Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Episode 2-2: Early Queen Move

The second game has finally begun. As the pieces are being placed at their starting squares, Beatrice decides to take on Battler, with a very different approach…
Instead of cornering him, she is simply going full force, and thus, the queen is now in the playfield.


As Maria and Rosa are going to take the train to join the rest of the family at Nijima, Maria pulls a tantrum, stubbornly wishing to celebrate Halloween. However, Rosa doesn’t pay heed to this request and soon, Maria becomes more and more noisy about it.
In the train, she doesn’t calm down, but an old woman kindly offer her a candy. However, this calls down Rosa’s wrath, scolding Maria for accepting candies from strangers. As the little girl doesn’t want to yield, Rosa loses patience and forcefully takes that candy away from her daughter. As Maria is using again her “uu uu” in her attempt to take her candy back, Rosa immediately slaps her several times but this only makes things worse as Maria cries repeatedly.

They kinda cut short these scenes, but the essence is enough to give a pretty clear idea how Rosa and Maria interactions are. I’m however a bit concerned how they don’t give enough build up, so it looks like Rosa is rather short tempered here, while Maria is a bit too “whiny”, compared to their respective selves in the game.
I think it would have been quite interesting to see Rosa yelling at the old woman about not to give anything to her etc. That is also something that becomes a real alarm when you learn in the VN that Rosa doesn’t even yield her anger against other people, unless she notices the gazes of several people. It isn’t that she regrets or notice her violence right there, rather she felt uncomfortable (for this scene, that is).

As Krauss is contemplating Beatrice’s portrait, Natsuhi reports their preparations are complete and that Genji and Nanjo are on their side, so they will be able to prevent Eva, Rudolf and Rosa to meet with Kinzo.
Meanwhile, Shannon is anxious which is naturally noticed by Genji.
As the head butler is leaving, Kanon reminds Shannon that they have important guests so she has to put her personal matter aside. Flustered by this, Shannon denies she has anything of that kind and leave hastily.

Good thing they have shown Krauss and Natsuhi like that… Though I’m a bit disappointed they didn’t add the very short moment where Krauss apologizes for burdening Natsuhi all the time. At least, it would show a distinct moment where Krauss isn’t taking everything from Natsuhi as granted.
As for the servants scene, content was fine though the quality starts to fall apart when they were showing Shannon folding some bed sheets.

At the harbor of Nijima, George is trying to practice how he will give the ring to Shannon. Trying several fashions, he is however very awkward regarding this and is startled to see that Rudolf was also in the restroom.

Later on, Maria got halloween candies and share with Battler.
Meanwhile, Jessica asks information about Beatrice from Kumasawa, and the later gives some interesting tale regarding Rokkenjima and its past legends.

Hahahaha, they kept George “training”, that was quite good. Too bad they didn’t make George say “no, Shannon likes manliness!” (not exactly worded like this, but you know the drill).
Also, I was quite surprised they didn’t skip the explanations regarding Rokkenjima… A very good way to keep some clues.

As Eva, Rudolf and Rosa’s families arrive, the world “freezes” and Beatrice appears with Battler (which will be called Meta-Battler, for Meta-world, from now on).
The second game is about to start, but as Beatrice is looking forwards to this torture for Battler, the later disagree and claims it will be a torture for the witch.

First Meta-world scene! Well, I was expecting it a bit more exotic (like Battler and Beatrice in another room/space with something like the walls reflecting the real world) but that’s all fine as well. I’m however a bit concerned that it was very sudden and short, so it might confuse first time watchers.
And that was a good thing to have kept the original bgm, answer.

Back in the real world, Battler would like to know about Beatrice but Maria is interrupted by Rosa. As everyone is getting in the mansion, Rosa stays behind with Maria and slaps her, angered by Maria’s persistent talk about witches. Maria displays some discontentment with her usual “uu”, but this angers her mother even more, who then grabs her hair and then throw her. Enraged, Rosa vents her anger on the candy she bought for Maria and stomps it relentlessly. Maria remains motionless, crying for her mother to “come back” and fight against the “evil witch”.
Annoyed by Maria’s behavior, Rosa walks off, ordering her daughter to stay there.

My fears were confirmed: Rosa is shown quite as unstable as an angry wife absolutely certain her husband is cheating her. Even though I loathe her, I think they used too much shortcut for Rosa’s rage fits, which just make her trigger happy instead of a boiling kettle.
DEEN managed to show well how poorly Maria was treated, and it is kinda sad to see such young girl being tossed like a potato bags. Again, I really cannot understand how such violence can be used against children: nowhere helpful (well, slap *maybe*, not pure bullying/brutality). This is why I can’t understand people “cheering” Rosa for this: outright child abuse and it is absolutely not fixing anything about “uu uu”. To begin with, is there any proof Rosa didn’t trigger Maria’s weird and stubborn behavior anyway?

