Umineko Episode 4 Spoiler-Free General

Spoiler-free general discussion topic for Episode 4: Alliance of the Golden Witch of Umineko When They Cry. Episode 4 refers to volumes 7-9 of the manga, and episodes 19-26 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 is also serving as a discussion hub for the Umineko Tea Party, so make sure you get plenty of discussion in in time for the podcast! (Date pending)

What would you rate this Episode?

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This is a very interesting Episode. It’s quite a bit longer than the others, because they basically included two stories in one here. We have the events of Rokkenjima and Battler’s battle with Beatrice on the meta layer, and we have the story of Ange searching for the truth of what happened to her family. Ange’s story is further complicated by the fact that it’s told out of order, and constantly jumps between different points in time, even back to Maria’s life before the incident took place. Things get even more confusing when you realise that Ange is at two places at once; by Battler’s side fighting Beatrice, and searching for the truth in the world of 1998.

I’ve heard a few people argue that the pacing of this Episode is a bit awkward, and that Ange’s story just wasn’t as interesting as what was happening on the gameboard, but I’m not sure if I agree with them. Maybe Ange’s story should’ve been included as its own separate Episode, but I won’t agree that it doesn’t have value. Her investigations shed a lot of light on the mystery of the Rokkenjima serial murders, and she’s just a very interesting character to follow. Her life has been absolutely terrible, but she still continues to keep moving forward for the sake of what she believes in. There’s some that argue she was looking for a place to die, but even so, you can’t fault her for being an incredibly strong character despite what she’s had to deal with. It does break my heart to think about how she was left behind, and how her only surviving relative treated her like rubbish in the end. And it’s just as sad to think about how she has to remain anonymous in order to aid Battler in his battle.

As for the Rokkenjima story, this one wrapped up very quickly. Not the best designed as a mystery, I found this one devolves way too much into fantasy. The fantasy scenes were exciting (when they weren’t super dumb), but really, the mystery doesn’t start until the Tea Party. But when it does, hooo boy, does it get good. This is essentially the final battle between Battler and Beatrice, and to commemorate that fact, they decide to go back through all four gameboards and revisit all the mysteries, in order to force someone to win. But the game ends in a bit of a stalemate. Beatrice is almost completely destroyed, but her final mystery presented to Battler prevents either of them from achieving victory. “Who am I?” There’s something very unusual about how this scene plays out. The way Beatrice is begging for death, and it’s later revealed by Lambda that Beatrice wasn’t giving it all her all anyway. Why was she going easy on Battler? What was she aiming to accomplish? And why did she seem so dejected after Battler failed to recognise his ‘sin’? So many questions, and no immediate answers in sight.

Congratulations, you’ve reached the halfway point of Umineko. What? You thought it was over? Clearly not. Though it seems apparent to me that all clues required to solve the core mysteries of Umineko have now been presented. Were you able to grasp the truth? Or are you still as lost as Battler is right now? Fortunately, later episodes will provide readers with some weapons to help them find the truth of Beatrice’s game. “Who am I?” If we can answer that, we win.

4/5 episode. It has some great parts together with some issues, but I still really enjoyed it.

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I never really had a problem with the pacing in this episode. While I was eager to see more mystery and meta logic battle action, Ange’s story turned out very interesting in and of itself, especially the Maria-focused parts. The events on Rokkenjima end up being a magical clusterfuck this time around, though there are still some tricky mysteries too. One thing that changes notably though is the addition of blue truth to the game. At the time it felt like the most natural thing in the world and I thought back and wondered why this was only getting introduced this late into the game, but… well there ended up being a reason after all.

Above all else, what really stands out in this episode is its last… third or so. Battler gets called out by Beatrice and from that point on everything goes to shit. Beatrice gets dejected, Battler loses himself, Ange is thrown out and it all comes to a standstill. With this being just the halfway point of the story I had no idea where this was going. I sure as hell didn’t expect it to end up the way it did.

Hindsight is brutal in regards to this game. (General Umineko Spoilers) First time I was reading it I didn’t understand what it was Ange saw in that boat that made her react so strongly. Knowing now just what exactly it was is pretty depressing. And then we have Ange making the decision to keep the game going for her own sake, even making the willing choice to doom Beatrice in the process, cornering her, emotionally manipulating Battler so that he would kill her… and yet I can’t hate her for it.

