Umineko no Naku Koro ni – Second Round

Well I’ve gotta say this whole situation has gotten messier since the last round. It was a pretty stark contrast to the last round in a lot of ways. Probably the biggest thing was how directly Beatrice was shown to be involved in things and just the heavy presence of magic. The last time it was hard to even confirm that Beatrice was actually around and it wasn’t some assassin killing from the shadows. This time we had magical swords, goat men, barriers, and a naked Battler….Yeah I’m going to try and forget that last part.

Impressions:

Instead of being an event it really feels more like a contest between Battler and Beatrice. Of course it’s pretty hard on Battler considering the fact that Beatrice can keep changing things to suit her. The whole red text is a pain since she can say things that make it harder on Battler while not saying other things. It leaves the guy grasping at straws. Battler can’t be sure if she’s refusing to answer because magic wasn’t involved or because she’s just trying to put him on a false trail. Either way it must be terrible to watch the people he knows go through this kind of thing and not being able to do a thing.

Really I wonder just what the whole point of this is for Battler. I mean even if he answers how it all happened will that do anything? It seems all he’s going for right now is a symbolic victory. Since he saw everyone die in the first round that he was part of. Does he expect winning will nullify the entire event? Or that the people he cares about will be revived? Wouldn’t any of that require magic to exist? Honestly not sure if I could keep on fighting if I didn’t even know if there would be a reward at the end of it. I mean if he’s right denying her won’t let her exist but that seems a small condolence if he’s dead.

Anyways the witch situation behind this has only gotten more interesting. Now that Bernkastel will be going all out to win. Of course that declaration follows the intervention of Lambdadelta. Now I really appreciate Bern giving out the nickname of Lambda since that name really is too long to say that often. Anyways we heard plenty about her last time Bernkastel and Beatrice had a chat. I wonder what will happen with this new team of Beatrice and Lambda against Bernkastel. The power to create a miracle if the chance isn’t zero against the ability to kill without fail and the power to kill an individual endlessly. Seems like the odds really are stacked against her though it kind of fits with her power. Though I wonder if you combine Beatrice and Lambda is there a chance above zero for success?

Reflecting on this particular case I wonder what the truth behind it is. Magic was pretty in our face and we can’t really deny that it’s possible. Unlike Battler it’s not like we have to deny the possibility. It’d be pretty amazing to set up the visual tricks and effects that we saw. You’d almost have to say there was something wrong with the people themselves since it’d be impressive to fake all that in that time.

On the other hand the human factor can still come into play here. Genji in particular makes me wonder. He was left alone for quite some time so could have played a part in the killings. Of course I don’t think he could do it all alone, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t involved. Anyways I wonder about the whole red text being the truth, since when Beatrice first said that it wasn’t in red. So if you set it up under a lie does anything she says remain valid? Anyways if Rosa was right then Genji is clear in terms of actually killing Jessica and Kanon. Of course I’m not sure if he couldn’t have passed off his key along the way to the killer and then picked it up again alter. My own head is a bit confused about these killings it seems.

Moving onto the deaths of Nanjo and Kumasawa I’m again not sure what to make of it. The dead appearing and then vanishing is pretty magical in nature. It’d be something to fake all of that. Certainly Genji was in the room when the two died but it would take some faking to trick Shannon and Gohda while that was going on. Of course we can’t assume they didn’t have a role to play. But honestly it’s tough to see Shannon being part of something like that. Plus unless Gohda is a great actor he doesn’t seem to have the makings of someone capable of killing like that. I still lean on the whole assassin squad being snuck onto the island. They could put on the goat masks like Bernkastel did and go around in a frenzy. The frightening nature could make the people in danger feel like they were real goat men. All they need is to solve the room issue which can be done by giving up on some of the servants. I can understand Battler not wanting to put the blame on them but it’s hard to find a solution non-magic wise. Of course you can say Beatrice really isn’t telling the truth and so can doubt everything she says.

As to the round itself there were some nice points. They really pushed the romance between George and Shannon and it was a nice side of things. Considering everyone keeps dying it’s a nice thing that they could show they cared about each other before the end. Good move by Shannon to not take any time and immediately put the ring on. She even got some good shots on Beatrice and you can tell how much a pretty pure love like there was between George and Shannon bothers her. Who knows what that witch has gone through but she definitely likes the suffering of others.

I’m mixed about Rosa since she had some nice moments but also some terrible ones. She beat up her kid sometimes and fought tooth and nail for her at others. Honestly I think she probably caused Maria some brain damage along the way. Besides maybe if she had been kinder to her the girl wouldn’t have been so obsessed with witches and the promises of the Golden Land. I also heard someone else mention it and I think it’s worth considering that Maria might be suffering from autism. Her behaviour is out of the norm enough that you have to consider possible sources for it. She’s not a bad kid but clearly something isn’t quite right there.

Anyways I wonder what the next round will feature? The first one was heavy mystery, the second was heavy magic, and who knows what might happen now with more forces getting involved. Still I hope Battler can keep his strength up this time. He can’t afford to fall into despair. It was worth it just for him to get Maria to promise to ask him to eat her in 10 years. I swear that guy manages bounce back pretty well. Here’s hoping the pacing will be done well for this next round. If I have any complaints it was that the end of this one was really rushed. Not that the death of Battler being fast was a problem, but the short fight by Rosa, the banquet, and the appearance of Lambda was all done quickly. They’ve got to time everything right or it will feel off.

Here is hoping the characters fare better in this next round.

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