So, the ‘game’ has begun. I think Beatrice will murder everyone, and the external-to-the-story instance of Battler will try to come up with mundane explanations.
We get a brief summary of the scene in the rose garden in episode 1. A summary! In Umineko! Truly incredible.
The older three cousins speculate once again on child psychology. tl;dr: Maria probably likes Halloween because witches.
Maria gives us a lecture on Celtic mythology, Samhain, Halloween and witchcraft. She claims October-November is when the world is closest to the world of the dead, and inhabitants of the other world visit. The people would wear costumes to scare bad spirits, and form relationships with other spirits. ‘Trick or treat’ came post-Christianisation.
My family were neopagans when I was young, so I’ve long had a vague awareness of terms like samhain, the solstices, etc., especially since I was born on the Winter Solstice. But I appreciate Maria spelling it out in a simple and accessible way, I wasn’t ever exactly sure what samhain or sabbat meant beyond ‘something witchy’.
Anyway, point being, this is an excellent time for witches to talk to spirits. Maria hopes Beatrice will show up so she can become her apprentice in the Golden Land. We got there a lot more quickly this time!
Eva smells a chance to be pointlessly cruel and needle Rosa about Maria being too old to be into witches. And in turn, once everyone’s gone off to the guest house, Rosa physically abuses Maria even more and destroys the candy she’d bought her earlier. This is getting even worse than the already horrible abuse in the first episode.
Much like the first episode, Rosa abandons Maria in the rose garden after hitting her repeatedly and saying every spiteful thing she can. Then she goes inside and lies her ass off to the others.
Kanon at least is there to comfort Maria this time. After a bit, Maria tells him she’s friends with Beatrice, and she’s going to go and play with her later, and learn magic.
Inside, the adults are discussing… what else, Kinzo and his inheritance. It does kind of weird me out that only Rudolf and Kyrie have no voice acting still. Almost as if the files are missing or something, but the game engine would have complained on launch in that case.
Rudolf doesn’t like Kyrie speaking. The narrator does not hold back.
Kyrie, who doesn’t know the extent of the abuse, comforts and encourages Rosa.
Shannon, notably, doesn’t fuck up the tea service this time. This, no doubt, reflects the greater confidence she has from her relationship with George.
Rosa says ‘we’re both mothers with daughters’ to Kyrie. Is that a mistranslation? Battler is a boy?
This time, Rosa goes out to collect Maria at the first sign of rain, not after a long nap. Once again, she begs forgiveness and goes along with Maria blaming it on witchy possession.
This suggests that this time, Maria will not be the one to receive Beatrice’s letter.
…or maybe she will, since Maria resolves to stand out there until Beatrice shows up ‘very soon’.
And what do you know. She does!
She’s got a new outfit, with a blazer, waistcoat and tie instead of her original dress.
So this is very different from the first story. In the first, Beatrice only ever appeared off-camera, and only to people who already believed. At best, she was butterflies. This time, Rosa is seeing her directly, on-camera.
Well done Beatrice, you’ve read the Wikipedia page on jack-o-lanterns.
Beatrice says the island is cut off, not only from the world of humans, but also the world of nonhumans.
Maria asks Beatrice to restore her candy. Beatrice tells her to close her eyes and remember the candy. Seems perfect for a slight of hand to switch it with the intact candy that Maria gave her as a gift, and hide the broken one somewhere.
But Rosa is watching, so unless Rosa is an unreliable narrator, Beatrice turned the broken candy into butterflies and then into an intact candy. That said, Rosa is further away, so if Beatrice had some way to create the butterfly visual effects, she could still switch the candies with stage magic?
Seeing Beatrice and Rosa together really highlights the sameface aspects :/
This time we explicitly see Beatrice present the letter to Maria. She states Maria must not open the envelope until the appropriate time, and it will ‘become’ an invitation to the Golden Land.
Words to live by.
Rosa also gets an envelope. This is the letter that will be read at the dinner table. Beatrice says their meeting means she’s probably been chosen by ‘Kinzo’s roulette’.
I have to say, compared to the snail’s pace of episode 1 and indeed this episode’s prologue, this is really rattling along now.
Beatrice walks into the mansion and greets Genji directly. So now we know Rosa, Genji, Maria, Shannon and Kanon can all see Beatrice.
Beatrice announces she is going to go and see Kinzo directly.
Kyrie comes in, and it turns out she can also see Beatrice. She figures Beatrice must be important, says hello… and then recognises exactly who.
There’s a strange animated segment where, in a crash of thunder and flash of light, the portrait on the wall changes to a different pose and Beatrice’s current outfit.
Beatrice snubs her and Kyrie is all ‘wtf’. When Natsuhi arrives on the scene, the portrait is back to normal. Kyrie doesn’t mention the encounter.
Upstairs, we learn Genji was unaware of Kinzo going outside and meeting Kanon earlier that year, still thinking it’s been years since Kinzo left his study.
Beatrice describes Kinzo’s intentions as making her a ‘bird in a cage’ but is all but now you’re the bird, sucker.
She tries to open the door and gets her hand burned by the Fifth Pentacle of Mars on the doorknob. She suggests Kinzo is unable to get by except by relying on ‘something like this’. Genji offers to let her in, but she declines, and makes a little speech about being ready for her ‘game’ with Kinzo.
Chapter end. More tomorrow.
Also, I found the audio file for Jessica’s song. I can’t find an online version which makes me worry I’ll be DMCA’d if I post an audio post with it.