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Zalor

Umineko Discussion (SPOILERS)

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Maybe I just didn't have any luck with the forum search feature, but I struggled to find a thread dedicated to discussing Umineko. So I've decided to start one, since it really is one of those VNs you can't stop thinking about after you finish reading it. As the title of this thread warns, this thread is completely open to spoilers of everything covered throughout Episodes 1 - 8 and all of their associates tea parties and extras. Just for courtesy's sake though, I'll include a spoiler tag. 

Spoiler

So am I correct in understanding that basically all the characters we ran across, or at least the personalities we saw of them were basically just manifestations of characters in Battler's mind? Like all the relatives are just a manifestation of what Battler remembers of those people, mixed with his active imagination. And characters like Bern, Lambda, and Erika, were completely in his head? What about Aurora?

I love mind fucks like this, but I'm going to need some time before I can reorient everything into a consistent understanding. 

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@Zalor

Spoiler

I'd say, there are at least two interpretations of the events which are equally "true", if this word can be applied to a work of fiction. The first interpretation is that all the magical stuff actually happened, and Umineko is just a fantasy novel with very intricate and unique magic system. The second interpretation is that none of the magical stuff happened, and that's basically what you say. Neither of these interpretations are outright confirmed or denied in the story, so it's basically up to you what interpretation to believe.

34 minutes ago, Zalor said:

So am I correct in understanding that basically all the characters we ran across, or at least the personalities we saw of them were basically just manifestations of characters in Battler's mind?

That seems to be the case, yeah. The exceptions are Episodes 1 and 2 which are bases on Sayo's mind rather than Battles, and the tea party in Episode 7.

46 minutes ago, Zalor said:

I love mind fucks like this

Well, in my case, Umineko was what made me fall in love with them. :__:

53 minutes ago, Zalor said:

I'm going to need some time before I can reorient everything into a consistent understanding. 

Have you tried reading the manga for Episode 8? It makes some things clearer that the VN. If you don't want to read the manga (I personally never did that) you may try this fan-made VN which converts the scenes that were changed in the manga into a VN format.

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I apologise that I cannot contribute much to this discussion, but I find it fun in how much of a state of simultaneously knowing things and not knowing things I am. I've read through the VN, but I took away so little from it, especially these many years on, that all the big spoilers and twists don't really mean much of anything to me. I don't feel spoiled, but it's not like I remembered them.

I'd hope to one day read it but... That'd require a lot of motivation. I don't know if it'll ever come.

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1 hour ago, Dreamysyu said:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

I'd say, there are at least two interpretations of the events which are equally "true", if this word can be applied to a work of fiction. The first interpretation is that all the magical stuff actually happened, and Umineko is just a fantasy novel with very intricate and unique magic system. The second interpretation is that none of the magical stuff happened, and that's basically what you say. Neither of these interpretations are outright confirmed or denied in the story, so it's basically up to you what interpretation to believe.

That seems to be the case, yeah. The exceptions are Episodes 1 and 2 which are bases on Sayo's mind rather than Battles, and the tea party in Episode 7.

Have you tried reading the manga for Episode 8? It makes some things clearer that the VN. If you don't want to read the manga (I personally never did that) you may try this fan-made VN which converts the scenes that were changed in the manga into a VN format.

Wow, somebody really did God's work with that. I'll check that fan made VN then. Since generally I'm not a huge fan of manga.

 

31 minutes ago, Mr Poltroon said:

I'd hope to one day read it but... That'd require a lot of motivation. I don't know if it'll ever come.

I felt that same way. I've procrastinated reading Umineko for maybe as long as Fuwa has been around. And if you already read through it once, I couldn't imagine rereading the whole thing again. That said, kind of like with Suba Hibi there is a certain joy in not completely knowing and theorizing based on your own interpretations. 

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Spoiler

I don't think Umineko's message is that either the fantastical and the factual series of events are real, but rather both can be "true" at the same time. You're not supposed to take away that either Ange hallucinates a lot or that magic is actually real. The way I read the story magic in Umineko is a metaphor for how your mind can turn cruel, hard facts into something you can derive positive meaning from. The VN presents this as something important and valuable. 

One of the things I only recently noticed is how the way Umineko is constructed is proving the point it is trying to make. If you rip away all the fantastical elements, it’s a story about a young woman trying to find out the circumstances of the tragic deaths of most of her family when written records of the events surrounding them turn up (which turn out to be made up). The “truth” turns out the to be both depressing and mundane, and she commits suicide. This plot is not what makes Umineko so amazing though, is it? It’s all the stuff happening in the parts surrounding it that are “made up” even in universe. Only through all the fights between witches, logic battles, tragic love stories meta-layers, and so on does Ange’s journey get meaning. It doesn't really matter if they are based in physical reality (which they are obviously not). They are part of Battler's and Anges's truth, and thus Umineko's truth.

Anyway it's kind of impossible to discuss Umineko in a comprehensive fashion because it's so massive. Even if you edited down all the maniacal laughing, uryuu-ing and over-the-top fight scenes you would stil probably end up with an 80+ hours read where every single 10 hour chapter gives you more food for thought than most actual 80 hour VNs out there. Some time ago I planned on writing a blog post about how the gold from the Golden Land is a metaphor for truth, but I scrapped it after realizing all the introduced concepts I would have had to explain and all the plot points I had half-forgotten I would have had to read up on and I just couldn't decide where to even start.

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45 minutes ago, Witchilich said:

I never really finished this series. I am waiting for the Gold Edition(with the hope that someone makes a Japanese language patch) to replay it with all the new content.

hahahaha so funny. It's dead, completely. There is zero hope for this version. Both mods [07th and umiproject] are great and provide pretty much everything you need. And Saku is being translated, so every content available in VN format will be in English in the future. Anything besides that is false hope.

 

12 hours ago, Zalor said:

Maybe I just didn't have any luck with the forum search feature, but I struggled to find a thread dedicated to discussing Umineko. So I've decided to start one, since it really is one of those VNs you can't stop thinking about after you finish reading it. As the title of this thread warns, this thread is completely open to spoilers of everything covered throughout Episodes 1 - 8 and all of their associates tea parties and extras. Just for courtesy's sake though, I'll include a spoiler tag. 

  Hide contents

So am I correct in understanding that basically all the characters we ran across, or at least the personalities we saw of them were basically just manifestations of characters in Battler's mind? Like all the relatives are just a manifestation of what Battler remembers of those people, mixed with his active imagination. And characters like Bern, Lambda, and Erika, were completely in his head? What about Aurora?

I love mind fucks like this, but I'm going to need some time before I can reorient everything into a consistent understanding. 

no

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16 hours ago, alpacaman said:
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I don't think Umineko's message is that either the fantastical and the factual series of events are real, but rather both can be "true" at the same time. You're not supposed to take away that either Ange hallucinates a lot or that magic is actually real. The way I read the story magic in Umineko is a metaphor for how your mind can turn cruel, hard facts into something you can derive positive meaning from. The VN presents this as something important and valuable. 

One of the things I only recently noticed is how the way Umineko is constructed is proving the point it is trying to make. If you rip away all the fantastical elements, it’s a story about a young woman trying to find out the circumstances of the tragic deaths of most of her family when written records of the events surrounding them turn up (which turn out to be made up). The “truth” turns out the to be both depressing and mundane, and she commits suicide. This plot is not what makes Umineko so amazing though, is it? It’s all the stuff happening in the parts surrounding it that are “made up” even in universe. Only through all the fights between witches, logic battles, tragic love stories meta-layers, and so on does Ange’s journey get meaning. It doesn't really matter if they are based in physical reality (which they are obviously not). They are part of Battler's and Anges's truth, and thus Umineko's truth.

*snip*

You put things really well. Umineko's vast scale and how everything gets tied up is my favorite part. As you said, the core story is arguable extremely simple, but its how the real story is everything in between and how vast in scale that is which I love. In a real way, it gets you to question what is the value of reading a story? Enjoying the fun of it and accepting all the fantastical absurdities (magic), or understanding and intellectually dissecting it in search for the "truth", like some kind of detective? Being somebody who for a long time subscribed to the latter style of thinking, I've since adopted the former perspective. In large part, though not entirely because of Umineko. Furthermore concluding a work so long and complicated is no easy feat, and the ending has been having me reread scenes from the VN obsessively. Which hasn't happened to me since I read Suba Hibi.  

I completely understand your struggle with organizing an analysis of the gold and the golden land. But if you ever were to write it, I would definitely read it.  

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4 hours ago, Zalor said:

I completely understand your struggle with organizing an analysis of the gold and the golden land. But if you ever were to write it, I would definitely read it.  

Spoiler

The argument I was going to make is that basically throughout the whole the motif of the gold of the witch and the truth theme (as represented by the answer to what happened on Rokkenjima that night) have parallel arcs. Both are positioned as the reward for solving a logic puzzle at first and then keep going through similar iterations. For example it is no coincidence that Eva is the first one to solve the epitaph and find and keep the physical gold as she is also the one who "inherited" the knowledge of what actually materially happened. She is unable to look beyond these "facts" though and turns into a bitter and power-hungry person.

Also the story behind the Rokkenjima killings and the one of how the gold ended up in Kinzo's posession are quite similar. If you only spoke in red truths, both are about one person getting rich through a combination of skill and luck, but in turn ending up losing the ones that brought them happiness.  Both Kinzo and Eva get so consumed by their obsessions with what is gone that they lose the ability to extend their love even to those closest to them, even though it is what brought them said happiness in the first place and that is at the core - and thus, as Umineko argues, the "truth" - of both tragedies. 

 

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jk I really don't know what to say, it really depends on your perspective. You could argue that, but also could say the opposite. Umineko was made with the many different possibilities in mind, so it's not like you'll find a true answer to your question. But what I can say is that if you think this way, it will be way less satisfying, since you'd be able to argue that nothing mattered as it was not real.

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8 hours ago, Silvz said:

you'd be able to argue that nothing mattered as it was not real.

I mean, I guess some people may think this way, and argue it, but I wonder if anybody coming off of Umineko would actually think this way. That since it wasn't real, it does not matter.

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From what I see at Erogamescape, apparently Japanese didn't like on how Ryukishi end the story looking from EP 8 average score was at 58 (That's the reason on why I didn't use Erogamescape score as factor anymore when I made best rated VNs list), or in another word the reader may not understand the point of the story. Not that I can understand it easily though seeing that it's pretty subtle in regard on the resolution, so if you need some clearer resolution you can read the manga in that it provided pretty clear answer for Umineko and hopefully it could provide some more clarification to you. And yes I already read the manga.

Edited by littleshogun

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5 hours ago, littleshogun said:

From what I see at Erogamescape, apparently Japanese didn't like on how Ryukishi end the story looking from EP 8 average score was at 58 (That's the reason on why I didn't use Erogamescape score as factor anymore when I made best rated VNs list), or in another word the reader may not understand the point of the story. Not that I can't understand though seeing that it's pretty subtle in regard on the resolution, so if you need some clearer resolution you can read the manga in that it provided pretty clear answer for Umineko, so you can read it in case you didn't satisfied with on how the VN is ended or if you need some more clarification. And yes I already read the manga.

The funny thing for me is that my impression of Japanese creatives (writers, mangaka, game devs, etc) is very positive and I think they have a lot of brilliant minds working in those fields. But my impression of the Japanese consumer base lowers with every year. I think the oppressive education system makes a minority of people snap and a subset of that minority express it through art, which is why their fiction can be so good. But the majority of Japanese manage to conform to the system, and for those who conform I think it permanently damages their creative thinking abilities. It's interesting how Higurashi is the favorite Ryukishi07 work in Japan, and Umineko (which is comparatively a more experimental and imo overall a deeper work) is somewhat scorned in Japan but highly praised in the west. Maybe at my core I'm fundamentally westerncentric, but I think the west is right on this one. Umi > Higurashi. Although without a doubt both are very good.

