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Old 2010-01-03, 17:05   Link #4821
Archer
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Originally Posted by Chii Kei View Post
Hi guys, sorry to interrupt but I have a question, if someone would mind answering...
Somewhere in this thread, someone stated that:


Would anyone mind telling me just WHAT they apply to, then? I was under the impression that they were a form of red truth, so being told they dont apply is extremely confusing. I'd like to know because I have a lot of theories that fall short BECAUSE of Knox's rules, so.

Thanks for posting such interesting discussions - they're great fun to read through. I'd join in, but I fear I'd just get in the way. XD
The Knox Decalogue isn't so important in itself. Rather, it's the spirit behind the laws that matter: It's a guarantee that the story contains all of the clues necessary to solve the mystery. The story won't end with some unexplained or newly introduced plot point that ties up all the threads together.

Similarly, this means that all of the theories that people come up with about the story should be backed up by evidence present in the story. I cannot say something like "Battler is an alien that nukes Rokkenjima from orbit" as there is nothing in the story that hints at this possibility. It's a way to limit the number of possible theories so that more people can arrive at the actual truth.

All solutions must have a strong basis in the plot.
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Old 2010-01-03, 17:22   Link #4822
Chii Kei
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Originally Posted by Archer View Post
The Knox Decalogue isn't so important in itself. Rather, it's the spirit behind the laws that matter: It's a guarantee that the story contains all of the clues necessary to solve the mystery. The story won't end with some unexplained or newly introduced plot point that ties up all the threads together.

Similarly, this means that all of the theories that people come up with about the story should be backed up by evidence present in the story. I cannot say something like "Battler is an alien that nukes Rokkenjima from orbit" as there is nothing in the story that hints at this possibility. It's a way to limit the number of possible theories so that more people can arrive at the actual truth.

All solutions must have a strong basis in the plot.
I see...thanks! That's helpful. I sometimes get far too involved with details, aha. XD

Does this then mean I can speculate about the "2nd Battler" I've heard about being the 18th/X person on Rokkenjima or "Beatrice"? I'm finding the discussions on Natsuhi, her secret and Battler's sin really interesting. :3
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Old 2010-01-03, 17:35   Link #4823
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Originally Posted by k//eternal View Post
How about the red texts in EP4 that refer to magic?
Quote:
This is my Golden Land!! A world where magic that isn't mine certainly cannot exist!!
And my magic was not able to revive Sakutarou...!!

Did I miss any?
I don't see any problems with these.

If we assume that magic does not exist at all even outside the game board - for example, saying that Battler is in Purgatory, or that Battler is playing a video game or something - there are no problems, because naturally magic that isn't hers cannot exist, since magic of all types doesn't exist, and it could not revive Sakutarou either.

If magic does exist in the meta-world, then there's nothing wrong with taking those truths at face value.

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That red truth does specify an exact time frame for when it is being used. Furthermore, this "you" in particular refers to the piece-Battler alone on the island. Finally, Virgilia has confirmed that Battler is not the culprit in red anyway, so this entire discussion is rendered pointless. By Knox's 8th, Ushiromiya Jessica can not be called Battler, as there was no hints that foreshadowed this development. Knox's 10th also forbids Jessica as masquerading as Battler.
Like someone said, the "Battler is the culprit" theory can still include another person killing him via a time-delay device, or it can use the same bent definition of "killed" that Shannon = Kanon must use to escape certain red truths.

Knox's rules were only introduced as red truths in episode 5. We can't know for sure that they apply to earlier episodes.

Regardless, as I said before, there were hints provided that would make sense if Jessica was also a Battler.

Spoiler for hints:


Of course, Jessica isn't disguised as Battler if she is Battler.
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Old 2010-01-03, 17:46   Link #4824
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Originally Posted by Arkwright View Post
-Other hints suggest that there were special circumstances surrounding Battler's birth. For example, Rudolf wanted to talk about this in episode 5 (and by extension probably episode 1.)
-Natsuhi and Krauss went a long time without being able to produce an heir, long enough for Kinzo to allow Eva to remain in the family register when she married.
These points on their own don't support your theory, really.

Quote:
-Kinzo is shown admitting he gave another mother's baby to Natsuhi and Krauss 19 years ago. The concept of him giving Jessica to them afterwards is not without basis.
If that's the case, Natsuhi would be showing some resentment towards Jessica in a similar manner as she did with the child 19 years ago. We never see this in any form.

