Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Episode 2-3: Weak Square

The tragedy will repeat itself, but the witch is fickle: why should everything go like the first game…?
More blood and tears are shed, but before them, the survivors will witness things they would only imagine in their worst nightmares.


Kinzo wakes up and looking at the clock, he figures he avoided being one of the first sacrifices. Amused, Kinzo is looking forward what are the first six “pieces” Beatrice had taken out.
Rosa and the servants are in front of the chapel and they are shocked to see a big magic circle painted with something like blood, with a creepy “Happy Halloween for Maria”. Rosa wants to know how it happened, and Shannon doesn’t have any idea, she just saw a memo on the table in the dining room mentioning the chapel, and it was like this when she checked.
Genji then explains it is impossible to enter as the windows and the door of the chapel are locked, and these cannot be unlocked by the keys the servants are usually carrying. Rosa wants them to get the key of the chapel, but Genji  states there is only 1 key and it has gone missing.
Rosa wonders about her father and siblings and Genji reports that Krauss, Eva, Rudolf and their respective companions are missing.

Rosa realizes something and goes to the guesthouse. After being sure Maria didn’t go missing, Rosa is fishing in Maria’s bag and finds the envelope “Beatrice” gave her. And as she suspected, there was a key in there. As she is leaving, the cousins are waking up.

Shortening how they discover the circle wasn’t that bad: it certainly saved them a lot of time, since showing Shannon finding the “chapel note” would be rather a waste, though people might have weird suspicions as result.
That said, Rosa having that hunch is a bit weird: suddenly asking about Kinzo, Krauss and the rest was kinda unnatural, but well.
For those who are wondering, Rosa managed to feel a bit the envelope before, but Maria really prevented her to open it. So she thought there was something solid, instead of a plain letter, that’s why she says “I thought so”.

Upon Genji’s confirmation about the key, Rosa opens the door of the chapel and everyone get inside.
As they are walking, they see from afar the “missing” 6 sitting, with a table decorated with many candies and halloween decoration. As they first thought they were dolls, they quickly realize they are indeed Krauss and the rest, oddly sleeping.
But the gruesome reality hits them hard when they are close enough to notice their stomach, wide open with candies stuffed in there!
Everyone in the chapel is shocked by this, Nanjo, Kanon and Gohda check them, but it is useless.
Genji asks for Rosa’s orders and as she finally snaps out of the shock, Rosa wants Genji and Shannon to report the matter to Kinzo.
Both servants dash outside.

Soon, the cousins barge in the chapel and they are horrified to see what happened to their parents. They desperately try to reach their parents’ corpses, but Nanjo, Gohda and Kanon are in their way, trying to keep the crime scene as it is, but also to protect them from further shock and sadness.

The execution here was kind lackluster I believe. First, it looks a bit weird for everyone to walk towards the victims as if it was nothing.
Like I mentioned in my summary, originally, they were wondering what were those dolls, but as they progressively approach them, they realize it is really Krauss and the rest. It was kinda creepy and wonder why they would be sleeping in a place like this.
Then, they see the atrocious scene. Again, while they finally give some shocked reaction, there was no “horror” from them, no scream whatsoever. It was way too calm: 6 persons were killed, with their innards PULLED out and candies and blood drippling from their stomach wide open. I doubt “gasping” would be the first reaction to this gruesome sight. That is the reason why I think they should have shown Rosa throwing up: not because to add more “trash” thing about it, but really show how it was absolutely overwhelming (she actually stepped on “something”, and couldn’t imagine if it was “really” some candy).
Originally, Gohda was really in shock and when he says “police”, Rosa was completely in panic, saying “right, police police police!!”. They were way too calm, but at least the kids reactions were remotely “fine”.

