Umineko no Naku Koro ni Visual Novels : the LiveButDelayed Blogination:
- Kinzo Ushiromiya : Grampa. See the premise for more details.
- Doctor Nanjo : The family physician, and longtime friend of Grampa.
- Genji : Head servant of the Ushiromiya home, and Grampa's right hand man. The "reserved butler" archetype.
- Battler Ushiromiya : Our protagonist/POV character, at least for the first chapter. Son of the third child of Grampa. 18 years old, in high school. Thoroughly despises his father, who apparently remarried only instants after the death of his first wife, six years ago. Battler has been living with his maternal grandparents ever since, and is only coming back into the fold now that they're dead.
- George Ushiromiya : The son of the second child of Grampa. Oldest of the "child" generation. 23 years old, already working as an apprentice. The ideal son, calm, soothing. Deeply respected by Battler.
- Eva Ushiromiya : The second child of Grampa, George's mother. A sneaky bitch with a serpent tongue. Somehow, she's managed to keep her position in the family despite her marriage (We'll get more details later).
- Hideyoshi Ushiromiya : Eva's husband and George's father. A cunning businessman who built his business from scratch. Affable, pleasant, and certainly far less stupid than his (fake) accent lets on.
- Kyrie Ushiromiya : Battler's stepmother. Interestingly, he has a very healthy and pleasant relationship with her, considering her a Cool Big Sis.
- Rudolf Ushiromiya : Battler's father, and the third child of Grampa. A former (?) womanizer (it's implied his relationship with Kyrie predates his first wife's death), and overall not a very pleasant person (we're not told in what branch of business he works, but it seems a bit shady). The object of Battler's scorn, though he doesn't seem to mind that much.
- Rosa Ushiromiya : The last child of Grampa. She seems to be quite nice and fading in the background, but her relationship with her daughter looks quite strained. Her husband is the only spouse absent to the reunion, with the implication that he left her a while ago.
- Maria Ushiromiya : Rosa's daughter, 9 years old. A gothic lolita if I've ever seen one. Interested in black magic. Her childlish speech patterns get annoying very quickly (she aims for cute, and misses the mark), and not just to the reader (it's one of the reasons her mother Rosa is displeased with her).
- Jessica Ushiromiya : Daughter of the first child of Grampa, and thus the heir of the family. She really doesn't care for it, though, and acts like a tomboy (though her speech patterns don't translate well).
- Kumasawa : The old family servant, and token gossip hen.
- Gohda : The cook. Very professional, but distrusted by most of the staff : while they were all hired by Grampa, he's Krauss' man (the first son).
- Kanon : A young male servant. Orphan, and around 16 if I'm not mistaken. Very sullen, he barely talks at all and seems to have low self-esteem.
- Shannon : A young female servant, around Battler's age. A bit clumsy under pressure. It's not her real name : all those young orphan servants take one of those "xxxon" names while working.
- Natsuhi Ushiromiya : Wife of the first child of Grampa, and Jessica's mother. She seems to be in charge of the island mansion (since neither Grampa or her husband can be bothered). She has a perpetual headache, and obviously doesn't like her awkward position in the family.
- Krauss Ushiromiya
edited 1st Jul '09 2:51:49 AM by Jhiday
- Beatrice claims she'll recompense those who acknowledged her by restoring their lost love : the Shannon/George romance, Jessica's barely voiced feelings for Kanon, and Maria's broken relationship with her mother.
- In the last moment, Jessica encourages Battler in his defiant attitude.
- George is probably innocent. The poor guy loses his girlfriend and his beloved parents in rapid succession, and looks completely out of it after that.
- I'd also exclude Jessica. She seems mostly baffled and distressed during the whole incident, and has decent alibis for most of the murders. Natsuhi may be covering for her a bit, but that's it.
- Maria is very, very involved : she cooperated with "Beatrice" openly at least twice. On the other hand, she does have good alibis for most of the murders. So, she couldn't do it alone.
- No idea about Kumasawa, Genji and Dr Nanjo, but I still have a hard time seeing them as big players in the game (especially Kumasawa).
- Kanon may have been an accomplice at some point, but he certainly rebelled against somebody at the end.
