Me two weeks ago: “I’m going to finish my reread and write up a thorough explanation of my theories before Umineko Chiru comes out.”
Me today: “Oh Seraphitic, you silly goose.”
So yeah, I didn’t finish my reread (shocking I know). However, I would like to still get my theories out there albeit in a form that isn’t as thorough and rigorous as I would like. I’ll make my general thoughts known hoping that I’ll be able to fill in some details later on. Mostly I just want this writeup to be done prior to Chiru launch.
With that out of the way:
General Theory/Solution to Umineko
Q. Who is Beatrice?
A. There have been a total of three Beatrices in the past. One was the ‘Original’ Beatrice. This is the Beatrice that Kinzo first met (probably in Italy). The second would have been probably an illegitimate daughter between this first Beatrice and Kinzo. This second Beatrice is the one that Rosa sees. The final Beatrice is, in my opinion, Sayo.
Now in terms of evidence I feel like mostly I shall be relying on Beatrice’s own story to Battler as well as Rosa’s testimony. It definitely seems, as Genji and even Nanjo say in the first two episodes, that Beatrice was a kind of mistress of Kinzo but that she died. However, they seem to be referring to the first Beatrice. Beatrice herself says that this first Beatrice died but her spirit was put into a homunculus. Now we could interpret this in multiple ways such as Battler’s theory that she died during childbirth. Regardless we now have a second Beatrice. Now, let us assume that Rosa is not lying about Beatrice v2. We see a Beatrice that is about 20 years old. The year should be sometime after 1967 (due to Ronove’s red truth that Beatrice existed on Rokkenjima as a human). So, if we were to assume that there was only one Beatrice then the first Beatrice, one that was supposedly Kinzo’s lover and gave him the gold would have to have been a toddler when the mansion was being built. I think we can see how this wouldn’t work.
So we assume that Beatrice v1 and v2 die. However, there is still someone running around calling themselves Beatrice. I have claimed that it is Sayo and I shall explain soon why I say Sayo rather than Shannon (though most of you will already know why). However, I think that Sayo is, in fact, someone who was alive at the time of Beatrice v2’s death. Beyond that, she witnessed what happened to Beatrice v2 and has a familial connection to the Ushiromiyas. I think that Sayo was the child of Beatrice v2. Now, these suspicions are mostly just that. One could also claim that she was simply an orphan from the Fukuin House. Why not both? If my theory is correct she would be an orphan in some ways (I’m not sure who the father would be. The primary candidates now are Kinzo, Rudolf and Krauss. Ew to all of these). If Kinzo wanted to keep a closer eye on her, as we might expect with what happened to Beatrice v2, it would make sense that he would put her into the Fukuin House, bribe the orphanage with a bunch of money to keep quiet, and then hire Sayo to be a servant in the mansion where he could keep a sharper eye out. This is the section that I’m not terribly confidant about but seems to not have a whole lot of evidence about either. Perhaps I’ll find something as I finish my reread. We shall see.
Q. Why Sayo?
A. I think that Sayo is both Kanon and Shannon. Now, I claimed this a long time ago without a whole lot of evidence to back it up. Now I think I have more to go on. First of all Battler never sees Kanon and Shannon in the same room together in a scene that isn’t Meta. Kanon and Shannon are seen in many scenes together but, taking Battler’s perspective to be true (with the caveat that he might be drunk/dreaming a la Episode 2) we can’t say that they are ever definitively shown to be seperate entities. THIS IS VERY STRANGE. Look, even if you don’t take the assumption about Battler’s perspective to be true, you have to admit that the fact that Battler never sees them together is odd.
There are more pieces. Kanon very clearly seems to be the culprit of episode 1 (I don’t want to go into great detail here but I believe that it should be clear Kanon could have faked his death in episode 1 since we never actually see a corpse). However, we know that part of the reason that people die on Rokkenjima is because of Battler’s sin. Now, granted that there might be some way Battler’s actions could have caused Kanon to kill people it would seem like, for the most part, if the sin was to cause something like this to happen it would have to be more direct than simply ‘Battler hurt someone Kanon cares about’. It could be the case, but I feel like something like that wouldn’t quite be cause for murder. Kanon (if we were to assume they are different) wouldn’t have reason to murder, and yet it seems like he does (at least in episode 1, though we can also claim it for 2 & 3. Episode 4 is a mess and just about anyone could have committed the crimes so we won’t really get any helpful information off of it in terms of culprits on the island). Shannon does remember Battler very clearly and would remember his sin but, if we assume they are separate, dies too early to perform the murders. But, if we assume that they are the same person then things match together much better.
