Umineko no Naku Koro Ni – Episode 2

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Let’s hope I never have a satanic-acting child, cause I’d have already thrown Maria in the ocean if I was Rosa.  I mean, does Maria only look like a creeper to the viewers?  Everyone keeps dealing with her crazy expressions like they’re nothing.  Well that might just be Studio Deen’s laziness at work since the characters react a lot more seriously to Beatrice’s letter in the manga (which I’ll talk about later).

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So basically Beatrice gave Maria a letter which states that the family members, and even servants, must compete to find the hidden gold or Beatrice will take everything that the estate owns, plus “interest”.  You’d think that they’d set out to find this shit right away, but the adults go back to bickering and the kids go play cards.  George also proposes to Shannon in a weird “I’m ordering you to, but it’s totally your choice” scene.

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The night before Jessica had given her mother, Natsuhi, the scorpion pendant that Maria had given her.  When Natsuhi wakes up, she finds her door covered in bloody handprints where the pendant had kept someone (or thing) out.  Not sure if it’s supposed to be Beatrice’s work or one of her victims.  When everyone goes downstairs they realize that six people are missing: Gohda (servant), Krauss (Natsuhi’s husband), Rosa, Shannon, and Rudolph & Kyrie (Battler’s parents).  And of course we know what this’ll lead to…

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But first Natsuhi goes to Kinzou’s room to see if the missing people are there.  He starts trash talking her at first, but then tells her that she’s actually more loyal to the Ushiromiya name than those with blood connections.  Natsuhi really takes this to heart and raises her spirits for the first time so far.  I think Kinzou was legit with what he said, but I don’t know if that’s so he has someone who’ll defend him from the other family members.   It wouldn’t be far-fetched to believe Natsuhi would kill even her daughter if it meant protecting the Ushiromiya name, now that she’s been accepted by the family head.

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So Kanon and the others go out to the garden shed where they find an alchemic circle drawn in blood on the door.  Perhaps Al and Ed will be the true culprits behind all this…

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And as suspected, all the missing people have been brutally murdered and disfigured.  Of course the three hottest my favorite characters were among the first to go.  Shannon had so much crazy potential, and it’ll be no fun with Eva cause she’s already a bitch.  This is especially heartbreaking for George because Shannon is wearing the engagement ring.  I wonder if those killed were picked randomly or on purpose.  Rosa was mean to Maria and Kyrie & Krauss were going to really start prying, so I see why they were axed.  Rudolph figured he would be killed the night before and Gohda was just a dick, so that makes sense too.  I think Shannon’s the only random one, and that she was taken out in place of Natsuhi.

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I only came to that conclusion after I checked out the Umineko manga, which was done by the same illustrator that did the Higurashi manga.  Reading it helped sort out all the character info in an easier manner, and there was also a bunch of scenes that were apparently cut out of the anime.  Here’s just a few notes:

  • Kanon, Shannon and the other servants are more aware or involved with Kinzou’s pact with Beatrice.
  • Kanon and Shannon are from an orphanage where the highest honor is to be chosen by the Ushiromiya family for servitude.  They aren’t real siblings.
  • There are two more child servants named Renon and Manon, but it’s their day off.
  • Gohda was supposed to do midnight duty in the mansion, but he placed all his work on Shannon.
  • Natsuhi has a spirit charm mirror that she wants to give to Jessica in exchange for the scorpion pendant.
  • Battler had moved away with his real mother for some time, but moved back with his father and Kyrie when his mom died.

So Shannon wasn’t even supposed to be in the mansion, and taking on Gohda’s duties made her stay there longer than she had even intended.  At this point I’m not sure if I believe that there’s a 19th person on the island (Beatrice) or not.  I would assume she’s real because of all the supernatural circumstances, but Higurashi had a lot of mind-warping moments that weren’t as simple as they seemed.  One thing that’s for certain is that Umineko has a linear plot and there won’t be any reviving of characters in this series.

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I’m hoping that there’ll be some good twists, because it’ll be boring if the plot follows Beatrice’s death sentences perfectly.  I also hope that the manga scans will keep up with the episodes, because the imagery is so much more powerful.  It’s not for the faint-hearted though:

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