Umineko – Banquet of the Golden Witch – 9:00 PM

Last time, Eva resolves to solve the epitaph.

So! A few times we’ve seen meta!Bat muse on how their error was not trying to solve the epitaph and actually win the game. I look forward to seeing how actually it doesn’t matter at all when they try because all hail Beatrice the Endless.

First, some new character profiles:

LOL @ ‘all of the goats.’

And while we’re playing catchup, I believe I forgot to show you young!Eva’s sprite:

So now we can begin.

We open with meta!Bat musing on how if he’s willing to accept that Kinzo had a mistress, he has his nonmagical 19th person scapegoat. It feels pretty recappy so I’m not going to get into it. Ronove comes out and they banter. Bat realizes that he can use one of Bea’s weapon’s against her: she can’t prove there’s not a mistress on the island. He also hits on what I said last post, is that if we follow this to an extreme, Bea could have any number of helpers lurking around the island.

Ron brings up something called Hempel’s Raven. According to wiki: “The raven paradox, also known as Hempel’s paradoxHempel’s ravens, or paradox of indoor ornithology,[1] is a paradox arising from the question of what constitutes evidence for a statement. Observing objects that are neither black nor ravens may formally increase the likelihood that all ravens are black even though, intuitively, these observations are unrelated.”

Ron goes to explain, but ahaha.wav and Bea pops in. She explains it like this:

“What must you do to prove that ravens are black?”

“Huh? What are you talking about?? Prove that ravens are black… Wouldn’t you just have to catch a raven and check to see if it’s black?”

 “That’s right. You must simply prove that ‘if it is a raven, it is black’. Do you see that, if you instead prove that ‘birds that aren’t black = not ravens’, you would reach the same argument? If you go throughout the world and examine all birds that are not ravens, and prove that none of them are black, then as a result, you can claim that ‘therefore, black birds are ravens’. This is called an argument by the contrapositive. Is that too difficult for you?”

She goes on to say that using the contrapositive allows you to satisfy the Devil’s Proof — you can proof it’s not a Raven, in theory, by checking for not blackness.

Ooooh, so what she’s getting at is that if Battler’s goal is to prove “none of the 18 = culprit” all Bea has to do to beat him is prove “19 = not culprit”, because if the 19th person is innocent and there are only 18 other people, it has to be one of the other 18. This puts Bat in the position of having to individually prove all 18 people innocent in order to implicate number 19.

Battler counters that in theory, he could keep Devil’s Proofing up extra people, and force her to keep proving hypothetical people innocent. But, ahaha.wav, Bea has red text!

Battler makes a big BRING IT ON speech.

On this island overcome with falsehoods and illusions, the only thing I can trust is… the information she speaks in red. It’s my only way across the chasm of hell. Just a single tightrope. Her merciless blood-red blade is the only way I can survive.

RULES ARE MADE TO BE FOLLOWED

Bat says he wants to know, really: How many people are actually on the island? Battler acts confident enough that Bea falters. Damn, I wanted more info.

“Go on, repeat it! ‘On this island, there are only 18 people’.”

“I refuse. I won’t say why.”

[…] “…Are you ready? I’ll keep going. Again, repeat it. ‘There are 19 people or more on this island’!”

Bea doesn’t answer, and Bat assumes that it’s because it’s too much information to give away.

“You refused…? Which means that, from now on, I can create as many fictional character Xs outside of the 18 as I want…?”

“Do as you wish. I have refused to repeat what you have told me. Isn’t that enough for now? The reason for my refusal is… no, I won’t tell you yet. Anyway, you’ll know soon enough.”

I don’t agree with meta!Bat. I don’t think her refusal proves anything about the number of people on the island — we know Bea is here for the joy of the game. I don’t think she’d cause the game to advance so far, either way, by her own hand like this. I don’t think there are really any assumptions we can make here, other than that Bea enjoys keeping Bat in the dark as much as possible.

