Thanks to my little stint in the survival genre especially the interesting and astonishing (albeit not perfect) Mirai Nikki, it was only a matter of time that I decided to dabble in another anime of the similar genre. After all, I already did mention in that blog of some of the anime titles of this genre that I would be interested to look at and it is no surprise that now I find myself drawn to watch Umineko No Naku Koro Ni. Without spoiling so much, it is about a family gathering that is more than just discussing about the distribution of the family’s head’s wealthy assets. The dying patriarch seems to be obsessed in reviving his dead lover believed to be a witch and the main ingredients of resurrecting a witch is, you guessed it, sacrifice. With the deadly storm entrapping the family on the island, they are forced to fend themselves in a battle that hovers between fantasy and reality.

Episode 1: Opening
Kinzou Ushiromiya has about 3 months to live. He seems to be desperate for Beatrice’s smile and would return everything just to have that again. The other Ushiromiya family members gather on their private island, Rokkenjima for their annual family gathering. We are introduced to several characters of the family from uncles and aunties (Krauss, Hideyoshi, Rudolf, Eva, Kyrie, Natsuhi, Rosa) to young relatives and cousins (Battler, Jessica, George, Maria) to the servants (Chiyo Kumasawa, Genji Ronoue, Kanon, Shannon, Toshiro Gouda). There is a big portrait that Battler notices. She is Beatrice the Witch. Their grandpa and family head Kinzou believes in the existence of witches. Family history reveals that the Ushiromiya was a prosperous family owning many mills till the great earthquake wiped everything out and killed many of the family members. Kinzou was tasked in rebuilding everything and he used his wealth and extreme luck to turn the tables around to make the family prosperous again. It is rumoured that he made a contract with Beatrice to sell his soul in exchange for 10 tonnes of gold which is equivalent to 20 billion Yen. Battler thinks it is a whole lot of bull but Maria really believes in it. Meanwhile the adults are beginning to talk about money and inheritance. Something about embezzlement of funds and it ends with Natsuhi being berated by Eva due to some family status thingy. The siblings try to gang up on Krauss and make him agree to their several conditions in exchange to let him handle the distribution of the assets. But Krauss knows a bit of their other shady dealings and shuts them up. Unfortunately he has no money to help them and suggests they solve Beatrice’s epitaph instead. Maria gives a scorpion pendant as protection against Beatrice. Then they try to find her marked rose lost in the garden. Because she is making a very irritating noise, her mom Rosa tells her to shut up and since she remains persistent, she slaps her! The rest can’t get involved in this personal family problem and furious Rosa just leaves Maria to do as she wishes. A big storm arrives and Kinzou believes Beatrice has come. Time to begin the miraculous banquet. When Maria has not returned, they go find her. Thankfully she is safe but where did she get the umbrella? Beatrice gave it to her.

Episode 2: First Move
Everyone wonders who gave Maria the umbrella if none of the servants did. Then Maria takes out a letter she says Beatrice gave to her to read aloud to everyone. The letter has Kinzou’s seal on it. Maria is somewhat possessed as she reads the letter. It states that the contract with Kinzou has ended and therefore her resignation as special advisor. Thus they must return all the gold she has given and she will also take the family’s wealth. However Kinzou left a special clause as a chance for them to retain their wealth and honour. If they can find the hidden gold, this condition will be revoked and Beatrice will forgo everything that is due to her. This game is open to everyone so not only family members have the right. Of course Kinzou’s children do not agree with this as they have not heard about this and try to reach the patriarch but he locks himself inside his room. Battler’s mom, Kyrie talks to her son about the possible 19th person on this island. If that person wanted to hide his/her anonymity, why go all the trouble to deliver it to Maria? Could it be that Beatrice is one of the 18 just to create an illusion that someone outside the 18 exists? Battler’s dad, Rudolf has something to tell his family but he thinks he will be killed tonight. Krauss shows his wife Natsuhi a gold bar in his possession that Kinzou was believed to have received from Beatrice. The servants are given midnight shifts to guard the guests. There have been romantic trysts between George and Shannon. He gives her an engagement ring and wants her to give a reply by tomorrow.

The next morning, Kanon notices Gouda is not as his station. There are also a few people missing. The phone lines are cut so Genji wakes up Natsuhi. The first shock she sees are blood handprints all over her door. She wants to go see Kinzou so Genji gives her the key to enter his study. Kinzou does not want to be disturbed although he asks her if she longs to be with her old family despite being married into the Ushiromiya for quite some time. She notes her family is the one and only Ushiromiya and will protect the family’s honour and glory. Kinzou replies despite she does not qualify to wear the One Winged Eagle, she has already engraved it in her heart and without a doubt a blood relative, one who will inherit the glory of the family. Genji reports something strange at the garden shed. They see a strange circle like the ones used to summon demons painted all over it. When Genji gets the family doctor, Terumasa Nanjou, the teens see them hurrying away and follow them to the shed. To everyone’s horror, there are 5 dead bodies (Krauss, Rudolf, Kyrie, Gouda and Shannon). Their faces have been ripped off. There is a sixth body at the back (Rosa). Jessica is horrified her dad Krauss is dead while George may be getting the same feeling after seeing a familiar engagement ring on a finger of one of the corpses.

Episode 3: Dubious Move
Hideyoshi asks George the last time he saw Shannon’s face. He remembers her tender smile. He wants him to remember it that way (because certainly he doesn’t want to remember this terrified look before death on her face). The dining hall is also filled with blood and messed up. When they question Maria about the circle. She becomes possessed as she explains about the seventh magic circle of the sun that bestows the power to escape from restraints and gain freedom. As the radio is out, they cannot do anything until the boat arrives tomorrow. This means they are still stuck with the killer on this island. But Maria notes the killer is not human. It is suggested to stick together as they look for Kinzou who is now missing. Battler confirms that there is only one key to the shed and no duplicates. If it was nicely put back to where it was, doesn’t this mean the killer is among one of them and a person who knows this mansion well? Eva then talks to Battler about the possibility the servants may be the culprits and the possibility of more than one. Battler doesn’t think so because why go all the trouble to commit this flashy gruesome murder and put on more suspicions on themselves? Eva is glad over Battler’s calm composure because this means he doesn’t suspect her family. She is the only sibling left and stands to gain the most out of it. But she notes if she was going to commit this crime, she would have done it better and wouldn’t make herself a suspect. Battler talks to the servants about Beatrice. They really believe she exists and has come. Asking about how she looks like, they say she has no form and the portrait is when she takes human form. Before Battler can go crazy, Maria intervenes. She says Battler does not have the same wavelength and that is why he cannot see Beatrice. He is only alive because the scorpion pendant protected him. However he turns the tables that he wasn’t holding it last night and lost it. He still doesn’t believe this witch crap thingy.

Battler then theorizes that the culprit may want to make it look like a witch did it. Although George did theorize that Beatrice might be taking their lives as part of the interest because Kinzou used the gold to build back the empire and thus their lives are connected to it. Battler believes the culprit might be holding Kinzou hostage somewhere and threatening to kill each of the family member unless he reveals the hidden gold. That is why the culprit wants them to find the gold to make it easier for the culprit to steal. When Eva asks who last saw Kinzou, Natsuhi admits and returns the key to Genji. Eva then reveals something. After Natsuhi left the study, she placed a paper between the doors. After they return from the murder scene to find Kinzou. The paper is still there. It means Kinzou has never left. He is missing because Natsuhi killed him and dumped his body outside the window and hide it later. Natsuhi threatens to shoot her for this accusation and Eva dares her. Battler deduces Eva’s theory as wrong. It could have been Kinzou was hiding while they return to look for him and then left the place. Eva disagrees of why Kinzou would do something so odd so Battler points out that Eva did the odd thing too by placing that paper. Jessica wants Eva to prove she didn’t kill everyone last night before doubting her mom. Eva and Hideyoshi retire to their room. Eva admits she always picked on Natsuhi because she hated Krauss since young. When Genji knocks on their door for dinner, there is no answer. Fearing the worst, he opens it with a spare key. A chain prevents the door from opening fully. Kanon returns with a cutter (by this time a pentacle is written on the door with blood). They see Eva dead on the bed and Hideyoshi dead in the bathtub. Both have been stabbed between the forehead.

Episode 4: Blunder
George is devastated his parents are killed. After locking the door, they smell something foul. Kanon goes to investigate the stench originating from the boiler. Battler and Jessica contemplate how the culprit killed Eva and Hideyoshi in this locked room mystery. Maria interjects to say Beatrice did it. This is to show proof that no humans can do it. Each time Maria laughs, Battler knocks her head! As for the pentacle, is supposed to open any unlocked door. Kanon is inside the boiler and calls out to Beatrice that he will be the one to stop her summoning. He gets stabbed in the chest. The rest arrive. Battler thinks the culprit escaped via the doors. He tries to follow but eventually gives up. The foul stench is a corpse in the furnace. It belongs to Kinzou. Genji knows it is him because he has 6 toes on each foot. Also, they notice his family ring is missing. Kanon is treated by Nanjou but looks like he didn’t make it. Jessica is sad because she likes him. At this point, they are assuming the culprit has the master key to all the rooms. Battler even thinks that the culprit may be one of the dead. Because their faces were ripped off, there was no telling if it was them and the corpse might be replaced with a similar one. Feeling they cannot be safe in any room, Genji thinks there is one: Kinzou’s study. Maria points out Beatrice cannot open this door because there is that scorpion symbol on it that blocks her magic. Learning that Natsuhi had one hung from her door, Maria says it is the reason why Beatrice couldn’t get to her. There is a letter from Kinzou that states to glorify his name.

Asking about this Beatrice person if she really exists, Genji reveals she is Kinzou’s lover who died so he might have dabbled in black magic to revive her. Genji also adds that they have no children. Jessica heard that Kinzou donated lots of amount to an establishment for orphans in which he used them as experiments for this ritual. Then it hit Battler about the sacrifice. They go take a look at the epitaph. Currently everything that is stated there has turned out true. At the end, all will die to bring back Beatrice. Could it be that this family gathering is just a big sacrifice? When Maria points a letter from Beatrice on the table, Natsuhi becomes defensive. While pointing her gun at Genji, Chiyo, Nanjou and Maria, she believes one of them is the culprit who placed the letter while the rest were looking at the epitaph. She has Battler read its contents. It states for them to give up any hope of leaving this place. Either she wins or they all win. Natsuhi wants the culprit to confess or she will assume all of them are in cohorts and have them leave the room. Battler then throws his charm to Maria. He lied that he had lost it just to contradict her. After that, Battler notices a drawing on the letter’s next page. Researching it, it shows that it is a sign to deceive and separate others. Looks like they have fallen into the enemy’s trap. Then the phone rings. Natsuhi picks up and hears a girl singing. They leave the room to look for the rest. In a room, the adults are dead and Maria is singing alone at a corner.

