Umineko – Just how many characters are there anyway?

It should be pretty common knowledge to the fandom that Umineko has a LOT of characters. This might bring one to ask: “Exactly how many characters are there in Umineko?” To anyone uninitiated, this might seem like a very easy question to answer, just by counting them. But to anyone who is familiar with Umineko, particularly Chiru, you may begin to realize just how difficult this question is to answer.

So, pondering this question myself, I’ve decided to accept the challenge and to the best of my understanding number the amount of characters in Umineko. I’ll be giving two answers: a range of how many characters there could be, and also a single number which I believe to be most accurate. This blog will detail my reasoning in reaching these two answers.

But I warn you, oh god I warn you, HERE THERE BE SPOILERS. Spoilers from all 8 Episodes. If you don’t want the whole story of Umineko spoiled, step away quietly.

Let me begin with characters who objectively exist in Prime. I’m not going to go into debate about what Prime is, I’m just using it to refer as the prime reality/timeline that is portrayed as the objective truth. The life or death status of characters will be based on the beginning of the family conference of 1986. And I’m not going to submit to the idea that “It hasn’t been proven in red therefore can’t be trusted”. What I have here is characters who, beyond reasonable doubt, are proven to exist. Let me begin with the sure hits.

On Rokkenjima Prime:
Krauss Ushiromiya
Natsuhi Ushiromiya
Jessica Ushiromiya
Eva Ushiromiya
Hideyoshi Ushiromiya
George Ushiromiya
Rudolf Ushiromiya
Kyrie Ushiromiya
Battler Ushiromiya
Rosa Ushiromiya
Maria Ushiromiya
Genji Ronoue
Toshiro Gohda
Chiyo Kumasawa
Terumasa Nanjo

Off-Island Prime:
Ange Ushiromiya
Juza Amakusa
Tetsuro Okonogi
Kasumi Sumadera
Masayuki Nanjo
Sabakichi Kumasawa
Ootsuki
Kawabata
Ikuko Hachijo

Deceased Prime:
Kinzo Ushiromiya
Beatrice Castiglioni
Beatrice Ushiromiya (Kuwadorian)

So far that’s a clean 27, so far so good. Now is where it starts to get a bit more complicated. We’re going to enter the Meta (/magic) side now. There are some who will dispute that any magical characters exist at all, but I’m going to include them. This isn’t a debate on what truth is in Umineko, I’m just trying to count the characters, and fantasy or not, they’re still characters of this story. Let me begin with characters with their own independent existence.

Independent Meta:
Bernkastel
Lambdadelta
Zepar
Furfur
Lucifer
Leviathan
Satan
Belphegor
Mammon
Beelzebub
Asmodeus
Chiester 410
Chiester 45
Chiester 00
Sakutaro
Dlanor A. Knox
Cornelia
Gertrude
Willard H. Wright


Let’s analyse this a bit, because it may still be open to dispute. Bernkastel and Lambdadelta are voyager witches which originate outside the gameboard entirely, so they’re free from being manifestations of anything from Prime. Zepar and Furfur seem to exist without human vessels, so they’re independent. The seven deadly stakes supposedly have the vessels of the ‘paperweight’ stakes, but they don’t originate from humans so I consider them independent. The same logic applies the Chiesters and Sakutaro. Eiserne Jungfrau and Will seem to be other entities on a different level from Bernkastel and Lambdadelta which have no vessel in the human world, and so exist independently in the meta/magic world, even if they are more limited than the voyagers. These reasons are how I have determined they are all independent entities in the meta/magic world. For those watching at home, that totals to 19. Big clean numbers so far, but we’re not quite done yet. Let’s get some others out-of-the-way next.

Erika Furudo (Exists in non-prime fragments)
Asumu Ushiromiya (Doesn’t appear in the story)
Chiester 556 (Doesn’t appear in the story)

Erika doesn’t exist in Prime, but she’s still a character in other fragments, so she gets included. Asumu and Chiester 556 didn’t appear in the story, so I don’t believe they should be added to the base value. They’re characters who are mentioned in the story, but they’re not characters who appear in the story, so I’m going to take a stance and say they’re not counted. Here’s where it starts getting messy. The remaining characters are ‘half-characters’, characters which may or may not share the same space on the board as other pieces, characters which overlap. Let’s start with characters that aren’t considered a part of you-know-who.

