Umineko no Naku Koro Ni, episode 8 – The graduation of furniture

As they, it’s not a murder mystery party until you have a bunch of demon goat butlers wielding d-swords. Also, what the heck is "Week Square"? Don’t studios have someone proofread their stuff before it airs? DEEN’s not the first and won’t be the last. In fact, I think I saw a blatant misspelling in the latest Bakemonogatari episode.

Kinzo UshiromiyaHappy Halloween for Maria

The first twilight has come to pass, and this time Kinzo seems to be in sharper form, as he talks as if he’s engaged in a battle of wits with Beatrice himself. Meawhile, Rosa and the servants this time find a magic circle and a message for Maria on the chapel doors. Now, I admit I wondered why there was a chapel in an island with a population of 1 + various pieces of furniture, and the only reason I could think of was that Kinzo had probably twisted it during his tryst with black magic.

Candy stuffed corpsesRosa finds the key

Interestingly, this time it’s Rosa who takes on the role that Natsuhi had in the previous arc. She’s the first non-furniture adult to come find the bloody message, she’s also the one who tracks down the key for the chapel, and finds the gruesome murder scene inside.

Beatrice revelsBeatrice taunts Battler

Beatrice revels in the fact that this time everyone’s faces are recognizable, ruling out the possibility that one of the victims had faked their death. Battler calls her out for what she is – a sick bastard – stuffing everyone’s dead bodies with candy. This is one of two times in which Beatrice taunts Battler about wanting to rule out the possibility of the culprit being one of the Ushiromiyas, and I’m surprised that in both times Battler doesn’t point out the fact that this time there’s a real 19th person on the island. For one, there’s no proof that the Beatrice on the island is the same Beatrice. But more compellingly, there’s no reason that Beatrice couldn’t kill everyone without using magic.

Demon goat butlers attack!Kanon fighting the demon goat butlers

Jessica enraged at Beatrice, wants revenge, but is stalled by an asthma attack. Kanon promises to protect her, at which point Beatrice appears, taunting the two of them, and particularly Kanon – interestingly referred to as Kinzo’s worthless piece of furniture. Then we get to the part where shit goes insane. Beatrice calls upon 8 demo goat butlers with d-swords to kill Kanon and Jessica, at which point Kanon reveals a d-sword of his own. Kanon actually does a great job and destroys the 8 demon goat butlers fairly easily.

Satan the attractive demonJessica and Kanon

It seems in this arc, Jessica and Kanon were fated to be the replacements for Eva and Hideyoshi. Her demon goat butlers defeated, Beatrice calls upon another demon, one of the major ones I assume, Asmodeus of Lust. Kanon puts up a good fight, but it’s hard to do anything when you’re battling a flying stake that can defy the laws of gravity. However, before he is killed, Jessica thrusts herself in the way, sacrificing herself for Kanon. With Jessica dead, Beatrice calls forth another demon, Satan, who apparently stabbed Kanon in the previous arc, and finishes him off again. Before dying, Jessica reaches out to Kanon, telling him he’s not furniture, and asking for his real name. But before Kanon can respond, Jessica dies, and Kanon declares his humanity before dying himself – all to Beatrice’s glee, as she laughs maniacially at the perceived patheticness of the two of them.

It’s hard to get worked up about people dying, when they die all the time, but I thought the Jessica x Kanon scene was really well done here. Kanon’s graduation from furniture to human felt a little clichéd, but it was believable and justifiable.

Let’s take a quick step back here. If Beatrice wanted to prove that the murders were done by magic to Battler, she could’ve just pulled him into the room. It would be hard to deny what that what just happened in this scene wasn’t magic. Later, during their meta world scene, she says that she could easily just say that it was magic that killed everyone and be proven true, but wants to see Battler squirm. His struggle is half her fun, and to win in any other way would be meaningless. But I wonder about that.

Beatrice's red text of truthBeatrice is a sore loser

Meanwhile, the rest of the gang are gathered in the parlor, discussing the meaning of the strange blood circle. Then George raises an interesting thought, how the bodies were placed into the chapel if it was locked, and the only key was in Maria’s bag. Cue another meta world scene.

I really like these meta world scenes. I read some forum posts saying that in the visual novel, the meta world scene is much longer and more prominent, and I would’ve liked to have seen that here as well.

Beatrice asks Battler what he thinks about the latest murders, and Battler replies that there’s not enough evidence to prove anything. There could’ve been a second key or a secret entrance. At this point, Beatrice decides to play a game with him to keep him from just avoiding the question by claiming there’s not enough evidence. Anything she says that’s true will display in red letters. Beatrice and Battler then engage in a battle of wits, with Battler trying to guess what happened, and Beatrice responding.

Beatrice says:

  • Regardless of whether they were dead or alive, those six people definitely entered through the door. Battler asks for proof, but Beatrice denies him, making a new rule on the spot saying she doesn’t need to provide evidence for her statements.
  • There’s only one key to the chapel.
  • It is impossible to lock or unlock the door to the chapel without the key to the chapel.
  • The six of them slipped past the door thanks to magic. (Not red, interestingly)
  • The object inside Maria’s envelope really was the key to the chapel.

Finally, Battler’s able to pin her by pointing out that someone was able to take the envelope with the key out of Maria’s bag, commit the murders, then put the key back, which Beatrice doesn’t respond to. At this point, Beatrice can’t respond and resorts to taunting him, arguing that he’s just tightening his own noose, and pointing out for the second time that he’s eventually just going to have to pin the blame on one of his relatives, before disappearing.

Rosa smacks Maria for laughing weirdRosa the protector

The episode ends with Rosa again taking on Natushi’s role as the caretaker of the Winchester rifle and self-anointed protector of the family. But not without smacking Maria once for using her creepy laugh – which is the last piece of evidence I need to believe that all of Maria’s weird expressions exist just because she’s weird and not in cahoots with the witches.

So let’s go back to the meta world scene. Because the one thing that’s confusing me is whether Battler’s trying to prove that the murders actually happened without magic, or that they could have happened without magic. Because these are two vastly different things. I think Battler’s arguing the latter, but I wonder if Beatrice was responding to the former. If Beatrice did use magic to kill the 6 in the chapel, then she should have been able to respond to Battler’s final guess, but she didn’t. Is that because she has to admit that someone could have taken the key, used it, then later put it back? Or is it because that’s exactly what she did? I think this will become clearer if they have a meta world battle about Jessica and Kanon’s death – because we the viewers saw exactly what happened. But there’s definitely plenty of non-magic ways for Kanon and Jessica to have been killed, so I’m really interested to see how that meta world battle would go.

2 Replies to “Umineko no Naku Koro Ni, episode 8 – The graduation of furniture”

  1. yeah I’ve been wondering what Battler is really trying to prove, since it seems obvious Beatrice killed Kanon and Jessica with magic. And what would proving that something “could have been done without magic”r really accomplish? I guess Beatrice is just playing with Battler to keep herself amused.
    .-= TJ´s last blog ..CANAAN 08 =-.

  2. Technically, Battler can deny existence of witches if he knows the right way to do. But for now, denying witches’ involvement in the murders is enough. It will be clearer soon.

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