Episode 5: Fool’s Mate
I thought everyone would suspect Maria as the killer. But apparently they want to know who killed them. You mean lolis can’t be killers? Maria says it was Beatrice. This has Battler blow his top so George tries a gentler approach. Maria explains that Beatrice came in via her butterfly form and thus locked doors are no hindrance. As Maria was holding the charm, she won’t kill her and instead told her to face the wall and sing. That was all she did. It is then they realize Natsuhi is missing. She has run out and blocked the door. She is calling out to Beatrice and wants to face her. By the time the kids break down the door, Natsuhi is shot in the forehead. She couldn’t have killed herself, could she? Yeah, it’s Beatrice. Maria now praises the Beatrice portrait and now that all the conditions have been fulfilled, Beatrice will revive and nobody will survive. She wants Beatrice to take her to her land of gold. Battler still cannot believe this sh*t. When a gold butterfly appears, Battler shoots it but it only replicates. Battler goes crazy. Maria laughs like crazy. In the end, a letter in a bottle written by Maria reaches some fisherman’s hands. It states she has already died by the time this letter is read and wants whoever reading this to reveal the truth. However the truth behind the island’s mass murder was never revealed until today.

The next scene is suddenly WTF???!!! Everybody is revived???!!! WTF???!!! The kids are discussing how that would be the bad ending if they reach the time limit before exposing the culprit. Apparently they didn’t even try to solve the riddle and were so obsessed in protecting themselves and this is what will happen. As everyone believes in the existence of Beatrice, only Battler still remains stubborn. He thinks they are being lazy to think further of the true culprit. Although he is not saying that one of the family members is the killer, wouldn’t they all like to know who actually killed them? It’s Beatrice, right? Stop saying that name! He throws down the challenge that if they want him to believe in witches, show Beatrice before him. And here she is in the flesh! Unfortunately Battler shifts the goal post. He thinks this is an illusion. They want him to believe so much in the witch that they conjure up this illusion. WTF?! Beatrice finds him interesting that he is the type that won’t believe in their kind if they turn to world upside down. Battler will prove all her supernatural kills are just human tricks. So Beatrice kills off everybody! OMFG! Just because he doesn’t believe in magic, everybody dies again?! Can you believe it? Battler still doesn’t believe this crap! It must be some sort of trick! He takes on her challenge that he will explain everything and will keep denying her existence. Later Beatrice is visited by another witch, Frederica Bernkastel. She has come to observe Beatrice as she has find it interesting that Beatrice started something of interest. Bernkastel hates being bored and she wants to be entertained by watching her. Therefore she will lend her powers not as an ally but to keep herself entertained. So please do not disappoint her.

Episode 6: Middle Game
George is dating Sayo (Shannon’s real name). They think they owe it to magic. Going back in time, we see Shannon smashed some mirror on a shrine cliff and called out to Beatrice to keep her part of the bargain. As Shannon remains a clumsy maid, she gets chided by the adults but George smoothly changes the topic and in a way saves her from further embarrassment. Eva doesn’t like how her son and this maid are getting along fine. So she calls George just to tell him about the marriage meeting. Although it breaks Shannon’s heart hearing this, Eva then whispers to her about George’s fiancée who is of higher status and education and reminds her of her place. Shannon laments before Beatrice’s portrait. The witch appears before her. Knowing of her love problems, she would grant Shannon her wish but in exchange will one request. There is a mirror on the shrine cliff she needs to break. Upon doing so, her powers will be restored. Shannon refuses to do that since the island has been peaceful and doing so will bring about chaos. Beatrice agrees. So is she willing to live this peaceful life forever? She then gives her a butterfly brooch. It is an item that will grant her wish but as long as she doesn’t smash the mirror, this brooch will remain just an ornament. A few years later, Jessica seems envious that Shannon is dating George. Shannon knows about Jessica’s love for Kanon.

Shannon returns the brooch to Beatrice but the latter doesn’t want it. Although Shannon is grateful that her magic made them a couple and that they should put in their own effort in making their love last forever, Beatrice wants her to think of this brooch as a symbol of friendship. Many rely on her but they fail to be grateful after their wish is granted. Beatrice reveals that mirror had some evil sealed inside it by a travelling eastern magician. Although her power hasn’t returned yet, she still can feel a faint existence. Shannon then gives the brooch to Kanon who is not happy to receive something from Beatrice. Shannon then talks to him about Jessica. Kanon visits Shannon’s school to pretend to play her boyfriend. Her friends can’t stop teasing her so she beats them up. Though Kanon hates crowds, he can’t help being mesmerized by Jessica’s singing performance on stage. Is it because the song had stupid yet cute lyrics? Back home when Kanon praises Jessica for her singing, this leads him to mention himself as furniture. He has forgotten his real name and not allowed to have a future or dreams. That is why he is not human like her. He heard from Shannon that she likes him. However love cannot materialize between a human and furniture. That is why he believes the relationship between George and Shannon will fail. He thanks her for thinking him as human. Later Beatrice confronts him that her love charm didn’t work on him so he chides her about playing cupid and is more like a witch who toys with couples’ heart and gives them false hopes. She reminds him her power will rise and she will revive. Then she will control everything on this island and the door to the land of gold will open.

Episode 7: Early Queen Move
Because Maria continues to be annoying and bugging mom to buy a Halloween candy, Rosa slaps and abuses her in the train! Realizing she is being watched, she stops and relents in buying her one. She’s quite the happy kid she is. Now she wants to dress up in a Halloween costume. As Beatrice the witch! Jessica learns from Chiyo about Beatrice who is the other master of this island and one who rules the night. Rokkenjima was once known as Azukishima, which is a corruption of Akujiki. The island was rumoured to be feared by sailors because of the large number of shipwrecks as evil spirits are believed to attach themselves to the island. When all the family members arrive on the island, the scene is paused. Beatrice and Battler are seen talking about how this torturous scene will repeat itself till Battler acknowledges Beatrice exists. But he still denies her and believes this will be her torture till she gives up. The scene resumes with Rosa abusing Maria for being annoying again and speaking about witches. This time she steps and crushes her candy and lets her be. When Kanon tries to console her, it seems she is very much happy that Beatrice is coming. Later when the storm comes, Rosa realizes Maria is missing and rushes back out to find her. She is still standing there, waiting for mama to come back. Rosa regrets her earlier actions but Maria says it is not her fault as she was possessed by an evil witch. Rosa is shocked when Beatrice appears before her. She even fixes Maria’s candy and then gives her a letter that mustn’t be opened now. It is an invitation to the hidden gold. She also gives Maria a letter to be read to the other siblings when they gather at the dinner table. Beatrice then enters the house with Genji leading her. Kyrie passes her and thinks she looks familiar. As Beatrice explains to Battler, unlike last time, she is now placing herself inside the game.

Beatrice talks to Kanon but finds him no fun since he is like a furniture. She then teases to use Shannon as sacrifice because she’ll have lots of regrets if she kills her after her successful romance with George. Kanon objects so Beatrice tells him to kneel and lick her feet if he doesn’t want Shannon to die. Does he have a choice? Later Kanon blames Shannon for her romance regret. Otherwise today would have been the day they will reborn as furniture into humans. Later Beatrice talks and teases Shannon about sparing her life because watching her love life is amusing. However Shannon knowing she likes to entertain herself by playing pranks on others is going to resist all that and that is to ignore her. This only makes Beatrice mad and will kill her. When everyone gathers for dinner, Kyrie asks about the guest. Gouda mentions Beatrice will be having dinner in her own room. This has the siblings shock and start causing riffs among them if Kinzou plans to distribute his wealth to her. They send the kids away with the doctor. Nanjou explains what he knows about Beatrice although he has never met her before. He knows she died long ago and Kinzou might be trying his hands in black magic to revive her. Perhaps her appearance here is for revenge? That night, George gives an engagement ring to Shannon and she gladly accepts it. Kanon doesn’t seem too happy about it. Beatrice shows herself before the siblings and all of them have no choice but to admit and acknowledge her existence.

Episode 8: Weak Square
Kinzou wakes up in the morning and realizes he is not the first sacrifice. So which 6 have been? Rosa and the servants are before the chapel. Weird pentacle is on its door and a message from Beatrice to Maria that this is her Halloween. Genji mentions the only key to this chapel is missing so Rosa goes back to the room where the kids are to find them all safe. Inside her letter is the chapel’s key. When they open the door, the horrifying scene of the other siblings dead at the table with their guts gutted out and stuffed with candy! Beatrice explains to Battler about this move unlike last time, their faces are now pretty clear. Unfortunately the kids enter and see this. Jessica gets worked up believing Beatrice is the culprit. She rushes back to her room but is not in. Making things worse, Beatrice left a letter saying she did it. Jessica is so mad that her asthma kicks up. Kanon takes her back to her room to rest. Beatrice shows herself and teases Kanon being a furniture instead of knowing a girl’s heart. She summons demon butler goats with magical blades. Wait. Kanon also has magical blades to fight them?! He easily defeats them. When Beatrice continues to mock Kanon as a furniture, Jessica objects to all that. She believes Kanon is more human than anything because he came to her rescue. Beatrice decides to kill them both as she summons one of the Seven Sisters of Purgatory, Asmodeus of Lust. She takes on Kanon and when she turns into a piercing tool, Jessica uses her body to protect him. Beatrice now summons another Seven Sisters of Purgatory, Satan of Wrath to kill Kanon. She turns into a piercing tool and strikes in his heart. Beatrice laughs at their pathetic deaths and to humiliate them even more, she takes away Kanon’s body.

