WARNING – this thread contains full series spoilers AND for Tsubasa and Hane
After EP8 came out years ago, I was left with big dissatisfaction back then. A lot of things irritated me – it felt like the “style” of that episode was different. Unlike Umineko until now, where all sides were very “gray” and you could feel like there isn’t a necessary “right and wrong”, EP8 puts us with a very solid “good side” and “bad side”. Ange is presented as stubborn girl who refuses magic and wants to know who the real culprit is, while Battler is the kind sorcerer trying to hide the truth with magic.
…Sounds familiar isn’t it? Ange stands exactly in Battler’s place, but is presented as “not okay”. Battler on other hand, is presented as a “shounen hero”, and of course, the ending where Tohya is getting redeemed even in front of the sister he abandoned.
This brought me to question how “reliable” EP8 is. Is there any reason for me to think it’s the highest meta, or perhaps, it’s a forgery as well?
In here I’m going to present some evidence about EP8 being a forgery, question the place of the “Meta world” in Umineko’s universe, and I will refer a bit to the title “Beatrice” as well and something it could mean in the Umineko universe which I like to think about very much!
For all we know, from the manga too, it goes like this:
EP1-2, were original stories by Yasu, found in bottle messages. They were presented more or less “as is” when they were found.
EP3-4 were also Yasu’s, but Ikuko and Tohya found it and made few changes, mainly with Eva surviving and the information received from outside prime (such as Ange’s prefence and her life).
From this point, we already don’t have Yasu’s prefence anymore. Both EP5-6 are forgeries by Ikuko and Tohya TOGETHER. They based it on the ship Erika was on and added a new character in. I believe that in both EP5 and EP6 there was a similiarity in the beginning and the basic of it!
As Erika arrived, something immediately changed. Yasu understood that if she’ll make her mystery as planned, Battler’s role will be stolen away by Erika, and he won’t be able to save her as she hoped, and she decides to abandon her mission (she has a double reason in EP5 when the gold is found).
In EP5, after the gold is found, she decides that since they have an arrogant detective around, she offers the cousins to play a funny prank, and make a murder mystery to make fun of Erika (hence the fake killing on the first twililght). On the way she makes sure it looks like Natsuhi is accused and like this she can be a bit cruel to her as a revenge for her act 19 years ago )which is why this one lacks love – the motive Yasu has inside is not out of love, but out of revenge).
After the prank starts something goes off, and later on, a murder really happens (probably Kyrie murders them after they escape the room, it was said in red that after their death the corpses were not moved. So basically it was:
fake murder -> go away ->get killed for real
EP5 began as a fake murder as well.
In EP6 we know that it was a fake murder, and the reason was the same. But Erika wasn’t a sucker this time and make sure they’re dead, and like this broke the board, especially since she killed Kyrie, which makes the board impossible to continue anyway.
Then, after EP5-6 something happened - Ikuko found “Our Confessions” Yasu wrote (her entire story), and ALSO had Eva’s diary, meaning - Ikuko had the entire truth.
She took all of it, and wrote EP7. She gave us specific parts of Our confessions, and parts of the truth, but without revealing everything. It explains two things in EP7:
- Battler’s absence (writing it without Tohya)
- Episode literally “dedicated to Featherine” by Bern inside the story.
- The different “aura” in EP7 and the insight received in it.
But then Tohya, furious about her publishing it without his permission, writes EP8 alone. (which is my theory)
I believe that EP8 is not the Meta, but another forgery. EP8 is very different, and makes Battler a very “strong good great protagonist”. As I mentioned - EP8 has a very specific view on who’s good and who’s bad from Battler’s eyes. Unlike Yasu or Ikuko who write stories where all sides are “gray”, Tohya write a black-white stories, where Battler is the heroine, and OP and shounen character, and in the end “he” even meets Ange and everything is good.
But I don’t believe so, Perhaps EP8 is not the “end”, but simply another forgery.
Aside for the "style, another things that backs it up the most is Black Battler’s extra tip,
Despite B.Battler being denied in EP8 (because it haunts Tohya, so he denies it in it – Tohya doesn’t want to think about him being part of the murders.), in the forgery, Black Battler laughs at Tohya directly saying he cannot be denied and still lives on.
Also, BlackBattler and Ronove speak of their last “game” in EP8 (Bern’s gameboard), about Land and Trinity (two episodes we don’t know about, aside for Land being Yasu’s, most likely) which means the extra tip arrived after EP8, AKA, EP8 was also a tale told, not the highest meta level!
EP1-2 - bottle messages by Yasu
EP3-4 bottle messages by Yasu that were published by Ikuko/Tohya as theirs with changes.
EP5-6 - Ikuko+Tohya
EP7 - Ikuko alone
EP8 - Tohya alone
That explains a lot of the “changing auras” and style of EP7 and EP8 mainly (as well as EP5-6), and even questions whether “the meta world” represents the real world, or perhaps, like in Black Battler forgery, the higher meta is above “our world” and is amused by the forgeries written on them, making their “existence” stronger.
Of course, we can claim the Black Battler’s forgery is Ikuko answering once again to Tohya’s EP8. It makes fun of him and of him escaping the truth by sweetening it up in his “final tale to Ange” (which is also interesting), shoving the hard truth back at him, and calling out to “never bore us” and to not let the tale rest just yet. I think looking at this like that can be really interesting.
As for Beatrice’s title:
A small thing that came while I was brainstorming this theory, is about “Beatrice’s role in the story” and how people inherit it:
Beatrice (Yasu) had the role of hiding the truth from Battler. She was trying to protect Battler from the cruel truth of prime (Kyrie and Rudolf killing everyone), concealing it with magic.
Eva Beatrice mainly existed to protect Ange from the same said truth, taking the blame on herself (like Beatrice) in order for Ange to live away from the truth.
- Battler as Beatrice tried to hide the truth from people who was seeking to rip the box apart, as well as Ange in the last episode.
- And then we have Ange, the last Beatrice, who conceals the truth from no one but herself. Which is why she’s the last Beatrice.
But perhaps Battler as “Beatrice” can also hide the truth from another person? Tohya, perhaps? Just like AngeBeatrice protects it from itself, Battler as a golden sorcerer seeks to lock the box and put it away and let it rest, because Tohya himself seeks to move on and separate himself from Battler. It will explain the “doubling” of the protection Ange has, although Ange lives in the future while Battler is gone (although Tohya does exist, which makes it interesting again).
It’s a little messed up because it’s a really old theory I had, but I tried to arrange it together so I can post it here for a discussion! I just enjoy challenging the “end” Ryukishi presented us, and put in question whether it really was a closure or not
(I’m just not over Umineko yet)