Casual reminder that Kinzo made a good chunk of his money off war profiteering, always nice.
"Tokyo made difficulties by telling Kinzo to return the land" yeah gee I wonder why the government wouldn't want one person owning that many explosives...
"None of our parents really know when his bizarre black magic hobby began." I'd say about, oh, 19 years ago, give or take.
Personally I fully support the theory that Maria's rose ended up getting used in Gohda's dessert. Dammit Gohda.
Kumasawa is specific about Shannon being the one given a break during the afternoon. Not sure if just standard politeness or whether she's making sure to inform Yasu which of her personas is getting the break. I'd lean toward the former, but the fact that Witch Hunt's translation specifies "Shannon-san" instead of "you" is a nice nod toward the possibility of the latter.
"I wonder where the border between child and adult is. I still don't feel as though I've grown up." This says a lot about Rosa, I think.
"For the sake of the beautiful family love of a daughter worried about her father's lifespan." Krauss sarcasm is the best sarcasm.
God, Eva's voice actor makes her sound even more sarcastic in this part, which I would not have thought was possible.
Natsuhi really should stop losing her temper at every slight, considering this whole conversation was pretty much nothing but slights; getting worked up over every single one doesn't help anything. Natsuhi may be much better at dealing with some things than Krauss is, but Krauss is obviously the more adept one in this situation.
Krauss you really shouldn't be such a dick to your wife.
Epitaph on the Portrait
Interesting that Kinzo's wife was the one who started the rumors about a witch, apparently. I wonder if it was intended as a jab at Kinzo, saying his mistress was an evil witch?
At least Battler does figure out that being an ass to Maria about Beatrice's existence makes him, well, an ass. You don't tell a little kid Santa isn't real, Battler, geez.
And Shannon ~just happens~ to show up while they're talking about Beatrice. Were you listening from around the corner, Shannon.
It is really funny to me that Krauss is insisting the gold doesn't exist and Eva is insisting he's just trying to keep it all for himself, because that's exactly what's happening.
"That portion makes me so grateful I could cry." Did I mention Krauss is the best at sarcasm.
"As long as you don't do anything significantly obvious, we don't plan to do aggravate anything." So just don't fuck up and you can totally get away with embezzling from our dead father and while telling us he's still alive, it's cool!
"I am incompetent, and my business skills and sense are dull." Krauss is turning their own insults toward him to his advantage this is a thing of fucking beauty.
"If you're still set on relying on your older brother, you can use my influence to find a sponsor. ......Oh wait, you already said that I have no influence. Well then, I can't do anything, can I?"
I must admit I have no goddamn clue what's supposed to be going on with Kanon and Kinzo's conversation here. Aside from more exposition about how magic works. But seriously why is Kinzo being all nice and helpful and offering candy in Kanon's projection of him??
"Kinzo-san might rudely abuse his children, but he may also hope that the siblings repair their relationship." And Genji doesn't even dignify this with a response because seriously, Nanjo? Seriously?
Battler being so into solving the epitaph must just be horribly depressing for Yasu. Because this is, y'know, what they did together, except now he's totally forgotten all about her and is enjoying it off on his own without any acknowledgement it was ever a thing they did.
"To the contrary, it seemed like she was having fun joining in on the conversation with people of a similar age." YEAH BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT SHE USED TO DO CHRIST BATTLER STOP
Shannon's troll contributions to the puzzle-solving are pretty awesome though.
And then Battler said she was his rival in puzzle-solving stoooooooop
I am now pondering the treasures of the Golden Land in the epitaph from Kinzo's perspective. They're fairly clear in Yasu's: winner get the gold, anyone that died in the roulette comes back, Battler and Beatrice (Yasu) are in love again, and the witch Beatrice goes to sleep because Yasu doesn't need her anymore. Kinzo's version I guess it would be you become the heir, Beatrice (unclear which one) is revived, the "resurrection of the lost love" takes place (unclear if Kinzo/Bice or Kinzo apologizing to Lolitrice), and then Beatrice goes back to sleep because her role is done and Kinzo can die in peace. That one is less clear and requires more guesswork... and also why does it specify everyone being revived when the only one who needs to be is Beatrice?
"To Maria, a witch was a unique concept, an embodiment of the magical dream that so captivated her. As she grew up, this was the last thing that gave richness to her dull and plain everyday life. That is why Maria believed in witches." This is a lovely bit of description for Maria, and also oddly accurate considering this is Battler narrating. I think you slipped into omniscience for a minute there, Yasu.
Shannon is having so much fun telling the ghost story about Beatrice, it is completely adorable.
Interesting that Kanon's the one Shannon claims has seen the butterflies; nothing about whether she has.
Okay did that servant who insulted Beatrice actually fall down the stairs by accident? Is this ever explained? I feel like Kumasawa also mentions it later but I cannot recall the details.
Dammit Gohda why you cook Maria's rose
I can see why Maria's mad here -- she knows where the rose was, and what she's saying is something weird has happened and it's not there anymore. So by insisting that she's just looking in the wrong place everyone else is kind of treating her like a moron, while also completely misunderstanding what she's trying to say and not even stopping to think that that's what they're doing. I'd be pissed off too.
