Episode IV-VIII of Umineko no Naku Koro ni, “sacrifice”, starts out in the Golden Land where Beatrice and Maria intend to hang out forever. The suspension of the game does not sit well with Ange, however, so she shows up to convince them otherwise. Interestingly, Beatrice does not seem to be quite sure how Ange got into the Golden Land. Maria is quite content to stay with Beatrice in the Golden Land where all her wishes can come true. Ange begs to differ.
Maria tries to prove how she has everything in the Golden Land by summoning a mindless Rosa, which I believe to be a fake but may also be the real Rosa having been tortured one too many times. Ange then brings up the missing Sakutaro as a counterpoint, which agitates Beatrice quite a bit. Despite Beatrice protesting not to mention Sakutaro, Ange presses the point, which inflicts emotional pain on Maria.
Beatrice accuses Ange of hurting Maria, but Ange only asks why Beatrice doesn’t revive Sakutaro. Beatrice gives the same excuse that she gave in episode IV-III: Sakutaro’s creator Rosa denied his existence, so he cannot be revived. Ange just considers this to be an excuse, and accuses Beatrice to be a false witch. In fact, Ange claims that she is able to revive Sakutaro, something Beatrice doesn’t seem to believe. Ange offers to revive Sakutaro, but in return, Maria must leave the Golden Land.
Beatrice insists that reviving Sakutaro, or any other magic for that matter, is beyond Ange’s abilities, but Maria just tells Beatrice to shut up. Using the revival chant that we’ve seen other witches use, Ange quickly revives Sakutaro in his doll form, to the heartfelt joy of Maria. Beatrice is completely shocked at what just happened, having difficulty believing it and for some reason even seems sad. With Ange calling herself the Witch of Resurrection, Maria is suitably impressed and leaves the Golden Land as promised.
To the despairing Beatrice, Ange rhetorically asks for confirmation that without love or sadness, magic cannot be perceived, that they are the source of magic. With this, Beatrice is back in her seat in the meta tea room, and Lambdadelta is quite happy that Beatrice got roped back into the game. There’s still the matter of her missing opponent, which is half solved by Bernkastel bringing back Battler. However, Battler is completely despondent and is in no shape to do anything.
Ange explains the fundamental problem with Battler, which is the red truth as having been declared by Beatrice: “Ushiromiya Battler is not the son of Ushiromiya Asumu.” I’m going to have to put this on a sloppy script, since Beatrice didn’t actually say so in red in episode IV-VI, although it is marginally possible that it was done off-screen. Ange goes for the obvious solution: she demands that Beatrice declare in red that Ushiromiya Battler is not a grandchild of Ushiromiya Kinzo, which Beatrice is unable to do.
Given how Beatrice ousted Battler by supposedly declaring in red that Battler is not Asumu’s son, and that only Battler, a grandchild of Kinzo, is qualified to be Beatrice’s opponent (neither of which was done in red in episode IV-VI, which again suggests a sloppy script), Ange declares her own blue truth:
The one who has the right to be Beato’s opponent is Ushiromiya Battler, a grandchild of Ushiromiya Kinzo, and it is irrelevant whether he is the son of Asumu or not.
Beatrice is unable or unwilling to counter the blue truth, so Battler regains the right to be her opponent. However, he is still too demoralized to do anything. So Ange gives an emotional appeal to Battler that Asumu was still his mother, even if not biological, and that he has a sister waiting for him. This has a dramatic effect, and like a couple of sports commentators, Lambdadelta comments on how Battler’s soul is returning, but Bernkastel comments how it hasn’t quite made it all the way.
Ange then takes a drastic step: she reveals to Battler that she is his sister Ange, while outpouring the loneliness she had felt for years. This really wakes Battler up. Unfortunately, there was one absolute condition that Ange had to keep to get into the meta world where Battler is, and that was to keep her identity secret from Battler. With the secret out, blood begins to ooze from all over Ange before she disappears, leaving only her bloody hair ornament behind for Battler.
