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Old 2013-09-09, 14:33   Link #33061
haguruma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renall View Post
If one portrayal is completely at odds with another, can they both be right? Can neither? - it doesn't really get much discussion.
I still think this is one of the centrak questions that Umineko is trying to ask, but ends up not asking because it dabbled along to much in the beginning. These several portrayals are at odds for considerably understandable reasons, both their creators being different and the intention behind them being different...basically leading to the result that EVERY reconstruction of the past is fictional to a certain degree.
That's why I still wana write a forgery including such inspirations like Goodman, Saussure, Levi-Strauss, and others, considering the importance of language and the act of writing the past.
I think the answer Umineko went for is, as long as people believe in them they are both right, as soon as they disbelieve one or both is wrong.

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She has essentially become too human to be a suspect anymore.
That though is one of the central themes isn't it? The attempt to create an entity that is so free of emotional attachability that you have no qualms about accusing them.

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The problem is [...] we really have no idea.
And I still think that this is the one thing that pisses people off about Umineko. We have this giant mystery, which spent years to built itself up and suddenly we are told to just leave it alone cause there will be no answer.
It's similar to how people are unable to let other great mysteries go. Who was Jack the Ripper? Who killed the Black Dahlia? Who was the Zodiac Killer? We obsess about it, because in the hyper-reality of a fictional mystery an answer MUST exist or else we have been betrayed. It must be more than real or else our time has been invested for naught.
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Old 2013-09-09, 17:10   Link #33062
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Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
I think the answer Umineko went for is, as long as people believe in them they are both right, as soon as they disbelieve one or both is wrong.
And this is part of the reason why I find that moral - which I increasingly think was just poorly thought out and accidental - despicable and dangerous. It's historical revisionism of the worst kind, albeit painted with a smiley face. I'm sure that isn't quite what Ryukishi wanted us to think or how he wanted us to take it, but "the truth of the present erases the truth of the past" is a very insidious way of looking at Truth and history and an irresponsible way of responding to unknown information.

It also strikes me as vaguely hypocritical when faced with Erika and the goats. If the unknowable past is whatever it's believed to be, how are the malicious speculators any more right or wrong than the nostalgic optimists? Is a statement being made about what kind of portrayal we should choose to believe in, saying essentially that it's better - as in more moral - to choose the rosier one over the harsher one? Is it saying motive is important in choosing how to view the past? That means Truth is subject to one's reasons for seeking it and not in any particular fashion independent of it. If Natsuhi actually was the culprit, is Erika still wrong for accusing her for the wrong reasons, or is she right regardless, or is that not the issue we're supposed to be grappling with at all?

Morally, the Later Queen Problem is not really an issue for literature, because literature has rules and a structure and even if "the bad guy won," he isn't real so he doesn't "get away with it" any more than the happy lovers "live happily ever after." When the book closes, their stories both essentially abruptly end. The very mechanism of the LQP essentially means that if more is written, the moral trajectory of the story will also resume in some sense, so we have that assurance.

In real life, of course, that doesn't work. And applying the notion of narrative revisionism to real life events doesn't really work either (EDIT: Or rather, doing so may "work" to change the perception of what happened, but that doesn't change what did happen, just what people know about what happened, and even this is a very dangerous prospect). Now that's a neat point, and it's certainly something that by itself could make for an interesting conclusion to a story, but I don't know that it was ever the case for this one. It may have been something he thought about, as there's certainly some self-reflectiveness in ep8 about how things like red truth and detective rules don't exist in reality. But if that's the point he wanted to make, he sure didn't make it very well or explore it very deeply, and that leaves the morals that are in place feeling very rough and quite frankly irresponsible.

But as I think the moral as it appears to be is unintentional, I'm not sure what he was quite meaning to drive at with respect to how we choose to look at the past, and how beholden we are to Truth when we have difficulty approaching it.
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Old 2013-09-09, 18:02   Link #33063
haguruma
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Originally Posted by Renall View Post
And this is part of the reason why I find that moral - which I increasingly think was just poorly thought out and accidental - despicable and dangerous. It's historical revisionism of the worst kind, albeit painted with a smiley face.
I wouldn't necessarily call it revisionism, though that is one of the extremes it can be taken to, but rather a form of skepticism. I myself am very much part of that stream of thought that, though something like the truth might exist, we as humans inserted into a present discourse and discourse of presence are unable to effectively judge whether we reached it or not.
We are firmly inserted into the current moment and into our lifetime, everything we learn about anything from the outside is basically a "story", even history, which is often hailed as being true, is simply a story we constructed based on historical evidence that we consider true. History itself is not much more than a big detective approach with a giant LQP staring us in the face, which many of us choose to ignore.

Yes, the chance of many recent historical events being reconstructed close to the truth is high, still they are geared towards our worldview, moral framework, etc.
Saying, the axis powers were warmongering, is not wrong per se but also missing vital information that draws a larger picture.

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how are the malicious speculators any more right or wrong than the nostalgic optimists?
This is though one of the points I highly agree with and could have been drawn with a little less showmaking during EP8. The finale seemed to be in high need of an antagonist (according to Ryukishi or his editors) to create a feeling of the story actually peaking and heading towards closure...something that the very structure and message of Umineko actually denies at several points during its run.