Rosa yelling at Maria not to say "uu-uu" and Maria responding by saying it over and over again is depressing as fuck once you know what it means. Just. aaaaaaaaaaaa
Okay I know some people have given George and Jessica crap here for not doing anything while Rosa beats up Maria, but... Honestly, watching the scene again even Battler's interference really comes off as him meddling in something he knows nothing about. The way Rosa explodes on him followed by George's explanation of the situation makes it extremely clear there was background he knew nothing about, and he rushed in and gave his uninformed opinion anyway. To Rosa he looks like a condescending ass, and it just sets her off even more. I mean, obviously what Rosa is doing here is fucking terrible, but I think George and Jessica's reactions are because they realize there's more to the situation than what they've seen, so wading into it when they don't know all the details will just make everything worse. And honestly short of physically stopping Rosa there's nothing they can do; the adults completely view them as children, not adults on equal footing, so their opinions aren't going to mean shit to any of them. All of their reactions show them reading the situation as "Well this is completely awful but there's not anything we can realistically do about it, so trying to interfere is just going to make it even worse." In which case, there's really nothing to do but leave. The reasoning George actually gives for leaving is complete bullshit, but the narrative knows it's bullshit -- "Because we thought that George-aniki's point was probably correct... we were fine with using that correct-sounding reason to justify retreating as long as it would ease the pain in our chests." The whole scene is supposed to read as incredibly uncomfortable and awkward and not have any kind of obvious resolution, so I think criticizing the cousins for their actions here is really missing the point of what the scene was about.
Since there's no one else present with Kinzo here I'm assuming the scene with him is Yasu's narrative way of saying LET THE GAMES BEGIN, especially since he's talking about setting off the roulette and that's exactly what she's doing by giving Maria the letter.
Letter and Umbrella
This is a good place to note that I really, really love how Rosa is written. She is obviously a terrible parent and incredibly flawed as a person, but that doesn't mean she doesn't also love Maria dearly and realize that how she treats her is wrong. Her character is always portrayed as complex and somewhat contradictory, which makes her seem more like an actual person than a stock abusive mother figure. It's really impressive just from a writing perspective, especially considering I've seen similar characters written very badly. (I will never not bitch at Sharin no Kuni for this, okay. It felt like the author was going for a similar dynamic with Kyouko and Touka, but it was just so badly done that the characters came off as shallow and unlikeable rather than believeable and intriguing the way they do in Umineko.)
Also, related to the point about George and Jessica's reactions above, they've probably seen Rosa do this kind of thing before and realize how broken up she is about it afterward. So they'd know that even if they stepped in and said what she was doing was wrong, she already knows that. The problem is her really complicated feelings toward Maria and difficulty restraining her own emotions, so reasoning with her to stop like Battler was trying to do wouldn't actually work anyway. And George and Jessica would know that even when Battler doesn't. Maybe they've tried to stop her before and already realized it doesn't help, so they've given up because what the fuck else are they supposed to do.
Also note how Rosa totally could have gone off at Maria again about her insisting the umbrella is from Beatrice, since she's obviously angry about it, but she already feels horrible for what she did earlier and Maria really needs to be dried off so she doesn't get sick from being soaking wet and she's just tired of this whole thing and it'll be easier to ask everyone else at dinner in five minutes. The sheer amount of characterization you can see in Rosa in this scene is amazing.
.........I'm honestly not even that interested in Rosa as a character but I really like how these scenes are written, okay
I like how Rosa even suggests that maybe Kanon gave Maria the umbrella on his way to the guesthouse. Which is quite possibly what happened (that or Yasu left to do it sometime during the period she was supposed to be preparing rooms with Kumasawa), and Kanon's not even here to refute it, but the way the game presents it you don't even really consider it as an option.
Krauss's really sarcastic response to Maria's insistence that Beatrice gave her the umbrella is pretty gross, though. If you want to mock Rosa, fine, but don't make Maria part of it.
"We're talking about Maria here, so I can't think of it as some kind of metaphor or joke. ...It might be best to take what she says at face value." the game is not even being that subtle about telling you the answer to this one
Okay but Genji, Kumasawa, Shannon, and Kanon all standing around debating if Kinzo gave Maria the umbrella is just fucking hilarious on so many levels, I can't even
"Genji-san, the women are in the middle of an important job, so please don't get in their way." Okay it is theoretically possible that Gohda just lumped Kanon in with Genji and that's why he didn't mention him here, but more likely this is intended as a BIG GIANT HINT about Yasu and Gohda's knowledge of her, and somehow most people don't even notice because Ryukishi just sneaks it in there so well. Goddammit Ryukishi.
Considering the whole point of wax seals is to prove who a letter is from, the fact that the adults insist the seal can't be used as proof is kind of funny here. On the other hand, they're not wrong; Krauss's suggestion that someone faked the seal isn't unreasonable given that the adults would have had access to other letters sealed by Kinzo.
It says a lot about Maria's interests that she has trouble with the word "messenger" but she can read off this whole letter and all its big words with no problem. She totally knows all the words about witches and alchemists, those are cool words. (Though I wonder about things like "accumulated interest." Did Beatrice put furigana in this letter so Maria could read it properly.)
Krauss and Natsuhi are freaked out about the ring because even they didn't know where it was, and Nanjo's just like "Hm well I guess it was missing when we were playing chess earlier" and Natsuhi's just like GODDAMMIT NANJO WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON HERE