Overlapping Characters:
Toya Hachijo – The future version of Battler who lost his original memories.
Virgilia – Considered by most to be the representation of Kumasawa.
Ronove – Considered by most to be the representation of Genji.
Erika (Meta) – The meta Erika.
ANGE-Beatrice – The meta Ange.
MARIA – The meta Maria.
BATTLER – The meta Battler.
GOLDSMITH – The magic name of Kinzo.
EVA-Beatrice – Considered by most to be a part of Eva manifested, or perhaps Eva herself.
Featherine Augustus Aurora – The meta of Ikuko. Which came first? FULL OF MYSTERY
Beatrice (The Elder)
Beatrice (The Chick)
Beatrice (Final) – The new Beatrice born from the Chick and the Elder.

I’m going to need to tackle each of these case by case. Toya Hachijo is indeed the same physical person as Battler, but from a psychological standpoint they’re two completely different people with different memories. He’ll be included in the max.
Virgilia and Ronove are indeed presented as entities separate from their vessels in the story, so I would consider them separate characters, they can be added to the max. Then we have the witch Erika, ANGE-Beatrice, MARIA and BATTLER, who are quite simply meta versions of their respective characters. Who came first is up to debate, but I think it’s fair to say that they’re each the same people in this count. There’s no portrayed difference between ANGE-Beatrice and Ange, nor the two Erikas, so I will not count them toward the max. GOLDSMITH himself never appeared in the meta, so from our standpoint it’s little more than a name or title; I don’t consider this GOLDSMITH to be his own unique entity. Uncounted. EVA-Beatrice however is shown to be quite radically different from the Eva we are presented with on Rokkenjima. It’s more like EVA-Beatrice is a character created from Eva’s selfishness and malice, so I would consider her her own character, she can be added to the max. And Featherine? She’s a bit more debatable. In Episode 6, Ikuko and Featherine are portrayed as the same entity, but in Episode 8 they’re shown to be sometimes the same, sometimes very different. Argh, it hurts my head to think about it! I’ll include her in the max, if only because her existence still confuses me. She can be thought of as a seperate entity, so that will do. It’s also worth mentioning the different Beatrices that appear in Episode 6. One, The Elder, is the manifestation of the ghost stories, the legend of the witch. The other, the Chick, is an incomplete Beatrice created by BATTLER to reunite him with the Beatrice he lost. Even if their existence was very ephemeral, and combined to become the new Beatrice, they did indeed exist, and were quite different entities from the original Beatrice. For that, I consider them at least half-characters, and they can be added to the max. As for the final Beatrice born from the two? I wouldn’t consider her different from the original meta Beatrice. She is almost exactly the same, it’s pretty much fair to say that the new Beatrice is merely the old one reborn, to live anew as Battler’s wife. She was born from the same source (the legend combined with Yasu’s feelings for Battler), so she won’t be counted as an individual character. Speaking of which, I haven’t mentioned the meta Beatrice yet have I? I’ve saved the most taboo for last.

Shkanontrice:
Yasu
Shannon
Kanon
Lion
Beatrice (The Original Meta)
Gaap
Clair

Let me use Yasu as our basis. Assuming that Yasu objectively existed, then that’s a +1 to the base value. Shannon and Kanon we are lead to believe are just Yasu playing dress up and pretending to be two different people, but they are portrayed for most of the game as their own individual characters, so they can each up the max value for +2. Lion herself is Yasu from a different fragment, so since she is technically the same person as Yasu, she can +1 the max, but not the base value. Beatrice, the meta Beatrice that Battler fought with in the first four games, is supposedly the meta version of Yasu, but is portrayed as a very different character, so she can +1 the max. Popular theory suggests Gaap is a part of Yasu’s mind, but she’s portrayed as a very independent entity, so she can +1 the max. Clair was a piece created by Bernkastel, and while she represents Beatrice’s heart, she is more like an actor on the stage than the same person as Beatrice. She can +1 the base value. One thing I didn’t mention is Zepar and Furfur’s relation to Yasu. I’m not sure if you can consider them a part of Yasu, at most they’re an entity which only exists in the meta as a representation of Yasu’s internal conflicts, so I still believe they belong to the base value.