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But if that's the point he wanted to make, he sure didn't make it very well or explore it very deeply, and that leaves the morals that are in place feeling very rough and quite frankly irresponsible.
I still stand by my point that Umineko is mainly clumsy in it's attempt to reach a broad audience, while talking within a very limited branch of discourse, mainly that of modern vs. postmodern mystery writing in Japan. While he seems quite in touch with what is being talked about in genre-magazines within Japan, he doesn't make much of an effort (though I'd argue he doesn't need to) to reach a wider audience. So from my POV Umineko is a fairly well inserted genre-piece but not a very well constructed novel by itself, since it refuses on many levels to open up to people.
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Old 2013-09-10, 05:47   Link #33064
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Originally Posted by Renall View Post
It also strikes me as vaguely hypocritical when faced with Erika and the goats. If the unknowable past is whatever it's believed to be, how are the malicious speculators any more right or wrong than the nostalgic optimists? Is a statement being made about what kind of portrayal we should choose to believe in, saying essentially that it's better - as in more moral - to choose the rosier one over the harsher one?
Out of curiosity, if this was the point that Ryukishi was trying to make, and he had put that across more clearly, what would your opinion be of that message? Because this is more or less how I would tend to take it, and I think it's at least defensible. If there's absolutely no way of knowing what a person's heart was, then what should we choose to believe about them? I'd tend to agree that it's almost always better to give them the benefit of the doubt. It's a similar concept to "innocent until proven guilty"; it's better to view a hundred people in a more positive light than they really warranted, rather than to view a single person negatively when they may have in fact been better than we gave them credit for. That's what's wrong with the goats' stance in the Golden Land battle; they choose to view the Ushiromiya family in a negative light because of circumstancial evidence, but they're condeming them for things that can never be proven, such as that Rosa never loved Maria at all or, to take it further, that Rudolf and Kyrie massacred everyone. They're taking the risk that they might actually be wrong and are unduly slandering someone for something that isn't true.

Of course, you'll find no disagreement from me on the opinion that EP8 handles its themes poorly, but I think it is possible to see what he's getting at here. The issue here is mainly that while his themes are mostly about how to approach things that we can't know, he introduces the diary as a device that could apparently theoretically give us that knowledge, which would of course be better than having to form a 'best guess'. But perhaps the point is that even the diary wouldn't give you the 'whole truth', and people would still ultimately be forming opinions based on incomplete information? For example, let's say hypothetically that Yasu really was the culprit, and that Eva's diary reveals that. Eva probably didn't know what Yasu's heart really was, so her motives would still be left to the interpretation of the readers. Thus you would still get goats saying things like "she was an inhuman monster" and "she was a psychopath who doesn't deserve to be understood" and such, and people would still be condeming somebody based on something that they can't actually prove, and who may have had reasons that they don't know about or can't understand. People always seek to interpret and evaluate information, and come to conclusions on it, rather than just taking the information as it is. Unfortunately, there is almost always more than one conclusion that can be reached, and in that sense, perhaps it's irresponsible to even say with confidence that anything is true if there's the slightest possibility that something else could be the case. But since human nature seems to require us to operate based on some kind of assumption, I don't think it's unreasonable to say that when forced to choose an assumption to work off, we should try and choose the one that has the least possibility of negatively evaluating someone who may deserve better.

...Either way, if these are the kinds of things that Ryukishi really wanted us to think about, then he should probably have spent some more time exploring them and less on Bern and Lambda throwing candy bombs at each other or whatever. But still, the fact that the work can be used as a platform to discuss things like this gives it some kind of value in itself, I think. I'm sure Ryukishi would be pleased to see that we're putting so much thought into his work, even if we're going beyond what he actually wanted to say. I get the impression from his interviews that he's more concerned with people taking the time to really think about his stories and come up with their own interpretations rather than worrying about whether they reach 'the answer' or 'the message' itself. Maybe he'd even say that the message is whatever the reader wants it to be.

Last edited by Drifloon; 2013-09-10 at 06:37.
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Old 2013-09-10, 07:48   Link #33065
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To be fair, people died on an island where most of its residents were experiencing financial difficulties of some sorts. It's easy to see why people would make assumptions about character.

Of course, it could have been a true accident, but Eva's suspicious behavior in all of the 1998s we're shown doesn't make this seem likely.
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Old 2013-09-10, 08:39   Link #33066
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Originally Posted by Drifloon View Post
Out of curiosity, if this was the point that Ryukishi was trying to make, and he had put that across more clearly, what would your opinion be of that message? Because this is more or less how I would tend to take it, and I think it's at least defensible. If there's absolutely no way of knowing what a person's heart was, then what should we choose to believe about them? I'd tend to agree that it's almost always better to give them the benefit of the doubt. It's a similar concept to "innocent until proven guilty"; it's better to view a hundred people in a more positive light than they really warranted, rather than to view a single person negatively when they may have in fact been better than we gave them credit for. That's what's wrong with the goats' stance in the Golden Land battle; they choose to view the Ushiromiya family in a negative light because of circumstancial evidence, but they're condeming them for things that can never be proven, such as that Rosa never loved Maria at all or, to take it further, that Rudolf and Kyrie massacred everyone. They're taking the risk that they might actually be wrong and are unduly slandering someone for something that isn't true.
The problem is that not all speculation is created equal. Let's look at the example of Battler's ep8 Kinzo. Where is the evidence that this particular Kinzo ever existed? We know for a fact that, at least in the business world and in raising his family, he was apparently kind of an asshole. Now, that doesn't mean Battler's portrayal of him can't have been true, but it does mean that the position that "Kinzo was an asshole in general" is supported by actual evidence. Is it morally preferable to ignore evidence to give someone the "benefit of the doubt?"

