Episode III-V of Umineko no Naku Koro ni, “queening square”, begins in the guest house where everyone has been holed up in, and people are alarmed that Rosa and Maria have gone out and have not returned yet. Some are also annoyed that they went out without locking the door behind them. Rudolph heads to the garden in search of the two. When Hideyoshi tells the news to Eva, who has been resting in a room, she panics and exclaims that they must not go out to the garden because there is a witch. Things are not easier for Eva as she also continues to get severe headaches. Outside, Rudolph has just found the corpses of Rosa and Maria.
In the meta world, meta-Battler is still extremely angry at Beato, and he refuses to listen to anything she has to say. However, he is still willing to figure out what happened without having to invoke magic. Meta-Battler makes the same speculation that I thought the Battler in the real world would have made: Rosa lost her temper and strangled Maria, and in shock she then tripped and got herself killed. Beato tries to make a rebuttal, but meta-Battler has no tolerance for her and wants her out of his sight.
A somewhat subdued Beato is willing to do as meta-Battler demands and leaves the rest for Ronove. Before she leaves, meta-Battler’s comment that she is a monster angers her, and she demands to know why meta-Battler hates her so much. Obviously clueless to how any normal human being would have seen her actions, Beato is shocked to learn that meta-Battler hated her from the very beginning. And we all know why given how cruel she has been so far. This seems to actually affect Beato’s feelings, and she withdraws, honoring meta-Battler’s desire to not face her.
Vergilia thanks meta-Battler for not quitting the game, and he continues the debate with Ronove, who is acting in Beato’s stead. In response to meta-Battler’s theory, Ronove confirms the following in red text:
- Rosa and Maria were murdered.
Back in the real world, the parents are discussing how all five bullets remained unused for Rosa’s gun. With the gun not having been fired, this suggests that Rosa and Maria were killed by someone they knew. This indicates the troubling possibility that the killer may be among them, but Natsuhi wants to avoid pointless accusations and paranoia, preferring that they prioritize establishing a safe perimeter. This is a sensible suggestion that Rudolph agrees to, but Eva gets another severe headache at that moment.
Time then stops, and Eva is free to move while EvaBeatrice shows up. EvaBeatrice declares her intention to kill according to the inscription to the end since otherwise her powers as a witch would remain incomplete. Eva pleas for EvaBeatrice to stop since she already has the rights to the gold and the family headship, but EvaBeatrice declares that she is no longer part of Ushiromiya Eva and is now instead the Golden Witch Beatrice. It is only a small comfort that EvaBeatrice promises to exclude Eva’s family from the remaining five sacrifices to be made.
Time resumes, and Eva’s headache gets even worse than before the time stop, so Hideyoshi takes her to their room for her to rest. As they leave, Kirie seems to suspecting them of something, although I don’t know what it might be.
The time is now 1:00PM. Away from everyone else, Kirie tells Rudolph that she wants to go out to his befuddlement. After rejoining most of the other parents, Kirie and Rudolph suggest that they get some food from the mansion: after a meager breakfast, the parents and especially the kids would go unhealthily hungry without food. Kirie and Rudolph volunteer themselves and asks that Hideyoshi accompany them. With two guns and two men in the group, they should be much safer than Rosa and Maria were.
Rudolph, Kirie, and Hideyoshi run to the mansion from the guest house without incident. Unlocking the front door to the mansion, they head to the kitchen. This is when EvaBeatrice shows up after they leave the reception area, and she uses her magic to lock every door and window in the mansion. She also summons two of the Seven Stakes of Purgatory at random, where it is Leviathan of envy and Belphegor of sloth that shows up. EvaBeatrice orders them to target Rudolph and Kirie but to leave Hideyoshi alone.
In the kitchen, Hideyoshi fills a box full of canned food while Rudolph and Kirie stand guard with the guns. Kirie gets the feeling that someone is waiting to face them, so they try to leave through the back door in the kitchen, but the lock to the door would just not unlock. This means they have to go back all the way to the front door and leave through that exit.
As they run for the entrance, Leviathan and Belphegor appears in front of them in a burst of golden butterflies. Rudolph and Kirie fire a shot each at them without missing a beat, despite having encountered something unbelievable. The shots miss as the stakes disappear and appear again floating in the air, so Rudolph, Kirie, and Hideyoshi split up and run away. Leviathan chases after Kirie while Belphegor chases after Rudolph. The time is now 1:15PM.