Quote:
-Jessica's birth is never mentioned when Erika reads Natsuhi's diary.
Natsuhi already explained that she only wrote the bad things of her life in that diary. Naturally, giving birth would not be a bad thing. In fact, this only hurts your theory of Jessica being Battler, since Natsuhi would've written something down about not approving of Jessica.

Quote:
-The truth regarding the baby from 19 years ago was never truly settled. Even the second explanation for the baby's death could have been a lie. Even the time it happened, and the gender of the baby could have been false!
It's plausible, but like the first two points, doesn't really support your theory on its own.

Quote:
-Jessica herself is described as having relatively masculine mannerisms and speech, and has had a long playful rivalry with Battler.
-In the beginning of episode 2, Kanon takes note of the idea that Jessica was like a completely different person when she was free to do what she wanted with her friends at school. There are also other hints suggesting that Jessica tends to think of herself differently depending on her situation. For one, (paraphrasing) "That choice just now... was my answer as a woman. This is my answer as the Ushiromiya head!"

Of course, Jessica isn't disguised as Battler if she is Battler.
These look more like standalone personality quirks rather than some evidence that she's a second Battler. Evidence would be something like Natsuhi thinking "There is a dark secret about Jessica that nobody must know about", in a similar manner to Rudolf being all cryptic back in Ep. 1.

The main problem with this theory is that it needs information that was given in Ep. 5, when all of the clues to solve the mystery should already have been present in Ep. 1-4. Jessica's personality alone isn't evidence, since I can say something like Battler is actually Kinzo with a straight face using this logic. The circumstances around Battler's birth that we know of also have no connection to Jessica in any way either.

Last edited by Archer; 2010-01-03 at 18:03.
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Old 2010-01-03, 18:02   Link #4825
k//eternal
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I think the baby was almost definitely female. Kinzo's reaction to its death made that pretty clear, and whoever was on the phone really didn't have a good grasp of what had happened and was basically freaking Natsuhi out with cold reading mixed with some inconvenient knowledge.

At the same time, the dead baby is almost completely irrelevant to a Jessica = Asumu-Battler theory. I say "almost" only because the theory would be ruined if the dead baby had been Asumu-Battler.

If Jessica is Battler2, then the only impact it should have on her is that she has another name. I don't see how this would be likely to cause masculine speech or rivalries, because there are plenty of people with the same first name as each other and they get along pretty normally.

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I don't see any problems with these.
There aren't any, but if you're willing to accept them at face value as meta-world truths, there's no reason that "6 people are dead" couldn't be a magic-world truth, and the "magic doesn't exist" argument bends the spirit of the text, which is similar to what's done in Shkanon arguments.
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Old 2010-01-03, 18:19   Link #4826
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Well, the "multiple personalities" concept is not one that I personally endorse, it was just part of the "Battler is already dead" concept. I know I have seen a fair amount of it in Jessica theories, though, and I'm sure a more comprehensive list of hints could be found there. I don't really feel like making another giant post quite yet, sorry.

One thing I should comment on though - when you say "Jessica's birth should have been mentioned in the diary if it was a negative event," we don't know for sure that the diary even lasted that long. There are multiple possibilities:

1. Neither baby was mentioned in the diary. Anything is possible.
2. One baby was mentioned in the diary as a negative event. In that case, it's possible that baby was Jessica, or that Jessica was indeed a happy event.
3. Both babies were mentioned in the diary but we didn't hear of them. This would suggest that both were from other mothers.

Again, though, we know that Natsuhi warmed up to Krauss, and it's not impossible that Natsuhi could warm up to a hated baby either.

Regarding Jessica = Battler specifically. As I mentioned, the main thing that makes me think this, is the red truth indicating that a Battler who was born of Asumu exists. That hint alone is enough to make me look for a Battler among the other characters. Jessica seems like the most likely candidate.

Jessica is the only cousin who is approximately the same age as Battler. It has already been mentioned that her parents were seemingly unable to produce an heir, and that Kinzo wanted to give them an heir. That's enough for a motive.

Furthermore, Kyrie's child was supposedly stillborn, but Battler is not born of Asumu. In that case, where did Asumu's child go? Are we to believe that her child also died? I would think it's more likely to say that both children survived and the truth was hidden for some reason than to say that both children died. And if Asumu's child did not die, Krauss and Natsuhi would be the prime targets for adoption in Kinzo's eyes.

Also, if we take the interpretation that the characters who die last are somehow more important to Beatrice, then Jessica is right up there with Battler and Maria in survival track record.
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Old 2010-01-03, 18:47   Link #4827
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Well, the "multiple personalities" concept is not one that I personally endorse, it was just part of the "Battler is already dead" concept. I know I have seen a fair amount of it in Jessica theories, though, and I'm sure a more comprehensive list of hints could be found there. I don't really feel like making another giant post quite yet, sorry.