Crunch time! I’m pretty sure that covers just about everyone, so it’s time to total the values, and decide on which characters should be included in my final answer.

Krauss Ushiromiya
Natsuhi Ushiromiya
Jessica Ushiromiya
Eva Ushiromiya
Hideyoshi Ushiromiya
George Ushiromiya
Rudolf Ushiromiya
Kyrie Ushiromiya
Battler Ushiromiya
Rosa Ushiromiya
Maria Ushiromiya
Genji Ronoue
Toshiro Gohda
Chiyo Kumasawa
Terumasa Nanjo
Ange Ushiromiya
Juza Amakusa
Tetsuro Okonogi
Kasumi Sumadera
Masayuki Nanjo
Sabakichi Kumasawa
Ootsuki
Kawabata
Ikuko Hachijo
Kinzo Ushiromiya
Beatrice Castiglioni
Beatrice Ushiromiya (Kuwadorian)
Bernkastel
Lambdadelta
Zepar
Furfur
Lucifer
Leviathan
Satan
Belphegor
Mammon
Beelzebub
Asmodeus
Chiester 410
Chiester 45
Chiester 00
Sakutaro
Dlanor A. Knox
Cornelia
Gertrude
Willard H. Wright

Easy, these all get a full OK from me. They all exist as independent characters, as I outlined earlier. That’s 46 characters so far.

Erika Furudo (Exists in non-prime fragments)
Asumu Ushiromiya (Doesn’t appear in the story)
Chiester 556 (Doesn’t appear in the story)

Erika’s her own entity, even if she doesn’t exist in the prime fragment. Asumu and Chiester 556 didn’t appear as characters in the story, so I’m not going to include them. That’s 47. Continue!

Toya Hachijo
Virgilia
Ronove
Erika (Meta)
ANGE-Beatrice
MARIA
BATTLER
GOLDSMITH
EVA-Beatrice
Featherine Augustus Aurora
Beatrice (The Elder)
Beatrice (The Chick)
Beatrice (Final)

Toya can be considered a seperate entity from Battler considering they share a completely different set of memories, so it gets added to the max value, but I don’t believe he deserves a spot on my value. They’re the same person in the end.
Virglia and Ronove are both seperate entities, even if based off a human vessel, so they can be added to the max, and I believe they’re distinguished enough as meta characters to be added to my count. Meta Erika, ANGE-Beatrice, MARIA, BATTLER and GOLDSMITH don’t get added to either because they’re effectively the same person as their prime counterparts, just in a different world. EVA-Beatrice is distinguished enough from Eva to be recognized as a potential character, so she gets added to the max and my count. Featherine? Argh… She can get added to the max, but to my value? I, uhh, I guess there’s evidence to suggest they’re different people, so she can get on my count, I guess. <_<; The Elder and Chick Beatrices are distinguished enough to make it to my max, but I don’t think they deserve a spot on my count. They’re just different parts of the one Beatrice, so max of the range is all I’ll allow. And the final beatrice, I already established why she doesn’t belong. Anyone keeping count? Let’s see, that leaves us with a range of 47-54, and my count is so far at 51 characters. Only shkanontrice is left now!

Yasu
Shannon
Kanon
Lion
Beatrice (The Original Meta)
Gaap
Clair

Since it’s been proven beyond reasonable doubt that Yasu exists, she gets added to the base value. Shannon and Kanon are supposedly just different people Yasu pretends to be, but they are distinguished characters, so they can be added to the max value, and I’ll add them to my count too, after all we count them as separate individuals for most of the story. Lion is from a different fragment, so while she is the same person as Yasu, she’s a very different character given her origins, so she can be added to my count and the max. The Meta Beatrice gets added to the max because she’s so distinguished from Yasu, and added to my count for that same reason. Gaap and Clair, proven to be quite independent, get added to the base value.

So, what’s the final count?

I have concluded there are at least 50 and no more than 61 characters in Umineko, but the number I believe to be the most accurate is 58 characters.
+All of the goats.

