Umineko Episode 1 Spoiler-Free General

Spoiler-free general discussion topic for Episode 1: Legend of the Golden Witch of Umineko When They Cry. Episode 1 refers to volumes 1 and 2 of the manga, and episodes 1-5 of the anime series.

In the interests of protecting those who are reading Umineko for the first time, any references to events that happen later in the story are strictly forbidden. We take spoilers very seriously, and ignoring this rule could potentially result in a ban.

While this topic will serve as a general hub for discussion of the Episode, if a conversation ends up flowing in a certain direction (eg. You start talking about the series as a whole rather than this particular Episode), don’t be afraid to continue it in your own topic! Keep the “reply as linked topic” button beside each post in mind.

This topic also served as a discussion hub of our Umineko Tea Party, culminating in our podcast below.

What would you rate this Episode?

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0 voters


Some people say this episode is slow to start, but I feel like it’s an excellent introduction to the world of Rokkenjima. Unlike Higurashi, the slice of life elements are a bit more spread out in Umineko, and the heavy majority of it happens in this episode. Instead of having a picnic with cute girls and batsu games, we get the cousins talking on the beach and… the parents arguing over inheritance. Once you see everyone begin to get so heated over this concern, you realise that this isn’t just going to be a fun vacation on a private island.

And then the murders begin, and things get really heavy. This episode takes all the time it needs to really hammer in the impact of our casts’ deaths. If you’ve listened to the PS3 voices, the screams and howls they give when the characters discover their loved ones’ bodies are bone chilling, seriously amazing. And the music takes an incredible turn as well that really captures the sudden change in atmosphere. God damn the music! But I really appreciate how much time they give the characters to grieve, before moving into survival mode. Maybe it’s only something you only really see once, but I’m glad they gave it the proper amount of time here.

What Episode 1 is great at is establishing the atmosphere of the murders. It really puts you in the shoes of the victim unlike any other, and the building suspense as the clock ticks closer to midnight is very powerful. In the end though, much like Higurashi, this Episode is meant to leave the reader with lots and lots of questions, and very few answers. And I can certainly appreciate it for that.

But why the hell are they all alive now? And why is Beatrice showing up?? What’s going on???


I definitely agree that Episode 1 has a rather unique feeling to it in the context of Umineko. And in the grand scheme of things, I’d say this episode was absolutely necessary to have. Here, nothing exists outside of the story we’re reading through. It really helps us empathize with the characters as they find themselves in this screwed up situation.

And then the Tea Party happens and Umineko becomes Umineko. That Tea Party is still one of my overall favorite moments in the entire story. That moment when I realized that this was going to be a very different story than I’d anticipated coming from Higurashi.

I seem to be in the minority when I say I actually didn’t mind the pacing at all. It was clear something was building up and that the things that were shown to me most likely contained some pretty important clues so I was engaged all the way. The only time it dragged a little was in the very beginning, up until they reach Rokkenjima. Not too big a fan of “Doorway to Summer” playing for so long. Though on that note, the soundtrack is overall pretty amazing, especially on the second day. Umineko does tense music so damn well, it’s something I really wish Higurashi did a bit better.

The progression on the second day worked pretty well. Battler has time to grieve but soon finds himself wondering about who would do such a horrible thing and the mystery aspect starts getting pushed along. And every time things are winding down a bit and we spent some time thinking, something new happens and we’re forced out of our small comfort zone all over again. I guess it becomes predictable in that regard, but it doesn’t need to do anything else at this point since it’s still engaging regardless. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

I do find it hilarious how screamingly obvious it all is once you know what’s going on. Well that’s a mystery for you. As with all the Umineko question arcs, it’s so much fun to reread and have all the pieces click into place at last.


I actually see far more complaints about episode 4’s pacing than episode 1’s. That said I had no problems with the pacing of either. Episode 1 lays the foundation for the rest of the series and doing things the way it did was absolutely necessary. It’s only because episode 1 introduced all the major elements of the gameboards that the rest of the episodes were able to shift away and show us the world above. It gives us a grounded perspective as well as the template for the games and something to compare and contrast the later episodes with.

Something I think Episode 1 does very right, that I don’t think a lot of people properly appreciate, is how well it introduces the cast.

Even before anyone has even died, these characters all have character - there’s more character substance going around at that point already, than some stories take their entire length to reach. They have personalities, relationships, motivations and motives, and with how much it establishes here, I’m actually more impressed with how comparably short it is than annoyed by the length.