- Grampa obviously put something into motion. I think he's been outwitted.
- Eva and Hideyoshi may have attempted something, but their death is really puzzling (and ends their involvement anyway).
- Shannon, Gohda and Krauss die too early, and leave recognizable bodies. There's also a hint that Krauss may have been killed first, and that Shannon and Gohda just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. So : Krauss may have attempted something at first, but it backfired.
- Kyrie and Rudolf have unrecognizable bodies, and he somehow expected to die... but the TIPS hints suggest he was unlucky. Again, they probably attempted something, and failed.
- Rosa is very suspect : unrecognizable body, and ambiguous TIPS. Also, she's too quiet : she must hide something.
edited 2nd Jul '09 3:05:28 AM by Jhiday
- George and his parents come to visit Rokkenjima (the parents want to discuss some business or other). For the first time, she notices how kind George is to her, and begins developping feelings from him. Eva nearly immediatly intervenes to discreetly discourage her (she's only a lowly servant, "furniture"). Depressed, Shannon gets clumsier, is scolded, and becomes even more depressed. Kanon (who views her has a sister) tries to comfort her, but to no avail.
- Shannon, in punition for her clumsiness, has to clean the room where there's Beatrice big portrait. There, Beatrice appears in front of her. She thanks her for the care with which Shannon cleans her portraits, and offers to give her George's love. Just one condition : destroy the mirror in the island's old shrine. Kanon barges in, and is very defiant of Beatrice. She offers him the same deal with Beatrice, but she refuses. The witch disappears.
- Later, Shannon indeed destroys the mirror. We're later told that the shrine is destroyed by a freak lightning bolt soon after. Her relationship with George progresses, and she has regular meetings with Beatrice. The witch has given her a love-helping talisman, and she offers it to Kanon.
- It's made clear that only a few people can see Beatrice in her current "phantom" state, especially before the mirror is broken. It's explicitely stated that Grampa cannot see her even when she's standing right in front of him. (She affects to find him pitiable for this reason.)
- We jump to Shannon and George in an overnight trip at Okinawa (actually, this is the first scene in the chapter). They're wearing some very awful casual clothes : George looks really stupid in a T-shirt, and I won't even comment on Shannon's outfit◊. Anyway, they tread a fine line between lovey-dovey and embarrassed. At the end, George announces he'll propose an engagement to her at the annual family conference.
- Later, Shannon discusses the trip with Jessica, who's a bit jealous of their love. She pretended to her schoolmates she'd bring her boyfriend to the school festival, but she has none. Shannon suggests for Kanon to pose as one, and so he does.
- Jessica has been secretly taking guitar courses, and fronts one of the bands at the school festival (she sings Tsuru Pettan, which is an awesome sight). Kanon discovers his feelings for her. Anyway, thankfully her parents haven't heard about this.
- Jessica starts flirting with Kanon, but he turns her down. Hard. He's very self-conscious of his position as "furniture".
- Kanon is furious against Beatrice for encouraging the Shannon/George couple, as well as a Kanon/Jessica relationship. He destroys her talisman in front of her. She's very open about her intentions : she's screwing around with them because those doomed relationships are fun to watch.
edited 15th Aug '09 1:46:35 PM by Jhiday
edited 3rd Jul '09 12:18:57 PM by TheAdversary
edited 15th Sep '09 6:31:18 AM by Jhiday
edited 20th Jul '09 10:52:59 PM by Jhiday
edited 24th Jul '09 12:30:07 AM by Jhiday
- Battler : "Aunt Eva ! YOU were the killer !"
- Eva : "Well, duh. Took you long enough to notice."
edited 2nd Aug '09 7:18:07 AM by Jhiday
edited 28th Aug '09 6:19:17 AM by Jhiday
- Grampa has always been dead for the duration of the weekend. Which means that not only are all his scenes fake, but anyone ever seen interacting with him is suspect. Krauss, Genji, Natsuhi and Dr Nanjo are constants, with the addition of Kanon and Shannon in most cases. Most of them had every reason to hide his death (or could have been bought), so I can see it working.
