That scene with the trap Battler falls into was the most gut-wrenching in the series. Danganronpa-level despair.
Agreed. Also this probably means that I completely misinterpreted Umineko’s message which would not surprise me since I’m utterly shit at interpreting anything, but the USHIROMIYA KYRIE CANNOT SAVE BATTLER moment is the most memorable moment in Umineko for me. Blew my mind (and heart) right off.
So, there’s a lot to talk about with this one, isn’t there?
Without love, it cannot be seen.
And certainly, love is a focus of this episode.
The game diverges from Beatrice’s idea further than than even the previous one: Erika, distraught after her loss in the last episode and with Bern looming overhead, sets out to destroy Battler’s game entirely.
Personally, I found the setup to Battler’s game quite interesting, and it’s a shame this one couldn’t have been played out properly, though some fraction of it seems to be me not understanding how the mystery and fantasy narratives mesh, if discussion I had with @Karifean is accurate. Every murder is committed by someone different: Eva’s body is teleported wholesale, even.
Jessica’s murder* of Kyrie was a very interesting scene I thought, just with what was going on, and the heat punch was sure something. It would seem the room was not scorched in reality, which is kind of a shame in the sense that I’d have liked to see that one argued over. This scene also made me think “Okay, I can see how a fighting game came out of this.”
The twofold purpose of the murders was also an interesting touch. Thanks Erika for ruining all of this.
We also get some information out of Rosa and Kyrie on their relationships, which was neat, although Kyrie’s was kind of messed up, and I was hoping Maria’s father would be a bit more of a good guy. And Eva tells George to get back in her womb. Battler kills* his piece version, which was interesting.
Oh yeah, if you’re an Erika fan, this one may be mostly unpleasant for you.
So, Erika and Bernkastel do not employ the detective’s authority on this one, seeking to achieve a victory that weighs more than their previous loss. Battler also prevents Erika from making the seals that dogged him last time.
Battler, general good guy that he is (though his behavior in the cookie scene, if somewhat understandable given what’s going on, was not well-received by me. I agreed with Kumasawa.) took pity on her after seeing her upset, and let her have “three rooms worth” of seals. And yeah, it was super a trick. Thanks Erika.
Oh yeah, speaking of Erika, this is about the dumbest opinion I’ve ever seen:
It’s not even considered a romance.
Erika also fights a nine-year old. And only mostly wins, with facts withheld. Nice.
Erika does have a somewhat more humanizing scene with Dlanor, and about how Erika was cheated on by a past boyfriend. But erika still insults Dlanor anyway.
It’s not long after the packing tape discussion that I lament the fact that I had already heard the “Shannon = Kanon” and “Shannon = Beatrice” theories.
And now, to get into the meat of the episode: the closed room fight. This scene was incredibly tense, just everything that happened until Lambda’s verdict.
And then we found out that Erika did what I expected of her at one point in the previous episode: The detective proclamation was withheld so that Erika could become the culprit, reversing Battler’s closed room on him.
What follows is a bit painful. You know what all I mean.
Shannon and Kanon’s dialogue in their duel is worth noting, I think, and the duel itself was more interesting than I’d have expected. And it sets up
The wedding. Oh, this whole final act is just something. I don’t think I can say a whole lot that you haven’t understood already, if you feel similarly. Beatrice vs Erika was something we needed to see, and a fair amount of the cast gets good moments throughout.
I was surprised that Battler and Beatrice straight up got married though. Beatrice calls Battler her husband, wow.
The solution to the closed room did puzzle me somewhat, which reduced it a bit for me, but not very much.
I want to read parts of this chapter again already, just wow.
Earlier I mentioned that I lamented hearing certain fan theories. This is because those seem rather strong to me by this point, albeit they aren’t without questions.
So, I haven’t mentioned the Ange/Featherine narrative yet. In general I would prefer if someone else try to get the ball rolling on that one.
The latter tea party, though. We see a more…hellish side to Featherine here. There’s so much creepiness going on with her interactions with Bern and it goes miles to set her up. I can just imagine her visage twisting into a monster with claws and fangs…
She, like some readers at this point, simply want the answers. A shame, for all of her talk earlier about readers who don’t think and all, she doesn’t seem open to considering what the next one could offer. I’m very curious as to where her character goes.
Well, whenever you all get here, I hope this will help to facilitate discussion.
So this episode all but confirms that Shannon, Kanon, and Beatrice share a body, right? They’re ‘furniture’ because none of them have a complete soul, and none of them can love someone with their whole self.
It was fun watching the game unfold, even after discussing the Kanon=Shannon theory at length. It made me realize that Kanon=Shannon wasn’t quite the right way to put it. Kanon, Shannon, and Beatrice are characters played by Sayo. I can’t help but remember Lambdadelta remarking during a tea party that ‘Beatrice’ is a good actress. Sayo must be a good actress, to play so many parts!
But it seems like she feels all her roles, too. It isn’t just a disguise. She truly wants to find happiness with George as Shannon, and with Jessica as Kanon. Each represents a life she could live, a person she could be. But choosing one would mean killing the other – which is the meaning of ‘Kanon is dead’ and ‘Shannon is dead.’ In the very first episode, Shannon dies and lives on as Kanon, until Kanon dies, too, and there’s only Sayo left to carry out the murders.
It’s a strangely elegant solution. After all the back and forth about whether the culprit was ‘one of the 18’ or ‘Person X,’ it’s ‘Person X and one of the 18.’ To put it another way, Person X ‘Sayo’ was hidden behind the names of Kanon and Shannon.
I also think it’s interesting that Battler constructed a gameboard to show he understood Beatrice’s heart, and it was a game where nobody had to die.
(BTW Erika is terrifying. The cold, cruel logic of her ‘perfect autopsy’ stunned me, as did the realization that this was why she couldn’t use the detective’s privilege anymore. One of the scariest moments in the entire game for me.)
Ooh yes, let’s talk about this confirmation that the episodes 1-2 and episodes 3-4 were written by different authors. You were right to notice a difference in the writing style! What are the implications we can glean from this?
One of the immediate, saddest implications that come to mind for me is … Beatrice is a much more stereotypical villain in episodes 1-2. She does gain depth in episode 2, but she’s much more sympathetic in 3-5, and an innocent in 6. Episodes 1-2 were written from the perspective of Sayo who hates herself and wants to die, taking the family with her. The other episodes are written from the perspective of someone who knows the truth, understands Beatrice and the Sayo behind Beatrice, and has a more complex and gentle perspective of her.
In other words, I’m still holding out hope that maybe Battler is writing some of forgeries … or not-Battler, Battler-with-amnesia, Battler-trying-to-remember-who-he-is. It puts a new spin on the end of episode 4 where he fell into nothingness because he didn’t know who he was anymore.
(I’ve also completely jumped off the ‘Beatrice is Battler’s mother!’ theory and embraced the ship. I mean, if Sayo is descended from Kinzo and Beatrice I, it’s still mostly incest, but it’s cute incest.)