One thing I should comment on though - when you say "Jessica's birth should have been mentioned in the diary if it was a negative event," we don't know for sure that the diary even lasted that long. There are multiple possibilities:

1. Neither baby was mentioned in the diary. Anything is possible.
2. One baby was mentioned in the diary as a negative event. In that case, it's possible that baby was Jessica, or that Jessica was indeed a happy event.
3. Both babies were mentioned in the diary but we didn't hear of them. This would suggest that both were from other mothers.

Again, though, we know that Natsuhi warmed up to Krauss, and it's not impossible that Natsuhi could warm up to a hated baby either.

Regarding Jessica = Battler specifically. As I mentioned, the main thing that makes me think this, is the red truth indicating that a Battler who was born of Asumu exists. That hint alone is enough to make me look for a Battler among the other characters. Jessica seems like the most likely candidate.

Jessica is the only cousin who is approximately the same age as Battler. It has already been mentioned that her parents were seemingly unable to produce an heir, and that Kinzo wanted to give them an heir. That's enough for a motive. Also, look at what Kinzo said when he found out the child "died."

Furthermore, Kyrie's child was supposedly stillborn, but Battler is not born of Asumu. In that case, where did Asumu's child go? Are we to believe that her child also died? I would think it's more likely to say that both children survived and the truth was hidden for some reason than to say that both children died. And if Asumu's child did not die, Krauss and Natsuhi would be the prime targets for adoption in Kinzo's eyes.

Also, if we take the interpretation that the characters who die last are somehow more important to Beatrice, then Jessica is right up there with Battler and Maria in survival track record.
First problem with this theory: Your assumption that anything is possible. Yes, anything is possible, but that doesn't make them true. Natsuhi could've slept with Kinzo, but we already know that's nothing more than a mere guess. The truth has to be backed up with credible evidence. Your analysis of the diary is only a hypothetical situation that you've come up with without any evidence to show for it. The same goes for the Asumu connection. I've made a mistake of creating a hypothetical situation with that diary, but we should stick to what we're given.

Second problem: If Jessica was adopted, then Natsuhi should have mentioned something like this when she was threatened. Nothing in Natsuhi's thought processes hint at Jessica being adopted, even though the issue of adoption was the most prevalent problem at the moment. Furthermore, we've been told that Jessica was born naturally repeatedly, so the absence of any new revelation about her birth should mean that we should accept that as truth.

Really, if we can make any kind of guess for any kind of situation, then Umineko really is unsolvable. We can't just disregard established facts just because they're not spoken in red.
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Old 2010-01-03, 19:44   Link #4828
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Taking a stab at what's going on in EP4 based on the Shkatrice theory. (Feel free to pretend it's all blue, but I find huge blocks of colored text annoying to read on a forum.) The way I have it down, it's based on a variant of DID that has some fictional elements (but is similar to how the disorder is presented in some other popular media... see Gundam 00, for one). Obviously, your interpretation or acceptance of Shkatrice may vary.

This part's something common to a lot of theories: 6 years ago, Battler comes to the conference and steals Shannon's heart with his Engrish and white horse. He fails to come back afterwards, but she doesn't forget him.

Fukuin House is actually an all-girls' institution. Kinzo hires children who have "Beatrice potential"; the Beatrice "killed" by Rosa was one of them who was later "recognized" as Beatrice. Eventually Kinzo decides Shannon is one too and Shannon is sexually abused. Unlike the previous Beatrice, Shannon is kept in the mansion instead of Kuwadorian to prevent her from suddenly toppling off a cliff. To cope with the abuse and the pressure put on her by Natsuhi, she develops split personalities: Beatrice, who holds her memories of the former and believes she is the witch, and Kanon, who holds her hatred toward the masters and possibly also her distrust of love in general.

To clean up some random oddities: Jessica has some lesbian tendencies that she doesn't recognize. It's been noted that she has certain masculine characteristics, even if this is stereotyping, so this could be taken as a hint. While she consciously takes Kanon to be male, her attraction to Kanon is because "he" has feminine qualities.

Also, Shannon is probably pretty flat, she just pads. It's possible that being "abandoned" by Battler makes her somewhat insecure.

When Battler returns to the island, Shannon sets up a crazy gambit (as has been described previously, low-probability events are the seed of magic here) to "test" whether he really is the same guy from her past. She plans to stage or execute a series of murders, and also sets up explosives somewhere around the mansion. The idea is to see if Battler will remember his love and save her from the danger.

