Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Episode 2-6: Back Rank Mate

The witch claimed more and more victims. As the door of the Golden Land is about to open, unyielding wills are confronting Beatrice, but it is all vain. Until…


After Gohda’s fall, Beatrice barges with her furniture before Shannon and George, declaring with glee that the lovers were chosen by the roulette.
As George is desperately trying to open Natsuhi’s chest, Beatrice is sneering at Shannon, as she is probably having regrets she couldn’t live to her fullest her happiness with George. As Beatrice is about to kill them, George manages to open the chest and the sacred mirror is indeed inside.  All of a sudden, Shannon raises a magical barrier, repelling the butterflies and goats into nothingness.
Beatrice isn’t surprised by this, remembering Shannon is also one of Kinzo’s furniture. Shannon is indignate after what Beatrice has done to Kanon’s honor. Of course, the witch doesn’t feel any guilt and just goes further, summoning forth another Kanon impostor.
Resolute, Shannon doesn’t yield and maintains her barrier against fake kanon’s attacks. In the end, he is also destroyed by the maid’s absolute defense. Amused by this turn of events, Beatrice figured out that Natsuhi’s sacred mirror is lending its powers to Shannon. As Beatrice is still ridiculing her as furniture, Shannon claims she is human and thinks the witch is pitiful. She doesn’t have any regret as she already exchanged her vows with George, sealing their eternal love.
This persistent human and love speech irritates a lot Beatrice. Fed up by this, Beatrice wants to finish it off and relentlessly assault Shannon’s barrier. Unable to contain the attacks of the butterflies, Shannon apologizes to George but the latter doesn’t worry about it. As a last request, Shannon would like George to tell her he will love her forever, but Beatrice doesn’t let them go as they please and kill them before George could finish his sentence.

Although I didn’t expect Shannon’s barrier being designed like this, it was just working as intended, so no worry. I would however complain a bit that Beatrice’s assaults were kinda tame: she was just screaming, but aside, she remained motionless, with mere butterflies “pushing” the barrier. I would rather expect her to extand her arms, and the butterflies CRASHING like a rain of spikes, really smashing the barrier to pieces instead.
Anyway, my real complain here would be how they kinda dragged this scene (despite I’m sure people already got the picture regarding Shannon and George), but also the nonsensical part with Beatrice “preventing George”. I mean, she is screaming for 1 second, and the stakes weren’t instant. Are you telling me George couldn’t finish his sentence within this long time frame? Allow me to doubt so.
I think they just had to do it in a more subtle way: as George is about to say, we got a black out and THEN we hear Beatrice “as if I would let you do, dumbass!!!”. Basically an obvious “bad end” without being corny or inconsistent. Also it would just make wonder people about “how will they be killed?”. Ah well…

Genji is doing his usual round and finds Kumasawa and Nanjo’s corpses in the courtyard. He quickly goes to the parlor and reports his discovery to Rosa. Everyone follows Genji and they see the corpses, with wounds that were probably done with a very sharp blade. Maria is again acting all creepy and explains these are the seventh and eighth twilights. Hearing this, Battler is worried that 3 twilights were “skipped” and ask Genji where George, Gohda and Shannon are. Since they left to Natsuhi’s room for already 2 hours, the chance they have been killed is very high so Battler press on this matter.
The survivors go to the mansion and they are startled to see onimous bloody hand prints on the door. Genji tries to open but it is locked, so Battler has to unlock the door with a master key Rosa had lent to him. Once the door is open, they find Gohda gouged in the chest, George gouged in the stomach and Shannon gouged in the head. Completely dejected by this gruesome discovery, Battler is absent mindedly wondering about the next twilight, and after Maria’s answer, he just indifferently concludes all of them will die in the end.

There isn’t any complain regarding the scene itself, though I don’t get why they didn’t press on the “issue” of Natsuhi’s room… I mean the information regarding this closed room is also relevant, and they completely skipped the “you are incompetent!” scene.
By the way: it seems the quality checkers sucked even more this time. In the last episode, Rosa was shown clearly with a barricaded door, with many furniture. And all of a sudden, the door is magically free of such obstacle…?

