luciferous: (umineko; 全て赦す魔法へと変えよう)
Relle ([personal profile] luciferous) wrote2013-12-11 10:00 pm

Umineko Episode 1: Chapters 8-12

Legend of the Gold

  • Considering it's pretty clear Jessica already knows her parents are hiding Kinzo's death, you'd think she would've already been disillusioned about her parents' greed; her reaction here seems a little odd. My guess would be that Krauss and Natsuhi didn't tell her the whole truth about why his death had to be kept secret -- if they phrased it as something like "We need to do this for a year or two to protect our family from the horribleness that will ensue when the others find out he's dead", and didn't go much detail about the financial aspects, I can see Jessica reluctantly agreeing to go along with it. In that case her reaction here would make sense, because she would realize that the money was mostly likely a much bigger motivation for the whole charade than she was led to believe, and that her parents at least partially lied to her and she's been helping them this whole time without knowing the whole situation. That would be a much bigger realization than what George and Battler are going through, so of course her reaction is more extreme.

  • Kyrie seems to be the only one approaching this from the right angle -- rather than argue about who "really" gave Maria the letter, it's better to assume it really was "Beatrice" and work from there to figure out who this Beatrice is. But of course she's barely allowed to participate in the conversation, and as she points out, the adults have already scared Maria off, so no one can ask her more helpful questions.

  • So when I made my boyfriend play this he absolutely hated Kyrie's argument here, because he found it flawed -- she claims a 19th person couldn't actually profit from Beatrice being revealed in such a showy fashion, so Beatrice has to be one of the 18. And this isn't actually true at all: "Beatrice" obviously knows a good bit about the family, so she'd know that none of them trust each other, and that an unknown person delivering a letter like that would set them all each other's throats. If Beatrice really was a 19th person who'd come to the island for some nefarious purpose, the chaos that would ensue from all the adults being pitted against each other would be highly beneficial to her. If she'd just revealed herself directly, the adults would form a united front against her and make it harder to accomplish whatever she came to do; if she makes the adults suspicious of each other first, they won't be able to truly unite against her, and she'll have a lot more wiggle room to accomplish things in. At the moment Kyrie has no real justification for discarding this theory in favor of saying Beatrice is one of the 18, so even though she does admit her logic has potential flaws, the fact that she insists this theory is probably correct makes no sense.

  • And Rudolf is completely convinced Kyrie is going to murder him when he tells her the truth about Battler. Man knows his wife well.

  • "If you ask me, romance novels have much deeper mysteries than masterpiece mystery novels." Kyrie knows what's up

  • Natsuhi catches on that it was probably a servant that gave Maria the letter, but considering she knows perfectly well Kinzo's been dead for two years, the rest of her narration here doesn't make a lot of sense. I guess maybe she's assuming one of the servants loyal to Kinzo did it to undermine Krauss?

  • jesus Krauss why are you suck a dick to your wife

  • And the fact that Natsuhi's upset that Krauss didn't trust her rather than anything having to do with the gold directly just shows you where her priorities are. Natsuhi is probably the most actually family-oriented person in this game.

  • And then Natsuhi and Jessica awkwardly fumble around trying to show concern for each other in a way that is both depressing and adorable, and shows you a lot about what their overall relationship is like. They do care about each other and try to show it, but they're not very good at getting their intentions across. So they end up disliking each other because they don't understand the extent of the other's feelings for them.

  • Rosa really does feel bad about all the crap Maria got from the adults, so she at least wants to make sure she's with the rest of the cousins in the guesthouse where it's actually pleasant.

  • I wonder how much Shannon's boobs were actually up against George's arm, or if Battler was exaggerating to lighten the atmosphere. I hope you've got your padding or breastforms or whatever you're using secure in there, Yasu, it'd be a problem if they got nudged out of place or George noticed they felt off.

  • So Krauss shoved all the servants close to Kinzo to the guesthouse for the night so they wouldn't cause problems. I wonder who has the final say in the schedule? I'd assume Natsuhi is nominally in charge of it but usually delegates to Genji, which is how he rigs the schedule so Shannon and Kanon don't have shifts at the same time. There's no real reason for Krauss to concern himself with it normally, so I guess he really is that suspicious of them.

  • Hm. The only way this scene makes any sense as written is if Yasu is actually standing there talking to herself, which is silly. Genji specifically refers to Kanon when he speaks up, though, even though Shannon was the one who came in, and Genji clearly hears the part about the cousins inviting Shannon to play cards. He says they should both go play cards, which is obviously impossible, so really this whole scene seems to be a narrative conceit. I am curious how it actually played out logistically; it's never explained how quickly Yasu switches personas or if she switches them in front of people like Genji who already know about it, and I would find this super interesting so I kind of wish we could see it sometimes.

  • Heh, and George asks Shannon if she's saved up a lot of money being at Rokkenjima so long. IF ONLY YOU KNEW, GEORGE.