Ron congratulates Bat on his early win, and Bat can’t tell if he’s being sarcastic. Besides, as for feeling victorious…

“Who knows… I still don’t know whether I’ve taken a piece by my move, or whether she guided me into taking it.”

Indeed.

Ron makes them both tea and Bea is silent for a while. Finally, she says, you know what, I’ll tell you why I refused to say the first one in red. Hm.

“…It may be hasty, but allow me to make my move. I won’t use the red, but from here on, Rosa will explain on my behalf. Listen.”

We jump back into reality. I think we’re at least not more than a few minutes from where we left off. Eva and Hide are asking Rosa why she’s been so quiet. She stammers and everyone else joins in too, asking her what’s eating her. She just kind of uhhs and ahhs for a little until finally she says she wonders if the mistress is still even alive.

The siblings start to say of course she is, but then Rosa amends her statement: “She shouldn’t be… alive.”

Well. That was unexpected.

Rosa quickly clarifies that she didn’t literally murder her. Wait, is Rosa mistress!Bea’s daughter?

Huh. So not childbirth, then.

Rudy tries to calm Rosa down, and we flash back.

Kinzo and Bea are sitting having tea in a garden. Bea asks, “Who am I?”

“…I have known you for a long time. I think of you as my best friend, even as a father. That is why I want so much for you to tell me. You should know… Who I am…”

So I’d guess she’s his daughter but he hasn’t told her.

“…Hmph. So you won’t tell me… after all.”
“There is nothing to tell. You are Beatrice. Isn’t that more than enough?”
“…No, that’s not it. What I wish to know is not my name. I want to know… who… I am. …Who am I? What am I? How long have I been here, and how long will I have to continue my days here?”
“…I really should bring some black tea. Don’t you think it a waste of all this fine weather?”

Meta!Bat pops in and asks Bea if this is her backstory. She says, pretty much.

[…] Beatrice: “……You probably won’t believe it anyway. Listen first. ………I was a great witch who had lived for one thousand years. But at some time, I was summoned by Kinzo, …and by that hidden art I was bound as his prisoner for eternity.”

Battler: “………Never heard that before. From what we hear in the Ushiromiya family, you were summoned by Grandfather, made something like a devil’s contract with him, and gave him the gold.”

Beatrice: “Hmm. That is correct. …Then I was supposed to hide myself until the contract was over. But, ………well, it’s tough being a popular woman. By some turn of events, Kinzo fell in love with me.”

[…] Battler: “Isn’t that awesome. Everyone knew Grandfather was obsessed with the occult, but…… that he would have the power to root down the Great Witch Beatrice… ……Heh, ridiculous. Who’d believe such a weird story?”

Beatrice: “…As I thought, you don’t believe.”

Battler: “All I believe is the fact that you lived in this hidden mansion in the middle of the forest. You are the 19th person on Rokkenjima, right?!”

She says yes, and confirms the mansion hidden in the forest.

“…However, I never accepted his proposal. I tried to find some way to break through his guard, but that barrier was firm, and I couldn’t crack it.”
“…And then?”
“After trying to resist in various ways, I eventually reached the conclusion that, to escape from Kinzo’s barrier, I would have to throw away this body of flesh. The physical body is a vessel with many restrictions for a magic user.”
“Throw away your body of flesh…? What does that mean? Something like an out-of-body experience?”
“Well, if you want to think of it that way. However, I am no spirit. Even though I am a witch, in the beginning, I was born with a human’s body of flesh. So for me, throwing away that physical body, while it didn’t mean the same thing as death, it did require a similar level of resolve.”
“So in other words, you decided that you couldn’t be released except by suicide, is that it?”
“It wasn’t suicide. It was nothing more than throwing away my body of flesh. Of course, becoming nothing more than soul is a precarious situation. When the soul leaves its body of flesh, it is constantly exposed to the strong winds of the sun. It was not easy for me to maintain myself and avoid being scattered by them. It was a final measure that I wanted to avoid if I could. However, there was no other way to break through Kinzo’s barrier. *cackle* Anyway, I am an unfettered person. I couldn’t stand being kept in a cage until Kinzo’s life was over.”