And of course, I give up on the possibility for a full rendition of goldenslaughterer

The scene freezes and Meta Battler is facing again Beato. Disgusted by this gruesome scene, Meta Battler is flaring at Beato, questioning her tasteless hobby.
However, Beato reminds him that in the last game, most of the first victims had their head badly smashed, so there were doubts regarding their identity. But this time, the faces are left intact so the identity of the victims is pretty clear!
Meta Battler is pissed off by Beatrice’s provocation and swears he will beat her up to death.
Beato reminds Meta Battler that he doesn’t believe in magic, but he doesn’t want to suspect any of his relatives and servants either. Amused by this, the witch provokes him further, asking how he will explain everything then.

Back on the gameboard, Battler screams, asking who was behind such atrocity. But then, Jessica realizes there is that guest, Beatrice. A total stranger happens to be on Rokkenjima and the very next day, murders occur. For Jessica, there is no doubt, so she dashes outside.
Rosa asks Gohda and Kanon to take care of Jessica as she already left.

Still mourning the death of Krauss and the rest, the remaining persons in the chapel notice something odd: in the jack-o-lantern pumpkin, there are 3 gold ingots. Their surprise get cut short by Maria, creepily awaiting Beatrice to go to the Golden Land.

There is only one thing that I think it was missing: Beato’s “real” cruelty with 1 sentence. In fact, she should have said “you should be thankful” regarding the victims still having their face intact. Thus, she was like “here, I did what you wanted, satisfied?” which is quite the insult to the injury for Battler.
But urgh… again this retarded design for Maria? It is going worse over the episodes, I swear…

Jessica is before the door of the honor guest room, knocking furiously. Kanon and Gohda join her, trying to calm her. But even if there is no evidence that Beatrice is the culprit, Jessica doesn’t care and wants to confront her.
Seeing the situation is going nowhere, Kanon lends his master key to Jessica, who quickly snatches it and opens the door.
The room is empty but there is a letter that seemed to be left purposedly. As Jessica is reading it, she bursts in anger, convinced Beatrice is the culprit. Yelling with all her might, she is then struck by an asthma fit. Kanon reads the content of the letter and it is nothing but an open provocation, sneering at the victims’ pitiful state.
Considering Jessica’s state, Kanon asks Gohda to let him take care of the matter, and the latter agrees. Before Gohda leaves, Kanon hands him the letter Beatrice left for them.

We finally have Jessica’s PROPER anger here (though not at the same magnitude as she had but that’s still good) unlike her catatonic state in Episode 1. The fine details were kept (the VN readers probably know what I’m talking about here).

Kanon supports Jessica while they are walking to her room. Still afflicted by her asthma fit, Jessica takes her medecine right away and manages to calm down a bit.
Jessica thanks Kanon and says she is alright, but he remains speechless due to the awkward mood. Regaining his composure, Kanon will wait in the hall, asking her to call him whenever she needs something. As he is about to leave, Jessica is about to say something. However, as Kanon wonders what it is, she is unable to say anything. Kanon tells her that if she needs anything, she doesn’t have to hesitate.

Beatrice comments how Kanon doesn’t understand a woman’s heart, that he could simply stay by her side.
Clad with golden butterflies, the golden witch Beatrice appears before Kanon and Jessica. Beatrice claims that it is because he isn’t able to understand human heart that he is furniture.
Beatrice likens the situation with the usual princess and her knight confronting the witch. Beatrice wonders which is stronger between her furniture and Kinzo’s, so she summon hers: an army of… goat headed butlers, with wicked purple magical blade extending their arms.
Kanon asks Jessica to stands back and also materialize a magical blade, but red in his case. Jessica is startled by this while Kanon really didn’t want to show that to her.
Beatrice enjoys the turn of the events and let loose her goat headed butlers.

Unlike other VN readers, I think the mood between Kanon and Jessica was just fine. Sure, it was a bit watered down, but I think there was no need for a rehash, since the watchers know more or less the complicated relationship both Jessica and Kanon have with Episode 2-1.
That said, I admits that they really made Kanon one dimensional as result, because there wasn’t any display of “furniture complex” in either Episode 2-1 or this scene: Kanon was longing to be with Jessica, but he was really torn by this thought. As he is waiting outside, Beato makes her entrance and taunts him again.
But everything goes even more cruel, because Beato declares: I have no obligation to follow exactly the epitaph, so I can kill her right now!
Thus it makes Kanon react and he barges back in Jessica’s room to see her being suffocated by a storm of golden butterflies. Then we have the goat thing.

