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Ok, I admit I might have shoehorned that one a little bit. I wanted it to fit with the idea that this was happening for her sake, but now that I think about it that's Witch theory, not Human theory. To be honest I hope it's human Beatrice. I do want her to be more than the 1000-year old illusion of a witch. But if I go that route, I don't know what Battler could have done to wrong a dead girl. I guess it might just be that she vowed to try and do something about the massacre, and this whole drama has been her plan, which resulted in a lot of suffering for herself (according to Lambda). So when that plan reached its conclusion and it thoroughly failed, she was just sorta, allowing herself to rest.

So not a lot of progress the last few days but this new info is interesting. Since like, Episode 2 I've been assuming that Beatrice can do whatever she wants as long as she respects the final state of the crime scene, but now I'm told that the magic displayed has a logic to it. Natsuhi created a plan to make it seem like Kinzo was alive, therefore we can write that he was revived. Natsuhi thought that her coming up with a plan was some kind of divine intervention by Beatrice, therefore we can write that they know each other and have a contract. I didn't expect the rule to be so specific. With enough creativity you could solve like half the story by attacking from that front. Just linking magic events to character traits and vice versa until you have the whole thing mapped out. Even better if you assume the one controlling the magic events is the culprit for each episode. So Natsuhi for Episode 5 (and presumably 1), Eva for 3, and so on. That's really cool.

Omg Natsuhi and Krauss as newlyweds are so darn cute what the hell. Is every couple in this game hiding such sheer adorableness? I won't hold my breath for Rudolph x Asumu and Rosa x Mysterious Man X but hey, who knows.

Also, I've been kind of addicted to Discode for the last few days. It has such a "To be continued" energy to it, I love it. Every time I hear the intro, the ending scene for Episode 4 just replays in my head, it's great. In that sense it kind of reminds me of Mourning Refrain.

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Erika Furudo? Really? I guess using her real name would mess up the background check but, come on.

Spoiler

Still, even with Bern's twisted personality, I can see quite a bit of Rika bleeding into Erika's character. Specifically post-Minagoroshi Rika. That dinner was supposed to be tense, for one reason or another, it was so consistent you could call it fate. But Erika comes along, cracks a single joke, and suddenly fate changes. Fate is fragile like a sheet of paper after all. I can't help but like the girl.

Wait, I just realized, this is a completely different fragment from the one where Rika saved her home. Chances are Hinamizawa was destroyed here. Calling herself Rika Furude would probably result in suspicion over using a dead person's name...

Speaking of fragments, I have to wonder what actually happened with Ange. Did she die so Bern could take her to a specific fragment that would serve to test her? Where incidentally she died again? 

Oh, I noticed a thing during the pre-game chapters. Kyrie already knew Rudolph's situation way before the conference. I can't tell if this is a first or if it was always that way and feigning ignorance was just part of the plan for some reason.

What else, oh, Lambda said there was an exception clause for Knox's seventh law during previous games. So I guess there was a detective, it was Battler, and he was the killer in episode 4 after all? That, would be fun to explain.

What's with Beatrice still being aware? She knows she's in the middle of a game, she knows Bern is playing, she knows Erika is the piece, she knows Ange was the previous piece. It's like having Beato there except, not.

Oh, also, Lambda used a bit of a weird phrasing here. "The number of people in the parlor equals the number of humans in the island". Before that she said plainly that all the humans in the island were in the parlor but when she actually said it in red she changed it to be more vague. Probably nothing but, also probably something. 

Well, in any case, I look forward to having a detective here. An insult to Beatrice's board or not, I really want to see how that turns out. 

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You know, her being a real human somehow makes it even funnier. Er, what's that about a rat?

Ok so, this session was in a word, eventful. 

Spoiler

Man, I was this close to say "Oh, Erika is one of those people who will say any kind of cruel thing as long as it's the truth. Since telling the truth is generally a good thing, she doesn't see it as cruel". That kind of innocent thing. Well, I take that back, she's a total sadist. Actually, her own self-description fits better but this is a family friendly site and if I write that, Ruin is going to edit my post and give me a warning.

It's an interesting take on a detective. Like, the way those classic mysteries are told, with the detective gathering everyone, reconstructing their reasoning, making a bit of a show of it. You'd think they want the attention, to brag about their abilities. I'll be honest, I've only read one book from the era (Study in Red) so I'm not exactly informed, but um, I kinda doubt detectives in those books are quite as intense as Erika. She takes the idea that maybe those detectives were actually showoffs to the extreme. 

That said, I kinda really want to have a discussion with her about, well, anything really. She would tear me to shreds but it feels like it would be very fun.

