is furious, she carelessly yells that 6 persons died, mentioning Rosa. Of course, the rest tried to calm down Jessica and it is only at that given moment that Maria learns the truth from Nanjo, and then Maria mentions her “the…. were selected by the…”.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have any impact to the events or whatsoever, but it does impair the “incompatibility” effect that Maria is casting on the rest of the characters, then it also dampen Jessica emotional side.
The cousins join Nanjo and Hideyoshi who are trying to recreate the magic circle on the shutter. As Hideyoshi asks Maria if it reminds her of something, she is hysterically laughing, much to everyone’s surprise.
Maria is ridiculing them for their ignorance and start drawing the circle with precision, explaining its purpose: allowing the practioner to break any bound and gain freedom. Upon witness such abnormal behaviour, Battler remains speechless.
Natsuhi and Eva are back, as well as Genji. The later was unable to contact the police because of the typhoon. But consequently, it also means the culprit is trapped on Rokkenjima until the next day.
In the end, Eva and Natsuhi report that Kinzo wasn’t in his study.
Now, I really want DEEN to stop this stupid hobby of theirs: do they really have to make yet another Higurashi S1 deluxe? I mean Maria’s facial expressions are nowhere creepy with such exaggeration: it simply looks dumb (like in Episode 1-2) and arguably out of place. Higurashi had the shock factor, but here, the context is to show a little girl that is really not acting in a normal way, which is really not what they are doing with such exaggeration. I will however admit that they did a good job when she stopped laughing and making fun of them that they don’t know about this circle.
Again another skipped mention that doesn’t impair the plot, but a bit the characters point of view: the surprise from everyone upon seeing Maria that good into reproducing the circle without even seeing it in the first place. Then, another shock factor was when Maria quote the verse of the bible and its meaning. In fact, the explanation of the anime doesn’t make any sense because it doesn’t relate the circle with the dead, until you actually have the said line, which means the 6 sacrifices were done for the circle sake, not the other way around.
Battler was freaked by this, but afterwards, we have a monologue of him remembering of what Rudolf and Kyrie told him before, and this is where Battler starts to shine, saying this kind of things is bullshit. Within his rant, he is crafting several speculations about the culprit’s attempt to deceive people with all the witch talk. But at the same way, he knows that none of them, amateurs, can make the difference between a fake and genuine circle, but since Maria confirmed it, it is likely the circle was either made “FOR” someone like Kinzo, or “BY” him, sparking even more battle of wits.
The whole group decides to look for Kinzo, and as they do, they end up in the servant’s room. In there, Battler checks the key box and asks if there is another key for the storehouse of the rose garden. Genji confirms there is only that one. This is rather strange because it means the culprit took the key from this box, then make all the way to put it back, which means the culprit has a very good idea how the mansion is.
Random comment: it seems DEEN doesn’t have much quality checker: where is the one winged eagle on kanon’s collar in this screen?
The change regarding the key wasn’t exactly to my liking, again in a character setting.
To explain it, the discussion about the key happened right after George’s plight. As the kids were leaving with Kanon, Eva indicated that they shouldn’t touch more than necessary the crime scene. They thought about the key being an evidence, but since Kanon and Genji already touched it with their bare hands, it is moot. Following this point, Hideyoshi asks about the key, and people found it weird the culprit snatched the key, threw the bodies in there, then conscientiously put the key in the key box at the servant’s room.
This point was only “bizarre” and none to this point expected one of the servant to be behind this murder case, until Eva mention it to Battler.
That said, the real problem I have with this is the fact it is Battler who speculated that the person know well the mansion, which by extension cast suspicion on one of the 18 (which is absolutely not his style at all).
Another interesting fact that was overlooked is that Natsuhi decided to change the padlock of the shutter and kept the key with her.
A little while later, everyone is in the hall, but they couldn’t find Kinzo after all. Meanwhile Eva is with Battler and she believes that one of the servant must be the culprit, and to make things worse, she believe the culprit wasn’t alone, considering they managed to kill 6 persons and transport them to the shed. Battler is afraid that Eva is suspecting all servants to be in cahoots. However, Battler states it doesn’t make sense since managing the key like this would definitely cast suspicion on the servants right away.
