An opening move. Typically your initial opening moves would not be to flaunt the queen’s presence… Unless, of course, it is believed the opponent will be unable to take control of the board. Maybe the opponent is just pitied, even.
In this episode, the 19th person’s presence is confirmed by several of the board’s pieces, but not by the challenger, Battler, himself. (Aside: A game of chess where some pieces are “invisible” would be interesting… Battle-chess? Hmm…) Despite that confirmation several of the pieces, including Rosa who has seen this 19th person herself, doubt each other rather than this newcomer who should be more suspicious to them. Indeed, after Jessica leaving to pick a fight with the witch, we next find her dead. Wouldn’t you immediately suspect “the 19th person did it?” So why wasn’t that the immediate conclusion?
What I’m getting at, is that it seems odd for someone to be so uncharacteristically suspicious of those close to them, rather than someone already established as being suspicious. The narrative points this general theme out at several points even. Especially with Battler bringing a particular level of attention and focus to that near, I think, the end of this episode.
My opinion is that something happened between when Rosa was visiting with Kinzo, Shannon, and Genji, and when she returned. The narrative makes a point of telling us a golden butterfly happened to touch her shoulder right before then. That happening is vague, and so the conclusions you can draw from it are broad, leaving little room for specifics without great insight. Giving a conclusion would likely be the same as revealing your own biases.
Personally, as I stated previously for episode one, I think that magic exists but that its existence does not affect the core of the mysteries. Given that disposition, you could relax wary neurons by just throwing your hands up in the air, jumping to the conclusion “Magic!” However, that feels not much different than saying “I don’t know!” After all, it’s an excuse to stop thinking. (That’s not to say that ascertaining one theory to be more probable than alternatives is the same as giving up, though.) Since that feels like a rather apathetic solution for a problem with undetermined value, it seems prudent not to suspend thought on it just yet.
To reiterate: While I have reason to believe that magic does exist to some degree within the gameboard, I am uncertain as to whether it would be an acceptable solution to the problem of the sudden strangeness which Rosa exhibits. Further, it seems uncertain as to whether this strangeness is just an error in my own perception of her or not. There are cheap reasons to justify my belief that this isn’t merely an erratic impression. Alas, none of them would work from within the gameboard.
So, based on the vaguely baseless assumption that Rosa’s seemingly strange personality shift upon visiting Kinzo’s study has reasonable utility for “solving” at least a few events later in the episode, it seems prudent not to jump to any conclusion just yet. (Incidentally, it would have also been prudent not to have such a long run-on sentence, or any run-on sentence for that matter. Adjectives and verbosity are fun though.)
Without committing to this line of thought specifically, perhaps Rosa saw or heard something regarding Beatrice’s nature which caused her to doubt the authenticity of there being a 19th person. There are some lines and actions later on which would likely contradict this, but I have not yet looked thoroughly at that.
Considering how many ambiguities there are, and how many possibilities exist due to that alone, the introduction of The Red Truth is extraordinarily helpful. However, the person who speaks the red truth is still our adversary in this match. It would likely be best to consider it as a tool for speaking half-truths. What reason is there to believe that the whole-truth for any aspect would ever be spoken by an opponent?
Keeping that in mind, I think that it is critical to look at what isn’t stated in a red truth rather than just looking at what was stated. It is like a magician waving their hand, saying “Look here!” to distract their audience from the trick.
Twilight 1: Chapel
Krauss, Natsuhi, Rudolf, Kyrie, Hideyoshi, and Eva are dead. Their identities are easily verified within reason.
Compared to the first twilight in episode one, the location and some victims/survivors are different.
The following victims here were also victims in episode one: Rudolf, Kyrie, Krauss.
The following are victims of this twilight taken from both episodes, so far: Rudolf, Kyrie, Krauss, Natsuhi, Hideyoshi, Eva, Gohda, Shannon.
A quick summary of red-truths and what I’ll refered to as “refused-truths,” here:
RED: "Regardless of whether they were alive or dead, the six definitely entered through the door."
RED: "Only one key to the chapel exists."
RED: "It is impossible to unlock the lock to the chapel with any thing but the chapel’s key."
RED: "When the door to the chapel is locked, it prevents any and all methods of entry or exit."
RED: "The six definitely entered through ‘this front door’."
RED: "This morning, Rosa definitely took an envelope out of Maria’s handbag…and from that obtained the genuine key to the chapel."
RED: "The key to the chapel truly was the object inside the envelope I gave Maria."
refused: "That envelope was completely under Maria’s supervision until Aunt Rosa opened it."
refused: "No one was able to touch Maria’s handbag until Aunt Rosa took out the envelope."