I'm wondering about pieces though. Bern was controlling Battler, so he's smarter than usual. Is she limited to the scope of things Battler would actually say/do/think or can she make a complete character break with him? Same with Erika, Beatrice controlled by Lambda and so on.

I enjoyed Battler's little moment with Kinzo. Sure it was fake and all, but it was kinda cute. I love all the moments where Kinzo is nice to any of his family members.

Also, I love that Battler's first thought upon finding the gold was "I should split this up among 100 people". He's so pure.

Oh yeah, I guess my previous theory was just shot down huh. The gold does exist. I still think the pin is part of the riddle though. Working theory is that the sweetfish river is time, the key comes from Kinzo's time as a youth in the form of dates, which you can probably turn into coordinates to get started. As for the twilights, those are weird. If Battler is right, by the end you run out of characters completely. No clue about that yet. 

So Battler found the gold, he showed it to everyone, he's not stingy with it, and there's enough there to solve everyone's money crises a dozen times over. What could possibly go wrong? sigh

I legit don't get it. The main issue was that everyone needed money. Well, now they have it, more than they could ever need. Rosa and Rudolf didn't want the headship. Eva did, but even she seems to acknowledge Battler as the successor. Battler doesn't want the headship. He should be allowed to say so, Krauss is the new head, everyone gets their share, and go home. The status quo remains the same, except everyone is wealthy now, and more importantly, alive. And that's it. Show's over, no killings. If only there weren't heavy criminal charges at play. But again, they clearly don't care about that. They just want to use it as leverage to extort money from Krauss. If that's the case just take the gold! Who cares who takes the 10 billion share. 

Well, that aside, I think everyone is falling for one hell of a distraction here. Sure, there's ten tons of gold in that room. There's also a bed, a table, and other commodities to live there. Though it's probably more like a prison. I bet there's something like Beatrice's bones hidden in there somewhere but everyone is too infatuated by the gold to notice the rest of the room is even there.

Also, I guess it was just proven that Battler wasn't the culprit in Episode 4... I promise being wrong so often is fun. That's what the blue is for.

Oh hey, Battler just quoted his favorite Higurashi character, I remember that conversation. Sadly, I can't recall who said that. Rena? Shion?

And Natsuhi! It's easy to forget because everyone is so used to it, but those headaches of hers are very worrying. I don't want to suddenly find out she has brain cancer. I hope it's just migraines from the stress. That's still terrible but, it can be overcome at least.

Random thought, they must have some storming good umbrellas in Rokkenjima. I mean, this is a typhoon. Every time I remember taking an umbrella out with any mild wind, it just turned inside out. Now imagine how strong the winds must be there. 

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Its a bit of an in-joke in my Discord server that Erika is a little rat (the joke is that she's awful but we love her anyway).

Yeah Erika is very much a parody/self-aware version of the classic detective. She knows all the tropes and plays into them so hard, while simultaneously being a heartless monster so she doesn't give a damn about literally anyone. All she sees them as is potential victims and culprits, nothing else. 

What one can do with a Piece is a bit vague but generally yes, you can only do something in character with a Piece. 

The reason behind the conflict is that, while everyone does need the money, they're also all selfish garbage who want to screw over everyone else. They only give a damn about themselves, and if they can find even the smallest reason to try and get ahead of their siblings, they can and will try and abuse it for all its worth. Yeah they could all just share and everyone would be happy, but screw that, they want to get ahead of their siblings.

As I recall, if I'm remembering the line correctly, it was a Shion quote. 

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Ouch, harsh. But fair. But hey, Ryukishi's main message is "don't push your sins/sufferinh onto others", which already came up so, looking forward to the rapid fire of redemption arcs. Unless we go the irredeemable route in which case Episode 8 will be a massacre.

Spoiler

I can agree about Erika. She gets worse with every second she's on screen but like, I need her to find out what's happening and she is technically helping Battler. I also love her catchphrase but hate the way she uses it. "When I saw 4 of your loved ones dead I deduced there would be 2 more and I was correct. May I get some praise please?".

Also she's aware! Ok, I guess if Bern pulls a human out of her daily life and throws her into a den of murders she deserves to know why, but giving her red authority on the storming board feels insulting somehow. 

Now, about Natsuhi. My bet is that the baby is very much dead, but one of her justifications for her actions will be her being tormented about that all of a sudden due to mysterious reason X. She's only remembering the event on her own, but that can be interpreted by a witch as her past sin literally calling her. Now, if she's the culprit, I'm not sure why she would kill Jessica. Maybe atonement or something.

I haven't seen what Beatrice did with Kinzo, but it seems like she's just gonna cover Kinzo's bed with blood, make it look like he's also a victim and that his corpse was also taken away. So probably Natsuhi is the culprit, Krauss and Jessica are in on it, and they removed the corpses? They accomplish two things this way. 1. It let's them act, since they don't have to pretend to be corpses. 2. It let's them hide the fact that Kinzo was already dead. It's perfect. Hell, if we go this route, literally all the servants plus Nanjo can be in on it.