Bephelgor and Leviathan appear before Rudolph and Kirie, respectively, but they don’t have the easiest time against them. In fact, Kirie manages to hit Leviathan after two shots that we hear. On the other hand, Rudolph has missed Bephelgor after firing off three shots that we hear, which is when EvaBeatrice shows up. Rudolph is shocked by what looks like his sister Eva showing up, although EvaBeatrice quickly denies it and declares herself to be the Golden Witch Beatrice. With that, Rudolph fires off a fourth shot at EvaBeatrice without hesitation, which hits Bephelgor instead as she shields her new master.
EvaBeatrice shows herself to be remarkably clueless as she is disappointed about how Bephelgor got defeated by a mere human without realizing that Bephelgor just saved her from being shot. Rudolph is soon joined by Kirie, and the two face EvaBeatrice. However, EvaBeatrice does not seem to be particularly worried. It seems that she has not put much stock in the furniture of her predecessor, so she summons her own furniture. And what shows up are the two bunny girls that appear in the opening credits for this arc: one a feisty blue-haired bunny girl named Siesta 410, the other a timid pink-haired bunny girl named Siesta 45.
With the appearance of the two new furniture, Rudolph and Kirie run away. EvaBeatrice orders the two bunny girls to kill them, after which she intends to revive them repeatedly so she can play with them. In a weird cyber-style ritual that might seem like an anachronism but isn’t compared to sci-fi movies in the 1980s, Siesa 410 and Siesta 45 together snipe at Rudolph and Kirie. They must have run quite a distance during that time, but the projectile looks like it curves as needed, and Rudolph is hit through the chest and Kirie through the belly when they reach near the entrance to the mansion.
EvaBeatrice is quite satisfied with the performance of her furniture, although from what I can see they don’t seem to be particularly better than the old ones. Rudolph and Kirie are to fulfill the fourth and fifth twilights of the inscription and need to be staked through the head and chest, but until then EvaBeatrice intends to play with them to her heart’s content. Before she can start, Hideyoshi shows up, shocked at what she is doing.
EvaBeatrice boasts that she gets to do anything she wants as the head of the Ushiromiya family and a witch. Hideyoshi thinks of her as Eva, though, and he tries to slap some sense into EvaBeatrice. Unfortunately, EvaBeatrice has no feelings for Hideyoshi, and being annoyed at what he is doing, she uses a gun to shoot him in the back. Hideyoshi is now the sacrifice for the sixth twilight, and EvaBeatrice once again thinks about how to play with the dead bodies, which is when Beato shows up to try to rein in her successor.
EvaBeatrice just raises the point how she and Beato are different as she heard from Ronove: Beato wants a certain opponent to accept her as a witch, otherwise she would unable to be one, while EvaBeatrice can be a witch without such preconditions. EvaBeatrice is willing to show her predecessor respect, but she feels no need to do as Beato says. EvaBeatrice has her own furniture escort Beato away, who is willing to wait and see how things turn out, but at least EvaBeatrice is no longer in the mood to play with the dead people. The time is now 1:30PM.
It was neat to see how Rudolph and Kirie fought in their encounter against EvaBeatrice’s minions, but what I found much more interesting about the encounter were the character backgrounds that were revealed. I’m not sure how much stock I should put into Rudolph’s claim that his combat prowess came from watching too many westerns, but what was revealed about Kirie was particularly interesting.
First, Kirie talked about how Rudolph would always come to her aid when she got in trouble even when Asumu was around. Next, when Leviathan brought up how her jealousy from being the slowest growing amongst her sisters gave her great strength, Kirie could only laugh at how trivial Leviathan’s jealousy was compared to her own. Kirie had a relationship with Rudolph first, but Rudolph ended up with Asumu, who gave birth to Battler while Kirie’s own baby had ended up stillborn. And that would start Kirie’s eighteen years of jealousy until Asumu died.