RED: “The envelope I handed over to Maria and the one Rosa opened are the same thing.”
Twilight 2: Jessica’s room
This is a “bit different” from episode one… Instead of Eva and Hideyoshi, who have so far never made it past this twilight anyway, the victim is Jessica. As far as Battler is aware, Kanon isn’t dead yet. (Though this is later cleared up with a red truth that Kanon was killed in that room.) Also, we’re shown how they were killed!?
Well, at this point I feel like we’re just seeing “how they would have been killed if it were done with magic” with Ryukishi subtly saying “your goal is still to try to figure out an alternative plain-old humans-only explanation.” Though that’s just how I’m viewing it, and that could be entirely wrong. I don’t trust perspectives in 07th works.
(Speaking of perspectives, there were so many perspective changes in this episode! I swear there was one scene where the perspective changed three times in one page. Well, that’s an exaggeration, but there were at least two scenes where the perspective changed twice on a single page. Evens out, right? H-hey, I’m credible, I swear!)
Anyway. Let’s have a quick look at the red- and refused-truths for this round:
RED: “The only master keys are the ones held by the servants, one key each.”
(However, there are two more servants not on this island, at least.)
refused(?): "Kanon-kun had a master key on him."
RED: "There are absolutely no types of hidden doors. This door is the only way in or out. The only way to lock this door is with Jessica’s single key or the master keys, only one of which is held by each servant. The window is locked from the inside."
RED: "Kanon was killed in this room."
refused: "Kanon-kun’s corpse is in this room."
refused: "The last time it was locked was due to a master key."
RED: "When locked, it does not permit any form of entry. No trick could have the effect of locking the door from the outside without using a key."
RED-later: "When Jessica’s corpse was discovered, only Battler, George, Maria, Rosa, Genji, Gohda, Shannon, Kumasawa, and Nanjo were in Jessica’s room. The corpse of Jessica is also included."
RED-later: “Therefore, both in the case involving Jessica’s room and the one involving this servant room, no humans exist that you were not aware of. No one is hiding.”
Note that I added in “later” truths here.
- “Kanon was killed in this room.” When? Keep in mind that I don’t trust the magical narratives.
- “The only way to lock this door is with Jessica’s single key or the master keys, only one of which is held by each servant.” Nothing is said about how one might lock the window.
TANGENT: Of wolf and sheep
I never tried to actually solve the wolf and sheep puzzle before. So I paused right after the rules were explained. My solution differed from the one presented, but I don’t believe it violates the rules. (… Did I? …)
wwss xx xxxx -- two wolves, two sheep on first bank
wsxx ws xxxx -- move one wolf and one sheep to the second bank,
wsxx sx wxxx -- then send one sheep back
wxxx ss wxxx -- move those two sheep over to the second bank,
wxxx wx ssxx -- then send the wolf back
xxxx ww ssxx -- move the remaining wolves to the second bank,
xxxx xx ssww -- to join with the sheep.
wwss xx xxxx -- two wolves, two sheep on first bank
ssxx ww xxxx -- move both wolves to the second bank
ssxx wx wxxx -- then send one wolf back
wxxx ss wxxx -- move both sheep to the second bank
wxxx wx ssxx -- then send the earlier wolf back
xxxx ww ssxx -- move both wolves to the second bank
xxxx xx ssww -- to join with the sheep.
(Tangential digression: Incidentally, I get the feeling Discord automatically treated that as Lua script…)
Well, now that this post is thoroughly scattered – did anybody notice what I (vaguely) did there? – maybe now would be a good time to move on.
But first, let’s do some more notes.
Three gold bars
So, the gold does exist, maybe? It’s always possible this is forged; not like anybody there is into appraisals. This seems like it doesn’t really matter.
About the Chapel
- “The Sealed Chapel”
- Kinzo strictly ordered Rosa, and presumably his other children, never to enter the Chapel
- Gohda states he is not aware of Kinzo having ever gone to the chapel
- Servants were ordered to give it a major cleaning several times a year
- According to Nanjo, Kinzo supposedly stated “Someday, perhaps I too will be able to receive a blessing there. But unless a miracle occurs, that day will never come.”
- “<This door is…opened…only at…probability of>??” :: English: even harder than the kanjis
- George: “…Umm, I think it went ‘m’, ‘b’, ‘t’, ‘q’, so, …umm, umm…how many did that mean, I think…umm…hmmm…”
` “…Anyway, this is incredible. Adding up all the fingers on both hands doesn’t even get you close. It really would be impossible unless a miracle occurred.”
