Okay, we're back ! The Witch Hunt
have offered us for Christmas their translation of EP 5 (the first of the "Core" arcs, in what is now called Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru
), so let's have a look at it.
I've tried my best to keep away from spoilers about this chapter, though I am
aware of the existence of Erika Furudo
, and that it somehow ends with Battler becoming a Witch or something
. Oh, and they're apparently going to introduce yet another set of interchangeable magical minions, as if the Stakes and the Siestas weren't enough. But these few tidbits have only wetted my appetite : the interesting part will be the execution, as always.
Episode 5 - End of the Golden Witch
The title screen shows that rock cliff where "Beatrice" supposedly fell to her death back in EP 3. It looks like there's a dark cave below, but it's hard to see.
As always, we get a creepy preambule as a description for EP 5 :
Good Morning. Please enjoy this new game, with its new Game Master.
However, this game has already reached its climax. The culprit has been cornered, and it's only a matter of time before the end. You should be able to use this clearer perspective to spot something.
The difficulty is fairly easy. What could possibly fool you now...?
On this ominous note, let's start the actual episode.
to Beato and Battler discussing... actually, I don't quite get it. Beato is gloating about killing "her" to cause Battler pain, and about her Tsundere
act winning her points in his esteem (I'd think gloating this way would defeat the point, but whatever). This sounds like a bit like a reference to the events of EP 4, but it doesn't quite fit. Or Is It
a flashforward ?
We switch to that garden where Beato had taken refuge with MARIA... and the narration tells us that Beato is... gone. She's sitting there lifeless, with Virgilia tending her. Next to her, Battler is examining a chessboard. We're told that instead of playing the white side as usual, he's on the black side, trying to understand Beato's past strategy. And it makes less sense to him the more he reflects upon it. Well, I can understand the sentiment. He comments that some of her moves make no sense compared to her stated victory conditions.
Okay, I get it. We're picking up after the end of EP 4, where Lambdadelta had forced Beato to keep playing the game. She can't run away anymore, so she's playing dead while waiting for Battler to defeat her. And that's what he's doing in earnest by trying to understand her strategy. They're really trying their best to make Beato into The Woobie
, aren't they ? I mean, look at her◊
Lambdadelta and Bernkastel are getting impatient, and want the next game to be started. Lambdadelta in particular is ready to take over the witch's side in Beato's absence, and has the fifth game all set. Battler is obviously resenting the interference from those two witches he barely knows, and doesn't refrain from showing it. They alternate coddling and threatening him, and they finally reach a compromise : Lambdadelta can play her game with Bernkastel as the antimagic side, he'll be sitting in the garden while continuing to review the first four games.
A bit later, Ronove informs Battler that they didn't wait for him being around to start the fifth game, and they've already reached the second day, with 6 people dead and others soon to follow. Ronove communicates his distate for the two witches' way of playing, which he qualifies of "dishonorable". I love the chess metaphor being continued : while they obviously can't play cards with the chessboard, nothing prevents them from throwing pieces at each other or scribbling on the board. No self-respecting chess player would do that, but...
Battler barges into the playing room, and demands to take his place back on the antimagic side. The witches relent a bit, but concede that there's no harm in letting watch the end of the game. And hey, apparently Bernkastel is winning : after all, isn't this episode called "End of the golden witch
Okay, that was unexpected. Beato suffering from Heroic BSOD
after the events of EP 4 is a logical conclusion, but the way the other two witches are taking over her game is funny as heck, and a good way to shuffle the boardroom dynamics a bit. And hey, the antimagic side may get a competent player for once
I love the contradiction of Battler struggling to maintain the purity of Beato's game against the meddling witches. Make no mistake, Bernkastel is clearly depicted as a villain here, and acts as a complete asshole throughout despite claiming to be on Battler's side.
And of course, there's the possibility that all of this is yet another manipulation by Beato...