Umineko no Naku Koro ni Episode I-V
Episode I-V: Fool’s mate.
This episode is getting a lot of praise from the SN players since it was pretty faithful to the sound novel and for once it didn’t feel rushed at all. Anyways, the first half of the episode shows us the last moments of the few family members who managed to remain alive until “the Witch revived and killed them all”. I think this is one of the greatest mysteries presented so far, since we don’t really know what happens to the remaining four people or how do they end up getting killed.
The credits roll from the game (which was mostly skipped here) gives us a valuable hint, saying that the corpses of Battler, Maria, Jessica and George went missing. IIRC the police was only able to find part of Maria’s jawbone or something, so they determined everybody else was dead as well.
The only part of the game’s ending scroll we got here was the letter inside a wine bottle, presumably written by Maria, which I think describes the events that ocurred on these 2 days at Rokkenjima and ends with a message of Maria pleading those who read her letter to find the truth of this whole incident.
Tea Party Episode I
In the second half, suddenly everybody’s having a tea party in a place that looks like the Ushiromiya mansion, except they really aren’t in the mansion anymore. They’re actually in the Purgatory, discussing how nobody was able to make it alive and how they basically got a BAD END since they didn’t bother at all with solving the epitaph just like the culprit had originally told them to do so.
Also, all of a sudden, everybody seems to accept the existence of Beatrice, something which doesn’t please Battler in the slightest. After everything that has happened so far, he still says he doesn’t believe in the witch. However, not long after that, the witch herself makes an appearance.
New character: Beatrice.
Also known as the Golden Witch, the Endless Witch, or simply Beato, she’s the culprit of all of the murders that have ocurred so far… looking at things from a fantasy perspective, of course. She’s voiced by Sayaka Ohara. It’ll probably take a while to get used to her voice, although for now I think her laugh is good enough (It’s so witch-like).
In any case, even after the Golden Witch has shown up herself, Battler isn’t ready to surrender just yet. Instead, he plans to prove how every single of the strange events related to Rokkenjima’s mass murder can be explained by humans means. And this is how Umineko’s battle of logic vs. magic between Battler and the Endless Witch… finally begins.
Hidden Tea Party Episode I
New character: Bernkastel.
A traveler witch with an uncanny resemblance to Rika Furude from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. She’s voiced by Yukari Tamura, one of my favorite seiyuus ever. We don’t really know much about her yet, but since Rika mentioned her in Higurashi Rei we can assume it’s her witch form or something. Many VN players seem to think she’s a *****, but I actually like her. Even if she isn’t really our ally (or Battler’s ally, if you want to pretend there wasn’t any fourth wall breaking at the end of the episode), at least she’s willing to lend us hand against Beatrice. I really like her anime design, although she appears to be missing something from her sound novel counterpart…
If you look closely at her game sprite, you can see that she actually has boobs… while in the anime they turned her into a flat-chested loli witch. Not that I care or anything though, I just felt like pointing it out. Also, at some point during the tea party she looked as if she were staring into Beato’s enormous chest. A bit of jealousy, perhaps?