Then we have the Tea Party, probably the single most hype scene in the entire first half. (General Umineko Spoilers) And also a really frustrating scene in hindsight, but my god is it beautifully written or what!? It’s so incredibly easy to get caught up in this feel of a final battle that you get so easily blinded to the fact that it’s Battler one-sidedly murdering Beatrice who is just putting up a witch mask and still completely dejected, even more hopeless than before. Battler tackles the mysteries in the exact way you shouldn’t be tackling the mysteries, and the blue truth bears its fangs as it rips Beato apart. And the narration belies Battler’s true feelings; he constantly has to remind himself that he “has to kill Beatrice” even as he’s obviously focusing on how much she’s hurting and wanting for her to counter his moves. This is by far the most hopeless moment in Beato’s game, and yet it still reads like a climactic final showdown. Go Ryuukishi07.

The final ??? scene is just the icing on the cake. If you thought Battler had actually pierced Beato’s mysteries, it’s there to tell you that this tale is still far from being solved. And Lambda implies that Beatrice was just acting the victim again. An interesting note to be progressing into Chiru on.

Of all the question arcs, I’d say this one is my favorite. Episode 3 was my favorite back when I first read Umineko, but this arc, like Episode 2, has only gotten better and better as I understood more and more about it.

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I’m curious about what you’re getting at here.

(General Umineko Spoilers) The idea of the blue truth goes completely against how Beatrice wants Battler to tackle the mysteries. At first glance it doesn’t seem like a bad thing to have, it evens out the playing field and clarifies the more vague points of the competition. Hell obviously even Beato didn’t notice how it could go wrong. But the problem becomes apparent when you look at the Tea Party of this episode. Because Beatrice’s game wasn’t aiming to be a “fair competition” much as it was a benevolent Game Master guiding the player towards the conclusion she wanted him to reach. When Battler looks at Beato as his “enemy”, he uses the fairness of the blue truth and fires off theory upon theory. It’s perfectly within the rules, what he does. But this isn’t how Beato wanted to him reach the truth at all. Though it would’ve gone fine if it hadn’t been for Ange ripping apart the trust they’d built up.

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Here’s a playlist containing all of Episode 4’s music! Please always be mindful of potential spoilers in related videos though!

Pssst, @Rabla, you haven’t posted your thoughts yet.

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Sooooooo…

This one is weird. It’s so odd when sat next to the rest of Questions Arc. I both like and dislike it for this. It’s almost an entirely different story rather than the evolving retellings and variations.

Let’s start with Ange, who basically defines the simutaneous love and dislike I have for Episode 4. Ange is great. She’s so jaded and proud and CONFIDENT and she’s so much fun to read. You assume at the end of Ep 3 Ura, she’s jumping off the building towards Bernkastel to enter the magical world, but no, she ACTUALLY lept off a building and survived. Her side of the cast is cool and I really liked her conflict with Kasumi Sumadera, and her bond and friendship with Mammon.

Her role (despite how poorly she plays it) in the Metafiction Battle is interesting, and I’m happy to finally see Bernkastel live up to her declaration to participate from the end of Ep2, since I was waiting all of Ep3 for it to happen. Her sacrifice to help Battler was nice, watching the siblings get torn apart made me tear up a bit since I was really invested in the build-up and wanting her to say it. Overall, Ange’s arc is great.

But there are issues. Mainly, her telling of Lady MARIA’s world. Since we’re constantly jumping around three different perspectives of Ange (school, escape, and Meta) the storytelling gets incredibly confusing, since despite the scenes being in a mixed order, her reading of Maria’s journal happens perfectly chronologically for the reader, implying she’s always been reading it out of order? Also, plot developments from MARIA segments seem to effect Ange chronologically out of order, since development with the Sisters happens in the hotel room in the present but effects the school arc. It doesn’t make a lot of sense and it bugs me a lot.

also since magic isn’t real can we touch on how Ange brutally murdered all those people on Rokkenjima by herself she must be super tough

Anyway. Rokkenjima. Kinzo’s whole deal is crazy. Fuck any miniscule chance of a normal story, because its Goldsmith time! “Kinzo” kills a ton of people then throws the rest of them into a pit or something and they end up killed by the Chiester Sisters and George and Jessica kill each other? What the fuck happened in this episode.

Why is Gaap’s dress so dumb?