I mean, yeah she’s pretty great lol. Looking forward to seeing your thoughts about her.
This time I think I’ll start with the record of red truths. I’ll also include the golden truth. Furthermore, I will try to keep repititions to a minimum, as well as order them by topic. Stuff in brackets is needed context that isn’t in the original red truth itself but in the white text context (mostly who pronouns are referring to).
This is a story of something that really happened.
There were no tricks like that. It was just an ordinary table and an ordinary cup.
Your (Maria’s) so-called candy magic is nothing more than a sleight of hand. Just a sleight of hand that the fake witch calling herself Beatrice or whatever claimed was magic.
You (Little Sister Beato) used magic to create a golden flower petal inside an overturned cup. It was a splendid bit of magic.
The six closed rooms
The rooms with the six people in them are all closed rooms.
The definition of a closed room implies that it is impossible to construct from the outside.
The definition of a closed room implies that all forms of interference that pass between the inside and outside of the room are prevented.
At the time of the deconstruction of the closed rooms, none existed within the rooms except the victims (Natsuhi, Eva, Kyrie, Rosa, Maria, Battler)
After the deconstruction of the closed rooms, then excluding me (Erika), only Krauss, Rudolf, Hideyoshi, and Gohda entered the rooms.
Krauss, Rudolf, Hideyoshi, and Gohda were not involved in the murders of Natsuhi, Eva, Kyrie, Rosa, Maria, and Battler.
The victims did not die by any method other than homicide.
Battler's closed room
The six first twilight victims are located at the places where they were discovered. Natsuhi is in her room, Eva is in the VIP room, Kyrie is in Krauss’s study, Rosa and Maria are in the parlor, and you are in the guest room.
Hideyoshi, George, Shannon, Kumasawa, and Nanjo are in the next room over.
Everyone else is in the cousin room.
The complete sealing of both the cousin room and the next room over has been guaranteed.
We have confirmed that the seals to the guest room are undamaged. Since the time Lady Erika confirmed Battler’s presence, this closed room has been preserved.
Ushiromiya Battler is not on the bed.
No hidden places that are impossible for Erika-san to find exist inside the guest room.
Except for one location, there is no one to be seen in the bedroom.
No one was seen in the bathroom.
Ushiromiya Battler does not exist within the guest room. There are no exceptions, including the closet.
At that time (after entering the room), I immediately closed the door, reset the chain, and sealed this room.
Erika repaired the chain lock.
The lock caused by the chain is intact.
Ushiromiya Kyrie cannot save Battler.
Ushiromiya Natsuhi cannot save Battler.
Ushiromiya Eva cannot save Battler.
Rosa and Maria cannot save him either.
I re-killed all of them.
Know that neither (the door seals of the cousin room and the next room over) is broken.
The window seals (of the cousin room) were also intact. Of course, this is at the time of the logic error.
The one who rescued Battler was, without a doubt, Kanon.
Battler and Kanon are different people.
At the time the next room over was sealed, Hideyoshi, George, Kumasawa, Shannon, and Nanjo were in it. And, the number of people in the next room over was five. No one existed there except for those to whom those five names refer. All people can only go by their own names.
At the time Battler was rescued, only Kanon entered the guest room.
From the time you entered the room to the time of the logic error, you, Battler, and Kanon were the only ones who went in or out of the guest room.
It refers to three people: you, Battler, and Kanon.
Three people - in other words, three bodies - went in or out. Only you and Kanon entered, and only Battler left.
I’ll define ‘rescuer’ to mean any person who reset the chain lock after Battler unset it. This definition applies whether said person intended to rescue Battler or not.
Going in or out refers to when someone crosses the boundary betweenthe guest room and the area outside it.
By the guestroom, we’re referring to the entirety of the bedroom, the bathroom, and the closet.
Kanon does not exist inside the bedroom.
Kanon does not exist in the guest room. Of course, this includes all parts of the closet, the bedroom, and the bathroom.
That Beatrice will never revive again.
I (Younger Sister Beatrice) was born for father’s (Battler’s) sake.
I (Lambdadelta) swear that I am impartial in my judgments.
That makes 17 humans.
Now let me start actually talking about the episode. First, I’d like to say that I abandoned the ‘Shannon and Kanon are two different people’ theory pretty early on. The two being the same person is of course the solution to Battler’s closed room, by abandoning the name Kanon and going by Shannon from then on, Kanon was able to disappear from the room. But also early on, it was necessary for them to be the same person as otherwise the whole love battle wouldn’t have made sense. And really, this episode pretty much revealed that those two are also Beatrice.
Next up, I’d like to talk about the golden truth. Look back at the candy truths, maybe you can already realize what the golden truth is from that. If not, I’ll do the Ryukishi thing and give three more examples concluded with what I think the golden truth is.
I once broke a girl’s heart by abiding to the rules too much.
There is a great magic in our world that a lot of people witness on a frequent basis. And if you ask any of them what happened, they’ll tell you the following:
Today bread turned into flesh and wine turned into blood.
When Bob was born, the doctor and his parents saw that he is a boy. However, Bob soon realized that he is, in fact, a girl.
So I think that golden truth is personal truth. In that sense, it is actually closer to blue truth thatn it is to red truth. As we have seen in this episode and some of my examples, you can actually say stuff with the golden truth that you couldn’t say with the red. However, it is something that is still true for the one who says it. That person believes in that truth. That point is also where it is different from blue truth. You can make many theories with the blue without having to actually believe them. You can’t do that with the gold.
So about the discussion of logic errors and all that, I think it’s actually pointless. Earlier episodes have already shown us that you physically can’t speak reds that are untrue. That would basically be the case if a red would create a logic error. However, the Gamemaster has the responsibility to know the solution to the riddles he poses. That is what all the talk about failed Gamemasters actually refers to if you ask me.
Now for the final segment of my post, I’d like to talk about the meta. This episode revealed that the episodes actually exist in universe, with Legend and Turn being written by the original Beatrice and the other four being written by Hachijo. Furthermore, it is strongly hinted that at least some parts of the meta are part of the in-universe tales. Now I am claiming that actually everything is part of the in-universe tales. Ange’s scenes have to be part of the tales as those are the main reason the fourth episode is called ‘Alliance’, and the discussion between Hachijo and Ange at the end of this episode reveals that the talks between Ange and Featherine were also a part of the in universe episode 6. I however am simply going one step further in saying that even the scenes between Ange and Hachijo are another layer of the in universe forgery that is Dawn of the Golden Witch. It is possible that some of that was based on a real conversation between Ange and Hachijo, but I actually kinda doubt it, what with Ange saying in the end she’ll most likely forget her visit there and that the passing of time was very weird. Like seriously, you physically can’t read all of the stuff that has to be a part of in universe ep 6 in 2 to 3 hours. Furthermore, as the term everything implies, I think the Tea Parties and Ura Tea Parties are part of the message bottles as well, though I am unsure if the first Tea Party is a part of the first or the second message bottle.
