Umineko – Banquet of the Golden Witch – 1:30 PM to 6:03 PM

Last time, Kyrie’s backstory and three more deaths.

Back in the guest house, it’s become obvious that something has gone wrong. Krauss and Natsuhi are trying to keep their compure when Eva bursts out of her room in the throes of a terrible anxiety attack. She’s in tears screaming for Hideyoshi. Krauss is shocked to see her like this, but Natsuhi understands and tries to comfort her.

Eva starts screaming that they have to go get them since the witch is in the mansion. The kids come down and watch what’s happening.

George: “I agree with Mother. We should go check on Father and the others.”

George, when the person on your side is having a complete nervous breakdown, maybe consider your idea is fucking stupid.

Nanjo’s like uh, maybe we should be cautious? and Eva starts screaming again.

Eva grabs a gun and says that she’s going and no one can stop her. George says he’s in too, and Battler gets dragged in somehow. Jess wants to go, but Natsuhi says absofuckinglutely not, because Natsuhi is the only one with a brain.

meta!Virgilia pops up. She says the scout team found the corpses, gouged for the fourth through six twilights. meta!Bat comfirms the details.

Ron looks on quietly. He thinks about telling Battler that Bea preventing EVA from doing something truly horrible to them, but decided arguing for Bea right now might do more harm than good.

Instead, when Bat asks him to confirm the deaths in red, Ron refuses.

“My apologies. As of this moment, I relinquish my position as Milady’s representative. Accordingly, ‘I’ cannot repeat that in red. The only one qualified to repeat that… is Milady. […] …No new representative exists. Please, Battler-sama. Please accept Milady as your game partner once more.”

It’s interesting, unlike the Stakes, who seem like kind of mindless murderservants, Ron seems to have both his own agenda and a genuine affection for Bea.

Ron says he will promise Bea won’t do what she did again. Bat wonders if he can believe that, and Virgilia says she apologizes too, and asks if he’ll speak with Bea again. Bat says the only apology that has a chance of reaching him is one from Bea herself. Virgilia tells Ron to go get Bea.

Bea appears, and Virgilia asks if she has something to say.

It looked as though Beato shrunk slightly under Battler’s cold gaze. Several times, Beato made an effort to get the words out of her mouth, but that didn’t work so well, and she was just as awkward as someone trying to light a match during a freezing winter with icy hands…

Even as she did that, the game board was advancing… In the hall, they had just found the corpses of the new victims and had broken down crying…

We zoom in to everyone sobbing, and Bat says something that feels sadly relevant:

 “You can’t value human lives differently. Whether it’s a baby or an old person, they should all be respected the same…! […]”

What a goddamn concept.

meta!Battler looks on and explains again to Bea why he’s so upset at her.

“…In a way, I understand your point. You say you need to continue murdering according to the epitaph for your own resurrection.”

“…So, considering your circumstances, I can just barely bring myself to understand your murders. Because to you, it’s a necessary course of action. But that means all unnecessary actions you take beyond that… are due to your meaningless and brutal tastes.”

“…In other words, if killing the six people for the first twilight was a ‘necessary action’ for you, then all that show of crushing their faces and splitting their stomachs and stuffing them full of sweets was completely unnecessary, and caused by nothing more than your brutal hobby. That’s an aspect of you that I definitely cannot forgive. When you saw Aunt Rosa getting repeatedly killed in that horrible way, you apparently said something like ‘If they’re going to be brought back to life in the end anyway, it doesn’t matter how they’re killed.’ I heard from Virgilia. That idea that you can kill them as many times as you want, as long as you bring them back to life in the end… Isn’t that a completely unnecessary action, with no purpose other than to toy around with someone’s life? …If you’re going to kill, do it instantly! Don’t toy with them!! If you won’t kill them, then don’t bully them!! You’re taking advantage of the fact that you can do as you will with people’s lives, and you’ve forgotten the sanctity of life. So I can’t accept or acknowledge you…! I definitely can’t accept as my opponent a person who doesn’t know the value of a life…or the sadness felt when lives are lost!”

Virgilia then says something very interesting:

“That is why the Endless Magic is known as a black art. An Endless Witch has no concept of limitations. They have no concept of the limitations and losses caused by breaking and killing. “…For that reason, Endless Witches sometimes start playing by jumping over the gap between life and death like it’s a game. That is a very, very frightening thing. So as an Endless Witch, and by my own choosing, I never reached your level.”