Now the way it works in law is that different things have different burdens of proof. "Innocent until proven guilty" is more of a criminal standard and the criminal burden of proof is "beyond a reasonable doubt." In that sense, it is probably true that we should give benefit of the doubt to Rudolf and Kyrie as to whether they were murderers, as it can't be shown that they even had more motive than everyone else present on the island, let alone evidence that they actually did anything. But there are certainly other burdens of truth that we could accept as reasonable; for example, it's more likely than not (preponderance of evidence) that Rudolf and Kyrie were unethical businesspeople. It's more likely than not that Rosa's emotional problems interfered with her daughter's development and rearing. It's more likely than not that Krauss was unfit to serve as the head of the Ushiromiya Group due to his poor investment sense. It's more likely than not that Eva's husband was something of an incompetent marketeer. These are factors supported by evidence (at least, as far as we can tell).

Where the goats go wrong is pretty much where they're written to go wrong: They jump to the most extreme possible conclusion because that's more narratively intriguing. But if you look at the foundation of what they're saying, aren't they at least basing their claims on evidence, on proof? Kanon probably didn't exist, at least legally; I suspect the Witch Hunters of the future just didn't find any evidence of him anywhere and drew that conclusion. Given what can be gleaned from the text, isn't that the most reasonable interpretation? That's ultimately the issue here; if Ryukishi's message is that given the imperfection of knowledge we should choose to be eternal optimists, he's hopelessly naive. That position isn't reasonable, and while we acknowledge that reason isn't perfect, it shouldn't likewise be ignored.

With Ange, I suppose the argument is that she remembers things that nobody else could about her own family. But that doesn't make other people less reasonable about the facts they're aware of, it just means Ange has more and better information. There's also a big difference between "my family were very warm and loving" (which is true, but unknown to many) or "my family were unethical criminals in their business dealings" (which is true, and painful to Ange, but still true), and "my family were mass murderers" (which cannot be known, and is probably not reasonable).

The problem as I see it is that by making Truth a matter of opinion, it allows for truths to essentially be cooked up by these half-baked conclusions rather than allowing the conclusions to stand as exactly as strong or weak as they clearly are and acknowledging that we can go only so far. Claims about the nature of the Rokkenjima victims are generally strong, but claims about their actions on the weekend they died are generally weak. It's fine to leave it at that, acknowledging that Krauss's business incompetence is more or less provable by evidence but whether he'd kill to cover up his crimes is unprovable and potentially even unreasonable (if he gets taken for a fool by moon investors, how in the world is he going to execute a murder without getting caught?).

Just because we can't be sure what's in a person's heart doesn't mean we can't generally speaking get a pretty good idea. That, I would argue, was sort of the point of ep1-4; if this were not true, Battler could never have reached the truth, which we know for a fact he did. And he probably wasn't even Battler at the time, so it's not like he was particularly special; indeed, Featherine in ep6 suggests plenty of people could do it, and Ryukishi's whole gamble on the character of Yasu depends on we the readers doing it. The facts that we know about Kinzo suggest a man who had a whole lot of sins wearing on him. Do we know enough to say whether he was truly repentant? Maybe not, but if we gauge his actions that we do know about we can possibly get an idea. Interpretation is valid at that point (i.e. did he create the epitaph to atone or just as a wacky gamble to make "Beatrice" real to him one more time before he died, for his own satisfaction?), but we can't simply ignore facts (he did create the epitaph, and placed it next to a portrait of his daughter).

Jessica can certainly argue that Kanon appeared before some people one time, but facts tell us he didn't have a birth certificate and nobody knew him until he started working on the island and Fukuin (probably) has no records of him or of who his parents were... and that makes it more likely than not that he didn't actually exist, and the person portraying him at that school festival was somebody else. That may not be the full Truth, but it's a reasonable interpretation that doesn't ignore facts, and that makes it non-equivalent to other theories about Kanon's existence. One can argue this opens the door to fact-distorters like Erika, but an honest interpretation of Erika's ep5 facts always failed to satisfy me because she intentionally avoided creating any means of alibi testing for the one person she ultimately decided to accuse, for a crime that didn't actually happen. Of course such a conclusion is wrong, because her web of alibis failed to account for the most reasonable solution (the crime was actually impossible, hence there was no actual crime).

"Only X could have done it!" is a step too far, in the same sense "Rosa never loved Maria!" is; it's a conclusion that the evidence doesn't necessarily support as most reasonable. The evidence suggests Rosa did love Maria... but it also strongly suggests they had a very strained relationship because of Maria's developmental issues and Rosa's emotional instability. A Golden Land where Rosa and Maria get along is a fantasy, and perhaps a happier fantasy, but it's no more true than "Rosa never loved Maria." The ep8 manga's suggestion that they might have eventually made up more or less tells me that the real tragedy is that they were never given the chance, so I still strongly condemn the entire situation as stealing away the opportunities for these victims to become better people.

