Alright, lets do this thing.
Now before I begin, I’d like to say something: I haven’t read any of the above thread. I’m doing this because I don’t want to get other people’s thoughts mixed in with my own just yet. I want to stew on my own ideas for just a little while. As such I’ll probably repeat a lot of things that other people have said above. Just ignore that and keep reading. Hopefully I’ll have something different somewhere here. And if not then I’ll try and think of some different things too. Also this is going to be ranty. I’m not going to give a whole lot of thought to structure just yet. I finished literally half an hour ago and so my mind is mush. I’ll compose something better latter but for now just go with it.
First I’d like to start by feeling smug about guessing that Kinzo was dead. Good, glad I got that out of the way. The next thing is feeling disappointed that the reason I guessed that is not valid. Then back to smug because I kind of thought that there wouldn’t be a person X whom we haven’t met. So, as we all can clearly see the killer has to be someone we know. We kind of already knew that but thanks anyway Beato.
I’d like to take a sec to think about the first ‘half’ of the episode. I will be the first to admit I felt completely bored at certain points. I just kept thinking, ‘what is the point of this?’ However, there were a few things that Ryukishi slipped in there that caught my attention. First, Rosa may not be in fashion. Or, if she is, she may have another job. What job? Well my first thought is prostitution. Early into my read I proposed this idea to some people. Rosa had tickets to a city which is famous for its onsen, true? Do you know what else it is famous for? Its onsen geisha, or said in English, its bathhouse prostitutes. Ange can’t find anything about Rosa’s supposed brand and Sakutarou, which Rosa is supposed to have made, even is said to look like it was bought. This even seems to be brought up later when Ange ‘revives’ Sakutarou. It seems like she obtains another Sakutarou somehow. How might this be? Either Ange is a really good seamstress or she bought him just like Rosa did. So, what do we think? At least we can cast some doubt on Rosa being related to the fashion industry, yes? This brings up the idea, what did Rosa need money for? Why would she need money? In episode 1 it is said that she ‘cosigned something she shouldn’t’ but what on earth does that mean? And is it even true? An idea that might make more sense is that Maria is about to be taken away from Rosa and Rosa needs money to fight it. In other words, Rosa needs money for lawyers to appeal the decision to take Maria away. This doesn’t necessarily have to be the case but it very well could be.
Since it’s been a while since I’ve read the earlier stuff I’ll come back and write more about it here after I’ve had time to digest and check back over some of it.
There are a couple of things I’d like to say about Ange’s findings during her various interviews. There is a lot to say about all of the elements individually but we’ll deal with that later. Firstly let’s consider the handwriting that keeps popping up. Is it Beatrice’s? I’m going to suggest several possibilities:
All of the things (page in diary, messages in bottles, letters to survivors) were written by the same person and they are all suspicious things. Basically things are exactly what they seem. Beatrice is throwing a spanner in the works and making things confusing. There are probably clues about what is going on here that unify things but, again, that for later.
All of the things were written by the same person but not all of them, or none of them. are suspicious. This is a little bit stranger but what if one of the elements is innocent, or perhaps all of the elements are innocent. What if the person writing all of these things is simply being misunderstood. For a (kind of silly) example, what if the messages were simply meant to be works of fiction that the author wrote to amuse themselves or someone else. Perhaps the author never intended them to be released like they were and were planted by someone other than the author. That’s what I mean when I say that there might be a misunderstanding.
The author did not write all of the things. Some of the things are straight up faked. Out of all of these the easiest thing to do would be the envelopes since it involves the least amount of work and would look the most authentic upon closer scrutiny. Why someone would want to do this would be a different question but suffice it to say that it could happen.
So now lets discuss these various elements. The first is the page in Maria’s diary. We were already told by Maria that she met with Beatrice every year and had for about 3 years or so. This particular page in the diary isn’t very impressive on its own. However, it does solidify something that we might have suspected beforehand. That is that there is an actual physical person on the island that Maria regards as Beatrice. There is someone that is, to Maria at least, pretending to be a witch. It may even be that this person believes themselves to really be a witch. Also, I would like to point out that Beatrice wrote her name in the diary in katakana which, in terms of the English translation anyway would mean that it should be BEATRICE.