I think Ryukishi07 was tongue and cheekly referring to his Japanese audience in these quotes: pic1, pic2

  

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That's some interesting interpretation raised in regard of education, although I guess in the end it's more like the Japanese consumer base here didn't use their imagination enough thanks to the so-called system (And obviously Erogamescape voters here is basically the consumer base). It help though that Higurashi here did have clearer conclusion compared to Umineko, and as for Japan and Western here I think Ryukishi himself realize it very well in that Umineko here is very fitting for Western (Or perhaps it might be possible that Ryukishi write Umineko with Western in mind) with a lot of Western references and all.

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Umineko does have a pretty clear conclusion, both in terms of plot and themes, it just doesn't bother to explain all of its murder mysteries in way that satisfies anyone looking for clear-cut "logical" solutions, which is kind of the point. My theory for why Umineko is more controversial in Japan is that its critique of a certain hyper-rationalist mindset hits a lot closer to home with a larger portion of the consumer base there. Ryukishi07 reacting to a possible need for answers to the howdunnits based on material reality by effectively shrugging and saying "I gave you Battler's and Ange's "truth", if you are not satisfied with that, go figure it out yourself" is a big middle finger to these people (if the inclusion of Erika didn't piss them off enough (and I could go on about how great of a character she is)). Especially since Japanese popular media, or at least the parts I know, tend to package their social commentary in a way that mostly spares out the individual consuming it. 

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Its important to mention that episode 8 has extra content in the manga version and the ending is a little bit more satisfying

Spoiler

I guess the "Magic" ending is supposed to be the canon one, and I liked it that way. The "trick" one is supposed to be something like "this world is shit, magic doesn't exist, nothing is real so fuck everyone" but people like that never end up happy, nihilism simply doesn't pay off.

I was so invested on figuring out the killer (it was obvious Shanon and Kanon were the same person) but it turns out that the worst timeline is also the real one, in which Shanon never really managed to kill anyone but Battler parents did (and they would do it anyway, even if Shanon could be raised as the blond guy). Jessica's "true" death was particularly brutal, Battler mom fucking gutted her.

From my impression, It seems "magic" was just a coupling mechanism for dealing with shit situations (Rosa's abuse, Maria's diary, Ange childhood, and "Beatrice" whole life, of course).

 I would guess that it is sort of inspired by the chuunibyou thing and people in Japan don't really care that much about psychology or therapy as it seems and it shows, they pay a hefty price for that. Neurology has already proven that working 12 fucking hours per day simply isn't productive, people just burn out and kill themselves or end up crazy and destructive like Kinzo or Rosa, in some way.

I can imagine why this has angered the Japanese audience, tackling real issues like that isn't easy.

I didn't really like all the meta battles, particularly in chapter 8, but there is enough depth in the "magic" in that it is better than nothing and it is better than gruesome reality for these characters.

In the end, Battler, although a cripple, gets a rich milf and reunites with Ange, who manages to recover as well, so not all too bad, fucking therapy would just be better though.

 

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15 hours ago, alpacaman said:

Umineko does have a pretty clear conclusion, both in terms of plot and themes, it just doesn't bother to explain all of its murder mysteries in way that satisfies anyone looking for clear-cut "logical" solutions, which is kind of the point. 

(if the inclusion of Erika didn't piss them off enough (and I could go on about how great of a character she is)). 

That's my favorite part about Umineko. Unlike Suba Hibi in comparison, which by it's end points you right back to the beginning to pick up the clues and figure stuff out for yourself (which is an aspect I love about Suba Hibi). Umineko goes for a different approach by providing you with a completely coherent ending. The perfect puzzle piece that answers all the questions. But it doesn't spoon feed you all the answers either. It basically just gives you the key, and lets you do with it as you will.

Also, Erika up with Bernkastel were my favorite characters. Combined with Lambdadelta they made for an excellent trio of antagonists in EP 6. That duct tape scene...

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On 9/12/2020 at 4:31 PM, Zalor said:

It basically just gives you the key, and lets you do with it as you will.

But what does my young foolish self do, who took that key and dropped it down the drain? Never read a mystery novel in my life, and frankly, haven't read any since, if not for other mystery visual novels.

 

Regardless, I've decided to give it another try. Here's a stream of consciousness for the first episode of Umineko, which I started on Thursday and only now finished.

Spoilers for the entire novel as I've read the whole thing and will be using the bits and bobs I remember as I go through.

Spoiler

Who, where, when:
Cousins + Genji + Shannon (Guest House ; 11:30)
Cousins + Adults- Krauss + Genji (Dining Room ; 12:00)
Cousins + Adults + Nanjo + Gohda + Kumasawa + Shannon (15 people! ; 12:30?)
 Adults + Nanjo + Genji (Parlor ; 13:30)
Cousins + Shannon (Beatrice Portrait ; 13:30)
 Adults + Genji? (Parlor ; 13:30) Didn't see Genji leave
Cousins + Shannon (Beach ; 15:00)
Cousins + Rosa (Rose Garden ; 15:30)
Cousins - Maria + Kanon (Guest House ; 18:00)
Cousins + Kanon + Rosa (Rose Garden ; 18:30)
Cousins + Adults + Nanjo + Gohda + Kumasawa + Shannon (Dining Room ; 18:30~)
Cousins - Maria + Adults (Parlour ; 22:00) Jessica leaves. Rudolf leaves. The Adults separate.
Cousins + Rosa + Shannon (Parlour ; 22:30~) Krauss called Rosa and Shannon came from the servant room. Rosa left.

Day 2
Cousins + Eva + Hideyoshi + Natsuhi + Nanjo + Genji (Parlour 08:00~)
Cousins + Eva + Hideyoshi + Natsuhi + Nanjo + Genji (Parlour 08:45) Kumasawa shows up after Eva and Natsuhi leave.
Genji + Kumasawa + Kanon + Battler (Kitchen nearing launch time) Battler shows up later.

RIP I ended up abandoning this as the amount of people was reduced.


I'm making this document to take notes and try to take away something from this gargantuan work. I've played Umineko before, so I'm slightly more informed than someone who has not, but that still does not mean I will be able to have any sort of special insight.

To start with, we begin with Kinzo and the physician in Kinzo's room. Not only do I not know when this takes place, I also know not to trust anything the protagonist does not see. Regardless, this scene seems harmless enough, except it indicates Kinzo is alive when Battler comes to the island, which I do not know if it is true.
As far as I remember, Battler does not see Kinzo alive, but we'll see.

I'm afraid to take any information from this scene into account for future deductions or thoughts, because I really don't know if it is true. For now, I'll register that Nanjo ias a friend of Kinzo's of many years, and appears to be rather concerned with his health.
Nanjo is worse at chess than Kinzo...! Yeah, I doubt this is useful info.
Kinzo doesn't seem much of a family man. A self-made man with a family only as a result of lust and the like.
Well, he describes his fortune as a pact with a witch. I don't remember the exact circumstances, but I do seem to remember he got his fortune through sheer luck and possibly by doing some bad things.
Occult, much?
And old man at the end of his life saying their prepared to lose everything really isn't worth much, is it?

Battler was absent for 6 years: Why? It seems it has to do with the passing of his birth mother, 6 years prior.

Battler is not afraid of shaking.

George is 23. Battler is 18, as is Jessica.

Hideyoshi. The game describes him as a nice person compared to everyone else, which would be suspicious, but I actually agree. My memories don't contradict it, and I like the guy!

Eva. She looks and sounds like a witch even before there are witches. Pretty sure she turns into one at some point but let's not get into all that crazyness. Anyhow, for a first impression this isn't bad. I'm pretty sure she'll be showing her mean side plenty and often, soon.

His step-mom uses "Rudolf-san". That one's interesting. She doesn't seem like a woman that'd use -san for her loved ones, but I guess I'm stereotyping and this point.
Oh, my. Now that's an open talk about their intimate life.

Anyhow, Kyrie. My memories of her make me highly interested. What I remember of her is that she is highly competent, but always gets shafted way too soon to make use of that competence. Also, not a complete bastard to others even in pressing circumstances, I suppose.

Rudolf. My impression is that he's not half the person his wife is, and I'm not even sure if he's one of the good eggs, but I frankly do not remember, so I'll withold further judgement.

Eva's a martial artist!

Ange did not come on the trip.

Interesting that George comments the parents behave like normal parents outside the conference. I wonder, indeed, if that is true for him. I don't have any particular reason to think otherwise.

Maria. She's 9. I am slightly worried that it's a bit telling that I have no idea what a 9-year-old typically acts like, so I can't tell if she's being particularly childish or not. I do remember that being a point of contention.

Rosa. She always seems like a decent human being from Battler's eyes. Yet my memories paint her as an abuser. One really ends up wondering by the end of this VN who the characters really are, if it's all possible worlds and real events or just made up stories.

Jessica. All the kids are good eggs in my eyes, aside from Maria, but that's an aside. Scenes about how people changed physically and irreversibly always make me feel sad. Very common in stories of girls that play with boys but stop being a match in certain areas or sports with age; regardless of skill.
Aaand I completely forgot to read her blurb (I've already met Kanon by the point I'm writing this). Apparently breathing problems. Now there's a detail that's sure to be completely irrelevant to everything.

Kumasawa, aka best girl. I've no idea how she's managed to stay hired, since it doesn't seem like she's involved in the plots and the like, but she's great. Pushing 80, is she? It's always so nice to see those who can enjoy life even this late in their lives.

Goshdarnit, the contradiction of not wanting to go to the area that's less scary because it's potentially less safe is so true it hurts. (Referring to Battler refusing to go inside the boat, despite shouting all the way.)

Battler believes his father betrayed his late mother. Was it while she wa alive, or was it because he swapped wives like he swaps socks?

There was a Torii statue (whatever that is) on a craig. It is no longer there. More specifically, it was a shrine, and the god of the island's gone.

The old lady introduces the superstition to Maria. As an old gossiper it seems normal, but let's keep it in mind.

Maria starts crying on the boat about the misfortune. Just a kind throwing a tantrum, or does she know something?

"I heard people have a supernatural sense that decreases with age." I'm sure this won't ever come up again or anything.

"There's nothing to be afraid of if we're together." Good boy George. "George doesn't lie." We'll see about that one.
Anyhow, Maria bought into friendship and family, which is nice.

Bootlicker 3000, Gohda Toshiro. A newer servant, so he contrasts with most others in attitude. I remember him doing nothing the whole time, which I guess is memorable in and of itself if everyone else does something.

No seagulls? Must have been sacrificed to the witch.
Or maybe someone has ventured into wherever they live, recently.
Finally someone offers the rational explanation of they've sodded off because of the typhoon.

Maria feels bad for the one rose that's different from the others. Maybe there's some symbolism here, but I'm just going to hope it's not connected to anything I can actually figure out.

Kanon, allegedly 16. Now this one's a bit of a beast. From what I remember, there's always something off with Kanon, but we'll see.
At any rate, I know there's at least one case of a person having multiple valid names, making it confusing and possible that there may be multiple characters that are the same person. I'll try and make sure to count who Battler sees together, alive, at any given point. At least those shouldn't be the same person.
As for Kanon... I remember liking at least their design. I think they're a but stoic and end up developing? We'll see.

We're told there are multiple servants labelled with names ending in 'on'. I may be wrong on this, but I believe I remember they mostly came from an orphanage. There's more stuff going on with that orphanage but it's probably not relevant at this point. One of the people from there may be Yasu, whom I think has gender identity problems and may be multiple of the people we meet, or none of them. It was quite hard for me to follow, and harder still to remember.