Couldn’t agree more. Add to that the fact that it’s a larger and more diverse cast than most VNs (despite most of the characters being family) and it’s pretty easy to see you’re in for a treat.

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Umineko Episode 1 Spoilers General Discussion

Okay! Day 1 with the Steam release, I’ve read up to the start of the beach scene. Really psyched to get invested in the world of Umineko once more. I was questioning the new sprites at first, but after taking the time to get to know them, I’ve really come to like them a lot! I might even prefer them to all the alternatives. On the technical side they feel like they have a lot more physical depth compared to the flat looks of the PC and PS3 sprites. They also look a lot more stylised compared to the clean, anime look of the PS3 sprites. I dunno the word, maybe gritty? Sure, the gigantic boobs are a bit excessive, but the sprites do a great way of not making the characters feel too pretty. The adults all have very weary expressions that show their scars of maturity. Eva’s face exudes a certain bitterness that she’s acquired in her years, and Krauss! Krauss looks quite different now, but he really gives off that air of excessive pride that really suits his character. But it’s not just the adults; Maria’s new sprite really seems to suit her. I’m not sure how just yet, but, it does!

Also, HD is wonderful, I’m so glad we broke out of that tiny window! And the ability to switch between Japanese and English on the fly is very, very appreciated! I’m sure that must’ve taken some hard work to get going. Now people can double-check translations of problematic lines to see what was actually being written in the original text. I’m sure lots of people will come to appreciate that in the future.

Side note: I’m playing with a Steam controller on the lounge room TV, reading through the game with my housemate. It’s his first time, so if he does decide to share any comments I’ll let you know here~ And if you feel like playing with a Steam controller, I uploaded a configuration you can use!

So, the story. One thing I really love about Umineko is that, the characters have so much bite in their interactions! Maybe I’ve been influenced too much by cutesy anime, but I really appreciate that the characters in this story love to take stabs at each other. Sometimes it’s playful and endearing, but other times it can be telling of as of yet unseen malice. I won’t comment on what reactions reek of malice to me, but I’d love to hear if you guys noticed it too. At any rate, the character dynamics are so damn rich, and the characters already feel like real people. It may feel drawn out to some people, but I really appreciate that they took the appropriate amount of time to introduce all the characters properly here. There’s a lot of them, and you’re going to be spending a LOT of time with them, so it’s best to get introductions off the ground from the very beginning. Sure, it doesn’t provide that much of a hook to keep reading, but, you gotta have faith! Working through the introductions will be well rewarded.

God I love this series.


So, the story. One thing I really love about Umineko is that, the
characters have so much bite in their interactions! Maybe I’ve been
influenced too much by cutesy anime, but I really appreciate that the
characters in this story love to take stabs at each other. Sometimes
it’s playful and endearing, but other times it can be telling of as of
yet unseen malice. I won’t comment on what reactions reek of malice to
me, but I’d love to hear if you guys noticed it too. At any rate, the
character dynamics are so damn rich, and the characters already feel
like real people. It may feel drawn out to some people, but I really
appreciate that they took the appropriate amount of time to introduce
all the characters properly here. There’s a lot of them, and you’re
going to be spending a LOT of time with them, so it’s best to get
introductions off the ground from the very beginning. Sure, it doesn’t
provide that much of a hook to keep reading, but, you gotta have faith! Working through the introductions will be well rewarded.

I completely agree with that and it’s especially impressive that while Battler introduce the characters in the airport scene it’s their interaction with each other and the tones they are using that show their true characters, both their good and bad sides! Just see Eva, on the one hand distant and hard yet joking towards Battler, on the other a woman who still fights with her younger brother and yet on a third side a woman who is downright hostile towards Natsuhi. Three completely different ways she interacts with showing three sides of her personality and that’s just within the first few hours of the story!

I’m also so impressed with the large amount of small hints that you either missed or didn’t think anything of during your first playthrough and gets a completely different meaning once you reread the story knowing what’s actually going on. So many of the small scenes or comments completely changes to mean something else entirely and/or becomes much more important. I’m so looking forward to continue Ep 1 to see how many more of those I’ll discover!


I’m glad EternalMagician is spotting some of these stuff.

As someone who is badly placed to comment directly on umineko in general, I will just say one thing :

The scene where Maria appears behind Battler in the kitchen with Kanon, Kumasawa and Genji was amazing to me with the new art.

It is my dearest wish that older fans have the flame of Umineko revived thanks to this release and even more for new fans to discover the passion we all shared for this story.