Eva is quite surprised that Battler couldremain that calm after all, saying he probably got that from Rudolf. Eva doesn’t hide that this mass murder will benefit her the most, so she is basically the prime suspect. However, she clearly states to Battler that if she was the murder, she wouldn’t use such modus operandi: to the contrary, she would rather make her siblings’ death look like accident, in order to avoid suspicions.
This change was a bit more weird than anything else, because it drastically change a lot the whereabouts of the remaining survivors.
To begin with, when Kinzo was reported missing, Natsuhi asked the members of the family to stay at the parlor, while her and the servants would check the doors and the windows as well if Kinzo is anywhere. This is important because you cannot tell what they might have “really” done in the meantime. This also allows Battler and Eva to discuss without any interruption.
After some discussion with Jessica and George, Battler is then asked by Eva to leave George alone for a bit, and then we have their little discussion.
And here comes the giant change: Battler and Eva make a short summary of what have happened and he asks his aunt if the incident is related to the letter. Eva believes it was a farce done by Kinzo and he made Shannon or another servant to dress like Beatrice. She is persuaded that they are only 18 on the island, though Battler still has doubts, even after his talk with kyrie last night (contradiction with what Battler believes in the anime, later in this ep). Because of what Eva said, Battler can only conclude she means the culprit is among the 18. Afterwards, the mention of the key being untagged in the box filled with many keys means the culprit knew exactly where he had to take it. Thus, Battler could only help but see that Eva is suspecting all servants, since doing the job alone isn’t realist.
Then, pretty much like Battler said in the anime series, it makes the servants even less suspicious than they are, since stashing the corpses in the storehouse isn’t anything clever. There are many locations they could bury the corpses, but selecting a location which can only be reached with a key doesn’t make any sense, especially exposing the crime scene with that huge sigil.
From this point, Battler realized the objective of the culprit wasn’t to kill these 6 without being caught, but to expose these corpses purposely to the survivors.
And afterwards, Battler found out that all 6 victims deal a certain “grief” to the survivors except to Eva and Hideyoshi. Actually he found himself that Eva is the one who benefit the most from this massacre, which is the opposite in the anime. Eva figured that much as well and being honest, she explains she would rather make this kind of incident an “accident” instead.
This is only after this little detective talk that we have everyone minus the servants and Natsuhi trying to draw the sigil until Maria intervenes.
Now on a totally different note, although the quality of this episode was remotely average like Episode 1-1 and 1-2, I must say the animators have the knack of using silly shortcut, static camera pans and inconsistencies.
At 7:30, Battler and Eva are on the middle of the staircase, and few moments later, Eva is 6 steps away from Battler. At 7:41, we see in the background that Beatrice portrait is still within their axe, so they can’t see it unless they go to 180° (behind them so). However, at 7:54, Eva makes ONE step and they are magically able to see the portrait that is now parallel to the staircase.
This could only happen if both Battler and Eva were already on the landing seen at 7:30 (impossible because they weren’t on even footing as they didn’t move after Eva made 6 steps away from Battler). Considering how Eva moved, both should be still on the first descending part of the staircase, but Eva made a single step to be able to see the portrait that is parallel to the staircase ramp which is still in diagonal. And then, at 8:27, the angle of their footing is exactly similar to 7:52, yet few seconds later, they are back to the landing… what is this? They are teleporting or something?
After lunch, the servants are in the kitchen, and Kanon, mourning Shannon’s death, doesn’t understand why she was killed by Beatrice. Genji flately says that it is only fate but Kanon remembers that Genji told him there were some creepy marks on Natsuhi’s door. Thinking it was probably Beatrice, Kanon wonders why Natsuhi didn’t die instead, as Shannon would probably be alive if it was the case.
Suddenly Battler, who eavedropped a bit their conversation, barges in the room and becomes quite interested.
Kanon explains Beatrice is indeed the witch on Rokkenjima. Battler wants to have more details, but the servants tell him Beatrice has no form. Battler is stunned to see them believing in this nonsense but progressively, he is freaked out by their serious look.
All of a sudden, Maria joins them and sneers at Battler. As she explains Battler has an incompatibility with Beatrice, Maria inists Beatrice exists and that she is already there. Then, she explains that Battler is fortunate that he had the scorpion charm otherwise, he would be likely be among the dead. Battler is amused by this and tells Maria that he didn’t have the charm at that time since he lost it earlier. Following this statement, Battler declares he doesn’t believe one bit in witches and the like.