Now going with this interpretation, I want to look at one question I hear a lot of veterans are unsure of, and that is whether Beato was in any real danger back in episode 3. And well, it depends on the layer you are on. On the game board, I’d say she certainly was in danger, however once you go to the plane that Hachijo exists on, Beato is perfectly safe, since she, as the author, has already decided whether she is going to survive or not. For her, even the players of the game are just more pieces.
And then there’s another thing that I can claim with this theory. I’ll actually use blue for this. We know almost nothing of the reality of the world of Umineko. The only thing we can be certain of is that a great catastrophe happened on Rokkenjima and that Eva was the sole survivor. Furthermore, Ange most likely really did die in 1998, as otherwise Hachijo, or rather the true author as that doesn’t even have to be Hachijo, would be less credible. With this interpretation, it could very well be that Eva did not kill anyone. What is however also possible is that the author misinterpreted the first two tales and that the person they think to be the culprit actually isn’t the culprit.
So, because of having to record it, I’m still only about half way through the episode. The last thing I saw was George’s fight with EVA-Beatrice (shoutout to Drew Carey and Drew Carey for being the best).
But the appearance of Tohya is definitely something I’ve spent hours thinking over. If anything I’m struggling to remember the sequence of events on the gameboard because I’m spending so much time on this.
It is so awesome to have my claim that there was a different author for episodes 3 onward confirmed. As I said on the Episode 5 thread, it’s one of those things that I felt was staring me in the face as I go back through and edit it (especially now that I’m editing episode 3, where this change occurs). I’m sure there will be more detail later on in episode 6 to work this theory off, but I’m incredibly confident at this point that everything in episodes 1-5 was written down, including the tea parties and Ange’s story, especially after the incredible line ‘my memory of the future is hazy’.
My initial reaction to Tohya being the author, rather than Battler, was pretty devestating, but I very quickly realised that this is ridiculous. A few notes on that;
- Why would Ryukishi mention the male double appearing at the convention, the alternate identity, and the assistant, if they weren’t relevant? Sure, it could be chalked down to being part of establishing the mystique of Featherine, but there’s something particularly deliberate and specific about those mentions which is very different to how the pasts of Bernkastel and Lambdadelta are explored.
- The witch of ‘theatregoing’, ‘spectating’? Hardly sounds like an author to me. There are many ways that this could be explained too, but once again, it’s odd.
- Why would someone not directly connected to the incident be writing about it?
- Every ‘magic’ scene we’ve been shown thus far seems to at least have some allusion to the truth of the moment. It’s hard to tell with the few appearances I’ve seen thus far, but what motive is there for Tohya to write herself as ‘hiding’ her identity as the witch? What difference would it have made to appear first as the witch, or to not appear as the witch at all?
So basically; I still think Battler is the author, at least of Episodes 3 and 4. I’m growing suspicious that Tohya may actually be the author for episodes 5 and 6, thus the appearances of Erika; the more traditional mystery detective from the more traditional mystery author. I don’t think there’s enough evidence to say this for sure, but there definitely enough foreshadowing to justify it, if it is the case.
So I have two courses of action at the moment; either I just push forwards with Battler as the author, or I try reason out why Tohya may actually have written all of episodes 3-6. Or I do both.
I think I plan to continue my claim that Battler is the author (because it’s harder to do but I also think it makes more sense), but I will also explore the motive of Tohya, to try and figure out what obscure reason she would have for writing any of this.
So much like last time, I’m going to run and hide for a bit, and I’ll see you all with a few thousand words in a week or so.
So that was Dawn of the Golden Witch huh, that was a ride. I’m still trying to figure out what I think of most of this episode but a couple of things definitely stood out to me.
I don’t know if I’m correct or not, but I noticed that the start felt like Battler was writing a story which allowed for his family to grow and let out things. The stuff with the lovers, or the scene with Kyrie I felt like this was a story Battler was writing for his family in some way. Now how much was that I’m not entirely sure because the metaphysics of Umineko was quite confusing to me this episode and I’ve kind of given up trying to understand them cause I’m not sure that’s the point. Like the parts with Ange and Featherine/Tohya I was confused by the choice to have two separate conversations happening through the same Episode, though I was fine with it by the end. Also of note was the part where Beato interacted with them, while they were reading the story about the game board. But as I said, I’m not entirely sure that matters
I also found myself liking Lambdadelta a lot more this episode. I liked her before, but the scene where she talked to Battler before he was locked in the room blew me away. Even before that I found myself noticing that she bounces of both Bern and Battler, great chemistry all around. The backstory of both Bern and Lambda were interesting to me, it didn’t exactly humanize them, since they aren’t human, but they definitely felt more real to me. I really liked that.
The end of this episode felt like a conclusion of the story to me, so I’m pretty interested to see what happens with Episodes 7 and 8. I assume it’ll be explaining, or at least hinting at the truth. I’m looking forward to getting a better sense of what I’m supposed to take away from Umineko. I’ve learned a lot from Umineko, about the mystery genre, and about the relationship between the author and the reader. Looking forward to reading more.
First of here’s this episode’s OST.
I already touched quite a bit on this in my previous post, but let’s give a detailed explanation of how I think the meta works and in how many layers I separate it.
Layer 0: The Gameboard
This is the gameboard itself, where the characters, or rather pieces I guess, interact with each other, where murders are happening, and where magic itself does not happen.
Layer 1: The Magic Characters on the Gameboard
This is the layer on which Beatrice as a piece acts. Part of this is for example the big magic battle between Beato and Virgilia in ep 3, or when Beato discusses how she can protect Natsuhi in ep 5. I also group all the magic scenes that have humans in them that happen on the gameboard into this. Furthermore, Erika’s talks with Dlanor on the gameboard are part of this layer.
Layer 2: The Golden Land
This is the layer that Battler and Beato play the gameboard on. It was really only shown in ep 5 that the players basically act on the same layer as the golden land exists, so this is why I call this layer this way. As hinted by the name, the scenes that are said to happen in the golden land are in this layer. One might argue that Purgatorio is slightly below the Golden Land, but there’s not much interaction between the two, so I feel that would overcomplicate things.
Layer 3: Ange's Future
This only describes the future we see in episode 4. This episode’s Ange scenes get their own layer. Maria’s past and Ange’s past from the perspective of this layer are technically sublayers of this one, but as they don’t interact with any other layer, it’s easier to have all of that together in one group.
Layer 4: Featherine's Library
This is the layer of Ange reading this episode as Featherine’s miko. This layer is also entered later on by Beato Younger, and this is I think the main reason we got a separation between Hachiko and Featherine. I think it was supposed to be possible that the next layer I’m going to introduce could be viewed as “Reality”. I already said that I don’t, but the possibility is there.
Layer 5: Hachiko's Place
I don’t have a better name for this, sadly, but this is the layer all the talks between Ange and Hachiko take place in, as well as the phone call from Amakusa at the end. It is possible to view this layer as reality, as the only interaction this layer has with a different one is the fourth one, and it is possible that Hachiko started the message bottle knowing Ange would read it. So for some this layer is the one I’m going to introduce next.