  • Okay I will admit George is kind of condescending in this bit. Don't tell Shannon how she should be living her life, George.

  • "She hadn't been able to doubt her way of life, and since she never had any hope or goal to change herself, she had continued her life of idleness. ...And if she were asked whether this life was satisfying... she wouldn't have been able to nod..."

  • Shannon being too timid to drop the -sama by her own and thus rather obviously hinting at George that he should order her to to make it easier for her: cute! Shannon throwing in that she has to obey orders because she is furniture: ow no my heart

  • George using the same logic so she stops flailing about the ring and takes it: also cute. George not using this logic to get her to actually wear the ring because he's worried she might really do it just to obey him: yes good George is a good person.

  • And then Yasu promptly freaks out and flees. Poor Yasu, she knew this was going to happen but that doesn't stop it from still sucking massively.

Night of the Storm


  • This chapter is stupidly short, but I am fond of it anyway because the ending does a really good job establishing atmosphere.

  • And I am extremely suspicious about where Nanjo was at midnight, considering he's shown with just a black screen. What are you up to, Nanjo.

The Six Chosen by the Key


  • Poor Natsuhi, her idea of "something bad happening" is breakfast getting screwed up and the other adults mocking her for it. She was not prepared for this day at all.

  • Since reading the Episode 8 manga, whenever I see Natsuhi's door covered in blood I can't not think of the manga's explanation of how it got there. Because it is just too amazing to forget.

  • Also Natsuhi says she "has a pretty good idea" who's responsible for the door, so I am assuming she thinks Eva did it because Eva is a dick.

  • God Eva's voice actor is perfect. I want to punch her every time she talks, it's beautiful.

  • And Hideyoshi and Eva are most likely already in on it at this point, so of course they're not that concerned about everyone being missing, they already know what's up. And of course they immediately suggest maybe everyone's in the study, because dicks.

  • I kind of wonder what Genji's actual motive for giving Natsuhi the key to the study was.

  • Maria's method of waking people up is BEST METHOD.

  • I really do love the scene with Natsuhi in Kinzo's study, even if it's horribly depressing. It is ridiculously obvious how much Natsuhi cares about the Ushiromiya family and how hard she works, and she just wants someone to acknowledge the amount of shit she's going through to hold everything together as well as she is. Even just imagining getting this kind of acknowledgment from Kinzo is enough to strengthen her nerve to the point where she can completely shut down Eva's attempt to mock her.

  • I am assuming Kanon and Genji got Eva and Hideyoshi alone outside to make sure they understood what they were supposed to do for the upcoming reveal.

  • Even though there's a very pointed reason Hideyoshi needs to keep George away from Shannon's body, the way he does it really is heartwarming; it's not like he's just lying to keep George away, he is genuinely trying to reassure him and make him feel less shitty about his fiancee being dead. Even though he probably doesn't think Shannon is really dead at all.

  • And Shannon is really dead, even if her body isn't there, so I wouldn't say it's even that much of a lie. The only reason her body isn't lying there exactly the way Hideyoshi describes is because she doesn't have a body of her own to put there. Which is also why Kanon really is trying not to cry over there. Even if they're just personas, she's still his sister and she's still dead, and Kanon's the only one there who can even appreciate the full extent of what that means here.

Curtain-rise on Tragedy

  • I wonder if the radio is actually broken or if Genji is just a lying liar who lies.

  • At least with Kinzo "vanishing" from the study, Team Natsuhi doesn't have to work so hard to keep people from getting in there. Totally safe to just let Eva waltz in now.

  • I wonder if it's actually true Shannon wouldn't have died if George hadn't proposed to her that night. I assume the reason the incident had to happen because Battler came back that particular year was because that was the year George was proposing; Episode 7 says it wouldn't have happened if Battler had come back a year earlier or later. So if George didn't propose at this conference and waited until the next one, wouldn't that be the same as Battler coming back a year earlier, and thus avoiding the incident?

  • Eva is hinting pretty hard here. Her logic about why the culprit is probably a servant is sound, though, so it's not like it's an unreasonable conclusion to come to.

  • "and scribble that disgusting makeup on their faces" yeah Eva definitely doesn't think they're really dead.

  • Of course Battler's logic about the servants not being the culprits because it's way too obvious isn't wrong either. Someone who plans out a mass murder and reveal setup that that complex isn't going to do something dumb like make the corpse discovery location be somewhere only they can enter. And he figures out that there's a decent chance Eva and Hideyoshi are involved in the crime somehow.

  • Poor Battler, you're never going to get anywhere with chess theory.

  • Maria really does know a lot of big words for a nine-year-old. I guess spending half your time studying weird magical texts gives you a good vocabulary.

  • But did you check the bullets in the gun, Natsuhi, that's the important part here.

