Umineko – Legend of the Golden Witch – 10/5, 1 PM to 8 PM

Last time, the deaths begin, and so does the suspicion.

Natsuhi grudgingly allows the servants to leave the sitting room to prepare dinner, but insists the three of them stay together at all times.

Kanon wonders why Beatrice’s curse had to hit Shannon, and Genji says it was just bad luck — there was nothing they could do. He thinks about the bloodmarks on Natsuhi’s door, and wonders if Natsuhi, however she was saved, was spared in place of Shannon.

Suddenly, Battler walks in.

“That’s a pretty interesting chat you’re having there. Let me join in too.”

That was… uncharacteristically suave.

He asks point-blank who Beatrice is. Kanon refuses to say anything, so Batt gets all up in his business until Genji interferes, saying he’ll talk.

The three explain that Beatrice is real, and she’s there, and she’s dangerous. Battler is reluctant to believe, but Kumasawa begs him to — Beatrice does not take kindly to nonbelievers. As Battler is awkwardly laughing in shock, he asks if she’s there now. They say she has no true physical form, so she can be anywhere, and anything. Like…

Maria.

“Whether your wavelength matches or not is determined at birth. Battler, you were born with a mismatched wavelength. That’s why you can’t see her. That’s why you can’t meet with her, and that’s why you can’t talk to her. Kihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihi. You’re the type Beatrice hates the most.”

[…]

“Battler. You still don’t understand? Beatrice-sama ‘exists’.”

“She ‘exists’, you say… but where?”

“Like I said, Beatrice-sama ‘exists’ here.”

…That’s right. Now that I think about it, I’ve been feeling for some time now that the others haven’t been looking in quite the right direction. I’d figured that everyone had just been gazing into the distance, but… that wasn’t the case.

The four here, Genji-san, Kanon-kun, Kumasawa-san, and Maria… everyone except me… was looking at a spot right behind me.

Holy fuck.

He looks, and obviously can’t see anything.

Maria says it’s a good thing he has her charm — he’d have been dead otherwise.

Suddenly, Bat starts laughing. He says he actually lost the charm a while ago, but didn’t want to hurt her feelings, so he didn’t tell. He doesn’t believe things he can’t see, and if Beatrice wants belief, she’ll have to show herself. That’s good, let’s goad the murderous witch, what could go wrong.

Later, everyone is loosely wandering the house, but no one strays far. The older kids talk about Maria’s split personality. It bothers Jess, and Bat asks if she thinks it’s actually short-term possession. George, who deserves to die for his ignorance, insists it’s just a phase. We all go through phases like that, is his stance. You’re an idiot, George.

Even if you accept that, I wonder if it explains that creepy dual personality thing… Well, I think I can accept it vaguely.

Even Battler thinks it’s stupid.

George pyschobabbles some more but the scene ends with Bat saying he just can’t totally dismiss the witch angle.

He asks Jess what the household believes, and she says they basically all go along with her being real for Kinzo’s sake. Bat thinks to himself that the servants, at least, seem sincere in their belief.

Battler theorizes that one of them is using the Beatrice myth to try to get away with these crimes. He bases this on the idea that if there was a presence that wanted to be noticed, it would have done the crimes in a more flamboyant way that made it clear the 12 remaining were innocent. This has the same problem as Kyrie’s reasoning, which is that is assigns a logical motive to someone we know is illogical. If Beatrice just wanted to sow chaos, like an evil witch obviously would, she would do exactly what was done here: a quiet crime with no clear perpetrator that would breed anxiety and distrust.

This is bordering on idiot ball territory for Battler.

George finally brings up a good point, which is that: the letter Maria read spoke of ‘collecting interest’, and it obviously means human interest as well as money and goods. Battler and Jess realize that if he’s right, it means that people are going to keep getting picked off unless someone solves the riddle.

The scene ends with Bat thinking that even if this all sounds crazy, all they can do right now is take shots in the dark and hope to get a hit.

The kids propose trying to solve the riddle to the adults, who say it does make some sense. Battler makes another good point as well:

“If the culprit is after the hidden gold, it would be very ineffective for them to force us to solve the riddle. Asking the person who made it in the first place would be much quicker and easier. In that case, the question is… is this all a message directed at Grandfather?”

They start to try to figure out wtf happened to Kinzo. Eva grills Genji about the possibility of another entrance to the study, but he insists there’s not. The other servants and Nanjo agree, but none of them are convincing. A secret door would certainly explain some things.

But since everyone says there’s no door, Eva points out that Natsuhi was the last person to see Kinzo. Everyone starts flipping out at each other, Eva screaming at Natsuhi to prove she didn’t kill Kinzo, and tensions escalate to Natsuhi pointing the gun at Eva. Shoot her! She’s only marginally less annoying than her son.

Battler tells everyone to calm the fuck down, and points out how easy it would have been for Kinzo to hide while they searched for him and sneak out of his room once they were convinced he was missing. Thank you, Battler.

Batt also goes for Eva’s jugular, pointing out that if she’s asking Natsuhi to prove a negative, she should, too! Can Eva prove she didn’t kill the six victims when she and Hideyoshi left the discussions to go to bed alone the previous night? After all, she and Hide were the last ones to see them.

As Battler and Jess shout at Eva, Jess starts having a coughing fit… and it doesn’t stop. Kanon, Nanjo, and Natsuhi run over to her in panic. Apparently Jess has asthma, and it’s been getting worse as she gets older. Isn’t that the opposite of how it usually works? Because as your lungs get bigger you get more air? I could be completely making that up.

They give her an inhaler and she gets her breathing under control.

The whole thing calms everyone down. Batt says he understand they all want to find the culprit, but they shouldn’t turn on each other. George agrees. Shut up, George, where were you when your mom was attacking Natsuhi?

They all comfort themselves that the police will definitely come tomorrow and definitely solve the crime.

Eva and Hideyoshi smarmily leave to go lay down, and Eva tells George to come with them. George refuses, thus implying he won’t suspect Natsuhi openly. Shut up, George.

As the room settles into quiet, Maria and Battler make eye contact. She looks at him meaningfully, and he says quietly that he believes in Beatrice right now, because that’s definitely the better alternative to believing it was one of them. He mopes about the mystery of the potential 19th person, and the clock strikes 7:00 PM.

Everyone left sits around brooding. Natsuhi says they should see the boat early the next morning. Kumasawa cooks to try to cheer people up. Nanjo and Genji play chess and Nanjo asks if Genji is worried. He says no, as everything is going as he’d expect. Nanjo is weirded out and says he hopes that everyone will be alright.

Over with Eva and Hide, they talk about how this is the first alone time they’ve had in a while, and how old George has gotten.

I wonder if we were too hasty in having a child.”

Is this why George is such a tool?

Yes, she had thought it had been a once-in-a-lifetime chance. Her older brother Krauss had been unable to have a child for quite some time. Six months passed after his marriage to Natsuhi without any signs of pregnancy, which didn’t please Kinzo at all. Eva herself had thought that, since when she married, her name would be moved outside the Ushiromiya register anyway, it didn’t matter whether the successor to the head was born or not.

