Umineko no Naku Koro ni, episode 18 – Spoiler-free bland title

The most important part of getting to this episode was trying to avoid even the slightest semblance of any spoilers – be it the post title, or the preview sentence you see in Google Reader. But I knew some shit had hit the fan when even Divine over at Random Curiosity was posting about it. Needless to say, I’m very glad I was able to stay out of spoilers way. So this is a warning, because the spoilers start here.

Moetrice gives Kanon and Jessica alone timeMoetrice is struck through the heart

The newly reformed Moetrice helps Jessica, by reviving a phantom version of Kanon, who acts as Jessica’s eyes to lead her to "safety" (or another closed room actually), and then gives them time to speak together. However, EvaBeatrice strikes immediately, having the Siestas shoot Moetrice through the heart.

Moetrice's heartRonove tells EvaBeatrice she's weak

Repeated shots and Siesta bazookas turn Moetrice into a husk of a heart, but fail to kill her. This freaks out the Siestas, who most likely didn’t get the irony in them calling Moetrice a "monster" and then running away. Ronove appears to tell EvaBeatrice that she lacks the power to kill Moetrice… even if she is nothing but a beating heart now.

Moetrice in tattersBattler changes opponents

Before EvaBeatrice tries to step on Moetrice’s heart though, Battler cuts in and gives Moeto a backhanded compliment before bringing EvaBeatrice into the metaworld to do battle.

Battler and Endless NineMoetrice blushes

EvaBeatrice, who seems startled by the change of scenery, takes the thug route and tries to off Battler. However, his endless nine power (Haruhi to thank?) easily wards off the Siestas attack and he scares them away. Battler then sticks up for Moetrice and vows to show EvaBeatrice the true meaning of being a Golden Witch. In turn, Moetrice graces us with a knee jellifyingly moe blush and tears. And thus begins the more mental battle between Battler and EvaBeatrice.

Battler tries to pin down EvaBeatriceMoetrice blushes again

I wonder if it’s even worth recounting the events, because the story gets so messed up (in a good way), but I’ll recount it briefly. Essentially, Battler tries to use Maria and Rosa’s deaths in the second twilight to trap EvaBeatrice, telling her to repeat in red: Aunt Eva never took a step out of the room while the crime was going on. EvaBeatrice doesn’t. In fact, she doesn’t even counter this, and instead conjures up the events in the 4th to 6th twilight. Battler was sloppy here, letting her slide. I don’t know if the VN goes into it more, but he let her skate free on the 2nd twilight. But him and Moetrice are able to corner EvaBeatrice again in her scenario. She claims that the reason why Kyrie suggested that she, Rudolf and Hideyoshi leave to get food, when before she said it was safer in the guesthouse was because EvaBeatrice controlled her with magic. While Battler’s getting flustered (still much too easily, he should be getting better at this), Moetrice asks Virgilia to reconstruct the death scenes of Hideyoshi, Kyrie and Rudolf. Although, she’s unable to figure out a solution, she finds a smoked cigarette amongst Kyrie’s belongings. Battler recognizes this as a message from Kyrie, and that the reason she brought Hideyoshi out there was to ask him about the truth. He tells EvaBeatrice to repeat in red that Eva was in the room where the cigarette butt was crushed. EvaBeatrice refuses again. And again Battler lets her slide as she takes the offensive again. This is getting embarrassing for Battler.

EvaBeatrice on a rampageMoetrice apologizes to Virgilia

EvaBeatrice goes on the offensive by firing some rapid-fire red text about how Battler was with Eva the whole time Nanjo got killed. And how none of the three survivors killed Nanjo, although he was indeed killed. At this point Battler becomes unhinged and accuses EvaBeatrice of lying with the red text. Failing to come up with a good answer, Battler collapses into a despondent heap. I like Battler. But I want to like him a lot. I want to give him a chance to make my top 10 list of characters. But every time he gets a chance, he fails. Why didn’t he continue to press EvaBeatrice on the prior twilights? Solve the 2nd and 4th-6th twilights, before thinking about Nanjo’s death. Maybe answers will arise from figuring them out. And if your first guess to the Nanjo murder is wrong, step back and think about it. But Battler is so easy to fall into mess of despair, that it’s a wonder that he hasn’t been blown off the game board already. Thankfully, Moetrice is going to come to Battler’s rescue.

Battler covers her earsMoetrice's bright smile

By sacrificing herself. She vows to use the red text to deny that witches exist, eliminating everyone but Battler on the game board. Battler asks Moeto not to sacrifice herself, but eventually relents. In return, she asks Battler to cover his ears.

Battler and Moetrice, a coupleWelcome to the Golden Land

The sacrifice occurs. Eva reveals herself as the killer, kills Battler, and then… Battler and Moetrice find themselves invited to come to the Golden Land (Battler and Moetrice sure look like a nice couple in that screenshot). But wait. Hmm… this seems like a strange thing to be happening if witches don’t exist.

Battler's strange contractBattler seems unsure

I thought you said no prenuptials? Wa-wait a second. This contract seems a little off. This is totally different from what we talked about.