In EP4, she confronts him as Beatrice and first hands him the test that was allegedly given to George and Jessica (in hopes that he'll write in her name on the second line); when this fails, she tries to get him to remember his "sin". After he is unable to do so, she kills herself and hides the murder weapon (explanations for how this is done have been given by numerous others), additionally not telling him about the explosives or their location. As a result, Battler is "killed by Beatrice".

The Kanon personality is actually in love with Jessica and intends to prevent the plan from occurring. If Kanon becomes dominant ("if Shannon is killed"), he becomes "the zero on Beatrice's roulette" and attempts to stop the plan and save Jessica. In EP1, he tries to kill himself, but is saved by Nanjo. In EP3, the Kanon personality dies, but Beatrice acts "as Kanon" temporarily for Jessica's benefit and is shot dead after leading her to safety.
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Old 2010-01-03, 20:22   Link #4829
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I was just reading some info in a particular imageboard, and there's something that made sense. If we remember, in EP4, it was said everyone recognised the existence of Kinzo, to which Battler formulated the theory that people in the island may have different names, and that the name "Kinzo" may have been inherited by someone. So, it's not Shkanon, and it's not Shkanontrice. It's Shkanontricenzo!

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To clean up some random oddities: Jessica has some lesbian tendencies that she doesn't recognize. It's been noted that she has certain masculine characteristics, even if this is stereotyping, so this could be taken as a hint. While she consciously takes Kanon to be male, her attraction to Kanon is because "he" has feminine qualities.
I like you man.

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When Battler returns to the island, Shannon sets up a crazy gambit (as has been described previously, low-probability events are the seed of magic here) to "test" whether he really is the same guy from her past. She plans to stage or execute a series of murders, and also sets up explosives somewhere around the mansion. The idea is to see if Battler will remember his love and save her from the danger.
Well, shit. She's one crazy bitch.
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Old 2010-01-03, 20:30   Link #4830
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No, it's not Shkanontricenzo: Remember, Asumu-Battler is still missing, and that's clearly got to be Shannon! (Due to circumstantial evidence of being a lot of other people.)

She's SHKANOTRILERINZO

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Well, shit. She's one crazy bitch.
That pretty much sums up the theory, yes.
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Old 2010-01-03, 20:35   Link #4831
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She's SHKANOTRILERINZO



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Originally Posted by k//eternal View Post
That pretty much sums up the theory, yes.
I guess Krauss would have been far better off by putting a psychiatric hospital in Rokkenjima. Just think of all the potential profit.
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Old 2010-01-03, 22:28   Link #4832
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Spoiler for ep 5, late speculation:
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Old 2010-01-03, 22:35   Link #4833
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She's SHKANOTRILERINZO
We are all Shannon. All of us. I am, you are.
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Old 2010-01-03, 22:39   Link #4834
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Spoiler for ep 5, late speculation:
Erika's been banished and Bern's the GM for Episode 7.
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Old 2010-01-03, 22:50   Link #4835
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Not to mention Erika was already EP6's culprit (out of her own volition - So, you're dead, huh? Let's make sure.), and Beatrice was already technically revived. That, and Beatrice had Battler kept the ring that proved him as the Game Master, because that's what Beatrice (past and present) wanted.
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Old 2010-01-03, 23:10   Link #4836
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First of all, if meta-Battler died in that battle, why is not brought up anywhere in Ep. 5? Meta-Battler should have said something along the lines of "Beatrice killed me, but for some reason I'm still alive." Meta-Battler is still fine even after the end of the game, and only piece-Battler is referred to as "leaving the gameboard," which shows that there was no mistaking who died. By Knox's 8th, the scenario where Beatrice kills Meta-Battler in their duel in Ep. 4 cannot happen as there are no clues that suggest this possibility.

Therefore, this red text can only refer to piece-Battler. The red has already established the context of its usage, so there can be no mistaking what event it is referring to. The same cannot be said for Nanjo's murder in Ep. 3 or the deaths of the first twilight in Ep. 5. Beatrice has intended for the game to be solvable, so unless you have evidence that Beatrice could use the red to refer to another event outside of the context that has also been established in red, then you have no case.



Naturally, this "you" cannot refer to Meta-Battler, as he's not dead. Even if Beatrice did not refer to piece-Battler specifically, the fact that this person that she was talking to was alone on the island makes it impossible for that person to have committed suicide. Furthermore, even if she could not reach piece-Battler, she could still refer to him, just like how I can say "Hey, you there!" to a person talking to a cell-phone without the person noticing.