Well, episode 1-5 of the anime was good. that’s why I gave it a 4 out of a 5

There’s an excellent blog called Ramblings Of The Golden Witch (spoilers inside) that did a chapter-by-chapter analysis of Legend of the Golden Witch, which also compared each of the adaptations to the original VN. I think it’s really cool, and well worth a look.


I definitely think Episode 1 has done a very good job introducing everything, its characters, the setting, the history, and the Game, all at once without any problems. It spends a lot of time preparing for the actual events to kick-off, but everything gets established extremely well so by the time the Game was on, I was incredibly invested. Some of my favourite characters die as part of the first six, yet I still know so much about them that the time they weren’t in the story didn’t detract from their potential development.

The various arguments and mysteries were very fun to participate in, I liked the various different versions of the same “Closed Room” mystery (despite how often it’s used nowadays, I still find it a very clever and cool trick in mysteries) as each new killing was behind an even more incomprehensible version of a Closed Room, getting eventually to the Second Twilight killings in which its incredibly doubtful it could of been done by a human.

Maria’s character in particular is interesting, with all the potential inspiration for what causes her supposed “other personality” to take place. She’s one of very few child characters that fits very well into a cast of adults, and I think it is mainly because of how she stands out from the rest of the cast. Kind of sad she never found her rose though, I totally expected it to show up.

Anyway, the final moments are very strong, and close the episode with a fascinating end. It’s a string of events that near undoubtedly “show a 19th person”. I’m very interested to see how it all plays out now that the rules are established and the world is set. It was a really good end, and I loved the narration of the epilogue.

And then there’s the Tea Party. [spoiler]Since I’ve been playing Higurashi, I had an idea of what to expect, and was very familiar with the ‘post-story meeting’ and having all the cast stand outside of the story and address the events. But then they’re not referring to a “story”, they seem to be referring to “reality”. And at this point it becomes incredible, as I realize I’m supposedly looking into the Golden Land. Beatrice herself appears to take on Battler’s direct challenge, and we see a battle of wits in a world beyond the story. And Battler’s doubts seem to tear the Golden Land apart? Having to take this short segment not as a reflection of the tale, but a surprise appearance of a short after-story sequel, is a great twist on the convention the Higurashi games are running.

And to throw me for another loop… the second Tea Party, “for non-humans”, is opened. The context of the world shown in this short story is interesting; both Tea Parties existing at all seem to reinforce the idea that “Magic is definitely real”. I’m thrown into a look at Beatrice meeting an old friend, another witch called Bernkastel, who seems to be powerful in her own right. Without even really setting the scene they slide into a conversation of witches battling others, seemingly to overwhelm me with this idea that the world of magic is in full swing and most definitely exists. I also find what she called Beatrice a point of interest; throughout the story, Beatrice is known as the ‘Golden Witch’, and is referred to by that at every point. I assume the name is directly related to the supposed physical gold. But Bernkastel uses, multiple times, the title of ‘Endless Witch’. It’s unclear what this means, but then the second point of interest; Beatrice and Bernkastel seem to directly mention the ‘cycle’ the When They Cry games take on. They implicitly know that the game on Rokkenjima will happen again, Beatrice going as far as to mention she’s setting it up. Is Beatrice the Endless Witch because of some power that relates to this apparent time loop? It could be that the title refers to her ages, and her thousand-year legacy, but then again its not shocking to see witches in fiction with unusual, great ages.

And then the last point of note. Bernkastel takes on a role as an observer, becoming a supposed ‘20th’ player in the story, though she seems uninterested in meddling directly. And after Beatrice leaves to prepare the next Game, she addresses the potential ‘21st’ player. Me.

Bernkastel has no intention of interfering with the 18 players, but she’s proactive enough to give Me hints. She seems to imply that I will have some strong part to play in resolving the game and seeing the true conclusion. I’ve played games before where I as a player become a major part in the story (the examples I’m thinking of I can’t actually list, because spoilers) but it’s not the kind of idea I expect to come from a visual novel; a linear one at that.

I think they’d been hinting at the idea that I’m part of the story the entire time, reflecting on it. The post-death character profiles are almost direct messages to me, telling me not to worry and that believing in Beatrice will make it all work out. But the most damning evidence of this comes after the meeting with Bernkastel, and that’s being given control over the main version of the TIPS menu. You can switch through the different methods with the ‘Execute’ and ‘Resurrect’ buttons to select their state in the story and the profile that matches it. If you try to Execute Beatrice (which honestly, who wouldn’t after seeing this) you seem to be directly challenged. I supposedly hold the sole method to kill her? What could I possibly do to directly effect the story.