Meanwhile as the rest trying to figure out the pentacle, Maria explains that magic sun circle. George then brings up how everyone got in if the key was in the envelope. So how did the culprit lock the chapel’s door? The scene pauses for another argument with Beatrice and Battler who is not amused of another locked room mystery. Since he argues there may be a hidden duplicate key or secret entrance, Beatrice adds a new rule that red words will appear whenever she speaks the truth. Though, this does not mean she is obliged to show him any proof. Battler refuses to believe the dead ones entered the chapel via magic door although Beatrice confirms everyone entered via the door. Others that she confirmed includes there is only one key, the door cannot be open via other methods like picking and the object inside Maria’s envelope is the chapel’s key. Battler then corners her with his answer. The culprit secretly stole the letter from Maria’s bag and after committing the crime, locked the chapel’s door and put back the key into the envelope and back in Maria’s bag. This proves the crime is possible without magic. Beatrice praises him. But that means he has to suspect one of his relatives. The scene resumes as they discuss about solving Beatrice’s epitaph. As real gold were at the crime scene, they deduce the hidden gold must be true. Maria doesn’t care for all that and just wants to go there and won’t get in Beatrice’s way. Rosa returns with a gun that she borrowed from Kinzou so that she can protect them.

Episode 9: Skewer
Suspecting Jessica and Kanon have not returned, they head to her room to see another pentacle. After opening it, they see Jessica’s corpse. As Jessica’s key is on the drawer, Rosa suspects the servants because only they have the master key to all rooms except the study and chapel. Because Genji and Shannon were with Kinzou, the suspicions fall on Gouda and Chiyo. Even more on Gouda because he was with Kanon. But the most suspicious is Kanon whose body is nowhere to be found. He might be the one who killed Jessica and locked this room. She wants to assume he is the killer and probably in cohorts with Beatrice to get the gold but Battler objects. He has Gouda explain what happened. Kanon gave Jessica his key to open Beatrice’s room. If Jessica has not given the key back, it must still be in her pocket. Nanjou searches her body and picks out Kanon’s key. Although this proves Kanon is not the killer as he has no master key to lock the door, Rosa’s suspicions fall back on Gouda and Chiyo. Battler also objects because he believes the servants cannot be such killers even if they are offered money because he knows they always want to make people happy. Therefore don’t go accusing people without proof. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. But this mean they are back to the problem of who locked the door. Another paused scene of Battler arguing the facts with Beatrice. She confirms a few more truths like the door is the only entrance and exit to this room and there are no other ways to get in. But when Beatrice points out Battler created this locked room mystery himself because he refused to acknowledge magic or suspect his relatives, back in reality Battler resigns and gives up in figuring out who locked the door. Although he clears Kanon as the killer, this means Shannon and Gouda are back to being suspects.

When everyone is having a meal, Maria shows the wolves and sheep puzzle. Rosa then has all the servants and Nanjou out of the room. With only the family members in it, this is similar to that puzzle. Rosa argues that more than one culprit could have killed the siblings. But the question now is who are the wolves and who are the sheep. It is made more suspicious why the culprit locked the door. Doing so would only place more suspicion on themselves. Rosa can prove she is not a wolf because had she been after Kinzou’s wealth, she would have killed all of them now and say Beatrice did it. However she has not done it. As the servants are in the kitchen, they heard a weird banging sound. Gouda opens the door only to find Kanon’s bloodied corpse! But he is not totally dead yet. He claims Rosa is the culprit. She is going to kill them all. Shannon suspects something amiss, runs to the boiler room. Kanon shocks everyone by getting up. He talks like he is fine and the pain is nothing to him. Shannon returns with a handkerchief she used to wipe a spider’s web. If he is really Kanon, it will do nothing to him. Kanon gets defensive and materializes his magic blades. Too bad Nanjou and Chiyo’s throat got slit in the process. As the rest restrain him on the wall, Genji slams the handkerchief into Kanon’s wound. After screaming in pain, he disappears.

Episode 10: Accept
The servants are finding it hard to explain what they saw and this only irks Rosa because her question is simple: Who did it?! It’s like it was Kanon but wasn’t. WTF. When they return to check on the corpses, it is now missing. Rosa believes that the duo are still alive and faked their deaths to attack them. Rosa then reads the letter about Beatrice’s reminding them to solve the epitaph and not look for her. It also states the corpses were taken for her ceremony. When Beatrice makes more truths about the doors and master keys, Rosa has had it with this farce and suspects the servants. Until the bodies are found, they will remain as suspects. Genji returns his key as a sign of trust and so do the other servants. After putting them in Maria’s bag, she is satisfied that this way she doesn’t have to suspect anyone and the best person she can trust is herself. When Maria says Beatrice doesn’t need keys and only magic to open doors, Rosa is about to slap her but Battler stops her. He starts crying and admits Maria was right! He should have believed in witches to save them the pain of it all. Rosa and the servants are confident they can regain their trust with each other after this. George accompanies the other servants into the kitchen. After that, Battler is dismayed when Rosa mentions she has never trusted them at all. Beatrice can calm Rosa’s suspicions by saying there are only 5 master keys and no duplicates. She can do so if Battler is willing to become her furniture. Shannon explains her spider move. Because evil spirits used to reside on this island, spider webs have that property to repel magic. She feels guilty for smashing the mirror and releasing that witch’s power. But they remember Natsuhi kept another similar mirror in her room and think if they get that mirror, they might be able to resist Beatrice. The plan is to retrieve Natsuhi’s room key from her corpse since the dead bodies are still at the chapel. Genji will not go as he needs to be on standby in case his master calls. The trio rush down to the chapel and after Shannon takes Natsuhi’s key, they are attacked by golden butterflies and Beatrice appears before them. In Natsuhi’s room, George is trying to pry open the box from the drawer where the mirror is supposed to be. Gouda tries to keep the door shut but he got killed in the midst. Beatrice and her goat army are here.

Episode 11: Back Rank Mate
George manages to pry open and the mirror activates a barrier that protects them. Beatrice summons Kanon to attack them but the barrier still holds its ground. When Shannon pities Beatrice that she doesn’t understand their love, this riles her a lot as she unleashes all her power on them, eventually killing them right before Shannon could have George confess his love to her again. Genji calls Rosa to inform the bodies of Nanjou and Chiyo have been found in the garden. Realizing their deaths are part of the ritual, Battler worries about George and the rest. Hurrying back to Natsuhi’s room, they see their corpses. All dead and yet another condition for the ritual fulfilled. When they return to the room, there is another letter from Beatrice about the ceremony going to start soon that will bring about her revival. Rosa then points the gun at him and clearly suspects he is the culprit. She believes he was the one who put the letter there. Battler then suspects back Rosa for being the most suspicious because she is the only adult not killed. Why wasn’t she at the chapel? Because she invited them to kill them! Maria starts crying over their fighting. This makes Battler sick in suspecting each other. He calls out to Beatrice to show herself and admit to these murders. Later, Genji brings Battler to Kinzou’s room. Beatrice is there as she called him here for his surrender. She would gladly answer all his questions if he admits her existence and also kneel and lick her feet. So Battler now becomes her pet? Kinzou wanting to go with Beatrice to her land of hidden goal gets devoured and her limbs torn apart by the goat army. Similarly, Battler also meets this same fate! Rosa takes a gold bar from the chapel and runs away with Maria. But the goat army is hot on their heels. Rosa realizes she has been a bad mother and despite all she has done towards Maria, she still needs her and not the gold. Eventually Rosa is captured and under Beatrice’s hospitality, she is forced to eat body parts of her siblings. The final dessert is eating Maria, in which the little girl taunts her to do so because she has always been in the way whenever Rosa brought home a different man. Rosa is forced to acknowledge Beatrice’s existence. Suddenly Battler revives to reject all that. Seeing how perseverant Rosa was, this gave him the will to come back. Can he do that? Beatrice dares him. The scene then changes again to Beatrice talking to Bernkastel. It seems she knows she isn’t just an observer but making a bet fighting against her. Because of this, fellow witch, Lambdadelta pops up and since she has a grudge against Bernkastel, she will side with Beatrice and bet against her. Bernkastel will go all out now that she has been exposed as Beatrice calls forth the next game.

Episode 12: Castling
This is a little confusing. Beatrice when she was young and human accidentally broke a family vase. Then this witch named Beatrice helped her to fix it before the stupid cat broke it again. The witch mentions about her teacher who practised some endless magic that could forever fix things and thus dubbed the Endless Witch. Mini Beatrice is awed and wants to become her disciple and thus Beatrice the witch takes her in. Eva dreams about Kinzou telling her off that Krauss will always rank higher than her. Her job is to marry a man that will be profitable to the family. While she laments this chauvinism, it seems her inner self continues to convince her to fight this to fulfil their promise to become the head of the family. But they have to look for the key to the Golden Land. The family gather at Rokkenjima again. The kids are happy together as Battler makes a vow for them to forever stay friends. Of course Beatrice won’t let this happen as she introduces us to her head demon butler, Ronove. This time, Rokkenjima is cut off from the real world and in the spirit world. After Maria reads the letter on Beatrice’s epitaph at the dinner table, this has Eva and Natsuhi lock heads on who succeeds the family and the assets. Although Natsuhi believes Krauss is the unshakable heir, the letter has made everyone fair game for it. Later the adults discuss this Beatrice person. Could she be really a witch or the 19th person on the island? Then those rumours about her being Kinzou’s mistress who is secretly living on this island and the reason she threw this challenge was perhaps she already had tons of gold so that she could trade with the family’s inheritance. Kyrie presents another option that there could be arrogance or she herself is playing in this game. Beatrice might be looking down on them that they can never solve the epitaph and to show off her superiority over the losers. Now we go back to Beatrice and Battler’s discussion regarding the extra person. Battler dares her to declare there are only 18 people only and because she can’t, it means none of the 18 is suspected and this means he can use the argument the 19th person is Beatrice the human and at the same time disproving Beatrice’s status as a witch if he suspects his own relative. With Beatrice also refusing to declare the fixed number of people on this island means Battler can theorize as many culprits as he wants. But Beatrice is not panicking yet. There is a reason she is refusing to say this. Back to the adult’s discussion, Rosa reveals Beatrice cannot be alive because… She killed her!

