Episode III-VI of Umineko no Naku Koro ni, “promotion”, begins on 1:30PM right after the end of the previous episode, where Eva is still wailing about the loss of her husband. On the other hand, George is still pretty calm and more concerned about others despite having lost both his lover and father, which is a fact not lost on Battler. Unlike his mother, George is trying to hold in his pain and barely expresses the anguish he must be feeling, notwithstanding Battler’s point that crying is just for times like these, who is doing just that for the loss of his own parents.
In the meta world, meta-Battler gives a lecture to a timid Beato about how human’s value their lives precisely because their lives are finite, making a point with the emotional scene going on in the real world. The lecture is wholeheartedly endorsed by Vergilia, who stomps on Beato trying to make excuses. The idea was unfamiliar to a witch like Beato, for whom life and death were like easily interchangeable sides of the same coin. Vergilia claims that the aim of magic is to bring happiness to people, and is especially so for the powers of the Endless Witch, something Beato has been failing miserably at.
Meta-Battler does not fail to point out how Beato’s actions have disqualified her as being a witch, much less the Endless Witch. It’s bad enough that people are killed, which is a ritual that Beato may not be able avoid if she wishes to revive as a witch, but the cruelty she has shown has been totally unacceptable. When Beato asks how she can make up for her actions, meta-Battler says that it’s up to her to think of a way. He does suggest that she talk to Vergilia or Ronove, who have shown a much greater understanding of human suffering, although I doubt the latter really cares.
A teary Beato needs some time to think, and meta-Battler is willing to wait. (I never expected Beato to shed tears except from excessive laughter, so I never expected to see her like this, whether it’s from guilt, pain of rejection, or sadness.) In fact, meta-Battler even promises that he will not quit the game first, that he will be waiting for Beato until she returns as a proper witch. A solemn Beato disappears to think and do whatever she needs to think and do for her return as a worthy opponent for meta-Battler.
In the guest house, all the windows and doors are locked and barricaded. It’s mentioned that the key and pair of guns carried by Rudolph and the others were not found, however. Unlike in previous arcs, so far there has not been much in the way of paranoia. This isn’t very surprising, since the parents were all together during the first set of murders, Nanjo would have been with the others during the latest set of murders, and the remaining grandchildren would not be likely to be cast under suspicion. In a barricaded guest house and two guns, they just have to last until the next day when help arrives from the mainland. Of course, we all know how poorly such plans last …
While the remaining grandchildren are all holed up in a room feeling depressed, with Nanjo staying in the room next door for their sake, George leaves alone to get some coffee after a short conversation where he totally understands how Kinzou got obsessed with the occult in hopes of reviving his lover Beatrice. Battler and Jessica let him go alone, their respect for George’s wish to wallow in his pain alone obviously overriding concerns for safety. While George walks alone inside the guest house, Beato appears before him, offering to help him revive Shannon. Of course, George agrees, and Beato unlocks a window, turns herself and George into golden butterflies, and heads to the main mansion, locking the window behind them.
Outside, EvaBeatrice is monitoring the situation with her furniture. She feels something has left the guest house, but neither of the Siesta furniture claim to have felt anything. Siesta 410 clarifies that they were only monitoring the inside and not so much the outside. I have to wonder if I should read anything into her winking as she says this. Ronove denies feeling anything, and the other furniture Lucifer gets the hint and denies it as well. Only Lucifer’s hesitation gave away that Ronove knew anything, but EvaBeatrice accepts them at their word, although she clearly looks dubious.
The time is now 5:45PM. Eva, Klaus, and Natsuhi are all tired and drowsing off when Eva faces off EvaBeatrice in what seems to be a dream. Eva talks about how it was all her fault: initially satisfied if she were to become the head of the family, greed started to grow when she saw the mountain of gold, which gave birth to EvaBeatrice, a younger version of herself with her ugly side. Having grown older, Eva also has dreams as a wife and mother, but EvaBeatrice cares nothing for them from how she had killed Hideyoshi. The other deaths weigh heavily on Eva as well, and she wants nothing to do with EvaBeatrice, who withdraws and says she’ll do whatever she wants. Eva is left behind, writhing with guilt as she wonders if the killings were her fault.
Eva awakes back into the real world, coughing because Klaus had started smoking. Eva always had problems with cigarette smoke, but Klaus must have forgotten due to the nervousness that must have made him smoke in the first place. He immediately puts out his cigarette in consideration for Eva. She’s fine with it, although she still goes out for some fresh air.