However, I wasn't debating the fact that there's one Battler. I was debating the reasoning behind the thinking that all of the red up to now that has referred to "our" Ushiromiya Battler could have been referring to some other person. If the piece-Battler that we all know was actually the culprit behind the murders, then Virgilia would not have said that "Battler-kun was not the culprit" in red. Beatrice intended for Battler to find out the truth, and if Battler really was the culprit, then why would Virgilia intentionally mislead him like that?

This is where the crux of this argument lies: Would Battler being the culprit be consistent with what we know? It is one thing to be plausible, but plausibility alone does not mean that it actually happened. If a theory only needed to be plausible to be true, then Natsuhi really did end up having an affair with Ushiromiya Kinzo. However, it's been shown that Natsuhi would never do such a thing. Similarly, would Virgilia go directly against the wishes of her pupil? Virgilia did not need to provide Battler with that red text, but she did so that he could better understand Beatrice. Your theory would directly go against the characterization that has been set in this series, and defy one of the most important facets of any mystery.



I suppose you should follow your own advice first. Umineko is a story that is meant to be solved with the clues that are already in the story, and is currently solvable. You should provide substantial evidence in the story that your theory is correct, as all of the necessary clues have already been presented. If you cannot, then the theory is meaningless.
You misunderstood me. The one who dies is piece-battler but the one who Beato is talking is Meta battler. If a witch talking in red has a fantasy battle with piece-battler, the game is over as existence of magic is confirmed. Get it?

Its precisely because the game is solvable that this theory stands. Even if it was piece-battler who was told that in red (which it can't be, because Beatrice's red can't reach piece-Battler in the first 4 games.), the possibility still remains that Battler is the culprit because no time frame is stated for when that red truth applies (i.e, its a different Beatrice but for Nanjo's murder only) and furthermore, trap murder is still possible even if we were to interpret that red as you have.

Heck, by your reasoning, Virgilia might as well tell Battler who the culprit is, "Battler-kun isn't the culprit." is simply another one of the clues thrown in and is part of the puzzle, unless she states in red that she meant the Battler we all know, its very plausible that she was referring to another Battler. Why would she mislead him you say? Hello? Come again? She is a witch, and thus Battler's enemy. Furthermore, Beatrice also wishes for Battler to realize and repent his own sin, Virgilia is thus not telling Battler that he is the culprit to make himself realize that. This has already been explained better before I even started posting on this.

I am sorry, but once again, you have posted absolutely nothing that defies the theory. I have established a set of blue truths like three times already and you have yet to give me a red that denies it. Your own opinion about characterization and stuff is true only to you. Unless you bring in a red sword that directly crushes my wall of blue or you weave a web of red that my blue wedge can't pass through, you lose. Therefore, please find a red that clears my blues from this post before you give me advice on Umineko's nature kthx.
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Old 2010-01-03, 23:14   Link #4837
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Sorry for the long post, but I've been away for most of the day.

@Antera
Spoiler for size:

@Forsaken_Infinity
Spoiler for size:

@Rias
Spoiler for size:
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Old 2010-01-03, 23:16   Link #4838
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Well, it is a matter of taste, but I don't understand why you call it bad writing. It's definitely not a cliche, and there have been dozens of scenes that can be interpreted as "hinting" towards it. We had more than enough of a chance of guessing it, and Ryuukishi clearly intended it from the beginning.

The logistics of it are tricky, but as long as there is some way to make them work reasonably, I think they should be accepted.
So, if you don't mind, do you think you can sum up what you don't like about it?
It is bad writing, because the only way the theory can continue to exist after ep5 is by deliberately cheating the reader. And you admit it yourself:
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Where in the game did it ever say that Erika saw two different entities? Give me a specific scene shown from her perspective.
You're okay with this? That's bullshit, man. I'm not even going to dignify my indignation at the very notion that this sort of writing could ever be acceptable (if it were true, but I don't believe it is).

Ryukishi has a terrible habit - and I'm going to be stepping back into criticism of his writing style rather than the content of what he writes, as I must do in order to articulate my criticism of the shkanon thing because I don't have much else to base my hunch on its falsity toward - of messing with perspective. It's been like this since ep1.

We randomly jump, at various points, from Battler's first-person POV, a sort of close-following third-person POV, an omniscient third-person POV, and the first-person and close-following third-person POV of other characters. This is often jarring and his inability to properly transition is my biggest criticism of him as a writer. I have, up until this point, accepted it as a quirk because I largely believed that he would not betray me as a reader by deliberately playing with this to grossly alter the trustworthiness of a scene during the scene.