This episode is so magic in your face its hard to work with. And there’s sick fights and shit and what is this is this even still Umineko did I accidentally open Rose Guns Days?

Anyway. Onto interesting things.

Battler and Beatrices encounter at the end. The “sin of six years ago” is a development I’m interested in, since it did imply is has something to do with Battler leaving, and that all the murders are his fault. But how did Battler meet Beatrice six years ago if she died back when Rosa was a child…? Also, Battler isn’t Asumu’s child…? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat. This is a point of interest I like.

The final confrontations (both the marble hall and the Gold Rose Garden) are fantastic, the latter in particular in Tea Party. It’s a satisfying burst of theorycrafting and battle for all four Question Arcs and it shows the fact that, as I suspected in my Ep 3 post, Beatrice and Battler have developed a legitimate bond they can’t ignore despite knowing they MUST continue and fight. It’s iffy in the end thanks to Lamdadelta adding additional Red, but its a great scene.

The final murder is one of the best pushs for Magic in all of Questions Arc and a very fitting last scene for Battler and Beatrice, since its an even further insane version of the Nanjo Murder in Ep 3. You guys prodded me a lot when we talked about this a while back saying its already solvable, but… I got nothin. Battler is the ONLY person left on Rokkenjima, and is killed. It’s not suicide and its not a new visitor. So what the fuck I dunno man.

Also the thing with what Ange saw in the boathouse I got no idea.

So… Episode 4 overall has some of the best parts but they’re sitting inside a lot of confusing sub-narrative and an unclear gameboard. It’s cool but eeeeehhh.

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But hold on. You’ve already adopted the perspective that the magic scenes in Ange’s story aren’t real, so why are you having trouble accepted the non-linearity? There’s nothing wrong with taking Ange’s life, presenting it out of chronological order, and applying a layer of fantasy which is presented in chronological order. It’s like watching Memento with a friend, discussing the story as you watch it. Your discussion is in chronological order, even if the movie isn’t. Similar thing going on here; it’s just another layer.

I’m also interested to hear your thoughts on Ange’s trip to Rokkenjima, and what reallly happened there.

But the one question you need to begin considering is, the final question posed to Battler. “Who am I?” Who is this Beatrice, really? Sure, the question was worded as a riddle asking how she could’ve killed Battler, but I think what Beatrice really wants is for Battler to unmask her.

EDIT:

Why not both? :kinzo:

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I guess I’m more hung up on how it unnecessarily complicates the narrative in a story already trying to be unclear.

Mm, I hear ya. But a lot of people dig that shit. It’s just a bit of flavour that you’ll either love or hate.

Let me start by saying I really enjoyed this episode even though it confused the hell out of me, and for some reason also the haziest in my memory.

Let’s start with Ange, when she speaks with Maria about her life being pitiful (when time was stopped, before Mammon told Ange to return to where Battler and Beatrice were) she has the pessimistic view point of life and magic, yet the story leads you to believe this is after her journey in the future. At the end of her journey in the future, she seems enlightened and at peace, and even forces Beatrice to continue the game. Is it possible that Ange is split into two entities (Rokkenjimma Ange & Ange in the future) when Bernkastel makes Ange a piece? With both the game on Rokkenjima and the story of adult Ange happening in parallel, and that they both become one again in order to save Battler.

When it comes to most of the magical occurrences so far we’ll see 'Golden Butterflies" Whenever we see these butterflies, the character’s are hallucinating due to some unknown drug. This drug is a gas that is inhaled. According to this logic all “Magic” during this time is some trick aided by this drug! This will also explain everyone’s statements about what appears to be magic! This theory only applies to when the butterflies appear, if there are none than I don’t know if it’s a different type of drug being used to make them hallucinate.

I do not know what exactly all these tricks are but if say the “magic blades” Shannon and Kannon have could just be normal weapons. I have no strong theories for the teleportation, but… George and Jessica do not kill each other. George is killed by some unknown method. Jessica is attacked, her attacker tells Jessica about Georges death, afterwards she gains a wound and a small bomb is placed into her head wound. Jessica knows about this, locks herself in her room, and tries warning Battler, before the bomb blows up and kills her! (As you can probably tell I’m a strong believer in the small bomb theory, I’m positive it wasn’t denied by Lambdadelta).

