Remember when Umineko was about the battle between logic and magic, between Battler and Beatrice? No? Well, that’s alright, because it’s been a while. The latest episode wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t a fan. It feels like we’re straying further and further from the core battle. Maybe they’ll tie it back together in the last episode, but I kinda doubt it. And with the second season in doubt, I can’t help but wonder if Umineko is going to feel like a lonely orphan.
So a couple interesting pieces of information. One is Beatrice was likely alive until 1968, according to the captain’s testimony. Either that or Kinzo had a weird fetish. This is stuff we were shown before, but had to doubt. However, the captain’s testimony seems like a good corroboration of its truth. We also learned that there’s a second, secret harbor to go straight to the Kuwadorian. Except that it’s not so secret, because apparently Kinzo, the servants and their mothers all knew about it. But it was likely a secret to many of the Ushiromiyas. However, it’s possible that Rosa and Eva may be two of the family members that have known of it. Rosa, because she supposedly visited the secret mansion, was best friends with Beatrice, before killing her. And Eva, I assume just because Rosa may have confided that info to her – not to mention, that’s where she ended up at the end of the third arc.
Meanwhile, we see that Ange has come to pay her respects to her family and Maria. Seeing Maria’s magic turn darker and more evil answers some questions I had regarding, Maria’s turn towards to the dark side, and whether that was truth or fiction.
However, the memorial is short-lived, because Kasumi and her men have been lying in ambush, waiting to beat down on Ange. I have to say, I had little empathy for Kasumi’s situation. Oh, she had to undergo some tough training. Yeah, she had to lose a man she loved. And her sister got to skate free. So she decides to continue the cycle of abuse by attempting to murder Ange? Somewhere there is a break in logic. Seeing Ange get beat up was pretty awful. Partly because it was pretty brutal, and partly because the animation was pretty brutal too.
Meanwhile, we see the return of EvaBeatrice, or rather the Black Witch, who seems to be feeding Kasumi’s rage and driving her to insanity. My understanding is that the Black Witch takes the form of the person you hate most, so in Ange’s case, Eva. So it’s not that EvaBeatrice returned from oblivion, but just took her image. So if Kasumi was switched places with Ange, it’s likely the Black Witch would’ve taken the form of Kyrie, for example. However, it’s here Ange recognizes the Maria’s true power in that, through white magic, she was able to break the cycle of hate. From Eva to Rosa, from Rosa to Maria, from Krauss to Eva, from Eva to Ange, from Kyrie to Kasumi, from Kasumi to Ange.
After ripping the pages out of Maria’s grimoire, Ange strikes back by vowing to show Kasumi the true power of magic. When Kasumi’s men take shots at Ange, they instead find the bullets ripping through and killing them (ostensibly thanks to the Seven Stakes of Purgatory). There’s a couple thoughts on how this could’ve happened, non-magically. Shounen A speculates that Ange’s bodyguard, Amakusa, disobeyed her instructions to stay behind and followed her, sniping from a distance, while zilch thinks that they all just shot each other. I on the other hand, think Lee Harvey Oswald’s magic bullet traveled through time to kill everyone. Actually, both zilch and Shounen A are probably right. All of the assassins seemed to take head on shots. However, there’s no good vantage point from behind them, since they’re at the edge of the cliff. However, it’s possible for Amakusa to have taken out three of the side shooters, causing them to fire errant shots that hit the assassins on the other side. Lot of luck required there. But what’s the difference between magic and luck? If I hit a game winning grand slam, was it because I was lucky and hit a 99mph fastball, or because magic enabled me to hit that fastball? Two sides of the same coin. Meanwhile, I think Ange likely killed Kasumi herself, because she also seems to take a straight on headshot, and I don’t know that Amakusa could’ve done that from behind without hitting Ange on the follow through. Also, Ange talks of being willing to take action herself this time. So I took it as her accepting that portion of responsibility.
Meanwhile, EvaBeatrice appears to then take physical form as Eva to finish off Ange, but fate again intervenes, when Eva’s shotgun backfires on her, giving Ange the chance to kill her once and for all. In reality, you’re not going to find Eva’s body there. My guess is that Ange is somewhat delusional, and the “battle” between her and Kasumi and Eva, was really just a battle between her and Kasumi, with Ange projecting Eva’s likeness on Kasumi.
Now, I was a little confused with the timing of the next scene between Ange and Bernkastel. Did Ange return back home? Or is this a continuation of her discussion with Bernkastel that began this whole mystifying chain of events? Or is this an alternate reality we’re looking at? I’m also still a little confused by Ange’s logic. If the Ange of 1986 is saved, the current Ange of 1998 should no longer exist. So in that sense, if preventing a life of abuse is considered saving, saving the Ange of 1986 would save Ange of 1998. I guess her hope was that she would be able to resurrect her family and instantly teleport them to meet her in 1998, but that conflicts with my Back to the Future paradoxes understanding.
Well, one episode to go. I’m really thinking that we’re not going to get satisfactory answers to all the questions we have in the next episode. So I can only hope DEEN can end this season in a way that doesn’t leave us completely borked if there is no second season.