Layer X: The Reality
This is the topmost layer, hence the X. Just in case more layers are introduced later. We have actually not seen a single scene taking place in this layer, if my theory is correct. This is also the superlayer all others exist in. As all other layers could be summarized to be in the superlayer “The story the message bottles tell”, moving between all other layers is always possible, and the reason why the meta often seems so complicated. The laws at which travel between them is possible seem to be confusing thanks to that. But once we view everything as a story in-universe, it’s easier to see why so much layer-jumping is possible for characters.
Don’t we need a Layer XX, the world in which we and Ryukishi reside?
Not bad, but I feel describing Hachiko’s place as reality doesn’t sit right. From the very beginning it’s portrayed as an impossible fragment, a place which Ange knows she never visited, in which she has memories from Episode 4, and the existence of Featherine is openly revealed before her transformation.
Well, if one were to argue Hachiko’s place as reality, one would further argue that reading ep 4 screwed with Ange’s memories and her mistaking fiction she read as memories she really had. Remember that I myself don’t believe Hachiko’s place to be reality either.
Also yes, you could call our plane of existence Layer XX.
There seems to be a trend in Umineko that the beginnings of each episode are nonsensical and uninteresting to me while the endings are typical Ryukishi masterpieces that can pull me in as a black hole can to light. There also seems to exist a trend that the sixth arc of a When They Cry story elevates its significance and quality within my heart.
I was ensconced in the warmth of Umineko as soon as the shock had settled from seeing Ange again, whom I should have trusted Ryukishi to do more with. Her overarching story was the only reason I didn’t tire of Episode 4. I believe her story will end at Rokkenjima, and it is in her personal arc that the story will end as the mystery surrounding Battler’s origins and discoveries are revealed, especially since Amakusa and Okonogi seem to have ulterior motives.
The gameboard is framed by the “trials” that, while pushing the message of love that Umineko loves so dearly, I think was more a way to spice up the twilights rather than send a message. I didn’t care for any of these segments, as I too pondered why must these people kill each other for their love? We’ve circled this peak before as Shannon and Kanon have refused, in other gameboards, to remain as furniture, so why is it being shown to us as readers yet again? Chick Beatrice lampshades this herself, wondering why these pairs must kill each other, and the answer we receive is that Shannon and Kanon are furniture, and thus are not one complete soul. I think this is meant to illustrate how they lack ‘love’, and past that it is hard to speculate.
It is in this episode that I finally realized just how unnecessary some of Ryukishi’s writing is, at times, like when Battler is trapped in the room and the needlessly gory descriptions continue past their point of shock value. This is something that persists in his both in his past and yet-to-be written works. Can’t say I’m a fan.
So, as a newbie who can barely keep track of what is happening, we are introduced not only to “Chick” Beatrice, but also “Anego” Beatrice, as I shall call her. Obviously, they are but two halves of the same whole, one that seeks love and one that doesn’t. I find it interesting that, throughout this episode, Chick Beatrice morphs her love from the traditional Greek typings, from Storge (family) to Eros (romance), and perhaps at the end she reaches the purest and holiest love of Agape (unconditional). How or why I still don’t know, but I suspect it’s the same golden and marble road Battler walked in the previous episode to become Sorcerer.
After so long of swimming through the black sludge of my muddled and murky brain-waters, I came to realize what drew me to like Umineko in the first place. In a way, this reconstructed my joy of this deconstruction. The mystery, the murders, and solving them. This is where my beaten heart lies, in solving these blasted mysteries. Dlanor flutters away just as my hands seek to grab the answer, and it all the more validates how well Umineko has nurtured my interest in the mystery genre. If I take away nothing else from Umineko, I will at least know that I am not merely a fly that reacts to the rising and falling swords of stories, but a man capable of thought that is so not interested in theorycrafting that I push it to my subconscious and allows the reserve engine through it, so that I may both feel and think at once, while keeping the former foremost!
Truly, this is where Episode 6 shines. Beato, whom I never thought I would miss so dearly, comes back, and plays the knight to Battler’s king. It is a testament that simply because I expected to happen, does not mean I enjoyed it any less. How refreshing and beautiful is the morning sun that caressed the valley of hatred that I felt for Erika, that made me feel so conflicted for her in that duel. That is the goal I seek with every story, to fish out the extremes of sympathy and hatred with each and every character. I wished to lend her a hand in her duel against this overwhelming, ancient force known as the Golden Witch, who is to be feared yet again, who has understood love. Battler x Beato confirmed, truly.
In typical Ryukishi fashion, I witnessed yet another fuse that burned ever so slowly, trickling across what seemed to be the length of the stars in space. The tides of my interest turn as they always do. What answers lie ahead, if any? Do not worry, my friends, for I will never give up. I have and will never stop thinking.
I think I’ll make one last post here before starting episode 7. And fittingly, I’ll talk a bit about my future expectations. We talked a bit in the episode 5 podcast how there’s probably going to be a character representing Van Dyne’s 20 rules of detective fiction and how Umineko breaks several of them so far. With the Ura Tea Party claiming Bern as the next Gamemaster, this now perfectly sets up the appearance of this character we assume to exist. The reason for that is twofold. One, Bern is presented to us as someone that wants to destroy Beato’s gameboard in the most shameful way possible. So what better way than to introduce a character that has some arbitrary set of rules with which said character can point out how much this story sucks? And the second part is kind of more a “in particular”, as Bern warned that she lacks love, and if you all remember, one of the rules was that love has, for the most part, no place in detective fiction.
Now the other prediction I’m going to make actually only works if the “unconfirmable” theory of “Battler is the author from episode 3 onward” turns out to be correct. However, first off I also have to assume that Battler does not suffer some kind of amnesia, but that he was fully aware of what happened. I basically kept thinking “Why would Battler continue to write these stories?” And the answer I came up with is basically the same reason he made this planned logic error. While for the Battler on the Gameboard Beatrice did make actions he didn’t plan, for the Battler outside everything as the author even that was planned. However, he wants people to figure out the truth. And he wants to create a tradition that the truth isn’t just said, but instead proven by telling a new story. Once someone does that, even the Author-Battler will have succeeded in reviving Beatrice, since if a different author tells the story of Beatrice, Author-Battler cannot predict Beatrice’s every move. So it is actually possible that we will see another author shift with the seventh episode.
Well, see you in the episode 7 thread~
Here we go again.
So, last time on ‘Jokrono flounders about in Umineko’, I tried to solve every closed room, and then prove that Battler was still alive and writing us some cool stories. That went well for me. Truth be told though, I think I’m going to play this in a bit of an Erika way. I think there’s a way to make all of this work without having to necessarily change anything I’ve said. I already pointed out that there is still room for Battler to be the author, but I also don’t think this means we need to deny Hachijo as the author. But first we have a gameboard to deal with.