Battler gets the used car salesman treatmentMoetrice is too eager

Wait. W-w-what the heck is up with these strong-arm tactics?!?! Yo, don’t touch me demon goat!

Moetrice and Virgilia's ugly facesAnge kicks ass

Moetrice? Virgilia? What are you guys doing? Strange red haired girl kicking demon goat ass? What the heck?

Ange's warningBattler can't believe it

A trick? No. No way. You lie! Moetrice, she’s lying isn’t she? You wouldn’t do that, would you? Right? RIGHT?

Beatrice returnsBeatrice's tsundere trojan horse

…no… not the tsundere trojan horse… no… how could you? I thought we had something special… no…

I won’t blame Battler for falling for Moetrice’s tricks. Since I fell for it hook, line and sinker too. In retrospect, there were signs. It was too easy. I knew I shouldn’t believe my eyes. If Moetrice could fake the fight between her and Virgilia, she could fake Virgilia’s and EvaBeatrice’s existences as well. But I wanted to believe. Like Battler, I wanted to believe in Moetrice’s redemption. Were we too gullible? In retrospect, obviously yes. But in the same way we wanted to believe in the innocence of the Ushiromiya servants and family members, we wanted to believe in the goodness of Moetrice. And she completely exploited our weakness.

Moetrice. Her name was Moetrice. Her name was Moetrice. Her name was Moetrice.

Battler and I both fell for her. But sadly, it seems she is no more. All hail the return of the Golden Witch, the Endless Witch, the one and only, Beatrice.

What a great scene. What a freaking great scene. I was stunned. This was the first time during this show where I felt a twist and turn was perfectly setup, and where I felt there was a more grandiose plan in mind versus nitpicking about the feasibility of a closed room.

Lamdadelta in teaLambdadelta's power

I suppose the chances of Beatrice having a soft spot is probably zero, but I continue to hold on hope. Maybe that’s why I noticed her hesitate in answering Lambdadelta’s question about whether she was even trying. Sometimes, you become deredere, no matter how hard you try not too. Regardless, Beatrice is back. And Moetrice is gone. Interestingly, Lambda seems to hold some sort of power over Beatrice. I had thought they were on equal ground, but perhaps not?

A grayed EvaBernkastel saves Ange

Twelve years later. Battler’s sister Ange has grown up. And Eva still holds onto her hate, even as her shockingly quick decline into sickness and hate lead to her death. With the last connection to her family gone, Ange seems ready to throw her life away. That is until she meets Bernkastel, who informs her that she has a chance to break her family out of the cycle of death she’s been stuck in. The few quick minutes that Ange had screen time gives me a lot of hope that she’ll be able to provide the necessary cool focus necessary to help Battler solve the mystery. Meanwhile, I’m glomming completely to Bernkastel. Maybe because it was because I was hurt by Moetrice. Maybe it’s a rebound thing. But I think it’s more than that. I know I can trust Bernkastel. We have history. We have Yukari Tamura. I knew Bern was working somewhere behind the shadows. She will deliver.

29 Replies to “Umineko no Naku Koro ni, episode 18 – Spoiler-free bland title”

  1. “Meanwhile, I’m glomming completely to Bernkastel.”
    “I know I can trust Bernkastel.”

    Oh, ho ho.

    Anyway, Umineko sure is getting to be fun.

  2. The only real sucky part is knowing that after the next arc is over, their won’t be a conclusion for a year and a half, because Umineko’s answer arc is still being written.

  3. Some non-spoiler additional info~

    In the game Battler is playing with the witch, he must deny all the magic claims with a valid truth. Every single one, otherwise the witch can still “exist” on the island, if only for that one act alone. Delaying the solving of Nanjo’s murder with the previous twilights wouldn’t change the outcome at that time. Besides, EvaBeatrice had already resigned on those twilights.

    Also in the novel, the final red-text barrage was ridiculous. I think there were about 3 times more red text than they showed in the anime, just to cover all their bases. Do you want to read the red web in its entirety?

    1. Ah ok. I wondered how the witches always seemed to get a pass. I think maybe that was one of the points I was missing.

      Yeah, I found the red web here. It’s a shame that DEEN couldn’t put all that in. The effect would’ve been mindblowing, and probably would’ve helped me empathize with Battler’s despair. Interestingly, from the red text: it specifically says that a human killed Nanjo with a weapon. So that seems to discount magic and witches. It doesn’t help Battler figure out who it is. But it seems like a little bit of a lead.

      1. It isn’t really, since Evatrice adds in non-red that this human could be able to use magic, in other words, a witch, in other words, her =P

        I always thought that stuff like “Absolutely no factors others than humans participate in this game board!” was a lot more out of place, being said by a witch who wants to prove her participation in the game board ^^

        1. Can we trust anything that’s said in non-red though?

          Statements like the one you mentioned and “the one who killed Nanjo was definitely a human” seem like dead giveaways that it wasn’t the work of a witch. But I’m assuming witch =/= human.