Jesus Christ, Bea. Jesus.

Grandfather persistently courted her, and to escape from that, she chose her own death…?
“…So you’re saying you committed suicide? What are you talking about? Isn’t that you, sitting carefree there in the garden chair?”
“…That’s right. That is the new cage I was given by Kinzo. 
[…] My soul was shut up in the seed of a homunculus, and I was born out of a test tube.”

Jesus. My god.

And then Battler… is like, “This is a stupid magic story, byeeeeee”?? Even if we just take the parts that aren’t magic, it’s a horrifying story. I’m shocked he could react so callously. Granted, Bea is trying to play it off like no big deal, but he seems to have at least caught that his grandfather drove a woman to suicide. He should have some reaction to that???

When I started showing a cold attitude, Beato acted unusually discouraged.

Umm, yeah??

I had the feeling I was able to catch a glimpse of loneliness at my failure to find the story of her past interesting. For some reason, that subtle reaction made her seem pitiful, so even though I kept my careless attitude, I decided to cover for her slightly.

He ‘covers for her’ by saying he’s willing to hear the rest of the stupid story, but she understandably doesn’t want to tell him now. Fucking obviously.

This actually feels pretty OOC for Battler, who’s generally been a pretty empathetic person. Even if we’re supposed to read him as purposefully trying not to listen in order to stay distant from her and deny witches, I feel like he shouldn’t be this unaffected. And I think he’s missing the forest for the trees a bit. He can accept that Bea was held captive and driven to suicide without accepting magic. He can also accept magic without accepting that magic was the cause of the murders, and can still deny Beatrice’s magical involvement while accepting that there are other magical things going on. I get that he’s afraid of this giving her too much power, but it should at least occur to him.

And that also ignores that if we want to deny magic completely, what it looks like is that Bea’s captivity caused her to have a psychotic break and declare the whole situation magic as a way to cope, which is fucked up enough that, again, it should at least occur to Bat that it’s fucked up.

And this is neither here nor there, but Battler is current trapped in a time loop being killed by demons and constantly revived while he and Bea’s ghost duel over a murdergame. We are far past the point of supernatural stuff existing, unless Battler plans to go the ‘it was all a dream’ route later. The situation Bea is describing is not any more outlandish than the one Battler is currently living, and I don’t see him denying that any of this is happening.

I don’t think Bat’s position here is consistent with anything else going on, is my point, and it’s also bizarre.

Though… perhaps what we’re seeing is the beginning of a splitting between irl!Battler and meta!Battler. meta!Battler being more hardened makes sense. This could be the beginning of witch!Battler, too… we know he has magical potential like Kinzo, and we know time loops produce witches because of Bernkastel. It would be kind of neat if in trying to destroy him Bea accidentally created another witch. That seems unlikely, but that meta!Bat isn’t quite the same person as the Battler in the story anymore makes a lot of sense.

Anyway, Bea refuses to continue, but Ron pops up and decided to keep telling it. This is a dick move, but he’s also a contracted demon so, you know.

 “…D-Didn’t I say that’s enough talking about me?! Such unpleasant people, the lot of you. I’m leaving! Ronove, serve our food and then go. No pointless chitchat with Battler.”

 “Certainly. I will make an effort.”

Beato’s short temper peculiar to women, which I didn’t really understand, took hold of her, and she turned her body into gold butterflies, scattered, and disappeared.

Battler has definitely never been this much of an ass before. Also not this stupid.

He at least says I feel kind of bad for making her angry.

Ron keeps telling the story despite Bea’s orders not to.

“…You aren’t saying… that Grandfather shut that baby up in this hidden mansion… until it grew to reach the same age she’d been?!”
“Correct. That is what I am saying. However, while her soul was the same, a human spirit is strongly influenced by its container. Milady lost all her memories of the past and grew up as a very normal human girl.”
“And you’re saying… that’s the Beato sitting in the garden chair?”
“Yes. That is correct. It grew to be completely identical. However, it did not possess her power as a witch. Milady was completely human.”

