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Live Blog Umineko Visual Novels : the Live But Delayed Blogination
Jhiday2010-12-09 10:54:07

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Now we get into the meat of the story : the second day.

The morning breaks, and Gohda is nowhere to be found. Actually, several other people have disappeared : Krauss, Rudolf, Kyrie and Rosa appear to have taken a morning stroll, and taken Gohda and Shannon with them. Natsuhi, trying hard not to lose face in front of snickering Eva, makes Kurasawa prepare breakfast while Genji and Kanon look for them. Without any results. In last resort, Genji gives Natsuhi his key to Grampa's study. But Grampa's alone there, so no dice. (Though we are treated a surprisingly nice conversation between him and Natsuhi.)

Finally, Kanon finds a suspicious cabalistic circle on the garden storage barn's door. Everyone else eventually gathers there... and what they find inside isn't pretty. Six bloody corpses, their faces horribly mutilated. (Rosa, Rudolf and Kyrie are recognisable only through their clothes). Everybody's shocked, of course. Well, except Maria, who's surprisingly unaffected by her mother's death.

Later, Natsuhi and Eva go back to Grampa's study to warn him... But they don't see him there. Eva starts suspecting Natsuhi : Eva had put a little piece of paper on the door just after Natsuhi had left earlier, and it was still there as they came in (so the door was never opened). Battler saves Natsuhi with a far-fetched theory : maybe Grampa was hiding under the bed, and left after the two women came out ? Anyway, Eva and Hideyoshi where the last people to see the other parents : the same line of reasoning would mean the couple had killed them... (After all, Eva had the most to gain in having the other heirs die.)

Natsuhi is getting increasingly paranoid, and found a shotgun somewhere that she's now waving around at the slightest provocation. Eva and Hideyoshi prefer to lock themselves in their own rooms, the servants go into the servant room, and all the others chill out in the parlor. (They avoid the dinner room, which looks like a crime scene, what with all the blood spilled inside.)

Did I mention the phones are not working anymore ? At best, a boat will come next morning, when the weather will become more bearable.

Battler pretends to go to the toilet in order to escape the stuffy atmosphere, and goes to the servant room instead. All the servants are convinced that the murders are the witch Beatrice's doing. Battler's obviously not convinced. Then Maria shows up and acts creepy. She claims he's doomed if he goes on denying Beatrice's existence. He's already lucky to still be alive, probably thanks to Maria's talisman. (The other one seems to have been effective in saving Natsuhi, since she found strange mark on the outside of the door.) Battler won't believe any of it, and challenges the witch to commit a murder that's really explainable only by magic. Wait, wasn't he trying to relax ? He'll go back to the parlor, thanks.

Hours pass, and it's already dinnertime. Eva and Hideyoshi are not responding, so Genji opens with his master key, Kanon finds something to cut through the doorchain... And on to the next two corpses. They were killed by knifes screwed into their head. Oh, and it's impossible to aim for them through the tiny opening allowed by the doorchain (Hideyoshi was in the freaking bathroom !).

But what's this smell ? Ignoring all caution, Kanon runs to the basement (where he heard a door closing, even though everybody else but the missing Grampa was together). He confronts alone whoever is there... and is staked through the chest for his trouble (Let's kill all suspense : despite Dr Nanjo's efforts, he'll succomb to his wounds just a bit later). In that room, our survivors find the charred corpse of Grampa (with another knife in the forehead). And Dr Nanjo assures us it's really Grampa : the body has six toes on each foot, a rare mutation Grampa also had.

We now only have 8 people left (Battler, George, Jessica, Maria, Natsuhi, Genji, Dr Nanjo and Kurasawa). And they're a bit panicky, obviously. The boat won't be there until next morning, the killer(s) have already killed several people at once, and have shown an uncanny ability to act through closed doors. After much debate, they decide to fortify themselves in Grampa's study : there's enough room for everybody, the doorlock is impressively tough, and there's even a protective magic seal on the door (with the same symbol as Maria's talismans). There are only two keys to the study: Genji's, which Natsuhi still has, and Grampa's, which Genji had previously retrieved on his corpse. Time to stock some canned food and burrow !

So now they're all confortably inside the study. But wait ! There was another sealed letter near Eva's room, and nobody could be bothered with opening it until now. It just says "Praise my name". Then Battler finally notices all the deaths follow the sinister epitath under Beatrice's portrait (conveniently, there's a copy of both in the room). So everyone turns to the portrait and epitath to discuss it.

And then they discover there's yet another letter on the food tray. Natsuhi is certain it wasn't there mere minutes ago. Jessica, Battler and George were already by the portrait by then, so that leaves only the four others as suspects : two devoted servants of Grampa, one of his old friends, and Maria, who's been creepy all day (though she has perfect alibis for all murders). Natsuhi makes the decision to chase them out of the study (to probably a certain death). Battler gives his talisman back to Maria in remorse, but that's it.

Inside the third enveloppe, there was a new taunt by "Beatrice" (basically : "there will be no draw : if you don't solve the epitath, I win, you all die") and another magic circle. Not having anything better to do, Battler dives into Grampa's black magic books in order to interpret that last item. Meanwhile, the others discuss Maria's behaviour, which is probably due to the fact that Rosa didn't like her daughter much, and considered her a burden to remarriage. That would screw anybody up.

Finally, Battler deciphers the magic circle : it's a symbol for "discord". Which is exactly what happened : with her letter, "Beatrice" seeded discord in the group of 8 people, and made half of them leave the safe room. Well played. While the four are wondering what to do now, the phone rings. Wait, weren't the communications down ? They hear Maria singing distantly, and that's it. (The phone still can't be used to reach outside, of course.)

Our four characters decide to come to Maria's rescue. Inside the parlor, they find the three corpses of Genji, Dr Nanjo and Kurasawa (all killed in the way suggested by the epitath), and Maria standing in the corner singing. She claims she's obeying Beatrice, who's coming back to life soon (all the other steps of the epitath are now done).

Natsuhi discreetly goes alone to confront Beatrice in a duel (she apparently found a fourth letter about this), in the room with the witch's portrait. Even though she has a shotgun, I doubt she has much chance to succeed. And indeed, the four kids find her dead instants later, as if she had shot herself. At this stage, Battler is the only one still denying the witch's existence. George and Jessica have given up trying to find a rational explanation to all this madness, and Maria is the same as ever.

(ellipsis)

When the cops arrive the next day, nobody's left alive on the island. The children's corpses have been somehow blown to bits, puzzle-style. Only Maria's identifiable, through a partial fragment of her jaw. Whatever happened to them, it can't have been pleasant. The cops also find a letter from Maria, imploring them to solve the mystery.

Next part : two epilogues, and my thoughts on the first episode.

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