Jessica seems to be all over Kanon. I no longer remember the reason for that, however.

Kanon commits a mishap and the children all help them out. We cut to a scene afterwards of Kanon introspecting, but this was not seen by Battler. Annoyed at one's own weakness?

When asked about Kinzo, Jessica does not indicate anything as wrong at all. There might have been hesitation, but the way they write things here everybody hesitates all the time.

Boss Hideyoshi letting George stay behind with the cousins, and Jessica stating clearly she has little desire to inherit a bloody thing.

George asked Kumasawa something. My mind immediately jumps to Shannon. Hm.

We jump to the adults, which means Battler is not a witness.

Eva is ruddy poison in a well. She cannot say anything but venom to the main family. Hideyoshi once more showing why he's great. Natsuhi has a headache. That's her defining characteristic :P

Best girl Kumasawa continues to show why she's the best by analysing the whole debacle around the younger servants taking the rap for Gohda's mistake.

It's now 12 in the afternoon.

Every time Shannon is complimented she seems to blush. I'd read into it, if it weren't for the fact that she might be self-conscious about her distinguishing feature.

Genji, the emotionless robot. Apparently he's been here for many many years. If anybody's likely to be "in" on some scheme it'd be him, especially if it relates to Kinzo. Regardless, I'll be forced to assume anybody could be collaborating with anybody else over the course of this or I'm not going to get anywhere.

"The year before the last". That keeps propping up. The new buildings were made, the Beatrice portrait was put up (April). The Shinjo Shrine was last year, though, I think.

The witch of the forest... I seem to be under the impression Kinzo once housed a lover/daughter in the forest. No longer remember clearly. Whatever the case, this should be the person Beatrice refers to.

Jessica seems to not believe in the witch, which is, I suppose, pretty normal for someone her age. Regardless, I should note that Beatrice's likeness has been introduced to everyone, so it should be possible for at least the ladies to disguise themselves as Beatrice at opportune moments. All the more so for people like Eva and Rosa, who already share some features. Or even Jessica.
On the other hand, both Kumasawa, Nanjo and Genji should be old enough to know of Beatrice. Whatever that might mean is beyond me for the moment.

Nobody looks like they're a fan of the portrait except Maria (lol occult) and Battler. It would make sense, if everybody's looking at it as a sign of the old man's mental decline. Battler's the only one who hasn't experienced it.

Seating orders. Now here's the good stuff. This is why I read VNs like this, to figure out people's family politics. At any rate, one of the things the VN explicitly says is to not disregard the heart, the motive, so I should keep in mind something of how the rank works.

Battler's jokes are the furthest thing from her mind, so it's nice to see Natsuhi positively surprised.

It's funny to think about, with how much of a mythical figure Kinzo is for the entire game, that the cousins memories of him are so familiar and basic. Yeah he'd show up for family meals, no big deal.

Hm, up until this very moment, the game had been avoiding showing people's profiles until Battler personally met them, even if they showed up in the story earlier, but for Kinzo alone it has broken this pattern.
Regardless, here we see a scene with Kinzo and Krauss, but as usual, I know not how much I can trust it.

Hm. Wants a refill on his drugs, spirits? Makes sense.

Nice guy, this Kinzo. I really have to wonder how he as is depicted compares to how he was in life. Or perhaps, to how he was in life a few years back.

"My Father is already dead. There's nothing here but a phantom of what he once was." Come on game, stop teasing me.

This scene does show me, however, that if Kinzo were to be dead, it'd be difficult to keep it from at least Nanjo and Genji (though it depends on how obedient Genji is to Krauss and how long he's been dead), and if anybody were to hide his death, it'd have to be either the servants or Krauss and co or a mix of the two.

A lock to Kinzo's study has been introduced. We're going to need Battler to see it.

Kinzo's sprite crying with the text "Why is the Ushiromiya blood so incompetent?!?!" is meme material.
Regardless, it's fun to see his thoughts on the family members here. He says they're incompetent, but he literally denied Eva because she's too evil, lol. Pretty accurate.

The greater the risk the greater the power of magic. An interesting claim, and I'd say it applies pretty well to elaborate plots and murder mysteries. If you're taking greater risks, the more unsolvable it is if you pull it off. If you plot something reliant on a coincidence, who'd ever find you out if it actually succeeds?

Kinzo has a way of starting a speech normally and ending up a possessed ramble. You don't even notice it until he's already shouting madly.

Okay, so Krauss and Nanjo show up. If I'm to assume Kinzo is dead by the time people arrive on the island, then Nanjo is in on it, possibly along with Krauss. Again, it is still possible the servants are pulling the wool over Krauss and Nanjo or just Krauss's eyes. But they'd have to really not insist that much.

He's had three months left "since last year"? Well, now.

It's been mentioned a couple of times now that Kinzo "rebuilt" the Ushiromiya glory. Does this mean they had glory previously?

An hour passes, it's 13:30.

Krauss's profile is revealed, and it's interesting to notice that Jessica's breathing afflictions do not seem to come from anyone in the family. Is it not genetic, then? Worth it to pay attention to whomever else may have such issues.

Okay. Kinzo's past is being narrated, and as he is being referred to as "Grandfather", I think I can safely assume this is what Battler has heard.
Kinzo got a bunch of money, invested it in the right places and was rewarded. His words make it seem like his luck was the work of a witch, but as witches do not exist, I will have to assume the person Beatrice contributed to it or that he's simply attributing his merits/luck to her.
Regardless, it seems he made friends with the winners and got rewarded for it. A classic.
Battler claims Kinzo says it was all luck. An interesting detail. Was he sounder of mind, was he omitting Beatrice, or was he lying? These aren't mutually exclusive possibilities.

Shannon is stressed at answering what the sour red stuff might be. Now, I don't see why this'd be. If she doesn't know then it's normal to react this way, but Battler commented she seemed too stressed for that, and sadly I cannot ignore a comment of the sort.
As for what it might be, red always brings blood to mind, but that'd be sort of macabre and ridiculous at this point. More likely, the food may be laced with something, masked as the sour red thing.
I really do think she's just embarrassed at not knowing, though. Why she'd be so embarrassed might be the better question, to which I have no answer.

Hideyoshi's all over Gohda, which I suppose makes sense for a food chain head like him.

Shannon's carrying around a service cart. Please do mind hidden transportation means such as these. (Maria gets an umbrella out of nowhere later. Was it given to her at an earlier time? Could Maria keep the umbrella hidden in her bag?)

Now then, we see the family talking together, no Battler. Rose feels as if she hasn't grow up and the oldest sibling immediately go on to disparage her. Sheesh, these people.

Rudolf shows, perhaps for the first time, a more commanding side, one that even lords over Kyrie. I have had the impression since the start that Kyrie is more of a servant to Rudolf than anything else, having been a subordinate turned wife. More interesting is that he tells her to be quiet, and I don't quite know why, since she seems as if she'd have her wits about her and contribute to any discussion. Perhaps because she was agreeing in such a way as to imply Kinzo was healthy?
Anyhow, the question of whether Nanjo knows Kinzo is dead (if he is) still hangs in the air, but somebody must.

One should note that this is a great opportunity for the Adults to discover he is dead in secret, or for pacts and deals that require current information to unfold outside of Battler's sight.

Eva thrives in smiling when nobody else would. Okay, though, really, all three of the older siblings smile inappropriately a lot.
Poor Natsuhi is just doing her best to show concern but the older siblings really can't be bothered.
Krauss is talking about all the shouts and saying the head may live for another year. Assuming this scene represents true events, he would have to know Kinzo is dead to say something like that, right?

I don't know how you can make someone so detestable without me hating her, but Eva is such a person.
Hideyoshi's actual profession is fireman, putting out all of Eva's fires.
It seems like Rudolf, Eva and even Rosa coordinated some stuff before-hand to attack Krauss. It does not, however, seem like they suspect that Kinzo might already be dead.

It's... an interesting discussion in which it seems Krauss may have cocked up and is now wasting money.
Rosa's not great at any sort of deception, it seems, and is quite, uh, worried about paying lodging fees and only seems to have a little on hand.
It's seeming like, from this discussion, Krauss was the one who built the guest house (hotel?), at the same time as Kinzo hanged the painting.
Krauss has a way of taking fire from all directions and maintaining that arrogance. Almost makes it seem like he isn't in a sinking ship, financially.
Eva's beyond ruthless to her enemies, in such a way that I still can't dislike her, because what they were doing wasn't good. Still, going by what I'm seeing here, the 3 younger siblings didn't need bloody murder to get what they wanted. They have Krauss on the cross by now.

Best girl Kumasawa tells us of Krauss not being a good husband, and Natsuhi suffering. Ultimately, I didn't need Kumasawa to tell me Krauss was a bad person, and I really do think Natsuhi's personality is particularly ill-fit for this family. The family should be the one to change, of course, but seeing as it won't, Natsuhi really shouldn't stay and be subjected to this.
Possibly more relevant is that Natsuhi had trouble getting pregnant. Breathing problems, anyone?

It's 13:30 (Again? Did I misread the first time and it was actually 12:30? I'd accept the earlier 13:30 if it were the time the tea parlour started, but it isn't. It's in the middle of the meal.) At any rate, this is probably after they separated from the adults in the parlour.

The family seems to already be under the impression the epitaph reveals the gold, even without Kinzo saying so.

When asked the question of where he got the initial funding "Grandfather supposedly answered"; that 'supposedly' stands out like a sore thumb.

George says if the legend were true, then maybe there was gold on this island and that's why Kinzo bought it. That might be true.

1kg of gold = 1 000 000 yen, if everything checks out (foundry and purity)

Jessica mentions gold's "the most trusted and stable form of wealth internationally". This seems important, as I think the gold is Italian, somehow. Don't really remember the details. WW2, Italian government, etc etc

Maria insists Beatrice exists. It really is something of a hurdle that she's young enough that it's even harder to understand her.

Shannon showed up, and also somehow had the impression we were going to the beach,  but I don't see how that information would've left the parlour outside of some of the people there leaving and revealing it, or her being present.
It could be just a guess, I guess, but I'll guess not.
She's also once again carrying an object wherein something might be concealed.

The theory that Beatrice was the old man's first love must be on point, no? Incidentally, didn't Jessica, the blonde, have an affliction that did not seem to come from her parents...? Furthermore, Natsuhi had trouble having children...

More 'Adult' discussion (scandalous!), and it is the topic of whether the gold we just got expositioned about is actually here or not, and whether Krauss has found it. The younger siblings seem to believe so.
As I recall, solving the epitaph is one of the more convoluted things around here, and it's not done properly until near the end (or maybe not at all?), so I doubt I'll be solving it myself... I'm absolutely terrible at riddles.

The family crest may have come from the gold, rather than the other way around.

The siblings got together and formulated a plan around a low risk bet. They're betting the gold doesn't exist, and using it as pretext to offer a "good deal" to Krauss. If it does exist they're getting shafted, but in either case they're getting some funds out of it, and it's looking like they need them.

None of these siblings are good people, though Rosa certainly puts more effort in, but it's fun seeing Krauss clearly having left deep traumatic impressions on his younger siblings. And by 'fun' I mean 'terrible'.

Okay, so Krauss spotted that the siblings need the money NAU, and he's screwing them over on it. If he does not sign, he will be going down once he's investigated (probably), but his plan is to force the siblings' hand by making them understand that they'll be going down too, possibly before him (if he keeps his dad alive). Gives credence to the theory that he's pretending Kinzo is alive and making Nanjo and Genji cooperate.

Interesting. It seemed Rudolf got into money troubles without Kyrie noticing, as far as this scene tells us.