And then, one day, she had a heavenly revelation… Or maybe it was the whisperings of the devil that she had heard in her greed. Why couldn’t she remain in the Ushiromiya register by giving birth to a successor first? If things went well, could she inherit the Ushiromiya family herself…?

When she proposed this to Hideyoshi, he had approved of it instantly. This had not been because Hideyoshi also had greedy thoughts. For Hideyoshi, who had no close relatives, it was a chance for him to feel once more the long forgotten thing called family. So when they got married, he had not fussed over which last name they were to keep, and had quickly agreed to have his name entered into the Ushiromiya family register. It hadn’t been easy to persuade Kinzo, but as his daughter, Eva knew Kinzo’s personality well. So, by choosing the time when Kinzo was most dissatisfied with Natsuhi, she was magnificently able to make him accept Hideyoshi as a son-in-law.

Eva wonders if Kinzo didn’t see a bit of himself in the hardworking Hideyoshi.

Incidentally, glad to see we kept the “wistful memories” music from Higurashi.

George would eventually become successor to the Ushiromiya family. They had raised him strictly with that purpose in mind. George had been worth their while, and had grown into a fabulous young man who wouldn’t disappoint no matter where he went.

That was why he had not been permitted to fall in love with a servant like Shannon. So when she had learned that Shannon was dead and the engagement was invalid, while part of her had been shocked at the gruesome crime, part of her had been relieved that her cute George wouldn’t be stolen by some servant girl…

I don’t really blame them for this, honestly. I mean, on one hand people should marry for love. On the other, George had to have known what he was doing was irresponsible if being the family head was important to him. It was also unfair to Shannon, to put her in a position where her whole family would resent her. I think she would have been unhappy in the long run, even if she thought it could all work because ~true love.

Eva wonders aloud if Hide and George feel like she used them. Hide says that for his part, he’s happy for their life together and the choices he’s made. God they’re both so dead.

They embrace, and say that after this, they should take a real vacation, just the two of them. You’ll be dead if no one solves the riddle, so don’t get too excited.

It fade-to-blacks and presumably they bang.

Back with the rest of the cast, it’s dinnertime. Genji and Kanon go to get the lovebirds for dinner, and when they get to the room they find another envelope on the floor outside. Genji pounds on the door, but there’s no answer. Well, there are worse ways to die, eh?

Genji is clearly upset, and gets the housekeys out of his pocket. But when he tries to get in, the door is chained from the other side.

Kanon says he can’t sense anyone on the other side of the door, furthering my theory the servants aren’t human. Genji tells him to get Kumasawa and cut the chain on the door while he gets Natsuhi. Kanon rushes to get a hedgeclipper to cut the wires with and returns to the room as quickly as he can.

Kanon is in shock because just a moment ago they were here, and this wasn’t.

He had returned to the kitchen for a short while. He had then gone to the storehouse to grab a tool, and headed right back. Put those together and it couldn’t have been more than five minutes. …How could someone add something this creepy during that period of time…?!

And as though it had just been drawn, almost like the door itself was bleeding, several unsettling vertical red lines slowly dripped down, getting longer and longer……

Kanon tries not to faint, and slowly approaches the door. He cuts the chain.

When Kanon sees Eva, he screams. There’s a knife in her forehead.

Kumasawa’s knees gave way once more, and she sank down on the floor. Her mouth kept flapping open and closed, but she couldn’t even scream. 

Kanon shouts for Hideyoshi, but he’s not in his bed. Kanon runs into the bathroom. The shower is on, and Hideyoshi is slumped over, dead.

Just like Eva, a weapon with a demon-like design was stuck into his forehead.

Natsuhi, Nanjo, and Genji run up. Natsuhi asks what the letter says and Genji says they don’t know. They run in, where Kanon shouts that Eva and Hide are gone.

Nanjo examines the bodies. They haven’t been dead for more than an hour.

Even more importantly, it wasn’t shaped like a flat blade, but was conical. He noticed that, rather than a knife, it was more like a short handled spear, something with a shape better suited for thrusting than slicing. Rather than a short spear, some people might call it a thick icepick.

Ugh.

Natsuhi runs out to keep herself from vomiting, and orders the servants to seal off the room. But she’s too late. The kids had heard the screams, and George bursts into the room, wailing. In the hallway, Battler breaks down, too. He cries and screams that he’s going to solve this mystery.

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I like the idea that these are Beatrice’s (Maria’s?) notes.

As they head back to the parlor, something is wrong; there’s a bad smell. Shit, who didn’t go with them? I thought everyone was there. Also, no one is scheduled to die until tomorrow.

The kids talk about how anyone could have gotten into the room, and Bat smartly points out they were just having a similar chat about Kinzo’s vanishing.

That’s right. If you include Grandfather’s disappearance, three cases have occurred, and all three times, the door has been the point of interest. 

That’s a good point.

Beatrice!Maria comes up and makes another good point.

Battler, since you didn’t want to doubt any of your relatives…you made a wish, saying that you wanted the culprit to be Beatrice, right? Well, Beatrice granted that wish. Just as you said, she ‘did something that was completely impossible for a human to make you believe in the witch’.

Battler gives her a hard love-tap to make her stop laughing and then asks her to tell them what the pattern on the door meant.

She says this is the first magic circle of the moon. It lets you through locked doors.

“When you are blocked in every direction, it finds an unopened door and opens it. ……By using it in a difficult situation, it gives you a solution you hadn’t even thought of until then. To put it simply, you receive the power of observation and the power of discernment, inspiration and intuition. 

Every time Maria evil-cackles, Battler gives her a hit on the head, which frankly I support at this point.

George tells Maria there’s no such thing as ghosts, but Bat’s answer is more noncommital.

Over with the servants, they’ve realized the smell is coming from the boiler room. What was the third part of the curse?

On the third twilight, those who remain shall praise my noble name.

This kind of makes sense, but we’re not at the third twilight yet, so if Kinzo turns up impossibly dead it feels like too soon.

As they head down to the boiler, they hear a door close in front of them. They both know no one could be there. Kanon runs ahead, determined. Kuma runs after him.

When he gets downstairs, he grabs a fire axe and looks around.

Then, he answered.

“…In roulette, you bet on a number or the colors red or black, vying for a payoff. However, low risk bets like black and red only offer a similarly low payoff.”

What the fuck.

Oh shit.

“…On the other hand, if you bet on something of a lower probability, you receive a payoff proportional to the risk. The Master called succeeding despite an astronomical risk a ‘miracle’, and called the astronomical payoff gained as a result ‘magic’.”

“…I have no interest what kind of ‘magic’ you and the Master were seeking when you spun that roulette… But you forgot something. You forgot that roulette has a pocket that is neither black nor red.”

Roulette has a special pocket called ‘0’, which means that the house takes everything in certain variants of the game. This means that all of the coins bet on the table will be swept up, just as though everyone has forfeit…

 “………I set my heart on one thing. …I decided that if, ………Shannon was killed, and I was left alive, ………I would bring this roulette of yours to ruin even at the cost of my life…!”