Everyone go back to the parlor but Rosa doesn’t invite Genji to come with them. Of course, Battler can’t agree with this but has to abide nevertheless. Once inside, Rosa is checking the windows. However, Battler is startled to see that another envelope from Kinzo was left on the table. As expected, it is again another message from Beatrice.
Maria notices that and wonders what it is about. At this point, Rosa is asking Maria to stay close to her and points her gun towards Battler, declaring he is a wolf. Of course, this ridiculous situation makes Battler angry, but Rosa is serious. Annoyed, Battler exposes his arguments that she is much more suspicions than him, considering she is get her hands on the whole inheritance of the family. As the argument goes hard, Maria is crying out loud, begging them not to fight as it is Beatrice’s doing. Maria’s action was pretty effective and Battler slumps in despair, yelling Beatrice to show up.

Nothing too problematic here either, though I’m sure people would be curious how Rosa could conclude that quickly. The thing is that Rosa was checking the door, so no one could have slipped in aside of the three of them for this letter, hence why she believes Battler was the one behind this.
Kudos to Ono for Battler’s anger and also despair.

Oh wait, there IS something, and quite silly: not like I want to go like Maria, but did they understand what circle they just used here? The first one, the one related to the “freedom”, not “discord”. And no, it wasn’t like this in the vn. Duh.

Kinzo is once again in front of the portrait of Beatrice in his room, wailing. The old head of the Ushiromiya is desperately conveying all his feelings, ultimately admitting his love towards the witch.
As if it reached her, someone knocks his door.

Moments later, Battler is just waiting for the culprit, drinking alcohol to his heart content.
Someone knocks the door of the dining room and it is Genji, who came to beckon him to learn everything from “them”.
Once they made their way to Kinzo’s study, Battler is unable to comprehend what is going on: the room is filled by countless golden butterflies and Kinzo is playing Chess against… “someone”.
This person is no one else but Beatrice. As the door of the Golden Land will open soon, she is fine to answer everything to Battler, as long he becomes her furniture should he recognize her existence.

Recycled footage huh… well short and it is Kinzo anyway, so no big deal though it would be bad if they go on with that kind of cheap tricks.
Meanwhile, I would expect them to make Battler a bit groogy… I mean, he’s just drunk quite some strong liquor from the family’s cabinet, so him being totally normal just doesn’t make much sense.
Meanwhile, for Beatrice’s showdown, it is just like how I imagined but… did they really have to inflat her bossom by 1-2 cup? I know she is well endowed, but it becomes almost as stupid as Natsuhi’s chest.

Rosa and Maria make their way to the chapel. Once inside, Rosa takes a gold ingot, but Maria is again creepily waiting impatiently for Beatrice and the Golden Land.
Rosa tries to know more from Maria, but it is useless since the little girl is frantically obsessed about the Golden Land.

Gremlin will really be Maria’s official nickname at this rate…
By the way, another poor quality job if you just focus on Rosa’s design, totally inconsistent between the sub scenes in mere seconds.

Back in the mansion, many guests were invited in the hall, all of them wearing goat masks. Genji is then introducing their host, the Golden Witch, Beatrice.
Beatrice then goes downstairs, but accompagnied with new furniture… and it is Battler, lifeless, stark naked and chained as if he was a pet.
Bernkastel is among the guests and can’t help but feel pity for Battler, leaving Beatrice to her “nice” hobby.

Midnight is coming closer and Beatrice is about to open the door of the Golden Land. However, Kinzo makes his entrance, zealously hoping for the Golden Land as well.
He is then suddenly attacked by the goat guests and devoured alive.
And soon enough, Battler shares the same fate…

Probably the scene I would complain the least: the banquet.
I didn’t expect them to let Bern’s little screentime, but it is sure a good way to hint few things. Meanwhile, I’m glad DEEN didn’t abuse the gore for Kinzo and Battler’s deaths. One thing though: Is Battler affected by denutrition or something? I mean he is supposed to be well built, but his body frame is super thin as seen in the last screenshot.
Also: please DEEN, you should realize blood CANNOT splat like this, unless the patient has an inhuman blood pressure… (I mean, it isn’t Mortal Kombat… people don’t become blood fountain).