Rosa, cosigner. Rosa, no husband. Could be a connection. Could also be some other sort of naiveté.

We're shown a scene of Kanon reporting things to Kinzo, which is highly suspect, but does introduce the possibility of servants listening in without appearing in the scene.
Yet another way to explain why Shannon knew about the cousins heading for the beach.

Having sweets in his room which he offers to the servants is... sweet.

Hm. Nanjo wrote the epitaph down. Interesting, in that it may have left the island, but I'm not sure it's ultimately relevant.


It's 15:00


So did Maria.
Anyhow, the literal hometown is Odawara, but you can be sure I will not be looking into any Japanese geography, so if that's necessary to solve the epitaph I'm right buggered.
Sweetfish river in the physical Odawara is Hayakawa. Odawara castle exists near the mouth of the river, whereas the other side is the ocean.
Okay, we've been told "shore" has "kishi" when written in Japanese. Bloody hell the ruddy Japanese language and their puns. A Sogakishi exists.
The mountain in question is Mt. Asama.

Magical teacup that never gets empty? Christ almighty, I think there's an actual scene about that in this humongous novel.

Shannon shares old rumours about the witch. Supposedly, lights and objects would be out of place. Whilst somebody unaccounted for living at the mansion might account for this, it really isn't that strange in a big old mansion such as this one.

Maria has a bunch of magic stuff on her notebook. Now, I'm pretty sure later on we're shown Maria may be victim of abuse due to a stressed and unqualified single mother, so I wonder if this is a way of retreating into a fantasy realm. A coping mechanism. Or maybe she just thinks witches are cool. Either or.

The scorpion is a magic repelling symbol? Well, since magic doesn't exist, that's sure to be irrelevant.

Maria's bloody rose disappeared, which is one heck of a crazy mystery. I mean, what the hell? Why would you highlight this moment, Umineko!? How could it possibly be sodding relevant!?
I'll assume the fact that Maria thought it was there is somehow relevant, or that the fact they were stuck outside for this time is important.

Rosa shows up by herself. Strange. Possible tactical retreat from the hellscape in which she found herself earlier.

Whoops hitting children. I wouldn't go for the face, or multiple times, but both my parents believe some hitting whilst you're still young is better than letting you get away with it and continue to do dangerous things and be stupid. I'd have to agree, since I think I at least learned to respect my elders, even when I disagreed with them, and after a certain point it was lesson learnt and I was never hit again.
If you'll allow a complete digression, one time that's commonly brought up by my parents is my young self climbing on top of an unbalanced chair and attempting to stand up on it. I was clearly told to not do that, or I'd fall off. I was clearly told that if I did what I was told not to, and fell, I'd be hit in the arse on top of it. Well, that's exactly what happened.

Anyhow, good guy Battler tried to intervene in a scene between a stubborn child and a worried but fantastically bad parent. Interesting because George and Jessica didn't seem to be saying much.
Aunt Rosa clearly has some level of rationale, in that she realises her daughter's behaviour is bad for Maria herself, but has no idea how to properly handle it, and is in enough hot water in her real life that she probably can't muster the patience to look for other solutions. It's a crappy situation in all.

Hello, my name is George and my mother is the literal devil so this looks like good parenting to me.

Okay, so Maria is left on her own. I'm not 100% on whether Battler witnessed Rosa leaving or not, but whatever. This should be the point where Maria is given an umbrella, so people without alibis should be suspected, or Rosa.

It's always difficult to make anything out of Kinzo's ramblings, especially so if you suspect he is dead since the start.
Edit: I completely missed him throwing his ring out the window! That's how much I don't pay attention to Kinzo's ramblings. That's sure to not bite me in the arse.
Regardless, as long as I believe he is dead by the start, whatever he does with the ring his corpse does not have in his possession doesn't really matter.

I just noticed some of the wings on their clothes are facing up (open?) and some facing down (closed?).

Jessica wants to be a city girl but can't. Again, it's hard to see much in scenes such as this one outside of curiosities about their daily lives and opinions.

Okay. Finally Kanon shows up before Battler once more.
It might be worth noticing that both Shannon and Kanon are recognisable by voice.
It would seem Kanon expected Maria to be with them or acted as such. Makes sense.

Hello, my name is Rosa and I regret my actions.

Okay, Beatrice came by and gave her an umbrella. Sure.
I can believe Maria'd come up with the idea it was Beatrice on her own, but I'll assume the person in question both existed and at least tried to pretend to be Beatrice. Though her family's faces should be recognisable, with family like this who knows.
Therefore, the person in question may have been one of the ladies, but not the other cousins who were together with Battler. Strangest case it was Rosa, more likely it was Eva, possibly any other person with female features.

And here's possibly non-existent Kinzo referring to the end of the world. Meta worlds, anyone?

Okay, the Adults other than Rosa claim to not have anything to do with the umbrella. Because they're each other's alibis, it must be true, or they're all working together. It remains possible that Rosa is working with them and putting on an act, or that she herself gave the umbrella.
Neither option seems very likely...
Natsuhi is slightly more likely, but she'd need the right hairdo.

Kumasawa says she was with Shannon. This would discredit the idea that Kanon and Shannon are one and the same (they haven't shown up together yet), if Kumasawa has no reason to lie. But as a friendly older servant, I see it as plenty likely that she'd lie to help any servant with their secrets.

Interesting to see Kanon represented as respecting Genji.
It's difficult to imagine Gohda being "in" on anything, but he has been on screen with Battler talking to Kanon and Shannon.

(Immediately near Maria sit George and Nanjo, with Battler in front. I assume what I think is reasonable, that only a servant or a neighbouring person could've slipped her a letter )

Maria very specifically confirmed that dinner was over before fishing about in her bag. It seems "Beatrice" gave her an umbrella and the letter, and told her to present the letter after dinner. Unless the person in question introduced themselves as a witch's servant, I'm inclined to see this as evidence that a woman in disguise gave her the letter.
Immediately, the envelope, letter and seal may have been prepared at any time before they even got on the island, so not too much can be deduced until I analyse the contents.
The siblings also propose that just about anybody could've fabricated the seal, if they had access to a real seal. I'll have to wait on some confirmation later on to prove one way or the other.
Worst part about Maria: She's the number one candidate for probably not a culprit, but annoyingly, she's also probably the number one collaborator for any would-be witches.

My name is Kyrie and I'm here acting calm and collected whilst all the adults are going bananas.

Now then, people who may be concealing Kinzo's death and people who may be pulling off some shenanigans with the letter are not necessarily the same. This would mean that whoever knows about Kinzo's death would be particularly surprised at this development, such as Nanjo, or reject the idea that it is Father's letter, like Krauss. Unfortunately, their reactions did not seem to me to have stood out too much, as all the siblings got pretty worried over this turn of events.
Since the only situation in which I could explain by the siblings collaborating would be if they gave Maria the umbrella, I'm thinking that's particularly unlikely now.

Maria starts reading.
Hideyoshi immediately tries to laugh, but Eva shushes him. They're taking this with different levels of seriousness. Whether that means they're just tackling it differently, or that one's involved in that plot, I do not know.

"Including the portion that has already been collected" is an interesting portion of the letter. What has been collected, and how? The ring used to seal the letter, in this witch narrative?

Well, bollocks to it all. Nanjo has specifically stated that he played chess with Kinzo and that he thinks Kinzo did not have the ring. The only two ways in which this makes sense is if what he said is true, or if Kinzo is dead and Nanjo is in league with whoever's pulling this stunt. I mean, why lie and bring up this specific point if not?
As always, I'm inclined to the latter, and this would be the strongest clue I've gotten the entire game if so.

Krauss seems particularly outraged at the whole affair. I'll try to avoid confirmation bias, but I do think it's a fair guess at this point that he'd be enraged if Kinzo were dead and he had no idea where this prank was coming from. I forgot this detail, but in my scenario, it might be from Krauss one would need to steal the signet ring, not Kinzo.

Again, confirmation bias, but Eva's taken the whole thing pretty seriously and is using it to press Krauss. Perfectly in character, but it's always hard to erase from my mind the fact that I'm pretty sure she's the canon culprit/survivor.

The letter has been written down. This makes it feel as though there are important clues in there, but I unfortunately have missed them if so. I was more concerned with people's reactions. As far as I can see, anybody who knew about the epitaph (i.e. everyone) could've written a letter in the same vein.

It is now 22:00, in the parlour.

Hello, my name is George and I try to justify everything rationally. Let's all be vultures together!

An interesting point is that some people have the golden (vulture) wing tattooed on. Possibly a relevant point to have in mind, since those require active concealment to hide.

Hello, my name is Kyrie and I'm here to introduce to you your biggest headache for the next few episodes: "How many people are on the island?"
To be clear, I think there are 17 people because Kinzo isn't alive at the start, and at least one of them is pretending to be two people we know, leaving room for a mysterious person to roam about. This is what I gathered from my first readthrough but that was 6 years ago and I'm fairly sure I watched the anime for episodes 3 and 4 so those are almost the same as not knowing anything about them. I find it rather likely that these conclusions of mine are not correct. Which is why I'm reading once more and trying to gather evidence one way or the other.
So far, Battler has not seen Kanon together with Shannon. However, if I'm not entirely mistaken, that's one of the first things the VN tries to go "lol nope" at you about in future episodes. Will need to review.

So, Kyrie has now presented the conclusion that Beatrice is one of the people we know. It's always sort of scary when mystery stories present a theory themselves early on, makes it hard to believe it's correct, but I'll agree on this one.

Rudolf appears to have the intention of talking with his family after this. If he never gets to do so, I'd be inclined to believe he isn't the culprit. There's really no point in saying this sort of stuff to people that'll end up dead.
Okay screw all that he just said he'd be killed. Still not exactly something that'd make sense to say as the killer to his victims, but I do have to wonder where this is coming from.
Does he fear the witch? Does he think his siblings have it out for him, or that someone's going after all the siblings, including himself?
As far as my understanding of events goes, and if the siblings aren't all lying to corroborate each other's alibis, the adults had no time by themselves to do things outside of Natsuhi and Rosa. And I guess Krauss whenever he went to get Kinzo, though I'm convinced that's just part of the "Kinzo is alive ploy" with Nanjo.

"Romance novels have much deeper mysteries than masterpiece mystery novels." Look at Umineko going "y not both" at us.

Natsuhi presents the wonderful narative that what's taking place is all according to Kinzo's will. Unfortunately, I cannot deny this, because the servants are a mess. I cannot in good conscience deny the possibility that Genji, Kanon and Shannon would act out Kinzo's will beyond the grave, because I don't know their hearts well enough. Battler hasn't seen them interact or talk about Kinzo in any way that would suggest they would commit bloody murder of the people they might even like just because Kinzo willed it, but I can't say they wouldn't, either. I also cannot deny they would sacrifice themselves in the process.
Without discounting the possibility of suicide and better understanding the servants' motivations, it'll be hard to destroy any theories of the servants pulling this off and killing themselves. With Nanjo's cooperation, as I surmised earlier, it may be even easier to fake deaths if necessary for the plot.

The biggest possible obstacle is if the author of the letter shenanigans and the author of the subsequent murders are separate. That'd be annoying to figure out, and I'll assume for now that the level of adaptability and time required would be beyond possible.

At this point, no Battler, it is revealed that Krauss knew about the gold, and in fact possessed an ingot.

Krauss continues to be a wonderful human being, Natsuhi suffers, wants Jessica to succeed and have a wonderful husband like she never did.
Jessica shows up, shows herself to be quite emotional and, by herself and without George's guidance, can't quite let her sad-looking mother be.
Once more, a scene showing that if you're not one of the Ushiromiya siblings you aren't really *that* bad.