Also, seriously, I love piece Beato. It's like she knows she's just a piece but doesn't care, she wants to at least be a thorn on the witches' side. She also jumps really fast at every chance to volunteer to be the villain. She was willing to absorb Natsuhi's sin (which, true, is just Natsuhi's interpretation, but still). And also quickly accepted the fact that a copycat is following the epitaph, and she's also absorbing that, while taking advantage of it. Like, she's being really cool atm.

Thanks to Episode 4 I'm really enjoying the seven sisters' interactions. Back in Episode 3 they mostly felt like 7 copies of the same character with like a single character trait for each, but after their whole arc with Ange. Yeah, I love the group.

The whole two minutes of the servants in the kitchen before they knew about the murders were cute. By which I mean Shannon and Gohda singing.

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Ok, that scene. That scene was a work of art.

Starting at the beginning, the way Erika's eyes lit up when a locked room finally appeared, that was funnier than it should. I actually can't tell if she can't tell reality apart from fiction or if, under the premise that this is a game board, she already considers the whole of Rokkenjima to be fiction. She's already comparing it to books (I'm guessing that was an "And Then There Were None" reference), as if the epitaph murders would represent a literary achievement instead if a, uh, crime achievement I guess.

Now, messed up as the comparison was, I loved that Battler played along with it with the sole purpose of roasting her. That was so storming satisfying. And I was roasted along with her. "I don't even read 100 books a year, I should hesitate to call myself a reader", hah, I probably don't even know the alphabet by those standards.

Spoiler

Kinzo saying "I wouldn't put it past myself" is amazing. Kinzo in this episode feels funnily self-aware. Like if he knew he's a character and that everyone thinks the craziest things about him, so he just plays along with whatever stunts they are saying this time.

Ok, so this is where your pfp came from. When they mentioned Knox's rules I didn't think they'd turn them into a character. (I have to ask, is there a criteria for which words she says in the witch font?)

Back in Episode 1 Bern said Beato wasn't necessarily a person, but that her character was the rules of the game themselves. Dlanor feels like that. If Beato is a bunch of rules representing the witch side, Dlanor is a bunch of rules representing the human side.

This is such a weird story. Ideas, rules, facts, and theories become characters themselves, and stage a second story of their own. It's the coolest concept ever, how is it not done more? Huh, looking at it that way, the Chiester Sisters would almost feel like a result from Battler's theory that a device that could fire stakes into a locked room could exist.

Anyway, she makes a great first impression. I'm a sucker for these hyper honorable characters that fight their worst enemies with a heart full of respect for them, and can later just hang out and drink tea once there's no cause on the table. Which is literally what happened so yeah. Also, her voice is ridiculously adorable.

And the battle itself. So far magic side battles and human side battles had been carefully separated, but this. The constant back and forth between the two sides. Logical arguments instantly becoming magical attacks, red truths changing the course of the human discussion. How the whole picture painted by theories and possibilities became the actual physical reality for Beato and Kinzo. This whole battle was perfection and I want more of it.

Imagine how much cooler it would have been if Beato and Battler had been in control of their pieces... Still, what Dlanor said. Whether he would have done this or not if he was in control, the important bit is that he is at least capable of it, so this absolutely counts as a cool Battler moment in my book.

Hell, all of Episode 5 has been a cool Battler moment. He has been merciless since the Voyagers hijacked the board. Dude's gonna make me question my heterosexuality.

Also, lots of new music this scene, and it was all really good. Really the highlight of the episode, the final sequence has a lot to live up to.

Ok so, going past that, I guess Natsuhi really isn't looking good. Her "son" can easily serve as an excuse. She might have killed Hideyoshi in that room, yet her interpretation says she was threatened to hide there. She has no alibi for the previous night, but her excuse can be that, again, she was threatened to avoid all contact. Convenient. Saying that there's some dude threatening her exclusively, hiding inside the mansion yet seen by no one, who can kidnap Krauss without being noticed is one hell of a Devil's Proof.

Gotta say, I'm a bit disappointed in Erika. Making a show of being smarter than Battler and Ange, yet falling in the same traps Battler did during his first game. Hope her little gray cells work because at this rate the only reason to put up with her will be watching the Voyagers bully her. Ok, I'm being meaner than I'd like to be, time to stop.

She feels like a functional sociopath that happened to be a mystery otaku, which considering her interest borders in obsession probably didn't net her a lot of friends. Being so desensitized from the human emotions side of it probably didn't help either. So when Frederica shows up offering a free ticket to make her dream a reality she probably jumped at the chance. But of course, the detective has authority, attention, respect, and credibility, and as soon as she loses one of those things her fantasy is ruined and she loses her cool. Even if she does end up being way smarter than Battler, it will do no good if she's that easy to upset.