I was rather surprised they made the characters eat mackerel… honestly, it was damn funny but certainly a detail that non VN reader wouldn’t understand.
Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised that this whole witch talk was still kept, making the situation even more weird than it is.
The only difference is obviously a shortened discussion (they kept the essense of it, so no biggy) and the fact Kanon is quite resolute, instead of being unsure or a bit “shy” about this matter.
However, one thing I don’t get is… again these retarded facial expressions for Maria (at some point, she looked like a toad, because of her lips) ? And did they really have to make that close pan when Battler reveals he didn’t have the charm? duh…
A little while later, Natsuhi comes back with a sawed-off winchester that was in Kinzo’s collection, for case of the worst situation.
Battler discusses with Jessica and George regarding the culprit, and with Kyrie’s chessboard thinking, he believes that the culprit is trying to weave the illusion that Beatrice exists.
George then mentions the letter Maria had read previously and believes the interest mentioned in this letter include them as well, if they take the “everything made by the gold” literally. Battler concludes the culprit is challenging them to resolve the riddle, otherwise they will be killed.
The adults join the cousins soon enough, and Nanjo wonders if it wouldn’t be quicker to question Kinzo directly to get information regarding the gold. Battler then speculates that it is perhaps already the case and that the culprit abducted Kinzo and threatened him that if he doesn’t tell them where is the gold, they will kill his family one by one.
Eva is amused by this theory but she is more interested to figure when Kinzo disappeared. Natsuhi states it should be her and realize she didn’t give back the key to Genji.
Another plug for Chiaki Kon… does she have any humility? (and I really doubt a TV channel would cycle the same sequence of a show during the same day, but whatever).
The plug itself shouldn’t have been that much of a problem, but it just take out the “shock” of Natsuhi barging in the parlor with the winchester. Instead, they have shown her in a very mundane and trivial way, without giving the characters some time to be “surprised” at this.
Aside of Battler’s belief there are only 18, they also changed a fundamental detail here: Natsuhi understood Battler believes the culprit is trying to get the gold, using the ushiromiya for the answer. However, what the anime skipped is that Natsuhi claims the gold doesn’t exist! This is very important because as spectators, we are left to wonder why she pretends it doesn’t exist despite krauss has shown her an ingot. However, she also states a very good point: if the culprit wanted the Ushiromiya to lead them to the gold, why did they kill the higher ranked one first? It doesn’t make sense since Krauss and the other siblings would be much more in touch with Kinzo compared to the children etc.
Another change that I really don’t get is: they have made Nanjo saying “wouldn’t it better for them to question Kinzo directly?”. Originally, this was said by Eva, but Nanjo wasn’t convinced because Kinzo is the type of man who wouldn’t taken down by mere conventional threat. The change is noteworthy I believe because Nanjo isn’t a mere physician or chess partner for Kinzo: both share a long lasting friendship for many years already. So Nanjo failing to see that questioning Kinzo is fruitless isn’t all that convincing for this setup.
Eva is grinning and asks Genji if there isn’t any way to enter or exit Kinzo’s study aside of the front door, and the later confirms there is only this door. Eva explains she wanted to play a prank and wedged a folded receipt in the door when she first met Natsuhi around 7AM. But then, after they discovered the corpses and went to ask guidance from Kinzo, around 9AM, the receipt was still wedged.
The natural conclusion is that no one opened the door between 7 and 9AM. Eva presses on this fact and asks how come Kinzo disappeared despite the receipt proves no one left by opening the door. Natsuhi obviously doesn’t know but Eva speculates that Natsuhi killed Kinzo at 7AM, threw his body out of the window then left the room.
Jessica questions the motive behind this, and Eva states that once somebody is missing for more than 7 years, they are declared legally dead by the law, so she believes Natsuhi did that so she can have the inheritance for herself.
Trembling, Natsuhi declares she indeed met Kinzo in the morning and the later told her about the one winged eagle engraved in her heart. Thus, Eva’s claim is denying that fact, which turns Natsuhi enraged, pointing her gun to Eva.
Eva is nonchalant and provokes her, escalating dangerously Natsuhi’s wrath.
