Umineko no Naku Koro ni – episode 20: zugzwangNovember 14, 2009
Hmmm… This episode was pretty much a flashback of Maria’s and Ange’s lives. Nothing much this week other than Lambdadelta trying to close a deal with Ange to keep Battler from winning for all eternity. Uhuh, yup, that’s right, -nods-.
October 4, Saturday. Rosa is taking care of a wet through Maria inside the mansion and apologizes to her for telling her to stay outside. Maria asks her if she’s a good kid for doing as told. Rosa replies possitively but advices her to take shelter once it starts raining. She asks her to promise her that to make sure she’ll be safe; and she does. Apparently, making Maria super happy.
Back at the purgatorium, Ange-Beatrice stands up from her seat, disgusted by what she just witnessed. She excuses herself from the rest by saying she got bored. Battler attempts to stop her by reminding her that the important stuff is about to begin: Maria saying she recieved a letter and an umbrella from Beatrice. Nevertheless, she ignores him and leaves the room, going to a pitch-black place (I’m not sure if I should call it a different world). All alone now, she reveals her thoughts of disgust when MARIA intrudes. She asks her the reason she’s so irritated and explains that truth can change its form depending on the observer. Ange, who had materiliazed Maria’s diary, opens it and starts reading.
We’re now back to Maria’s past. The continuation of the previous story. Rosa is once again apologizing to Maria over the phone for not being able to return home tonight, and for the next two days too. Unhappy by this, Maria reminds her about their promise to go to the movies on Sunday, but Rosa has totally forgotten about it, making Maria even sadder. With all that, Maria wishes goodnight to her mother and promises her to watch over the house. Rosa also promises she’ll return with a present for her when she comes back home and reminds her not to tell anyone she’s not coming home. Little Maria is now crying her life out for mama forgetting their promise for Sunday and it’s up to Sakutaro to cheer her up. He reminds her of a time Rosa was holding her hand all night, calling out her name and thanking her for being her “only ally in the whole world” (Apparently another man had just ditched her, but it may just be me). Saku-chan orders her to stop crying for her magic of smiles won’t work untill she herself is smiling too. For the rest of the night, Maria took Sakutaro’s advice and had a pajama party with him. She even gave him a muffler Rosa had knit for her in the past as a present.
That’s how MARIA explains to Angetrice how happy she were with Saku, but Angetrice is just unable to comprehend the fact she kept on loving her after forgetting her promises. She thinks of the Pajama party as big fuss Maria created to forget her loneliness. MARIA however does not think so, and asks her were was that part written. Angetrice replies that even if it wasn’t written anywhere, she can feel it. How Maria longed for Rosa’s love but never got it. How she always waited for her but she was too busy with work for her. MARIA suggests her to read the next page of the diary to find out more.
Rosa has now returned home along with the cake she promised Maria she’d bring her. Maria is naturally in high spirits too see her back. While they chat, Rosa takes out her coat and a small piece of paper slips out from it. Maria attemps to pick it up: It was a receipt from a hot spring inn in Atami City. Rosa quickly retrieves it, wearing an angry expression which scares Maria, who’s now apologizing. Rosa once again realises she messed things up, kneels down and hugs Maria while she apologizes instead.
Ange has yet-another piece of evidence to point out Rosa’s guilt now. MARIA is still refusing to believe bad things about Rosa, explaining that she may have gone to an old business trip or something. She expresses her feelings of pitty towards Ange, but tells her she was also like this before she recognized her powers; being surrounded by fragments of happiness but only picking up the unhappy ones. Ange wonders what’s that power MARIA’s talking about. Beatrice joins them in the dark world to give her an answer instead: “It’s a power Maria has but Ange does not”. That is magic. The Endless Witch decides to show Angetrice more of MARIA’s powers, and so we move onto another story, whose events take place not long after Beato met Maria.
Maria is introducing Sakutaro to Beatrice, who she refers to as a close friend of hers. Beato is clearly impressed by Maria’s tremendous magical powers. Her ability to give birth to a soul out of a sea of zeros is something beyond just strong magical powers. Despite being praised so much, Maria is still unable to understand the true potential of her powers. It’s true though that one day she’d become a witch so strong even Beato would have to aknowledge as superior. Anyways, Beatrice decides to give Sakutaro a present, and for that, she needs Virgilia’s assistance, who arrives upon being called. Beato asks for Maria to take out her grimoire and give it to her. She writes something in it and asks for Virgilia to sign as a witness. What she wrote was a proclamation which accepts Sakutaro as an individual with his own free will and welcomes him as an ally in Mariage Sorciere, an alliance between witches. After a spell was cast, Sakutaro was given a human-like body, and for Maria, Beatrice recognized her as her apprentice and Witch of Origins.
Back to the pitch-black world MARIA explains the basics of the magic of origins: that is to create happiness out of your daily life. She reminds Angetrice of the time she told her that, when she was still affialted with Mariage Sorciere. Yup, turns out that Ange had practised magic before, too.