Fascinated to find out and see what comes next.[/spoiler]

So, in summary, my general thoughts on the main mystery of the game. Does Beatrice Exist?

[spoiler]Right now, my answer is Yes. There is extremely likely an entity called Beatrice directly influencing and participating in the story. Is she a ‘Witch’? I don’t know. But every death from Kanon onwards is near impossible to blame on anyone else. Maybe my thought process on this will change as we go along, but that’s what I think for now.

Rejecting magic, however, does throw the Tea Parties into question. Maybe they don’t happen at all. The game could be lying to me, showing me this narrative as a way to clue me in on more knowledge, to prepare me for the next Game. Is Bernkastel real? She definitely sits outside the scope of the story, and I don’t expect to see her in the main scenario of Episode 2. Even if she is real, she’s declared herself an observer, so regardless of whether Bernkastel exists or not, she won’t show up either way. It keeps the illusion alive.

tl;dr Magic is Bullshit… Maybe!!!


Watching people come to terms with the tea parties in their own way is one of the most exciting things to see as an observer here. Everyone reacts a little differently. You’re definitely thinking about this quite a lot though, which is good. I wonder how other newcomers interpretations will differ from your own?

There are legitimate pacing issues. The first scene is pretty effective, but I’d argue it bogs down a little in pleasantries and chess talk (there’s an argument to be made this is character development, but it’s awkward for Nanjo and not strictly necessary for Kinzo) before Kinzo starts flipping out about Beatrice, which is the really interesting hook to the story: Who is this old guy? Why does he hate his family so much? What’s this Beatrice deal he’s so passionate about? Is he nuts? Still, it isn’t overlong; it’s only about 1,300 words in length and is a focused conversation that manages to convey character, raise questions for the plot going forward, and state some basic exposition (that Kinzo is dying but it isn’t his inheritance that he cares about). And when it finishes where it does, jumping from that into the OP is extremely effective.

ELLIPSES HUNTER BONUS ROUND: The Kinzo prologue contains 77 ellipses. The scene has a character count of 5714 without the ellipses (or about 4.38 characters per word). 4% of all characters in the prologue are ellipses, or on average, there is one ellipsis every 52 words. Exactly two of these ellipses are in non-dialogue prose, meaning most of them are concentrated in dialogue rather than spread out. The greatest concentration is a quadruple ellipses, which occurs 5 times in this scene alone. Technically, “…” is the first word in Umineko.

Then we get past the OP, and we’re treated to a series of character introductions. This part actually doesn’t end before arrival at Rokkenjima, but for simplicity’s sake I’ve cut it off right there. This section is, uh, long. It is almost 10,000 words in length, out of ~136,255 (yes, I checked this), which is roughly 7% of the entire main text of the episode.*

In addition, the segment is full of some… extremely awkward humor, such as:

  • Battler openly speculates that his father jerks off in airport bathrooms. With his stepmother.
  • Battler idly wonders when his nine-year-old cousin Maria will start looking hot.
  • The first thing Battler tells his cousin after six years is that he would like to fondle her tits. Go check again, it’s literally the first line Battler ever addresses to Jessica.

ELLIPSES HUNTER BONUS ROUND: Maria busts out the godlike nonuple ellipses:

If we assume an ellipsis to represent a pause of 1.5 seconds, Maria spent 13.5 seconds parsing this statement in dead silence and nobody said anything.

And that’s what this chapter is. A long, awkward pause that takes far too long to convey information. Here’s a summary of everything we need to know from that chapter:

  • It’s annoying to get to the island where Kinzo lives.
  • Storm’s a’comin’.
  • Names be weird yo.
  • Battler is unsettled by shaky transportation. This is so plot-critical we’re told this twice for two separate vehicles.
  • The Ushiromiyas are assholes, but can sometimes pretend to get along.
  • Battler has boundary issues.
  • A shrine has gone missing.

Of these, we do need to know some of this stuff, but honestly almost all of it could’ve been conveyed by picking up at the point of the boat ride. In particular, there’s more than enough interaction between the adults to convey both their public faces and their private nastiness, so quite a bit of the airport stuff is just not necessary.