Episode 13: Gambit
About 20 years ago after Rosa was harshly scolded by her mom, she ran deep into a forest and stumbled upon a secret garden. That is where she met Beatrice and they talked about many things. Seems Kinzou has been keeping her here in this ‘cage’ and not go over the fence on pretence there are wolves outside. When Rosa assures the island is safe, Beatrice decides to follow her outside. Battler can’t believe this crap either so Ronove on behalf of Beatrice also speaks the truth about this hidden mansion called Kuwadorian does exist and that Beatrice did exist as a human in 1967. As Rosa takes Beatrice along the cliffs, the latter slips and falls to her death. Beatrice in spirit form now regains her memories as the Endless Witch. In this form she is free from Kinzou’s prison. Now Beatrice makes the truth statement that there are only 18 people on Rokkenjima. This means Battler must suspect his relative despite Beatrice’s short appearance (because she’s technically dead now) although he can’t believe Beatrice might be masquerading herself as one of the relatives. Or would he rather acknowledge her existence?

Genji, Shannon and Kanon are called to Kinzou’s room. It seems Beatrice and Ronove are here. Beatrice relays the good news to Kinzou that she agrees to reunite with him before the ceremony’s completion. The bad news? He is her first sacrifice. Old geezer bursts into flames. Because Shannon has no regrets about accepting George’s ring, Beatrice feels displeased. Instead, she wants to toy with Kanon a bit and calls forth the eldest among the Seven Sisters of Purgatory, Lucifer of Pride. If Kanon can best her Seven Sisters of Purgatory, she’ll let him choose 2 of 5 people who will escape becoming one of her 13 sacrifices. Shannon doesn’t want him to listen but Kanon wants to escape this furniture life and experience love like her. Kanon and Lucifer fight and surprisingly Kanon is superior. Even when Lucifer seriously tries to kill him, Kanon stood his ground. About Beatrice’s promise, well, she did say he had to defeat all of them, right? With the 7 sisters trying to pierce through Kanon, Shannon makes a barrier to protect him. She has no regrets in her life after fulfilling her duty as his big sister. Those words also irritate Beatrice as she vows not to let them die in peace. That is when Genji commends the duo for doing well and then, uhm, kills them off? He would also gladly sacrifice his life for them and Ronove does the honours to put him to sleep. Beatrice then has the sisters hunt for 2 more sacrifices. After Gouda became the unfortunate one, they aim for Chiyo. However she has a barrier that shields their attacks. Beatrice then confronts Chiyo and it is revealed that Chiyo was her teacher and the former witch known as Beatrice.

Episode 14: Positional Play
Both Beatrices being their epic magic battle. Original Beatrice thought she had won when the new Beatrice is impaled by her light spears. However the latter summoned some hidden weapon at the start of the battle and original Beatrice didn’t realize she got hit. It’s her lost. New Beatrice then mocks and steps on her head, gloating about her victory. This is only all the more troublesome for Battler because how the heck is he going to counter it all after watching this fantasy fight! Beatrice cannot stop laughing at how he will tackle this. Meanwhile the adults are at a dead end so when they leave the room to take a break, they smell a foul stench coming from the kitchen. A pentacle is on the door and it is locked. They check on the kids and they are safe and sound asleep. Kinzou and the servants are missing. They see Shannon sitting in a room but since she doesn’t answer, they break through the window to enter and find her dead, slumped on the chair. Battler is agonizing at the current events when original Beatrice visits him. Sure, she is ‘dead’ but now they are ‘out of the chessboard’. She offers to teach him something about magic. Do you know there are gremlins working behind the TV to make it work? Crap, right? How would he know? Has he ever taken a look inside? This is exactly what a Schrodinger cat situation is and what Rokkenjima is experiencing. As long as the box is not opened, the possibility of truths can exist together. Although Battler finds it weird that he is trying to deny witches but yet seeking help from one, he agrees to do so to end this tragedy. To avoid confusion, the original Beatrice will identify herself as Virgilia. Battler returns to Beatrice very confident and using the Schrodinger cat theory, because all the magic weapons and beasts summoned during the battle are nowhere to be seen, this means all that is left in the battlefield is just an ordinary rose garden. Beatrice is not pleased Virgilia is siding with Battler.

The adults are loading their guns after they found Kinzou’s body in the boiler. After Battler has Beatrice define the definition of a locked room and all servants have a master key, they reconstruct the murder scenes. Shannon was the first corpse found, beside her is an envelope containing a key to a next room in which another dead body is found. This loop is repeated till it is one big locked room mystery. Shannon -> Chiyo -> Gouda -> Genji -> Kinzou -> Kanon. Battler turns the tables by claiming that it is not how they were killed from outside but how they died from inside. This means they must have killed themselves. Because Beatrice doesn’t want to claim all 6 were killed by others, this is as good as losing the game. She is forced to say it and unfortunately this puts Battler in a bind. But Virgilia says not to be intimidated by what she says because despite claiming they didn’t commit suicide, she also didn’t say they were killed by others. Neither suicide nor homicide. This has Battler conclude that the murderer is one of the victims. But instead of escaping, there was an unforeseen accident that caused him/her to die and thus created an unwanted locked room mystery. Beatrice is about to admit more truths but Ronove holds her horses and wants time to strategize. Meanwhile Eva cannot figure out the sweetfish river puzzle till her inner self hinted something. She heads to the library to check and discovers something. Taking the underground stairs, it leads her to a room where it is filled with gold bars.

Episode 15: Isolated Pawn
Rosa congratulates Eva for finding the gold. She had also deciphered the riddle but had she been 5 minutes earlier, it could have been hers. The duo discuss about splitting the gold and Eva wants to hold off telling the brothers about this discovery till she can make them accept that she has inherited the family’s headship. But Eva’s inner self disagrees with all this as she claims the gold to be hers and thus her right as the family’s head. Beatrice congratulates her for finding the gold and that it belongs to her. As proof, she gives Kinzou’s ring. Because of this, a ceremony to pass on the witch title and powers to her. She will also take on the new name of Beatrice, though I will identify her as Eva Beatrice. She is introduced to the other witches like Lambdadelta who seems dissatisfied with this new Beatrice despite she recommended her as Beatrice’s successor. She is also introduced to Ronove and the Purgatory sisters. Battler is confused with this farce and surprisingly so is Beatrice. From what I understand, this ceremony scene is fake and just her way of interpretation of passing the title. For the time being, Battler is advised to assume this Eva Beatrice is the representation of Eva’s inner self. When Eva and Rosa return to the rest, the former develops a little fever. Resting in her room, she talks to Hideyoshi about never believing in Beatrice and if it was, it was just a witch in her heart. She has this fear that she is changing into a different person and the witch inside her was provoked by Beatrice.

Maria is kicking up a fuss to check on the rose garden. She was tasked by Beatrice to look after it and if she doesn’t take care of it, something bad will happen to her. In order not to draw more attention, Rosa agrees to accompany her to check it to keep her quiet. The rose is still intact but appearing before them is Eva. Not the real Eva but Eva Beatrice. The real one is squirming in pain feeling that she is being kidnapped by someone. Rosa thought she is here to talk about the gold share but Eva Beatrice will not let her have a single ounce. She is going to make them her first sacrifice by levitating and then dropping them from that height. After that she resurrects them and is awed with her amazing powers and proceeds to abuse them with quirky powers. Having fun, isn’t she? Beatrice is laughing and having fun watching this scene that it disgusts Battler. Because nothing can be done to stop this as they are outside the playing field, Battler slaps her for being a nuisance! He doesn’t want to see her face again. Surprisingly, Beatrice actually feels bad about this and start reflecting that she may have went overboard enjoying too much of it. With Virgilia having nothing to say to her and even Ronove’s opinion that she is a numbskull in not understanding feelings of others, Beatrice heads down to talk to Eva Beatrice about the need to be more elegant in using her powers instead of flaunting it so recklessly which makes it disgraceful. She offers to show how it is done. Maria is disappointed when Beatrice cannot keep her promise so she kills her off by strangling the loli. As for Rosa, she impales her head into the sharp fence point. Eva Beatrice finds this killing method boring so Beatrice summons her servants and reminds them the need to perform in a graceful manner and be reasonable. Eva Beatrice isn’t quite happy with this boring turn of events.

Episode 16: Queening Square
Rudolf finds Rosa and Maria’s bodies. Battler is stilled so pissed off he doesn’t give repented Beatrice a chance to talk. He has hated her ever since the start for pulling off cruel deaths on his family. Beatrice has Ronove continue on her behalf. When Battler suggests Rosa strangles Maria out of anger and then accidentally slipped and fell, causing her to get impaled, Ronove makes another truth statement that they were killed by others. The adults discuss about Rosa being killed by someone familiar since she didn’t fire her gun and allowed to let her guard down. Eva cannot believe her other self did this. She has the gold and headship so she wants her to stop but Eva Beatrice still wants to sacrifice some to attain her full witch powers. She assures she will spare her family. This makes Eva feel even sick. It is suggested to run over to the kitchen and grab food as now it is the brightest time of the day amidst the storm. Kyrie, Rudolf and Hideyoshi will rush over and get things done quickly. Once inside the building, Eva Beatrice summons a couple of Seven Sisters of Purgatory, Leviathan of Envy and Belphegor of Sloth to kill Kyrie and Rudolf but spare Hideyoshi. Kyrie and Rudolf can sense something paranormal stalking them. The sisters appear. Since they are fast enough to avoid their shots, the adults decide to run for it knowing they have a better chance of surviving by fleeing. Leviathan corners Kyrie and mentions about her power source as envy. However Kyrie turns the tables that her envy is far greater than hers. She always loved Rudolf but somehow Asumu wormed her way into his heart. Asumu gave birth to Battler and Kyrie suffered a miscarriage. She bore that envy till the very day she died. And just like that, Leviathan gets shot.