After Eva leaves, Natsuhi points out how her husband showed consideration for Eva when he is usually very wary of her. This has Klaus reveal some of the soul-searching he had done, regretting how mean he had been to his siblings in his efforts to follow in his father’s footsteps and now wanting to be a better brother, even if it’s almost too late by now. Unfortunately, EvaBeatrice has the Siesta sisters shoot their thing, which flies through keyholes and reaches Klaus and Natsuhi where they are promptly strangled to death and dragged outside. The time is now 5:50PM.
In the mansion, Beato is helping George revive Shannon. Beato can only open a gap to the underworld so that Shannon’s soul can be summoned, but it is George that must draw her soul out with his strong feelings. As Vergilia showed the young Beato a long time ago and Beato showed Maria just the day before, the basis of the magic is to remember how something was, and Shannon is soon revived to George’s great joy. Beato seems to gain from George’s earnest efforts more of an understanding of the strong emotions humans have because life is so precious, something she lacked because life and death were so trivial to her.
However, EvaBeatrice is not letting the happy moment go on, and having realized that Beato had taken George to the mansion, she has the Siesta sisters kill both George and Shannon. If it wasn’t already obvious, then the fact that George is killed makes it crystal clear that EvaBeatrice is no longer in any way Eva. Beato is extremely angry at what had just happened, while outside EvaBeatrice talks about how she left her predecessor alone for her later enjoyment. While Ronove apologizes for not sensing Beato, it doesn’t look like EvaBeatrice is being fooled even a bit, but they’re all apparently playing a charade and let the matter drop for now.
Inside the guest house, the remaining survivors Battler, Jessica, Nanjo, and Eva are alarmed at how George, Klaus, and Natsuhi have gone missing. The time is 6:03PM. The first place they search outside is the rose garden, where they immediately find Klaus and Natsuhi dead with stakes impaled through the knee and leg, respectively, which fulfills the seventh and eighth twilights of the inscription. While Jessica wails about the death of her parents, Eva realizes the possibility of what might have happened to her son, and she frantically searches for him with Battler in tow.
After searching the mansion, they find something new written in blood on the door to the room with Shannon. It is the numbers 07151129. As Eva writes down the numbers, Battler remarks that his own birthday is July 15 (07/15), but he doesn’t come up with an answer for what 1129 might mean. When Eva uses her master key to open the door, however, they are shocked to find George lying dead next to Shannon’s body, prompting another bout of wailing from poor Eva.
This almost gets Battler into a depression about how he might soon be killed just like his parents. He regains his will to survive when he remembers his sister Angie, who would be all alone if he were to die as well after losing their parents. This is when Jessica runs into the room in a rage accusing Eva of being the killer, barely being restrained by Nanjo. The paranoia has finally started, with Jessica blaming Eva since she was with Jessica’s parents, while in the heat of the moment Eva fires back that the others must have killed George.
Jessica lunges at Eva with every intention of killing her, to which Eva fires her gun by reflex. This blinds Jessica, although almost certainly not because she got hit: there is no blood, and more importantly, she would most likely be dead if she got hit in the eyes. It was probably the muzzle blast that blinded Jessica, perhaps due to injuries from sudden changes in pressure or gunpowder getting into her eyes. Eva is shocked at what she had just done and runs off, followed by Battler because of the dangers of anyone being alone.
Nanjo does some emergency care for Jessica’s eyes, speculating that it must have been the muzzle blast that blinded her. Jessica just thinks that Eva also tried to kill her: she’s obviously not thinking straight, since if that was the case, she would be dead with a bullet in her brain. Whether Jessica’s panic about Battler endangering himself by being alone with Eva is justified or not, Nanjo agrees that they should all get back together as it would be dangerous for the survivors to be split up.
As soon as Nanjo leaves the room, however, he comes face to face with EvaBeatrice, and despite his pleas that he has a grandchild, it looks like EvaBeatrice kills him by impaling her staff in his eyes. The blind Jessica panics, having no idea what had happened to the doctor. It doesn’t help that EvaBeatrice taunts her, remarking on how she heard that blind people have zero anti-magic and zero resistance against magic. Jessica seems to recognize the voice, while EvaBeatrice continues her taunts that Jessica is now an isolated pawn, and that she will kill her after she gets tired with playing with Nanjo. Jessica is totally immobile with fright, calling everyone she can, including Kanon.
In the meta world, Beato talks about how disgraceful she was with the way she had played with Jessica’s love for Kanon on a previous occasion (see episode II-III), to which Ronove mentions Beato’s weird dislike of love. Now with a different perspective, Beato intends to help Jessica by taking advantage of her love for Kanon. Ronove says that this could finish off Beato in her weakened state, which might disappoint meta-Battler who is waiting for her. Beato replies that it is precisely because of meta-Battler that she needs to do this, as part of her getting accepted by him.