In the rose garden, Rosa and Maria try to flee, but they are chased by Beatrice’s furniture. Maria stumbles midway, obviously leading to her being assaulted by a goat butler.
Without any delay, Rosa shot it down, prepared to defend Maria at all cost.
After erasing several goats, Rosa dashes towards the rest of them with the gold ingot, while Maria is reloading the rifle.
Once Maria is done, Rosa takes back the winchester and readies herself, facing countless goat butlers. In this desperate situation, Rosa wonders if Maria still wants to remain her, despite she is a bad mother. Of course, Maria is fine to remain by her side, which pumps Rosa up.

Probably one of the scenes most fans were looking forward the most. As far as I’m concerned, it is “cool” but nothing that godly either. Anyway, I’m fine with the time they allocated to it (though it is still kinda short). However, I’m just giving up about the emotion side: they just didn’t portray Rosa’s struggle about her “love” for Maria. Originally, she was carrying both gold and the gun, and only a few moments later, she realized herself that none of her hands was holding Maria, so she basically chose the gold over her own daughter, shaming herself.
The other issue is that the Goats really became cannon fodder. Ever since Kanon’s fight, they seem to vanish after the slightest damage, which just cheapen the struggle of the characters. Therefore, I couldn’t sense any tension or “life and death situation” mood: the execution was pretty dull on that aspect, so basically, even without any ammo, Rosa could simply swing wildly her ingot, and voila…
There was no need to keep the foutain pen first brawl thing, but showing goats as PROPER TANKS would really give an impending doom impression (goats can take injuries pretty well: they can stay still even after being shot 2-3 times, so long it isn’t their head). And without the whole “Maria or the gold?” or the ankle problem, it just looks like Rosa is about to have an endless frag score…

Despite these valiant efforts, both died.
In the Meta-world, Rosa is restrained by Beatrice, who is “rewarding” her for her efforts. However, as far as Beatrice seems to understand Rosa’s pain, she serves her with quite gruesome dishes: a wine made from Krauss’ blood, a salade with Eva’s tongue, a pie with Rudolf’s face skin and an apple baked pie with Maria’s head.
Much to her horror, Rosa is shocked to hear that Maria is wondering if she was in her mother’s way. Although Rosa assures it isn’t the case, Maria mentions she was in the way when her mother was with a man.
In a hysteric fit, Maria asks Rosa to eat her.

Beatrice asks Rosa to surrender, which the latter does immediately, tormented by such torture. Ecstatic, Beatrice savors her perfect victory.
However, much to her shock, Meta Battler appears, far from yielding to her. Even when his game self did surrender and he was on the verge on doing so, his soul was inspired by Rosa’s last ditch efforts to protect Maria. Hence, he declares he cannot surrender now. Beatrice is however fine by this and accept this challenge, once again.

While some people hated how Rosa Musou scene was watered down, I was particularly angered by this one:
I know they didn’t have time to show Rosa’s past, so even if it didn’t make much sense, it was fine to see Beatrice “feeding” Rosa with such gruesome dishes.
However, I was disgusted about what they have done to Maria. Instead of keeping her innocent and desperate attempt to be “useful” to her mother, they made her completely psycho with the “EAT ME!”, with the worst expressions she could ever have. Honestly, I couldn’t take this serious, it really made me wonder if they really just want to show Maria as a psycho girl, without some slight depth shown here and there.
If you are curious how it happened, Maria was actually with some goats. A bit like in the anime, she was wondering if was in the way etc. Rosa was still stuffed by the foul food but she struggled to say it wasn’t the case. So Maria was regretful and announced she is okay to be baked, saying in tears she is sorry for being born.
And in fact, it was Beatrice who said “baked apples and your daughter make the best dessert. You managed to raise such delicious ingredient. Aren’t you the best mother, Ushiromiya Rosaaaaaaa?!”. Then, Maria says “…..Mama, thanks for everything. Bye bye”.
I mean… for goodness’ sake… why? Why the hell? *sigh*
To twist the cruel fate even more, after Rosa surrendered, Beatrice was as ecstatic, but then orders her goats to bring Maria (in dessert of course)…