Meanwhile, Gohda had reported the letter they have found in Beatrice’s room. Nanjo tells to Gohda that they found a letter on the table in the chapel.
Battler summarize that the culprit pretends to be Beatrice and that she had a contract with Kinzo, the riddle, etc.
Battler will once again track down the culprit, he won’t wait for the police.

One thing: the quality is dropping everywhere else or so… I mean, look at Nanjo’s design…

Kanon is fighting against the numerous furniture of the witch, while Jessica is astonished, unable to tell if she is dreaming or not.
As Kanon managed to defeat all goats, he leaps towards Beatrice but she just scatters in butterflies and teleports behind him. The witch can’t take this lack of awe and sneers at Kanon, reminding him to know his place as furniture.
Jessica raises her voice, claiming Kanon is no furniture but human, with his own will.
Beatrice laughs out loud, really enjoying the turn of events, as the two of them fit perfectly the requirements of the second twilight.

As for the goat battle, I wasn’t impressed one bit by it. As I mentioned in AS, it became really shounen-ish for no damn reason. Sure, umineko had that aspect with this battle, but it was left pretty straightfoward and “classy”.
For those who don’t know: there was supposed to be only 1 goat, but the duel was quite long and Kanon had hard time to find an opening. As the goat was about to win, Kanon made the usual “flash dash” leaving a blur image, and then appears behind the goat, killing him.
I believe the atmosphere was much more oppressing than bunch of goats being taken out like flies (they are now SUPER weakling…). “Too flashy” if you prefer.
And like some people mentioned, Jessica’s room became conveniently big enough (as if it was as big as a ball room…) for the fight.

Meanwhile, Ohara’s performance almost makes her sound she is herself having fun. I sounds like a broken disc, but seriously, she is cackling on the spot. Beato’s laugh should be that hysteric and sneering.

Beatrice then summons a very different kind of furniture, one of the seven stakes of purgatory. Then, a young girl appears: Asmodeus of Lust. Beatrice orders her to fulfill the second twilight of the ceremony. Excited by this occasion, Asmodeus walks slowly towards Kanon and Jessica, commenting how cute the young butler is.
Kanon faces her, but Asmodeus has absolutely no problem in evading his sword attacks. While in mid-air, she tranforms herself into her original form, the stake of purgatory and starts bouncing off. Kanon has hard time to keep it up and as he is about to be stabbed from the back, Jessica shields him.

My ears… no seriously, regardless if I watched K-on! or not, it would be the same conclusion for me: Asmodeus has a SUPER HIGH PITCHED voice, as if she had helium. It really became superficial when you notice her “k”, especially when she says “answer me, cutie!”. and the laughter.
The other thing that I don’t get is the game stake SFX used as if it was the propelling sound of the stakes, which is not the case.
Finally, using system0 here is a bit… weird I would say. Honestly, I hope they won’t use this half ass remix any more in the future but…

Beatrice is delighted by this result, sneering at Kanon’s claim he will protect Jessica. However, she ends her enjoyment right there and wants to finish him off with another stake. She summons the stake of wrath, Satan.
As result, another demon girl appears before the witch. Kanon declares he is no longer furniture, but Satan is amused that she will kill him “again”, mentioning how Kanon’s chest warmth was feeling good. So, she wonders if she will feel the same again by piercing his chest. Satan then changes her form into a stake and gouge Kanon’s chest.

Kanon collapses. Both he and Jessica are dying, yet they try to reach each other hand in a last ditch effort. Jessica insists Kanon is no furniture anymore and wishes to hear his true name. But as he is trying to say it, Jessica dies. Kanon declares he is human but dies soon after as well.