What do I mean by this? Up until now, if I have seen Battler narrating in first-person during a scene, when and if the scene temporarily shifted into third-person without a major shift in the scene itself, I assumed that Battler's trustworthy perspective still kept the scene "anchored." Likewise, if we saw a scene where Battler was present but not narrating in the first-person, I assumed that his "narrative presence" had some degree of continuity. I believed that the writer would not cheat me by having people's words that Battler should have been able to overhear not be what they actually were just because Battler wasn't saying "I heard Rosa oba-san say 'Hello, Maria!'"

When Battler was not present, I also did not immediately assume that anything and everything could be falsified. I was always more wary of these sorts of scenes, but whenever I saw people other than Battler speaking in first-person, I at least had enough faith in the writer to emulate the proper feelings of the character, even if they were not accurate and even if the narrator was unreliable.

I know Ryukishi is capable of this because of ep5. Natsuhi is a delusional person. She tells lies. She is under enormous stress. Yet she is also reliable. Even if you doubt certain things "really happened" to her, you don't doubt that she is a sound observer who - while delusional and susceptible to being misled - is not betraying the reader in her retelling of events from her own perspective. She may not fully understand, but she is honest to the reader.

What are some other examples of this? Well, imagine One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest or Fight Club. Either is a good example; we deal with a character who has a dual personality or delusion, but he is not entirely aware that this is the case. The other character has reality to him out of an intellectual honesty; the reader may suspect it before the narrator, but the narrator wasn't lying in order to deceive the reader. Rather, the writer lied in order to mislead both the narrator and by association the reader. It is possible in these works to guess it early and connect with the writer. Guessing early, in fact, strengthens the bond between reader and writer. He's playing a trick on his character; when we figure it out before the character does, we're "in on it" with the writer, and we see things that deepen the satisfaction when the narrator finally understands the truth.

Imagine instead a detective novel where a cop goes around investigating a series of murders. Then, at the end, he tells the reader: "Oh, by the way, I actually killed all those people myself. I lied about there being calls from the police, I lied about the people already being dead." This is again a case of the writer lying to us, but this time he wasn't lying to the narrator. Instead, the narrator was just a meaningless smokescreen to cheat the reader. Of course, there are exceptions; if we knew all along this narrator was a violent, self-aggrandizing jerk who wanted to solve crimes but never seemed to come across any until this "big break," perhaps his deliberate lying is acceptable. There are even situations - albeit rare - where I accept an unreliable narrator who presents the entire situation through deliberate misrepresentation. It takes an exceptional writer. Ryukishi is not, I think, skilled enough at the craft of writing to do this. But I don't think he actually is doing this.

So, why does any of this rant about writing itself matter?

The entire shkanon theory hinges on the scene in the parlor of ep5 where "everyone" is in the same room with Erika (and to a lesser extent on the accusation scene later). I don't care how you choose to approach it, but there is absolutely no theory in existence that permits shkanon to continue existing after this without an exploitation of somebody's perspective reliability. This is confusing, so let me go on.

In this scene, we are visibly shown (ignoring any text) all the 18 people we have come to expect in Umineko. One imagines this scene animated in a hypothetical second anime season, and we see everybody present. Okay, so from the point of visual perspective we see everybody present. But so what? We see a lot of things visually in Umineko and we know they're not true. So just because there are a bunch of characters in one place doesn't mean we can be assured of them all existing. There's nothing disingenuous about this unless it conflicts with another relationship between author and reader. At this point we've long accepted we have to question this, so we're not being betrayed on this alone.

So let's go for the text. We start in third-person seemingly omniscient narration. Gohda enters with Kanon. The narration says Kanon was pushing the cart. We are told that Kanon grumbles about Gohda's behavior. It is announced that the guest is arriving, and Erika enters. We're told Kumasawa and Shannon are with her. Battler, George, and Jessica now arrive.

After some meta-text, meta-Battler suddenly becomes the perspective piece. He uses 'I' to refer to Battler looking around, presumably. He notes Shannon with Erika. He also notes Kanon separately. There is some more dialogue exchanged and the scene ends.