The other interesting and very important line was Maria’s “Mama, come back. Come back and defeat the evil witch!”. It is very very critical to notice that Maria doesn’t see all “witches” as great but also how she herself says “she doesn’t recognize her mother”.
This is a stark difference compared to her indifference in Episode 1, when she learnt about Rosa’s death.

Kanon approaches Maria after witnessing the whole scene. The young butler is concerned about her after such treatment but Maria replies in a creepy way, claiming she is fine. Even so, Kanon feels sorry for her, dusts off the crushed candy and hands it back. That said, Maria isn’t that concerned and claim Beatrice can fix anything. Surprised to hear this name from Maria, Kanon asks if she knows the witch, but Maria doesn’t say anything but laughs again.

I’m again pleased that they didn’t skip this portion: it is important to show that despite what Kanon claims, he is rather human himself and can have compassion even for people he wouldn’t have any affinity with.
His reaction is a bit underplayed when he learns about Beato, but that’s fine.

The adults are discussing together about Kinzo but he won’t show up again, Natsuhi explaining that he is too busy with his “research”. Eva wonders if it is just because he is stuck in his bed, as he was sentenced to have 3 months to live ever since last year, but it is hard for Nanjo to determine this, especially considering Kinzo’s willpower.
As the weather goes bad, Kyrie mentions the typhoon is nearby which reminds Rosa that she left Maria alone in the rose garden.
Worried about her, Rosa storms out and quickly finds Maria who is still upset about the candy. Struck by guilt, Rosa embraces Maria and asks for her forgiveness, but Maria is absolutely fine and assures her mother it wasn’t her fault but the doing of an evil witch.

As both remains together for a short while, Maria notices someone is behind Rosa, and much to Rosa’s surprise, it is Beatrice herself.
Maria quickly greets her and offers her a halloween candy. Beatrice notices Maria’s is in a bad shape and decides to restore it. As she covers Maria’s eyes, Beatrice tosses the candy, making it burst in golden butterflies and then renewing its past shape, shocking Rosa in the process.
Maria is completely amazed by Beatrice’s magic, and the witch then gives her a letter, but warns her that she will open it only in due time, so before that, she must not allow anyone opening it.
Before leaving, Beatrice gives another letter but to Rosa this time, asking the later to read it for all siblings during dinner.
Rosa remains speechless from this unexpected visit and Beatrice goes to the mansion, cackling in delight.

The quality is dropping again with the parlor scene. Honestly it is really giving a very dull atmosphere considering the fix far camera pan and the motionless characters stuck in their sit.
Also, it felt a bit “sudden” that Kyrie mention the typhoon for Rosa to run after Maria. It almost looks like a “scripted trigger” of a game… well, something like that.

Now for the second part, again it is quite important to note how Maria reacts when Rosa is asking for forgiveness. Despite being brutalized, Maria doesn’t hold any grudge and happily embraces her mother. Quite some complicated love-hate situation from Rosa to make Maria more “mature” than she might look like.
As for Beatrice… her entrance is sudden and unexpected as it should be: obviously something that should pop all of a sudden and it is surely the first thing to put gears in motion for everyone’s theories.

As she makes her way in Kinzo’s domain, Beatrice is greeted by Genji who was waiting for her.
As both are going upstairs they meet with Kyrie who just left the parlor. As she casually greets Beatrice with a bow, she realizes afterwards that this surprise guest has an uncanny resemblance to the golden witch, Beatrice.

Beatrice uses this opportunity to corner Meta-Battler, stating the latter’s reasoning was solely based on her absence on the gameboard. But this time, she is present. However, Battler doesn’t yield just to that, so Beatrice goes on to the next move.

Kyrie’s scene was a bit lackluster because they decide to skip her attempt to gather information. As you “should” know, Kyrie is quite smart and logical: generally speaking, in a unexpected and dangerous situation, one should gather as much information as possible in order to respond the best as they can. Thus, in the VN, Kyrie knew at the first glance that the “blonde woman is a split image of Beatrice”, so she plays dumb and introduces herself, asking Beato’s identity. However, Beato saw through of Kyrie’s tactic and brushes her off, saying she knew already the answer.
It almost looks like Kyrie was a bit careless in the anime… ah well.
As for the second Meta-world scene, I’m pretty sure some of you wonder why Battler still can fight back against Beato despite she appeared. Well, one thing: wouldn’t it be better for Battler if a 19th person appear? Think about it: it is much harder for him to prove one of the 18 was the culprit considering Episode 1 (and also his humanity and feelings, preventing to imagine any of his relatives/servants to be a nut mass murderer). Thus, a 19th person would be ideal, so long it isn’t a witch.
Therefore, the fact there is a woman that pretends to be Beatrice is not to Battler’s disadvantage. To the contrary.