Oh fuck.

Kanon you can’t win don’t do it.

 I’m not furniture anymore. I’m the zero on your roulette…!

I kind of liked Kanon even though he was pretty bland up to this point, but I am seriously enjoying Badass Suicide Kanon.

But!! Doesn’t this invalidate the riddle? If he somehow succeeds, the portion where everyone is revived won’t happen!

Then there’s a creepy giggle and…

Kanon, his hatchet still held aloft, couldn’t take another step after that…

With a *clang*, the hatchet that Kanon had been grasping fell and rolled on the floor… And following that, with a pair of thuds, Kanon’s knees hit… left, then right… That hand, which looked like it was trying to catch the sky now that the hatchet had been dropped, gradually lowered, landing on his chest. Then, the other hand did the same.

The weird spearhead used to kill Eva and Hide is buried in Kanon’s chest.

Kanon was curled up in anguish, fresh blood dribbling from the corner of his mouth… It was… makeup over Kanon’s white skin… Around this scene, the glittering gold butterflies danced through the darkness, mesmerizing… It was a beautiful, beautiful dance…a funeral march of tribute, ridicule, and contempt for single boy’s self-sacrifice.

Jesus fuck Ryukishi.

Kanon pulls the spearhead from his chest. Shit, is he still going to try to attack her?

Just then, everyone runs in. Kuma is overcome with a mix of horror and relief that it wasn’t her, and Natsuhi has the rifle ready. Battler grabs a flashlight and waves it around, but all they see is the exit to the courtyard ajar. Natsushi sends Genji for Nanjo since Kanon is still conscious. Shit, can he tell them it’s Beatrice?

Battler runs out in the courtyard, and Natsuhi follows him into the rain. They obviously don’t find anyone, and Battler has a complete breakdown, screaming to no one about how unfair it all is. Natsuhi holds him as he sobs, and promises to protect all the kids. She says they’ll make it til tomorrow, when they can escape.

When the seagulls cry, the crime will be solved.

But, …for some reason, Battler felt a slight sense of uneasiness… as if the seagulls would never cry again. ……That couldn’t be true. When the typhoon passes, the lively seagulls should return to the harbor again……

Dun dun dun.

They make their way back inside. Battler looks over the crime scene and notes that the symbols on the handle of this weapon are slightly different. He also says Kanon is still alive, but based on the blood loss he doubts he’ll survive.

Genji, sure enough, pulls Kinzo’s corpse out of the furnace. They’re sure because each foot has six toes. Apparently all the noble inbreeding has made polydactyly really common in the family. But if it’s that common surely it’s not such an identifying factor? I am immediately skeptical of this, regardless of the TIPS’ insistence.

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Just a second ago, we started doubting whether the corpse here was actually Grandfather’s, right? Maybe we can think of the other bodies in the same way. For example, the first six all had their faces horribly smashed. Some of the bodies had kept enough of their faces for us to confirm who they were, but that old bastard, for example…had lost his entire face, as though it had been peeled off. We had only figured out which body was which by their clothes and surroundings…

I hadn’t thought of that — it’s a good point. If we entertain the possibility there’s no witch, preparing mutilated bodies and locking the other people away makes the most sense here, especially considering the promised resurrection.

…It’s too early to give in to this 19th person… no, this witch…!

In-universe, yeah, I’d have to agree. But as Battler points out, the suspect list is also very small, and basically everyone is accounted for in every situation. From Battler’s POV, it would have to be one of the servants; he was with everyone else for the entire time.

Everyone leaves except Bat and Maria. He asks her why she doesn’t seem afraid.

Beatrice promised me. She said that she’s going to take me to the Golden Land. It’s a wonderful place where you have no obligations, everyone’s always together, and everyone is always nice to everyone else.…I’m looking forward to it. That time will come, very soon now. Kihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihi…”

That’s part of the poem, too, right?

The witch will praise the wise, and should bestow four treasures.
One shall be, all the gold from the Golden Land.
One shall be, the resurrection of the souls of all the dead.
One shall be, even the resurrection of the lost love.
One shall be, to put the witch to sleep for all time.

So not exactly. Hmm.

Battler wonders who Maria even is. She’s so unlike the happy child he remembers.

All that’s certain is that Maria has been with the rest of us constantly, has always had an alibi, and hasn’t done anything that would put her under suspicion. She’s simply overjoyed at being made Beatrice’s messenger, and there certainly isn’t a 19th person… Supposedly.

He’s not wrong that she’s somehow the most suspicious despite this.

Battler remembers the second letter they found, and with that the clock advances to 8:00 PM.

We’ll cut here, since I suspect the route will end at midnight. I wonder if perhaps the routes this time are continuous? So this was two days, then two more, etc.? Probably not, but it would be interesting.

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64 Comments

  1. illhousen says:

    Whether your wavelength matches or not is determined at birth. Battler, you were born with a mismatched wavelength. That’s why you can’t see her.

    You know, I’ve encountered this idea about spiritual wavelengths a couple of times in Japanese media. You too should remember it from TWEWY. I wonder if it’s actual pop occultism or what? I guess it could connect to the idea of ghosts appearing in white noise and the like.

    The older kids talk about Maria’s split personality. It bothers Jess, and Bat asks if she thinks it’s actually short-term possession. George, who deserves to die for his ignorance, insists it’s just a phase. We all go through phases like that, is his stance. You’re an idiot, George.

    Now, Act, that’s just unfair. I, too, was possessed by a Marquis and Great Earl of Hell Ronove throughout elementary school and was compelled to take many old souls in-between teaching classes on rhetoric and languages (that, incidentally, is how I’ve learned English).

    I was assured it’s completely normal.

    (Also, I now want to see George in Exorcist.)

     I’m not furniture anymore. I’m the zero on your roulette…!

    Told you he was Lelouch.

    I hadn’t thought of that — it’s a good point. If we entertain the possibility there’s no witch, preparing mutilated bodies and locking the other people away makes the most sense here, especially considering the promised resurrection.

    Well, the more pressing possibility presented by Battler’s reasoning here is that you can’t exclude dead people from the list of suspects. If someone has prepared a mutilated body beforehand and dressed it in their clothes, they could pretend to be dead while in truth walking freely around the mansion and carrying out the murders.




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    1. Act says:

      You too should remember it from TWEWY. I wonder if it’s actual pop occultism or what? I guess it could connect to the idea of ghosts appearing in white noise and the like.

      IME this is pretty common in the US, too — the idea that certain people are ‘sensitive’ innately and others aren’t. I’m not sure if the language of ‘wavelength’ is spcific to Japanese media, but the general idea isn’t, I don’t think.

      Well, the more pressing possibility presented by Battler’s reasoning here is that you can’t exclude dead people from the list of suspects.

      Yes, this is the And Then There Were None angle, and I talk about it a bit more in the Tea Party section because the later portions of the route introduce some contraints on who the still-alive people could be.