Everyone's all over the place by this point.
I've no reason to believe Kyrie did not go to meet Rudolf, and that Natsuhi did not meet Krauss and Jessica, but this still doesn't account for anywhere near everyone's movements.

HmmmMMMmmmm. I wonder how much our dear Shannon might be projecting her desires and draping herself over George?

Upon arrival, she separated and visited the servant's quarters in the guesthouse.
Interestingly, the scene claims Krauss reversed the servant's shifts. I wonder why that might be? Maybe he just wanted less people to solve the epitaph. It seems like, if true, it's a move to confine the servants he trusts least to the guesthouse.
Furniture, furniture, furniture. There must be something to this.

Shannon and George seem like they might've gone to spend some time together. This... would be the first time this entire day George is not with Battler. But for this reason, I find it unlikely that he's plotting something.

All the circumstantial evidence that Battler has witnessed would show that George and Shannon have a thing for one another, and I have no reason to doubt it. The only question left is whether Shannon values George or Kinzo's will more.
HELLO Fukuin House. I'm sure you won't be relevant to anything ever.
Manon and Lenon. Servants who are not here today. Hmm... I find it difficult to believe this is the last we will hear of them.
HELLO Sayo. There's another irrelevant name.
Anyhow, George offered Shannon a ring. No real reason to doubt this.

It is now 23:00.
We see Shannon daydreaming her way to the mansion and Gohda being a "true gentleman" as always. Not much to take from this scene, since there's no way to accurately tell where Shannon is at this point. Still hasn't been seen together with Kanon by Battler.

It is now 24:00.
We scroll past everyone except Natsuhi. Uh. Ok.

It is now 06:00.
No Battler for any of the following events:

We're shown the servants awaking and claiming Gohda is gone, and Natsuhi awaking and finding her doorknob goopy.
Sadly, just about anyone inside the mansion could've done this, plus servants, who can get keys to access the mansion. Practically only the cousins are exempt, but I haven't really suspected them so far.
A better question might be why. Indeed, anybody bloody and suffering might've done it by accident, but given the Beatrice is trying to psyche everyone out, it's not out of the question the culprit would do this.

The scenes with Maria awaking enlighten the possibility of one of the cousins awaking and slipping out by themselves without anybody noticing. Still don't really suspect them.

These scenes also tell us Eva and Hideyoshi retired first. Once more, assuming the siblings aren't conspiring together, that means the other ones were targeted because they were there. I doubt the culprits could've manipulated the exact number of people (unless it were Eva), so I'll assume the culprits have to try and work to match the epitaph.

Genji gives Natsuhi keys to Kinzo's study. Assuming she is not in on the ruse, this means Genji has specifically chosen this moment to reveal the ruse. That is somewhat suspicious, as if he knew that the circumstances are dire or that something will be going down later.
On the other hand, if she were in on the ruse, I don't see why she'd insist to Eva that Kinzo trusted him as she did, as it'd be completely impossible for her to bring Kinzo down. On the other, other hand, if she were in on the ruse, she would naturally not want Eva to go up and try to talk to Kinzo.

Okay, so Natsuhi meets Kinzo. There's something about this scene... I feel like a common point among the episodes might be a character meeting Kinzo by themselves and having Kinzo be nice to them and their mental issues. I think I remember such events. It's odd.
I feel as if this scene is depicting what each person wants to see, or hear. Showing how ultimately Kinzo may be at the heart of an awful lot of family issues here...
Regardless, if these scenes are to be believed, she met Kinzo in there, or is putting on a very good act for Eva.

Okay. Locked (according to Kanon) storehouse, to which he had to go grab the keys from the servant room.
However, for these scenes, the cousins were busy watching television.

Anyhow, they find a bloody magic circle, probably not that hard to do if you've killed at least a few people.

Kanon claims to have been at the shed before it was raining. No circle.
I didn't confirm if it was Kanon opening it, but if it was, it would be possible to pretend it was locked when it was not.

Genji came to get Nanjo, run into Natsuhi and a serving cart on the way out. Pay attention to the serving cart.

Maria was left by herself.

Jessica had a pretty good idea of where the adults had been going from the direction they were running in.

Nanjo examined at least one body. Claimed they'd been dead for maybe 6 hours.

The bodies had their faces smashed in. If this includes Shannon, then there's no way to ensure this is the same person as the one everyone referred to as Shannon.
Shannon had half her face smashed in, and remained in the shadows. Just enough to screw me over and not letting me know either way.
Blood-soaked? So her face was not visible?
It's mocking me. This game mocks me: "whilst proving beyond a shadow of a doubt it was Shannon's body, and no one else's!"

Hideyoshi made me cry. What a great game. It is very difficult to me to believe that Eva and Hideyoshi do not truly love each other.

Okay, Battler left. Eva and Nanjo were ready to look at it like a crime scene whereas Natsuhi was not. Eva quickly dismisses the key's use as evidence, having been passed around.
INCIDENTALLY, getting the keys from Kanon is a nice way to justify his prints on there. Just sayin', Genji.

Kumasawa will soon show up with breakfast ready, all cheery. Yay!

Going back to the umbrella and letter business:
Rosa has been pretty much dismissed as a candidate for Beatrice (though since only Krauss and Shannon have intact faces, who knows 100%, actually). It is not impossible that Rosa is actually dressed in Shannon's clothes and disguised with blood and bad lighting, whereas the faceless Rosa could've been someone else, a mysterious somebody. Leaving Kanon as someone who poses as both Kanon and Shannon. Again, the only evidence I have of this is that Battler never saw Kanon and Shannon together alive whilst they had intact faces.
The mysterious person that may exist in the freed-up slot of the Kanon/Shannon mix probably is not it, because they have to be dead by this point for the numbers to match up.
Kyrie is also probably not it. She's pretty dead by now.
Jessica was with the cousins the entire time.
We are left with Eva and Shannon/Kanon. Potentially Kumasawa. I'll have to see who dies next. Goddammit that's morbid.

Now, before we forget, causes of death might be important to look into. Are there any physical signs? Who'd have been able to take out Rudolf, especially if he was with Kyrie? How would one go about taking out all these people?

It is now 08:45. Lotsa bodies.

Kumasawa appears. Apparently there's blood in the dining hall. We've had nothing that would indicate she knows about any bodies.
Indeed, it looks as if the people were murdered in the dining hall. The question jumps out again. How do you take everyone out? Could a servant have served something to knock people out? I doubt there was actual fighting if not between the people who died. Too much risk, and I don't know anyone who'd win, spotless. Were there gunshots? Such noise? We did not see such a thing on anybody's body...

Kumasawa returns with a service cart and breakfast.
As do Natsuhi and Eva, who had gone to see Kinzo. He was not there. As far as Eva is concerned, he left. For Natsuhi, this should not be news.

I should note Genji is the one who went to get the radio, and thus had ample opportunity to sabotage it. That fact that he brought it up before anyone else had the opportunity to remember it and get it themselves does him no favours.

Anyhow, Natsuhi left with the servants to search for Kinzo.

George grieves. More details about Shannon consulting Jessica for love advice turn up. Battler reflects with Eva on how much he processes things differently.

Eva argues that only one key to the storehouse exists, as according to Genji, and that the person who used it must be familiar with it, because they would have to identify it amongst others. I do not disagree.
I do think at this point the most probable scenario is Genji and Shannon/Kanon working together to carry on Kinzo's will.

Battler believes it is unlikely to be the servants for the very reason that they are incriminating themselves. It's not unreasonable to think this way, and I will of course look for other possibilities, but just because it is improbable or illogical is no reason to claim it is impossible, especially when we lack information on the exact motivation.

Now Eva reveals interesting information that she returned to the Guesthouse with Hideyoshi, and was greeted by Genji.
Everyone in the mansion died, and everyone in the guesthouse lived. Natsuhi is an exception, but she has a magic charm. Given the blood, a culprit must've come by. Either they never planned to kill her, or they changed the plans to suit the magic charm she had.

Hello, my name is Maria and I have a hyperobsession with something really creepy.

Battler decides to be awesome. The OST agrees, but I'm still not sure on his actual conclusions. Which are practically nothing.

Battler overhears on the servants' conversation. This is annoying, in that I don't know exactly which parts he heard, so it is hard to tell what the servants were talking about.
If Kanon and Shannon are the same person, it makes no sense to refer to Shannon here, but that might be just how they're referring to the mysterious person. I'll assume Battler did not hear this part, but only the bit about the bloody doorknob, which could be either true or fake without too much consequence for me.
Battler heard about Beatrice. I'm going to have to recheck when exactly they mentioned her, and how, since it is pretty important. If the servants are indeed in cahoots, it wouldn't be too odd for them to obey "Beatrice"'s will, in that she was Kinzo's will. Such obedience could lead them to act in such a way as to expose themselves, or even die. Potentially. Maybe.
Sadly, they make a reference to Shannon being chosen as a sacrifice within Battler's earshot. That's... annoying. Genuine grief should not be displayed at nothing, I'd assume.
Hmm................ Kumasawa is there. She's my last hope. Perhaps, just perhaps, it was something of an act for Kumasawa, which Battler overheard. Possibly they're just referring to teh fact that "Shannon" had to die (because of Natsuhi's silly charm and the whole magic motif). The character of Shannon, as far as everyone is concerned, is dead now.
The servants all talking to Battler about Beatrice is annoying, but I'll salvage what I can. It seems like either they are collaborating to spin the Beatrice narrative, or there is already some sort of Beatrice mythos on the island the servants follow. Maybe because of Kinzo's influence.
There's a rule not to follow the noises, "sparkles" and "butterflies". Could be nothing. Could be a real person that uses such effects to conceal themselves in plain sight, by expecting that servants ignore them because of the sparklies.

Maria is saying Battler would be one of the sacrifices if not for the charm. I do not agree. That the targets were all in the mansion can scarcely be considered a coincidence, can it? Much more so if the last living person on the mansion was harassed (Natsuhi).

Maria has had a fair amount of time on her own. A number of opportunities for her to talk to any Beatrices going around. By this point enlisting her full cooperation shouldn't be hard at all.

Heyo just kids and their multiple personalities. It's all perfectly normal. Grief over a lost mother? Pfft.

George theorises the murders are a collection of interest, but if so, Gohda, who is only loosely connected to Kinzo seems a bit excessive.

Also, I've now realised something about Kanon and Shannon. There is no reason to be so rigid. Even if the novel does show me the two together, alive, faces intact, that does not mean they are not capable of disguising themselves as one another, which would permit just about any sort of trick to take place regardless. Very annoying to think about, though.

A theory is brought up that the entire thing is a threat to make them solve the epitaph. Ehhh. To begin with nobody realised this until almost a day later, so I don't know. That said, the letter was pretty explicit.

Only one way into Kinzo's room exists, so says Genji.

Devious Eva wedged a paper into the closed door gap after Natsuhi had visited him "alive". The second time they went up, the paper was still there, but the room was empty. Hohohoho empty room. Hohoho closed room.
Anyhow, Jessica immediately jumps to her mother's defence. Hard to know if she, like her family, knows there is no Kinzo, or if she's just trying to defend her mom.
Eva's into her theory, of course, but I have no cause to believe Natsuhi lied because she's a criminal. She lied because everyone in this household has been lying to keep Kinzo's death a secret.
How that has a priority above 6 dead people I don't know, but whatever. The Ushiromiyas are crazy.

Eva is a lovely pest.

I realise this is a weird time and Battler's about to have a scene of his own, but I've just noticed Rosa's body's description: "I'll get to see her again. So I don't feel lonely."; I originally thought it was Beatrice describing this stuff, but it actually might be Maria. Creepy.