Eva Beatrice shows herself before Rudolf and he is surprised to see his sister in this garb. When he fires, Belphegor protects her. Eva Beatrice isn’t appreciate she became her shield and mocks the Seven Sisters of Purgatory as outdated. She summons her own ones. Military bunny girls? Siesta 410 and Siesta 45 do some flashy calculating to fire and instantly kill Rudolf and Kyrie. Eva Beatrice then disrespects their corpses and is going to toy around with it when Hideyoshi slaps her for trying to act tough when she is just a weak coward. I’m not sure about this child-like punishment he is doing on her but she finds it annoying and kills him off. Beatrice then confronts her and has come complaining to do. However Eva Beatrice knows about her goal to make Battler admit her existence. Sorry, she won’t be obliged to do that since she is already a powerful witch with or without anyone’s acknowledgement. After the rest finds the corpse of the trio, when Battler wants Ronove to confirm the corpses, he won’t do it because he cannot take responsibility of this. He wants Battler to give Beatrice another chance as she has repented and will change. Even Virgilia will personally try to get Beatrice to apologize and hopes he can accept her back into the game one more time. Battler seems to agree although he points out he won’t forgive her still. Virgilia talks to Beatrice about Battler becoming her opponent not because he wanted to acknowledge her. It was because he didn’t want to accept the existence of a brutal witch no matter what. Remember, this isn’t a game to torture Battler and make him surrender. It is a test to see whether she can get Battler to acknowledge her. Virgilia wants Beatrice to apologize to Battler and come back to her seat.

Episode 17: Promotion
Beatrice is forced to listen to Battler’s lecture about toying with human emotions and the way she controls lives of others makes her unappreciative of life itself. After Virgilia defines the existence and role of the Endless Witch, Battler calls Beatrice a failure to live up to that name. This means she isn’t qualified to be a witch now. She will do anything to gain his forgiveness but I suppose she needs to think about it herself. He promises her one thing that he will not abandon this game himself and will wait till she becomes a real witch worthy as his opponent. When George is alone by himself, Beatrice appears before him and hints she can revive Shannon. George really wants her powers to do that but unfortunately, Beatrice has passed on her title and is not as powerful as before. She takes him out of the mansion as Ronove and the sisters lie to Eva Beatrice that they didn’t sense anyone exiting the house. Beatrice and Eva Beatrice confront each other in the dream. The former realized getting the headship was sufficient but became greedy after seeing the gold. She views her inner self as her evil part. This means she is responsible for all the deaths so far. Eva becomes devastated upon learning this evil self committed the murders. She is sad she has so many dreams yet to achieve but Eva Beatrice says those dreams are only made when she became an adult and has nothing to do with her. She launches a scathing attack on her and doesn’t want to see her face anymore. So how does Eva Beatrice deal with this? She kills off Krauss and Natsuhi!

Beatrice has George pray hard before Shannon’s body. She will try to open the door to Hades but because of her insufficient power, only George’s true feelings might be able to pull her soul back out. Eventually he does so and Shannon comes back to life. The emotional reunion and gratefulness is all short-lived when Eva Beatrice kills the duo! WTF?! The rest starts to find the missing ones. Jessica becomes distraught seeing her parents’ bodies. The same case for Eva when she sees George’s. Battler can’t end up the same fate as his parents. Who else is going to look after his little sister, Ange? Jessica barges in to accuse Eva of killing her parents because she was the only one with them. Eva also accuses them of killing her George. When things get so heated up, Eva accidentally fires at Jessica. Although she missed, the discharge blinds Jessica. After Nanjou treats her wounds and is about to get Battler, Eva Beatrice kills him! Then she toys with Jessica’s mind that she will be next. Jessica screams for help and that includes Kanon’s name. Beatrice is going to revive Kanon despite her limited power. This might be risky as it will all end here but if it is to make Battler acknowledge her, she’ll gladly do it.

Episode 18: Swindles
Kanon revives temporarily to help Jessica. But in spirit form. He leads her to hide in a room and thanks Beatrice for her help. As Beatrice tries to put a barrier on the door, she is shot by the Siesta sisters. However Beatrice still lives and this scares the sisters. After exploding her heart, Beatrice now exists in just her heart form. Before Eva Beatrice could step on it, the scene pauses. Battler has seen everything. Beatrice laments she wasn’t good enough to be his opponent. He admits to that because his true opponent is Eva Beatrice. She is now dragged into this game as Battler praises Beatrice for protecting the honour of true witches. The Siesta sisters can’t even harm him and this too makes them scared. Battler begins his move by bringing up the deaths of Rosa and Maria. This has him apply Eva is the culprit theory. However Eva Beatrice counters that with Hideyoshi’s alibi that he was nursing her in their room when it happened. Battler counters that argument although Hideyoshi was with Eva, it was a lie he was taking care of her. Eva Beatrice cannot confirm that in red. Now she brings up the deaths of Kyrie, Rudolf and Hideyoshi. Because it was Kyrie’s suggestion not to leave the mansion but later changed her mind to go out to get food, this proves she was under her mind control spell. They head down to the crime scene as Battler and Beatrice check Kyrie’s pockets and find a cigarette butt. This is the same cigarette brand that Hideyoshi smokes. Eva hate smoking and Battler believes the butt in Kyrie’s pocket is a sign left behind. As there was a cigarette butt in the ashtray of that room, noticing this, Kyrie realized Eva had snuck out of her room. Because Eva Beatrice cannot confirm this, Battler concludes Kyrie’s move to ask Hideyoshi to help was to isolate and interrogate him. However Eva Beatrice hits back with many red truths like how Eva was with Battler during the time and thus impossible for Eva to commit the murder. And since this makes Nanjou and Jessica the only suspects, she adds the survivors cannot be the killers. This all proves that the witch made the murder.

Battler finds it impossible to counter this and is about to give up but Beatrice knows a way. She will deny the existence of witches. This is a big sacrificial move that will remove and erase all witches from the scene. Eva Beatrice objects to this as she still wants to be a witch. Beatrice wants Battler to cover his ears so at least she would still be a witch in his eyes. Beatrice has atoned so much that Battler is crying for her. Eva Beatrice is held down by Ronove as Beatrice reads the truth of the non-existence of witches. All of them disappear shortly. Back in reality, Battler is shocked to learn that Eva is the big culprit and gets shot. Suddenly Battler and Beatrice find themselves surrounded by the rest of the casts. Everybody is still alive? They applause for them to finally reach here. All Battler needs to do now is the affix his signature like the rest of the family to admit the existence of witches so that they can go to the Golden Land. Battler feels something amiss when Beatrice and Virgilia become pushy for him to sign. Suddenly a chick breaks into the scene and tells Battler not to fall for this trap otherwise he will have lost. It hit Battler that everything has been an act and a trap. Realizing this chick is a piece Bernkastel threw in, Beatrice returns to her cruel crazy side and reveals this trap was setup with Virgilia. This chick will now reveal all that happened on that fateful day on Rokkenjima and will be her opponent. Beatrice is seen talking to Lambdadelta and being reminded about her job to keep winning for eternity if she wants to continue being a witch. Fast forward 12 years in time, that chick is actually grown up Ange. She is at Eva’s deathbed and wants to know the truth of her family’s death on that island but the family head continues to mock and despise her till her death. Ange has had it and is about to jump off the roof to kill herself when Bernkastel appears. She claims her family has been forever locked away on that day 12 years ago. The enemy is Beatrice and the source that forced a future of isolation upon her. Only the final Beatrice can stand up to her. In other words, Ange is Ange Beatrice. Although she cannot promise her family will come back if she defeats her, if she believes, she can bring about a miracle. Ange agrees to take this chance.

Episode 19: End Game
Ange returns to the past and on the day the families depart to Rokkenjima. She will uncover the truth and take them back. Beatrice feels bad after hearing from Ronove that Battler is in extreme depression. But when she sees him energetically trying to steal back his food from the Purgatory sisters, she gets embarrassed Ronove lied to her. Having fun? Battler won’t let that big deception bring him down and now that he has learnt his big lesson, he won’t trust any help from her. Beatrice introduces Ange into the game. But Ange hates Battler for slacking although she will greatly help him to defeat this witch. She disguises herself under the name of Gretel. We delve a bit in Ange’s past. After Eva was the only sole survivor at Rokkenjima, she took in Ange and raised her up strictly as the family’s successor. You can say her life was hell. Her classmates don’t think highly of her and reading Maria’s ‘magic’ diary, she is able to communicate with Maria. I’m confused. After Ange attempted to jump off the rooftop but was caught by a safety net, she is seen talking to Tetsuro Okonogi, the president of one of the siblings’ companies. She asks about that day on Rokkenjima so his theory is that Kinzou who once had Krauss in mind as the family head then believed Eva to be the suitable one. On pretence to solve the epitaph, Kinzou already gave her the answer. So when she was away at Kuwadorian to get the headship proof, the rest met with an accident. However Ange thinks all that is crap and believes Eva killed everybody for the wealth. Okonogi believes their difference in opinion is due to love. He knows Eva loves her family and even if she were to kill everyone, she wouldn’t kill hers. She was seen crying genuinely at the funeral of Hideyoshi and George. Ange is supposed to meet some family aunt next but she runs away. The goons try to get her but she is saved by her bodyguard, Juuza Amakusa. She wants to investigate the Rokkenjima incident.

Going back in time where the siblings have gathered, Krauss refuses his siblings to see Kinzou. Then Kyrie offers a proposal. She suggests they won’t see Kinzou if he fulfils a few conditions. Kinzou’s caretaker has to take good care of him. But of course. By any chance if Kinzou dies an unnatural death, his role as caretaker and head of the family will be relinquished. But a person can die in many ways, right? For example if Kinzou gets lost in the forest while taking a walk, it is due to the caretaker’s negligence. Of course once Kinzou’s die, they will inspect his body to determine his death. It seems Kyrie is hinting that Krauss knows Kinzou is dead and hiding his death to avoid splitting his inheritance. Back to Battler’s battle with Beatrice, with this argument this means there are only 17 people on Rokkenjima and he wants her to confirm the truth there are 18. However she won’t as she has gotten bored of this. He calls it unfair but Ange chides him for slacking as up till now he has accepted and played along with her unfair rules. This game isn’t just unfair. It’s just stupid. This riles Beatrice so she gives Battler a chance to speak in words of blue. He may do this when he tries to explain her magic murders with human tricks. But it won’t work unless it denies witches by itself. Once he does this, the witch who claims to use magic as murder must respond to it. Battler is still confused by this rule so again Ange chides him for looking at a single point. He gets the idea of countering with many points and as long one hits, it is all that matters. So his first blue points are Kinzou is already dead, there are only 17 people on Rokkenjima but this mysterious person X around there are 18 people and thus crimes will still be possible even if all 17 people have alibis. Krauss agrees to convince Kinzou to let them see the siblings as proof. Kinzou, alive and well is not happy he waltzed in here because his siblings threatened him. Wow. Old man can lift and throw this guy away. Kinzou agrees to meet them and make a great announcement of the next successor and put an end to their foolish quarrel himself.