And then we have Battler… Okay, they kept his line but… Why didn’t they make him slamming Beatrice on the table?
I know this might sound like a little detail, but Meta Battler’s come back wasn’t that expected at that point and with this ridiculous torture, the whole retaliation was a big “FUCK YES!!!” moment. But here, Battler shows up like a smart ass… hah?

At least they finally used dread from the grave.

After the game, Beatrice is having some tea with Bernkastel. The Endless Witch wonders how the Witch of Miracles thought about this gameboard. Bernkastel shows no particular concern about this, mentioning how the game is boringly one sided. However, Beatrice takes it that Bernkastel implies she doesn’t have proper chance to win because of this. Bernkastel tries to play dumb but Beatrice is certain her opponent isn’t a mere observer. As Bernkastel doesn’t deny this, Beatrice is looking forward having Bernkastel as her opponent.
All of a sudden, another witch shows up in Beatrice’s tea parlor: the Witch of Certainty, Lambdadelta.
Still bitter about her loss during their previous game, Lambda sides with anyone who is Bernkastel’s opponent. Not bothered by this at all, Bernkastel has no choice but to go full force after being exposed.

Lambda’s introduction was poor: they just have shown her for the kicks, that’s it.
Cutting the ura tea party was a pretty bad move in my opinion: not only it doesn’t really give any impact (random new witch whatever), but it also shorten big time the “concepts” hints given by Bern. Thus, it is harder to make a theory regarding Beato’s goal and more importantly: her pattern.
Without Lambda’s comment, it isn’t anything easier either…
I don’t care if “niipah” wasn’t included, but the hints were as important as the red text.


Overal Thoughts:

Because the last 2 episodes were a bit too slow, this episode was really rushed. It is quite ironic that DEEN was crafty enough for the start of Episode 2, then just crumble everything by the end of it… complete opposite of Episode 1, may I say.
A barely average episode (6/10), considering how they just unable to give a proper pace, nor a good execution to the majority of the scenes.
Starting with Shannon and George was already bad, but being persistently one dimensional regarding this franchise will just pull misunderstanding regarding the genre of Umineko (a bit how Higurashi was plauged by “KILLER LOLIS” trend).

I hope they will find a compromise, because the next arc is my top favourite, so I might just do a mass slaughter should they screw up OTZ.

By the way, I didn’t forget about the analysis of Episode 2-5. In fact, because of time constraints and 2-5 being rather straightforward, I decided to do a double analysis entry, combining 2-5 and 2-6.

7 Responses to “Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Episode 2-6: Back Rank Mate”

  1. 1 Shikigami September 22, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Once again you are complaining about details.

    *Shannon’s barrier design – You didn’t expect it that way
    *The way Beatrice attack – You would like it done in other way
    *The time George had to say “I love you” – You wanted that to be in real time like 24, even when we are talking about one of the illusion scenes…
    *Battler drunkness – You wanted a full drunk Battler, even when in the anime is not even told that he was drinking alcohol
    *Beatrice Boobs – You don’t like boobs
    *Battler Body – You don’t like Battler’s thin body
    *Reducing the Rosa/Maria scene – You want a 200 episode anime with every detail
    *Maria telling Rosa to eat her – Because it never happened on the visual novel… OH WAIT, IT DID
    * Reducing the ???? scene – You want a 200 episode anime with every detail

    The only real points you have are the OBVIOUS continuity errors, and the anti-climatic return of Battler.

    But even those, you make it sound like if it is an actual rape of the original story, or are the kind of errors that no other than Studio Deen does.

