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Old 2014-05-05, 19:30   Link #34441
Renall
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Well, it's not over, I acknowledge that. But there's quite a few things that were not in the VN that they'd have to address because of what they've brought up as new information in order for me to see something more positive in how it's going thus far. It could be a case of being darkest before the dawn and all that, but the dawn has to actually break before we can say that's what it was.
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Battler Solves The Logic Error
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Old 2014-05-06, 06:00   Link #34442
haguruma
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Well, it}s nothing new for me to disagree with Renall, but I think that comes from a different place than "right ot wrong" (even if Renall himself might disagree ) and more from a difference in genre-preference and preference-based expectations.
Let me explain before anybody goes through the roof again:

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Originally Posted by Renall View Post
I'd go so far as to say his conception of Prime as it seems to exist is basically less realistic than the in-universe fictions, and that destroys everything for me.
I'd say that it is less likely, yes, but less realistic is something I can't really claim. We are not dealing with unrealistic elements here, just very unlikely elements. Nothing is decidedly fantastic, it's more like a very weirdly thought out "what-if" story that still keeps very much to the ground rules of our universe.
I know it's nitpicky, but I think it's important to keep these things apart when you criticize on a high level, like you are doing.

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The manga has gone too far in that direction, putting her in some kind of Dickensian Hell where everything in the universe conspires to spit in her face and stomp all over everything she has ever wanted or been or done. In such a situation, why wouldn't you give up?
But for me that is kinda exactly the point about it. I find it interesting how before this everybody was complaining that Yasu didn't have enough agency to be a believable villain, because she couldn't even get herself to do simple things like write a letter, now it is explained why things weren't that simple and people are still dissatisfied. Maybe I just don't get it.
Much of this "Dickensian Hell" is also a hell of Yasu's own making. She still could have escaped it, just that circumstance raised her into being unable to speak up about it.
Yes, she had reason enough to be petrified in a state like her's, but wasn't that the story of Beatrice from the very beginning? A "woman" trapped by the house of Ushiromiya who is finally, through chance, going to reclaim everything in retaliation for what was done to her?

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Genji goes from a cipher to a completely ridiculous monster. It goes on and on and none of it in the second half of the ep8 manga has actually deepened my appreciation for the characters like it did in the first half.
I really don't know if our perceptions of evil are just so inherently different - well yes, they obviously are - but I still can't call Genji a "completely ridiculous monster". He is insensitive, has probably largely given up on live, is fanatically caught in the past, loyal to promises to a fault, and yes, he hurts people with that. But what he is doing is obviously not coming from a place of hate, but from a misguided form of loyalty. Over the whole story we are told that he really believes in his role as a servant, that this isn't an occupation for him, it is his life and his reason to live.
Does that make him guilty of what happened to a lot of people on the island (at least including Beatrice II, Yasu, Natsuhi, and Rosa)? Yes, it does. He would and should be found guilty for a lot of crimes. But I can't say I find him impossible to believe as a character...he is certainly a heavy trope in mystery fiction, but it's not like servants like this didn't exist.

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But in the context of all the new manga information it just seems like the conclusion is something akin to "life sucks, people are terrible, there is no point and no escape, and anyone who claims that people have a better nature is either a dumbass or a fraud."
Well...again this isn't exactly what I take from the new information so far.
The hide-and-seek portion, along with other scenes on Battler's gameboard made quite clear that these people DID have good sides. I also believe that the story we heard in EP7 about Kinzo and Bice's first encounter was true on an emotional level. I haven't really got the money to invest into the older magazines, so I have to wait for the next EP8 tankobon to come out, but there's also still some dialogues between Lion and other characters coming up, so we shouldn't take Confession too much as the center of everything.
The thing is, life doesn't suck, which is shown when Yasu is with the cousins, people aren't always terrible, which is shown in a lot of scenes during all Episodes, there is a point and there is an escape (that is not death), the problem is that it sometimes takes courage and understanding. When people don't attempt to understand each other, tragedy occurs.