It was something Virgilia had been trying to tell Beato for a long time. But Beato had been too young to obediently listen to those words. She had been too wild. She had been possessed by that detestable pleasure.

Battler asks why Endless Magic exists — what is it even good for?

“It is not limited to the Endless Magic. All magic exists to bring happiness to the human world. After everything that has happened, it may be difficult for you to believe, Battler-kun, but in order to bring blessings to the human world, we witches are supposed to become bridges between humans and nonhumans, and that is why we train so hard.”

“…How does reviving the dead and torturing them to death over and over again help the human world?”

“When a vase that was an important memento is broken, if by fixing it, everyone will regain their smiles, I would repair it with magic as many times as necessary. However, I would not be fixing it in order to break it again. I would be reviving it to give humans happiness.”

Battler realizes that this mean that this means Bea fails as an endless witch. She can only stammer agreement.

“…Maybe this game isn’t about making me surrender. Maybe it’s a test for you to be accepted as an Endless Witch…in the truest sense.”

“…I-I don’t know about that. The reason I proposed this game to you was… umm… simply as a way to kill time… There were no ulterior motives at work.”

“Just now, I heard the definition of a witch from Virgilia. By that definition, you, Beato, are not even a witch. You’re an apprentice who’s still in training… and who misunderstands her own power. …This was supposed to a fight between a witch and a human. If you aren’t a witch, then you aren’t qualified to be my opponent. Understand?”

“…You say… I am still… only an apprentice…? Then, when will I be accepted as your opponent once again? When can we resume this game?”

“…Who knows. At the very least, it isn’t now. When you fully understand what I’ve said and become a real witch, I’ll probably accept you as my opponent in this game once more.”

Bea asks him for clearer instructions, but he refuses. He says she should go think hard about what everyone has said.

They agree that until Bea gets her shit together, the game is suspended. Bea, looking dejected, asks permission to leave and think things over. Battler says that’s fine, but she should remember: he’s never going to give up. So she shouldn’t either. At that, she cracks a smile, and we return to real time.

The search party returns unharmed. They barricade themselves on the second floor of the guesthouse and wait. Eva is still physically quite ill, but has pulled herself together mentally and is sitting with the other adults strategizing.

George can’t stop thinking about Shannon. She made him strive to be a better person, and he can’t imagine going on without her. But he knows that just killing himself wouldn’t be what she wanted; he has to try to go forward. Good boy, Ryukishi.

“Why… does people dying… make us this sad?”

Battler muttered. It was as though he was speaking on behalf of all humans. His question probably hadn’t been directed at anyone, but Jessica answered.

“…It’s always sad when you have to say goodbye. But when the person’s old or there’s some time, when you know beforehand that it’s coming, sooner or later, that sadness gets spread out over a long period of time. When misfortune comes suddenly, it’s sad… because you don’t even get that time…”

“…I see. So, if they get sick or something and end up bedridden in a hospital, you might be able to ready yourself for it bit by bit, but when it happens suddenly someday, you don’t get that luxury.”

“…The sadness that’s usually spread out over several years… closes in on you all at once. That’s pretty tough. Sometimes, it makes you feel a sadness so deep, it can leave scars for life…”

Unsurprisingly, I’ve thought about this a lot lately. There was one night when I found myself crying and the words that came out of my mouth while Mike was holding me were, “I want to spend more time with you.” It wasn’t what I expected, and it was such a frivolous thing, but in that moment all I could think was that I wasn’t ready to not have us be together. We had so much more we were going to do together. In that moment, all I wanted to do was spend year after year sitting on the couch and watching British panel shows, and that was what I was most afraid of missing. It’s the suddenness, the suddenness. When everything has been bad for a long time, you can cope. When one day it’s just over, that’s so much harder.

They wonder if that was why Kinzo became obsessed with the occult. The sudden loss of Bea was too much. Jess wonders if it was worth it. George says that even if for one instant before he died he got to see her again, he probably did think it was worth it.

We jump into George’s first-person perspective. He says he’s going to get more coffee and leaves Jess and Bat to their thoughts. On the way down, he asks Nanjo if he wants anything.