The Sanity; Episode 6 Edition
Clearly, as we discussed in the Ep5 Podcast, the gameboards seem to be less of a focus of Chiru, as the solutions are fairly clear, if not outright told to us. Thus, for episode 6; The first twilight was staged and nobody died until Erika killed them, but Battler was left alone and was saved by Sayo, taking the personality of Kanon until the deed had been done, before abandoning that personality. I’d like to congratulate @VyseGolbez on a hard fought battle, but Episode 6 truly left him with no options. There are of course still many other questions that are posed, but no longer, it seems, are the plotline serial murders the real tough questions.
Instead we are left with many, many more questions about the various meta-worlds, or as Vyse nicely put it in to Layers. There are so many more characters whose battles play out in the Meta than we have seen previously. All of the Meta scenes, through the whole tale seem to have hinted at some aspect of the truth as well as something different, and I think that Episode 6 really crams in a bunch more information than we have in previous episodes. Take for example Battler’s treatment of Chick Beatrice at the beginning of the episode; it neatly matches Kinzo’s maddened delusions in keeping Beatrice of 1967 in Kuwadorian, further emphasised by the fact that Battler’s office in these scenes is Kinzo’s, and Virgilia and BRonove are replaced in these moments by Kumasawa and Genji. Not only are we exploring Battler’s struggle to resurrect his lost love, we are being shown how Kinzo made exactly the same mistakes for his. Another fine example of this is how we are shown the personalities of Sayo battling over who to love, and Beatrice creating the perfect man for Battler, all supposedly in 1986, when really these things would have been part of the leadup to Battler’s return to the family. It’s really exciting to think that maybe it is actually the magical scenes that contain the greatest elements of the truth (or Layer X, as Vyse puts it), though indirectly.
The existence of more layers is also a really fun question to tackle; I do, as I say, really like the way Vyse has separated the layers. I’d mostly agree with the hierarchy too, but I do think that it is intentionally more vague than the divisions Vyse has set out, with characters swapping around between them more in this episode than we’ve seen previously, especially with Beatrice visiting the library of Featherine to try discover who she was. I do think that when we see a character other than Featherine in the library it isn’t quite as indicative of the character themselves, but more at how Hachijo/Featherine looks at them to try and understand them. Despite Featherine’s touting of her knowledge of the answer, we are told that this is a draft, and thus clearly there are some questions that the author would have before calling it finished.
The Logic Error
I think it was pretty damned apparent that it was going to happen during this episode, but it took me a long while to realise that the nightmare scenes of Battler in the room had anything to do with it. I particularly like taking the perspective that, like episode 5, all of episode 6 was a flashback on how we got to the first moment, as though Battler, in the Logic Error, was trying to look at everything he’d done to figure out what moves he had left. It really neatly ties in to the similar authorship style of Episode 5 and how that began the same way with Erika’s announcement (but more on that later). @MagusVerborum also posed the idea to me that maybe BATTLER made the Logic Error on purpose, since he felt that it would push Beatrice to becoming herself again, since if he did discover the truth at the end of episode 5, then surely he also realises what option he has left. Maybe he refused to use that one final move to make Chick Beatrice realise what needed to be done. This also led to a fantastic moment where, once Beatrice has become herself again, she walks up to BATTLER, and greets him in the same innocent voice she has been speaking in all episode. It both cemented the fact that this Beatrice would never be exactly the same, but perhaps also showed that the original Beatrice had this soft side too, and I think that is a brilliant touch.
One of the main questions I’m left with about the Logic Error is whether the fact that the gameboard continues, such that BATTLER can be saved, indicates that it wasn’t a real error. Of course, for the Logic Error to be possible to fix, just as Bern and Lambda supposedly did, it would mean that some things would still have to be possible to move, but this seems to be something of a contradiction to how significant the implications of a Logic Error are made out to be. In Layer 5/X, I think it’s plausible that the Logic Error simply represents exactly what it sounds like; a Logic Error in the writing that the author will have to solve before publishing, but I don’t think that we should pin the implications of any moment to any particular layer alone (I say whilst being utterly guilty of doing exactly that on many occasions). I think the main question I have is this; is the Logic Error actually that Battler cannot be saved, or is it that BATTLER is unwilling to let Beatrice’s ‘heart’ be revealed. This premise is definitely presented to us, so I think it’s possible, that once again the Game Master has put a restriction on the game, just like the window problem in Kinzo’s study in Episode 5. By forcing BATTLER in to this Logic Error, maybe Featherine was finally able to force an answer out of the story, thus Featherine’s almost morbid curiosity with ‘looking at the answers’, as we see in the Ura Tea Party.
BATTLER as a parallel for Kinzo
So let’s get back to the first issue I mentioned; the parallels between Battler (or more specifically BATTLER), and Kinzo. I’ve been editing Episode 3 alongside reading Episode 5 and 6, and I think this has been a pretty great pairing. There are, of course, many tie ins between every episode we’ve had so far, but particularly in relation to this topic, there is a near-perfect match between the beginnings of Episodes 3 and 6. Both episodes start with a look at some important relationships; the connection between BATTLER/Kinzo, Beatrice and Virgilia/Kumasawa. The name ‘Chick’ for the young Beatrice actually first appeared in Episode 3 back when we first learned about Kuwadorian. We also had several lines between Kinzo and Beatrice back in Episode 3 in which that Beatrice said to Kinzo that he felt like a father, much the same as Chick Beatrice does to BATTLER in Episode 6. I think that the similar behaviour of Beatrice of 1967 and Chick Beatrice are meant to both show how the circumstances are similar, and also provide a red herring to push away from the truth that Six years ago for me, no person called Beatrice existed. Through this comparison we both get to see how BATTLER’s love is driving him insane, much the same as it did Kinzo, and that what these two Beatrices went through was similar, presenting more of the motivation for the culprit in 1986. The other interesting thing to me is that we see that Beatrice changed herself to suit BATTLER’s perfect image, and I have to wonder if 1967 Beatrice did the same for Kinzo. I also wonder if part of 1967 Beatrice is reflected in Elder Beatrice, an ‘older sister’.
Of course, the other thing I mentioned is the relationship between Chick Beatrice and Kumasawa, reflecting Beatrice with Virgilia at the beginning of Episode 3. Much in line with Erika’s claim that Beatrice is an amalgamation of local mythology, in Episode 3 we see that Beatrice (the culprit of 1986) took on the name of Beatrice from another source. In both Episode 3 and 6, we see that Kumasawa/Virgilia is the mentor for the young Beatrice. Especially given that Kumasawa has been pinned as an accomplice in a few of my theories, it might make sense that Kumasawa was aware of the earlier life of the culprit. I particularly like the detail that Genji and Kumasawa appear for BATTLER in Layer 2, further cementing the relation to Kinzo. There’s a heap of neat possibilities about why this was the choice, but it also goes to show that despite being the loyal servants they pose to most of the rest of the family, they still questioned Kinzo/BATTLER on the choices they make. It also seems like this part of the redeeming, more personal features of their characters we see here are also where the exaggerated components of Virgilia and BRonove come from, with Virgilia being the perfect, kind teacher and BRonove being the sass-master that he is.