Are Battler’s objections in the Tea Party reasonable? What exactly happened in this story that couldn’t be explained with a trick that a human could pull off? He pointed out himself that just because they didn’t figure something out doesn’t mean a solution doesn’t exist, and offered a number of possible alternatives. Whether or not a witch then shows up and starts laughing in his face, does that in any way invalidate his concerns? Then again, maybe there was something to that ritual after all…

* For reference, this scene is:

  • Half the length of Macbeth.
  • Almost 25% longer than Poe’s “The Purloined Letter.”
  • 33% as long as Animal Farm.
  • About as long as the scene in Infinite Jest where Ken Erdedy waits for his pot dealer, a vignette somehow even more inconsequential than this scene.
  • Covered in its entirety in the first chapter of the Legend of the Golden Witch manga, which has around 24 chapters, meaning it takes up roughly half the pagecount that this scene took up in VN wordcount.

If I may suggest an even better analysis of Legend, might I suggest Goats Re-Reading Seacats? They analyzed the entirety of Umineko’s question arcs (and they know Japanese, so they’re far more equipped to handle analyzing the series than most blogs are, and in my personal opinion, the two who ran it were the most partial and unbiased people doing analyses on the series. Most people’s analyses are fairly biased in my eyes in that they can’t separate their personal thoughts from what needs to be stated.)

Fair warning that it’s built on someone having finished Legend and most/all of the series, so it’s not recommended for first time readers unless they don’t mind that.

As for me, I feel that Legend and Turn are too slow-paced, and that’s a criticism a lot of my friends who started Umineko have. It’s good for a re-read after finishing say End due to things you pick up from there being good tools for looking through for clues, but in addition to the slow pace, it should be noted that Ryukishi made the games after Turn much easier to solve because people were confused. (Could you imagine games harder than Legend and Turn, though, like Land was supposed to be?)

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I really like the mindset you are coming into this story with, especially with your analysis of the tea parties. Different people pick up on different things and make different assumptions, so it’s always interesting to see what direction people go off on as they start their Umineko journey, as well as how long it takes them to end up in the same place as everyone else.


It’s stories like these that I have trouble formulating thoughts for. Not that they’re bad, but there’s so much to talk about. I might have stated this a few times elsewhere, but my background in mystery novels is sparse and lackluster. I’ve been known for reading books that should be at my level, thinking about them to see if I could actually solve them with my logic, then look at the back of the book to find the answer after giving up. After sixth grade, it wouldn’t be until Higurashi when I would pick up a mystery book again.

When I first heard about Umineko, I felt apathetic to the idea. It didn’t look appealing to me at the time, with the large cast of characters and the mansion setting totally against my preferences, especially the part of trying to prove that witches existed in the real world. Like Battler, I wasn’t willing to believe this case was special and waved it off.

It was when I jumped into Rokkenjima following my love for Higurashi that I started hearing from others how much of an improvement Umineko was from its sister series. Still unbelieving, I stood proud as a Higurashi fan since the series was more easily accessible through Steam. As if Beatrice herself stood to spite me, the miracle that was the announcement of the Steam release came. I began to face the reality that I might have to read it sometime, so I paid closer attention to the rumors, and by the time this Bookclub was announced, I was interested in reading Umineko.

On that note, special thanks to @HeliosAlpha for gifting the game to me, thereby giving me a chance to be part of this lovely Tea Party with you guys. :smiley:

On the subject of this opening episode, it sets up the characters, setting and situation in a way that I would expect from Ryukishi. The relationships between the characters were quite interesting to observe, with special mention going to the servants. I felt the most involved in the story when at least one of the servants was present, and even more when they were the focus. Despite calling themselves furniture, they were relatable characters to me and watching them die in spectacular fashion felt terrible… :cry:

On that note, Ryukishi is an insane writer. It’s not the first time I’ve seen characters set up only to be sent to their tragic deaths, but I especially felt it here. Not only that, but the logic in this story is crazy. Although the characters (and myself) try as hard as they can to understand what’s going on, there’s always something in the back of my mind that’s telling me my explanation is wrong. Every shred of evidence thrown at the reader is almost completely unreliable, and no matter how hard I try to think about it, I get nowhere.

Granted, I was told at the beginning of the story that I’m not expected to solve everything at first. But since the temptation to try is so great, it’s hard to help. Like Higurashi, there’s a involving need to understand why things happened the way they did, but unlike Higurashi, I can’t prove my findings are worth anything. This is in part due to the disclaimer at the beginning of the story; everything in the story is fictional and fantastic in nature. The other half is the persistence of some characters that Beatrice is in fact a real person/witch, and the more people that start to believe this, the more I start to question what’s real and what’s fictional.