On other occasions, it would be just like Beatrice to gloat about someone dying a gruesome death. This is not one of those occasions, and Beatrice actually seems to be sad while dispassionately describing what she saw happen to Ange. This sparks an outrage in Battler, whose resolve to defeat Beatrice is now stronger than ever. Like Battler, Beatrice is unable to run away or hide, and she accepts Battler’s challenge, remarking that if he has no intention of losing, then he had better be ready to kill her. Unlike her usual self, however, Beatrice makes no mention of crushing him. The time is now 11:59PM.
With Battler and Beatrice facing each other in the garden, Battler makes the first move with the declaration of blue truth:
Ushiromiya Kinzo was already dead at the start of the game! Accordingly, the true number of people on the island is seventeen! With an unknown person X added to their midst, the number is eighteen! With the existence of this person X, even if all seventeen people had alibis, the crime by person X becomes possible!
(Despite the blue text having exclamation points at the end of every sentence, Battler isn’t being so hysterical.)
Beatrice points out that Battler’s blue truth leaves certain things unexplained. She brings up the deaths of George, Shannon, and Gohda in the second round, where they were killed in Natsuhi’s room. However, Natsuhi’s key was in the room itself, and Rosa had the master key that unlocked the room. In other words, person X would not have been able to lock the room after the murders. Battler rebuts this by speculating that Rosa may have given the key to person X and got it back afterward. (I would have guessed that a master key was somehow swiped from Maria’s handbag.)
Battler then moves on to declare blue truths for the third round, starting with the six initial murders:
It can be explained by postulating that Aunt Eva was working with the perpetuator! The murder of Doctor Nanjo can also be explained with the eighteenth person, the unknown person X!
Finally for the fourth round, starting with the six deaths in the dining room:
The eighteenth person X firing a gun indiscriminately, George, Jessica, and those who escaped from the underground prison were killed: this explanation leaves no questionable point!
Battler’s theory that there is an eighteenth person X depends on the premise that Kinzo is already dead, and Beatrice points out how Kinzo had left his study to participate in the family meeting, where all of the participants accepted his existence. This manifests as Kinzo appearing and turning into the metaphorical logic dragon about to devour Battler. While I would have just dismissed the family meeting scene as having no evidential value, Battler takes a different tack and declares in blue:
Ushiromiya Kinzo is already dead! However, someone inherited his name, and everyone acknowledged it! Through this, everyone present at the family meeting recognized the existence of Kinzo!
Battler demands that “Among everyone, there exists no person who has multiple names” be repeated in red. It is not repeated in red, which slays the dragon of Kinzo showing up at the family meeting. With the existence of an eighteenth person X being able to explain the killings of the fourth round, Battler considers it a checkmate, which manifests as the impaling of Beatrice. She wants Battler to land the finishing blow by him declaring that witches do not exist.
Battler is not going to let Beatrice lose on purpose, though: he knows that Beatrice is hiding something, and he demands a response appropriate for the self-proclaimed ruler of Rokkenjima. In fact, Battler is cocky enough to declare that victory should be taken by force and not handed on a silver platter when Beatrice explicitly reveals that she was going to lose on purpose. With this, Beatrice begins her counterattack after healing her wounds.
Beatrice admits that Kinzo was already dead at the start of all the games. She also declares the following in red:
- There are not eighteen or more people on this island.
- In other words, an eighteenth person X does not exist.
- This applies to all the games.
There was a reason that Beato and EvaBeatrice never said that there were exactly a certain number of people on the island. These new truths exclude any timing tricks with the statements, though, and they also invalidate Battler’s person X theory. The straightforward interpretation is that there were only seventeen known people from the beginning, and that the killer is among them. This time, the destruction of a central premise doesn’t discourage Battler, and he goes on without missing a beat.
For the first round, Battler declares that there is no problem with the initial six victims since anyone without an alibi could have done it. No problem there, but the deaths of Genji, Nanjo, and Kumasawa are trickier, with Beatrice stating that Maria did not kill them and that they were indeed murdered. Battler declares that the murders can be explained by a killer X who faked their death. If this doesn’t work, he also speculates how Genji, Nanjo, and Kumasawa might have shot each other, with Maria hiding the guns afterward.
Despite how Beatrice considers it a stretch, she still yields the first round to Battler, which manifests as her getting impaled. Now on to the second round, Battler speculates that the initial six victims ate food containing high explosives, which resulted in their guts exploding. That’s getting into silly territory, and Beatrice just laughs about it. But she doesn’t even try countering it, which gets her impaled again. With this, Beatrice yields to Battler the second round as well.