I think I could really poke out some more ideas of what all of these scenes mean but I’d love to hear some thoughts on this part in particular
The Love Trials
Drew Carey was great fun this episode (and also a bit of a nightmare to perform). I think that, especially having gone in to Episode 6 with the existing Sayo-culprit theory, it was pretty easy to work out what the trials represented on the surface. Sayo can’t choose to live with all of the three siblings in her future, and has to choose which one to follow. I also find it interesting that Battler, by both his role as the game master and as a piece seems to be the ringleader of the prank that is played on Erika. To an extent this is disconnected from the love trials, but it definitely does factor in, since you have to wonder what part of Sayo’s internal conflict is represented by Battler’s forfeiting of the trials. In Episode 4, it was established by Battler meeting Beatrice that part of the goal of the game was for Battler to remember who Beatrice was; and in this game Battler is the one hiding amidst the crime that ends up bringing Beatrice back to her past self. Perhaps on the gameboard, Sayo in fact was not originally in on the setup, but Battler used the crimes in the same way that Sayo did in Episodes 1-4. Maybe the ‘on the board’ reason for the Logic Error was that Sayo actually had to figure out that Battler was in trouble to go and save him.
There is also something to be said for the dueling pistols and the emphasis that others must die for any of Sayo’s loves to come to fruition. Perhaps this ties in to the motive of Sayo in the original four games, that since their other personalities must die for the other personality to have love, so too must others on the outside. To an extent I do wonder if the Sayo actually became deluded by the wording of the epitaph in to this line of thinking. Regardless of what this chain of thought might have been, these scenes also help to illustrate just how significant of a choice it is; that shedding one of these personalities feels like shooting them straight to the head. This provides a strong understanding of how much this means to Sayo, and also goes to show just how the wording games in Episodes 1-4 are meant to be resolved. It is also interesting that Kanon as a personality is shown in the Meta as having died before his final action on the gameboard. The way that Kanon appears as a ghost also further parallels how he appeared to save Jessica at the end of episode 3, in that after the personality’s ‘death’, they can still affect the board in the Culprit’s mind. This also brings in to question what then is meant by Demon-Kanon appearing in Ep2. Perhaps the original author of the message bottles actually saw the use of a personality after their ‘death’ as a bad thing, whilst the author(s) of Ep3 onward see it as a good thing.
And then, alongside the Love Trials, we also have all of the victims of the first round, the victims of the first twilight. Going in to the notion that I mentioned, that perhaps Battler’s crime was meant to be a hint to Sayo, it would make sense that Battler chose victims that would remind Sayo of Battler and his sin. As a servant, Sayo would have heard many of the stories and rumours from around the mansion, and thus likely had the chance to notice the pattern of who the victims were in the first twilight. This does bring in to question if there are similar themes of victims in the previous games, but at a glance I can’t spot any (barring, of course, the servants in ep3). There is another implication of the victims that I will go in to later in the post, but I also think that to us as readers is meant to show clearly what the premise of the VN has been thus far. I remember that when coming in to Umineko I was told that love was a heavy theme of the game, and I think through this first twilight Ryukishi is showing us how love has connected to each of the characters in this story. In several of the episodes thus far, we have seen the same emotions from all of the characters that died in the first twilight, but now for the first time we have them directly tied together. The fact that Battler is also tied to this raises questions of its own too, but at least on the surface the implication clearly is that Battler is tied up in these trials too, and it will be interesting to see if that plays out as we go on. I do have to wonder if it implies that, despite Battler not remembering who Beatrice is at the end of Ep4, maybe he did actually feel guilt being away from love for so many years. I think that the implication has more to do with Layer X and authorship than anything else, but that’s not to say that we can’t make these connections elsewhere.
As something of a tangent to the love trials, I also love that this episode introduced dueling pistols as the magical weapon of choice. To me it almost feels like the author got bored of melee weapons. Despite this, though the tips say the opposite? So why on earth did Hachijo write the pistols in to the story?
And then there’s Ange. What am I to do? Last time I posed so many theories about what might have happened to Ange, as part of the Meta Theory, but it’s just become so hard to tell. I think, along with most things, I doubt we’ll get a concrete answer on any of it, but the nature of her last appearance, which was already confusing as it was, just got even more confusing. To an extent it seems like the most likely case of Ange’s final fate at the end of Ep4 was that Amakusa did save her, but then because of Ange’s note that ‘my memories of the future are hazy’ it brings in to question the context under which the things we’ve seen of Ange have happened. As I brought up in the Ep5 thread, in regards to ‘Layer X’, there remains the question of how any author would have been able to know about what happened to Ange. Supposedly Ange, in Episode 4, did not visit Hachijo, but then in Episode 6 she did, and it was before her journey to Niijima. How do we line up these events from Layer 3 to 5 into Layer X? There are a heap of guesses that I could make, but I think the most likely thing is that Ange met with Hachijo before Niijima, and then Hachijo did not tell the author of Episode 4 (who I claim to be Battler) about the visit, instead choosing only to include what we saw in Episode 4. This does bring in to question what the actual story of Ange on Rokkenjima is, but I honestly can’t do much but speculate on that. Maybe Ange came back later after Amakusa saved her from the Sumadera family, or maybe it was just the author’s speculation, or maybe the story became public somehow. I also like the idea that Ange actually visited Hachijo after escaping the Sumaderas but Hachijo changed the date to mask the fact that she had survived. I think it is definitely less likely that Ange actually died, since I would assume that Ange surviving the Sumadera attack at the end of Episode 4 would line up with Okonogi’s comment about Amakusa not being willing to let Ange die. I do think that once again we’ve left Ange’s tale on a cliffhanger so that it can appear again (especially given that what we see seems to be a flashback).
Erika also had a fantastic arc this episode. I do have some meta applications of what Erika represents that I’ll bring up in the last section, but in Erika as a character it’s really important to see how much of a change she went through in the past two episodes. At the end of Episode 5, for the Sayo-culprit theory to work, it would have to be said that Erika ignored definitive evidence to have pinned the crime on Natsuhi. I hand-waved this by saying that this was intentional since that is how Bern was playing Erika. I still think this is valid, but also clearly at the end of Episode 6, Erika still hadn’t figured out what the fault in her perception was. If she had indeed noticed that there was a person missing in Episode 5, would she have been so defeated at the end of Episode 6? It’s a tough one to come to a theory on. Perhaps, like in Kinzo’s study in Episode 5, some of the truth was obscured by the game master to prevent the truth being revealed. This is also brought up in Episode 6 when it is said that BATTLER will have to reveal Beatrice’s heart to save himself. Perhaps Beatrice’s heart had been obscured even in part from the detective’s authority. Erika might have seen one body in Episode 5, but she still saw two ‘people’ because it was the whim of the game master. I told @Aspirety after the Episode 5 podcast that I didn’t think it was a problem that we’d glazed over the issue on the podcast because it was easy to resolve. I think if anything I’m glad we left it alone back then because there are so many more implications about it now that we’ve seen a resolution to Erika’s story.