And here comes another disappointment for me (despite I was rather positive with this episode pace and structure, even if they changed various things and order).
First, I believe they really made the receipt an irrelevant evidence here. Why is that? Originally (I’m sorry if I sound like a borken record…) Eva asks Natsuhi if she noticed something. Natsuhi doesn’t see her point and Eva tells her that she picked some trash. Natsuhi confirms, which is important: actually, it proves that there was a folded receipt at this point. The fact it isn’t confirmed by Natsuhi means that only Eva can claim there was a folded receipt wedged in Kinzo’s study door.
The other problem I see with this scene is the fact that the receipt wedge is HUGE: at least 5 cm wide or something. Therefore, there is no proof that the culprit didn’t notice that big wedge, killed Kinzo, moved the corpse then closing the door and putting back the receipt.
In the Vn and the manga, Jessica immediately believes the culprit could just replace the receipt, but Eva stated that she folded it very small and that it wouldn’t be noticeable unless you stare at that location on purpose. Furthermore, Eva states that the receipt wasn’t displaced, therefore it is very unlikely that someone replaced it at the exact same location.
Because of these 2 omitted details (that Natsuhi confirms there was the receipt on the ground after opening the door, and the size of the said receipt), it is very easy for an anime watcher to simply states the following points: was there a receipt to begin with? Or, what prevents the culprit noticing this receipt and then replacing it?
Thus, it makes the whole debate kinda moot.
Second, they downplayed the scene to its utmost limit. Eva was first tormenting Natsuhi about the receipt and claim she lied. Of course, Jessica doesn’t see the point of it, but Eva and Hideyoshi soon explain that it is a good plan to forge an alibi, since Natsuhi was within anyone’s sight before going to see Kinzo the first time, then if no one can disprove Natsuhi’s “alibi” with Kinzo, it would by default puts her innocent. Since there is a margin of mistake that can span few hours for an autopsy, it is enough to put Natsuhi out of suspicions.
At this moment, Natsuhi was already flared by anger and pointed her winchester at Eva, startling everyone (they were completely mute in the anime… hey now, a person is about to shoot somebody else… hello?). This is also what makes Natsuhi’s comment logical: “you also are trying to deny that he told this to me?!”. Nothing prevents kinzo to comment that to Natsuhi before she kills him right? Hence why the comment doesn’t make any sense in the anime.
Then, Eva is also increasing her tone and provokes her. Genji and Jessica tries to calm Natsuhi down, but it isn’t effective. Eva doesn’t wait at all and changed her theory that Natsuhi indeed met Kinzo, but the twist is like in the anime: she killed Kinzo, then threw his body out of the window, then she could hide it afterwards (that’s why the “search” doesn’t make sense in the anime, since Natsuhi is visible with everyone else, despite she was originally looking for Kinzo with her servants only).
And it is only at this point that Natsuhi explodes (the ONORE!!!!), with Kanon and Kumasawa forced to intervene as well. And only afterwards we have Battler.
Battler cuts short of this heated situation by laughing out loud, not so convinced by Eva’s theory. Battler then states there is a possibility that Kinzo was hiding under the bed. Since both Natsuhi and Eva left the study, there is no longer a receipt keeping Kinzo in check, so he can leave then.
Eva is outraged by this frivolous statement, but then Battler switches the topic and asks why Eva suddenly wedged the door and mentions that both her and Hideyoshi’s alibi are very weak and nothing prevent them to kill the first six. Unable to answer back, Eva grits her teeth.
Although I liked how they kept Battler cool’s side and his BGM, Core, they really changed one fundamuntal thing that irked me almost as much as previously.
The problem with Battler’s behaviour is that he is pushing the burden of proof on Eva without much explanations from his side either.
To begin with, what Battler wanted to prove isn’t that his theory is that one, but that this theory proves that Eva’s receipt isn’t flawless which means it is too early to accuse Natsuhi.
Eva still doesn’t buy that her father could do such lowly and odd thing, but then Battler tells her that he is pissed at Eva’s persistant attempt to force Natsuhi proving that Kinzo could get away without breaking the receipt seal. So Battler took her own reasoning and asked Eva to also give a proper alibi or reason that would prevent her and hideyoshi to kill the first six.