I don’t know whether this is valid but There are no secret passages that allow someone to leave the rooms, but it’s possible that there is a hidden panel (a hole to put your hand through) or switch that will allow you to lock the door while you are outside of the room.

Regarding the question of no one being alive on the island but someone or thing is going to kill Battler There is a wolf that is about to attack and kill Battler! If the it’s not a living thing that will kill Battler than it has to be due to lightning striking him down!

Also something I notice (not sure if I’m remembering wrong or not), but wasn’t Rosa part of the group that was in the chapel accepting Beatrice’s existence in Episode 2, yet why was she alive and out of the chapel after that scene? If I didn’t remember wrong than I proclaim that Rosa is either the culprit behind the all the murders or that she is only an assistant to the real culprit!!!

I have no idea when it comes to what was happening with Kinzo, I don’t think they said in red that his name couldn’t be passed on but than again I can’t remember. If his name can be inherited by the new head of the family, than I believe that he is always dead at the start of every game.

These are my thoughts and my theories on the mysteries on Rokkenjima. It was actually really fun to type this all up and share it with all of you.

I’m really looking forward to whenever the release of the answer arcs come, I can’t wait to see if my theories get demolished.

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I won’t be so arrogant as to use the red, but I’ll happily apply with some bold assertions.

An unknown drug? Pukuku, what foolish logic. Unknown drugs or difficult to understand scientific methods have no place in this mystery!

The hell is that? Small bombs?!?! What kind of a mystery uses those?

A hidden button to lock or unlock a door may as well be equivalent to a hidden passage! They have no place here.

Come on, you’re resorting to the simplest, cheapest methods. Do you really think Beatrice’s mystery is that flimsy? If you’re going to claim such methods exist, you must provide evidence from the story!

Not bad. However. [Beatrice] is there, and will kill Battler. Are you claiming that the culprit somehow has control of the lightning? Absurd. The wolf argument works better here, assuming the culprit is in fact a wolf. You could even argue that the existence of wolves was mentioned in Episode 3 so evidence was presented. However, I will assert that Battler was most certainly not killed by any wolf, seagull, or other animal or insect! To assume as much is to spit on the narrative Beatrice has spent all this time spinning. Do you really have that little faith in her?

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Oh this is really thrilling, it seems like you really want to back up the existence of magic.

Ok sorry let me revise my statement The hallucinations are caused by a drug known as a Hallucinogen!!! Though my knowledge with these is lacking that doesn’t mean that the specific drug used is unknown! If it’s a well known drug that many know about, that makes it a known drug which means it is a valid theory to exist!

This is based on a mystery that’s involving so called “witches & magic” is it so strange that there’s such a outlandish way to kill someone?[quote=“Aspirety, post:13, topic:31”]
A hidden button to lock or unlock a door may as well be equivalent to a hidden passage! They have no place here.

Come on, you’re resorting to the simplest, cheapest methods. Do you really think Beatrice’s mystery is that flimsy? If you’re going to claim such methods exist, you must provide evidence from the story!
[/quote]

Ok you got me there, I wasn’t sure if it counted or not.

** [Beatrice] exists but not as a witch

How’s this revised theory of mine, are these decent revisions

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Hi all! New to this forum. FYI, I’ve finished the entire series but this post contains no spoiler past episode 4.

There were some mentions about pacing in this episode. On my initial read-through of the series, I would have fully agreed with that. Particularly portions early on in episode 2 and all the Maria/Ange chapters really felt like a chore to get through.

Something I know now and didn’t know then is that every scene is important. Always keep thinking and try to surmise what Ryukishi07 is trying to convey. Not to get into specifics, but what I thought was filler ended up being very key to understanding the secrets of Umineko.

Some of the parts I considered the most boring became some of my favorites after finishing the entire series.

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Before I reread Episode 1, I’d like to try to tackle some of its mysteries using the revelations from this Episode and my crappy memory. Alright let’s go. My notes basically just consist of these images and my legendarily bad memory.

Alright the mysteries in this episode will hereafter be referred to as “!garage!”, “!chain!”, “!kanon!”, “!parlor!” and “!natsuhi”.

As said by Battler on the topic of !garage There’s nothing strange about the murder of the six relatives that were found in the gardening shed at the start! key suspects are obviously anyone who survived til the end if we assume one culprit or a group of culprits co-operating. it is possible for others to be the killers but I’ll get onto that later.