On the upper side of things, I can't even begin to guess why Bern and Lambda want to keep Kinzo alive. Still, it kinda sorta helps Battler so it works for now.

This has been the opposite of Episode 4. We came from 6 twilights in a single chapter to postponing the second one forever. Will they even get there? It looked like Bern was about to win after only the first. Unless Natsuhi isn't the culprit, which would be interesting.

Also, I can't believe I forgot last time. Jessica can't be an accomplice. This episode's whole deal was that the corpses are all real and them playing dead is not even a possibility. Welp, back to square one. Why would Natsuhi do this? I'm back at the "atonement for killing the other baby" theory, shaky as it is...

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DLANOR! BEST GIRL! MY BABY INFANT CHILD! I love her a lot, if you couldn't tell. I like her less than Beato and Erika but she's still best girl. She's so smol. Also her name is Ronald backwards, like Ronald Knox.

Okay so to explain how Dlanor speaks. To quote someone in my Discord server: "Dlanor ends all of her lines with words written in katakana, the Japanese alphabet used for foreign loanwords. These words however are not words that are normally written in katakana, but are just written as such for Dlanor's lines. Witch Hunt decided to capitalize these last words following the same convention they did for witch names (which are also given in katakana--EVA instead of Eva for example). In addition, during the FINISHED sequence, the word she uses is desu, which normally has a grammatical function. When written in katakana however, it can be read as "Death". So that sequence is basically based around a pun that transitions to her "Die the Death" thing. In the official manga, this is translated as "searched and VOIDED", with the "-DED" ending gradually becoming "DEAD" and then "DEATH"". So basically, she capitalizes the last word of a given sentence.

The thing about Erika is she is immensely arrogant and, while she is also smart enough to actually back up that arrogance, she's very narrow-minded. She refuses to see past a conclusion she's already made because in her mind, she's second only to Bern in how infallible she is. She's the Detective, the Detective isn't WRONG, that doesn't happen. And don't worry about bullying her too much, she deserves it, that's why Bern does it all the time :)

Something that makes me very sad about Erika is that I will never find another character who is quite like her. People don't really make characters like Erika, and that's very sad because Erika is just the perfect storm. I love her so god damn much. She's the absolute worst and I adore it. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

What. The. Actual. Hell. Erika.

I don't know what's worse, that Bern would ask her piece to do something like this, or that the piece in question would go along with it so happily. Seal every door and window around, in the middle of a storm, shamelessly trampling over everyone's privacy and her own non-existent dignity, and then flaunt the fact in front of everyone, face full of satisfaction, like there's any hint of pride in a truth obtained through such a disgusting method.

Even Lambda was creeped out, that takes skill. Gosh, and I remember wondering why the tape on Genji's room had "Frederika Bernkastel" written on it, can't believe she made that her signature.

You know what? I get what you mean, people don't make characters like Erika, because I think it would be genuinely hard to get something close to her even if you were specifically trying to recreate her. This girl's existence is an achievement.

And now she's just blatantly making stuff up, she even knows it's a lie, but since no one can prove it she doesn't care. Her truth is better than the real one, better for a novel I bet. You know, it's a good thing it got this late so I had to stop. If I continued reading her blabbering, I'd be too mad to sleep by the end.

Ok, I need to talk about people I actually like. Whew, so, Virgilia just dropped that Bern and Lambda came to this game during Episode 1, and that the game already existed back then, Battler included and all. So uh I guess there's a lot that the dude is forgetting, huh. Is Meta Battler amnesiac? Is the current Meta Battler different from the original, from another fragment? Is Battler actually young Kinzo? This kinda turns quite a few assumptions about the initial circumstances of the game over their head.

Same goes for the very next thing Virgilia said. So no matter whether Beato wins or losses, the result will be compassionate toward her, and the implication here seems to be that she doesn't want that. Does Beato actively want to be punished for something? One would imagine this game would be enough torture for a thousand years...

Well uh, even with Virgilia's helping hand, it seems we lost both protagonists so, game over I guess. I'll find out tomorrow. Reverie is finished (main game anyway, I'll take my sweet time with the coda) so it's back to steady progress for me, for the rest of summer break at least.