      Tbh I should put Agatha Christie spoiler warnings on the intro post.




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      1. CrazyEd says:
        I’m not sure if the language of ‘wavelength’ is spcific to Japanese media, but the general idea isn’t

        Uuu, it’s not extremely common nomenclature in American parapsycology, but it’s not unheard of. It’s more common in explanations than actual terminology, like what Illhousen said. When parapsychologists explain to laypersons what things like spirit boxes do, they usually phrase it in terms of wavelength (especially since those sorts of devices work via quickly alternating radio frequencies). I’d say the use of the term (perhaps unsurprisingly) is definitely more common among technological parapsychologists (the people who try to capture EVPs and use infrared cameras and film reality TV shows) than supernatural parapsychologists (psychics and mediums and whatnot).

        the Tea Party section

        … Th-there’s a tea party? With witches in fancy dresses?

        [desire to look up spoilers increases]




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        1. Falconix says:
          … Th-there’s a tea party? With witches in fancy dresses?

          *doing my best to answer without spoiling*

          The Tea Party is Umineko’s version of Higurashi’s Wrap-Up Parties that happened at the end of each Episode, in which the characters sit down “out-of-the-story” to discuss WTH just happened and why, maybe try and see if the knowledge from previous Episodes (which they can’t know in-story) can give them better ideas.

          I’m describing this because the Tea Party is one of those things that are just confusing if the reader doesn’t know about Higurashi, or only knows about Higurashi from the anime. Arguably, it’s the main thing from this series that assumes the audience went through Higurashi.




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          1. CrazyEd says:
            … Hm. I’m actually unsure if this increases or decreases my desire to look up spoilers. How odd.



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            1. Falconix says:
              Just wait until Act posts her recap of it in 1-2 weeks. The first Tea Party is something you need to experience for yourself, which is why it’s on the Table of Contents in the first place.



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      2. illhousen says:

        Yeah, I was talking about wavelengths specifically. The general idea of some people being more sensitive is almost universal.

        And yeah, I was thinking about And Then There Were None specifically. It’s clear R07 knows classic whodunnits and doesn’t hesitate to reference it.

        The Tea Party in Umineko is fun to compare and contrast with the first afterparty of Higurashi, I must say.




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  2. Heatth says:

    Apparently Jess has asthma, and it’s been getting worse as she gets older. Isn’t that the opposite of how it usually works? Because as your lungs get bigger you get more air? I could be completely making that up.

    Mine and my brother’s asthma did get better with age, so that was our experience as well. But, although not common, I know asthma can develop in adults, so I don’t think it is that clear cut.

    On the other, George had to have known what he was doing was irresponsible if being the family head was important to him.

    Is being the family head important to him? I don’t remember he mentioning that.

    Kanon says he can’t sense anyone on the other side of the door, furthering my theory the servants aren’t human.

    Is it because the word “sense”? I am pretty sure that is a Japanese idiom. It never seemed odd to me, but I’ve heard a lot of people complaining about the use of “sense” in the place of “perceive” or “hear”.

    I kind of liked Kanon even though he was pretty bland up to this point, but I am seriously enjoying Badass Suicide Kanon.

    Badass Suicide Kanon is, indeed, best Kanon. “I furniture and I am going to die, whatever. Fuck you, I am taking you with me!”. Too bad it didn’t work.




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    1. illhousen says:

      Is being the family head important to him? I don’t remember he mentioning that.

      Hm. I don’t think he’s ever commented on that one way or another. The sense I’m getting out of him is that he doesn’t really stand for anything. We’ve talked about his conflict aversion, how he would try to smooth over the situation rather than address the core issue, and I think this attitude could be extended to his relationship with his parents. I think he mostly just goes along with their plans for him because it’s easier than the alternative and because he probably learned early on that contradicting Eva is unwise.

      His relationship with Shannon is probably the first time he actually wanted something badly enough to make a stand (or at least decide to make one, anyway).




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    2. Act says:

      Is being the family head important to him? I don’t remember he mentioning that.

      You know, in retrospect, I think I was taking his lack of argument against his parents’ gunning for it as agreement to it — I’m not sure I’d say it’s important to him, textually, but he must realize it’s expected of him, and on those grounds I think the rest of the point stands.

      Is it because the word “sense”? I am pretty sure that is a Japanese idiom. It never seemed odd to me, but I’ve heard a lot of people complaining about the use of “sense” in the place of “perceive” or “hear”.

      But I feel like using supernatural metaphors like that in a story like this would be bad form. Also, no one else uses that idiom — only Kanon.




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      1. Heatth says:

        You know, in retrospect, I think I was taking his lack of argument against his parents’ gunning for it as agreement to it — I’m not sure I’d say it’s important to him, textually, but he must realize it’s expected of him, and on those grounds I think the rest of the point stands.

        I just don’t think anyone should be expected to give a fuck about their paren’t’s personal goals for them, unless they themselves agree with it. That is why I can’t really sympathise with Eva too much in here. Her situation and opinions are understandable, but I don’t think they are good. That is why I can’t fault George for not considering his mother’s ambition before deciding who he wants to marry. (not that his relationship with Shannon doesn’t have other issues worth criticising)

        But I feel like using supernatural metaphors like that in a story like this would be bad form. Also, no one else uses that idiom — only Kanon.

        That is the thing, I don’t think it is intended as a supernatural metaphor. It is “sense” as in “the sense of hearing” or “the sense of seeing”. Might be wrong, though.




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        1. CrazyEd says:
          Regardless of how you feel about it, though, you have to remember that George comes from a culture where it would be expected of him to give a fuck about his parent’s expectations, and whether or not that expectation is a fair thing to put on him, bucking that expectation would have negative consequences. He definitely should consider his mother’s feelings on the subject before acting. Even if he decides to ignore her wishes and marry Shanon anyway, there will be a lot of fallout from that, and both he and Shanon should be prepared to deal with it. Eva’s not just going to not be mad at him just because her expecations are unreasonable.



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          1. Act says:

            George comes from a culture where it would be expected of him to give a fuck about his parent’s expectations, and whether or not that expectation is a fair thing to put on him, bucking that expectation would have negative consequences. […] Even if he decides to ignore her wishes and marry Shanon anyway, there will be a lot of fallout from that, and both he and Shanon should be prepared to deal with it.

            Yes, this is what I was getting at. It’s not as simple as being is love with each other and wanting to be together — whether anyone likes it or not, the decision will have consequences, and they need to have a serious talk about what those will be and how they’ll deal with them. It’s unfair of George to act like things are going to be great because LOVE when there’s no way that can be true.




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            1. Heatth says:

              Sure, but it is also unfair for Eva to ignore George’s opinion because ‘parent knows best’.

              And I honestly don’t think George is ignoring consequences. He knows his mother will be pissed and he knows he might be disinhereted or something like that. But loves the “self made man” narrative his parents build around Hideyoshi and Kinzo and he hopes to replicate that. I pretty sure he even mentions that on the proposal scene.