Episode 20: Zugzwang
Ange seems to be dissatisfied in what Maria wrote in her diary about her happiness, so there is this confrontation with Maria about it. She is told how the truth can change its form depending on the observing. Showing an example whereby Rosa was supposed to be home and take Maria out to the movies during the weekend but instead she called to say she was unable to make it due to her busy schedule. From what I can see, it looked like she was having an affair. Maria was left home alone and heartbroken but her lion doll, Sakutaro helped cheer her up. Not sure if this is her imaginary friend or for real but the most important thing was Maria was able to be kept happy throughout the night. When Rosa did come home, Maria spotted a receipt from the inn she went. Rosa snatched it back and although she had that look that wants to beat her up, eventually she couldn’t bring herself to beat an innocent child and hugged her. Ange sees this as Rosa abandoning her to have her own holiday but Maria doesn’t view it as so. She claims Ange has lots of happy fragments around her but only chose to pick unhappy ones. This was true for Maria once until she got some magic power. As proof, Beatrice vouches for her and even shows a scene whereby Beatrice and Virgilia signed in Maria’s diary as witness to make Maria as the Apprentice Witch of Origins. Maria also notes Ange also have this sort of magic. Ange remembers she too underwent some sort of training that allowed her to step into the world of witches.

Along with Sakutaro, Maria will help Ange to train to become a witch. She has her try summoning a few familiars. She does summoning the Seven Sisters of Purgatory they are more interested in glomping cutie Sakutaro. To be easy on Ange’s training, Mammon of Greed is decided to help train her. They return back to Ange’s original time when she is in high school. Mammon notices her cheap hair accessories. She got them during a carnival outing with Battler. Ange says she wants to learn magic to revive her family. However her training didn’t go well and something went wrong that made her unable to use magic again and never saw Mammon until she graduated. Ange sees am occult professor who seems to be studying the Rokkenjima case. He explains how 2 bottle messages were discovered, one by a fisherman and the other by the police. Although both detailed the events that happened at Rokkenjima, the contents were different and both letters had the same handwriting. Making it more baffling is that both letters were signed by Maria. It made them wonder which was the truth and which was the lie and perhaps were there other more bottles out there. This has spawned many into finding such bottles and thus been dubbed the Rokkenjima Witch Hunt. They believe some supernatural or occult phenomenon has occurred on the island. When Ange shows Maria’s diary, the professor reacts in a very shocked way. This proves that the handwriting of the bottle letters and the diary are the same. While Ange is talking to Mammon, Lambdadelta interjects to warn Ange she has been tricked by Bernkastel. It is a lie that Battler would come home if she defeats Beatrice. Although it is true Battler would return to his original world, it would be in the past and not the current era. This means her win will be for nothing. Lambdadelta wants to make a deal with her. She wants to stop Battler from winning and turn this game from one tie after another forever. This way, Ange gets to be with Battler and this also satisfies Lambdadelta’s objectives.

Episode 21: Prophylaxis
Ange studies hard but her test results don’t translate into that. Her classmates bully her for being dumb and even force her to write an apology letter. Ange obliges until it gets out of hand whereby they question her existence. This is when Ange snapped as she orders the Seven Sisters of Purgatory to kill everyone! Because they can’t do it, she calls them useless and her disbelief in magic causes them to turn into stone and shatter. Mammon is the last one standing. Before she ‘dies’, she tells off Ange about resorting to her delusions to dirty her hands. Ange’s rage reaches far and wide that even Sakutaro transforms back to his doll form. This has Ange remember that she told Maria she didn’t believe in magic and this made Maria upset and excommunicated her from whatever magic circle. Ange feels so sad that she just wants to die and collapses right before her classmates. The scene now shifts to Maria. Home alone as usual, after she returns from the convenience store, she realizes she has misplaced her house key. Lost kid ended up at the police station whereby the officer tried to contact Rosa but was told she was away on vacation with her boyfriend and nobody in her office knew how to contact her. Maria heard all that and it made her feel sad. When Rosa comes home and a neighbourhood lady tells her off about leaving Maria home alone, Rosa tells her to keep her nose out of their family’s business. She denies whatever affair she is having and kicks her out of the house. Rosa gets mad when Maria is ‘famous’ in town as she is always spotted walking about with her doll. She takes out her frustrations by getting rough with her and yelling, screaming off the stupid daughter she is for not listening to her instructions of not bringing such toys out.

Because Maria continues to speak via Sakutaro, this only makes Rosa even angrier as she takes the doll and rips it apart! Quite heartbreaking to see Maria sad. Beatrice tries to console her and Maria wants her to revive Sakutaro. However that is not possible because Sakutaro was made by Rosa and if she herself denies it, there is no way he can be revived. Because of that, Maria wants to learn magic to avenge and kill her mother. No, kill the bad witch that is possessing her mother. Ange is on her way to Rokkenjima via boat with Amakusa. At first she wants this trip to be a way to satisfy herself in search for answers but after thinking how it isn’t other people who get to decide whether magic exists or not, she felt guilty about her treatment towards Maria and adds another goal to this trip to apologize to Maria for her sin long ago. The moment she accepts magic again, the Seven Sisters of Purgatory reappear before her. She also revives Sakutaro. Although she doesn’t acknowledge witches, whether magic exists or not, she must put this matter on hold. As for the contradiction in believing in the sisters, it means magic exists for those who believe in it. Now that she has accepted it, there is nothing strange for them all to exist. As Sakutaro is here, it proves he exists in her world despite not having a vessel. However Sakutaro says he doesn’t exist in Maria’s world because of what happened. Ange vows to reconcile with Maria and revive and reunite him with her. This is her only way for her to atone her sins. Ange’s aunt, Kasumi Sumadera who has been chasing after Ange ever since she ran away, is now closing in on her with her men.

Episode 22: Problem Child
The siblings are shocked to see Kinzou alive. I guess they lost the bet. Kinzou begins that since none of them succeeded in solving the epitaph, he will scrape it so select his successor. So does this mean Krauss will be the head because he is the eldest son? No. But the rest of the siblings are also not qualified. Therefore the Ushiromiya family will end with his generation. Nanjou believes the siblings have contributed something that money can’t buy: Family. Kinzou decides to change his thinking and will choose one of his grandchildren as the successor. As for his children, they will become sacrifice to revive Beatrice. He summons his Pendragon Memorial Troop, which are actually those military bunny girls. They’ve got an additional member, Siesta 00. He lets them choose and kill 6 of them and the unfortunate ones are Natsuhi, Hideyoshi, Eva, Rudolf, Genji and Rosa (she almost tried to kill Kinzou in a bid to stop him). Kinzou then summons Ronove, Virgilia and a new demon member, Gaap to help in the revival ritual. We return to the scene whereby Rosa just tore apart Sakutaro. As Maria continues to weep over her doll, Rosa is about to beat her when her hand breaks up like porcelain! That way, she will not beat her anymore. Maria in witch form along with Beatrice claims that hand of hers has beaten her more times than she has loved her. In fact, Sakutaro is the one who is her true friend and has always been by her side. Rosa use that busy work as excuse but when Maria mentions she knows about her affair, Rosa reveals her true colours that Maria is the obstruction to her happiness. Because no man would love a woman who has a child from another man. The damning statement comes when she says she has never truly loved her! She never wished she was born! Upset Maria kills her the way she did to Sakutaro. But not enough, she revives and kills her again. Even after 100 times, it still doesn’t feel satisfying although Maria looks like she’s enjoying herself.

Returning to Rokkenjima, the kids are waiting in the guest house. Battler teases Maria as a kid so she throws a big tantrum. Then she switches to her creepy witch mode before George calms her down. When they hear knocking on the door, it is Chiyo and Gouda. They explain all that has happened. Krauss and the rest are locked in a dungeon. Oddly, there is a phone and although it doesn’t connect to outside the island, Krauss manages to connect to the guest house and speaks to Jessica. He tells her not to avenge for mom and wants to stay in there to barricade themselves till morning passes. He fears Kinzou will kill them if they meet as he is not in his right state of mind. Soon, Kinzou visits the prisoners. This place is the basement of Kuwadorian. Kinzou was the one who placed the phone there as part of his plan. He will test them to see if any one of them is worthy of his succession. If so, he will suspend the ceremony to revive Beatrice. He wants Krauss to call the kids. If he refuses, this means he will not give the kids a chance and all of them will become immediate sacrifices for the ritual.

Episode 23: Breakthrough
Ange is seen visiting Nanjou’s son who is also a doctor. He relates having received a strange letter. Somebody used his name to send this letter to an unknown address. Naturally it was returned to him a few days later. Inside it contains a key, a bank card and a PIN number. After attending his father funeral, he visited the bank and when he showed the card, the clerk suddenly changed her character. He was guided to an underground vault and upon opening the safe deposit box, a huge sum of money! He immediately left as he didn’t want to have anything to do with this cursed money. Later she visits Chiyo’s son who also got the same kind of letter with similar contents. He didn’t understand its contents and left it there and forgot all about it. She then noticed one of Chiyo’s belongings in his possession. It isn’t the epitaph but its riddle felt like it. Then she sees Captain Kawabata to rent a boat to Rokkenjima as he is the family’s boatman to the island. Ever since that incident, many feared going to the island. He felt disgusted how the media tried to make fun of the incident. Nevertheless he promises to take care of her and see through she comes back alive. Ange sees something magical in the storeroom and now understands and realizes this fate of magic surrounding Maria and Beatrice. Back in time as the kids are going to be given their tests, they are made to lock Gouda and Chiyo in the storeroom. Then the kids will take turns to take the test and Jessica will go first.