Beatrice laughs hysterically at this pitiful scene, gleefully delighted, repeating no matter how long it takes, furniture remains furniture. She thinks Kanon probably thought there won’t be any more humiliation after death, but she disagree. Then, Beatrice uses her pipe and a smoke surrounds Kanon’s body, transforming the ground under him into some quick sand, swallowing the body. No trace is left.

Meanwhile, I have no issue with Satan’s voice, and despite being wrath, there isn’t anything to make her moody, but she is “flirting” or so here, so the sexy vibe works.
I’m however wondering why they made her spinning like this: I mean, she is the kind of being brutish, not frivolous to spin like a fangirl in her job (I wouldn’t be surprised with Asmo, but Satan? hu…). I was expecting her to leave no time to kanon, dashing and instantly transforming into her stake form to finish the deal.

Good execution between Jessica and Kanon though I assume due how it was presented and how the different scenes were quickly sequential, it didn’t exactly flow naturally (well, Jessica stretched her hand RIGHT after Kanon collapsed). This version of requiem was very good that said.

Genji and Shannon reported to Kinzo what has happened, and Kinzo seems to have expected such result. He then asks Shannon some help for writing a will while Genji will serve his usual liquor.

Gohda reports to Rosa that the phone is out of service, so he couldn’t contact the police. George is still puzzled by the reason why the first six were killed and the meaning of the circle, but Maria laughs out loud and explains the circle, much to Rosa’s displeasure.
Battler then asks more details regarding the circle.
George is startled that they were sacrifices while Battler says the “Happy Halloween for Maria” was the reason why they gave the key to Maria.

Speaking of which, George was bugged by something strange: they all know the chapel was always closed, and that there is only 1 key for it. However, the key was kept in Maria’s bag ever since the day before. So the question is: how did the culprit get access to the chapel?

Again a shameless plug. *sigh*.
Meanwhile, as expected, the quality and the animation are really not flattering here, and we see a lot of still shot, void of details. Honestly, I think the budget is much lower than Higurashi Kai.

As soon as George finishes his question, another Meta world sequence occurs.
Meta Battler is again annoyed to see yet another closed room murder. Thus, Beatrice wonders how Meta Battler will explain that. And so, the young man states there isn’t enough information so it could be simply a duplicated key or a secret passage.There is no way to prove it doesn’t exist, so it is a devil’s proof.

As it will most likely go in circle, Beatrice has an idea:
From now on, when I speak the truth, that sentence will be shown in red letters.
Beatrice believes this will be also convenient for him. Meta Battler is puzzled by what she has just done, and Beato states it is a new rule in order to avoid an eternal stalemate in their arguments, as he won’t be able to evade her with the “not enough information” or “not enough evidence” issues.
Thus, from now when, whenever she says something in red, it will be the truth.
Meta Battler stops her right there, as she could simply state magic in red and it would be done like this, but Beato says she wants to have a game with him, so she can see him struggling, otherwise it will be meaningless.

After hesitating a bit, Meta Battler is fine with this new rule and starts his first move. He asks if the first 6 went through the front door.
Beatrice confirms it in red:
Regardless of whether they were living or dead, the six people definitely entered through the door.
Meta Battler wants the evidence of it, but Beatrice supplements the rule that when she uses red, she doesn’t have any responsibility to prove it. So, it is purely the truth, nothing else.
Meta Battler rants a bit about it but nevertheless continues his reasoning. He wonders if there isn’t any other key, such like a duplicata made by the culprit. Beato is amused by this and denies it in red:
There’s only one key to the chapel.
Meta Battler doesn’t give up and brings out another possibility: that if the door was opened in another method, such like lockpicking. But this is also countered by Beato immediately:
It’s impossible to lock or unlock the door to the chapel without the chapel’s key.
Meta Battler has no clue how it is possible and Beatrice insists she simply used magic.
However, Meta Battler has an idea and thinks the solution is in fact the very key that Maria was entrusted. So he believes the culprit gave a fake to Maria then after the murders done, they swapped the envelopes.
Annoyed by this, Beatrice denies it again in red:
The key to the chapel truly was the object inside the envelope I gave Maria.
But Meta Battler doesn’t stop his train of thoughts, and asks Beatrice to repeat that no one could touch Maria’s envelope before Rosa did. Beatrice is startled by this and doesn’t repeat it in red. Meta Battler concludes like this: they indeed give the true key to Maria but then fished out when everyone was sleeping. After the victims were put in the chapel, the culprit puts back the key in Maria’s bag. So it is possible for a human to do this.

