Actor Allusion: The anime's next episode previews are filled to the brim with these.
Rudolf's voice actor for the anime and PS3 port is the same as the dub voice for Jack Bauer. This is referenced in the sound novel's fifth episode, where he sings the first line of Bauer's song. It's also referenced in the preview for the 16th episode of the anime, when Rudolf is making calls, has a 24 ringtone, slips up and refers to himself as Jack.
Fan Nickname: Sea kittens. "Umineko" is the Japanese name for the black-tailed seagull, but the name literally translates to "sea cat". That, and it's a reference to a particularly stupid PETA campaign. More nicknames for characters and places can be found here.
Fan Translation: Witch Hunt, which actually got an acknowledgment from the author and a Shout-Out in EP4. And it is most certainly well-deserved. Spanish and Italian translations are also available. A French one was started at some point, and the translation of Episode 1 was complete, but it got stopped for copyright issues (or something; it's not very clear).
Flip Flop of God: In response to fan pressure to give up the solution, Ryuukishi07 has either given the fantasy explanation or challenged them to think it through themselves. These are pretty much the same statements the characters have given. He did end up giving the solutions (or most of them) in the manga though, which now divides the fanbase on whether or not it was the right choice. Not to even mention the debate whether the manga actually is to be considered canon because giving a solution contradicts the main point of the visual novel's ending...
Franchise Killer: Not the series itself, but the anime bombed so hard that it may have doomed any chances of seeing another anime for a 07th Expansion series, considering that neither Chiru, nor Higanbana or Rose Guns Days got one (at least not yet for the last one).
What Could Have Been: Land of the Golden Witch. Originally, EP 3 was supposed to be much more difficult than the EP 3 we got (Banquet of the Golden Witch). And by much more difficult, I mean much harder in difficulty than both Legend and Turn. However, because Ryukishi found that many players were having trouble, he decided to lower the difficulty in order to give players more of a helping hand. This was explained in game as Land being a message in a bottle, like Legend and Turn. However, unlike Legend and Turn, Land was never found, as revealed to Piece!Ange by Piece!Beato in EP 8.Ryukishi has gone on record saying that he doesn't plan to release Land, as he says he incorporated all the clues that were in it into other arcs.
One thing that was added to Banquet that wasn't in Land was the inclusion of Ronove and the inclusion of the Cat Box as hinted by Virgilia. Originally, the Cat Box discussion would've been left for an Answer Arc, which would have made EPs 3 and 4 at the least really hard for Battler to solve. Some of the things that were to be included in Land were apparently a character named "Virgilius" who was to be a guide for Battler (like Virgilia), but who acted like Erika. Another is that part of Land was to be purportedly narrated from Yasu's point of view. It was said to also have had a few clues that were very important for the mystery but, because of Land's exclusion, were introduced as late as EP 5 and 6 canonically. Had Ryukishi kept Land —and thus Yasu and those "vital clues" — he probably could have avoided criticism for his execution of the mystery's answer and the mystery probably would have been more fair.
The direction and tone of the novels would have been very different if it weren't for the fact that Ryukishi's friend died. Other than Creator Breakdown, his friend was his go-to guy for advice on the plot.
Ryukishi had planned to write a short story about Will during his rookie days at the SSVD, but he eventually shelved it. He had also originally planned for Will to be consumed by Bernkastel's cats in order to let Lion escape, only to be brought back in EP8 as Bernkastel's piece Black Will, but then he realized that this would take away Battler's role.
In Chapter 4, the name of Rosa's clothing shop, Anti-Rosa, is mentioned, as well as its slogan. A quick google search reveals a blog of the exact same name, although the site's slogan is one word different from the slogan mentioned in Umineko. But it only has one post, translated (roughly) from Portuguese: "Good night. Good night, FÃ¡tima." But otherwise, there seems to be no other connection to Rosa's shop than that.
The site can be found here. The title of the article can be translated as "Anti-Laziness x Anti-Boredom".