Ronove wishes her good luck, that this will not end up being her final act of magic. And Beato heads off to do whatever she has to do, bidding Ronove farewell, at which point the episode ends.
Beato has changed rather drastically in just a couple and a half episodes, and not even eight hours have passed in real world time. Looks like she will revive Kanon somehow, but I have no idea what will happen once she does. This arc in general has been paying much more attention to the characters themselves rather than small details that could be crucial to solving the case (there is even a drought of red text), so it seems Beato’s change of heart will be the main issue in the meta world rather than the game itself. But I am not in any way assured that she will survive whatever stunt she is going to pull …
- There is yet another name I have to guess the English spelling of, and it is unfortunately no surprise at all that there is not a hint at either the anime site or 07th Expansion. I’m just going to go with what seems to make the most sense given the pronunciation ‘enji’: Angie. “Ange” shows up in search results (it’s a pain to just check spelling while avoiding spoilers), but this makes no sense given the pronunciation. (Same as spelling “warugiria” as “Virgilia”.) And I don’t have much reluctance to spell things the way I want to …
- The most obvious mundane explanation for George’s death is that he killed himself next to his beloved. His rather subdued emotional responses may have been warning signs. The issues with this are that it is unclear how he made his way through the mansion (it is not clear who carried each of the five master keys) and the lack of an apparent weapon. There is also the issue of 07151129.
- My strongest mundane theory for the deaths: Nanjo is responsible. He has no alibi for the initial six victims (one victim may not have not immediately died and managed to lock a door, which would have created the composite locked door mystery), he might not have one for Rosa and Maria, and he has none for Klaus and Natsuhi. Rudolph, Kirie, and Hideyoshi are a problem, but I can make up him having been a crackshot soldier in World War II and using his ninja skills to slip away and back unnoticed. And we don’t actually get to see Nanjo being killed in the end, even if it’s strongly implied. Despite it being my strongest theory, though, it’s still not very strong …
- Another theory: Rudolph and Kirie are behind the deaths up to the previous episode. They kill the six initial victims, Rudolph kills Rosa and Maria, and they isolate Hideyoshi so that they could kill him. But Hideyoshi was so badass that he paid as good as he got. Klaus and Natsuhi were killed by Eva, who has been going insane.
- Eva may actually be responsible for all the deaths despite the evidence against this. Eva’s (internal? magical?) conflict certainly suggests it as being an obvious possibility, which means everyone thinks it is too obvious, so they think it must be someone else, and this is exactly the way they’re supposed to be misled.
- Of course, the killer of the initial six victims may be entirely different from the killer of the later victims as suggested by the changeover from Beatrice to EvaBeatrice.
- This only now occurs to me: there could still be a nineteenth person or more on the island, despite the red text to the contrary in episode III-II. The statement was made near midnight, and one or more people could have been killed already.
- Near the end of every arc so far, it has always been mentioned that things should get better once the storm ends and the black-tailed gulls cry again, assuming that they can last that long. Obviously a reference to how help can arrive when the storm clears, the way it is invariably expressed somewhat poetically with black-tailed gulls (ã‚¦ãƒŸãƒã‚³, “umineko”) makes me wonder if there is something much more significant about the expression. Maybe gull cries have the power to repel magic?
- Love has been a sore point for Beato, and Ronove even mentions it explicitly. I suspect it’s because of Kinzou: if a creep entraps you and basically neuters your mind all in the name of love, it wouldn’t be so surprising if you had a tad bit negative opinion about love.
- Even granting that there is more time in the meta world than the real world, Beato has changed extremely quickly. I bet even a lifetime of indoctrination of many nearly sociopathic people in real life wouldn’t change them that much. Did she always have a strong nascent sense of empathy that just needed a trigger to blossom, or is she rapidly remembering what she was like? Or my favorite theory: her response when meta-Battler slapped her made him think that she might be redeemable in some back corner of his mind, and this belief affected her character.
- I can now definitely imagine Beato showing the sad face shown in the opening credits for every arc: she has already shown similar expressions in this episode. But there’s another mystery woman who had appeared in the opening credits since the beginning, and this person has yet to show any sign of actually appearing. Will this mystery have to wait until the next story arc, or even farther in the future? Whoever it is, it always reminds me of Yoshino from Maria-sama ga Miteru, although I doubt her full face will look like the mystery woman’s or there being any similarities between their personalities. (Must be the haircut.)