This sparked a lot of emotions in Jessica who followed Battler’s lead, so violently that she suddenly has an asthma fit, breaking the mood (this isn’t a little detail since one can speculate the range of actions for Jessica, since she is crippled by serious asthma).
After the little interlude, Eva admits that she cannot prove her innocence either so she has to put a rest on this argument, but she insists that the receipt is real and can be a valuable evidence.
That said, this is the point I wanted Battler to display in the anime: he stopped Eva, saying that he doesn’t want to doubt any of his relatives or the servants. What he said wasn’t to cast suspicions on Eva, but rather, to prove that there are not enough information to accuse anyone for this crime.
This is Battler’s human side that I dearly wanted to see, because it will be relevant quite a lot to his personality and behavior, be it in this Episode or later on.
Thus, him to pressure like a “certain lawyer” doesn’t help, because it is as if Eva was banned as she doesn’t have any proof.
7:00PM. Eva and Hideyoshi are in a room. As Hideyoshi is locking the door with a chain, he comments how Eva shouldn’t jump at Natsuhi like this. Eva though admits she hated Krauss ever since their childhood, so she wanted to overtake him at some point.
Because of this, Eva is worried if George hates her for that but Hideyoshi has faith in him, believing that George understands she does everything for his sake. Hideyoshi adds he doesn’t have any regret.
A while later, Genji and Kanon are at their door, infomring them the dinner is prepared. However, Kanon notice there is something below the door. Both are shocked to see one of Kinzo’s enveloppe and Genji multiplies his efforts to call out Eva and Hideyoshi. As it is unsuccessful, Genji decides to take his key and open the door, but it is hindered by the chain. Genji tries to call them out again, but no one answers despite the lights and TV are still on.
Genji asks Kanon to cut the chain with Kumasawa while he will report this to Natsuhi.
Now the jump was really crude: there is no explanation why Eva and Hideyoshi are in a room.
To describe the original context, after the whole argument, Eva decides that even if she can’t prove it, she is certain the culprit is in the parlor at the moment they are speaking. Thus she wants to go to a room for her own safety with her family.
However, George doesn’t want to follow them because he doesn’t want to doubt any of his relatives either. Eva is against this, but Hideyoshi says George is now an adult so they should let him do what he wants.
Yet another weird production quality point here: at some point, Genji shirt blinks with the… background for 1 second (20:47 – 20:48, as you can see in the third screenshot). Do they really have some check?
Accompagnied with Kumasawa, Kanon dashes back with a wire cutter but is then shocked to see another magic sigil on the door, despite it isn’t there roughly 5 minutes ago. Without waiting much longer, Kanon cuts the chain with ease. Both servants are horrified to see Eva lying on her bed with some sort of knife or dagger piercing her forehead.
Despite in shock, Kanon regains his spirit and wonders where is Hideyoshi and they find out that he is the bathroom, with the same kind of weapon piercing his forehead.
There isn’t much things to say about this scene: they went straight to the point (yet again a dramatization effect on the chain cut…?) with all details required. That said, I must say I was almost laughing at Kumasawa mute scream when she sees Eva’s corpse. It almost look like the sigil was more frightening to her…
Episode 1-3 was definitely better in term of pace compared to 1-1 and 1-2 though I’m still unimpressed about the structure.
What makes me annoyed is the fact they used a blunt and crude cut to quickly insert the second twilight in the end of this episode. They could give a much better momentum and cliffhanger effect if they have shown Kanon and Genji discovering the letter.
They certainly did much more efforts in this episodes (like the witch talk with Battler, the servants and Maria), but the changes they have done not only changed the personality and motives of certain characters, but it also disrupt the elements to figure the evidences and timeframe, allowing to craft proper theories or not (most notably, when Natsuhi was absent or not, same for the rest).
I would honestly give it a 7 or a 8/10 for this episode, but too many things were downplayed, such like hideyoshi at the start, Natsuhi VS Eva and Battler’s “human” side. Thus, I reduced it again to 6/10
If I were to watch this without any VN knowledge, I would certainly have the wrong idea of Battler’s behavior, and same goes for this “emo” scene with Natsuhi etc (since we absolutely don’t have the anguish of hers, that should be exposed from the beginning).
After watching the preview for episode 4, I guess they will be very fast…