- Nanjo : “…Certainly. It’s quite reminiscent of the old Kinzo-san, who loved using gambling as a metaphor whenever he got the chance.”
I’d love to know what that English inscription read, and what those letters (variables? Is this a formula?) represent or are a part of. Sure, we can just gloss over the details and have another side mystery… Why not, right? (W-we do find out, right?)
Subsequent twilights: Servant’s room; Natsuhi’s room
Nanjo and Kumasawa
getrekt become victims for the next twilights in the servant’s room. Not much else to describe here; maybe just “there was a magical perspective for what had happened.”
Here’s a listing of the red-truths:
RED: (What about the ‘servant room keys’?) Those are “kept in the key box in the center of the servant room.” There are several servant room keys, but "all of those are inside the key box."
RED: "Entry and exit are impossible except for the single door and the single window. And those were both locked. The door and the window do not permit any kind of entry or exit when they are locked."
RED: "It is impossible to unlock the door without a servant room key or the master key."
RED: "No one exists in this room except your group. ‘Your group’ refers to Battler, George, Maria, Rosa, Genji, Gohda, and Shannon."
RED: "Therefore, both in the case involving Jessica’s room and the one involving this servant room, no humans exist that you were not aware of. No one is hiding."
RED: "No method exists by which the door can be locked from the outside without using a key. Regarding the window, no method exists by which it could somehow be locked from the outside."
RED: “You are incompetent.” (kek.)
- “It is impossible to unlock the door without a key to the servant room or the master key.” But what about the window? So far no red truth specifically states that the window cannot be unlocked from outside in general, just that it can’t be locked from outside.
- “No one exists in this room except your group.” Technically, Beatrice just stated she doesn’t exist since in the meta, they were in the room. Though, since that statement started with “Technically” it can automatically be ignored in its entirety. That said, this statement is basically useless, unless I’m overlooking something practically and reasonably important. It only refers to the current state of the room.
- “No human exists that you were not aware of.” Cue Frasier’s deduction that the culprit was a trained circus monkey.
Then we get to Natsuhi’s room. Gohda, George, and Shannon are the victims this round.
RED: “Natsuhi’s room was exactly the same, just like usual! The door and windows were locked from the inside. There were no frauds or tricks, no means of secret passage nor places in which to hide! Natsuhi’s own key was in George’s pocket, and the inside of the room was sealed off. Only the five master keys were left, and ‘Rosa’ was holding all of them! And let me say this: the parlor’s the same. The key to the parlor itself is sealed away in the servant room. So unlocking it without a master key is impossible! The definition of a closed room remains the same as always!”
NITPICKING: Time trick?
The hunters, the mothers: Rosa and Natsuhi
I’m not really trying to accuse them of anything in particular. However, the narrative has set up the case of there being one person with a gun, and in both cases both of these people stated they would become demons for their children.
So. Can we conclude that they are the “keys” in their respective episodes? That they are somehow responsible for selecting the sacrifices, possibly against their will, which someone else then executes?
I’m not sure, but the pattern has been weakly established. If something like this happens again in episode three, I don’t think I can reasonably say this is just a coincidence, but I’ll also have to look even harder to make sure there’s not some rule. (As a vague example for what I mean, consider someone who has received an organ through a transplant. There have been instances where they take on personalities “like the donor’s,” which have many explanations. One explanation could also be that there’s a physical common factor that could have caused those personalities emerge in both people. I’ll side with Occam’s razor for these sorts of things.) What I’m
failing trying to say is that there could be a simpler explanation with less assumptions than the one I’m coming up with here.
Oh, as an aside, my previous idea that the gun possibly backfired in episode one doesn’t seem to hold here. It could have still been the case in episode one, but I doubt that.
Nitpicking other things
Definition for hidden doors: “A hidden door refers to an entrance or exit that cannot be recognized as such by those who don’t know of it beforehand, of course.” (Emphasis on “or” was my own. Not “entrance and exit,” but “entrance or exit.”)
I don’t really have a cohesive theory I’m happy with for this one at the moment. Kinzo x Genji could easily be the culprits here as per my previous idea, but several things make that idea even more unlikely than before. In other words, my murderer duo shipping has (potentially) been wrecked.
Something that does keep popping up is that the witch needs everybody to submit to her. Also, maybe I’m just misinterpreting or forgetting something, but it seems that only people who submit to her can see the goat servants before she revives.
Bernkastel best girl.
There were a number of things I really particularly liked in this episode regarding some of the themes expressed.
I was writing this over the course of several days. That’s why everything here is so scattered. I plan on organizing this more and updating it over several more days. ^^;