So basically, Battler simply attempted to show Eva that just because Natsuhi cannot explain a contradiction caused by her own words that does not mean she is the culprit. This is true. But Natsuhi is lying. There is not other way. Kinzo was not there, or if he was, it was someone impersonating him and Natsuhi really sucks at recognising Kinzo.

Jessica has asthma problems. Apparently they've been getting worse. That is curious.

At about 19:00 Eva and Hideyoshi went to their rooms.

We see a scene in which Eva reminisces about her choice to have a son so as to remain in the family register. In it, it is mentioned Hideyoshi lacks close family of his own. Lost them in the war.

Hello. This scene exists to remind you that Eva might actually be human, maybe.

Maria mentions she's always watching TV. Hm. How's her home life?

The chain was cut without Battler present. This would mean that the timing of when it was cut cannot be determined. If the chain was truly locked when Genji and Kanon first arrived, we are in something of a mess. But if it wasn't, if it was already cut by that point, then both of them must be lying. Kumasawa could be slightly tricked into believing Kanon cut the chain right then by simulating the motions, as Kumasawa would be surprised by the blood and the envelope.
This would also explain the timing of the blood painting appearing. It did not show up when Genji and Kanon left, it was already there, possibly because they themselves made it.
The last thing we need is establishing who had time to conduct the murder. Who was on their own, or which groups of people were on their own?
Kanon used a handkerchief to open the door but Genji didn't. RIP.

Nanjo checked one death in the storeroom, and both of them in this room (with Battler not present?). The former deaths are difficult to explain without at least Hideyoshi's collaboration, so I believe the bodies are not fake. 6 bodies were found, and they were all dead.
Eva and Hideyoshi were both inspected. I don't have much cause to suspect the deaths, but if only seen from a distance, I could possibly believe it had been faked using some blood and strange knives with trick blades. Regardless, it seems as if death has been confirmed in their cases.

Once they all find the bodies, something smells bad. A burnt smell. (Could it be Kinzo's old body?)

Another note: I'm fairly sure Kanon or Genji or both will die before the end of this episode. Because I am now convinced they must be the ones pulling off this act, I bloody hope they die in such a way that it is possible to fake the death. I'm even willing to assume they enlisted Nanjo's cooperation, because him going out of his way to say Kinzo didn't have his ring when he did not meet Kinzo at all is absolutely bonkers. I still don't get what kind of sheeple would mention something like this without actively trying to help the culprits.

I understand Kumasawa believes in Beatrice, as well as the fact that she thinks Beatrice is the culprit. However, I do not think she is cooperating with the culprits.
In this scene, she and Kanon heard a sound from the boiler room. Impossible for it to have been made by any person. Unless it could be caused to occur remotely, Kumasawa should not claim such a thing before Battler. Keep that in mind.

There are two doors to the boiler room.
Kanon was hurt within said room whilst Kumasawa was close outside and everyone was presumably together further back, with Battler.
Because no one is left alive, Kanon must've hurt himself, or Kumasawa did it. These are the two only human possibilities, so long as no other person is presumed to exist.
...Does Natsuhi still have the key to the storeroom? I'm wondering if reusing corpses is possible, but I'll keep it in mind and move on.
When Battler arrived, the door to the courtyard was open. Not exactly a difficult thing to pull off.
Because Battler attempted to chase the culprit, he left the previous scene alone. Keep this in mind.
If Kanon was not found with the weapon sticking out of him, I wonder what shenanigans might be possible to pull off?

Yo two pairs of 6-toed-feet. Good luck charm. At least in the Ushiromiya family.
EDIT: Bollocks, I completely forgot to pay attention to any of the people that should know Kinzo has not been alive during this scene.

Okay. It should be impossible for Kanon to fake his death without Nanjo's cooperation. On the other hand, the opposite is true, in that if he helps, it is possible. Kanon's circumstances are different. We do not see the weapon in him, Battler was not present when the body was checked, and Nanjo specifically had to treat him. Was he alone?

Jessica was into Kanon, I believe. Her reaction seems to support that.
Incidentally, Battler says Jessica was with Kanon until their last moments? That's a pretty big wrench in the plans. I will be forced to believe that some real wound from which blood can be extracted exists, or else Nanjo would not be able to declare him dead with other people nearby.

One other possibility has been born, where Maria is lying to protect her own mum, and she's the mastermind commanding at least Kanon and Genji.

From the moment Battler decided "Okay, Maria's creepy but she's innocent" his interactions with her have been quite funny. He keeps bonking her when she's being innapropriate and like "Maria, I know you want to say something... but keep it to yourself. (Because I know it's going to be more innapropriate BS)".

Jessica didn't want to move into Kinzo's study, and Battler is now realising that game theory relies on both players playing perfectly and by the same rules, with the same goal. If you don't know the goal, the rules and if their actions are actually matching those, you're buggered.

Genji, when pressured, mentions that Beatrice may have been a concubine from before the mansion was completed, and indeed died before its completion. If I am not very much mistaken, Kinzo had a daughter with this first woman, who looked very much like her mother. Even worse, he may have then impregnated this daughter, which is where I suspect Jessica comes from. These are details from way later, but I believe they tie to this.
The older people all corroborate the concubine story.

Natsuhi set down a can of food and headed towards Jessica, George and Battler. At this time, there was no letter. She never stopped being with those three, but a letter appeared later, so, assuming she is not lying, it could not have been these four.
As ever, I believe it was Genji's doing.

4 people are ejected and 4 people are left. It is possible for Kanon to be alive, if Nanjo is cooperating with the culprits. Battler gives his scorpion to Maria.
Mind that if Kanon remains alive, and these people are all complete cretins that didn't check the study properly, it is possible for a culprit to still be inside with them.

Battler spins the chessboard and realises the letter benefits any outside people. However, he already mentioned the flaws of this line of thinking. For that reason, it's not enough reasoning. In greater likelihood, the letter was by one of the people inside, giving them the opportunity to kill someone outside, which they'd be unable to do inside.

The phone rings. Makes me wonder if anybody has actually tried the phones outside of the servants. Didn't note that down. Only remember Kanon trying them.

Anyhow, Maria was either told to sing (by a Beatrice) or started on their own and the culprit took it as an opportunity to create a ruddy creepy moment.

The parlour door was locked. I think any servant would have the necessary keys. Were there any more in the servant room?

Faceless bodies were found. I almost despaired right then and there, but if somebody had the key to the shed lock, or a means through which to break it, preparing these bodies would not be too terribly difficult.
The reason this scene stands out is because it is categorically impossible if you rule out suicides, Maria, and any persons beyond those we know. I have to assume at least one of the bodies is a fake from somewhere (shed), likely both Genji and Nanjo.

Now then, seemingly, a Beatrice told Maria to face the wall and sing. I wonder if that'd be enough to cover their actions of dragging corpses into the parlour. More importantly, how would they drag them without leaving bloody anywhere but here? There must be some carts or the like, but again, the story presents us with no such evidence outside of their appearance earlier in the novel.

Maria's testimony of having seen Beatrice... would hint at Kanon disguising as Beatrice and appearing before the three. I doubt she saw butterflies come in through the keyhole, though...

Maria claims Natsuhi left holding a letter. Acceptable. At this point, there is just cause to suspect another person, and she might have wanted to leave the children out of danger, so she locked them out and went hunting for the culprit due to whatever the letter said.

When they find her, traces would indicate suicide, but it's just as easy for her to lose the gun (struggle? knocked out?), get shot, and have it put back in her hand post-mortem. Anybody alive at this point could've done so (outside of the cousins, as always in this episode). The letter could've been taken through the same reasoning.

It is very important that this story does not investigate various places, and that it certainly does not go any longer than after when it ends, because, unless they were killed then, there's no more space for trickery to be pulled on Battler.

Battler sees a figure which Maria is also hugging. It is the figure in the portrait. AKA Kanon/Shannon dressed as Beatrice, a trick that required Nanjo, Genji and Kanon to pull off. Blast, this is convoluted.
But even if Nanjo isn't in on it and Kanon's suspicious as heck death was true, that'd just mean one of the corpses in the shed was preprepared and only Genji and the mastermind from among them, now posing as Beatrice, was left. Said mastermind role would fit Rosa primarily, though Kyrie could potentially pose as Beatrice, meaning that in addition to these two, and further people with disfigured faces could've been corpses prepared in advance. Kanon would've committed suicide in this scenario.

In this way, a human culprit is possible, though the motive still eludes me. I must assume the servants wanted to do this for Kinzo.

At any rate, during the ending a couple of things are made clear. First, this is probably not the truth of what happened on that day. Later episodes make that exceedingly clear, especially revealing some truths. Among them, I believe are the facts that Eva survived and Battler secretly did as well.
Second, this story was said to have been written by Maria. It's a strange claim and I do not know how it fits. I'll believe in the bottle with the story, but was it someone having fun and pretending to be Maria, or did she send it out just because? Either way, she's probably among the other deaths, the exact number of which was masked to the police.

I'll follow with the tea party and ??? and then possibly clearer thoughts. Also I'll make a blogpost for my everything on Episode 1 at some point.

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Okay. I'll just focus on crime theories for now, as I don't have much to add on the tea parties and ???. It's witches witching about.

Full spoilers for the entirety of Umineko.

Episode 1 murder theory:

Spoiler

The culprit was Kanon/Shannon, with the help of Genji and Nanjo.

For the first murder, it is trivial for a servant. The only issue is the body of Shannon. I assumed in my earlier theory it was somebody else's body that was obscured by the darkness and blood. I get the feeling this will get disproven sooner or later because the half-showing face was a clue, so I will assume Hideyoshi may have been cooperating with Kanon, not knowing he would be killed. In this way, nobody stepped in to observe Shannon's body.

For the second murder, it was complete pretence. Kanon fooled Kumasawa into thinking it was chain locked by pretending to cut the chain open before her.

For the third murder, Kanon pretended to have been hurt. He may have genuinely hurt himself in some way or not, but Battler hardly saw him, and Nanjo went on to pronounce him dead. I'll assume Jessica wasn't quite that close and seeing him breathing and hearing his heartbeat. Most likely, at Nanjo's request at some point she avoided touching Kanon, until Nanjo pronounced him dead. A risky move, but plausible.
Also Kanon's situation was shady as all heck, so surely anybody would think it fake?

The letter of discord is left by Genji. This let them leave to create more killings out of sight.

After this, bodies were either carried in from the shed or Kanon killed his collaborators. During this process he may or may not have dressed himself as Beatrice.
He is also the final person we see.

For the entire process, Maria is always willing to cooperate with a disguised Kanon.

That's my theory.

I now present to you episode two stream of consciousness. This time I wrote far less about random details. That may mean I was more invested, or maybe less. I'm not sure.

Spoiler

This one claims the difficulty is extreme, whereas the previous was standard. Christ almighty what am I getting into.
At any rate, it is possible I may take less notes this time around. As it turns out, the previous episode was solvable because of the pieces of information that I already have from the novel, most importantly: "Shannon/Kannon is a single person", "What Battler does not see is unreliable", "Kinzo is already dead".
Furthermore, the last episode has taught me these people are compulsive liars, the lot of them. Everyone feigns grief all the time, a bunch of people claim to have seen Kinzo, there's a bunch of acomplices and they even end up dead regardless. It's absolutely impossible to trust a single person and put any stock on all the notes I take about their behaviour. Because their behaviour is riddled with lies all the time. So annoying!

So I'll just focus on how the murders are doable. The motivations will have to come in later episodes.

We see a scene depicting Shannon and George on a date. I have no idea what's going on with you behind the scenes Shannon, but I'll believe you probably like George. And I'd like to think George would love no matter how you are, Sayo.