Beatrice is in the honor guestroom, with tea served by Kanon. Beatrice states she will fulfill her promise she had with Kinzo, returning everything to the Golden Land. As result, it will free Kanon, since he is furniture.
However, Kanon doesn’t react like Beatrice was expecting, making her wonder if he doesn’t have any regret. However, Kanon remains neutral and claims he has none.
As Kanon is not entertaining for her, Beatrice is however fine with Shannon, expecting some amusement should she is killed despite having met love. Kanon is shocked to learn this, but Beatrice whimsically offers a deal to the young butler: if he kneels and kisses her shoes, she promises she won’t feel like killing Shannon during the twilights.
Frustrated, Kanon abides to this and kisses Beatrice shoes, leaving the witch in pure glee.

Another interesting detail: if you didn’t notice, please look at the second screenshot. Anything special? Well yeah, Beato has another sadist grin, but she is actually wearing Kinzo’s ring.
On another note, there is something omitted that makes me uneasy: the bargain between Beatrice and Kanon was certainly like this, but there was a condition that Beatrice added as well: She tells Kanon that she won’t kill Shannon so long she doesn’t accept George’s ring!
Therefore, her promise will have some problem in the same episode as… it looks like she won’t keep her promise (or as if there wasn’t any to begin with).

Dinner is ready, but Gohda is shocked to know that Shannon will serve dinner to their honor guest, Beatrice.
Genji reminds him that Beatrice is considered as high ranked as Kinzo, therefore the same rules will apply for her.
Outside of the kitchen, Kanon laments that it is because of Shannon’s decision of finding love that none of them can celebrate the incoming opening of the Golden Land. Concerned, Shannon learns that the ceremony will be held tonight.

Later, Shannon is serving dinner to Beatrice, but in a cold manner. Beatrice wonders if Shannon hold any grudge as she was just hoping for a disastrous result. Shannon tells to the witch she knows perfectly that she is just doing all of this for her own enjoyment, so in order to face her, Shannon decided to remain totally indifferent, thinking it is the only way to go against the witch’s expectations.
As the maid is leaving, Beatrice is amused and declares she will kill her and George.

I’m all good for fleshing finally Gohda (good lord, he is the most shafted characters among the 18), but omitting several details make the scene even harder to grasp for the first time watchers.
For those who don’t get what’s going on: Gohda is a proud chef and served the Ushiromiya main household only for a year, but he got quite high appraisal already. However, since he is an “outsider” (hired by Natsuhi and Krauss) and not a servant from Kinzo’s personal establishment, he is not allowed to wear the One Winged Eagle on his work clothes. Therefore, he is not allowed to serve the head of the Ushiromiya, Kinzo.
Gohda was lashing at Genji because he couldn’t understand why Genji would leave such important task, serving dinner, to an honor guest such like Beatrice to a “clumsy maid” like Shannon. This is why Genji mentions the rule: considering Beatrice’s rank, she should be treated like another Master. Thus, no one but a servant with the One Winged Eagle crest can serve her.
Gohda finally yields, but then honestly asks Shannon not to do any blunder.

The other “watered down” reaction was Shannon, as she was rather sad, than really “shocked”. Normally, Shannon was really friends with Beatrice, but Kanon’s story changes everything for her, thus making her astray as she WAS also waiting for the Golden Land, but the timing couldn’t be worse considering George is about to give the ring (she knew it).
Thus, Kanon’s little rant didn’t seem to deal any impact and it looks like the scene itself was kinda for the kicks.
Kugimiya Rie manages to keep a good neutral voice for Shannon when she confronts Beatrice I would say. But it is a shame she couldn’t push the “serious mode” that much. Also, they again removed some chunk of it: Beato did tell about her promise to Kanon, so long Shannon doesn’t accept George’s ring, she will spared for the second twilight. However, she rather got disgusted how Beatrice bullied Kanon with such foolish promise.
Thus, Shannon declared she is human and she will be happy, which implies she won’t decline George’s ring.

Meanwhile, as the rest of the family are eating Gohda’s special dish, Kyrie asks about the guest she saw before, and Gohda answers that she wishes to have her dinner in her own room. Puzzled by this, Natsuhi asks Gohda what guest they are talking about, and as Gohda bashfully answers it is Beatrice, everyone in the dinning room can only bear a surprised expression.
Soon enough, the siblings are doubting Krauss but as the later obviously shows cluelessness, everyone conclude that “Beatrice” was probably sent by Kinzo and she is either his mistress or an illegitimate daughter.
Natsuhi is outraged by such slander but Kyrie offers words of wisdom and mentions that Genji probably knows about it.
Because of this turn of events, the cousins are asked to go back to the guesthouse even though they aren’t done with their meal and Nanjo decided to join them as well.
As they are walking back to the guesthouse, Battler wonders if Nanjo knows anything about Beatrice, but it seems she is already dead and that he never heard of any child born from this hidden relationship.