Battler finally realizes that what this sounds like without magic is Kinzo imprisoned a woman, raped her, drove her to suicide, and then imprisoned her child as well. Thanks for the joining the rest of us.

…No, no, no. This might be some bullshit Beato cooked up to confuse me. As if I could accept any of this…! In the first place… Kuwadorian, was it? There’s no proof whatsoever that a hidden mansion actually existed. Couldn’t this be something she just fabricated on the spot?

Suddenly, Ron pops in and red-texts.

A hidden mansion called Kuwadorian does exist in the forests of Rokkenjima.

the pair actually had a conversation like that in this place

Battler is shocked that Ron can also red-text, and asks him if magic is real. Clever Battler. Ron refuses to answer because it would cause the game to stalemate. Or, in order words, some truths violate fair play.

Bat says, okay, he won’t answer game-breaking questions, but can he answer the questions fom earlier, about how many people are on the island? He says he’ll refuse to answer anything Bea refuses to answer, as her furniture. He does get another answer: when this was.

This is the world of 1967.

The game takes place in 1986. So 19 years earlier. The family moved to the island in… I’m afraid to look. Do y’all know what year? Did they always live there? No, Rosa said something about ‘when they moved to the island’.

Bat asks him to sum up:

In 1967, in a hidden mansion on Rokkenjima, Beatrice-sama existed as a human.

Thanks, Ron.

Bat says wait, what did Rosa mean by saying she killed Beatrice? And Ron says they should probs get back to the story and let Rosa elaborate.

One of the stakes shows up to summon Ron to Bea. She banters with Bat for a while.

“…Heheheheheh. Stupid kid. Do you really wanna play with me that much? Was it that unforgettable? I’ll thrust my stake deep, deep into you and let you enjoy being gouged to the fullest, okay…? Heheheheheheheheehehehhh…!”
“…Dammit. Some day I’ll have you down on the floor and say the same thing.

Lol.

Going to cut here, since this is already rather long and there’s still a lot left before the next scene break. We covered the first 12 hours in one post and don’t even get through the next hour in this one! content

15 Comments

  1. Heatth says:

    Great post as usual.

    I’m afraid to look. Do y’all know what year?

    I can’t check right now, but if the information was given, it was likely in EP1, during the lunch scene, when Battler officially introduces Kinzo. He talks quite a bit about Kinzo and the Ushiromiya backstory. If no one else does, I will go and look later today.

    We covered the first 12 hours in one post and don’t even get through the next hour in this one! content

    I mean, to be fair the in-game time doesn’t necessarely correlates to the amount of stuff worth commenting. This is specially true for the meta scenes, as time is frozen anyway.

  2. beanbug says:

    She goes on to say that using the contrapositive allows you to satisfy the Devil’s Proof — you can proof it’s not a Raven, in theory, by checking for not blackness.

    Hempel’s raven is obnoxiously confusing which is probably why nobody ever uses it outside this episode ever. You did a great job of making sense of it, though.

    The game takes place in 1986. So 19 years earlier. The family moved to the island in… I’m afraid to look. Do y’all know what year? Did they always live there? No, Rosa said something about ‘when they moved to the island’.

    Probably a good idea not trying to look. Kinzo bought Rokkenjima around 1950, around when the Korean War happened (he made a ton of cash off that. luv that military-industrial complex). Doesn’t state the exact year, but I’d assume given you’d need a couple years to build a fancy mansion, so I’d say they moved in around mid 1950s, maybe a bit later?

     

     

     

     

    Oh, and there’s going to be a kickstarter for an english dub of Umineko (Keltena already mentioned it)! It’s here, and is spoiler-free so far. The preview clip is of the first twilight of episode 1. Pretty excited, the english cast sounds nice (Battler’s voice is a tad weird at first but he cries real good and that’s what really matters).

    If the voice cast reveal is what I’m assuming it will be-the 18 on the island, Beato, and 6 more-there will be name/design spoilers for around 3 characters, but nothing major like “oh hey. this is culprit!character. look at how cool a culprit they are,” and VA announcements should be limited to the question arcs.