A scene. Somebody washed up by the sea? I know at least one such person. Old fate was smashed.
Okay. Furniture is trying to become a person. This person went into the shrine mentioned last time. There's a mirror at this shrine. Dirty and old.
Someone was "told" to break the mirror. They want to be free in some way?
Accept a new kind of suffering.

The following scene seems even more like Shannon, which the previous already seemed like it was.
This is the problem with the novel. It flat out lies to us about about the motivations, so how in the living heck am I supposed to think about the heart!?? Anyway, as ever, I don't know if I can take anything from these scenes.

Anyhow, Eva's family is in for a visit.

Bleeding hell, Eva. You can't go 5 minutes without throwing a jab at someone. Too much martial arts.

Scenes with Eva showing her views on marriage and on how she believes she's doing the best for George not for herself.
Only they would have all the necessary information to decide whether that is true, but I believe they believe in what they are saying. And I see the practicality in what Eva claims.
Anyway, time to harrass the bad partner.

Hi witch. Break a mirror? Sure.

Jessica wants a partner. I've got to wonder if there's something more to this.

Kanon and Shannon, who want to love, and a witch who wants to help. It is said that These two cannot be together with anyone. Could it possibly have to do with their unique circumstances?

Beatrice says she would be sad if forgotten.

Rosa continues to mum terribly.

Krauss worries about always giving up on his projects too early.

Funnily enough, in one of these many scenes I'm more or less not taking notes about since Battler isn't arround, Krauss and Natsuhi said Genji and Najo were on their side in regards to Kinzo, which I think fits with the events of the first episode well.

I've been neglecting to mention it, but Rosa is of course terrible at this. The way I'm wording it makes it seem as if it's just a matter of her being a bad mum, but of course it's not only that. She is abusive and hurts her daughter. It all comes from a place of relatability, and it is much different from depictions of abusive parents hurting their children when they do nothing wrong simply to relive their stress. Rosa's case is a tragic one of a bad parent living under constant stress and not knowing how to stop her daughter from doing things that aren't good for her. Regardless, this is at a point where she should seek help of some kind, even if it involved being with Maria no longer.
Incidentally, this second episode shows her as much worse than the first, though notably without Battler present. In the first episode, Rosa got mad in a moment of frustration against a stubborn child sticking to her worst habits, which are ruining her future. In it, Rosa makes the decision to separate herself quickly from Maria and calm down rather than hurt her more. This is an important difference. In either case, she should not be parenting under her current condition.

In this second episode Nanjo seems much more hesitant of speaking about Kinzo... How unfair, game! You don't give us the clues at the start.

Kyrie the good egg continues to remind the adults to try harder at pretending to be decent human beings.

Hello Beatrice. Nice to see you visiting Rosa and Maria. I'm sure this has no implications whatsoever. (Really, it makes no difference. It's just a story.)
What might be more important is that some letters have been brought up. Supposedly, Maria and Rosa have one each, but it is important to make sure with Battler of who brings them up.

If Rosa ever claims she met Beatrice, she must either be lying or someone else dressed as such and the shock fooled her. There are precious few people who could do so, however, and fewer still with no alibi.
Genji and Kyrie have supposedly seen this witch. Once more, pay due attention to whoever brings her up in front of Battler. Even if they aren't culprits, there may be a plot going on here.

And so Beatrice refers to Kinzo as the Ghost of the Study. All these comments are hilarious, made precisely for the people playing already knowing Kinzo is dead.

Battler is sleeping! NoooOOoOOoOOOOOOoooooo...! The despair. No wonder this is the hardest one. We'll sleep through all the real events!
Lol, Ushiromiya "not my turn yet" Battler just can't be bothered to be here until the interesting murders start.

Jessica objects to this nonsense, probably because Kanon has a similar attitude of lack assertiveness towards their own life.

The relatives rely on Kyrie to try and counter the witch that supposedly showed up. I don't trust the scene too much, though I'd believe one of the siblings would make up a witch for their own reasons.
Kyrie figures that, if there's a reason for the secrecy, then that means if it weren't secret it would be bad for Beatrice in some way. So that means that it should be possible to do something against her.
Eva: "No matter what is shown to us on Rokkenjima, it can't be accepted as truth." trolololo

It's interesting to see Rosa trying to remember her youth and getting a headache. I feel as though it would be pretty sweet if the children who lived on this island played with the witch and then, as adult life gripped them, they lost their magic and forgot said memories.

Kanon's and Shannon's story is interesting. Kanon who had seemed emotionless in some way shows how extremely emotional he is in wanting to escape being furniture. In truth, he only acted like furniture not because he wanted to be furniture. I continue to wonder if their insistence on being furniture has something to do with their uniqueness, and whether that is why it is indicated that their love would definitely fail.

"We'll see each other in the Golden World or Purgatory. Or maybe in the next world." I guess when you aren't there you'd be pretty knowledgeable about things beyond your reality.

"Your fates are nothing more than Fragments." Welp. Capital F. F

Screw you, Battler. You're sleeping through everything so we haven't seen a single scene we can believe on. Jumping Jehoshaphat.

Okay. Battler first heard about another person from Kyrie. Immediate suspicion is that his parents are the ones plotting on this one. On the other hand, it seems Natsuhi is not in on it. I will not do something as crass as expecting a double bluff because the story is unreliable enough as is.
The narration claims the other siblings had already known about the guest, but we've seen no external mention of it from Battler's perspective outside of this one.
Gohda swiftly supports the idea of the guest, so he must be in on it. Annoyingly, it was announced to most everyone, making it easier to disguise anyone else who might be making up things.
STILL! Just because other people knew does not mean they are collaborating in some plot. So long as Kyrie does not mention having *seen* Beatrice, it's always possible someone induced that idea, and EVEN IF SHE HAD SEEN HER, it would be necessary for all other women to have an alibi at the time so as to claim Kyrie is surely lying.
In short, here's what we know:
Kyrie expected someone else to be here. No further details.
Gohda knew someone was apparently in the VIP room. No further details.
This isn't enough to accuse them of anything, so long as they might have heard it from someone else, or seen someone in disguise. If someone was in disguise, then Genji is collaborating with them. There is no way a guest could just show up claiming to be Beatrice and Genji'd be "Oh, certainly."

Maria told Battler she met Beatrice. I will assume Maria isn't that great at lying per say, and really did meet someone in disguise. Whether they magicked a candy into existence or not is frankly not worth thinking about. If Rosa corroborates this as well as Maria, I will have to assume that it was either Rosa herself disguised as Beatrice (or just lying?), or someone else. Alibis, please!
If Rosa says there was magic, I will take that as confirmation of her lying.

I have neglected my duties, and cannot confirm at this time if Battler was with the cousins during the period of time in which Rosa met the witch. Regardless, Rosa claims she did meet, and that is suspect. Maria can either lie for her mum or the witch, so it's hardly confirmation eitehr way...

Okay. Things are made slightly clearer. BOTH Kyrie and Rosa claim to have met a witch. These are the possibilities:
The two plot in cahoots. -> Everyone can have alibis.
Kyrie saw a fake and Rosa lied.
Kyrie lied and Rosa saw a fake.
Both saw a fake. -> Requires a lack of alibi for some women or Kanon/Shannon.

Bloody hell these people want to eject the cousins. That'd be very very annoying right now! We need further interactions to figure out what kind of plot is going on!

Natsuhi's telling the servants to sod right off. I suppose she'd be worried at this point. Incidentally, the number of imaginary people on this island is now two. How interesting.

(A bit out of context but I just remembered the scene where Jessica was complaining at Shannon for not sleeping with George. I wonder if that was awkward for Shannon, given her circumstances?)

Battler was ejected right out along the cousins and Nanjo, and stayed in the guesthouse.
Hello, my name is Battler and screw magic.

We're shown the adults acknowledging the witch. Unfortunately, this scene has to be completely fictional. There is no way in which I could see it working, outside of Shannon pulling off something really unexpected. Very doubtful.

Allegedly Shannon was the first person to find the chapel through a note. Supposedly the note was not written by the siblings.
Seemingly, the Siblings did not return to their room at all.

Important note: Rosa never brought up the envelope she supposedly got in front of Battler, only that she saw Beatrice, and she did not mention magic, either.

Battler heard a sound in the room. The story tells us it was to get the key from the envelope, but that is impossible. Assuming the existence of no secret passages, that key must have been used. Therefore, it could not have been inside the envelope when it was given to Maria, if said envelope was sealed now.
That's a lot of assumptions, so let's clarify the possibilities.
Maria got an envelope, it was sealed now, and Rosa got the key from it -> IMPOSSIBLE
Maria got an envelope, it wasn't sealed now, and Rosa got the key from it -> Somebody put the key inside after using it. No idea if it was originally inside.
Maria did not get an envelope -> The whole scene is utter BS, Battler's a sleepi boi and thinks he heard a sound in his sleep.
Maria got an envelope, and Rosa did not get a key from it regardless of its seal status -> The game is just tricking us. The key was somewhere else.

The Chapel makes heavy references to Maria. Anyone could've made these if they witnessed Maria's interests. That's... pretty much everyone.
It does, however, feel weird, considering it should've required some preparation if it was done as a result of Maria's outburst the previous morning. Now, if you knew she was like this from the start, and enlisted the cooperation of someone who lived on the mansion... Eh, Rosa?

Incidentally, Rosa supposedly discovered the bodies along with the servants, which includes Kanon and Shannon and excludes Kumasawa. If Rosa mentions the two of them being there, there is cause for suspicion. Gohda too, though I'd believe Genji could be aware of their secret.

Once Battler wakes up, Maria is up and arms about a letter. This means Maria was either told by Beatrice to make this fuss tomorrow morning, or her letter did get taken. If Rosa says she tooks it, I'll be mildly inclined to trust that she at least took an envelope, that may or may not hav had a key in it.

Let's simplify and trust some of what we see. Maria fishes around her bag and makes a ruckus. I'll believe she had an envelope, or that she showed it to the siblings to make it easier on me.
Next, Battler thinks aunt Rosa came by. Since Battler's our only source of info, I'll presume the novel is not that sadistic and that someon resembling Rosa did come by and fished in Maria's bag.

This leaves only two possibilities: there was a key within and the letter was unsealed, or the key wasn't there and presumably something else was.

Lol, confirmation Maria showed off the envelope.

Corpses have been seen. I'll believe there aren't any tricks this time around.

Gohda said the phones and "emergency wireless" are not working.

Three (four?) ingots were on the table. Because the first episode introduced the idea (it was never confirmed!) that some gold bars may be separate from the witch's gold, I cannot take this as evidence that said tresure was actually found.

Jessica runs away and Kanon and Gohda follow. We are shown a scene wherein Jessica asks to enter the VIP room and Kanon is the one that lets her. A letter that is suspiciously accurate to the situation is supposedly found. I doubt the contents were that specific, as that would've required predicting Jessica exactly, but I will accept such a prediction if true.

It seems Kanon and Jessica will be killed. They were certainly alive at the time the 6 first victims were found, and if everyone else remained together there, then Gohda is the primary suspect.

Kinzo starts the backstory, but the game quickly realises that's heavy spoilers for the later episodes and cuts off.

Gohda returns and claims Kanon is looking after Jessica.

Battler specifically tries to investigate the scene, but finds nothing beyond what was mentioned. No tricks here.

The chapel is historically important to Kinzo as far as we know. I imagine we'll get some backstory about it much later on.
Doctor Nanjo told us that Kinzo had said "I too will receive a blessing there".

Battler is now battling. Beatrice. The problem is the locked room. My answer is as follows: There is not reason to assume the key was inside the envelope when it was given to Maria, as it wasn't checked then. Follow-up: Even if the key were there at the time, there is no reason to assume it could not be extracted from the envelope, used, and returned.