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Erika's nuts, I love her. She's probably intelligent enough to figure out what's actually happening, but she doesn't care enough to. She only cares to prove her own immediate theory, and she doesn't have love, and as we all know, without love, it cannot be seen. She sees these people as nothing more than pieces on a board, suspects or potential victims and nothing else. She doesn't see any of them as actual people. That one thing is what will forever and always prevent her from TRULY solving the mystery, because Umineko is a very human tale full of human characters, and if you refuse to see these people as humans, you will never understand what truly happens. It's such a direct commentary on how people actually are. Ryukishi writing Umineko episodically means he saw how people were reacting and interacting with his story, and he was directly commenting on his readers in the story. There are people like Erika, who are trying to look at everything through a lens of "logic" and "I can't believe anything that isn't in red", and those people are looking at the story the wrong way. It's really good.

The game existed in Episode 1, Episode 1 is another game board, but Meta Battler wasn't in it yet. He only entered it in the Tea Party. Meta Battler is the Battler that lived until the end of Episode 1.  

Oh yeah, speaking of Virgilia, I told you I had a theory why she was the way she was in Episode 4. I can actually say what that is. So, my theory is this: Virgilia is just really bad at being evil. She was brought in by Beato to be a guiding hand for Battler in Episode 3, to get him to think about the story properly, and then to pretend to be evil at the end of Episode 3 and during Episode 4. But Virgilia's natural personality IS what we saw when she was helping Battler, so when she was being evil in Episode 4 she was putting on an act the whole time, and she's just really not good at playing at being evil. And so, when Beato goes essentially comatose, she drops the act and goes back to how she was in Episode 3, because that's her real personality and she has no more reason to put on the act.

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That makes sense. To be honest she didn't even try to pretend to be hostile in Episode 4, whenever Kinzo ordered something cruel she looked so apologetic. Honestly, the meanest things she did/said during the episode came from either her weird rivalry with Gaap, and from the frustration at tripping every step of the way when she had to kill the fleeing party, and with what you're saying even that sounds like it might have been planned.

That's a pretty unique way to come up with a characters, explains a lot actually. But you know, while it's not difficult to believe there were people who got into the story only for the mystery, it is kinda difficult to believe there are people who stayed only for the mystery. Even without it the plot itself and the characters are so good you want to stay regardless. In that sense Battler is a great way to insert the feelings of a potential reader. Sure, X person is suspicious, But I like that person so I'll go out of my way to look for a solution where they're not the culprit. That would be a counterpoint to what Battler said in the secret tea party, about how if you have no guarantees about the story being solvable, you don't even want to read it. I'd read the most cryptic story ever conceived only because this man wrote it... and I guess he noticed that and thus Ciconia was born.

And come on, that was like, one of the first hints they explicitly give you at the end of Episode 1. Bern literally steps up to the screen and tells you that getting a good grasp on the characters' natures is going to be vital to solve the thing. We have seen Natsuhi for 5 episodes now, there are secrets here and there but by this point there's a decent grasp on her personality. Red or no red, most elements in Erika's case make no damn sense if you know Natsuhi, especially the last touches.

Anyway, Episode 5 done. I won't say it was shorter than I expected but I will say that the ending was more abrupt than I expected.

Spoiler

It was a long sequence, sure, but since this all worked under the basis that the game had been interrupted mid-way, I figured Battler would find some crack in Erika's reasoning and force the game to continue. So when they dropped the credits all of a sudden in the middle of a conversation it caught me so off-guard. I actually still want to see what happened there. Was Battler about to step in and defend Natsuhi? Or was he about to confess that he was the baby?

While I don't see issues with the possibility that Battler is him, I do have a hard time believing the revenge plot part. Mainly I think if there was any knowledge about his origins, or any ill will because of it, Battler, the player, should know. Yet that information was used to nearly break him last game, dude didn't know. And even if it turns out that his piece found out in the middle of the conference in the fifth game specifically, I very much doubt that would result in murderous intent towards Natsuhi. If he had led a bad life because of it sure, but he grew up happy. Dude is so pure some resentment might be born but this whole plot to destroy her entire life would be entirely overkill.

Now, if we were talking about the man that was actually named Battler at birth, things might change, but I'm yet to meet him if he's still around.

The secret tea party was so cool, Battler being so unstoppable was downright cathartic. I will admit to feeling satisfied with Erika's whole role during the scene. I will also admit to feeling a little respect when she got up at the end and took Battler's challenge. It'll be fun to see what comes out of that.

Now, there are three episodes left. It feels like keeping Battler as the protagonist might be difficult. He knows everything already, seeing his pov would mean seeing the reasoning behind his actions, which would mean casually revealing mysteries left and right from the beginning of Episode 6. A change could be needed. I'm dreading an Episode 6 protagonized by Erika but I'll brace myself for it, just in case.

The gold truth was unexpected. Sometimes more powerful than the red, sometimes less, only the game master can use it. Is it like a rule? Do gold truths become part of the rule set of the board? Then it would be more powerful than the red because literally nothing can go against it, but also less powerful because it can rarely be used.