A bit later, Shannon and George are in the arbor of the rose garden, and just like in the first game, George offers the ring to Shannon and will wait for her answer the next morning. However, this time, Shannon wants to see the ring and without much hesitation, she wears immediately the ring on her left ring finger, much to George’s surprise.
As both are vowing to be together, even if their souls aren’t in their bodies anymore, they embrace each other. From afar, Kanon can only remains disappointed, calling Shannon an idiot.

Now that is what I wanted to see in Episode 1-2: surprised faces on the adults. All were calm and composed back there, but here, the faces finally match with the context, though they still are too calm in my opinion.
But again… urgh the budget was quite scarce for this episode: again lots of far camera pan, a LOT of time with the camera on the backgrounds (what was the point in showing black clouds for… 13-14 seconds?).
Maria’s expressions are again super exaggerated and her bottom lip looks quite… huge (again my “toad” mention >_>).
And now, for Shannon and George… well the remix of moon was quite surprising and does match the good here. At last, I think first time watchers will have a better perspective of the romance between Shannon and George after the Episode 1 and episode 2-1. However, Kanon’s comment doesn’t make much sense without the explication given above. Thus, Kanon calls Shannon an idiot, not only because she is trying to get love despite she is “not human”, but also the fact she didn’t catch her chance not to be a sacrifice for the second twilight.

Later, Krauss, Natsuhi, Eva, Hideyoshi, Rudolf, Kyrie and Rosa are in the chapel. All of them are pretty gloom and disheartened. Beatrice is in bones and flesh before them and knows about Kyrie’s habit in using the Devil’s Proof, but this time it won’t do.
As an expected result, Kyrie resigns as well, acknowledging Beatrice as a “witch”.

Last scene was on the spot, except perhaps Kyrie… I mean, my problem is that she is very rational and using logic all the time. So her yielding that quickly is not really effective. Sure, her surrender makes the conclusion even more ruthless, but it is also a bit out of character. Not too major anyway, since it is actually a certain “long pause” before her resigning.


Overal Thoughts:

Although I did rant quite often for many shortcuts, the pace was about right this time, again. Surely enough, everything feels much less rushed, though this episode was a bit disjointed by the lack of proper transitions (it is slightly jumpy, but nothing as jerky as episodes 1-1 and 1-2).
I’m still a bit annoyed they couldn’t keep the same conveyed feelings (as they really didn’t need that much time… at most few seconds for each), but they kept the core intact I guess…

The real issue for this episode, however, is the quality that is really going bad at times. The most evident case is Beatrice before and after the eye catch. It is quite difficult to see how most scenes are from the same episodes, because at times it is only average, but other times, it is really mediocre (dull backgrounds, clumsy camera pan etc).

Thus, I rate this episode 8/10 at best:  I was afraid of a them being fast and furious with the first twilight, but they did take their time, but they still have a sort of lackluster execution and an awkward way to present some emotions.
Next episode will be tons of crack, so look forward to it!


5 Responses to “Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Episode 2-2: Early Queen Move”

  1. 1 Freak August 15, 2009 at 1:01 am

    Wasn’t Beatrice shown wearing the ring in the previous episode, when she gave Shannon the butterfly brooch?

  2. 2 klashikari August 15, 2009 at 1:07 am

    Humm, yes actually the ring she was wearing back in 1984 was the same as now.
    Honestly, I have no idea if it was intended or not (or if the ring Beatrice is wearing isn’t Kinzo’s, but the head ring was described as a gold ring with the one winged eagle so), so this detail becomes rather meaningless in the long run.

  3. 3 SG2 October 4, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    The thing about Beatrice having the ring when she otherwise shouldn’t might just be due to the character designers incorporating it as part of her design without really logically thinking about it. Obviously it’s part of her portrait in the VN as well, which causes the same situations at times – she clearly has the ring on when she shouldn’t. Of course this is because the art isn’t a huge focus in the VN and obviously Ryukishi isn’t going to draw a different portrait set for Beato without the ring, but I can excuse DEEN for it at the same time because they might be thinking ‘well the ring is part of her design based on her in-game portrait’.

  1. 1 Umineko no Naku Koro ni, episode 7 – Slap happy | Rabbit Poets Anime Blog Trackback on August 15, 2009 at 2:15 am
  2. 2 Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Episode 2-2: Analysis, Thoughts and Random Comments « When Anime Past Meets Present Trackback on August 19, 2009 at 6:12 pm

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