              Now, he might be being naive, thinking he can actually achieve the success he imagines himself achieving without his family’s help. But I don’t think it is that irresponsable of him. His current job is in Hideyoshi’s firm, sure, but he already have some working experence and, presumably, some college formation. Even assuming he would be completely cut off from his family (which is doubtful, when considering Hideyoshi), he should still be able to find a job and sustain himself and Shannon (specially considering Shannon herself can work, as she have done for her whole life).

              Not saying that criticizing George is wrong, or that his romantic ideas of a marriage with Shannon would go perfectly. But I just find really hard to side with Eva on this. She is franly terrible on that regard. George’s life is his own. As a parent it is her job to give guidance, not to control. If George wants to marry some servant girl that is their business.




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            2. Nerem says:
              Both of them unreasonably put expectations on others. Eva on her son, George on Shannon.



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            3. Heatth says:

              True, but I was focusing on the relationship between Eva and George, which is why I came out more into his favor. I have nothing to add on the relationship between George and Shannon beause I already mostly agree with Act on that front.

              Also, Eva is also shitty towards Shannon. I mean, a major part of her objection to the relationship is she is a “servant girl”.




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            4. CrazyEd says:
              It’s not really a matter of siding with Eva and George, though. It’s basically “fair or not, George will experience negative consequences from Eva for his decision”. The problem is that he thinks he’ll be able to avoid them because Twue Wuv will win at the end of the day.



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            5. Act says:

              I also think what bugs me is that: Shannon has lived a very sheltered life, and doesn’t have the eperience to know what questions to ask in this situation. By not making the potential consequences explicit and sitting her down for a serious talk before talking about how happily married they’re going to be, it feels like he’s taking advantage of that ignorance.

              If it felt like Shannon were more informed and worldly I don’t think it would register as such a problem, but she really comes across as having the emotional maturity of someone much younger and not knowing better enough to be realistic.




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            6. Heatth says:

              I don’t disagree with you there. As I said, I have nothing against your criticism about George’s relationship with Shannon. I was just objection to you not blaming Eva for being a controlling ass.

              She didn’t care for Shannon. Her objection to it has nothing to do with it being fair to Shannon or not. She just don’t want George marrying some servant girl and “wasting” his chance to being the heir (which is technically not something that is actually on the table to begin with). And I don’t think it is unreasonable for George to not take into account Eva’s unreasonable desires for him. He should handle his relationship with Shannon better? Of course. With Eva? Not really, that is all on her.




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            7. CrazyEd says:
              To be fair to George, I don’t think he’s intentionally taking advantage of the situation. It really does seem that he has the best intentions for Shanon and his relationship with her, and both this and the power imbalance between them are things that legitimately do not factor into it on his half. If anyone was likely to feel up the maids because they couldn’t do anything against him, it’d probably be Rudolf. I don’t get the feeling that’s what George is doing.



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            8. illhousen says:

              If anyone was likely to feel up the maids because they couldn’t do anything against him, it’d probably be Rudolf. I don’t get the feeling that’s what George is doing.

              Well…

              (Potential spoilers on top of open spoilers, @Act, so don’t look it up.)

              More seriously, I do actually get a vibe that george is very aware of the power disbalance and on some level enjoys it. I don’t think he intentionally manipulates Shannon or anything like that, but he definitely could be blamed for not handling the relationship better.

              @Heatth, I do agree that Eva should share the blame here. I’ve talked before about how a lot of characters here are fucked by their upbringing and situation, and I think that applies fully to George. Feels to me that his issues and especially his aversion to actually resolve conflicts instead of smoothing over them can be directly attributed to how he relates to his parents, which doesn’t say anything good about them.




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            9. CrazyEd says:
              … Okay, see, I’m gonna put my detective glasses on and say that I get the feeling that’s not an entirely canon scene…

              Though, even if it is, and that’s truly why George started pursuing her, what he’s doing with Shanon is still far better than smacking a maid’s ass because you know she can’t complain or she’ll get fired.

              I agree that George could be handling things a lot better, but I’m trying to say that I don’t think he’s being an active and unrepetant shithead intentionally or maliciously. He actually loves Shanon and isn’t just saying that so he can stick his dick in the big-titty maid.




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            10. Heatth says:

              … Okay, see, I’m gonna put my detective glasses on and say that I get the feeling that’s not an entirely canon scene…

              Yeah, it is a fake screenshot. These used to be quite popular back in the day, there were even a few online screenshot generators, where you could choose a background, characters and imput text. To bad none seem to be working anymore.




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            11. CrazyEd says:
              I’m winning at Umineko, guys.



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            12. Keltena says:

              I agree that George could be handling things a lot better, but I’m trying to say that I don’t think he’s being an active and unrepetant shithead intentionally or maliciously. He actually loves Shanon and isn’t just saying that so he can stick his dick in the big-titty maid.

              Yeah, I don’t think that part’s really in question. I actually would say the issue with George’s relationship with Shannon (which, in a more general sense, I think is true of a lot of his behavior) is not so much that he has bad intentions or actively, deliberately abuses his power over her as that he doesn’t acknowledge the power differential between them enough. That’s not to say he doesn’t inappropriately leverage it at all–e.g., he clearly has a thing for phrasing stuff like “don’t call me -sama” as orders–but I think the bigger issue is that George basically treats his relationship with Shannon as if it’s a normal romance between any two young adults, and it’s… really not, even if he wants it to be. I think it’s more naivete and privileged thoughtlessness than willful obliviousness, but the fact remains that even if George can treat his playfully ordering Shannon around as normal teasing between couples, or tell Shannon that their relationship isn’t his parents’ business so she shouldn’t worry about it, Shannon doesn’t have that luxury. She’s still his family’s servant, so even if Shannon does like (for example) the “giving her orders” thing, it doesn’t change the fact that she couldn’t say no to him if she didn’t. And while it’s one thing for George to make the decision to stand up to his mother, it’s another to involve Shannon in it, because she both is much more likely than George to take the brunt of Eva’s displeasure in that situation and has much more than George to lose if his family turns on her.

              So yeah, I definitely agree that George isn’t being actively malicious or trying to manipulate Shannon. But unfortunately, even though he means well, he’s ultimately the one with power over her, and she’s the one who stands to suffer most from him handling it poorly.




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            13. CrazyEd says:
              You know, it occurs to me, a lot of this could be solved by just having Shanon quit. That’d remove a lot of the conflicts of interest and power imbalance, wouldn’t it? I agree totally. I’ve seen couples who fucking loved phrasing requests as teasing master/servant orders as a form of couples play, but like you said, the crux of that is that the “servant” was still able to refuse when they stopped having fun with the game.



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            14. Falconix says:
              You know, it occurs to me, a lot of this could be solved by just having Shanon quit.

              Problem with that is that Shannon doesn’t exactly have the resume that would help her make it on her own outside of Rokkenjima, so there would still be a power imbalance in that she’d be depending on George.