On to the third round, Battler has no problem with the six initial murders and the associated composite locked room mystery: it’s not a locked room mystery at all, since the killer could have just pretended to have found one of the keys while having carried it all along. I should have thought of that possibility, since it’s not so rare a strategy in detective stories or manga. Whether it’s true or not is another matter. Regardless, this gets Beatrice impaled again.
The big issue with the third round is the murder of Nanjo. Battler speculates that someone only pretended to have been killed, who would then go on to kill Nanjo, and then ended up dead, anyway, allowing EvaBeatrice a timing trick in declaring a person dead. This is another big stretch, but Beatrice doesn’t counter, and she gets her biggest impaling yet. With Beatrice writhing in pain, Battler just considers it as Beatrice getting her just desserts. But as in episode III-VII, she can’t die despite the damage.
When Battler asks Beatrice what she wants from him, she says that she wants it to end. This entails Beatrice exposing everything, and then Battler crushing her heart. Battler agrees to give her what she wants, and Beatrice’s physical body dies. From this an ethereal and glowing Beatrice emerges, who then proceeds to ask Battler the following, which gives me the chills the way she says it:
Ushiromiya Battler, there is no one besides you on this island now. The only one alive on this island is you. And yet I am here, and I will be killing you. Who am I? Who am I?
This final episode almost ends with Battler vowing to figure out the answer and kill her.
After the ending credits, which bids us farewell with “See you again. have a nice day!”, we get to see Lambdadelta and Bernkastel having an after-game party in bed. Bernkastel intended Ange to be a trump card in case Battler strayed from the goal, but she’s sort of disappointed that the pawn had to be used up so fast. Bernkastel also has the impression that Battler had solved most of the mysteries, but Lambdadelta corrects her, revealing that most of his blue truths were misses.
With Beatrice still having a trump card and with most of the mysteries still left unsolved, Lambdadelta looks forward to seeing how things end. But both she and Bernkastel know that it will either continue eternally or end with Beatrice’s defeat; what won’t happen is Beatrice winning. As the Witch of Miracles and the Witch of the Absolute, Bernkastel and Lambdadelta declare that Beato absolutely cannot win, and a miracle will absolutely not happen. And with that, Umineko no Naku Koro ni ends.
For an ending that has to end in the middle of the story with a ton of questions left unanswered, the episode wasn’t a bad way to end the series, although it didn’t emphasize red and blue as much as it should have. Hopefully I won’t go crazy as I wait for answers that will come if or when the sequel comes out; I’m quite certain of my inability to come up with the right answers.
- Beatrice can exist inside the so-called Golden Land only if someone else is already there.
- Sounds like Ange really did find a patched up Sakutaro on Niijima.
- It seems Beatrice does not quite understand magic as much as she claims she does.
- The revived Sakutaro has a scarf around his neck. If the scarf were to be removed, I bet we’d see shoddy needlework connecting his head to his body.
- Apparently Ange has missed the net when she jumped off the building this time.
- Lambdadelta seemed to be unaware that Ange was supposed to keep her identity secret from Battler. It might be a condition imposed by Bernkastel just for the heck of it. If Battler had his head on straight instead of angsting about Asumu not being his biological mother, he could have realized that it’s only a matter of who is parents really were and not a question of his existence, and Ange could have avoided the trouble of having to sacrifice herself.
- In the second half of the episode, it seems that there is no longer a difference between the physical Battler and his meta counterpart.
- There is still no guarantee that there were exactly seventeen people on the island at the start: the presence of one or more people could be the figment of someone’s imagination.
- Lambdadelta revealing that Battler was wrong in most of his speculations makes it feel as if there really is a right answer to the mysteries, and that it isn’t just “it was all magic”.
- Poor Beatrice, being roped into Lambdadelta’s scheme to keep Bernkastel around. No doubt Lambdadelta wants to do more in bed than just having snacks and laying around …
- Poor Maria, who by now is either dead or undead: I failed to attribute to her every mental illness under the sun like I had planned to. Or is that a good thing?