In her room, she meets Ronove who gives her a letter with details of her test. Out of the 3 options, she is required to choose 1. The first, sacrifice her own life. The second, sacrifice her lover’s life. The third, sacrifice everyone else’s life. If none is chosen, all will be sacrificed. She chooses the first one as she cannot live a life without Kanon or couldn’t face him if she has everyone killed. George also receives the same letter from Gaap. Without hesitation, he chooses the third option. He just got engaged with Shannon tonight and he’ll do whatever it takes to be with her forever even if it means making the world his enemy. As the next family head, he is ready to do that. Ronove is about to take Jessica’s life but hold your horses. Her answer was as a girl. But as the head of the family it is different. She punches him in the face and won’t give everything up so easily. Despite Ronove’s unbreakable shield, she continues to throw punches. Her determination not to give up has her punches becoming stronger each time. Meanwhile Gaap wants George to begin his killing. Since he gets to choose the order who to kill first, he is going to kill Gaap! Why the scared look on her face? Although she fights him, George is no pushover and he has superior martial arts. His determination even creates a magical defence barrier when Gaap calls those demon butler goats as reinforcement.

Episode 24: Adjourn
Kanon uses his magical blades to cut the bars. Wait. He claims it is because he is human that he can do this? WTF?! No humans can do that! The Siesta sisters detect the jailbreak and report to Virgilia. She is incensed that Gaap used her demon butler goats without permission and orders the escapees to be killed immediately. Jessica and George are getting stronger in their relentless attack. As they are about to deal the final blow, Ronove and Gaap use a black hole to teleport them and thus they killed each other via the other’s devastating blow! But how come Jessica is still alive? Ronove used his magic to keep her so. She has just 3 minutes to finish up whatever she wants. How kind. She calls Battler to warn him about the non-human enemies. The escapees surface from a well at the back of the mansion after trekking through a secret underground tunnel. However Kanon and Shannon got instantly shot. Run! I guess Nanjou was too slow so he was next. This is followed by Krauss. Kyrie knows her time is up but she manages to get to safety to call Battler and tell him to accept the non-human enemies he will face. Then she apologizes for being mean to him just because he is Asumu’s son. When Kyrie’s voice is no longer heard, it’s a sign she has been killed. Battler receives a phone call from Beatrice who is going to test him herself. Battler tries to get Chiyo and Gouda but sees them hanged in the storeroom.

Confronting Beatrice, he wants to beat everybody up instead of taking her test. Well, if he wins, he’ll get to do that. He is given that letter of sacrificial choice. Because he has no loved one, Battler is thinking of putting Beatrice’s name and choosing this option. Beatrice decides to change the test and wants him to remember the sin he committed 6 years ago. No, it wasn’t about his dad remarried and he casted away his family name. It’s something closer to this island. Since he cannot remember, that is his sin and remembering it will be his test of atonement. It is hinted that because of this sin, all these lives were lost and he is part of the reason for this tragedy. Beatrice gives up on Battler’s test and returns to her room. Kinzou seems pretty delighted and chirpy after passing Maria’s test with flying colours. Since Beatrice is in a bad mood, she roasts him! Her servants wonder what is wrong. Seems she doesn’t find it fun anymore. She is done with this game. Battler thinks he has won but on the contrary, the game is abandoned for eternity with no winner or loser. Bernkastel, Lambdadelta and Ange are against Beatrice’s irresponsible decision to drop out as she was the one who dragged Battler into this. Beatrice questions Battlers qualification as her opponent. She gives Battler permission to speak the red truth. Although he could say Asumu is his mother, whenever he tries to say he was born from her, he could not and his heart starts feeling pain. Beatrice takes this as a sign of disrespect for refusing to do as he is told. It also means he lost his qualifications. Battler tries again but still couldn’t eke out a word. Beatrice says this proves he is not Asumu’s son. Everybody leaves the playing field. Beatrice is seen talking to Maria in a flower field. She thinks they are the only ones who understand magic. Maria looks on the bright side. If there is nobody else here, they won’t be hurt. After all, they are eternal.

Episode 25: Forced Move
Kawabata takes Ange and Amakusa to Rokkenjima as he explains the second secret port that exists on the island as well as the Kuwadorian mansion that he has not seen but was tasked by Kinzou to deliver supplies supposedly used by a woman. He believes this proves the existence of Beatrice living in that mansion. However one day Kinzou told him to stop delivering the goods and it is assumed she has died. That was 30 years ago. Ange goes alone to pay her respects to the family grave. Looking through Maria’s diary, she notices how her kind and gentle magic turned into those that kill. Maria now believes in such magic and calls out to Maria. Unfortunately it is Kasumi and her agents. After Kasumi slaps and torments her, she has her agents beat the crap out of her! Seems she is taking out her frustration on Ange as she hates her older sister Kyrie. Because Kyrie was supposed to succeed the family’s head, she ran away and the task was left to Kasumi. Her carefree life became a tormented one as she was forced to undergo strict training as the head. So by beating up Ange, she will forget her hatred and start over. It is then Ange felt how similar her life is to hers. Now she understands and sympathizes with Eva. Something about as the eldest daughter in the family, the burden fell on her shoulders. Then Eva pushed that role onto Rosa and in turn the reason she took it out on Maria. But Maria’s magic was powerful because despite being abused, she did not take it out on others. She severed all the pain and sadness with her magic. Eva was labelled a witch after the massacre as the media hounded her. Ange realizes could she have been Eva’s ally to help save her. Had she had one then, probably it wouldn’t have turned out this way.

Angie could now see Eva Beatrice. She feels pity for her. Eva Beatrice seems to be encouraging Kasumi to further insult Ange by mocking the contents of Maria’s diary and tearing its pages. This makes Ange mad and sad but she will make them believe in Maria’s magic if she can show it to them. Of course, they dare her believing that she can’t do it. She then starts praying to summon the Seven Sisters of Purgatory. Kasumi orders one of her agents to shoot her as Ange warn not to do it or he will die. Stubborn guy pulls the trigger but gets stabbed by one of the sisters. The Purgatory sisters return but Kasumi and the agents can’t see them because they lack love. The rest are shocked and disregarding Ange’s advice, they fire only to be stabbed. Kasumi refuses to believe all this and picks up the gun and fires. Same thing. She’s dead. Goodbye, pitiful aunt. With Eva Beatrice as the only one left, the witch turns into Eva. She claims she has come back from hell to kill Ange. But when she fires her gun, it backfires and rips her face. Ange must have been numb seeing all the blood so she helps put Eva out of her misery by shooting her. Bernkastel congratulates Ange for understanding all magic at the end of her journey. Ange acknowledges she is the last witch. But she has suspected Bernkastel has been lying to her. Because had she gone back to the past, she will not save her current self and only her past self will be saved. In the end, she still won’t be saved. Despite so, she acknowledges Bernkastel did try to teach her how to take her family back.

Episode 26: Sacrifice
Maria and Beatrice are happily together at flower field AKA the Golden Land when Ange pops up. Maria believes she is happy here and all her wishes are granted. Look, there is even the kind Rosa. But what about Sakutaro? The mention of this causes them to squirm. Ange believes the reason Beatrice cannot revive Sakutaro is because she is not a real witch. Ange can bring Sakutaro back to life but in exchange Maria must leave this place. She has Maria remember how Sakutaro looks like and pop! Here he is! The duo happily reunite as Maria thanks Ange as the greatest witch ever before leaving the land. Beatrice is in despair with this impossibility as she is whisked back to the game. But she still deems there is no worthy opponent as Battler is still reeling that he isn’t Asumu’s son. Because Beatrice cannot speak the red truth that Battler is not Kinzou’s grandson, Ange uses her blue truth that the one qualified to face Beatrice must be Kinzou’s grandson who is no other than Battler. Also, it doesn’t matter if he is Asumu’s son or not. Ange then talks to Battler that blood related isn’t important and what is more important are the bonds. She wants him to come home to his little sister who has been waiting very lonely since. Ange then reveals her true identity and this shocks Battler. But she starts bleeding and dying because a condition for her to be here is that she cannot reveal who she is to him. This motivates Battler that he will win this game and come home to her. Beatrice dares him to kill her as the only way for him to get home.

Battler begins his blue truths that Kinzou has been dead from the start and the mysterious X person adds to the total of 18 people. Beatrice argues the implausibility of the locked room where several people died in Natsuhi’s room. Battler counters this that if Rosa was an accomplice, there is no problem at all. For the third game, the locked room is also possible if Eva was the accomplice. For the fourth game, this X person is believed to have killed others with a gun. Only one problem: Remember how Kinzou showed himself before the siblings? So this proves he isn’t dead to begin with. On the contrary, Kinzou is already dead. Somebody else assumed his name and identity and the siblings just acknowledged it. And since Beatrice cannot confirm that the characters possess multiple aliases, Battler checkmates grandpa. All the other deaths can be attributed to this X person. Beatrice wants him to finish her off by claiming witches don’t exist. However he won’t end it yet because she still has something to hide. Beatrice laughs at him because she was going to give him an easy win. Now that it turns out like this, she’ll make him regret for choosing the hard way. So she makes her red truth despite agreeing Kinzou is already dead, there are no more than 17 people exist and thus the 18th person is non-existent. This also applies to all games. Battler begins his counter argument. Each time, Beatrice gets painfully stabbed by daggers. For the first game, the deaths in the shed could be done by anyone without an alibi. As for in the parlour, the culprit could be the one who faked his/her own death using a fake corpse. If not, simultaneous murders whereby each killed each other with a gun in which Maria proceed to hide it. In the second game, the deaths in the chapel’s banquet mean somebody put bombs in their meal! The third game’s locked room could only mean the culprit murdered each of them in their respective rooms to create the locked room chains. The culprit could just pretend to discover the corpses and the key. Then there’s a counter during Eva Beatrice’s game about somebody pretending to be dead.

At this point, Beatrice has been stabbed so much that she is in pain. However she cannot die and pleads for Battler to kill her. How does it feel, the pain of all those she has killed? She will expose her heart for him to crush so she can die. Her soul floats down to him as she states her final riddle. Battler is the only one left alive on the island. She is now before him and going to kill him. Who is she? The scene changes to where Bernkastel and Lambdadelta are discussing the interesting game that was. Ange was a trump card to get Battler back on track when he mistook his goal. They just felt the piece required so much preparation. While Bernkastel thinks Battler answered most of the riddles correctly, Lambdadelta believes almost all were wrong. Lambdadelta claims that girl still has lots of hidden moves and none of the riddles have been solved. But they believe Beatrice won’t win. Therefore they both declare that Beatrice cannot win and a miracle will not occur.