The twist left me so confused. Ok so, none of the victims were moved after death, it was implied that all of them were misidentified as corpses in the morning, then moved and killed afterwards. But didn't everyone see the cut throats at the time? How do you fake that? Or did they see fake corpses? I feel like there was a red saying no one would mistake a fake body for the real thing.

I also really hope that Beatrice isn't actually gone gone. As poetic as having the last three episodes be a really long tribute to her memory would be, I like the girl and I want more than three episodes of her.

Oh, this is a cool thing. So there was this whole conversation about how the relationship between author and reader was one of trust, and that it could be likened to shy love. Then when the game was "over" Bern and Lambda were in really good terms with one another, promising to seek each other out to play again and everything, right after playing opposing sides in a mystery. It's a bit of a twisted comparison, given their backgrounds and their actions so far, but it's kinda cute how they embody that. And it's interesting how when you look at things using that very specific lens, Bern and Erika become polar opposites.

Gotta say, Eva had every right to be mad considering at the time she saw no reason to believe Natsuhi wasn't the culprit, but it was really infuriating seeing her abuse Natsuhi when in actuality she lost the same things as her and then more.

Also, this episode was a deep dive into Natsuhi's character (which I appreciate, love Natsuhi) but the cast is large and there's not gonna be time to do this with every character. So now I can't help but wonder, who else is gonna get the treatment? So far we got Eva, Ange, Maria, Natsuhi, Shannon, Jessica, Kanon. A little bit of Rosa, Kyrie, and George. Krauss, Rudolph, and Hideyoshi could use some time for sure. I'm pretty sure we're not nearly done with Rosa. And Aidios above I need to know more about Kumasawa. Genji is still mysterious as hell and I think him and Nanjo would give us the most faithful representation of Kinzo with the right flashbacks.

Idk, this episode was a huge change in the way things work, and the ending was another huge change in the way things work. Hard to know what to expect from here on out. Looks like it will be fun though. On to Episode 6.

Patchwork Chimera is an absolute banger.

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Gold truths are strange. I don't fully understand them myself. It's explained a bit more later but it's not really explained.

Episode 5 was my favorite episode based in the manga (i havent read any others but the manga really elevated my opinion of it i adored it), but based in the VN Episode 6 is my favorite. Erika is the rattiest rat to ever rat and Episode 6 is fantastic for that. 

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  • 1 month later...

Has it been a month? Man, do I have a habit of eating my words.

Anyway, finally started making progress on Episode 6 and it's pretty eventful right from the get-go.

I uh, still enjoy a cup or two of Erika bullying, especially since she really likes to bring it upon herself. "The beauty of your face is without peer, no matter how wrinkly it may get." Yeah, wrong move. Also her cackling at sea, then almost drowning, then cackling again is comedy gold. This girl is pretty funny when she's not being the most hateable character ever.

So, I'm sad for Battler, but I'm also mad at Battler. I know he misses Beato, but it's not the kid's damn fault. You don't blame a baby for not being born the way you wanted. Makes it all the sadder that she decided to try and become the old Beatrice. In a way I'm glad that I may get to see the old character or something close, but not like this.

I like Featherine. She's described as hard to like but she's kind of endearing. Curious how both she and Erika like to remind everyone of how inferior they are yet Featherine is so much more tolerable. And god am I glad we get an excuse to have Ange back. Yet another layer for what already was an onion among stories.

Kanon said the thing! I've been waiting for so long. I'd also be happier were it not for the conversation he had with Shannon. What's this about only one of them being able to be with the one they love? Is this about the family? If both Jessica and George are gone we have no heir? Leave the seat to Maria, I don't think she would mind.

Beato going to read Featherine's archive is so confusing. Like they're supposed to be reading about this game way after it happens yet they can interfere with it. And Virgilia can take Beato out of the board even though she's bound to it. So then does Featherine's studio not count? Or is it on the board since we are reading about it? Okok right, it's better not to question these things, but again, I can't help it.

We spent so long with the cheese puzzle. I'm not sure if this was only to establish Battler as an equal to Erika, or if it will also become relevant later. Either way I like it.

Dude I swear, the way Erika reacts to chopsticks I wouldn't be surprised if she used them for more than eating. Oh and I guess she's marrying Battler. So, that happened.

Completely unrelated side note, I just found out I share a birthday with Rika/Frederica and that makes me irrationally happy.