George wonders if Kinzo became a reverse-weeb because of Western occult’s beliefs about dead bodies being sacred, and wonders if the Western mystics knew something about revival that the Eastern don’t.

The situation surrounding us now is abnormal. Grandfather did revive his beloved Beatrice. And, that Beatrice has carried out a terrible serial murder, with linked closed rooms that force us to conclude that magic was used. The Golden Witch, Beatrice. The incarnation of the miracle of the Western occult. And also, the culprit who killed Shannon… She’s an entity I should hate, and yet, for some reason, I want to cling to her.

I wonder… if Shannon could be revived with the magic of miracles, which Grandfather bet his life on…

Good to know it runs in the family.

George wonders about Beatrice the witch, and her power to grant wishes.

…Then, if I also met with her, instead of gold, would she give me Shannon’s life? As collateral, I don’t care what sort of devil’s contract she imposed. I wouldn’t mind sacrificing all of my remaining life…

George probably couldn’t believe or realize that his voiceless wish… was heard by the witch herself, who stood right behind him.

meta!Bea was listening in, trying to understand her feelings. She wonders if giving George Shannon back would be the kind of thing that Battler and Virgilia want her to do. But she gave most of her power to EVA.

In the end, she finally thought of a single spell. But that was a spell that she couldn’t use by herself. It was a spell that witches with weak power used, one that relied on the aid of others. In the past, Beato had looked down upon that type of magic. Therefore, she frantically tried to search for any conceivable alternative, but in the end, she couldn’t think of one and slumped over in self-derision.

In the end, she realizes it’s her only choice. She calls out to George’s spirit, and he answers. He tells her he wishes for Shannon.

Their conversation in a mental world was a lot like having one in a dream. When you dream, haven’t you ever had the experience… of casually accepting something that would’ve been absurd in the real world? The conversation in this world was like that. So even though a witch appeared and started talking to George, he was not surprised…

She says she wants nothing in return, and she’ll grant his wish. There’s a catch though. While she can open the gate to the land of the dead, she can’t do the next part.

 “…But as I am now, I do not have the power to bring Shannon’s soul up through that gap. However, you have strong feelings for Shannon, and those feelings will surely become magic that can bring her soul out without fail. What do you say? Will you help me…?”

He says of course.

George blinks, and it’s like waking up from a dream. But Bea is still there. He can’t believe it.

“…Be quiet. I am very fragile now. If any more Humans appear, I will not be able to preserve this form. I shall grant your wish, so stay silent for now. Understand?”

He nods. She says they need to go to where Shannon’s body is. Dammit Bea, you’re smarter than this! EVA, you dipshit!

Bleh. Anyway, Bea opens a window and they float into the air.

George was shocked to find himself floating in midair like he was swimming. Of course, Beato was also shocked that George, who shouldn’t have been able to use magic, had figured out how to do that just by instinct.

“…To be able to… fly in the air, to swim in the air…”

 “…You mustn’t be bound by reason. Accept it as a natural thing. You mustn’t fall back to your Human doctrines, such as those of Newton and Einstein.”

“Especially when flying high in the sky. Inexperienced witches sometimes plummet to the earth.”

“…I-I accept things for what they appear to be… I-I accept things for what they appear to be…”

George repeated those words over and over. He must not deny magic, no matter what. Denying that would be like throwing away what might be his first and last chance to revive Shannon. However, compared to Beato, who was elegantly drifting like smoke, George’s movements clearly resembled someone underwater.

Lol.

At that time… the cruel new witch could be seen staring at the guesthouse from a different location.

Well, that’s fortunate for Bea and George, at least. Not so much for everyone else.

The bunny girls pop up and EVA tells them to kill two non-Eva targets who I’m pretty sure are Krauss and Natsuhi. Lucifer is there as well, seemingly just so EVA can heckle her.

“…Was that someone’s presence just now? Did anyone feel it?”

Suddenly, EVA thinks she senses something odd. The Bunnies say they were too focused on the targets to notice. Lucifer and Ron briefly make eye contact. Ron says they felt nothing.

“…I see. If a great demon like you says that, then it must’ve been my imagination.”

It took her quite some time before she pushed her unsatisfied feelings aside and once again turned to face the guest house.