Beatrice laughs and congratulates him. However, since he denies magic, he will have to doubt one of his relatives. So she declare that Battler cannot defeat her.

We finally reached the turn point of the franchise: the red!
And… again I was disappointed. The problem isn’t the content, but again the presentation, thus the execution: the whole “bikering” between Battler and Beatrice lacked a lot of punch: both were quite relaxed, thus it really lacked some tension which would make Battler’s victory as “impressive” as it should be… that is because, it didn’t look like Battler was cornered one bit. I guess that is the reason why they didn’t use dread of the grave here… But still, using suspicion here instead really made the whole scene much slower than it should be…
As much they didn’t make any fault, for sake of clues for the watchers (the syntax and wording are extremely important for the red), the entertainment and the “pumping” factor behind it were really lackluster.

7:30AM. Battler wonders if Beatrice wants them to find the gold, but Maria states Beatrice just wonders if they can resolve the epitaph or not. Battler wonders if Maria can solve it, but she feigns ignorance as she wants to go to the Golden Land and so, she won’t get in Beatrice’s way.
Then, Rosa arrives with Shannon and Genji, with a sawed off winchester rifle. The rest is a bit startled by it, and Rosa explains she got it from Kinzo and she swears she will protect them.

I will give up on Maria. It looks like DEEN has that kind of hobby with distorded face so heh…


Overal Thoughts:

A bit like 2-2, 2-3 earned quite many complaints from me, but it is still worth 8/10. Points are that they managed to give somewhat a proper pace, though I’m questioning the length of that goat festival, to the detriment of the red scene.
Since they managed to keep the essence of this stage of the plot, my complaints are rather secondary, though I’m still not so satisfied with the non-subtle and very oversimplified presentation they use here.

Hopefully, we will have more tension because of what happens with Kanon etc (and more red arguments).


5 Responses to “Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Episode 2-3: Weak Square”

  1. 1 ryuusei August 20, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    omg omg its the goat butlers. i remember when the first appeared in VN i was pretty scared haha.

    btw great work Witchhunt!

  2. 2 Deckard August 21, 2009 at 12:58 am

    Interesting to note: Beatrice says “…which _I_ gave to Maria…” in red. This means that Beatrice does exist in this version of the world and that Beatrice is either Rosa or 19th person as these three/two were the only ones in Rose garden. It’s unlikely one the 18 is dressing up as Beatrice because of both Rosa’s and Kyrie’s reactions as well as high likelihood of being spotted in a dress-up.

    This 19th person or Rosa also have to be one of the culprits behind murders this time around since it’s unlikely anyone else new about Maria having the letter let alone the key. Also, Rosa was the only sibling not shown in the Chapel which may imply that she was inside it as 7th person who possibly poisoned the other 6; there is no other way for her to kill then without a scratch on herself. Hence, Rosa is very likely one of the culprits this time around.

  3. 3 j.wu August 22, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    omGG when atthe scene where Maria points out what circle was drawn on the door, the T.V. behind her shows HIGURASHI! There’s Rika and Hanyuu running! ❤ !!

  4. 4 shirora August 23, 2009 at 4:30 am

    I think rosa was in the chapel with the siblings, all of the siblings and their partners were there (minus rosa’s husband).
    btw, the opening song changed!! 😀
    the italian part ^^

  1. 1 Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Episode 2-3: « When Anime Past Meets Present Trackback on August 26, 2009 at 6:01 pm

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