- Does "Beatrice" really exist, or is someone pretending to be her ? The "no more than 17" statement seems to exclude her existence, which makes Rosa, Maria, Genji, Kanon, Shannon and Kyrie suspect in the second episode - and, actually, most of the adults, because of the chapel scene. What was the deal with that ? (Battler seeing her at the end is no problem, as he's drunk by then.)
- In the fourth episode, "Beatrice" can be dismissed as trickery : Battler only sees her from afar, and only confirms everyone's death after. There's nothing to prevent, say, Jessica or Shannon, from impersonating her.
- The "Battler is not Asumu's son" revelation is an interesting twist. It's heavily suggested that he's really Kyrie's son (which would make for some tragic irony), but my main concern is the suggestion that the "real" Battler could be running around. Especially with all those orphans employed by the Ushiromiya (isn't it right, KANON ?).
- Speaking of which, this is the third time Battler can't confirm Kanon's death himself. Hum.
- Grampa is dead, so he's out. Except that I'm not completely sure Beatrice said that much in red. For all I know, the "always been dead" character could have been Kanon or whoever. Anyway, the more interesting aspect of Grampa's death is the number of people who must have been in on it (at least 6 by my count), which does make me wonder about what else they've lied.
- Krauss & Natsuhi... I have a hard time seeing them as masterminds. They obviously hid the death of Grampa, but that very fact gives them no motive for the massacre. Their involvement must be limited to wildcards who have no reason to play nice with our killer(s).
- Eva and Hideyoshi : ditto. I take Episode 3 as a scenario where the original killer(s) lost, and Eva took over the massacre. Beatrice was barely able to save face on that one.
- Rudolf and Kyrie : there's something very dodgy here. There are tons of hints that they have some clue about what's happening (Rudolf knowing he'll soon be dead in Episode 1, for example). Also, I've read a WMG stating that the Episode 3's initial six deaths felt very Kyrie-like (clinical, and a bit too clever)... and I cannot help agreeing with it. The "Battler is not Asumu's son" revelation adds to the mystery of what their game really is.
- Rosa. Oh, Rosa... Her role in Episode 2 is very suspicious indeed (the chapel scene alone !). She's also one of the few characters to have seen "Beatrice"... and twice, both in Episodes 2 and 3.
- Jessica : alas, she looks a bit too innocent to be true. She's one of my prime suspects for "Beatrice" (with some MPD, of course). Is her asthma an act ? Did she know about Grampa being dead ? So many questions, so few answers...
- George : Ditto, he's too good to be true. On the other hand, he could just be wild card, like his mother (but not necessarily on the same side).
- Maria : pitiful dupe, or Complete Monster ? The jury's still out. She's got one hell of a Freudian Excuse, for sure. On the other hand, her movements are mostly well-documented, so she can't be the main killer.
- Genji : an obvious accomplice to the killer(s), that's for sure. I can't quite fathom why he's taken out very early in Episodes 3 and 4, but his actions in Episodes 1 and 2 are very suspicious indeed. Not to mention that he must have been aware of Grampa's death.
- Shannon : another prime candidate for "Beatrice". Various scenes have proven there's a hardened steel core behind the Dojikko façade. Also, she must have known about dead Grampa too.
- Kanon : where to start ? No corpse seen in three cases out of four, some very suspicious actions, an orphan background that could hide anything... And he must have known about dead Grampa too.
- Gohda : I'd say completely innocent and unrelated to all this madness. Which would make him the only one...
- Kumasawa : I have a deep suspicion she's the original "Beatrice", but the Virgilia connection may just be a red herring.
- Dr Nanjo : his complete failure at notifying everyone that his old friend was dead makes any of his later diagnostics a complete joke. He's clearly been bought out (possibly by multiple parties), and is not to be trusted.
- Battler : we've got a clear account of most of his actions... but his background has enough holes to drive whole buses through. I wouldn't exclude a secret agenda, whether with or without his parents.
- "Beatrice" : I can't completely exclude yet that she does exist as a separate human being from all of the eighteen, but I do find it highly improbable. The most obvious suspects are Jessica, Shannon and Rosa (I find the flashback of their meeting in Episode 3 highly suspicious), but I'm not completely closed to highly bizarre suggestions (such as Kanon, Natsuhi or Battler himself).