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Originally Posted by Renall View Post
This, plus that we're supposed to believe this is the "true self" of these people, that they took these actions not as characters manipulated for an in-universe writer's ends but as real people, inasmuch as any part of Umineko is "real."
Well, so far we don't have much more information on Prime actually than we had before through Our Confession. Yes, Kumasawa and Nanjo agreed to play along with a murder-game. Yes, Genji agreed to help Yasu commit family-suicide as the head of the household.
What else about "Prime" do we know so far? The rest of Confession still contains things that Yasu assumed about them, those were the characters in her story, which were based on her perception of these people...and if Umineko should have one message then it is that our perception of people never paints the whole picture.
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Old 2014-05-06, 09:39   Link #34443
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
I'd say that it is less likely, yes, but less realistic is something I can't really claim. We are not dealing with unrealistic elements here, just very unlikely elements. Nothing is decidedly fantastic, it's more like a very weirdly thought out "what-if" story that still keeps very much to the ground rules of our universe.
I know it's nitpicky, but I think it's important to keep these things apart when you criticize on a high level, like you are doing.
No, I stand by it. Unlikely events happen all the time in fiction, but a confluence of every possible unlikely or unfortunate event solely for the purpose of making a character's life suck harder becomes unrealistic when it becomes ubiquitous. People do things that are irrational with flimsy motivations solely because a tragedy of greater escalation is needed. At least, that's how things appear to be; it's entirely possible the manga will change the perception of these events, since it isn't finished yet. But as it stands I do think it's something that just doesn't work anymore, and I have a lingering suspicion that it's not supposed to break like that. If it is and the point was to find it "off," great, but I don't really have any faith that that'll be so.

I think we were supposed to see this as the sincere and real backstory to the actual events, but seeing it as-is just comes across as silly. I can't take it seriously anymore. He took complaints against the lack of information as reason to go so overboard on things that he forgot to leave necessary ambiguity in place, and that leaves him vulnerable to someone taking him at his word and rejecting it as too ridiculous to accept. As I understand it, that's not even a new criticism for his work.
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Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
But for me that is kinda exactly the point about it. I find it interesting how before this everybody was complaining that Yasu didn't have enough agency to be a believable villain, because she couldn't even get herself to do simple things like write a letter, now it is explained why things weren't that simple and people are still dissatisfied. Maybe I just don't get it.
You don't. She's still not credible as a villain, because we both know that she didn't actually do anything and strongly suspect that she actually wouldn't. Or at least I do. Nothing that's been presented so far in the manga has changed my mind on that. She isn't a villain, and the entire point of the story has been to make us agree with that. All the manga is doing now is reveling in her pain by piling on more and more of it. I already got the picture. I was okay with the ambiguity in this particular case. And if you had to fill in what was missing, did you have to do it in such a ludicrous, melodramatic, overblown way?

Plus, the overblown nature of it sort of robs her of agency and dramatic importance. "Why couldn't she just write a letter?" is certainly a valid criticism of the VN as it stood, but when the manga reveals the answer is "Because literally everything that ever happened to her in her entire life was the most horrible thing you can possibly imagine" it doesn't work because it's basically pushing it to the point of "couldn't" (in the sense of inability) rather than "didn't" (in the sense of could have, but had reasons to choose not to). She's not a character tragically but believably flawed and unwilling to do what would help her because of her inability to trust that the outcome will be what she desires, but a sad clown ground beneath the boot-heel of life who really has no reason to expect anything good would ever come of her actions because so little ever has.

I had trouble with her character before and I won't deny that. I always found her implausible and melodramatic. But I accepted it for various reasons, not the least of which that I was always pretty sure she was innocent of actual crimes. I still think that, but the way I'm being asked to read the rest of her character is just too much and I've slid from "I can't empathize, but I can feel pity" to "this is just silly, does everything really have to be that bad?" I've lost connection to the character and just see the story structure she's designed to support.

In general the manga has at this point so marginalized the actions of Battler and Yasu that I have to think there's still something left to be told about their activities on that weekend. If they both basically barely did anything while a tragedy happened around them, it will be a genuinely terrible resolution. The obvious path from here would be to show what Battler actually did, and reveal the truth we've never gotten and that Eva wouldn't have known. But as I said above, I don't have a lot of hope for this anymore. I'm starting to think the author is just a pretty cynical person. See below.
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Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
I really don't know if our perceptions of evil are just so inherently different - well yes, they obviously are - but I still can't call Genji a "completely ridiculous monster". He is insensitive, has probably largely given up on live, is fanatically caught in the past, loyal to promises to a fault, and yes, he hurts people with that. But what he is doing is obviously not coming from a place of hate, but from a misguided form of loyalty. Over the whole story we are told that he really believes in his role as a servant, that this isn't an occupation for him, it is his life and his reason to live.
His actions don't make sense even given the portrayal you have presented for him. His actions don't make sense by any metric. He's had a bunch of plot resolution issues shoved onto his back to tie together issues the manga has raised, and it's turned him into a completely unbelievable character. Not just beyond redemption in a moral sense (although he comes across like that and I'd judge him such if I could buy him as a character at all), but beyond redemption in a characterization sense.