  • I do like the focus in the early episodes that Battler has to decide if Beatrice is a 19th person or if she's one of the 18, and has conflicting feelings on that -- because he doesn't want to believe in magic, but he doesn't want to think one of his relatives is a rampaging murderer, either. It's not really part of the solving process, but it does address the overall theme of using magic to cover up the ugly parts of things.


  • It's interesting that Kanon is the one asking why Beatrice had to choose Shannon for her roulette, and Genji is the one insisting it was simply luck. It's the first sign we get in this episode that Kanon is really not happy with Yasu's plans.

  • Really Kanon is the persona most accepting of the current status quo -- he doesn't like it, but he doesn't actively try to go against it the way Shannon and Beatrice do. So in theory he'd be the one that wants Beatrice's plan to succeed the least.

  • I assume there was coaching at some point for this whole "Beatrice has no human form" thing Kumasawa and Genji are expositing here.

  • Kanon mentions there was a servant who was injured chasing after the butterflies, which is not quite the same as Shannon's story from earlier...

  • And they're all just staring at a spot behind Battler to fuck with him, aren't they.

  • I do rather like the explanation of Maria's "dual personality" here, though it's obviously not entirely accurate because you really have to consider the abuse angle when analyzing Maria's behavior. And I know fandom loves to push this as the "YASU DOESN'T HAVE DID" conversation, but a lot of it doesn't seem quite right for Yasu, either; George seems to be saying that kids act this way to impress other kids, but that's not really what happened with Yasu. Shannon and Kanon certainly weren't created due to other people, and while Beatrice does have an element of being more powerful than other people, I feel like Yasu mostly developed her as a persona as a way to make herself feel more powerful, with the other being a more secondary effect.

  • "...they always project an image of their ideal imagination, and it's not that rare for the image of their desire to become an alternate personality." This bit is nice though.

  • Interesting that Eva is always the one to insist there is no 19th person, while Natsuhi's always the one to insist there must be. Natsuhi is a lot more trusting of this family than Eva is...

  • They are comparing Beatrice to God. Well then.

  • Battler's logic here is quite good. If Beatrice was really a 19th human who wanted to prove she existed, it makes no sense to commit the crime in a period where there are plenty of people without good alibis. "So by killing them in the middle of the night, when everyone's alibis were at their most ambiguous, whether or not this 19th person exists was also at its most ambiguous." Setting the crime then makes it look like the criminal is one of the 18, but all of Beatrice's other actions make it look like she's a 19th person wanting to reveal herself. Since the answer is of course that both are technically true, this is a very good train of logic for Battler to be on.

  • And George correctly figures out that the reason everyone isn't being killed all at once is so there's time for someone to solve the epitaph and stop the roulette. You're all doing so well!

  • And then they all immediately assume that obviously Beatrice is after the gold. Goddammit. YOU HAVE NO PROOF OF THIS.

  • Hm, Natsuhi's had the key to the study this whole time...

  • And now Eva's bit with the receipt. Eva's only goal here seems to be to prove that Kinzo is dead and Natsuhi has been lying about it, rather than anything supporting Yasu's plan. Especially considering Natsuhi has the gun, the whole situation seems like it's causing far more conflict than was planned for at this stage. Kanon and Genji are both obviously trying to get Eva and Natsuhi to stop, as well, so this obviously isn't what they want. In short, Eva is fucking things up rather than being a good accomplice here.

  • Battler's counterargument about how Kinzo could've been hiding under the bed or something is obviously wrong, but it does point out a valid flaw in Eva's insistence that Natsuhi is the culprit. Considering he then goes on to point out that Eva and Hideyoshi have no alibi for the murders the previous night, and that Eva is the one inheriting the entire fortune at this point and therefore profits immensely from all the others being dead... It's very easy to write Eva off as the villain here and ignore the valid points she does make, which is likely what Ryukishi was going for. Because in the end, of course, Eva is actually the one who's right -- Natsuhi is lying about seeing Kinzo that morning, and that's an important hint in uncovering the truth about what's going on with Kinzo.

  • It's just, y'know, not related to Yasu's plan at all, so I can't imagine she's too happy about this whole thing. At least Battler is using his brain?

  • And then Jessica's asthma attack defuses the whole argument. Go Jessica.

  • Considering they have a serial murderer on the loose, Eva and Hideyoshi going off on their own really is pretty stupid. Eva obviously realizes the danger to at least some extent, considering she freaks out when George says he wants to stay with the others, but she doesn't seem at all worried about herself or Hideyoshi even though they're the ones putting themselves in the most danger by leaving the safety of the group. Really, I'd say this is one of the strongest signs that they're both in on it by now, because you'd expect Eva to be more intelligent than this.

  • Mention of Gaap!

  • The whole 19 > X > 18 thing isn't a bad representation of what's happening, actually; the numbers are wrong, but the idea that someone could count as an "integer", less than a full person, is pretty important for understanding the truth in the end.