  2. 2 klashikari September 22, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    And your point is? A blog cannot have details that don’t please the reviewer? give me a damn break.

    1) I didn’t say it was bad. It wasn’t what I expected, and so what? Did I say it was bad? no.
    2) Yes I wanted to have it in another way, so what? I do have expectations. Some anime watchers had expectations to have a mystery only plot and they complained about the magic scenes altogether despite they fail to see what Umineko is about.
    3) It is about common sense: are you telling me it is convincing that Beatrice prevents this while leaving a leeway for them? That’s nonsensical.
    4) The anime didn’t have the time, but implied completely it IS alcohol: the glass he was using is never used by Japanese unless it is for liquor, and this one is a damn high class to boot.
    Furthermore, his drunkness IS required or it won’t make sense later on.
    5) I’m sorry, but would you at least compare with Beatrice in Episode 2-1? Do you realize it is a production mistake? or are you implying that a variable bust size IS consistent and welcomed?
    6) It isn’t like I don’t like it, it is practical an issue in term of design.
    7) Oh sure, as if I wanted to see the fountain pen brawl fist etc… give me a break: I wanted 2 details at best, not the full 5 minutes of it.
    8 ) Do you know HOW Maria said it? She was in tears and total guilt. She was never going in psychotic mode, laughing at her own mother. It was Beatrice. Now, are you telling me it was really like this in the VN? Hell no. The content wasn’t the issue, it was the presentation.
    9) Hah? It takes 1 minute and I didn’t even care about the rest of the damn cut scenes. The problem with the tea party is the fact it is leaving out a lot of clues regarding Beatrice in term of “game rules”. It is much more important than portraying a lengthy scene about George and Shannon.

    Aside of few points that are MY personal take (which IS the aim of a blog) the major part IS pertinent.

    And the only “real” rape I see in this episode are Maria and the ura tea party (and it doesn’t even ruin the story, it upsets me, that’s a big difference). Also, did I ever mention that “only Deen can make such mistakes”? You are using a strawman argument again here.

    From my perspective, it seems you will ALWAYS complain to my points. You don’t have any problem with the anime adaptation? good for you, so how about leaving other people posting what they want? You aren’t even forced to read this.

    And by the way: I ranked 1-5 with a 9/10 despite they didn’t put ALL details: they kept the fundamental ones and I was satisfied with these. The same goes with the start of Episode 2. So would you please stop using these “critic” tainted goggles? Weirdly enough you don’t even post on my positive comments either.

  3. 3 Shikigami September 23, 2009 at 11:04 am

    You need also to study how Informal Fallacies Work, because that is not a straw man argument. I said “You make it sound like” I never said that YOU SAID only Deen does that kind of errors.

    Of course you have never said that, but the constant references to Studio Deen every time you want to complain about something is consistent in all your reviews.

    In the same way you are giving your opinion about the series on your blog, I’m giving my opinion of your review on the comment section.

    I don’t know you, but when I’m watching the Anime I’m not thinking about the differences between the visual novel, because the point of the adaptation is not to be a comparison of the visual novel, is to be an anime adaptation of the novel.

  4. 4 klashikari September 23, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Huh, except the fact you are interpretating my reviews with a comparison which is absolutely not the message I was conveying, which is falling within the misinterpretation of my position right here. You aren’t givin an assertion or a claim, but your comparison is enough in your attempt to just point fault at my reviews, despite you are basically not basing on the very opinion I have.

    Constant mention of the studio? Yes so, what I have to do to mention those who made the series? Nameless X?
    Funnily enough, I also use the name of studio in order to mention good things for most of my reviews (be it Deen for few instances, KyoAni for Clannad etc), likewise when something is wrong, production wise, it goes the same way (JC Staff for Shana II etc). So I fail to see how you can make such comparison, regarding the simple fact I mention the studio of the anime I’m watching. Worse: I didn’t even mention DEEN past series at all, and to mu knowledge, I didn’t bash them to death with my Higurashi reviews, despite I know how much they mangled things considering the VN.
    Now what, I need to mention the name of the animator? the director?