So I do believe the benefit of doubt should be given in some sense, but I would strongly disagree with the notion that the inability to perfectly understand someone's inner convictions means that we should choose to revise history to the benefit of the solution we would prefer, as ultimately there's no difference there between Battler and Erika (except that one of them appears to be "nice"). It contradicts the message of the first seven episodes, which posit that such understanding is totally possible, at least to some sufficient extent. I believe that we can understand Yasu and we can understand Kinzo, but that understanding them means we should also accept that the evidence suggests Yasu was depressed and had self-image issues and that Kinzo was a dick to at least most people who knew him. It's possible we're wrong about that, but it's not reasonable that we are. What Ange ultimately has to do is reconcile that the people who loved her were human and subject to human failings as well as human kindness, and it's fine for her to conclude that kindness probably existed even in instances of people in her family that she didn't know very well. But she shouldn't fabricate kindnesses and use them to patch over their flaws either. I get the sense that might have been closer to what Ryukishi actually meant with the whole "Magic" thing, but it sure as hell doesn't come across like that to me (in fact, it comes across as suggesting exactly what I just said it shouldn't).
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Old 2013-09-10, 13:07   Link #33067
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Hm, interesting. I think I pretty much agree with you in principle; the best way to approach things is to accept what is clearly demonstrated by the evidence, such as the immorality of Rudolf and Kyrie's business practice, while being careful to remain undecided on claims that are only circumstantial, such as that they are the culprits. And the latter can certainly be supported by evidence - the fact that they left Ange behind can be taken as them knowing something bad was going to happen; it's known that Rudolf needed money badly; and Eva's refusal to tell Ange can be taken to indicate that someone close to her is the culprit. The problem is when people are convinced enough by these reasonable-sounding arguments to then make the leap from there to "Because this is what the evidence supports, this is the truth". However likely the evidence makes something seem, as long as it's not conclusive, it definitely shouldn't be accepted as true - especially when it's something as serious as an accusation of mass murder. (And yes, I know that the case for Rudolf and Kyrie as culprits isn't even that strong - but even if it was, I think these arguments would still hold provided that it was unprovable.)

It is true that evidence suggests that "Kinzo was an asshole in general", but all that proves is that Kinzo acted that way publically. To make the leap from "Kinzo acted like an asshole" to "Kinzo was an asshole" is irresponsible, I think, since we can't possibly know everything about his actions. It's important to be clear that the body of knowledge known to the public about a person does not fully comprise that person, and so I think it's necessary for people to acknowledge that there are things about a person that they just can't know. "Kinzo acted like an asshole" is a demonstrable fact, and should be accepted, but when it comes to drawing a conclusion from that, it becomes more difficult. The conclusion might seem like the most reasonable has no guarantee of being true. It's entirely possible that Kinzo really could have acted the way he did in EP8 towards his family, and that the way he acted in public was just a way to intimidate people and succeed professionally. There's absolutely no evidence that can show that, but it's entirely possible for facts to be true without any evidence existing to support them. I think it's important to acknowledge that. I don't think any of Battler's portrayals of the family members in EP8 are actually demonstrably inaccurate; he chooses to emphasise certain aspects of their character over others, but the ways that they act in his game are definitely ways that they could very well have acted in real life. They obviously didn't act that way all the time, but I think it's a good point to make that however much evidence we may have about a certain aspect of a person's actions, there may well be other aspects that we know absolutely nothing about, which may have actually been just as significant and integral to said person's character as the actions that we know about - or, indeed, even more so. If this is the kind of point Ryukishi was trying to make, I don't think it was necessarily a bad one.

Also, it's not really relevant, but I'd like to make the point that we, as readers, can deduce a lot more about Yasu than anyone who actually knew her could possibly have done. Through the narration, we're given direct insight into her heart in a way that's not possible in real life. It is possible that Tohya may have deduced a lot of what we did as well...but if that is the case, then he has absolutely no way of knowing that it's true, and all kinds of other truths could be possible. We know what she was thinking because we have 'magic' that can tell us that, but that kind of thing unfortunately doesn't exist for real people. Again, it's not really relevant to my point, but I think it's an interesting thing to consider. And I also think that the fact that absolutely no one who was close to Yasu had any idea how she was really feeling is a pretty good demonstration of how we should always be hesitant to claim that we really know anything about someone, however much evidence we may seem to have. George obviously thinks he knows Shannon better than anyone else, but if you were to ask him to give you information on what kind of person she is, it would barely scratch the surface of what we know about her. I think a lot of people (and I don't mean you here, but people in general) are prone to judge a person based on a handful of actions that they know about, and don't even take into consideration that there might be a million things they don't know about which could potentially completely change that judgment. Again, I really have a lot of respect for Ryukishi for trying to explore issues like this, because it's really not something I see acknowledged much in fiction.
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Old 2013-09-10, 13:13   Link #33068
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It's likely that the characters' portrayals in the forgeries is an extrapolation of their known (and verifiable) business personalities. All of the four siblings are, honestly, portrayed as generally awful people. We can be pretty sure that Krauss was incompetent, Eva was a bitch, Rudolf was a scumbag, and Rosa had a temper. But did they necessarily exhibit these traits towards their beloved family members? Perhaps a little (especially in Rosa's case) but I don't think these descriptions encompass the entirety of the siblings' behaviors.