Furthermore, there are many instances where we are introduced to the idea of multiple personalities or personas. As early as episode 1 we see Battler, George, and Jessica discuss Maria’s personalities. Episode 2 has Jessica talk to Kanon about having different personas in different settings. Episode 3 has Battler specifically ask EVA-Beatrice about the possibility of Jessica having different personalities. While it is denied that she does it is never asked of anyone else and not denied generally. Added on to that it would seem like EVA-Beatrice, by having to deny that, confirms that, if a different personality were involved it would circumvent reds. Therefore we know that, when it keeps being claimed that Kanon is dead, it may simply mean that the personality Kanon is dead. This interpretation of the reds is, from our reasoning, valid.
Lastly, as a fun little bonus, Kanon and Shannon apparently get the same mark on their hand in episode 2. Of course, we could just put that down to the scene being magical. However, it does indicate even more strongly that these two characters may, in fact, be the same person.
Q. So What even happened on Rokkenjima
A. Long story short: we don’t know. It seems like Beatrice (Sayo) was the actual author of episodes 1 and 2. It seems clear that neither of these episodes describe what really happened on the island because we know that Eva survives. Episode 3 seems to be closer to the truth though I’m not sure we can really say that Episode 3 really happened either. Episode 4 is similar to Episodes 1 and 2. I’m not sure if we can say that 4 is some as-of-yet undiscovered message in a bottle but the possibility exists and I don’t really have evidence for or against. I guess we could suggest that the writing ‘style’ of 4 is different so could have a different author but that might be a stretch.
Somwhat related to this. It seems likely to me that Eva would have left behind her own record of what happened on Rokkenjima. If this were the case I suspect that Ange would have seen it when she went to investigate Rokkenjima at the end of Episode 4. This might also be an explanation of Eva appearing in that same scene.
However, one thing I think we can say about what definitely happened on Rokkenjima is that there was an explosion. I’m just going to quote what I wrote before
And that basically is still my reasoning. It makes sense and also explains the shrine disappearing (it was a test of the explosive). It also makes sense of the letter from Beatrice in episode 1 where she says that there will be ‘no draw’. This will also feed into my explanation of the next question.
Q. What is the motive of the culprit?
A. Sayo’s true motive is just what she says in the letter bottles at the end of episode 1. She wants people to come along and find the truth. She wants people to understand what it was that happened on Rokkenjima. However, it’s not that she wants people to find out what happened on just October 4-5. She wants people to find the whole truth. She wants people to be like Ange and thoroughly explore everything and find out her whole backstory, which is clearly tragic. To that end she has included these letter bottles to make sure that people had some clues as to her backstory. I don’t think that Sayo had any intention of surviving the events of Rokkenjima and hence the explosion. The explosion served as punishment on the family that discarded her. However, if they solved the riddle and found out the truth, she would forgive them and they would be able to stop the explosion from happening. This seems like a likely interpretation.
Q. If all this is true, who were the accomplices, if any?
A. My theory requires Hideyoshi, Eva, Genji, Kumasawa and Nanjo to be accomplices. Some are more involved than others and I think they had varying levels of conspiracy with Sayo. Hideyoshi merely lies about Shannon’s death in episode 1. It would seem like he would do this because Sayo has acquired a vast sum of money and has told Hideyoshi that she will give it to him if he does this for her. It seems like Hideyoshi could be acting alone apart from Eva but it would be doubtful just given their relationship. This would also explain how the second twilight happens: Eva and Hideyoshi willingly let Sayo into the room.
Nanjo, Genji and Kumasawa are most likely aware of Sayo’s true nature (her many personas) and keep quite about it. Nanjo declares death when people really aren’t dead etc. I also think Nanjo would have been the one to place the letter in the study in episode 1. They cooperate with Sayo because, at least for Kumasawa and Nanjo there could be a mixture of blackmail and bribing. They are both old and money was promised to their families if they cooperate. They see this as a better option for helping their families so they go along. Genji probably would do all this simply out of a sense of loyalty. After all, it is likely that the Beatrice line of the family is actually the ‘true’ line and so Sayo would really be the Head if Kinzo is dead.
Q. So what is Battler’s sin?
A. Battler betrayed Sayo. It is likely that Beatrice’s red about never breaking a promise is very pertinent here. Battler, Shannon remembers, promised to come back riding a white horse etc. However, Battler completely forgets about Sayo and Sayo feels abandoned and betrayed. It may even be that Battler knew about Sayo’s true nature or her true lineage. Sayo may have even shown him Kuwadorian (after all, we are told that the cousins, Shannon included went into the woods and got lost). To forget about her after all this time could be seen as a vast betrayal by someone who is hoping to end her endless days on the island.
This also fits thematically. In Dante’s Inferno we see the lowest level of hell reserved for the traitors and betrayers. It would make sense that Battler, who’s sin seems to be the greatest of all the relatives to merit these events, would fit into this catagory.
I’ve undoubtedly missed some important aspect of my theory. I will try and make another, more in depth post with screenshots and all at some later date. I won’t be able to join the launch party but I hope people have fun. We shall see soon if my predictions are born out.