  4. Yeah this episode was a real shocker for me too but something else just went off in my head.

    RED:There are 18 people on the island.
    1. Kinzo Ushiromiya
    2. Krauss Ushiromiya
    3. Natsuhi Ushiromiya
    4. Jessica Ushiromiya
    5. Eva Ushiromiya
    6. Hideyoshi Ushiromiya
    7. George Ushiromiya
    8. Rudolf Ushiromiya
    9. Kyrie Ushiromiya
    10. Battler Ushiromiya
    11. Rosa Ushiromiya
    12. Maria Ushiromiya
    13. Genji Ronoue
    14. Shannon
    15. Kanon
    16. Toshiro Gohda
    17. Chiyo Kumasawa
    18. Terumasa Nanjo

    but Beatrice and her furniture are not counted, nor are any other witches or their furnitures.

    so we can assume that furniture and witches don’t count under the category of people.

    Now here’s the key point: Most members of the staff are furniture … and therefore don’t count towards the 18

    this leaves plenty of unknown people on the island, even if you assume ange has been counted from the beginning

    1. Hmm, that’s a good observation. I think the only problem with that is in some previous red texts, and the red text for this arc (full list here (not really spoilerish, except for this episode)), the servants appear to be referred to as people.

    2. No no no.

      Furniture DOES count to the total. Okay, it’s a ‘complex’ – Kanon, Shannon and Genji are not actually chairs :|!

      Beatrice + Magic Beings don’t count to the island total, because they aren’t actually there. But Genji, Kanon and Shannon are physically on the island and thus count to the total.

      1. No not literally furniture but mystically. Basically it depends on how BEATRICE defines people. And we’ve seen how dehuminizingly she views the furniture characters, which leads me to be able to perfectly envision a scene of her saying “well of course they didn’t count… They are only furniture, mere objects, not people” basically the same sort of “logic” that was applied with slaves

        on the other hand I don’t actually expect my idea to happen (due to reasons of narrative causality), I just was noting that it very well COULD.

        1. -editadd

          just like I don’t expect Battler to use any of the unbreachable denials based upon perception being flawed. Examples include: “this isn’t magic just my insanity, I hope they deliver the pills soon” “YOU are a figment of my imagination” “nothing that I am not currently and personally witnessing is guarenteed to exist” “if you act under the assumption of a technology existing that alters memories, all perceptions are equally true or false, not even the memory of red words is safe.”

  5. Battler doesn’t press her because with her unable to break his theory with red, he wins that “round”

    Battler has to prove everything was done without magic to win. He can’t just prove one and press it. They move onto the next twilight because Battler won those rounds.

    Battler’s victory condition isn’t figuring out how the murders were done, just simply proving that they can be done without the use of magic.

    1. I just watched the VN scenes and that makes much more sense to me now. I also didn’t realize he had a time limit as well. Suddenly, I can understand his frustration a lot better.

  6. Ah, of course. An anime watcher posts something and immediately the SN readers come out with spoilers.

    This is why the Umineko “community” sucks.

  7. I was always suspicious of why Beato suddenly turned nice. I was thinking “wow, that was the dumbest sudden personality change ever.” Well that paid off quite well in the end. Quite the charade Beato was running there.
    .-= TJ´s last blog ..To Aru Kagaku no Railgun 05 =-.

  8. lol Nanjo’s death is going to keep nagging at me since it is left open — if the red truth can be believed, then someone other than Eva killed the guy, but if Eva is the sole murderer, then we have the first (I think) confirmed hole in the red truth, since Evatrice specifically states that neither Battler nor Eva is involved in Nanjo’s murder. But who knows when any of that will be addressed, haha.

    I thoroughly enjoyed being Beatrolled.

    1. This got me thinking. What if Kinzo is dead, but he died off the island? I’d have to go back and rewatch eps to see if it was possible, but I think there have been a few cases where no one actually sees Kinzo until his dead body mysteriously shows up. But what if that body was just planted, and Kinzo left the island before the storm began. This could open the door for a 18th murderer that wasn’t Eva. Maybe this is just crazy talk though. :p

  9. You know it just occured to me that Beatrice is an very smart idiot. First of all the only reason she didn’t win in this episode was A. lying about the contract and B. trying strong-arm tactics. She also didn’t apply fine print to the contract and instead made its purpose written in blaringly bold print on the first line. Finally, she shouldn’t have admitted to faking everything but at least that can be explained by her sadism.

  10. I’ve been keeping up with this, it’s really good. A friend of mine is playing the visual novels, they’re even better.

  11. I prefer to think what if Rokkenjima isn’t a closed circle? The witches say in red no more than 18 people exist there, but they never said whether or not it’s a closed circle or if more people CAN ENTER THERE after it’s declared!

    And what if someone died? The human count would have to go down as the deaths progress! I think that if they can say that 18 people exist on the island, then are they counting the dead? What if the count goes up by one after each death? All it would take is just one person to kill someone, and another can show up to take the spot, keeping the head count at 18 people.
    .-= Jubbz´s last blog ..Noveber is here! Time to reveal my plans for the blog =-.

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