If Kanon and Shannon are the same person, someone in this scene has to be misleading the reader, and I would posit that none of them have any valid narrative reason to do so. Let's reconstruct the scene:

1) Third-Person Omniscient, No Erika or Battler: This is the scene from the beginning until Erika walks in. If you don't believe anyone but Battler or Erika is reliable, you can accept that this entire sequence is fiction. But... why? Nobody's behavior here really seems unusual or out of character. There are no hints that the writer is deliberately trying to slip something past the unattentive reader. No matter how closely you read the scene, nothing seems that untoward. It's noted especially that Kanon is with Gohda and arrives first, and Shannon arrives later with Erika. We are left to assume that Kanon was with Gohda and Shannon was with Erika. Again, what possible reason do we have to doubt this? Two different locations, two different people. The only way out of this scenario is to claim it was a lie or deliberate misconstruction on the part of the people involved. If you claim this, the onus is on you to explain why.

2) Third-Person Omniscient, Erika w/o Battler: This is the scene from Erika's entry to the point where Battler/Jessica/George arrive. We are told that Erika arrived with Shannon and that Kanon is in the room already. If Erika's perspective is reliable, she cannot fail to notice this because no reason has been given why Kanon would hide from her as she arrives or why people would lie that Kanon was in the room when he wasn't. Now, the obvious narrative dodge here is since Erika is not narrating in the first person, we could be seeing a scene that includes Kanon and Shannon at the same time as long as she does not act as if one person is two people. If you can't see why that rubs me the wrong way, I don't know what to say. It's obvious nonsense. It's unfair. It's saying a girl who will later claim to have a photographic memory just didn't notice something, OR ELSE it's saying you can lie outright about what the detective saw as long as the detective herself doesn't acknowledge her own observations. Either way is bad writing, pure and simple.

3) Third-Person Omniscient, Erika & Battler: This is when Battler arrives, but before meta-Battler looks around "as" him. Again, we are now asked to expect that both Erika and Battler either did not really see what we have been shown, or they did but their failure to acknowledge it in first-person makes the lie acceptable right in front of their faces. That's absurd.

4) First-Person Battler, Erika & Battler: This is the part after the meta sequence. Battler is now looking around in the first person and acknowledges the existence of everyone else in the room (who have previously been confirmed to be the only people on the island). He indisputably sees Kanon and Shannon separately. The only argument I can see here is Battler was deceived or lying and he can lie because he isn't the detective so we're not able to trust his first-person narration anymore. I can't accept this either. No one has provided a remotely valid reason why he would behave in this fashion. The closest I saw was "Battler knows the secret somehow and is covering it up," and even that is dubious because Battler would be calling attention to the dual existence of Shannon and Kanon rather than simply halfheartedly acknowledging them in his laundry list of people present. It benefits no one to have a one-person-is-two lie without taking steps to make it appear that there are in fact two people.

Any of these requires the reader to believe something that I feel leads to a breach of trust between the writer and the reader. We're asked not just to justify ourselves, but to now track carefully every time perspective changes, because some things are trustworthy and some are not (and most are not, even if they were a paragraph ago). It requires us to now come up with a why not just for the actions people are taking, but for why the writer chose a particular narrative style. It's jarring, it detracts from the mystery and the narrative. It also means that as long as Erika is not narrating in first-person, the role of "detective" is meaningless. The ultra-cynics might as well declare ep5 nonexistent because this twist, if true, means they're perfectly justified in trying to do so. It could also even mean that when Battler was not narrating in the first-person in ep1-4 that the writer could lie right in front of Battler's face. If this is Ryukishi's "poisonous" trick, he's more right than he realizes, because it makes the entire work a piece of trash by association.

Now I personally am willing to give him the benefit of doubt. He has shown himself to be a pretty good writer before. He's also shown himself to have some rookie problems, especially so in Higurashi. Yet he also has a keen awareness of where he failed in the past, hence some of the jokes in Umineko about Rokkenjima Syndrome etc. So I'm left to ask: If he's willing to confront his other twists from Higurashi with humor, why completely retread something he has more or less already done?

I can't explain it narratively without concluding one of two things:

1) The quality of the work up to this point was a fluke. The "answer" is a dumb trick that tons of people saw coming that was "discredited" by a cheat and revived so that everyone would be surprised by it again in a lame manner. The work is crap and the author is bad at what he does.