With that, the clock moves to the weirdly specific time of 5:44 PM.

Downstairs, the adults are just trying to stay awake and sane. But Eva is breaking down physically, and losing her grip mentally, too.

She tries to talk to EVA inside of herself.

“…I was gripped by that temptation, which is why you were born. While you are a young girl version of me, at the same time, you are also my self-centered evil heart. Because of my foolish greed sprouted by that mountain of gold, the shell of the egg that is my heart cracked, and you were born into this world… I am responsible for your birth…!”

EVA points of that this also makes her responsible for all the deaths.

It’s interesting. Eva is very obviously the culprit of the nonmagic killings this time, with EVA as a metaphor for the part of herself that could do such a thing. Given that, though: was Eva also responsible in the other routes? And who will be responsible going forward? Will EVA be the new villain, with Eva the culprit on every route? Or will things continue to juggle around?

Eva asks EVA why Hideyoshi has to die.

“…I didn’t want to kill Hideyoshi. He was just so annoying and persistent. And that’s our… no, your fault. It’s your fault for choosing a husband like that.”

Eva can’t take it. She asks what about the dreams of building a life for her family. EVA says those were adult dreams, and EVA is only made up of childish, family-head-related dreams.

Eva tells EVA to GTFO. They’re not the same person anymore. And EVA says, you know what, you’re right. We’re separate, and you can fuck off yourself.

Left alone inside herself, Eva wonders if she is the murderer after all.

In the real world, she’s obviously ill and Krauss and Natsuhi are tending to her. She pushes them away and goes to make more coffee.

Natsuhi is shocked to see Krauss caring for his sister. Krauss says he regrets having made enemies of his siblings.

“It isn’t just Eva. There’s Rudolf and Rosa too. Instead of acting like an older brother to them, all I ever did was speak arrogantly and bully them. In my own way, I was frantic in my desire to be like Father. But I could never match up, and I always vented my feelings on them… But that is no excuse. I probably gave Eva scars so deep that they still have not healed. I regret it, but even if I apologized after all this time, it would do nothing to heal those wounds…”

“…If you can hold onto that feeling, instead of only letting it last for this moment, I’m sure your siblings will come to see it sooner or later.”

Natsuhi continues to be Wise. But Krauss points out it’s too late to make good with Rudy and Rosa. Still, even though she can’t hear, Krauss apologizes.

But the one who does hear is EVA, and she is not having it. She tells the Bunnies to fire away. The kill Natsuhi and Krauss and drag them outside.

At that moment, we hear a door close. Eva walks in and says, “Sorry, I’m fine now. Now I’ll go make some coffee.” It’s fucking chilling. God R07 writes such terrifying psychological horror.

For the time being, Eva sat down and waited for their return…

Over with Bea and George, they’ve made it safely to the corpse. Bea has to exert herself wildly to do the magic. She’d forgotten how hard magic normally is. Meanwhile, George has a huge amount of power. Bea can only be so surprised; after all, he’s Kinzo’s grandchild. But then she realizes it’s more than that: it’s the strength of his wish to see Shannon again, and his determination to save her. She wonders how she could have spent so long misunderstanding magic so badly.

She looked at George’s expression again. His surging earnestness was like a lightning bolt. Right now, even if George’s body had been burned or smashed by a waterfall, he would probably continue to pray for his beloved without minding it, without noticing it. For the first time, she showed respect for that power. So in that instant, all magical resistance was lost, and the enormous power of George’s feelings turned into magical energy in its complete form…

And… a flashback. A broken vase.

I realized that my foolish curiosity had led to something that couldn’t be undone. No matter how much I regretted it, no matter how much I apologized. The smashed vase wouldn’t return back to its original form…

A lost life will not return to normal no matter what happens. I was frightened that, even though my actions had been thoughtless and careless, they had stolen away a life that could never be revived again. Then, I pitied that lost life and cried. I was frightened of myself, the one responsible for its loss, and cried even more. I’m sure Grandfather will also cry at the loss of his precious vase. I’m sure that all the people who love Grandfather and see him like that will cry.

With the loss of a single life, the whole world can be filled with so much sadness. I cried even more at how terrible that was.

Beatrice appeared… and spoke.