Initally one would assume George to be above suspicion for this crime, as his lover was brutally murdered. However, it is established by Virgillia in the third game that scenes not narrated by Battler have the potential to be unreliable. In addition I believe no-one spoke of seeing Shannon after George’s proposal under the arbor. At the very least this did not happen while Battler was watching. Therefore, it is possible that George had an abusive or manipulative relationship with Shannon that the reader was not shown. He may have mudered her in a fit of anger after she rejected his proposal in the arbor, or perhaps because her acceptance wasn’t passionate enough by his standards. He may have simply moved the ring after the murder in order to maintain the facade.

Then in a moment of clarity he remembered the witch’s epitaph, and then killed the group in the dining hall to set up an atmosphere that would reduce people’s ability to think rationally, reducing the chances of him being discovered.

This theory is backed up by how Eva and Hideyoshi were not murdered, it is possible that by some method George knew that they would leave and then attacked after they did. His reasons for this could be due to either A, not wanting to kill his parents, B, wanting to wait till the number in the dining hall matched the number he needed to kill to match Line 1 of the epitaph, or C, he knew he would find it difficult to overpower his Mother due to her knowledge of Martial arts, and that having her and Hideyoshi leave the room would give him the easiest time in killing the group in the dining room.

Unfortunately, I do not currently have enough information regarding !chain, so I’ll need to wait till after I reread Ep 1 before I can tackle it.

However I think I may have an answer for !natsuhi. But first we’ll need to some supplementary reading

If the suicidal person is not acting out of his own free will, then assistance is punishable by any of a number of homicide offences that the criminal code provides for, as having “acted through another person” (§25, section 1 of the German criminal code,[55] usually called “mittelbare Täterschaft”). Action out of free will is not ruled out by the decision to end one’s life in itself; it can be assumed as long as a suicidal person “decides on his own fate up to the end […] and is in control of the situation.”[54]

Free will cannot be assumed, however, if someone is manipulated or deceived. A classic textbook example for this, in German law, is the so-called Sirius case on which the Federal Court of Justice ruled in 1983: The accused had convinced an acquaintance that she would be re-incarnated into a better life if she killed herself. She unsuccessfully attempted suicide, leading the accused to be charged with, and eventually convicted of attempted murder.[56] (The accused had also convinced the acquaintance that he hailed from the star Sirius, hence the name of the case).

Apart from manipulation, the criminal code states three conditions under which a person is not acting under his own free will:

  1. if the person is under 14
  1. if the person has “one of the mental diseases listed in §20 of the German Criminal Code”[57]
  1. a person that is acting under a state of emergency.

Under these circumstances, even if colloquially speaking one might say a person is acting of his own free will, a conviction of murder is possible.

German law puts certain people in the position of a warrantor (Garantenstellung) for the well-being of another, e.g. parents, spouses, doctors and police officers. Such people might find themselves legally bound to do what they can to prevent a suicide; if they do not, they are guilty of homicide by omission.

Therefore, provocation to commit suicide could be considered homicide in certain parts of the world.

Even though Beatrice said: “Natsuhi’s death was a homicide!” it is still possible for it to be a provoked suicide.

The contents of the letter Natsuhi read prompted her to commit suicide. She did so using a second gun she was holding onto, not “her gun” that we repeatedly see throughout the story. This second gun could have been identical in appearance to “her gun” and she could have hid “her gun” elsewhere before killing herself.

The only person who could have written a note that could encourage Natsuhi to kill herself who did not die very early on is her daughter Jessica Uroshimiya. Therefore, I suggest that the letter was written by Jessica Uroshimya, not the Golden Witch Beatrice. As the letter is not seen by Battler its contents could be anything, the handwriting and paper type could even be completely different to the other letters, this theory does not suggest Jessica wrote any of the other letters, just the one Natsuhi read.

The letter might not have even been intended to prompt suicide, it could have just been a private final confession from Jessica to Natsuhi, as Jessica felt she or her mother would die soon and wanted to give her a private message before she died. This explains why the letter was placed in one of Beatrice’s envelopes, Jessica re-used a previous envelope to guarantee her mother would place reading it at the top of her priority list, without having to present it to her Mother herself as that would make her have to withstand her Mother’s reaction to the news.

