And so, we're back. I've dealt with my holiday activities and other pending projects, so I now have time to deal with...
EPISODE 7 — REQUIEM OF THE GOLDEN WITCH
I've managed to stay completely unspoiled on this one (apart from the existence of some unspecified new Ushiromiya relatives, but it wouldn't be be a real Umineko
chapter without yet more characters to crowd this damn island).
Good morning. Today is the day of the funeral for the Golden Witch and her game.
The days of the game have now ended, and fond memories are all that remain. Here, the cold, hard truth will be revealed, and the game will meet its death...
There is a bit of difficulty.
Well, that's in keeping with last episode's stinger, at least.
We start by alternating between two scenes. In the first, Virgilia and BATTLER stand in a wake around a casket. The heavy implication is that this is Beato inside. Battler leaves in her hands a manuscript with his last tale, for her only.
Completely elsewhere, the Inquisitors of Heresy (by the sound of it, a parallel branch from where Dlannor comes from) are cornering a maid. Her alibi's worthless, she must be the culprit ! Who cares about motives, anyway ? That can always be extracted later...
Comes in someone who does care about motives, Willard H. Wright, or "Will" for short, a famous Inquisitor just days away from retirement. He butts into the case by pointing out other suspects have very shaky alibis too, and he won't let them accuse and torture an innocent. (Aside to the maid, he tells her he knows about her lover, and that he'll protect her secret.) Do your damn job properly !
And if this isn't a meta jab at those readers who were ready to make Shkanon the Big Bad
responsible for all murders without caring about the whys and wherefores, I'll eat my non-existant hat.
NEW OPENING ! As dazzling as ever for something made of unanimated sprites. And are those some new characters I can barely discern in all this whirling around ? Hum...
We now are at another wake, at Rokkenjima's chapel. It's a bit weird, though, as the Ushiromiya family (including Grampa !) is present and mourns Beatrice... While Kanon holds the entrance desk ! WTF ? Actually, there's no corpse in the casket, just a book dedicated to "my beloved Beatrice, Oct 5th, 1986". Oh, and Will is showing up too.
My jaw drops to the floor when we see Lion Ushiromiya, Krauss & Natsuhi's first
daughter, and next in line for the headship. (Will seems as confused as me.) Judging from various hints, she sounds about 19... After a while, only her and Will are left in the chapel's main room.
Well, there IS a third person... ain't that right, Bernkastel ? She's the one who summoned him here, despite his retirement... Bern, still being the same asshole as ever, drops onto the altar, crushing the golden roses under her feet. After some banter, Will resigns himself to one last job : who killed Beatrice ?
(And where's the corpse, anyway ?) Bernkastel hopes to watch a good show from the sidelines... (and Featherine is there somewhere, too.)
Lion is of course completely dumbfounded by all this. Will takes her outside and shows her the chapel is caught into a time loop, and there's no escaping until he solves the case. Will she help him in his investigations ? The sooner this is dealt with, the better... Lion takes this in stride : as the future head, she had lots of conversations with Grampa, and she's somewhat used to rude people speaking in riddles.
Will has already gone through the other Fragments (helpfully provided by Bernkastel), so he's very
knowledgeable about the Ushiromiya family... but he's still stumped by the new elements like Lion and this funeral. Will starts interrogating everyone, but Lion puts her foot down (literally) and imposes herself as the interface between Will and everyone else.
Anyway, Beatrice. Natsuhi is the only one maintaining the charade that she wasn't Grampa's mistress, but the other siblings are much more open about it. Anyway, the only one Will cares about right now is Rosa. Remember ? "I killed Beatrice !"
Not so Fast, Bucko!
, that'd be too easy. Frankly, that was clearly an accident, and Rosa isn't really to blame for this. Will assures her that Beatrice would actually thank her for letting her see the world a bit.
And now that Rosa's a bit more coherent, it's time to examine the incident in detail. The first deduction is obvious : this can't have been the same Beatrice as Grampa's mistress. The age gap and resemblance point towards them being mother and daughter. (Will also reminds us this happened in 1967, 19 years ago, per EP 3's red text.) Interestingly, Rosa indicates that she eventually told Genji about it, who assured her he'd deal with it. And she never heard anything else about this incident after.
Well, Will already knew nearly all this (and the Genji bit wasn't very surprising). It seems the only way he'll get any new information is from new testimonies. Hey, can Lion arrange an interview with Grampa ?
Well, this is quite interesting indeed. Will and Lion make for a fun double act, and I'm quite enjoying their banter. Will's no-nonsense attitude also helps cut through all the stuff we already know, which is another plus.
I'm intrigued by this Bizarro World
where everybody seems on good terms and alive (including the child from 19 years ago !), but I've read enough of Umineko
to wonder whether there's anything else under the cheerful surface. Kanon's ostentatious presence is a fun curve-ball to my speculations, for example. Hum...