It’s Virgilia!Beatrice, though. Virgilia fixes the vase…. and Bea fixes Shannon.

Shannon opens her eyes… and says George’s name.

As Shannon’s fingers curled around George’s back, on her ring finger, the engagement ring George had given her definitely shone. That strong glint certainly wasn’t just the sparkle of diamond. There definitely was a magical power that only the two lovers could possibly feel. It was because that strong light existed… that they had been able to find her casket in the land of the dead.

Bea sees the power that mortals can have, and is forced to accept its importance.

George tells Shannon Bea revived her, but Bea says it was mostly George.

“…Indeed. It was an incredible display of magical power, one that I could not hope to compete with… So, I am still nothing more than an apprentice. Now I finally know my place.”

They try to thank Bea, but she brushes it off with her usual masque. Still, she’s absolutely exhausted.

I probably haven’t been this tired since the time I first succeeded in magic. Didn’t Teacher praise me that time? Oh, but didn’t I kill that same Teacher who praised me?

Virgilia pops in to say she’s finally remember how magic really works. Besides,  “You are still allowing me to live even now. That is why I can appear like this. However, I did not come just to pat your head.”

She teases Bea for a bit, and Bea is too tired care. It’s a happy tired, though.

But they’ve all forgotten something important.

“45, data received. Firing preparing concluded.”

George and Shannon are snuffed out before Bea can even react. With his last breath, George thanks Beatrice.

But the arrow isn’t done. It aims for Bea. Bea knows she can’t stop it.

But Virgilia can. She tells Beatrice to flee. The arrow mistakes Virgilia for Bea… and kills her.

Bea is overcome with fury and disgust at EVA for cutting off George and Shannon’s reunion. And she’s furious at herself for having forgotten this feeling and acting as cruel as she did.

She runs.

EVA celebrates killing Beatrice. Ron stands next to her quietly.

Over in the guest house, Eva, Jess, and Bat have realized George is gone.

There’s some cool new music here.

Something hard to believe had happened… Apparently, when Aunt Eva had left for a second to wash her hands, Uncle Krauss and Aunt Natsuhi had disappeared. 

Honestly Battler and Jess are holding the idiot ball now. How are they not suspicious of Eva.

Furthermore, they weren’t the only ones who had disappeared. So had George-aniki, of all people. George-aniki had left saying he was going to get more coffee, and had gone downstairs more than an hour earlier. We’d assumed that he was having a conversation with Aunt Eva and the rest, but Aunt Eva, who had been in the lobby the whole time, said that no one had come down. 

I mean, come on kids. You’re smarter than this, Bat. Well, kind of.

They figure that George, in his grief, went to be with Shannon’s body. But no one has any clue where Jess’ parents are.

Battler and Nanjo inspect all the doors and windows, and finally Bat points out that if Eva (or Nanjo) is responsible, this all makes sense. See, I knew you could be clever. He and Jess were together the whole time, so he can rule Jess out.

Nanjo freaks the fuck out and says it must be the witch. This is why you always die, Nanjo.

They rejoin Jess and Eva, and decide it’s time to head to the mansion. There’s nothing to be gained by staying holed up any longer.

This is it. We’ve reached the denouement.

I’ve just been shut up in the guesthouse with the rest of the cousins since yesterday. So I don’t know anything about what’s going on outside. Just what is happening that I don’t know about… outside this room, in the mansion, on this island?

Everything is happening, everything is proceeding, and everything is ending without my knowing it. Somewhere in my heart, I’ve already started giving up. Most likely, not one of us will see tomorrow morning.

When the seagulls cry, nobody will be left alive…

2 Comments

  1. illhousen says:

    It’s interesting. Eva is very obviously the culprit of the nonmagic killings this time, with EVA as a metaphor for the part of herself that could do such a thing. Given that, though: was Eva also responsible in the other routes? And who will be responsible going forward? Will EVA be the new villain, with Eva the culprit on every route? Or will things continue to juggle around?

    Well, the question in this context is, who’s Beatrice? Is she a metaphor for a culprit unknown? Or for a specific person? Could Eva had been the culprit without EVA being around or not?

    The gameboard and the metaworld are intertwined, but not necessarily in obvious ways.

  2. Moonlight says:

    This really reminded me of how the nonmagic version of this one is absolute bonkers bananas

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