Also, I don’t think anyone has pointed it out on this thread, but we got confirmation of something HUGE in the tips for this episode. @Seraphitic and I were right; Rokkenjima did explode. Go execute Erika in the tips window and you get this;
There are so many wonderful things about this being confirmed, both because it’s nice to be proven right :P, but also because it means we’re starting to get some direct answers. I was pretty set on the fact that we would remain almost completely masked from the truth by the guise of the gameboards and their riddles, but this is an answer. Maybe Bern really will actually show us some truth directly. I still doubt it’ll be quite that easy but it certainly is a nice precedent to go in with. The other thing we have to consider is; if we are trying to properly ‘solve’ Layer X, we will need to figure out what mechanism the island was destroyed with. Seraphitic suggested back at the end of Ep4 that the culprit was making explosives with Ammonium Nitrate, thus why the Rose Garden is not looking so good, whilst I’m arguing that there is old military ordnance in the bunker below the island. Part of me thinks that it would be both, since the sheer quantity of fertilizer that would have to have been taken to destroy an entire island is enormous, but also there is plenty of foreshadowing to establish at this point that what is below Rokkenjima is an old military base (likely for submarines, given the secret harbour for Kuwadorian).
Mad Theory for this Episode
I really enjoyed making the Meta Theory for Episode 5. That was an absolute blast. I’d twigged on the idea that there was a different author for Episode 3 onwards very early on, and then I just decided to hunt for ways to flesh that out as much as I could. I definitely cherry-picked some evidence that was in favour of my thinking but that was part of the fun. I had so much fun that I decided to do it again; pick a detail and take it to its absolute limits. Before you continue; there are some minor details about the original, scrapped Episode 3 in here. Not necessarily spoilers, and everything I know about it is only what has been re-distributed thus far, but a warning nonetheless. Now, you might remember the bit about how magic scenes contain elements of the truth. Well, here’s a stretch for you;
The Madness; Episode 6 Edition
Hachijo wants to marry Battler
Yes, you did read that correctly (probably). This sounds utterly absurd, and really it is, but I also think there’s a good foundation for it. As I read through the final chapters of episode 6, I was left wondering; what the hell was the point of the marriage scene with Erika? The two main purposes it seemed to serve; demonstrating the limits of Erika’s cruelty, and setting up the marriage of Battler and Beatrice, could have been done in so many other ways, and to an extent already had been. As mentioned earlier, when you execute Erika, you get some extra information about her truth; she disappeared and we learn it was the forgers wrote her in to Rokkenjima. This means that to an extent; Erika was a construct of Hachijo, and perhaps could be taken to be an insert. Could the theme of trials of love portrayed the whole way through the episode actually be an emotion of the author too? I damned well think it can.
Hachijo seems to be framed as a pretty secluded person; her house visually seems pretty cramped and cluttered, she uses various aliases and identities to spread their works, rather than appearing herself, but yet in this tale with such a hard-hammered theme about unrequited love, Hachijo makes herself appear for the first time, and also appears as a magical character. The two facts I think I’ve pretty heavily locked in to in my theories thus far are that magic always reflects the truth, and is used for those struggling to cope. Despite the confident and powerful mystique of Featherine and Hachijo, perhaps this story too, is a way for her to cope with the way that she is treated in real life.
The premise of this theory is that Hachijo is indeed the author, but not of all of the past four episodes, as is claimed at the start. I believe that the ‘male assistant’ and the ‘man that appeared at the convention’ are in fact the true author of Episodes 3 and 4, the future personality of Battler. I don’t think there’s much more groundwork I have to lay on this other than what was said in my Meta Theory on the Ep5 thread, but I think that the foreshadowing we have in this episode is enough to claim that I’ve not been disproven quite yet. If this is the case, there are probably some other hints that I’ve missed, but I’m willing to take this hint and roll with it. Besides, sticking with a theory that was supposedly disproved totally worked well for Erika, right ? I think that Hachijo wrote Episodes 5 and 6, but more on that in a bit. So how are Battler and Hachijo connected? I think it is likely that he is working with Hachijo on writing and distributing these tales, as a way for him to cope with his memories. The reasons for why it’s Hachijo in particular are still in question, but I think the existence of that relationship is enough to work with, given the foreshadowing I think we have thus far. I think that their relationship in the real world is romantic to some extent, and maybe Hachijo views their relationship as one of the ‘trials of love’ that she writes of in this episode. Specifically, as I said on the Ep5 thread, I think it is a Battler under a different personality who is working to understand with his past life in the future. Despite this, the existence of his former love to Beatrice is somehow preventing him from loving Hachijo. Perhaps the ‘cheating boyfriend’ Erika mentioned to Dlanor parallels how Battler in Vyse’s ‘Layer X’ won’t ever truly love Hachijo whilst Beatrice exists. This matches nicely with the claim that Erika couldn’t find any evidence that her boyfriend ‘didn’t cheat’, in that really, Battler in 1998/Layer X hasn’t done anything wrong, but Hachijo perhaps cannot trust her love because of the lingering love from his past life.
If we actually look at all of the issues of love that are explored in Episode 6, nearly every one of them could theoretically be extrapolated to fit Hachijo. I’ve already looked at Erika so let’s see the others;
- First of all, Hachijo could have the trial of Eva, in that by helping him cope with the memories of his past life is similar to how Eva raised George yet he yearns for a life she doesn’t see as fit. By trying to help Battler/George, Hachijo/Eva have had their hopes betrayed by the life that the one they love seeks to lead. From this you could also extrapolate the feeling that Hachijo might feel that she ‘gave birth’ to this problem, the same way that Eva wishes George would return to her protection.
- Hachijo could have the trial of Kyrie, in that by helping Battler remember and write these tales, she is constantly reminded of the love Battler holds for Beatrice, much how Kyrie is constantly reminded of her envy for Asumu. Kyrie perhaps could also represent the resolve that Hachijo holds in that she believes there is a far side to this problem she can reach.
- Hachijo could have the trial of Rosa, in that she had faith in the one she loves but feels now that he may never come back the same after the journey (writing) they left on. Perhaps Maria is a parallel for the writings in that Hachijo (in this theory) is writing Episode 5 and 6 alone, just like how Rosa tries to lead a life alone with Maria.
- Hachijo’s struggle could be like the trials of Zepar and Furfur, in that the two personalities of Battler (his former self and the new identity I claim he has formed) cannot ever truly give love to Beatrice of Hachijo without picking one or the other. Perhaps this is why BATTLER is the one who leaves the trial; Hachijo may have been portraying the hope that his love for Beatrice would lose, but then also in turn perhaps the ending reflects acceptance that this is not the case.
- Hachijo’s trials could be like Beatrice, where her love (Battler in both cases), has become trapped in this puzzle trying to sort out his life and she feels she needs to be the one to break him out of this struggle. There are a lot of possibilities on how this is resolved, since Beatrice (in this theory) is both the opponent to Hachijo and the victor in this particular trial, so does this represent the acceptance I mentioned earlier, or does this represent that Hachijo feels she has found a solution? Hopefully time will tell but I’m not quite willing to make a call on this one just yet.