Money, Murder, Magic, Mystery, Mayhem – When Seagulls Cry Blood
Hey wait! WTF?! What the hell is that unsatisfying cliff-hanger?! Here I am at the last episodes already cracking my brains at all the confusion, especially trying to remember the past games and reconcile how Battler diffuses all that magic load and bull. It was already hard for me to keep up at the very rushed pace of the final episode and then they end it with this crap by not revealing the answer. I mean, I was actually dying to know the answer. Even if the answer would be crap, hey, at least it was answered. Even more confusing crap as we see Bernkastel and Lambdadelta whom I thought hate each other’s guts, conspiring to make Beatrice suffer and play the game for all eternity. So from the looks of it, I am deducing that Battler and Beatrice were never truly saved and the tragedy continues to repeat in an endless loop. Sigh. If only I had some witch powers and put forth my red truth statements to get it straight with the answer.

As interesting as it is, I also have my fair share of confusion of everything that is going on (this is not included the final episode mess that messed with my head). At least I think I understood some of the important parts for me to continue watching and keeping my eyes glued to the screen. Because I did not play the game in which this series was adapted from, it was confusing to say the least when they threw in magic, supernatural, reviving characters that are killed off to reset the story and even going back and forth between the timelines. Because the game itself as I briefly read has lots of chapters and other characters, spanning a rich story, plot and other characters that are interrelated with each other to the saga. So when they start off the first arc by killing off so many characters, I was ‘worried’ how the heck are they going to fill in the rest of the episodes? And then they had this reset thing… Oh brother.

The mix of the many characters does play an important part in shaping the story and its direction. Although I feel that mainly the adults and the servants suffer from lack of character development because usually many of them are being killed off as sacrifice at the start of each arc. Besides their greed to take over Kinzou’s wealth, each of them has an interesting and dark past that just begs to be explored. Like Battler’s family, Rudolf taking on Kyrie as his second wife after Asumu’s death. If Battler is not even Asumu’s son, then whose son is he to? You must be wondering who is Maria’s father and thus Rosa’s husband then. If you want to trace out the family tree, I believe it is going to be quite a complicated matter. What about Kanon’s real name? Despite with lots of interesting characters (heck, why did they even introduce a new character, Gaap in the final game?), it is sad to see that it suffers from developing them further for the sake of the confusing plot. But if that is how the game is played, so be it.

Maria is one of the more prominent characters in the series although her character was dormant in the middle arcs. At first, this loli comes off as both cute and annoying. Whenever she is looking all cute, you can’t help feel you want to cuddle and squeeze her. And then when she goes into her childish retard mode (“ugh-ugh-ugh-ugh-ugh…” Just stop it already!), you just feel like wanting to strangle her to keep her mouth shut. And then you feel bad when you see Rosa do the job for you. Child abuse not good… However at certain times, she will be as creepy as f*ck that it scares the heck out of you. I can say that Maria is a character that is all cute, annoying and creepy all at the same time. You wonder why the rest do not start fearing her when she goes into her creepy witch mode. Shouldn’t they suspect something is wrong? Like, is she being possessed? Maybe they don’t believe in the supernatural because money is on the mind of the adults. Perhaps everyone knows about Maria’s tendency to believe in witches and her acting is just part of her witch act and thus nobody is really alarmed or found it strange when she became Beatrice’s messenger.

Ever since the revelation that Kinzou has died before the family gathers, it throws even further questions like who the heck is this guy who is masquerading as Kinzou? And if there were 17 instead of 18 people on the island, doesn’t that statement itself show that Kinzou is not part of this number? Then who the heck is he? Wait. Don’t tell me. He is a witch and a supernatural just like Beatrice as such characters do not count in the number of people on Rokkenjima. Because when you see this guy summoning the demons for his bid, I guess it makes sense that Kinzou wasn’t human to begin with. But then again, when you have Kanon being able to use magical blades and George and Jessica able to pull off magical barrier moves, it is certainly more than meets the eye.

I have a feeling that Battler is this anime’s version of Phoenix Wright. He is like the supernatural version of that attorney series. I won’t go so far to say that he is amazing in coming up with reasons to deny Beatrice’s magical murders because there are times where he is stuck in a rut and it took some sort of unbelievable supernatural phenomenon to get him back on his feet. I mean, in the second game he was dead but then revived thanks to his returned motivation. Isn’t this ironically like supernatural itself? But you can’t blame him for scratching his head and going crazy trying to find the right logical answers as Beatrice keeps spamming stuffs in which everybody would have taken the easy way out and accept it is magic. Like Santa, huh? So to end it and show his ‘brilliance’, I guess that is why they rushed the final episode by spamming him countering Beatrice’s motives after motives. Even so, I think those answers could have easily been overwritten and denied had she just used her red truths. Something tells me Beatrice is letting him win just to end it but like Bernkastel and Lambdadelta having ulterior motives, even throwing in that Ange side distraction and freeing Maria from the Golden Land seem like a very big elaborated scheme that boils down to this. Oh well. Battler, you’ll have to live up to your name by continuing to battle Beatrice for eternity.

Now, I have not watched the other When They Cry series, namely the 2 seasons of the Higurashi series as well as its spin-off. However something tells me that there are lots of elements and trivia that fans could spot borrowed from that series making its cameo here. What made me say this is when Bernkastel first appeared, I thought she looked like a character from Higurashi. I know I said I have not watched any single episode of that show but of course I have seen pictures from it and ironically, I remember the looks of some of the characters. In fact as I found out, Bernkastel indeed looks like a character from Higurashi and is also voiced by the same character! Therefore, it led me to believe that other than trying to understand and solve the mystery of this show, fans of the series can get extra pleasure from spotting Higurashi trivia all over the place.

Art and drawing seems pretty okay. Nothing to shout about since there are quite some good looking characters so well yeah, I can’t really complain. Seeing 2009 isn’t far away but far enough to be considered ‘old’ in today’s standards, I guess the animation is pretty decent and satisfy the conventional standards of that time. As said, there are many trivia with the Higurashi series and some of the characters do borrow closely their designs from there. But is it me or does Sakutaro look like Bleach’s Kon? Also to note is that there is some amount of blood and gore in this series especially when the murders and killings occur. It is so gross that it had to be purposely censored out with a mosaic. I believe this is taken away in the DVDs? But some scenes are not censored like Beatrice’s death stabbing scene that has blood just gushing out like as though she is a fountain.

There are many famous seiyuus lending their voices to this series. At least there are lots of them that I instantly recognized. Most notably, Sayaka Ohara as Beatrice. I believe that of all the villainess roles that she has voiced, this is considered to be one of the best and could in fact be the best of the lot. She is very fitting in her role as the devilish Beatrice, enjoying tormenting the pawns in her game. Kudos and good job to her. Another notable one is Yui Horie is Maria. Throughout her illustrious voice acting career, none has ever come close to making her character as cute, annoying and creepy all at the same time. At least, for all the animes that I have watched her voiced in. Sometimes when she gets too creepy, it makes me wonder if this is the same Yui Horie that I know of. Speaking of which, I was having this dilemma if Rie Kugimiya was the voice behind Shannon. It sounded like her minus her tsundere voice but I was still doubtful it could be somebody else that sounded closely to her. True enough, it was her alright.

The rest of the other recognizable casts include Daisuke Ono as Battler, Marina Inoue as Jessica, Kenichi Suzumura as George, Ami Koshimizu as Rosa, Yu Kobayashi as Kanon, Juurouta Kosugi as Krauss, Rikiya Koyama as Rudolf, Tomokazu Sugita as Ronove, Yukari Tamura as Bernkastel, Rina Satou as Ange and Koji Yusa as Amakusa. Those that I missed out and couldn’t recognize perhaps due to lack of screen time presence include Youko Hikasa as Satan, Aki Toyosaki as Asmodeus and Eri Kitamura as Siesta 410. For the umpteenth time, isn’t that Kikuko Inoue behind Virgilia’s voice? And Minori Chihara behind Sakutaro? Really? That was her? Yuki Kaida is Gaap? I thought Kinzou sounded familiar but I couldn’t recall his name until I made a little reference. It’s Mugihito behind the family head. Wow. That is indeed a lot of stars that I recognized.

For the rest of the seiyuus that I don’t recognize (sorry) and just out of respect I’ll list them out here. They include Miki Itou as Eva (Fujimura in Fate series), Emi Shinohara as Natsuhi (Sailor Jupiter in Sailormoon series), Atsuko Tanaka doubling as Kyrie and Kasumi (Caster in Fate series), Masashi Hirose as Hideyoshi (Rikishiman in Kinnikuman series), Akihiko Ishizumi as Nanjou (Shioizumi in Asura Cryin’), Fuyuka Oura as Lambdadelta (Ren in To Love-Ru series), Masato Funaki as Genji (Mosqueda in Bleach), Hitoshi Bifu as Gouda (Buccha in Air Gear), Yasuko Hatori as Chiyo (Mira in Blade & Soul), Ayano Niina as Mammon (Lisette in 11eyes), Madoka Yonezawa as Leviathan (Ui in K-ON!), Yuka Saitou as Lucifer (Tamamo in Daitoshokan No Hitsujikai) and Seiko Yoshida as Belphegor (Kyousuke in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica).

The opening theme, Katayoku No Tori by Akiko Shikata is as weird as it can get but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sound good. Although it feels befitting of the madness of the series, it is made very dramatic with superb choir voices in the background singing in Latin. Or is it Italian? But the more fitting song of the series couldn’t be much better than the ending theme, La Divina Tragedia – Makyoku sung by Jimang. Aside the dramatic choir voices, this song is like a mad scientist or even a mad guy singing his happy heart out at all the madness. Hearing it at first might sound weird, but after hearing it a few times, I have this strange feeling that it doesn’t sound as bad I wanted it to be and heck, sometimes I caught myself trying to sing along to his mad style! Creepy?

Overall, this series isn’t a bad one but the confusion over what is going on sometimes left me stumped at times and it can get a little frustrating. Especially the very disappointing way they ended the series, it feels like leaving a bad aftertaste in the mouth. But thankfully it is not as bad to the point where I would be suffering from severe migraine effects and will not be able to think for a few days. Worse than a hangover. Sorry, I was exaggerating. Maybe the witches healed my headache to understand this mess? Nah. Hah. So I don’t believe in magic? Of course I do. The magic of anime! That itself is the red statement of truth!