Now that he have established the possibility of Natsuhi committing suicide, it’s time for the final blow.

The perpetrator in the killings is Natsuhi, after losing the emotional crutch she had in her husband. Her plan was to pin the killings on Kinzo, as although she surely knew that Kinzo was dead, she claimed to have met him in his study. This explains the slight tactical error of everyone finding Kinzo’s body. She then placed the envelope in the study herself or though the use of Genji or Nanjo as an accomplice and killed them by some method. It is possible that Genji/Nanjo knew that they would die, but it is also possible that they were merely used. While the red denies the possibility of trap X for a number of the killings across the games, that guarantee is never made for Kanon’s death.

While my motive may not be particuarly substantial, I think the rest kind of works out. I’ll iron out this theories once I reread Ep 1. Does anyone want to respond?

PS: Also, for the “I will now…kill you” thing.

Beatrice is the concept of the Rokkenjima Killings. Therefore, if Battler kills himself from stress amassed from the killings, then it could be said that “Beatrice killed him”.

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I never would have thought of that, this is a very interesting theory. Also going by this theory.

Do you think it’s possible that the cousins are part of a conspiracy to get all the inheritance for themselves. If I recall correctly, only the cousins were alive at the end of the first episode. I don’t know if they would tell Battler if this is the case but if they did it’s possible that he rebelled and they killed him or he shot himself just like in your theory.

This directly clashes with my theory that [Beatrice] is another personality of someone, but I really like your theory of [Beatrice] just being a concept that pushes Battler into killing himself. Your theory has given me another angle to look at things for when I might reread the question arcs.

The Battler Killing itself thing was about the “I will kill you” riddle at the end of Ep 4. It had nothing to do with Ep 1.

I hate to do this to you man, but your theory makes no sense.

In Ep 4 at the very end of the debate between Battler and Beatrice, Beatrice issues her final riddle. At this moment on the game board Battler is alone on the island, having confirmed everyone’s deaths. Do you see why your “theory that [Beatrice] is another personality of someone” doesn’t fit?

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I know my theory is rather out there but in it I believe that [Beatrice] killed the main personality (which counted towards “everyone else on the island being dead” everyone else meant all the people that he knew about.) and that [Beatrice] had prepared a fake corpse or had taken some kind of drug to make it appears as if they were dead for a time. Remember Battler isn’t a skilled doctor so he could make some mistakes if this were the case.

After reading your theory about [Beatrice] just being the concepts of the killings, I have to admit that it makes a lot more sense and is more probable. but I can’t just completely deny my theory.

“…Ushiromiya Battler. I will now…kill you.

“…And right now, there is no one other than you on this island. The only one alive on this island is you. Nothing outside the island can interfere.

“…You are all alone on this island. And of course, I am not you. Yet I am here, now, and am about to kill you.

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What a packed episode. There’s so much to pick apart! ANGE Beatrice is a fascinating piece – a witch made to deny witches. You could think of her as a thought experiment – a way of interrogating the premises of an argument by bearing out their logical consequences, even ‘a thousand years in the future.’ For the sake of a thought experiment, you can entertain the existence of witches, without accepting the existence of witches. In fact, that may be the best way to deny witches. Like the game says, you have to keep two eyes open.

The original Schrodinger’s Cat Box was a thought experiment to deny many worlds, by entertaining many worlds. (That’s a horrible simplification, but bear with me.) It was meant to be a reductio ad absurdum – a cat can’t be simultaneously alive and not-alive, therefore there’s something wrong with the premise of quantum entanglement – but now many people accept this as a strange but true feature of our existence. A cat can be simultaneously alive and not-alive until you look yourself. I think new players, like me, struggle with the Meta world of Umineko in the same way, then accept it as a strange feature of the game in order to keep playing.

Hmm maybe it’s something like this. By entertaining – and ultimately respecting – a world of magic, ANGE Beatrice discovers what true magic looks like and what true magic means. She uses it to revive Sakutarou for MARIA, and this is something Beatrice cannot do. Therefore, Beatrice must not have true magic. This doesn’t mean any sort of magic exists outside the Meta world or on the game board, but exploring the consequences of ‘magic exists’ gives her the tools to deny Beatrice’s power. With a display of magic, she can force Beatrice out of the Golden Land and back into the game.

About that.

There are two questions looming large for me, from the time Beatrice abandons the game.