I don't want to believe this. Therefore I'm left with my hunch:

2) The quality of the work up to this point indicates a writer who is anticipating his audience. The "answer" is a double trick. He has taken steps to discredit it before, leaving the real answer a deceptive mystery that will be passed over by those not looking for it in favor of the "obvious" solution that he has actively ensured is wrong. In this case, there is no narrative cheat; Shannon isn't Kanon, but he deliberately wants people to think this is still possible. The reason for this is because people who are close to "THE TRUTH" are very, very close. If they got the "real" answer to the 17 people conundrum, everything else would click. Through all the previous episodes, he has woven a red herring that he is sure people would have caught. Since he knows his audience, he knows they will look for another shmion if he dangles it in front of them. Since he's provided repeated "clues," the theory will be credible enough that evidence against it will be argued over and against. He wants people to both reject it and accept it, because the squabbling hides the real solution, which is something different. Quite the opposite of a cheap trick, this is a crafty exploitation of what he knows about his reader to trap the ones who have always been looking for something like this. It's a big piece of cheese on the literary mousetrap. It's so obviously dangerous, but... it's good-looking cheese, isn't it?

I will choose to put my faith in the author until my expectations are irrevocably betrayed. I will choose to believe that I am simply not looking hard enough. I will not take the solution that has been given to me. I will look for the one that is hiding. I will hope that there's something there to be found. If there isn't, I would be deeply disappointed.

Proof? Counter-arguments not dependent on the craft of writing itself? An alternative explanation? I don't have any.
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Old 2010-01-03, 23:23   Link #4839
Forsaken_Infinity
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chronotrig View Post
@Forsaken_Infinity
Spoiler for size:

@Rias
Spoiler for size:
For the first part, ok, I get that. You are basically saying Battler believed in Beatrice's existence and then made Sayo write the story in the form of message bottles, right? I don't really see a clear motive for Battler to do that but that's possible.

For the second part, its your opinion only; for now, its as plausible as Shkanon theory, I personally don't lean to either of the theories. Its simply something like this for me, Battler argued himself as the culprit to stop Natsuhi from being made into the "true" culprit, therefore, as long as any theory that can explain all the murders just as much as Shkanon exists, Shkanon will only be one of the "truths" and thus not the only truth. In short, Battler culprit theory does the same thing to Shkanon theory as it did to Natsuhi Culprit theory of Erika. Whether it goes against the game's ideals or not doesn't even matter for that reason.

For the third part, I agree that there is more to it. Phone rings, two of them, can be heard in Ep1, first one right after the opening, second one just before the gameboard starts (i.e, they reach Rokkenjima). I don't know if they can be heard in other episodes as I am still in EP1 for this playthrough T_T.
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Old 2010-01-03, 23:25   Link #4840
Kaiba
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Originally Posted by Forsaken_Infinity View Post
You misunderstood me. The one who dies is piece-battler but the one who Beato is talking is Meta battler. If a witch talking in red has a fantasy battle with piece-battler, the game is over as existence of magic is confirmed. Get it?

Its precisely because the game is solvable that this theory stands. Even if it was piece-battler who was told that in red (which it can't be, because Beatrice's red can't reach piece-Battler in the first 4 games.), the possibility still remains that Battler is the culprit because no time frame is stated for when that red truth applies (i.e, its a different Beatrice but for Nanjo's murder only) and furthermore, trap murder is still possible even if we were to interpret that red as you have.

Heck, by your reasoning, Virgilia might as well tell Battler who the culprit is, "Battler-kun isn't the culprit." is simply another one of the clues thrown in and is part of the puzzle, unless she states in red that she meant the Battler we all know, its very plausible that she was referring to another Battler. Why would she mislead him you say? Hello? Come again? She is a witch, and thus Battler's enemy. Furthermore, Beatrice also wishes for Battler to realize and repent his own sin, Virgilia is thus not telling Battler that he is the culprit to make himself realize that. This has already been explained better before I even started posting on this.

I am sorry, but once again, you have posted absolutely nothing that defies the theory. I have established a set of blue truths like three times already and you have yet to give me a red that denies it. Your own opinion about characterization and stuff is true only to you. Unless you bring in a red sword that directly crushes my wall of blue or you weave a web of red that my blue wedge can't pass through, you lose. Therefore, please find a red that clears my blues from this post before you give me advice on Umineko's nature kthx.
Under your logic, if it wasn't for the Ushiromiya Natsuhi is not the culprit THAT Virgillia stated to Battler, than all the crap that Erika pulled towards Natsuhi was perfectly fine as it didn't contradict the red truths and therefore the "trial" was legit as that red truth had not been stated at that point. If that's how you're thinking, it's obvious that you completely missed the point about Episode 5, and frankly I think you're thinking exactly like Erika, which is not a good thing at all.
For Battler to kill everyone is massively against the characterization we have seen of him, and is frankly just plain bad writing.

And I'll play your game and hurl Knox's 7th, and we know Battler was the detective for the first four games. Defy that?
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