Edited by Eluvianii
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Shannon and Kanon's relationships needing to be mutually exclusive isn't related to the family. It's because they're Furniture, and as they say, Furniture is only half human. As for what that means, that's for you to figure out :)

She does use them for more than eating. It's never established but let's not lie here.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm currently reading this. I saw this attatched meme and that it was hilarious so I watched the youtube video in question. And the theme/argument is really really fascinating to me, whether love matters more than truth. Is escapism valid, can you gaslight yourself to get over trauma. Which is an interesting proposition since a lot of media I like is about confronting that head-on, like Persona's bit about the Jungian confronting of the shadow and Shallan confronting her truths in Stormlight. I'm also engaged in a lot of reading/watching of delusional conspiracy nuts by watching the Youtube series of Folding Ideas. Plus looking at how Grandpa acted in Episode 1, I'm really looking forward to see if the author can persuade me. 

18350277-86C0-47F4-A0B7-D6F5F3D48CBB_1_105_c.jpeg

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  • 3 weeks later...

Oh hey, I genuinely didn't expect anyone else to show up at this point. It is a pretty fascinating topic, and it tends to recontextualize itself with each episode so it's always a slightly different take on it.

 

Anyway, little progress was made. I read just one chapter because that's all the Erika I can take today. And most days really.

Spoiler

That was low. That was really low. Not that I didn't expect it from Erika mind you, but at least last time Maria died early enough that she didn't get the brunt of it. Dammit, Battler, just punch her for me already.

Hell, even Dlanor who usually keeps her mask up around Erika let it slip for a moment at the end. The dialogue doesn't show it but the sprite doesn't lie, she was pissed.

The end of the scene was a little confusing. Nothing weird about Maria's mechanism kicking in, but I'm confused about Erika's reaction. I guess what she likes is humiliating people, so when someone just doesn't care about being humiliated, they're a good opponent? Either way, I'm somewhat glad about it. Coping mechanism or not, she's gonna need it with this girl around.

Also hell yeah, Sakutarou is around and his immunity is working. That's nice to see.

On a different note, am I to understand that Beatrice was always a duo? Imouto Beato wants to be accepted by her creator. He says he didn't want her but the terrifying family killing witch he knew. She goes back in time to learn the ropes. Fast forward six years, the deal is done. Along with her sister, they become the terrifying family killing witch he knew. She waits for acceptance. Gets rejection instead. She gets tired of trying and the scene in the balcony at the end of Episode 4 happens. Beato blaming him for the killings suddenly makes sense because he quite literally asked her to do it. I realize as I'm writing this that this theory doesn't make sense because Battler already figured out everything Beato wanted him to know, promise included. I'm thrown back to square one. Dammit.

Well, at the very least I think the scene in the balcony makes sense. Once she went back in time, it was always the two of them. Not sure how Battler is missing that bit if he truly figured everything out. Maybe that wasn't part of the things Beato wanted him to know? Gah, I've confused myself again.

 

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Ah, yes. I love Erika "would literally crush a little girl's hopes and dreams because it's funny" Furudo. She's so charming. She puts her all into a fight with a damn child. It's very funny in an incredibly morbid way. She's so pathetic but at the same time just so damn savage.

Interesting Duo Beato theory. I was gonna say something about it, but I decided against it.

However, I will note. Battler isn't missing anything. He understands everything. He knows who Beato is, he knows the sin he committed, he knows why Beato is doing what she's doing, he understands what magic is. Battler has a perfect understanding of the story to this point. Make of that what you will.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Alright, if there's a single self-insert in this story, it's gotta be Featherine. She knows the answer to the mystery, she wrote at least half of it, and she enjoys watching others try to solve it. This gets more meta by the minute.
 

Spoiler

Alright so, lots of romance this time around, which I'm utterly loving. This episode's proposal is the best one so far. I may have come off as somewhat mean-spirited back in Episode 2 when I said I wasn't really sold on George and Shannon's romance, but I definitely am now, this is what it was missing for me. The sheer openness and strength of heart of sharing what you consider to be your worst side right before giving her the ring, that was good. Really good. Now, we're still missing a chunk of details on Shannon's side of this but I feel like that's where the story is heading anyway so I'll wait.

Kanon and Jessica on the other side, they're so adorable but also so incredibly awkward. The way they stumble to find the right thing to do and say in a situation which neither of them has ever been in before is so cute. They're also progressing at light speed so I feel like I'm watching months worth of awkwardness in minutes. Also, I'm so not used to seeing Kanon smiling it's kind of uncanny. It feels like I'm seeing something I'm not supposed to.

As for why only one can marry, this is my current theory. Servants come, save up some money, and leave the family all the time, but these two have the eagle. Can they leave whenever they want too? If yes, then this is as far as this goes but if not, what if a limited number of servants can leave at a given time if they have the brooch? What if someone just gave a half each and just told them to work it out? Cruel but, I mean, not impossible. That said, while this is what makes the most sense to me at the moment, it doesn't make full sense. As Ange said, George and Shannon are already 100% set on marrying. If George is willing to forsake the family to accomplish this, I'd bet Shannon is willing to do the same. But what could possibly be so binding that she really has no choice but to win the brooch?