Also, "Our Lady of Fátima" is another name for Mary.
"Goodnight, Fátima" is a common joke between brazilians. Fátima Bernardes and William Bonner are the anchormen for the most popular news program in Brazil At the end of every report, both of them say "Good Night." Very often, to express loneliness or boredom, a person can reply to them saying "Good night, Fátima" or "Good night, Bonner.". The text on the blog mirrors this dialog, whih is to say that it has nothing to do with Rosa's shop at all.
"Anti-Rosa" may also be a reference to the Brazilian poem "Rose of Hiroshima", that talk about the atomic bomb that hit Hiroshima. The poem refer to the bomb as "Anti-Rosa Atômica" (Atomic Anti-Rose).
The magical text that appears in the Visual Novel when the Siestas attack is Japanese transliterated into the Greek alphabet. If you translate it into English, you get:
Guidance System Version 07
Firing Guidance System Startup Good morning. Welcome to the Firing Guidance System.
Commence Data Accumulation... Now scanning. Gathering data. Don't shake it. If we screw up now, it won't hit.
Formulating Firing Curve... Formulating Firing Curve. Forming as a Bezier curve. This is filler, so please don't read it, okay? It's random. All this English that I don't really understand sure is cool. Pretty awesome.
Firing Preparations Complete Firing Preparations Complete. If we shoot now, it'll hit. ...Assuming that the measurements are correct. Are we really good to go? It's totally automatic.
Accuracy 97.89% A number that will almost certainly hit.
In the anime episode 16, when Siesta 45 prepares to hit, there are a number of Russian phrases of all things, seemingly taken from a Russian-Whateverlanguage phrasebook ("Здравствуйте" - "Hello", "Желаю счастья" - "Wish you luck/happiness", "Жду вашего ответа" - "Waiting for your response", "Как Ваше здоровье" - "How is your health" and a good number of others).
The guy who originally did the classification of the seven demons with the seven sins was Peter Binsfeld, a German auxiliary bishop and witch hunter. He was born in the 16th century in the small town of Binsfeld, in the district of Bernkastel-Wittlich. He wrote a book, which was very famous at his time, Hexentraktat, in which he argues that witches do exist and explains how to find, interrogate and execute them.
Certain "furniture" in Umineko (Ronove, Gaap, Furfur, Zepar) come from the Ars Goetia, a section of The Lesser Key of Solomon.
The magic circles used in the series (the third and fifth circle of Mars, the first circle of the moon, and seventh circle of the sun) come from Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers' version of The Key of Solomon (not to be confused with the lesser key). Despite being pretty illegible in game, the originals do have Hebrew written on them. Also, they're called pentacles instead of magic circles.
Mathers wasn't an original source for anything, but incorporated pre-existing traditions of sorcery into the Order of the Golden Dawn. All of The Lesser Key of Solomon was drawn from the Kaballah, one of the Hebrew holy texts.
The references to Dante's Divine Comedy are both obvious and subtle. While Beatrice and Virgilia are rather straightforward, more easily missed is that the Stakes of Purgatory's relative ages directly correspond to the order of the terraces in 'Purgatorio' as Dante and Virgil ascend towards the meeting with Beatrice (Pride first, then Envy, Wrath, Sloth, Greed, Gluttony, and finally Lust.) Clair Vaux Bernard is also later introduced, whose name refers to Dante's third guide (Saint Bernardus, also known as Bernard of Clairvaux) in the Empyrean Heaven.
Interestingly, Clair's name can also be a reference to the wife of the real Willard Huntington Wright, who painted under the name Claire De Lisle, or a reference to Muriel St. Clair, a character from one of Wright's detective novels.
Gaap's clothes are said to be from "Devilish Pretty". Angelic Pretty is an extremely popular sweet lolita clothing brand.
Sakutaro was orginally going to be named "Sakura" by Maria, after the heroine of the popular TV show Card MasterSakura.