    My logic is that there’s at least 4 characters in Chiru you basically have to announce if you’re doing reveals for the cast, and there are 7 non-island people spots available according to the site. You’re going to have to announce Beato, which takes up one. Lambdadelta and Bern are also givens, giving you 4 slots left. While you could theoretically announce all 4 of those Chiru characters, that means leaving out a decently major character in the question arcs that you haven’t met yet…..and when you do the math, that character, Ronove, and 2 others you also haven’t met yet adds up to a perfect 25.

    In other words, I’m betting on the 7 of the non-island cast to be Beato, Lambda, Bern, Ronove, Ivetvyvn, Tnnc, naq Natr, fvapr bgurejvfr Qynabe, Jvyy, Yvba naq Revxn jbhyq or svtugvat sbe gur erznvavat guerr fcbgf, tvira gung Natr vf fhpu n znwbe punenpgre (ro13). Simply by the existence of a pre-announced cast size, this level of reasoning is possible for beanbug. What do you think, everyone?

    1. …What do you think, everyone?

      I think this comment here is way too winkwinknudgenudgesaynomore. I disapprove.

    2. illhousen says:

      What do you think, everyone?

      I think someone can use some duct tape on their mouth. :P

  3. Socordya says:

    The mansion was finished, and the family moved in, in 1952.

  4. Yaaay, more seacats!

    Still here, still not commenting cos anything I say can be used in a court of spoilers.

    Also still hoping you’re doing well.

  5. Keltena says:

    I love the bio pages for the goats. :D And seeing them listed in the credits! I spit out my tea laughing the first time I saw that.

    Augh, the Hempel’s Raven thing drives me nuts. >_< The concept of logical paradoxes being treated as valid arguments in witches’ debates is a really clever one that I’d love to see done properly, but not only are the arguments made in this scene completely unrelated to the actual paradox they’re citing, literally all of them are flat-out wrong. What the paradox actually says is that, by the rules of formal logic, evidence for the contrapositive of a statement = evidence for the original statement. What Ronove and Beato are claiming is that evidence for the contrapositive = proof of the original statement, which is a radically different claim and is just false, not a paradox. (Plus they inexplicably shift the burden of proof halfway through and treat Beato saying “your 19th person can’t be guilty unless you can prove the innocence of the other 18” as a devastating counter, even though it changes nothing since Battler only has to prove a possibility to win.) I think “who cares, I can override anything you say with red” is the only valid argument Team Beato makes in the whole scene.

    … Obviously none of this is actually a big deal, since it’s basically limited to one scene and what really matters is the characterization and the outcome of the debate, but augh, it bugs me.

    This actually feels pretty OOC for Battler, who’s generally been a pretty empathetic person. Even if we’re supposed to read him as purposefully trying not to listen in order to stay distant from her and deny witches, I feel like he shouldn’t be this unaffected.

    I’ve seen a lot of people have these reactions, so maybe I’m just weird, but I’ve honestly always liked these jarring disparities in Battler’s thinking. There’s some places where it is clearly sloppy writing, like his chronic VN protag affliction of forgetting basic facts five minutes after stating them, but I actually always read moments like the one you’re commenting on here as deliberate characterization, which was one of the things I found most interesting about Battler as a protagonist.

    Battler’s usually been noticeably empathetic and caring towards practically everyone he meets, but his mindset seems to become incredibly polarized sometimes, even to the point of blatant irrationality, when he’s focused on fighting Beatrice. Ever since EP1, the game’s kept circling back to the contradictory elements of his desire to deny Beatrice—he simultaneously refuses to believe a witch as the culprit or that any of these people could be such a horrible murderer, so he spends EP2 ping-ponging between none of these people would EVER do something so horrible how DARE you, and arguing whatever theory he can to deny Beatrice as impersonally as if he were discussing a mystery novel rather than accusing those same people of murder. So in scenes like this, I always got the impression that he wasn’t suddenly stupid and callous so much as selectively oblivious and leaning really hard into viewing Beatrice as a one-dimensional villain and obstacle to be defeated rather than a person. And after the breakthrough he just had in proving the possibility of the 18’s innocence, he probably needs her to be that unsympathetic villain more than ever to prove his faith in his family right.