Battler figured it out. Beatrice is rather tongue-tied in regards to whether or not what Maria received at noon the previous day was the real key to the chapel. That seems like confirmation to me. Ah, okay. She's realising Battler's got this, but Maria did receive the chapel key at noon the previous day. This narrows the possibility to only one.

Upon investigating the scene, Battler, George, Maria, Rosa, Nanjo and Gohda return to the parlor(?). Kumasawa shows up, knowing nothing.
Jessica and Kanon are gone, as are Genji and Shanon. Presumably Jessica and Kanon are dead, but if so, Shannon will certainly be gone as well. As I will doubt that Shannon was ever present for the body discoveries (Battler never saw her, only Kanon), she probably did not go with Genji either.

The gold has come up! Kumasawa and Nanjo support the idea that only one bar existed to prove the existence of the gold. This allows me to be reasonably convinced that the gold was found by somebody, either the culprit or the victims.

Genji, Shannon and Rosa have returned. This means that Kanon did not die. I am curious, however, to what sort of circumstances would lead Shannon to join this group. There is no way she was present when the bodies were discovered, which means she could not have been told to accompany Genji to the study.

Upon her return, Rosa says Kinzo is fine. As I have difficulty believing she knew about the lack of Kinzo beforehand, I will have to believe Genji explained the situation to her and how that made her Head, but to keep the secret for now. Must be why she feels more dignified and responsible.
Furthermore... Even if Rosa were the culprit, I guess that's no reason for her to know Kinzo's secret before this moment.

Please note that it's been twice now that someone in view of Battler was about to try the phones but gave up before doing so.

Shannon claims to have transcribed something, which she could not have done if she were busy being Kanon with Jessica for most of that time, and so I must assume it is a cover story or that she showed up later. In either case, she needs to set up her story with Genji.

Here comes another locked room. There are a few ways of beating this one.
So long as Kanon is alive, he simply killed Jessica, locked the door and left, reapearing as Shannon in the study.
If that is not so, then it is possible that Gohda delt with Kanon and then Jessica, leavign Jessica dead and locked in her room and Kanon simply left somewhere.
Of course, I believe the first far more, especially as Kanon was the culprit last time.
Kumasawa is another possible culprit element, as is Genji.
Hm. I guess literally any of the servants could have created the locked room.

Highly suspicious that Rosa would clear Genji and Shannon despite there being no Kinzo. I very much doubt she was so thoroughly tricked that she'd believe she talked with Kinzo without doing so, so she must know.
This casts suspicion on her, as well as Shannon and/or Genji.

Fugging Gohda-san is so busy trying to boast that he incriminates himself. It's hilarious.

Darn, just noticed that I forgot to pay attention as to whether Jessica is truly dead or not! Once again, she'd need the cooperation of the Doctor, and I don't really think she's alive, but she *could* be.

Hm. I've neglected the possibility of murdering Kanon and using his key, perhaps because the only people without alibis were servants who didn't need it.

If I'm interpreting Beatrice's red statements correctly, it doesn't seem like they deny master keys beyond the ones the servants had. I need to recheck the exact statements.
I'm primarily inclined to believe Gohda or Kumasawa locked it, because it should not have been possibly for anyone outside the servants to do so.
But if I assume Shannon has one... Well, then it is easy.
 
Hum. Oh. Um. "Kanon was killed in this room"? Screw you, game. This one's cheap and rather strong and destructive. If Shannon is Kanon, this "killed" is being used in a really annoying way. This'd devastate anyone playing for the first time.

Rosa has persistently suspected the servants. When everyone had been in the parlour for a long time (Her methods seem successful!), the servants all got together and left for the kitchen, whereas she whispered something to Nanjo, who got up and left.

A scene wherein a deeply hurt Kanon barges into the kitchen with all the servants, saying suspicious things about Rosa.
There's a few problems with this, not the least of which the fact that the red text specifically pronounced Kanon as dead, or that Shannon is with the servants. I'll have to assume the entire scene is nonsense, including the accusations against Rosa.
Speaking of which, it feels as if the game intended for her to be suspicious, but I haven't really suspected her at all.

It is so, so cool to, for the first time in the novel, see the people fight off the supernatural elements.
Anyhow, probably not true events, alas.

With Kumasawa dead, Gohda, Genji, or Shannon/Kanon are the only ones remaining that could've killed Jessica. However, out of them, only Shannon could've "killed" Kanon.

They show up in front of Rosa and Battler, and the three remaining servants claim to have seen the murders. It'll be very important to check the exact wording and claims everyone makes. Could one or more of them have tricked the others? Because the most likely scenario at this point is that the three remaining servants are cooperating, whether under duress or not.
Something needs to be confirmed: Are Nanjo and Kumasawa actually dead?

There are 17 people, including Kanon and Shannon. At any rate, 6 died, then Jessica and Kanon. This left George, Battler, Maria and Rosa, who were all together, and Genji, Shannon, Kumasawa, Nanjo, and Gohda. This accounts for everybody on the island. The sevants must be colluding in some way. Whether for their own protection or because they are guilty is the only remaining question. They could not have had anybody enter the room.

Note: They were all in the servant room for the first aid, not the kitchen.

The whole room was covered with blood, including the bed.

Rosa searched the room, at some point producing a sheet of paper.

The point in this episode where Battler would rather it be magic than suspecting those we love... Oh, Ange, we'll be coming back to this sometime, you can be sure of that.

I'm inclined to believe George is an accomplice to Shannon (whether she's the one doing the killing or not), if the game sticks to the narrative that only people inside the room where the cousins slept could've tamered with Maria's key.

Confirmed in red that there are only five master keys. Yes, it's all coming together into a conclusion that only Shannon could've pulled this off, likely by employing the assitance of George, Genji and Gohda. Thye may be persecuting Rosa at the moment, but she is probably right.

Nanjo and Kumasawa are simply gone. Could they be collaborating? I think that it's difficult to start including so many collaborators when Shannon and some pressure could do the job.

Speaking of, now that Battler isn't present, the servents are much more detailed with the magical events :P

Natsuhi is descended from Shinto spirits?

Detail: I might've failed to note all the times letters turned up.
At any rate, the letter Rosa received very early on by Beatrice was never expounded upon at all, and neither was the letter to Jessica seen by Battler. I am inclined to believe neither one existed.

Very difficult to declare Beatrice's outbursts at love as irrelevant.

Genji supposedly finds the two missing bodies, Nanjo and Kumasawa, and we all go and see them. They are the seventh and eight twilights.
Not sure if they've been confirmed as dead, but I'd think the neck slices would be trustworthy...
This means they didn't have to be dead earlier, but whether they did die then or only closer to now, it poses no problems to my theories.

Genji claims the three wanted to search Natsuhi's room.
Genji is made to try the door to Natsuhi's room, but claims it is locked. Battler tried to and noticed it was locked.

These three seem to be dead, which is very annoying. This would mean some, at least, would have to be accomplices that got killed.
Shannon is lying in a pool of blood, face down, not pierced by a stake. Battler confirms she was pierced by a hole. They made it this way to give us hopes. What pricks.

The only reliable theory left is that Genji commited the murders, enlisting the help of at least Shannon (for the second locked room with the disappearing Kanon) and then later betraying her. Gohda could be accomplice or just pressed into cooperating.

George had the key to this room, and this room was locked. Time for a really annoying locked room.
There are only 5 master keys. All of them are in Maria's handbag. Maria, her handbag, and Rosa were with Battler the entire time. At no point since the servants were made to leave the servant room could Rosa have given them master keys. For this reason, the Master keys must not have been used to commit this crime.
This room has at least one key, Natsuhi's key. It was found inside. Two implications: Where did they get it? (Was it inside, like Jessica's, or did someone visit the Chapel? Did someone remove Natsuhi's key back then? Theoretically possible for anyone.) This is a problematic locked room.

I'll... trust Battler's assessment that Shannon is dead, so George or Gohda pretending somehow would be the easiest way to create the locked room. Waiting for the witch to deny it.

There's a bloody envelope in the parlour. Mariaaaaaaa? Rosaaaaa?
Blast it all to bits! What is this nonsense?
No two ways about it. Someone had to have left it before the room was closed, but unless Genji is particularly good at stealthily throwing envelopes into a room, either Rosa or Maria did it. Possibly Rosa's and accomplice? Bah. This bit is annoying and really shatters any low number of accomplices theories.

Rosa claims there was no letter on the table when she entered just now. That... is not possible. Unless Maria did it, or a person is hidden here, which would have to be a pretend to be dead person at that, that is utterly impossible.

Battler is left alone. Genji shows up and tells a story of Kinzo atoning. More importantly, Genji explicitly waited for Beatrice's ceremony to end before talking. This is the first time anyone has outright acknowledged this sort of thing in front of Battler.

And it's also the first time we're shown magic in front of Battler. Blast it all!
Okay, let's see... Golden butterflies can be prepared in advance, the shadowy figure can be Rosa in disguise, Kinzo... Bollocks.
Even if I were to assume Battler is not the detective for this story, Rosa saw Beatrice earlier on and got an envelope that was never brought up again... And was in the chapel where everyone died, supposedly?

The alternative is that Battler has accepted magic at this point, so he lost his ability to always see true events.

Wait, I've solved it! Battler was drunk off his arse and, utterly plastered, imagined the whole thing. There we go. Solved.

Okay. The crimes themselves.
The culprit is Genji, aided by Rosa and Shannon. A multitude of others are possible accomplices.
For the first room, they simply used the key in the envelope. Genji could've done it alone, though Rosa probably helped by getting the key from the envelope (this way, resealing, unsealing, and anything else is irrelevant).
For the second room, Kanon let Genji in to kill Jessica. Then both went to Kinzo's study wherein they met Rosa, locking Jessica's room with Genji's key.
For the third room, we can assume the two were killed and taken away. Genji coerced Gohda's cooperation. The door was closed with Genji's key.
For the fourth room, Rosa could've lent Genji a key if Battler wasn't paying attention. If no master key was used, the only way I see it as being possible is if the killer was inside, which would make it either Gohda or George, if they pretended to be dead, or Shannon, if she committed suicide. Note that no further murders were committed, and as such it is possible for the culprit to have committed suicide at this point.
For the parlour, Rosa entered first and left the letter there, or left it when she left last time, or simply pretended it wasn't there when she entered.

Gohda could replace Genji in the theories, and if he was able to fake deadness, everything should still be possible. In this scenario, Genji was the one coerced by Gohda and Shannon.

George could not commit some of the crimes, such as the second and third, and therefore he is not the culprit. At best, he locked the door from the inside in the fourth room after being stabbed. A natural thing to do, ultimately, if he felt he was in danger.

Shannon could've done everything by herself with Rosa's cooperation, but it is difficult to imagine she could strike by herself against Nanjo and all the other servants, and make the remainder cooperate.

For the last trick, either Rosa or Maria had to have done it, and since Rosa says Maria didn't, I'll assume it was Rosa.

The fourth room is allowed to be a true closed room if the culprit was Gohda and pretended to be dead, Shannon and she killed herself, or the culprit was Genji and George locked himself in in his final moments.

I will not even entertain the thought that the twilights indicate the true order of the murders. That's nonsense.

Everyone says Beatrice does not make the best moves all the time, and that there's a weakness.
Bernkastel and Lambadelta try to help us. And make references to Higurashi.

Lambadelta is great.

To be honest, I don't appreciate the author telling me how to enjoy my mystery novels, but fine. I can try and solve them, see? (To be honest, I now realise that Ryukishi07 really did give us everything we needed to get through all the hard parts if we'd read through Umineko once.)

 

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