As I’m sure many of you are aware, Umineko no Naku Koro ni EP7: Requiem of the Golden Witch has been out in Japan for quite some time now. Furthermore, a partial english patch of the game has just been released a few days ago, translating the first 4 or 5 chapters. I just finished reading what was on offer, and wow, I’m quite amazed how much they crammed into the first few chapters. So many revelations. I guess this game is really living up to it’s expectations, with being the true ‘answer arc’. The heart of the gameboard has been exposed by Bernkastel, and the truth is revealed.
This game is so far very, very different to all of the others so far though. Not only is Battler not the protagonist (or even a main character at the moment), but there is no apparent chessboard-like game being held. It’s a game against no opponent, lead by Bernkastel as the game master, but played by a new character, Williard Wright. The game so far takes place in an artificial fragment weaved by Bernkastel, cut off from the outside world by a barrier, localized entirely within the chapel of Rokkenjima, October 5th 1986, although the circumstances are very different. The family are all gathered in the chapel to moarn over the death of ‘Beatrice’, whoever that person might be. Will was called to the Kakera by Bernkastel, after having viewed all of the games so far by Bernkastel’s request, to play Bernkastel’s new game: “Who killed Beatrice”. Moreover, a new character has been introduced to the Kakera: Lion Ushiromiya, the first daughter of Krauss and Natsuhi, and the heir to the family’s wealth. My first guess is that this is the child that Natsuhi spoke of in EP5, the one she supposedly killed. And stangely, instead of being given a golden ring to commemerate her position as the head, she was given a silver ring. There are a number of other ways in which it is seen that Bernkastel has tampered with the fragment, but the point is that this game is completely unlike any seen thus far.
My interpretation of Will is that he is the true embodiment of the readership. Cold and analytical, yet also able to view the heart. He embodies both sides of anti-mystery and anti-fantasy. And most importantly, he is introduced as ‘someone from outside the story who is invited to read each of the games thus far and attend the gameboard to discover the truth’. It’s as if Ryukishi himself has pulled the readership onto the gameboard. So far Will has been granted the help of Lion, and branded with a special power from Bernkastel which allows him to obtain the truth from people he questions. Authority of theatregoing or something, I’m not too sure about the details. The story so far has followed Will’s attempts at questioning the members of the family to discover the truth of Beatrice, and by elimination his questioning lead him to Kinzo, who after some convincing began to tell the truth of his past to Will and Lion. I won’t spoil what was said, but many revelations were made, and many fan-theories were proven false, and others true by the revelations. The patch stops midway through Kinzo’s confessions, so I’m left hanging out for what happens next, but man it was such a great read. It seems many of the things I had believed about Beatrice were proven correct, and many other things I hadn’t even stopped to consider were revealed as well. As I said before, this is the answer-arc, the pentultimate conclusion of the ‘mystery’, before the final closure of the ‘story’. I look forward to seeing how it all plays out, and I encourage everyone to check it out.