A lot of posturing in this episode, as all the pieces gather and the second game between Beatrice and Battler begins to take shape.
Maria’s clearly a weird kid, but she’s going to grow up to be one f-d up teenager, what with the constant beatings from her mom. Yes, the ~uu’s were back in force this episode, and Rosa had no shortage of patience in this episode. I don’t have a problem with smacking a kid once or twice for discipline, but Rosa just brutalizes Maria multiple times in this episode more out of frustration than any sense of parental instruction.
Meanwhile, while everyone is gathering at Rokkenjima, we get our first taste of the "meta world," apparently an "off the board" world where Beatrice and Battler get to trade barbs head to head. I wonder if Battler and Beatrice are present in the meta world while this second game is going on, or if only Beatrice is able to pull Battler aside.
Later, we see Rosa beat the crap out of Maria again and destroy her pumpkin candy. In the first game, this is where Battler tried to intervene, before being pulled away by George and Jessica, but in this case it occurs after the three of them have left the scene. Slight variation. I know the ~uu’s are annoying, but I have a lot of sympathy for her. It’s interesting that Maria blames her mother’s craziness on "bad witches." It makes me wonder if her whole witch fascination was something she started getting into to explain her mother’s seemingly bipolar sides. If so, it would provide a pretty profound reason why she seems to like witches ("good" witches, assumably) so much, and would also explain why she’s so desperate to have others believe in witches and Beatrice.
There’s a nice scene in between here in which Kanon notices Maria getting beat, and reaches out to console her. In the end, he can’t offer to do much but dust off the candy for her, but it was a nice scene in which we get to see a bit of Kanon’s "humanity." Maria responds by saying it’s ok, that Beatrice would fix everything, which seems to surprise Kanon a bit. I’m curious to see where and how Maria learned of Beatrice and whether she’d actually met her before. I’d guess that she hasn’t met Beatrice before, but that she’d just heard the stories from or about Kinzo, magically receiving the gold from Beatrice. It sounds like a story in which a child would consider Beatrice to be a savior.
On a separate, but related note, this scene also has convinced me that the Maria’s higurashi eyes are completely unnecessary and a red herring. Kanon doesn’t respond to them, and I don’t feel like they fit the tone of the scene either. She looks like a girl possessed, but her words sounded like a girl looking for a savior.
When Rosa hears that a typhoon is coming, she runs back out to the rose garden, breaking down and apologizing to Maria. Rosa’s behavior between her yangire and her remorseful side is so extreme, it’s really making me think that she is bipolar. I doubt she’s possessed by witches, but her mood swings are just not normal. This is where we see the first instance of Beatrice in person. And it’s easy to see why Maria sees her as a savior, as she magically fixes Maria’s candy and gives her an invitation to the Golden Land (sounds like magical fun!). Rosa is also taken aback by actually seeing Beatrice in person (a reaction in which all the other adults in the mansion will later share).
It’s interesting we see Kyrie here. As the one that taught Battler about turning over the chess board, I was a little surprised that there wasn’t more that happened here. But we quickly move to another meta world scene, in which Beatrice taunts Battler about being physically present, since that was his major objection in the first game. Although as Klashikari points out, Beatrice’s presence is actually a plus for Battler, because the mysterious 19th person that he was struggling so much for in the last game, is now here.
I also thought it was interesting that Beatrice talks to Battler in past tense ("In this game, I was"), so now I wonder if this meta word exists as part of the 2nd game’s purgatory.
I thought the scenes between Kanon, Beatrice and Shannon were interesting for a couple reasons. In Kanon’s case, I’m starting to understand why Kanon’s been so extremely self-deprecating: he doesn’t want to have any human regrets for Beatrice to feast on. I also get the sense that he sees revival in the Golden Land as some sort of restitution, like it was heaven or something. However, Beatrice recognizes that Kanon’s regrets are tied to Shannon’s regrets. By sacrificing Shannon, she can create regret for Kanon – being unable to have steered Shannon away from creating her own regrets. The conversation between Beatrice and Shannon has taken a completely different turn in this episode too. Whereas they were all chummy in the previous episode, it seems like Shannon’s accepted that something bad will happen, yet she’ll continue to go down her own path to try to achiever her happiness. So we later see that she doesn’t hesitate to accept George’s proposal (which George gets to see in this variation).
Battler learns from Nanjo that grandpa Kinzo has had a mistress named Beatrice in the past, and could have had a child. So revenge could be a possible motive for this potential daughter of Beatrice. So Beatrice is going to have to prove somehow that a.) she’s not Kinzo’s illegitimate child and that b.) she’s not a witch, without having him resort to a devil’s proof. So I take it there must be some extra meaning to Kyrie’s acknowledgement of Beatrice. Now the question is, what exactly did Beatrice show them, that they would acknowledge her as a witch? Considering Kyrie also acknowledges her, I have to imagine the evidence that Beatrice provided was tremendos. And how is Battler going to explain it away?
A good continuation of the game setup. this keeps getting more and more interesting. I’ve read in multiple places that the next episode is going to mess everyone’s head up, so needless to say, I am psyched to see what Beatrice has in store for Battler.