EP8 Battler doesn't try to deny these given personalities in a general sense. He only gives us the family interactions of a few hours on Rokkenjima. Sure, Eva's a mean person, but I sincerely doubt that "in real life" she would have done all the things she's said to do to her family members (the exception being her treatment of Ange, but that's partly justified because Ange rejected her).

If you think about it, the forgery adults' characterizations seem like "an outsider's guesses at what these terrible businessmen would do if they were in a family setting":

1.) Krauss is incompetent, so he probably needs money. Therefore, it is likely that he would do something absurd like cover his father's death when given the opportunity.
2.) Eva is jealous of Krauss, so she probably has a complex against him and her only goal in life (that we know of) is to somehow surpass him. She goes as far as to use George to achieve this.
3.) Rudolf is a sleazebag, so it would make sense if he was a whore and manipulated other human beings for his benefit. (In retrospect, this seems like a justified conclusion given the Asumu/Kyrie remarrying thing).
4.) Rosa is frustrated due to the absence of Maria's father and is subject to fits, so she probably had a violent relationship with Maria. (Once again this is partly justified given that other people clearly knew about this)
5.) Kinzo was... well, Kinzo, so instead of accepting his true family, he would hide himself away and try to summon Beatrice. This came at the cost of neglecting his own children.

I don't doubt that there were problems in the Ushiromiya family. Many of the conflicts probably actually existed. But I think Battler is trying to suggest that while these conflicts existed, it does not necessarily indicate that they couldn't be (at least partly) a happy family. Battler's EP8 portrayal and what we KNOW about the characters doesn't necessarily contradict.

On the other hand, NEITHER of these portrayals have entirely to do with the fact that (it is suggested that) people actually died in R-Prime. The forgeries at least provide motives for something that might lead to murder, maybe? At the expense of making the characters seem worse than they probably really were. Battler's interpretation doesn't explain the murders, but then again it probably wasn't meant to at all. He just wanted to show Ange "her family."

(To clarify, we still don't know if Battler was lying about everything. I'm just saying that the "R-Prime information about the family", the forgeries, and Battler's story don't necessary have to preclude each other.)
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Old 2013-09-10, 15:17   Link #33069
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It is true that evidence suggests that "Kinzo was an asshole in general", but all that proves is that Kinzo acted that way publically. To make the leap from "Kinzo acted like an asshole" to "Kinzo was an asshole" is irresponsible, I think, since we can't possibly know everything about his actions.
Generally speaking "acts like an asshole to people" and "is an asshole" go hand in hand. It's possible it was strictly business, but if so it's a very ruthless and inhumane business strategy that rightfully ought to be condemned as overly confrontational. I'd say it's reasonable to conclude that, absent any other evidence aside "acted like a dick to everyone we know of who knew him" and "kept some young woman caged on his private island and may have also raped her" lets us say with some reasonableness that he was kind of a dick. Being "kind of a dick" doesn't mean he can't have a romantic side, but remember that while he was experiencing ~~~true love~~~ with Bice he was cheating on his wife. He may not have loved his wife, but if her situation is anything like Natsuhi's she did nothing to invite his unfaithful behavior. He is a man known to act irascible and commit morally dubious actions. "But he loved his grandkids!" even if true might only show that there were some people he wasn't an asshole to, not that he wasn't, generally speaking, an asshole.
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Also, it's not really relevant, but I'd like to make the point that we, as readers, can deduce a lot more about Yasu than anyone who actually knew her could possibly have done. Through the narration, we're given direct insight into her heart in a way that's not possible in real life. It is possible that Tohya may have deduced a lot of what we did as well...but if that is the case, then he has absolutely no way of knowing that it's true, and all kinds of other truths could be possible. We know what she was thinking because we have 'magic' that can tell us that, but that kind of thing unfortunately doesn't exist for real people.
The question really is did you need ep7 to draw that conclusion? Did you need the meta-scenes to draw that conclusion? How much can you know about Yasu from the scenes contained within the games? Since we aren't sure just how much of that is where, I'm not sure it's fair to say that information couldn't be deduced absent the "magic" we have.

That aside, the character of Yasu exists only within the narrative medium of Umineko anyway, so if we consider that to be the case then there's nothing especially "magical" about understanding her based on the totality of the work. The point I'm making is that we can understand such a person's nature (her "heart" I guess), even though we don't know everything about her. Indeed, we know very little about her factually, as even in ep7 she leaves a great deal of information out. Do you need all of that to find the shadow of Truth?
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George obviously thinks he knows Shannon better than anyone else, but if you were to ask him to give you information on what kind of person she is, it would barely scratch the surface of what we know about her.
I think that's kind of a bad example because I'm not convinced George knows much about Shannon at all, or cares to. That's part of what I've always found unconvincingly skeezy about him, he treats her more as a piece of the puzzle that will fit nicely into his life and "complete" it. Whether he knows much about her or not, it seems like he doesn't care to know beyond how she is useful to his vision of what he desires for his life.

