Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. Or at least an exciting Thursday if you’re in one of those places that doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. This Umineko post notwithstanding, I’m basically taking a weeklong break from writing to spend some quality family time. I’m also looking forward to the winter season kicking off soon. There’s a handful of possibly excellent shows that I’m looking forward to following.
Kinzo agrees to show himself to his children, who are aghast at actually seeing him alive. I don’t know if that’s more because they doubted Krauss specifically, or because they hadn’t seen Kinzo in so long, they couldn’t believe he was still a pretty spry guy. Kinzo takes the decidedly more cynical route.
So Kinzo has two reasons for coming of hiding – and it’s not to make Krauss seem like an upstanding guy. Firstly, he berates his kids, completely disgusted that none of them have been able to solve the riddle of the Epitaph and that all of them have failed at building their own miniature empires of wealth. At first he plans to not leave a successor and have the Ushiromiya legacy die with him, but Nanjo gets Kinzo to consider otherwise, explaining that his kids have been able to create things beyond material wealth… like families. Which may be true and heartwarming in a Disney sort of way, but even that’s a bit shaky. Rosa has a child she doesn’t want. Rudolf is a philanderer and has two kids with two different wives (who knows how many other kids he may have in hiding). And George is a good child but continually makes his momma not very happy by shacking up with the maid. Jessica, Krauss and Natsuhi may be the most traditionally nuclear family… but Krauss has already screwed things up with Kinzo. Plus, Jessica has poor physical health and an unhealthy fetish towards well-dressed furniture. Regardless, Kinzo buys the argument and decides to possibly leave it up to his grandchildren, if they can prove themselves. The second reason for his appearance is to get the killing started. Yep, he’s staying true to Beatrice and her revival.
Kinzo, or Lord Goldsmith, or master villain #2 – whatever you want to call him – apparently has summoning powers that go above and beyond what I expected of him. Not only does he have the Siestas with him (with a new Siesta sister, Siesta 00), he’s apparently got Ronove and Virgilia on his side too. I remember seeing something like this done by someone else before… their true masters… Beatrice. Is this Kinzo truely Kinzo? Or a creation like EvaBeatrice?
Not only does he have Ronove and Virgilia on his side, apparently, he’s got the ability to introduce new characters too. A demon named Gaap, who despite her gothic loli attire, has a surprisingly sultry voice. It wasn’t bad, but surprised me at first. Gaap has a thing for curls, bows, and black holes. It’s quite possible she’s been playing a bit too much portal. But after the Siestas kill Rosa, Hideyoshi, Eva, Rudolf, Genji and Natsuhi in bloody fashion, Gaap sends the rest of them (sans Kumasawa and Gohda), hurdling into the ether.
Cut to the meta world, were Battler again notices Beatrice’s distasteful choice of killing methods. Sadly, this is the only game related meta scene we see. And there’s nothing revealed. And only a brief moment with Ange. I don’t know how the game went, but I can’t help but wonder if the pacing was compromised in this episode, because of all the setup in the last three episodes.
Now flashback to Maria’s memories. Sort of an abrupt transition here. I assume they’re picking up the story from the last episode, but I wonder if there was any significant to its placement here. I’ll get to that a little later. As Rosa raises her hand for a wicked slapfest, she’s shocked to suddenly find her hand shatter like a dropped piece of porcelain. Next thing she knows, she’s in another meta world of sorts with Maria dressed as a witch and with Beatrice next to her.
Maria hysterically asks why Rosa never treated her well, and Rosa hysterically replies that Maria had was an obstacle to her happiness, and that she hated her even before she was born. It’s interesting that Beatrice references the ugliness of Rosa’s lust. I hadn’t given much thought to it before, but considering her Hokkaido dalliances, the baby born out of wedlock, it’s seems highly likely that Rosa is a raging whore, and Maria was a huge mistake that was never meant to be. Where does Rosa’s true happiness lie? It’s does not appear to be in her “family.” Perhaps it’s in her lustful desires.
Sadly, the Maria deformed faces are back, and again, I’m not sure they’re terribly fitting here. Like EvaBeatrice, Maria kills Rosa over and over, punishing her (or the bad witch controlling her) until Maria can feel better about herself and ready to forgive. But it’s clear that this wasn’t what she wanted either. I think Beatrice realizes that as well. Because unlike EvaBeatrice’s repeated killing scenes, Beatrice seems to be getting no pleasure out of this scene and keeps a much more solemn look. It’s a pitiable scene for all involved: the unhappy child, and the unhappy mother, and the Endless Witch that appears to want to make her colleague feel better.
Now cut back to the game board. And this is interesting, because the transition between the last meta world and the game world was Maria waking up from her sleep. Clearly, Rosa was alive when she entered the island. The Maria torture scene would have taken place before the game began. I suppose it’s possible that she had Beatrice resurrect Rosa, and made her forget the details, but that seems a little too convenient. Coupled with my thoughts from last episode that Maria has always been optimistic about her situation in the notes she left in the grimoire and in the conversations she had with Ange, it’s hard for me to reconcile that with the scenes above. Was that meta world a dream? Or a fear that just manifested itself in her thoughts? I think it’s more than a dream, but I’m skeptical that the incident actually occurred. While Rosa was shocked at her broken hand, she seemed unperturbed by the change of scenery into the meta world. And the way she was verbally attacking Maria, I thought was too in-sync with Maria’s fears (the Maria who asked “was I useful?” while her head rolled around on a serving plate) to be more than coincidence.
Apparently, Gaap’s portals are a one-way ticket to a dungeon. Heh, the joke’s on Krauss though. Who in their right mind would stick a phone in a dungeon and not remember doing something that inane? Krauss calls Jessica, who along with the rest of the kids has basically learned everything from Gohda and Kumasawa. Unsurprisingly (or maybe surprisingly) none of the kids seemed too torn up about their deceased parents. Maybe they’re just getting used to this. I thought Krauss’ warning to Jessica about not avenging her mom, was an implicit challenge to do so, but apparently, she decides to follow the law of the letter, barricading the kids inside the room with them.
Eventually, Kinzo meets with the prisoners informing them that they’re locked up in the dungeon below the hidden mansion where Beatrice used to live. And then sets the stage for a possible battle royale amongst the grandchildren next week.
Couple interesting points to mention – again, Krass does not mention how the victims were killed. Presumably, either Gohda or Kumasawa mention it either. You would figure that if Kinzo is able to summon demons who can shoot portals at you, that recommending a barricade would be folly. There’s not many good options, but I think the most obvious one would be to tell them to run and hide somewhere. Those omissions make me pretty confident that we shouldn’t believe what we saw happen in the dining room. Not to mention, at this point, I’m skeptical of everything that happens on the game board that Battler doesn’t see directly. Could Kinzo have just been on a one-man Winchester rifle rampage? I guess it’s possible.
Another interesting thing was Shannon telling Kanon that the Golden Land is indeed a very nice place. Is it that Shannon remembers things from previous arcs, as zilch supposes? If so, does this make her a potential ally for game piece Battler? Or did she get a sneak preview from Beatrice after breaking the magic mirror for her (assuming that applies in this arc as well)?