This is actually an anachronism, as the series debuted 1996 - ten years after the story takes place. However, a similar anachronism was made in Higurashi, making it also a Mythology Gag.
According to EP 6, Virgilia's full name is "Publius Virgilia Maro".
I was just brushing up on my Christie... And what should I find but this?
The Witch's Epitaph (English translation by Witch Hunt)
川を下れば、やがて里あり。 その里にて二人が口にし岸を探せ。 そこに黄金郷への鍵が眠る。
第一の晩に、鍵の選びし六人を生贄に捧げよ。 第二の晩に、残されし者は寄り添いし二人を引き裂け。 第三の晩に、残されし者は誉れ高き我が名を讃えよ。 第四の晩に、頭をえぐりて殺せ。 第五の晩に、胸をえぐりて殺せ。 第六の晩に、腹をえぐりて殺せ。 第七の晩に、膝をえぐりて殺せ。 第八の晩に、足をえぐりて殺せ。 第九の晩に、魔女は蘇り、誰も生き残れはしない。 第十の晩に、旅は終わり、黄金の郷に至るだろう。
一つは、黄金郷の全ての黄金。 一つは、全ての死者の魂を蘇らせ。 一つは、失った愛すらも蘇らせる。 一つは、魔女を永遠に眠りにつかせよう。
Natsukashiki, kokyō wo tsuranuku ayu no kawa Ōgonkyō wo mezasu mono yo, kore wo kudarite kagi wo sagase.Kawa wo kudareba, yagate sato ari. Sato nite futari no kuchi ni seshi kishi wo sagase. Soko ni ōgonkyō he no kagi ga nemuru.Kagi wo te ni seshi mono ha, ika shitagaite ōgonkyō he tabidatsubeshi.Daiichi no ban ni, kagi no erabishi rokunin wo ikenie ni sasageyo. Daini no ban ni, nokosareshi mono ha yorisoishi futari wo hikisake. Daisan no ban ni, homare takaki waga na wo tataeyo. Daiyon no ban ni, atama wo egurite korose. Daigo no ban ni, mune wo egurite korose. Dairoku no ban ni, hara wo egurite korose. Dainana no ban ni, hiza wo egurite korose. Daihachi no ban ni, ashi wo egurite korose. Daikyū no ban ni, majo ha yomigaeri, dare mo ikinokore ha shinai. Daijū no ban ni, tabi ha owari, ōgon no sato ni itaru darō.Majo ha kenja wo tatae, yottsu no takara wo sazukeru darō.Hitotsu ha, ōgonkyō no subete no ōgon. Hitotsu ha, subete no shisha no tamashii wo yomigaerase. Hitotsu ha, ushinatta ai sura mo yomigaeraseru. Hitotsu ha, majo wo eien no nemuri ni tsukaseyou.Yusuraka ni numere, waga saiai no majo, Beatoriche.
Behold the sweetfish river running through my beloved hometown. You who want to reach the Golden Land, follow its path downstream and seek the key.If you go down the river, you will find a village. In the village, search for the shore the two will tell you of. There sleeps the key to the Golden Land.The one who lays hand on the key will have to travel according to these rules.On the first twilight, offer as sacrifice the six chosen by the key. On the second twilight, those who remain shall tear apart the two who are close. On the third twilight, those who remain shall praise my honorable name on high. On the fourth twilight, gouge the head and kill. On the fifth twilight, gouge the chest and kill. On the sixth twilight, gouge the stomach and kill. On the seventh twilight, gouge the knee and kill. On the eigth twilight, gouge the leg and kill. On the ninth twilight, the Witch shall be revived, and none shall be left alive. On the tenth twilight, the journey shall end, and you shall reach the Capital of the Gold.The Witch shall praise the wise, and bestow four treasures:One shall be, all the gold of 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 make the Witch sleep for all eternity.Sleep peacefully, my most beloved witch, Beatrice.