MARIA orders Angetrice to close her eyes and imagine a large space. The air is neither hot or cold, there is no wind and no scents at all. A world without a ground where even the sky is distant. Ange does that, and the pitch-black world we were into turns into the exact different: a world where everything is, literally, white. This is where Ange Beatrice will be practising her summoning magic. MARIA explains that by being part of Mariage Sorciere, she is allowed to call furniture used by other witches, like MARIA’s Sakutaro. For her first task, MARIA tells her to summon the Stakes of Purgatory: Beatrice’s weapons. She summons them, but they’re soon stunned by Sakutaro’s cuteness. MARIA asks for their attention. She orders them to stay in that form all the time by Ange’s side, but that’d be impossible for Ange’s current powers, so they end up playing rock-paper-scissors to see who stays. Mammon wins the competition and stays, while the other six take their leave. It’s also time for MARIA and Sakutaro to leave too. They ask for Mammon to take care of Ange and vanish.
We move back into Ange’s time in school. What the hell is wrong with this anime? Right now we’re having a flashback of Ange’s memories, but Mammon is still there with her… She’s in the school toilets; the only place she can be alone (or rather, Mammon is with her in a spirit-form so she’s not completely alone). The scene shifts to some hours later, nearly bedtime. All the girls are standing outside of their corresponding bedrooms to be checked by a teacher. Things are really strict, may I add. While still in spirit form, Mammon questions Ange about those hair ornaments she’s always wearing. Ange reveals that they’re a gift from Battler who won them at a crane game years ago, when she was still a child, at the amusement park. That’s why she’s always wearing them, and that’s the reason an incredible magical powers lies within them. She also reveals to Mammon that the reason she’s training at magic is to ressurect her family. She wishes to follow the path of ressurection magic to bring back her loved ones and be happy forevermore. That path, however, is a really hard one to walk, but Mammon is sure Ange will manage if she doesn’t lose heart. Ange is reminded of the last time she undertook training, where she failed to control herself, lost her magical powers and never saw Mammon again untill after her graduation. Really, that flashback didn’t make any sense… I’ll try to explain things once I finish playing the visual novel games, which I’ll be getting in a week or something…
So now… I guess we’re back at Ange’s original time, where those men are after her. She’s meeting with man with strong occult beliefs, also part of the organisation of Witch Hunt, an organisation which tries to explain the events of Rokkenjima through occult means. He recalls of the time two message bottles were found in the sea, just about Rokkenjima island. The letters in both wine bottles were signed by the name of Ushiromiya Maria, although they explained the same events and their handwritting was the same, their contents were different. The order and modus operandi for the murders were completely different in each. No one was able to distinguish the true one. But there’s more into this story too. Desptie both letters being signed by Ushiromiya Maria, the handwritting didn’t match that of the little girl’s. Ange has an explanation for this she’d like to confirm. She asks the nerd if he knows the handwritting that was on the letters. The man replies possitively and informs her of being the most knowledgeable person in Japan when it comes to this. Happily, Ange takes out Maria’s grimoire and shows the man the page Beatrice had wrote her proclamation. The man immidiately gets shocked; he never believed he’d see that handwritting anywhere else except for the letters. From his expression, Ange understands Beatrice’s handwritting matches that of the letters and stands up to leave. The man begs her to stay and answer his questions instead of giving him money, but Ange is unwilling to do so.
She moves back to Akasaka’s car (or however that guy’s called) and sets off. Akasaka asks her if she had a good catch, but also warns her her aunt is still after them, so she’d better made sure the man she met won’t talk to anyone. To that, she replies that she just confirmed a theory of hers and calms him down by reminding him the hotel they’re driving to right now has an obligation of confidentiality, making it harder for other people to find them there.
And we return to the pitch-black world where Angetrice is ‘hiding’. Mammon arrives to tell her Beato has asked her back, since it’s about time for the hot stuff to begin. She asks her if she’s happy for meeting Battle, even in a screwed up world like this. Angetrice replies possitively, telling her of her plan to defeat Beatrice so Battler will return to her. For that, however, says she won’t ask for Mammon’s help since it’s 1986, and at that point, she’s still a furniture of Beatrice. Before she can finish her lines, time freezes and Lambdadelta makes her late appearance. She calls Bernkastel a liar and decides to expose her lies to Angetrice. Bernkastel told Angetrice that if she won against Beatrice, Battler would return back to her; but that’s a lie though. Lambda reminds her the Battler playing this game right now is not the Battler of her world. So, even if Battler defeats Beatrice, he’ll return back to the Ange of his world and not her. Lambdadelta proposes a deal: Angetrice making Battler avoid winning for all eternity. That way, Lambdadelta’s plan will be back on track and Ange will be able to stay with her brother forever. The episode ends before Angetrice can speak back, with Lambdadelta’s giggling being the only thing we can hear in that world where nothing but darkness exists…