**Who is Ushiromiya Battler? **

What is Ushiromiya Battler’s sin?

And a subquestion –

Do we know enough at this stage of the game to theorize about either?

At first, I thought Beatrice’s attempt to disqualify Battler would be the same kind of existential trick Lambdadelta uses to make ANGE Beatrice question who she is. She is Ushiromiya Ange, but she’s the Ushiromiya Ange whose family never returned from Rokkenjima. So even if Ushiromiya Ange’s family returns from Rokkenjima, they won’t return to her, because she was never that Ange. She both is and isn’t Ushiromiya Ange. So maybe there’s some way to say the Meta Battler, the one who can view the gameboard with Beatrice, is and isn’t Ushiromiya Battler … but then what is he, exactly?

Maybe I’m getting too metaphysical here. This isn’t the first time someone’s accused him of not being the Ushiromiya Battler of six years ago. Rosa did the same thing on the gameboard at the end of episode two. It makes a certain kind of paranoid sense. So what, Battler had no interest in the Ushiromiya name for six years, doesn’t come to any of the family conferences, and the year he does is the year they’re discussing the inheritance and everything goes wrong? And that would explain why, when Beatrice questioned him on the gameboard, he didn’t know his sin from six years ago – he wasn’t there.

But we’ve been in Battler’s perspective before, and he does remember things from six years ago, just not this supposed sin. Honestly, doesn’t it sound like a lover’s spat? ‘Just tell me what I did wrong so I can apologize!’ ‘Not knowing what you did wrong is part of what you did wrong!’ Battler’s sin may not have anything to do with this.

Well, it’s worth at least examining the exact line Beatrice uses to undermine Battler’s identity. She goes after his mother Asumu. She switches weapons with him, and challenges him to use the red truth to establish that he was born from Ushiromiya Asumu. When he can’t, this produces the illusion that he isn’t Kinzo’s grandchild Ushiromiya Battler, Beatrice’s opponent. But that’s an obvious equivocation! There are multiple ways he can be Kinzo’s grandchild Battler without being Asumu’s biological son. She isn’t the one with Kinzo’s blood, anyway. Battler only really falls for this because … well, love. He loved Asumu, and believed he was her faithful son, her last living defender. For him that’s what those six years were all about. So who was he when he wasn’t an Ushiromiya, if not Asumu’s son?

But it’s a red truth that he isn’t, at least not biologically. She was a mother to him, but he wasn’t born from her. So maybe the question we should be asking isn’t just who is Battler? It’s who was Battler born from?

Is she someone we know? Was it Kyrie after all? She was pregnant at the same time, though she claimed she had a miscarriage. Or maybe he was a homunculus created by alchemy in Kinzo’s laboratory to be the perfect opponent for Beatrice … Oh no, I’m getting sucked in by magical thinking.

And that still leaves the question of what his sin was. We do get lots of red truths about it.

Ushiromiya Battler has a sin.
Because of (this) sin, people die.
(…) A great many humans on this island die.
No one escapes, all die.
The sin (…) is not between Ushiromiya Battler and Beatrice.
Six years ago (for Battler) no person called Beatrice existed.

… Yeah, I have no clue what it is. I suspect whatever it is, it may be the key to the entire game. It’s the first thing we have approaching a motive, right? An underlying cause for all the deaths on this island. Even if we don’t really suspect Battler is the culprit, or anything like that … he could still be the catalyst for everything that happens.

Okay, this is a great big walloftext with no conclusions. I should wrap it up. One thing I do want to note – Beatrice’s final mystery is ‘who am I?’ It’s the same question the human Beatrice asked Kinzo in Kuwadorian, in a conversation which the red truth confirms happened. Or technically, those two actually had a conversation like that in this place. A conversation where Beatrice asked an Ushiromiya who she was. In this episode, Ange and Battler are also lead to ask that question of themselves. ‘Who am I?’

I don’t know what it all means. But it’s … a thing. In a wall of text.

Congratulations for scrolling down, here are your discussion questions: Who is Ushiromiya Battler? Who is the Meta Battler, and who is the Battler of the gameboard? Are they the same, or different, and how did they become different? Who was Battler born from, if not Asumu? Does it matter? What was Battler’s sin? Why doesn’t he remember it? How did it lead to the deaths on the island? And what has Beatrice so sulky?

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