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            15. CrazyEd says:
              I mean… I suppose so? You’re technically correct, but… that’s not really any more power imbalance than any other businessman married to a housewife. Is that really so bad in comparison to what is? Some power imbalance will exist in any relationship. No relationship is perfectly balanced. Even if Shanon somehow got a job doing the exact same thing as George, if she worked at a company that wasn’t as large as George’s that’d be a power imabalance, technically. You really have to look at it on a case by case basis to decide whether or not the imbalance is too great to be ignored.



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            16. Heatth says:

              Problem with that is that Shannon doesn’t exactly have the resume that would help her make it on her own outside of Rokkenjima

              She has at last 6 years of experience as a maid. That ought to count for something. Even if she doesn’t find another rich family to serve, she could work for a hotel chain or something. You would be hardpressed to find someone of her age with that kind of experience.




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            17. illhousen says:

              Plus she probably picked up some occult trivia from Kinzo, which is a highly valued skill in some circles.

              She could be a professional Igor going from one insane sorcerer/mad scientist to another.




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            18. CrazyEd says:
              As a semi-professional magic crazy, I would definitely accept Shanon’s application. Her own real downside is how crazy meek she is. I don’t care if you’re some kind of spirit of an armoire given the form of a girl, stop calling yourself furniture. It’s weird.

              Though, truth me told, I’d accept her application based solely on her cooking skills. I am a nightmare in the kitchen. I once literally lit a fire boiling water.

              The magic is just a bonus.




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            19. Heatth says:

              In the story Gohda and Kumasawa are the ones who cook. So I am not sure if Shannon actually can do that. I don’t think it is part of her duties.




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            20. CrazyEd says:
              She seems kinda like a maid-at-large, so even if cooking is usually handled by another servant, I imagine her cooking skills are at least passable.

              Even if she’s not, she can’t be worse than “literally started a fire with an attempt o boil water”.




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  3. SpoonyViking says:

    So far, this novel has been really awesome. “Higurashi” disappointed me at the end, but I really, really hope “Umineko” won’t!




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    1. Act says:

      It definitely hits the ground running more than Higurashi. This is the general subject of my conclusion post.




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      1. Heatth says:

        True, but I have to say I liked Higurashi’s slow buring begining a lot more, personally.  I liked Umineko’s first episode quite a bit, but I loved Higurashi’s. I never had read an story I was quite as unsure about what was going on.




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        1. CrazyEd says:
          Well, part of the reason Umineko probably hits the ground running is because it assumes you’ve read Higurashi, so the slow build would just be five chapters of “okay so get to the plot described in the summary on the back of the book” problem you see in a lot of urban fantasy YA.



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          1. Act says:

            I also talk about this in the conclusion post.




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            1. CrazyEd says:
              Wow, we’re totally winning at Umineko conclusion posts, guys. We’ll have this murder mystery solved in a jiffy at this rate.

              So long as nothing inexplicable and impossible for humans to commit happens, I suppose. But what are the chances of that?




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            2. Keltena says:

              So long as nothing inexplicable and impossible for humans to commit happens, I suppose. But what are the chances of that?

              Happens in the conclusion post? …Wait, are you saying Act has been a witch this whole time?




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            3. CrazyEd says:
              No, she’s a third circle demon of Farla.

              … Though, considering she’s originally from the spooky part of New Jersey… I guess both those things could be true?

              If Beatrice can be a ghost-witch, Act can be a demon-witch.

              … Actually… come to think of it, the most well known legend of that area about witches is specifically about 13 witch-ghosts, so… it’s highly possible Act is a ghost-demon-witch, yes. That is exactly what I’m saying.

              I’m onto you, Act.




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            4. Act says:

              HALF LIFE 3 CONFIRMED




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  4. Yaaay, more murders!

    So maybe I’ll try to comment a bit this time, since passively following along is rather boring. Should be fineish, our esteemed blogger is supposed to be much farther in by now.

     

    That was… uncharacteristically suave.

    He’s the very model of a smooth operator, how dare you! Look at the suit.

    He looks, and obviously can’t see anything.

    Which wavelength is the witch wavelength that you’re born with? Pff, no. What’s more likely? Some invisible witch or a bunch of jerks trying to creep Battler out. Smart bet is on the latter.

    He says he actually lost the charm a while ago, but didn’t want to hurt her feelings, so he didn’t tell.

    So much for the magic charm. Checkmate, witches.

    That’s good, let’s goad the murderous witch, what could go wrong.

    That’d require there to be a witch, which is a completely unfounded hypothesis.

    George, who deserves to die for his ignorance, insists it’s just a phase. We all go through phases like that, is his stance.

    This George hate accumulating around here amuses me to no end (it’s still more logical than the evil witch’s possession).

    This has the same problem as Kyrie’s reasoning, which is that is assigns a logical motive to someone we know is illogical.

    How do we know that? Everything is just conjecture so far.

    Shoot her! She’s only marginally less annoying than her son.

    The whole family is obnoxious assholes. You’d have to kill all of them to waaaait a minute… It’s you, innit? You’re the culprit!

    Shut up, George, where were you when your mom was attacking Natsuhi?

    Eva and Hideyoshi smarmily leave to go lay down, and Eva tells George to come with them. George refuses, thus implying he won’t suspect Natsuhi openly. Shut up, George.

    Evidence mounts.

    She looks at him meaningfully, and he says quietly that he believes in Beatrice right now, because that’s definitely the better alternative to believing it was one of them.

    Now this, instead of accepting unprovable suppositions as fact, is the idiot ball. Battler fucked up now. Hopefully it won’t get everyone killed.

    Nanjo and Genji play chess and Nanjo asks if Genji is worried. He says no, as everything is going as he’d expect. Nanjo is weirded out

    6 murders and one disappearance. All in a day’s work in Rokkenjima, nothing to see here. Move along.

    Incidentally, glad to see we kept the “wistful memories” music from Higurashi.

    Are you seeing names of tracks as they come up? Cos I’ve found some youtuber reading presumably Steam version and song names kept popping up, leading him to think various things he wouldn’t have thought otherwise. It was kinda like spoilers but also not exactly.

    Every time Maria evil-cackles, Battler gives her a hit on the head, which frankly I support at this point.

    Slippery slope, that. (screw Maria though; Maria is an asshole, just like the rest of the clan, apple — tree)

    When he gets downstairs, he grabs a fire axe and looks around.

    They decided to make that Rena’s hatchet in anime. Which proves he’s actually Rena in disguise, I suppose. That’s still more rational than some invisible witch murdering people with butterflies or whatever the hell Maria’s claiming.

    I kind of liked Kanon even though he was pretty bland up to this point…

    He seems to have some anger issues. Sadly that didn’t work out well for him.

    Then there’s a creepy giggle and…

    and ahaha.wav finally appears. And there was much rejoicing…

    Alas, the 10 hours of ahaha.wav video seems to be gone and I can’t embed videos directly anyway and youtube links are still spoilville. Maybe it’s for the best tho, it kinda starts to become funny when repeated too many times.