    And this is neither here nor there, but Battler is current trapped in a time loop being killed by demons and constantly revived while he and Bea’s ghost duel over a murdergame. We are far past the point of supernatural stuff existing, unless Battler plans to go the ‘it was all a dream’ route later. The situation Bea is describing is not any more outlandish than the one Battler is currently living, and I don’t see him denying that any of this is happening.

    Battler.txt, right there.

    The family moved to the island in… I’m afraid to look. Do y’all know what year? Did they always live there? No, Rosa said something about ‘when they moved to the island’.

    I can’t find an exact date in EP3 or EP1, but Rudolf says they moved to the island “about thirty years ago”, while 1967 was 19 years ago. We’re never given exact ages on most of the adults, but there’s enough timeline clues to conclude that Rosa is about 30, so they’ve probably lived on the island her whole life. And there’s supposed to be a significant age gap between Rosa and all her older siblings, so I assume the move happened within Krauss, Eva, and Rudolf’s lifetimes, but while they were young enough to all spend at least some of their childhood on the island.

    I’ll be excited to hear your continued thoughts on Deep Beatrice Lore™ With Rosa next time!

    1. Heatth says:

      (…)he wasn’t suddenly stupid and callous so much as selectively oblivious and leaning really hard into viewing Beatrice as a one-dimensional villain and obstacle to be defeated rather than a person.

      One (discontinued) livebloger I particularly like used to call Battler “Cognitive Dissonance Man”. It was more in relation to him arguing against witches to a witche’s face, but I think it applies well to this caracteristic of him.

      1. Keltena says:

        Haha! That’s him, all right.

      2. illhousen says:

        That kinda goes into the use of metafiction in Umineko and the nature of the meta-world.

        Like, if you take it at face value, it does make Battler look very stupid since magic is obviously undeniable here, unless he’s willing to argue that time manipulation is totally natural.

        However, I don’t think that such a literal reading is intended. It feels to me that the meta-world is, well, meta, it exists outside of the story proper and is populated by… idealized representations of characters? Manifestations of their underlying principles as they relate to the narrative? Something like that.

        We do know that meta!Battler and gameboard!Battler are not the same person since gameboard!Battler doesn’t behave like someone who knows his family is going to be murdered in a day.

        And from that perspective, much like you can’t argue that since magic doesn’t exist in the real world it can’t exist in a fantasy novel, you can’t argue that a witch existing in a meta-world implies magic exists on the gameboard. Though the comparison is not 100% since I feel there is a potential for magic to exist on the gameboard so long as Beatrice doesn’t lose the game, and the same goes for the opposing theory.

        OK, it’s rather rambly because such concepts are kinda hard to formulate.

    2. SpoonyViking says:

      So in scenes like this, I always got the impression that he wasn’t suddenly stupid and callous so much as selectively oblivious and leaning really hard into viewing Beatrice as a one-dimensional villain and obstacle to be defeated rather than a person. And after the breakthrough he just had in proving the possibility of the 18’s innocence, he probably needs her to be that unsympathetic villain more than ever to prove his faith in his family right.

      I agree with this reading. Still, Battler seemed more canny than this – he just missed out on an opportunity to learn more about his enemy.

  6. Hyatt says:
    I’m sure repressing the memory of sort of killing her father’s possibly-mistress for 19 years did wonders for Rosa’s mental stability.
    1. beanbug says:
      An Ushiromiya’s not an Ushiromiya until they’ve got at least 20 pounds of emotional baggage. 
      1. Hyatt says:
        And then heap 20 more pounds onto someone else. Thus why Rosa is peak Ushiromiya.
        1. EnviTheFool says:

          Granted, she’s off to a good start, but only because she’s standing on the shoulders of the grandmaster himself.

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