With Battler as the ‘focal character’ (I use that as a loose term because the focus is, in true Ryukishi fashion, all over the place), I as the reader feel compelled to stay grounded in reality despite all evidence pointing to the contrary. This left me feeling confused and perhaps disappointed as the ending came about, since the mystery (if it was ever a mystery to begin with) is left unsolved in a similar manner to Onikakushi-hen, only even more vague.

After reading the Tea Party and ??? episodes, however, I realized that I was thinking about this the wrong way all along. The world of Umineko, according to Bern, does not follow the rules of the real world. Because most mystery novels use real-life logic to explain the crime in practical terms, I instinctively tried to do the same for Umineko, but Ryukishi anticipated this. He made his own world with its own rules that on the surface looks so much like our own, blinding unsuspecting readers to the true nature of that world.

The thing is, Bern didn’t tell me what those rules were. To her, it would spoil the fun, so for episode 2 I am left to figure out what the rules of this strange world are. Do I think I can find them and solve Beatrice’s cruel mystery at the same time? Heck no. But that won’t stop me from trying.

With that, how did I think about this first episode? It was worth the read for the characters and suspense alone, just like how Higurashi pulled me in the same way. I don’t like that it didn’t leave me with anything to help form my own conclusions about what happened, but I assume that’s what the later episodes will help me with.

Now I wanna read Higurashi… ;_;


I’ll avoid commenting on Ryukishi’s actual prose and writing habits, partly because I can’t really judge the Japanese original (being illiterate in Japanese) and partly because, if I were to compare it to English prose, the conversation wouldn’t go anywhere good.

The flow of events, however, is intriguing. I do need to hand it to the music: my initial moment of interest and deep excitement came from the revealing of the letter at dinner partly because of the BGM. The music that began playing (pretty much at the perfect moment) was Usan no Kaori (fishy aroma). Honestly, the music played a huge role: the song itself had a sense of mystery coupled with an excited beat. It was a song that I felt described more how Beatrice felt in that moment instead of the characters - the letter and music gave a sense of almost malicious excitement at her mystery. Like saying, “You’ll never solve this!” - and that was something she rejoiced in.

To put it more simply, it was the excitement of a locked room/murder mystery enthusiast (though there wasn’t any murder yet). That was the sense I got and, being someone of the same cut, I got excited too.

Besides that, the whole build-up of Beatrice - instilling a sense of mystery and horror around her - went about fantastically. The whole Episode was filled with it: repeated stories of her terrors; the BGM, as always; the sudden murders in her name; the letters; everything built up more and more and more until you had that climactic scene that was topped only by the number of periods Ryukishi managed to stick in there (rough paraphrasing from memory):

[quote=“Episode One (near the end)]”…and then…he saw…standing beside Maria, cast in shadows…the portrait’s…subject…
No…how can this be? …impossible! There can’t be a 19th person! There’s not!"[/quote]

etc. Followed by much laughter and cackling.

That scene’s mental image and tension climax was simply brilliant. When Beatrice appeared, shivers went down my spine as the music played; from there, I regarded her with that sense of magic and mystery that becomes wonder and terror - which is precisely what makes (Episode 2 and onwards spoilers, I suppose, though Beatrice mentions this conflict near the end of Episode 1’s ??? scene) the locked rooms and play between fantasy/mystery so fascinating. Is it fantasy, with magic being the actual culprit? Or is Battler right, and a human actually did it? As the mysteries became more and more impossible, you really begin to wonder alongside Battler: did the witch do it? Did she not? Is there magic? That really was made most excellent because of the horror and wonder you had of Beatrice; it made it seem much more real, and her much more powerful - and thereby fascinating.

Then we came to ???, which was great. I didn’t expect that twist, and you can bet I got hyped. The first appearance of the organ alongside Beatrice practically made me die of hype; the organ tends to always have an “epic” sound to it, whether for good or ill; in this case, it gave a sense of royalty, almost, and greatness - even while malicious. Organ short #600 million. Again: music supporting the mood of the scene and the build-up thereto.

In short, I think this is a masterful episode with respect to character build-up, scene flow, and most especially music supporting the mood and scene. It’s something I certainly took a lot away from, both as a reader and mystery lover.


I said I wouldn’t comment in length on the prose - and I still won’t, given how little good it’ll do and how long it would take - but I’m of a similar mind as Renall with regard to pacing and prose. Those are two things this Episode does not do well. That’s not to say it didn’t do it adequately (though I would argue it detracted from some of the climactic scenes, which could’ve been handled better); one can certainly learn to adapt to his writing style and still envision the well made events he created. But, to be frank, it could have a lot of improvement in those categories.