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    1. Act says:

      our esteemed blogger is supposed to be much farther in by now.

      I’m finished with this route, but I’ve been away for two weeks and am unfortunately not as far ahead as I was. I was hoping to have the second route done by now and I’ve barely started it…

      How do we know that? Everything is just conjecture so far.

      I think it’s safe to assume that Kinzo is, at best, a bit… hysterical? He has moments of clarity, but unless he’s keeping up an act even when he’s completely alone, there something not quite right there. Also, he obviously hates his kids and would 100% be willing to do something like this just to fuck with them, so I think that throws a wrench in Kyrie’s reasoning.

      Are you seeing names of tracks as they come up?

      No, that’s weird. I’ll see if it’s in the options menu.

       




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    2. CrazyEd says:
      So maybe I’ll try to comment a bit this time, since passively following along is rather boring.

      Hey, that’s what I’ve been doing, and no one’s complained at me yet (to my surprise), so I don’t see why not.

      Smart bet is on the latter.

      Ah, but you see, that is why you should bet on the witch. The longshot bet always has the better payoff!




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    3. illhousen says:

      and ahaha.wav finally appears. And there was much rejoicing…

      Oh, fuck, I missed it. That’s the first ahaha.wav, right? So much joy we shall have together with that file…

      Alright, we’re making progress at introducing Umineko memes to this blog. And that’s what this LP is really all about.




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  5. CrazyEd says:
    Aww, scrolling past the post to get to the comments, I saw all the hilarious edited profile pictures. Oh well. No one I cared about seemed to have died yet.

    They say she has no true physical form, so she can be anywhere, and anything. Like… Maria.

    Told you Maria’s in on it. She’s definitely an agent of Beatrice at this point. I’m still betting on possessed, though.

    Whether your wavelength matches or not is determined at birth. Battler, you were born with a mismatched wavelength.

    Possessed by a witch-ghost because she’s an esper. That sounds… entirely plausible, given this game.

    That’s good, let’s goad the murderous witch, what could go wrong.

    Pff, bet you the charm is hidden in his sock and this is just a ploy to get her to show herself or something. More seriously, I actually doubt the scene where he notices the charm goes missing (just when did he lose it given the fact that she gave it to him less than a day ago?) would’ve been left out if he had actually lost it. This way, it’s Schrodinger’s Scorpion.

    We all go through phases like that, is his stance.

    George confirmed for former chunnibyou.

    This is bordering on idiot ball territory for Battler.

    At least the theory that one of the servants is using the Beatrice myth to get away with killing people is a decent one? The logic as to why it’s definitely not a possibly-ghost definitely-witch is a bit shaky, but someone using the myth of a witch to kill people isn’t bad on its own.

    it means that people are going to keep getting picked off unless someone solves the riddle

    The epitaph also explicitly says that. Whether or not the killer is Beatrice or not, they seem to be following the rules of the epitaph, so they should assume that this will happen no matter what. Frankly, even if the killer isn’t Beatrice (though we all know it’s totally Beatrice), the Ushiromiyas should be acting as if it is, as the obviously irrational killer is acting with an obvious logic: that of Beatrice’s Epitaph. Those are the “rules” of the killer’s game, whoever their identity is. You’re not wrong for pointing out the flaws with Kyrie and Battler’s reasoning, but I do think you’re wrong for calling them “illogical”. Their actions follow a clear line of reasoning that makes perfect coherent sense.

    how easy it would have been for Kinzo to hide while they searched for him and sneak out of his room once they were convinced he was missing

    Actually, from what I dimly recall of reading And Then There Were None over a decade ago… can we really rule out the deceased members of the cast as not being part of it (even though we all know it’s totally Beatrice, she may have accomplices other than Maria)?

    Nanjo asks if Genji is worried. He says no, as everything is going as he’d expect.

    See? Totally suspicious accomplice behaviour.

    Eva wonders if Kinzo didn’t see a bit of himself in the hardworking Hideyoshi.

    This is actually a surprisingly sweet story for Hideyoshi. Shame about everything else, though.

    George would eventually become successor to the Ushiromiya family. They had raised him strictly with that purpose in mind.

    Kinda weird that they’d keep doing this even after Jess was born. George doesn’t seem that much older than Jess does.

    Even more importantly, it wasn’t shaped like a flat blade, but was conical.

    I mean, there are knives with that sort of blade profile. The way of describing it as an ice pick is… really goddamn clunky. This paragraph reminds me a lot of how light novels are translated, urgh.

    She says this is the first magic circle of the moon. It lets you through locked doors.

    Uuu, pretty much. Not much else to say about this one. My copy of the Key of Solomon doesn’t mention any metaphorical uses, though.

    Every time Maria evil-cackles, Battler gives her a hit on the head, which frankly I support at this point.

    To be fair, it seems like you can bonk the evil outta her, at least for now.

    George tells Maria there’s no such thing as ghosts, but Bat’s answer is more noncommital.

    Damn it, George, Beatrice isn’t a ghost (unless my theory that she’s a ghost is true), she’s a witch. Those’re totally different! Ghosts and witches can exist independently from each other!

    Kanon you can’t win don’t do it.

    Especially since ending the ritual means Shanon stays dead, while letting it complete means that she will definitely be alive. In fact, it’d be in his best interest to ensure that the riddle is solved and the epitaph is completed. This is what truly illogical behaviour looks like, because Kanon is acting in an irrational mindset.

    Maria […] hasn’t done anything that would put her under suspicion.

    I mean, except for the cackling, cryptic messages from a witch-ghost, and surprising knowledge of fifteenth century European magic for a nine year old Japanese girl. Other than that, nothing suspicious at all.




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    1. Falconix says:
      Kinda weird that they’d keep doing this even after Jess was born. George doesn’t seem that much older than Jess does.

      George is five years older than Jess and Battler, and they’re at an age where that difference is non-trivial – I mean, he works at his dad’s company, while they’re still in high school.




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      1. CrazyEd says:
        Yeah, I thought that George was in his early-mid twenties, and Battler and Jess were in their late teens. But with that said, it doesn’t seem like “five” is too late to stop raising your son as if he’s the heir if he’s no longer the heir. If George was ten or twelve years older than Jess, what’s done is done, but five years doesn’t seem like it’s too late.



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        1. illhousen says:

          Well, it’s Eva we’re talking about.

          Giving birth to George and proposing the idea of him being the heir to Kinzo is what allowed her to maintain her position in the family and cling on to it even after Jessica was born.

          It’s remaining in the family that was truly important at that stage.

          And afterwards Eva could just continue to plot and scheme to undermine Krauss and Jessica’s positions in order to promote herself and her son, which does in part depend on George being a perfect heir, hence his upbringing.

          It also helps Eva that Jessica is a girl (since it’s established that the family is heavily patriarchial), that she isn’t exceptionally smart or disciplined and closer to an average teenager in behavior and abilities and that Krauss is a fuck-up.