What little was revealed about Eva as Hideyoshi was trying to knock some sense into EvaBeatrice also caught my interest. Hideyoshi mentions how Eva is really timid and fearful who values life: one wouldn’t know it by just looking at how she normally acts, but she obviously has a hidden side that she only shows around those really close to her like Hideyoshi. Eva might be very abrasive, but it seems deep down she is still a good person, even if she does have a thing about maintaining status. It’s epic how Hideyoshi tries to smack some sense into EvaBeatrice, but it’s unfortunate that she seems to be from another hidden side of Eva that is crazy and power-hungry which only viewed Hideyoshi as an annoyance.
Later in the meta world, Vergilia goes over how Battler, Eva, George, and Nanjo went over to the mansion and found Rudolph, Kirie, and Hideyoshi dead with stakes impaled in the appropriate places. Eva wailed about the death of her husband, while the rest were speechless with shock. Meta-Battler is ready to continue the game with Ronove, but Ronove refuses to answer anything. It’s not out of any attempt at deviousness, but rather because he wants meta-Battler to accept Beato as the opponent.
Ronove says that Beato is really sorry for what she did, and it seems that Ronove is genuinely worried for her and wants meta-Battler to be the opponent again to lift her out of her depression. (Ronove, you’re a demon. You should be seizing this opportunity to usurp power from your master, not trying to cheer her up! … Ahem, I shouldn’t be stereotyping anyone …) Vergilia also asks meta-Battler to forgive Beato, promising to make her apologize. Meta-Battler does not promise to forgive Beato, but he is now willing to tolerate her presence.
In the garden with time standing still, Beato is in the midst of contemplation when Vergilia shows up to give her a pep talk. Vergilia points out that Beato and EvaBeatrice have a huge difference in that EvaBeatrice is satisfied to be a witch within the world of the game board, but Beato wants to be accepted as a witch in the world outside the game board as well, to which end Beato had chosen Battler to be her opponent. Beato thought that beating Battler into submission would make him accept her as a witch.
Vergilia points out what was wrong with Beato’s thinking: Battler became her opponent not because he wanted to accept her as a witch but because he didn’t want to accept the existence of a cruel witch like her. And trying to convince Battler with her cruel tricks only made him dig his heels in deeper. Vergilia says that the game should not be seen as a torture for Battler to make him submit, but rather an ordeal for Beato to make him accept her.
Beato had made the same realization, but she couldn’t bring herself to suddenly change course as she doubts that Battler would change his impression of her. Vergilia tells Beato that she can change slowly until Battler changes his stance towards her. Vergilia also convinces Beato to apologize to Battler and come back to face him in the game, calling her the Golden Witch Beatrice.
I was going to call EvaBeatrice just Beatrice and continue to call the former Beatrice Beato, but I changed my mind when I heard Vergilia refer to Beato as the Golden Witch Beatrice at the end of this episode. What does this mean? Does it mean that EvaBeatrice is not really Beatrice, at least outside the game board? Beato also seems to have realized that others might not consider the game as playful as she had: will we be seeing a less cruel Beatrice? As for the highlight of this episode, for me they were the glimpses into certain characters: while the grandchildren have the protagonist roles, the really interesting characters are the parents.
- Seems like Beato knows about Ronove being able to use red text: it may be that his request for Battler keep it secret in episode III-II was because it was unauthorized at the time.
- It was weird how time stopped and the Eva of the real world, not even a meta-Eva, talked directly to EvaBeatrice. Is it because Eva is now a witch, even if the witch part of her has gone completely out of control, or can normal humans actually take part in meta conversations? Will EvaBeatrice ever show up in the meta tea room? Will real-Battler ever show up in the meta debates?
- Are witches bound in any way by their promises? EvaBeatrice has just broken her promise to leave Eva’s family unharmed, and I suspect there will be consequences from this.
- Food may have been the rationale that Kirie and Rudolph gave for going outside, but I get the feeling that it was really an excuse to get Hideyoshi alone. Not sure for what: Enlisting his help for something? Interrogation? Murder?
- The look of shock when Rudolph supposedly found Rosa and Maria dead seemed genuine, but we weren’t shown him finding them, only after: how do we know he is not the one who killed them right then and there?
- If we heard all shots being fired and all guns are loaded with five bullets like Rosa’s was, then Rudolph would have run out of bullets, but Kirie should have had a couple of shots left. Why did they just run away, when previously they just fired their guns first without hesitation? Or maybe they really did just run out of bullets. Or what I really suspect is the case: what we were shown didn’t happen.