Curious, very curious.
I first covered Umineko after only two episodes were aired, unsure about how good the show would actually be. And just like it’s predecessor, Higurashi, the first 5 episodes were extremely intriguing and entertaining.
The story, in a nutshell, is that some rich old man is about to die (of old age, etc.) and invites his entire family over the island on which he lives to decide who gets what. While his own children are completely greedy, his grandchildren are there just for the vacation. Legend exists, of a witch named Beatrice, who gave the old man a fortune in gold in return so that when the “time comes” everything he owns will be given to the witch.
People start getting killed and pretty soon everyone on the island is dead. And then not dead. And then dead again.
Let me explain. People start dieing because of a prophecy on an epitaph under Beatrice’s painting in old man Ushiromiya mansion, which basically predicts that without fail, everyone (on the island) will die. And then resurrected, with the gold fortune being returned and the witch being banished forever. The first half of this prophecy of everyone being killed is of course carried out by the witch herself, as to how and who will carry out the other part of the prophecy is still unknown.
What I love about the show is the creepy atmosphere that it creates and the tension that builds up. Battler, our protagonist, keeps on trying to figure out logical ways in which a human could’ve carried out these murders. His absolute defiance to believe in the a witch’s existence is what makes the show this great. That and the fact that Beatrice is also amused by him, so she will play around with him.
And by playing around, I mean that after killing everyone, she’ll resurrect them again to kill them yet again, while allowing Battler to explain these murders using practical evidence, and not leave it up to witchcraft. Funny thing is, that everyone seems to remember that they all died, but no one saw how it happened and who did it, accepting that it was Beatrice’s work.
To answer some questions, and raise new ones, the end of the 5th episode shows that Beatrice the Endless Witch is visited by Furude Rika Bernkastel, the Witch of Miracles. While Bernkastel assures Beatrice that she is here only to observe Beatrice, she seems to be there to help out Battler and ultimately win over Beatrice herself. So one witch is doing shit just for amusement, and the other is undoing that shit because her ego is too big. Fun times are ahead 🙂
And with that…