Maybe the whole reason Hachijo wrote the two episodes in which ‘Battler discovers the truth’ is to demonstrate to Battler in Layer X that she was able to reach the truth, proving her worth to Battler in the same way that Erika tries to always prove that she can reach the truth. Hachijo also then kills of Erika, perhaps suggesting that she understands that the ‘fact’ of what the truth is, doesn’t really matter. There’s a whole bunch to pick apart with that particular aspect of Erika in relation to Hachijo, but truth be told I’d just be spitballing based on what we see Erika do. I do think that the connections continue without a doubt, such as how Erika is the one piece who is allowed to look at previous games to solve the epitaph; suggesting perhaps that Hachijo looking over previous tales is what allowed her to solve it. This could also explain the problem of Shannon and Kanon appearing together at the start of episode 5. The scene was from Battler’s perspective and as an accomplice it doesn’t really matter that we saw it, but Erika didn’t bring up that a person was missing, even in the second twilight when a missing person would easily have been the one responsible for Hideyoshi’s murder. I’ve already posed that this was because Bern was playing Erika with the set goal of tearing down Natsuhi, but maybe Hachijo, the writer, actually did not understand this, and thus why the two appeared together, though this changes in Episode 6 once Hachijo ‘understands’ the truth at the end of Episode 5. I think (as I mentioned before), it also makes a strong case for why Hachijo only authored Episodes 5 and 6, since there are so many similar beats to 5 and 6 (such as the openings being flash-forwards) that just don’t happen elsewhere.
If we take this further, and consider that it is Hachijo writing about Battler’s madness, which I have already compared it to Kinzo’s, perhaps through this, as well as the ‘eternal torture’ Battler finds himself in through the Logic Error, Hachijo is trying to show Battler on Layer X that his lost love will consume him the same way Kinzo’s did, if he is not careful; it also shows that by being the game master and understanding these tales, he could make sure his love is never forgotten by continuing to write about it; thus why even in her own tale Hachijo would let Battler ‘get the girl’ at the end. Perhaps also the fact that Episode 6 is supposedly a draft of Hachijo’s also demonstrates that she is still conflicted on how she wants to portray things like this. Maybe Erika’s moment of realisation about the truth towards the end reflects Hachijo understanding what really matters, rather than tryign to keep her own greed alive.
The other fun detail about Hachijo I noticed right at the end of episode 6 was the name ‘Augustus Aurora’. I think this is actually a connection, through the divine comedy, to the Aeneid. Virgil, the guide of Dante through the Divine Comedy, is based of the historical author of the Roman Epic ‘The Aeneid’. There’s a whole bunch of detail to go in to there, but the important connection here is that the emperor Augustus is said to have contracted the great writers of Rome to create propaganda for his image, the greatest of which is the Aeneid. The Aeneid, through its portrayal of its main character (a supposed ancestor of Augustus), seeks to demonstrate the purity and greatness of the Roman blood Augustus supposedly carried. To bring that in to Umineko, I think that this demonstrates that ‘Augustus’, or Hachijo, is the benefactor of Virgil, or perhaps even that ‘her blood’ is present in the portrayal of Virgil. What I am using this to say, is that I think that Battler did still write episodes 3 and 4, and that Hachijo helped him to write those, resulting in the portrayal of Virgilia; the guide to Beatrice. I also know that originally episode 3 was meant to contain a character named ‘Virgilius’ who was later split in to Virgilia and Erika, and I think it makes a lot of sense that Virgilia represents the benefactor in Hachijo (perhaps thus also the use of ‘child (of man)’ for Hachijo and Virgilia), helping Battler to find Beatrice, whilst Erika is the other side of Hachijo, who wants Battler and the gameboard to herself.
Keeping this pain train going, I think the existing relationship between Bernkastel and Featherine further pushes this connection of Hachijo’s to the tale; initially Bern was the guardian of Battler, but later switched to fight against him with Erika. It almost feels like Bernkastel is the medium for Hachijo to appear in the story below what Vyse calls ‘Layer 4’. The other thought that I had initially had was that the cruelty of Battler’s past self was reflected by Bern, thus why she is indicative of what seems to be a Higurashi character (which I claimed Battler has read), and thus also why when Battler has switched to the human side he fights Bern.
The other interesting question is then what is implied by the ??? for episode 6. Where does Hachijo stand if Episodes 7 and 8 are going to be tearing the guts out of the story, demonstrating the answers to Hachijo? If Bern is indeed a medium for Hachijo, what is implied by the fact she is game master? If instead Bern does reflect aspects of past Battler, does this mean we will now get to see more of the truth? How can Hachijo write the answers, if it is her to write episodes 7 and 8? There are definitely a lot of questions I have going forth regarding the meta theory, but I don’t think I’ve been quite disproven yet. If we are indeed going to get ‘the answers’, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is Battler who is finally going to reveal aspects of the truth to Hachijo, now that (through Ep5 and Ep6) she has proven she understands. Alternatively, it’s also possible that with the death of Eva, some new information was released which we will soon become privy to. It sure will be exciting to find out.
So to wrap it all up;
- Battler wrote episodes 3 and 4 with the aid of Hachijo, who inserts herself in to Virgilia
- Hachijo wrote episodes 5 and 6 to try and prove herself to Battler’s new identity, using Erika’s fight against Battler to show that she understood
- Episodes 3-6 were released by the ‘shared identity’ of Hachijo Tohya, by Hachijo and Battler
- Hachijo loves Battler but can’t have that love reciprocated because of the existing love for Beatrice
- Episode 6 being a draft represents Hachijo’s conflict in her love for Battler’s new identity
- Episode 7 and 8 will likely reflect Battler unveiling parts of the truth, or new information that Hachijo has discovered.
I’m sure there are things I’ve forgotten and things that I’ll look back and think ‘oh damn, I didn’t explain that properly’, but I need to call this done at some point.
All aboard the Ep6 Podcast Hype Train!
If you enjoyed ‘DeadColour’ (my cover of DeadAngle and Discolor for the Ep5 Podcast), I’d be open to suggestions on another track to do from this episode. None of them quite bit me quite as much as Discolor did, but I’d be down to give it a shot
The Episode 6 Podcast will be recording tonight!
The cast will be meeting at 05:00 UTC (5 hours from this post) and going live soon after, so keep an eye on the Discord server if you want to tune in
If you’re not caught up, you also have enough time to fit in nearly two whole podcasts in the meantime! I’d personally recommend the Ep4 and Ep5 podcasts on 1.25x speed, to get you all up to date on where our thinking is. If that’s not enough to keep you entertained in the time before the podcast, there’s also all of the discussion threads which you can find a portal to in the website header.
I hope you’re excited to hear @Aspirety try wrestle control of his gameboard back from me, as I mislead @MagusVerborum, @FlareNetworkC and master and commander @Seraphitic through the wonders of Episode 6!
I don’t much care for who wins either way, I only hope you will produce something entertaining for me, Child of Man.
Podcast is ready! Please enjoy~