The next object is the bottled messages. This seems to me to be a more curious thing. For one thing, we are never told of the contents of the messages directly. We know approximately what they say but no specifics. It seems to me that the story is leading us to believe that the messages in the bottles tell about the events of the previous episodes 1 and 2. The end scroll of episode 1 seems to confirm this, that the things written in the bottle tell the tale that we just heard. So, what does this mean? Could it be that this message in a bottle is some kind of hint as to who it was that did all of this? It may, as I said above, be innocent but that seems kind of strange. There is also the matter of the second bottle. Why send two out? Are there more bottles? It seems like in this one fragment Eva survives but we still get the bottles. The end scroll of episode 1 said nothing about that. So are the contents different in different fragments? Another thing about them is that they are written under the name ‘Ushiromiya Maria’ but are almost certainly not written by Maria. So why would you write using that name? It seems to me that there is very little to gain using Maria’s name over someone else’s except perhaps to emphasize that the author was close to Maria. I’m hopefully going to understand these a little bit more fully soon but we shall move on for now.
The third thing apparently written by Beatrice is the letters to the survivors. It seems that these were only written to victims’ children though it could apply further than that. We only know so much about the letters. They are postmarked at a point prior to the events of Rokkenjima. So this person intends on giving all these people money not completely knowing what is going to happen on the island. Even if we assume that the person who sent out all of the mail has a plan of some kind there is no way to know what is going to happen. What exactly this indicates about the sender is not entirely clear to me. However, we do know that the sender intends on the mail getting back to the person who they are faking it is from. In other words, this is mail to the victim’s surviving family. Why would someone mail something like this? Well let us think for a second. We don’t know what is in the other safes. After all, there are about 20 or so, right? We are told that Nanjo’s son got a small case full of money. However, that is only what he says and only what he says about what was in his safe. It is entirely possible that he could be lying or that other people might have different things. The problem is that we can’t really know. I’d like to bring up a quick idea. The thing that Ange notices in the ship captain’s house that kind of freaks her out, could it be another letter? I’m not sure if it completely make sense with the reactions but it seems, for the sake of completeness there should be a fourth letter. After all, we have the northernmost tip of Japan and the westernmost and we probably had one or the other of southernmost or easternmost tips with Ange. That still leaves one cardinal direction. However, why the captain would be included is not clear to me. Motivation for why someone would send these letters is not entirely clear to me but it may be out of guilt or a post-humus payment of some kind.
There’s another think I’d like to bring up from earlier in the episode. People keep bringing up what happened on the island as an ‘accident’. What we witness is clearly no accident. How do we line these things up? It seems that something occurs after everybody dies that can be considered an accident which covers up the murders. Lets look at some of the qualities about this ‘accident’. It has to be local (since Eva escapes it by going to Kuwadorian, or at least she says she did and it seems like a plausible way to escape this accident to people that she tells this to). It has to have some amount of destructive power (it gets rid of evidence of murders and make a bunch of body parts that are jumbled together) and lastly it must be able to be considered an accident (duh, right? Well what I mean is that it hasn’t been shown that it isn’t something accidental. However, Ange seems to blame Eva in some way so it must also be able to be thought of by some as able to be on purpose). All of these together seem to form a checklist of criteria that our accident must conform to. While there may be other answers I’m going to go ahead and propose explosion as mine. It is localized, would destroy and create a mass of body parts which are hard to distinguish and could be engineered to look like an accident while still being potentially purposely created.
How? Well let’s remember all the way back to episode 1 and what we see there. We are looking for anything that might indicate explosives. There is nothing about explosives all the way through until Battler’s ‘tiny bombs’ right? Well look again. What is the first thing that we see Kanon doing? We see him carrying a heavy wheelbarrow full of fertilizer. So what? Do you know what one of the major components of a lot of fertilizers is? Ammonium nitrate which can be mixed with some other things (such as Aluminium powder or fuel oil) to create explosives. One of the things that is remarked about the roses is that they are not as good this year as they were last year. It very well could be that the reason for this is because the fertilizer is being used for the nitrate rather than gardening. Where would the explosion go off? Well the best place I can think to put it would be in the boiler room. That way, if they ever try and determine where the blast started it would look like it came from the boiler. Then it would just be a case of ‘old boiler failure’ and an unfortunate accident. It would also mean that you attack the structure of the house and bring it down on top of the people inside. As a plus, fuel oil (one of the things which can be mixed with Ammonium nitrate to create an explosive) can be used to run boilers. Though we have no indication that this boiler runs like that it would not surprise me. I also have a bit of a pet theory that I have no real proof for. Nanjo mentions that he is used to coming out a different exit of the tunnel that has stairs. It seems possible to me that this other exit is in the boiler room. The reason is simply that the boiler room is underground making it easily accessible to connect with the tunnel. Other wise you would have to have some kind of staircase leading from the tunnel to above ground. That might be conspicuous. A blast in the boiler room might cover up any tunnel entrance there too.