Well, what do you think everyone? Is my reasoning satisfactory, or do you believe there is more to be said? I welcome all discussion on this. It was quite fun trying to work out, even if a bit frustrating at times like with Featherine. I believe yet another mystery of Umineko, even if an unnecessary one, has been answered right now.

Mission Complete!

About Aspirety

Australian J-geek with a passion for Gaming and Writing. Psychology student, Nintendo/Key/Ryukishi07 fan.
This entry was posted in Musings and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Umineko – Just how many characters are there anyway?

  1. Trollkastel says:

    Your reasoning sounds about right. And I can’t believe I remember all these 58~ characters well. All of them have their quirks and something is memorable about them. Now, that’s great characterization!

  2. Tonysu says:

    Well, while Ikuko could be a different entity than Featherine, I still think they were the same basic character since they both seemed to be all-knowing. I think that Featherine was just the Umineko version of Hanyuu from Higurashi more or less and that Ikuko was her “human” cover up. The last scene in EP8 also mentions how she doesn’t seem to age even in that human form, being Ikuko. While they had their own sprites, it seems like one is just the meta-yet-same character like MARIA or BATTLER. Also, this may be an old question, but was it ever confirmed that Lion was a girl? You mentioned “her” as such, but I thought it was left ambiguous to the end. :3

  3. Rasen says:

    I checked this after trying to list all the characters myself. It’s pretty cool how well done the characters are that you can remember them all. Although, I only got 59 and that was including Chiester 556. Although, I was wondering if you would consider Goat-Kun and that one army guy that broke Beatrice’s ribs?

  4. SPOILERS:
    I pretty much agree with your point, however there is one point I can’t agree on. Even though there is a lot of confusion on the issue behind the true form of the Beatrice of 1986, the one that challenges Battler to her murder-mystery game, it’s been clearly laid out that the vessel for Beatrice, Shannon and Kanon does exist on Rokkenjima prime at the time of the final family conference. If you read the whole of the EP7 AND EP8 manga adaptations, which fill the holes that the VN left behind, The extra chapters (In EP8’s manga adaptation by Natsumi Kei); titled,”Confessions of the Golden Witch”, Beatrice’s human vessel, Yasuda Sayo exists as the child brought by Kinzo from the Fukuin house and is the same age as Battler, however Genji hides the child’s age and gender from Natsuhi, whose rejected Sayo in 2,578,916 of the 2,578,917 worlds, causing the ultimate creation of Beatrice.

    Therefore, Sayo’s true appearance alludes to Shannon. She can disguise herself as Kanon by straightening her hair and wearing male servant clothes and can disguise herself as Beatrice, by wearing her mother’s black dress and a ginger-blond wig, that looks similar to the manner in which her mother and grandmother styled their hair.

    Clair and Gaap are imaginary friends that Sayo created to escape her loneliness, as she couldn’t make any actual friends with the other servants. Additinally, the twin Beatrices can be explained as follows;
    Beato the Elder is Sayo’s Beatrice persona before Battler’s return in 1986 and the chick Beatrice is the embodiment of Sayo’s unrequited feelings for Battler pushed onto her Clair persona, in order to maintain psychological and emotional equilibrium, after she fell in love with George/Jessica.

    Therefore Shannon, Kanon and Beatrice exist on Rokkenjima prime as the personalities of the Rokkenjima Mass Murder Incident, as the human culprit, Yasuda Sayo.

  5. I’d also like to metion that you forgot to mention the maids whose appearance are the basis of the Seven Sisters of Purgatory, namely
    Runon (Basis of Lucifer)
    Renon (Basis of Leviathan)
    Sanon (Basis of Satan)
    Benon (Basis of Belphegor)
    Manon (Basis of Mammon)
    Berune (Basis of Beelzebub)
    Asune (Basis of Asmodeus)

    • Aspirety says:

      Ahhh, this is true, I did forget these characters. Considering I’ve already allocated numbers to the stakes, they can be added to the max for +7. Would they be added to my count? Well, they are quite different, and merely form the basis of the stakes creation (somehow), so I guess I’d add them to my value. That makes 57-68, with 65 as my final total!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s