The difference there is we're being asked to learn more about her, and as strangers to her life we have no ulterior motive to manipulate her existence to our own ends. At least I hope not.
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Old 2013-09-10, 19:31   Link #33070
jjblue1
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Undoubtely George seems lacking of a genuine interest about Shannon in his way to deal with Shannon. There's to say George seems to like to assume he knows lot of things about others or why others act a certain way that aren't necessary true.
Battler's fear of boats in Ep 8 is explained with Rudolf scaring him but to George it was due to Battler copying Asumu's behaviour.
I seem to remember he also assumed a couple of things about Maria and Rosa's behaviour that later turned out wrong.

So it can be that's not genuine lack of carying but the naive idea he had already figured her out so he doesn't need more info from her. Surely Shannon is the type of girl who could only aim and love to live the life he wanted for the two of them.

And although this is stupid and arrogant from him, to his credit there's to say Shannon never dared to say something against this belief which might have lulled him into the idea he was right.
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Old 2013-09-11, 00:23   Link #33071
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBackpack View Post
But did they necessarily exhibit these traits towards their beloved family members? Perhaps a little (especially in Rosa's case) but I don't think these descriptions encompass the entirety of the siblings' behaviors.
Like Beato admits in the EP8 manga when Ange throws her fit in the VIP room and calls Battlers game a farce: "No, she's right...this is a farce. If all this were true then nothing like that incident would have ever happened." But still she remains on Battlers side in saying that they want Ange to see that sometimes there are more important things than just the plain truth.

The panels when Ange told how she knows of Kinzos violent temper is very telling. She saw him yelling at her parents and them admitting defeat. She understood this as her perfect parents, who could never do something wrong, bowing towards an evil, old man who was bullying them. If we consider this differently, we know that Rudolf and Kyrie fucked up a lot in their business ventures and often enough went into schemes that verged unto the criminal. Kinzo, who did his best to built up the Ushiromiya house, had every right to be angry at them.
Shouting at your children is wrong and it is not unlikely that many of his children exhibited different traits of Kinzo's bad manner of raising them, like Krauss' and Evas overprotection and pushing of Jessica and George, going as far as pitting them against each other, Rudolphs idea that throwing out money can solve problems concerning your child (and going by the fact that rumors existed maybe also the idea of having a mistress being alright) and Rosa using violence to control Maria.
Still, all of them very likely loved their children, and I wouldn't be surprised if Kinzo loved his 4 children by his wife as well, I just think he was disappointed by them because, adding to the fact that he didn't love his wife, they also turned out to be pretty big pieces of work.

Quote:
(To clarify, we still don't know if Battler was lying about everything. I'm just saying that the "R-Prime information about the family", the forgeries, and Battler's story don't necessary have to preclude each other.)
Well, if we take the manga version of EP8 as evidence, then we have evidence that he wasn't lying about it completely but he wasn't telling the full truth either. Both he and Beato admit that his game is technically a farce but they also stress towards Ange, how it is supposed to teach her something that an account of the simple truth couldn't.
Battler also says that he could easily give her the Red Truth that "the family members spent this time getting along greatly" (親族達は仲良く過ごした) but it wouldn't change her outlook on things. She would refuse it as a trick or a lie and then everything would crumble. He believes she has to reach a truth of her own, but of course wants to steer her into his.

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The problem is that not all speculation is created equal
Completely true, but it's also important to see how Umineko stresses elements like the Devil's Proof and that the absence of evidence proofs (on a moral level) nothing beyond the absence of said evidence, not their non-existence.

Quote:
The problem as I see it is that by making Truth a matter of opinion, it allows for truths to essentially be cooked up by these half-baked conclusions rather than allowing the conclusions to stand as exactly as strong or weak as they clearly are and acknowledging that we can go only so far.
Yes, this is really important, but I think to a certain degree Umineko went into this direction and did take a stance, it just didn't push it into our face as it being the one right approach. The one reason why I dislike some parts of EP8 is because they paint the truth seekers as too much of a bunch of assholes, while failing to highlight that there are people who search it for good reasons, but recently I considered that EP7 and 8 kind of stand as mirror examples in this exercise.
EP7 shows how you search for truth for moral reasons, to give the involved people (even the culprit) peace and closure.
EP8 shows how people search for truth for pleasure and/or satisfaction, so a completely self-serving goal.

I think Truth is less a matter of opinion, but it is rather that telling the truth is more than just making it a string of events or just telling what you believe. Ange was unable to accept either version she found in EP8 because they went against both what she believed (her direct family can't be that horrible people by her memory, but Eva could) and what was happening around her (there is a crater and everybody appears to be dead, so it can't be all flowers and sprinkles).

What I took as the core of it all was, that any "truth" must have meaning. It must create moral justice, it must give peace, it must give closure. Most attempts around Ange did none of that, they were sensational, they stirred things up, they kept things in the loop even though the police decided to let the case rest. Sometimes, if it is clear that anybody could be a culprit but it is impossible to pin the crime on a specific person, it should be as valid to let it rest in order to give the people involved at least some kind of peace.