Moving on, there was something that Ange says on the boat to Niijima. She says: “I don’t know why, but that’s what I think. …If I hadn’t hurt her, …the incident 12 years ago might not have occurred. …That’s what I think.” This is in reference to her memory of hurting Maria when she was little by saying that magic isn’t real. She says this without any real evidence and we don’t really have any reason to think this is true. In fact, later on, ‘Beatrice’ (I’m just going to refer to the Beatrice that we see on the balcony as ‘Beatrice’ for convenience) tells Battler that because of his sin people die. Therefore it seems likely that something that Battler did was responsible for what occurs on Rokkenjima (more on Battler’s sin later). However, let us consider what Ange says. Suppose (and this is a big suppose) that Ange is correct in what she says. Perhaps Ange is actually correct in thinking that if she hadn’t done what she did then the events of Rokkenjima wouldn’t have happened. Let us think how this might have played out.
Ok, starting with the fact that there is somebody that Maria considers Beatrice we shall try and work our way up. Let us also assume that this person is not delusional and actually does think that they are a real witch. This person has, for some reason fooled Maria into thinking that they are a witch. There are a number of reasons why this could be, such as pity for Maria’s circumstances or perhaps something illegal. Regardless Maria has been fooled by this person into thinking that they are Beatrice incarnate or something like that. Now, Ange comes along and messes everything up. She tells Maria that witches aren’t real and that magic doesn’t exist. Perhaps this, combined with the loss of Sakutarou puts doubts into Maria’s mind as to whether magic is real or not. Perhaps Maria starts to doubt if there really is this person Beatrice or if she is lying to her as well. Now, this person does not want Maria to stop doubting that they are Beatrice (this is why I kind of like the idea that there is something illegal going on since it would give this person a reason to cover up everything). After all, Maria is pretty little and a wrong word somewhere could mean the end of this pretender. So they have to start the mass killing of all these people. However, they have to do it in such a way that it seems magic. This is so that Maria still does not reveal who the real killer is and therefore mess up the killer’s plans. Now, you will no doubt find some problems with this theory. First of all, there is no mention of Battler’s sin which we know to be involved. Next, this is entirely based off of the idea that Ange’s comments were correct, which we have no basis for. Lastly, if this Beatrice is the same person who planted explosives (if my other theory about explosives is correct) then why bother with the murder at all? Why not just blow everyone up? (actually that’s a problem with the explosives theory in general) In short there are some problems which I can hopefully resolve later.
On to the next thing on my list: Battler’s sin. Hoooo boy is this one a bit of a killer. Now, before I give my idea I’d like to show my assumptions. First off, I’m assuming that it is knowable at this point. In other words I’m assuming that we have enough information either about Battler’s character or about his actions to know what this sin was. The second is that it is actually a ‘sin’. Let’s face it, the word is a little weird isn’t it? It is obviously something that ‘Beatrice’ thinks Battler needs to repent for. It seems like it is somewhat serious, judging from 'Beatrice’s reaction. Ok, so with those two things granted I’d like to bring up a scene in episode 3. In episode 3 we see the cousins + Shannon at the beach. They are all having a grand old time talking about Battler and the past. They talk about how big he’s gotten and so on until we see Shannon mention that she remembers what Battler was like then. Battler says that he’s surprised that people remember what he was like then because his own memory is so hazy. Shannon says “I can remember it clearly as if it happened yesterday…” George says that is because her memory is so good. Jessica confirms this. Jessica then asks what Battler was like six years ago. Shannon says that Battler, “said something like this when he left. ‘I’ll be back, < see you again >. I’ll come to greet you riding on a white horse.’” Battler is of course mortified by this exchange from his middle school self. However, this constitutes perhaps (in my memory at least) the only time we ever hear anything about something that Battler did 6 years ago aside from leaving his family. So, the question is, is this the sin that we are looking for? I’d like to suggest that that exchange, or perhaps something like that exchange is what is counted as the sin. Now, what is ‘sinful’ about it? That part I’m kind of drawing a blank on at the moment. It seems like a pretty likely thing that Battler could have said something that might be interpreted as sinful after he has returned. Take the instance that Shannon talks about. Suppose that Shannon really believed Battler for all that time and then, when he finally comes back, he barely remembers anything about anyone and certainly doesn’t remember what he said to her then. Now, it could be something different but I imagine his sin might be something like that. I’ll continue thinking about that and try and come up with something else if possible.
I’m going to keep working on some of the rest of this post but I thought I would put this much up for right now so that you guys can say what you think. Also here are my notes for this episode if anyone is interested. They are kind of long this time, be warned. Red truths are here and blue truths are here.