    As for your opinion, again the matter is actually the point of you posting: as much as I don’t care that much when people disagree with me (the usual entitled opinion and “agree to disagree”), it is rather dull and meaningless if I’m discussing with a wall/broken disc.
    Feel free to see these as “details”, but your interventions are more on the personal level, since, no matter how I backed my points in the review, you are barging here saying “just detail”. The matter regarding Maria is enough to get an idea: I did post the scene was remotely the same in content, but the execution wasn’t, yet you argued it was? Huh.

    And for your last point: did you again fail to see my point from the start? From the very beginning, I was always sorting 2 peculiar kind of comments: some personal preference and the fundamental points that were skipped. Did I always mentioned the meaningless details? Not even close, or at times, I even praise things they skipped considering the time constraint.
    I don’t know you either, but I’m here watching expecting an adaptation, and if I believe something was simply badly done with the premise of adapting a VN in an anime medium, I mention it, plain and simple.

    From the very first time, you were using a damn ad hominem, labeling me as an otaku, even putting a label of obsession without even knowing me IRL, then you are still bashing negative comments, when the minority of it are personal preferences, while the rest is plain observations and comparisons.
    If you disagree that much, why are you still reading? I will just the same kind of reasoning than you did then: you don’t see any fault in the show, so when you see someone pointing issues, you just say “they are just nitpicking”. Narrowminded conclusion isn’t it? Damn right. That said, it is obvious you aren’t sharing the same perspective, so how about give it a rest?

  5. 5 Shikigami September 23, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Oh god, you really like informal fallacies.
    I said “That’s why I don’t like Otakus”, that’s a fucking personal opinion. Why?
    Well, I’ve been living in japan for near 2 years and I’m really starting to hate all this “Wapanese” shit, because all the foreigners that go to japan for different reasons (Like myself, to fucking study) are treated as a fucking wapanese “Otaku”.
    That’s my personal experience, and I only made it clear, it was not an attack to make you look lower or make your arguments invalid (Like the informal fallacy dictates).

    I came to your page looking for a real profound analysis of Umineko no naku koro ni, and then I reed your review and I thought it was stupid, so why did I comment? AND WHY NOT?

    There is a comments section so I can comment, of course you can IP block me or simply block the whole comments section, or simply IGNORE ME if you believe that my arguments are “Personal Attacks” and stupid things like that, but you are still answering my comments and filling with raaaaage.

    That’s (In my point of view, so it is noooot an Ad hominem argument to your sensible eyes) TYPICAL of the otaku, you can take any kind of negative criticism of what you posted on the fucking internet for the whole world to see.

    Welcome to the Interwebz

  6. 6 klashikari September 23, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    It wasn’t an attack? So let me ask you this: why was it even mentioned? Do you know how negative it is interpreted considering how you were typing?
    And considering what other people answered as well, it seems it wasn’t only me who was considering it as an attack, but heh.

    You can comment, that’s why I didn’t even delete the comments, as a matter of freedom of speech and actual discussion. That is to say though, instead of disagreeing with my points, you are just lowering them as “always complaining, bla bla bla”. Filling with rage? You certainly don’t know me at all, since I was stating my stance you were criticizing. Would it be “rage”, I think I would simply nuke your comments altogether.
    And the purpose of answering? To make myself clear, since you were commenting like “this guy complain about Shannon’s barrier, he also nitpick on Maria’s scene despite there is no difference” etc. despite the points I was making. That is to say, since you even consider my explanations as “rage”, I guess no matter what I say, it will be rage right? (intended fallacy here)

    I assume you are implying I canNOT take any kind of negative critism, huh? Dear me, that’s quite the opposite, or I would drop many things, especially the translation project (considering how it was shunned a lot from its infant stage etc).
    Ah well, whatever.

  7. 7 Ceath September 24, 2009 at 11:51 am

    You should know better than to feed the troll, klashikari.

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September 2009



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