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          1. Act says:

            Yeah, the impression I got was that George was technically the ‘true’ heir even though Jess is the daughter of the eldest child because a woman couldn’t inherit vis a vis family rules that say everything goes to the husband. Eva circumvented this by getting Hide to take the family name, but unless Jess can do the same thing, the ‘head’ will have to be an actual Ushiromiya, ie, George.




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            1. Keltena says:

              IIRC, though, they’ve been saying pretty consistently that Jessica is in fact the heir–just that once she marries, her husband is going to be the real head of the family because that’s what wives do, be subservient to their husbands.

              George being a man obviously makes him a more attractive prospect to inherit the family, if they were going to pick and choose the “ideal” candidate. But I think so far they’ve been pretty clear that Jessica is still the heir and is being treated as such. Eva just has a very convincing case built up for “why you should totally transfer the inheritance to my son instead” for whenever she needs it.




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            2. Act says:

              I wonder what would happen, theoretically, if Jessica stayed single and adopted a child, or used a sperm donor. Can she only claim if she marries? Does an adopted Ushiromiya count? Or would both scenarios result in things going right to George?




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            3. CrazyEd says:
              Considering Japan’s longstanding views on how adoption should factor into inheritance (and how it was a very common way to select one’s heir), I don’t think adoption would be off the table, but I’d probably guess that using a sperm donor would be seen very similarly to Rosa’s situation. That is to say, not good. Japan isn’t the most open minded country, and I imagine their rich eccentrics would be even less so.



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            4. illhousen says:

              @Act, well, it all depends on how Kinzo would view the situation. Fortunately, there are… ways of persuading him.

              Jessica: So, you may not believe it but I’ve met a witch.

              Kinzo: Beatoriche? She won’t show her face to someone like you before me! Definitely, that cannot happen!

              Jessica: Ah… no? I met another witch… um… Ellen. Witch Ellen. That’s her name.

              Kinzo: …Go on.

              Jessica: So, she kinda gave me a baby and said that I must raise him and have no other children and marry no man, and if I do all that, the kid she gave me would bring greatness into our family that, and I quote, my father has failed to preserve. Sooo, I was wondering if you were maybe willing to officially endorse the kid as the next in line of succession after me?

              Kinzo: Seems legit! Sure, the kid’s in the family now. Also, take this.

              Jessica: Agatha Christie novels, the Key of Solomon and Ars Goetia?

              Kinzo: Yes, a good reading material for kids. They love it, just ask Maria, and it prepares them for real life.




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            5. CrazyEd says:
              I can’t speak much for Agatha Christie novels, but based on personal experience, every child should read The Lesser Key of Solomon by the time they’re twelve. Just in case.

              Just in case. Trust me on this one.

              You really don’t want your children to be to be unprepared in that case.

              (Someone please. Help. Send exorcists.)




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            6. Heatth says:

              I wonder what would happen, theoretically, if Jessica stayed single and adopted a child, or used a sperm donor. Can she only claim if she marries? Does an adopted Ushiromiya count? Or would both scenarios result in things going right to George?

              Well, if Jessica was the head already she could make her own rules, right? Maybe Kinzo or Krauss wouldn’t aprove, but if they are dead already, then there would be nothing stopping Jessica.

              It is not like the Ushiromiya family hierarchy is a real legal thing.




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            7. CrazyEd says:
              Well, the intrafamilial political power might not be legal, but family registries are a thing in Japan, and they do list heads of households and whatnot. I think, at that point, Kinzo’s children would just ignore what Kinzo wanted after he died, and select a new heir. It’s not like Jessica is his direct heir or anything.

              Like you said, it’s not a legal thing, so if they just want to ignore Jessica’s claim and chose a new heir from amongst themselves, there’s nothing stopping them. It’s not even like Jess would protest very loudly.




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            8. illhousen says:

              Well, more seriously, if Kinzo’s dead, everything is kinda moot anyway.

              It’s not like Krauss would give up his inheritance because of whatever his daughter does.Or his sweet island mansion, for that matter.

              And on the other hand, it’s not like the rest of the family would fall in line behind Krauss either way. They have less than zero respect for the man. Like, they’re more likely to acknowledge Kanon as the next family head than Krauss.

              The Ushiromiya family is bound to implode on itself the moment Kinzo kicks the bucket. Once the inheritance is divided, the siblings are likely to go their separate ways, pestering each other only when they NEED A LOT OF MONEY RIGHT NOW.

              And before that, everything depends on how Kinzo views the situation.




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            9. CrazyEd says:
              True, but even if Krauss and his branch of the family fucks off, there are still Rudolf and Rosa who will probably stick around even if George is the heir. Having most of the family follow you is better than none of it.



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            10. Heatth says:

              Like you said, it’s not a legal thing, so if they just want to ignore Jessica’s claim and chose a new heir from amongst themselves, there’s nothing stopping them. It’s not even like Jess would protest very loudly.

              Well, sure, but, beside Eva, why would they do that? It is not like Rudolf and Rosa care (all they want is money). And how would they do that? Krauss control the money and all the assets. That is the whole thing, he is the heir and, thus, he has all the control. That is why they need to negotiate with him before Kinzo is dead. In the end, being the heir is just that: the one that is closest to the Head and, thus, to the family assets. And that person is Krauss and, by extension, Jessica.




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            11. Heatth says:

              True, but even if Krauss and his branch of the family fucks off, there are still Rudolf and Rosa who will probably stick around even if George is the heir. Having most of the family follow you is better than none of it.

              You speak as if Krauss framily is a side branch, but they arent. They are the main branch. They won’t “fuck off” to do anything. They will stay right where they are (i.e. in the Island, in the masion).

              If one would fuck of it would be Eva or the others. But Eva is ver attached to the idea of being the head, which is why she puts so much value and effort into taking that position  for herself and her son. Rudolf and Rosa, meanwhile, don’t seem to actually give a fuck about that. As long as they get the part of inhiritance they are owned, they do never implied they would support either Eva or Krauss.




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            12. CrazyEd says:
              Okay, but, at the point where either Krauss’s line fucks off or everyone but Krauss’s line fucks off, the point of who fucks off is academic because the end is the same. 



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            13. Heatth says:

              As I said, Krauss is the one that lives in the Island and in the mantion. He is the one with the access to the the family accets. He is also the one with the (supposed) access to the family signet ring, which is used as proof of the head (though Kinzo did fling that out of a window).

              My point is that the distinction is not academic. As long as all the above remain true, Krauss is the heir of the Ushiromiya and in all it is symbolic and practical meanings. If everyone else simply “fuck off”, he will still be the actual heir and future head. Because he will still be in control of everything that makes these titles relevant.

              I mean, all of that is kinda arbitrary bullshit. Kinzo could undo all of that with a will or something. Or even simply declaring Eva/George/whoever as the heir and, thus, letting them live in the island and menage the family assets. Not to mention Krauss might lose legal rights to anything once his embezzlement comes to light. But the point is, as things are know, Krauss line is the main line, and the others can’t just decide to change it without also doing something about it. It is not just a mater of wanting someone else to be the heir.




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