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The difference there is we're being asked to learn more about her, and as strangers to her life we have no ulterior motive to manipulate her existence to our own ends. At least I hope not.
Of course we have an ulterior motive, we gain pleasure from finding out the truth, we gain satisfaction from finding evidence, we get frustrated when things appear different from our idea and then we might attempt to think in ways that favor our framework. The thing is, as soon as you are drawn into something you are not a total stranger anymore, something like complete objectivity does not exist.
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Old 2013-09-11, 08:12   Link #33072
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Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
Of course we have an ulterior motive, we gain pleasure from finding out the truth, we gain satisfaction from finding evidence, we get frustrated when things appear different from our idea and then we might attempt to think in ways that favor our framework. The thing is, as soon as you are drawn into something you are not a total stranger anymore, something like complete objectivity does not exist.
Even so, I don't require that her life story turn out a particular way. Whatever ending I might "like" to see, I can be satisfied or at least accepting of the outcome being what the characters and/or author wished that to be. I gain nothing from her manipulation within the story in any particular direction. George, being himself a character in the work with his own motives, does. So my perspective is at least more objective than his, regardless of whether I am perfectly objective. A scientist acting as observer on an experiment isn't perfectly objective (he or she probably has a hypothesis that the experiment is supposed to prove, or seeks grant money and so hopes the experiment is conclusive, etc.), but it's the rat in the maze that has a vested interest in getting that cheese at the end. Whether the rat gets the cheese or not is less important to the scientist than watching what the rat actually does. If you throw in two rats competing for the cheese, the observing scientist probably doesn't care which one gets it first, but it matters quite a bit to each of the rats.

I would imagine most people's motive with respect to the character is to do as she asked that we do; that is, to understand. It's not impossible to read something different into the whole thing and desire it, but I don't think that's a normal reaction. In that sense we're in a role not unlike Will's; although Will certainly invested himself in the story, he was brought in to act as a sort of impartial figure and reach a level of understanding that may have been easier because he was such. Now admittedly he did eventually become invested in a particular outcome, but I'd say that means he cared about that a lot more than most of us did, as we tend to be a lot more accepting that the events that happened did indeed happen! So even Will bears a considerably greater bias (understandable though, as he's actually in the story).
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I submit that a murder was committed in 1996.
This murder was a "copycat" crime inspired by our tales of 1986.
This story is a redacted confession.

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Battler Solves The Logic Error
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Old 2013-09-22, 14:41   Link #33073
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I just found something curious when I was reviewing my notes. During the EP3 chapter "Rosa and the witch of the forest", it bothered me that when Beatrice II (or whichever Beatrice) dies from the fall, Meta-Beatrice proclaims "It's definitely dead". I originally noted that down because of the unusual use of 'It' rather than 'She'. This alone wouldn't be worth discussing on this board. But when I reviewed my notes, I checked the red truth page on the wiki for context. The page records it as "She's definitely dead". This means it may have been changed when they updated the patch for the first four episodes. I thought that the Beatrice in that scene was definitely female (being Bice's daughter).

I had previously played with the idea of checking the difference between patches for clues, but thought that my time would be better served elsewhere, but this is neat little find, don't you think?
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Old 2013-09-22, 17:12   Link #33074
theacefrehley
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The original text goes like this:

間違いなく死んでいる!

Translation:
間違いなく = Certainly
死んでいる = is dead

No literal mention of who is dead (there's no 'she' there), so it's up to context (pretty normal in japanese language), and we can see it is 1967-Beatrice the person who they are talking about.

'It's dead' or 'She is dead' is up to the choice of the translator.
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Old 2013-09-24, 17:13   Link #33075
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Thanks for the information. I had thought that the contextual ambiguity of japanese might have been the reason.

My point is that it may have been changed in between revisions of the translation. If there was a way to get an older version of the patch then it might be possible to confirm that it was changed in retrospect, does anyone know how to get an older version of the patch?

Or maybe the red truth page was working off someone else's translation...
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Old 2013-09-26, 10:17   Link #33076
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This may seem like a stupid question, but it's something I'd like to ask you guys. I've mostly stopped paying attention to what's happened since Episode 8 was translated, so I'm way behind on what any interviews or supplementary materials say. Sorry if this has all been discussed to death before, but it's been bothering me, and I intend to reread Umineko soon so I wanted to get some input.

Has it ever been confirmed, Word of God style, that Yasu is definitely the one who was killing people on Rokkenjima Prime? Like, the actual events that really happened, not in any of the Episodes. I know that Our Confession apparently showed how "Yasu" was the culprit of some episodes. But did it, or anything after, actually confirm she was the real culprit?

If it has, could someone clear a few things up for me:

- Why did Battler accept Beatrice after he learned the truth? He was so very adamant about never forgiving whoever did this to his family, but once he learned the truth in Episode 5 suddenly he's fine with Beatrice being his wife and is totally accepting of her? At the time, I took this as confirmation that Beatrice (or whoever she represented) wasn't the murderer, and with what we learn in Episode 7, I have a hard time accepting that Battler would learn that Yasu killed his family and then just be totally fine with it, going so far as to apologize to HER for the torture HE put her through.

- Similarly, why was Battler being nice to her in the scene where they are escaping and she kills herself? It seemed like a situation where she'd blame herself but he wasn't blaming her. This also seemed to stay consistent with the implications in Episodes 1-4 that Beatrice was simply pretending to be the culprit and taking the blame.

