This is the Analysis entry for Umineko: When They Cry. Spoilers are unmarked ahead.
Umineko no Naku Koro ni goes much deeper than the power of love. Repeatedly, readers are told: "Without love, it cannot be seen". What exactly cannot be seen without love? In End of the golden witch, Battler has an epiphany: in a mystery novel, there has to be a trusting relationship between reader and writer; it is exactly the same as being in love. Without a guarantee that the mystery is solvable, the reader won't be interested, and without readers, the writer will not write. "Without love, the truth cannot be seen." But Erika expounds on that. Because of love, we also see things that shouldn't exist. I quote from Umineko's WMG page:
The Divine Comedy symbolismBeatrice, in Dante Alighieri's epic, is the symbol of divine love. In a similar vein, we have Beatrice III, the Endless Witch. The WMG that says "Beatrice is love" is valid. Love is fickle and doesn't necessarily follow human reasoning. Because of love, there are things that are hidden from view, and truths that are exposed. Virgilia is Battler's guide to reason, just as Virgil was Dante's guide. Without Virgilia, the illusions born out of love wouldn't have been dispelled. He would have given up by the third game if it wasn't for her. However, just as reason can guide, it can also mislead. Clair vauxof Bernard is the reader of the seventh game, and the one who reveals the final pieces of the puzzle to Will and Lion as well as the readers. Like Bernard of Clairvaux, Clair takes over from Beatrice, who has now gone to her eternal rest, as the final guide of the story. The place where Battler is trapped in is called Purgatorio. Beatrice wanted Battler to remember his sin of six years ago, and this is where "love" will purify the sin within him. Battler must suffer first in order to see the truth, just as Dante had to recognize, and then acknowledge his sins before ascending to Heaven. Arc Words, "Without love, the truth can't be seen", come into play here. The mystery genre is likened to love: if the author doesn't reciprocate the reader's desire for the novel to be solvable, the reader won't read it, just like how people won't reciprocate love until the other side says that they love them back. Requiem of the golden witch is a blatant reconstruction of the genre. Instead of a self-proclaimed intellectual rapist, we have a Badass detective who protects the innocent truths and unveils the destructive lies. We are shown how Mystery becomes Fantasy: by removing the last few pages which reveal the answer. And we are shown the importance of the motive in the mystery: by searching for the person who has the heart to commit murder, we find the true culprit.
The view of truthOn the Higurashi analysis thread there is an analysis on how our sympathy for a murderer changes from person to person. There is a similar point in Umineko but here it is instead how the truth of an event changes from person to person and that there can be no real truth since it varies so much. This point is reinforced time and time again especially in EP 4 with Ange's stubbornness with both Maria and Eva. But in the end, what is it that Ryukishi wants to tell the readers? What he wants is to show us is that when we have to look at everything from all perspectives. This is even reinforced with Kyrie's chessboard thinking where she looks at a problem not only from her point of view but also the culprits. But at the same time what he also seems to say is that you can go with any view as long as you think about it and therefore creates your own truth. This is probably the reason for Ryukishi's rather nasty Take That in Ep 8. He did that because those people who demanded the truth didn't understand it. They only wanted to be told which would mean hearing one person's truth instead of creating their own, the opposite of what he wanted to tell us.
Getting around red text is actually as simple as noticing the inconsistencies in what is being said and what is meant.Yes, it will always tell an absolute truth, but you really have to pay attention to exactly how the phrase is said, or you're missing a ton of things that are automatically overlooked. Basically, I'm saying there's just too much room for error in the red text. All of my examples are coming from the second Episode, which is the first time we encounter red text. I'm getting all of the red text below from the manga (as I have no chance to play the games at all). Example 1: "Whether they were dead or alive, the six certainly entered through the door." This was in response to Battler asking if there are any hidden doors. The point I want to raise is that it is never confirmed just how many doors the chapel does have. So...WHAT DOOR DID THEY ENTER THROUGH?! Example 2: "When the door to the chapel is locked, entry and exit are not possible by any means." That last bit of the sentence is what bothers me. Look at it again. That could interpreted to mean that 'because the door is locked, there is absolutely nothing you can do to enter the room beyond it, even if you have a key or magic'. Also, if you are inside, you cannot unlock the door to leave the room. NOT POSSIBLE BY ANY MEANS. Example 3: "This morning, Rosa took an envelope out of Maria's handbag and thereby obtained the genuine key to the chapel." and "The envelope I entrusted to Maria contained the genuine key to the chapel." Okay. I have no issue with the first sentence, but thought it should be there as context. The second sentence, however, can be worked around. With this sentence, you can still doubt Maria having had the key the entire time. Think about it. It never specifies WHEN the key was entrusted to Maria. It's as simple as saying that the culprit gave Maria a key in a sealed envelope, but it did not necessarily have to be the key to the chapel. In fact, the culprit taking the envelope they'd originally given to Maria out of her handbag and entrusting her with a new one solves both problems at once. Example 4: "The only master keys are the ones each servant holds; one per person." For one, this does not clarify whether or not Jessica's key was the only one. (This issue comes up later and I will explain in more detail.) For two, this statement is a contradiction. That one per person bit. You can ASSUME, based on context that Beatrice is talking about the servants. Let us not forget that later, she states that "There are only five master keys." If this is indeed true, and the bit about each servant only having one key is also true, then Yasu has one key. Shannon and Kanon "share" that key because really, they're the same person. This means that there is another key floating around out there. Example 5: "There are no types of hidden doors. This door is the only way in or out. The only way to lock this door is with Jessica's single key or the master keys, only one of which is held by each servant. The window is locked from the inside." I will deal with the part about hidden doors later. For now, let's focus on Jessica's key. Or rather, keyS. Because the culprit is either using the original, a copy, or that last master key. The way this sentence is put together, the IMPLICATION is that there is only a single key that was made for Jessica's room. The reality is that you can interpret that as meaning that, for example, someone else's key won't work on Jessica's door. This actually does not expel the idea of there being a copy. Also the last bit of the last sentence proves my theory of Yasu only having one key. Example 6: "When the door is locked, entry or exit is not possible by any means. No trick could be used to lock the door from the outside without a key." Yes, that phrase again. NOT POSSIBLE BY ANY MEANS. Refer to my above rant. Example 7: "Entry or exit is impossible except through either the single door or the single window. And those were both locked. When the door and window are locked, there are no other methods of entry or exit." and "The door cannot be unlocked with anything but the master keys or the key to the servants' room." Again. Again with that sentence. RAGE. The third sentence bugs me too. Seriously, read that again! "When the door and window are locked, there are no other methods of entry or exit." This sentence denies someone unlocking the door from the inside and it simultaneously denies the use of a key. But right after that, she also adds that 'oh, right, the master keys and the servants' room key will do the job too'. RAGE!!! And yes, I understand that, in context, she's talking about a hidden staircase in the floor or something similar. I'm taking every meaning these words can give, not just the meanings we're meant to see. Example 8: "There is no one in this room except all of you. 'All of you' refers to Battler, George, Maria, Rosa, Genji, Shannon, and Gohda." This does not outright dispel the idea of a hallway or similar behind a wall because the 'room' referred to here would only be connected to said hallway or similar by a wall, which does the job of separating it from the 'room'. Also, a 'hallway', 'closet', and 'room' all have different names for a reason.