Oh hey, I just noticed. Episode 5 paralleled Episode 1, and Episode 6 seems to parallel Episode 2. So we're actually going in order this time I see.

Ok so, I still don't know what the deal is with Battler (presumably) locked in a room. But at least now I get what he's supposed to do. Dude probably wrote some really clever locked room into this game. The culprit left the chain locked, but still managed to get out, no Knox commandments broken. Whatever the solution to this particular side story is, will probably be the solution to something Battler wrote into this game.

Alright, magic. Erika built the case that Beatrice has no legend of her own, and instead people took an existing legend and put Beatrice's face on it. Because I don't want her to be right and because this is exactly the kind of twist I expect this to have, I propose she always was a spirit of the island in the first place. Ok, she already denied that, but would she know? This is the kind of revelation that you get a million misleading wrong answers to only to find out in Episode 7 that the real answer was really simple and hidden in plain sight.

As for the two Beatos that will become one, here's a new theory. Beatrice, the witch of Rokkenjima and Beatrice, the rules of the game, are different things. The character that was fighting Battler was born from the rules of the game she was playing, but the legend of the witch is older than that. You don't need the game or the board for every little weird thing that happens on Rokkenjima to be attributed to the witch. Which is exactly what Eldest Beato represents. She is the one that follows the rules of the legend, she gets burned by spiderwebs and scorpions because that's what the people say about her. Younger Beato on the other hand is the witch tying that legend into the game. They eventually become one as the game being presented to Battler uses the pre-existing legend as an explanation of the facts.

I still think Beatrice will turn out to be a very real being living on the island but, like Hanyuu before her, the magic she does end up possessing will probably hold little to no influence on the actual killings.

Also, going back to Erika. "If the spiderweb touches her and she gets burned, then she's an evil spirit, not a witch. ......And if nothing happens, then it proves she's just a human." Isn't that a fallacy? She designed a test to prove if someone is a witch, then established no conditions in which any person tested could be a witch. Come on, that's just flawed from every angle.

"The power of belief becomes magic, and those who make others believe are witches."

I don't know why but I really, really, really like this quote. It makes magic feel like something very mundane but also very special. Something that anyone can accomplish but few actually will. And of course something that is impossible to see without love. It's such a pretty definition for it.

Edited by Eluvianii
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Featherine is the closest we have to a self-insert, yeah. Everyone commonly says she is, and she is certainly used as a mouthpiece by Ryukishi in order to talk about his philosophies, but there's enough about her that's different from Ryukishi that she's not a full self-insert.

Lemme ask a question. Why is Younger Beato weak to mirrors? I'm curious what your take on that is.

Erika's an idiot, case closed. Witches don't exist.

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Ah, well see, I either didn't know or didn't remember that the younger one was weak to mirrors. If I had to guess though, it would force her to see something that doesn't look like the painting. The battle between Beato and Virgilia back in Episode 3 might have been all theatrics, but we're also told Beato put everything she did into the first four episodes for a reason, and all of it is hints to get the full picture. Meaning the fight is relevant, and at the end of the fight Virgilia came really close to revealing Beato's true form. Almost made her "remember what she once was". So I think Beato is or was real, she's just not this ideal European high class lady we're seeing. A mirror would either literally or metaphorically force her to see that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Help, they're humanizing Erika, I don't want to feel sympathy for her.

Ok, I have a bit of a confusion at the moment. What is younger Beatrice's role here? She's not needed in the game so she's just been sorta doing her own thing. Sure she goes into the board at times but it's always the sidelines where there's no plot happening. However, I was already a bit confused by how she's at Featherine's study while at the same time as being part of the current fragment. And now she just stepped into the spotlight by competing for the brooch. So she's the rules, she's Beatrice, she can interfere without the limitations of a piece right? But could this affect Battler's outcome? If she wins the brooch does that affect Battler's plot, effectively making her a third player?

You know, it's disturbing to know that Battler's entire immediate family are all uhh, jerks, let's put it that way, but also oddly comforting. Asumu was cunning but otherwise was apparently a very normal wife and mother. Kyrie has an extremely worrying amount of negativity bottled up, but has the sense not to make a kid suffer for something he had no hand into. And Rudolph... let's put Rudolph on hold for now. Point is, discovering all these faults is kinda harsh, but it's not horrifying enough that it nullifies what good they've done in my eyes. I was kind of disgusted during the whole scene, but I think I still like Kyrie. It's a curious feeling.

I think I'll hold off talking about the whole love tournament until I see all the battles, but I will say, I'm worried about Beato here. She's very much at a disadvantage, fighting alone and for an unrequited affair.

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