- What was the deal with Ange freaking out upon reading the ultimate truth and her wishing she had never read it. She was holding onto a hope that someone else may have survived, Battler in particular. So when she was so crushed upon reading it to wish she never did, it seemed at first that she read Battler was actually dead. But we learn at the end that he wasn't dead, he survived. So if this thing was the ultimate truth (and not just in the real world where mistakes could happen, but the meta world as well), then why would she flip out upon reading this? I'm sort of hinting that maybe she read that Rudolf and Kyrie were actually the culprits, as that's the only other thing that makes sense to me. We saw how it could happen in EP7 and it would explain why Eva kept it from her.

Sorry if I've gotten some details wrong, it's been years now (feels weird so much time has passed), and I haven't gotten around to rereading it yet. If I've forgotten some details that answers all these questions, please tell me. If Yasu as real actual murderer is also confirmed for fact, please tell me.
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Old 2013-09-26, 11:53   Link #33077
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Originally Posted by MainCharacter View Post
Has it ever been confirmed, Word of God style, that Yasu is definitely the one who was killing people on Rokkenjima Prime? Like, the actual events that really happened, not in any of the Episodes. I know that Our Confession apparently showed how "Yasu" was the culprit of some episodes. But did it, or anything after, actually confirm she was the real culprit?
No, it never has confirmed that she's the real culprit on Rokkenjima Prime, and likewise I think that the narrative and Battler's behaviour towards Beatrice suggests that she isn't the real culprit.

I can't really help explain about Ange's behaviour there, since I don't entirely understand it myself either.
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Old 2013-09-26, 15:40   Link #33078
jjblue1
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The culprit in Prime is never clearly stated but Ryukishi implied the adults were the ones to blame for the incident.

We don't know exactly what Ange read but we know it's the truth... at least from Eva's perspective. So, for example, if Kyrie went and told Eva she killed everyone and Eva wrote this in her diary, she wouldn't be lying even if Kyrie lied. The fact 'Kyrie told Eva she killed everyone' would be the truth but not the fact 'Kyrie killed everyone'.

So Eva's informations might be true but not the truth behind what happened on Rokkenjima.
Of course it's also possible that Eva wrote the truth and the truth is that nearly everyone was to blame. For example a popular theory is that Yasu really set in motion a mystery game but it was all an act like the one in EP 6 was supposed to be, someone freaked out not knowing it was all a game, paranoia escalated and people ended up killing each others.

We're waiting for the manga to see if it'll clar up things.

On the positive side the manga explained why Ange's character "regressed" in Ep 8.
They said that seeing Bern's game in Ep 7 Teaparty caused her to reject her understanding of Eva and decide she had to be the culprit.
Metaphorically speaking this might mean during her life Ange was trying to understand and accept Eva but when the Rudolf's family culprit theory came around, in order to deny that theory she ended up rejecting any possible understanding she had of Eva.

Also when Battler said to a sleeping Ange that although they were different most of what she heard were the selfish speculations from people outside the island Beato was surprised then sadly thoughtful. I wonder if this has an extra meaning. Or am I reading too much in that scene?
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Old 2013-09-27, 00:01   Link #33079
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblue1 View Post
Also when Battler said to a sleeping Ange that although they were different most of what she heard were the selfish speculations from people outside the island Beato was surprised then sadly thoughtful. I wonder if this has an extra meaning. Or am I reading too much in that scene?
Well, it was implied several times that Beato was disappointed in her "fandom" and therefore also regretting her decision to throw those message bottles into the sea.
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Old 2013-09-27, 07:14   Link #33080
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Ah, I seem to remember theorising on this board that that was why Ange metaregressed, Word of God gold star to me (and all else who said as much)


I wonder if Beato looked shocked because SHE wrote the first two, which means it wasn't just selfish speculation by outsiders, but at least somewhat informed by fact and the adults' personalities. I assume she is shocked Battler is outright lying to Ange to the nth degree, but thoughtful because she knows what he is trying to do and doesn't think it would be helpful to interject with "But I did know them, and when they were in a bad mood they did do terrible stuff"

Also, I am not sure I buy into paranoia and everyone killing eachother (otherwise why would Eva have needed to be told, she would have been there), but I can buy into the fact that Yasu had some hand in it (and has repeatedly been said to have been prepping to do something terrible) but that the adults were probably largely to blame. Eva was likely involved and feels super guilty about it. We always used to ask who she would protect Ange from learning about, well if everyone was involved that would be good motivation. "Sorry Ange, your entire family including your parents had a big selfish fight and blew eachother up".


Maybe Kyrie even flipped the switch on the clock, using her chessboard logic (but getting it so wrong). That would be ironic.

Maybe the fight even broke out over the clock, and deciding which way to switch it (while not trusting Yasu, who had already fled or died). Maybe all the kids ran to the tunnels, and Eva tried to follow them but went the wrong way, and then only Battler survived the boat trip. I doubt he'd have left his alive cousins behind, so he either went to the tunnels before trouble started, thought they were there, they were there or they were dead. Likewise, Eva wouldn't leave an alive George or (dependent on how it affected George) Hideoyoshi behind, but would try and run after them.
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