I suppose the intention was to sacrifice his character to try to salvage Yasu's, but it ends up breaking Genji to just make Yasu less believable. And Yasu already required some suspension of disbelief and acceptance of genre convention. That's gone now. Could this be fixed? Yes, maybe, if it turns out a lot of stuff here was just overdramatization on Yasu's part. Should it have gotten this bad in the first place? No.
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Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
The thing is, life doesn't suck, which is shown when Yasu is with the cousins, people aren't always terrible, which is shown in a lot of scenes during all Episodes, there is a point and there is an escape (that is not death), the problem is that it sometimes takes courage and understanding. When people don't attempt to understand each other, tragedy occurs.
Right, except tragedy did occur, which sort of suggests that the author's intent is to tell us that understanding is impossible. Battler lost Beatrice because he couldn't understand her in time. For the story to refute this, to have a moral in line with what you're suggesting, something has to have happened that revives hope within the tragedy. We haven't been shown that yet. We still might, as there's ep8 manga remaining to go. I'm not passing final judgment yet, but neither can I say that this form of the ending is definitely better, which is where I disagreed with you in the first place.

Ep4 had this revival of hope with Ange. There was a moment of understanding there and a degree of critical character growth. She made sense of tragedy, empathized with those who had hurt her, forgave them, and changed. Presumably either Battler needs to have gone through this sort of moment or Yasu did with Battler observing and assisting it. If we lack that, if we aren't shown that, then a non-cynical reading of the text seems like wishful thinking. Particularly when the VN version of ep8 features an Ange who has completely forgotten that growth. I mean I won't hide that I think ep1-4 are better, but this is one of the many reasons why they are. It will be quite difficult to salvage a decent ending out of Chiru, and while I had hope in the ep8 manga in the first half of the run it's fallen pretty flat on its face right now and needs to get back up and really blow everything away.

But that assumes that the author wants us to draw that conclusion, and at this point I just don't know. He has to put a refutation in the story to make the notion that he intends to say understanding and love can come through believable. The narrative must rise to a new high point in order to show us that this section was a low point. It has to make the Battler who begged Beatrice to live out to be more than a chump who thinks people are better than they are and capable of more than they can really do.
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Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
What else about "Prime" do we know so far? The rest of Confession still contains things that Yasu assumed about them, those were the characters in her story, which were based on her perception of these people...and if Umineko should have one message then it is that our perception of people never paints the whole picture.
There's perception and then there's facts. There are certain things Yasu observes that, assuming she isn't lying - and if she is lying nothing in that section is reliable, so I'm assuming she's not meant to be taken as lying, just potentially exaggerating in reaction - simply are true. And the immediate and apparent consequences of those things she knows are staggering in their audacity.

It's one thing to argue that she's drawing the wrong conclusion from Battler's behavior, because we know she doesn't have all of the facts. It's another thing to see Kinzo's skeleton pile and Genji's seeming indifference to it and not think that your father was at least a crazy asshole and at worst a mass-murdering asshole, and his best friend an amoral enabler. A number of conclusions she draws are histrionic and unreasonable, but others seem completely reasonable given the not-insignificant information she actually has. If we take her observations as true (and we have no reason not to), even if we filter out her conclusions, it's hard to draw different ones about some facts she knows.

And what we get seems, well, completely ridiculous for what we're told is "reality." You might be able to accept it and roll with it but the story was already pushing it for me with bomb clocks and Yasu's ep7 backstory. To believe that things were actually not merely worse, but that much worse, and that Genji was basically too stupid and insensitive to grasp even the importance of basic human dignity... now it's tumbling over the edge. It'll take a hell of a rope to haul it back up.
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Old 2014-05-06, 11:20   Link #34444
haguruma
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Again, I get that you are a very passionate reader and especially passionate about topics like moral, ethics and the basic desire to believe in the good in people, and I also don't want you to think that I am placing my view of the story over yours. Still, I also wanna express that your way of expressing your opinion as "the right way to read it", fires up my desire to respond.

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Originally Posted by Renall View Post
People do things that are irrational with flimsy motivations solely because a tragedy of greater escalation is needed.
I have this problem with several of the points you make, you give very long-winded responses (like I am as well) but you don't really give examples of your criticism. What are these "irrational things" that you talk about at this point and who are the "people"? It's not like I can't imagine, but it's hard to respond when I don't really know what precise point I am responding to.

Quote:
She isn't a villain, and the entire point of the story has been to make us agree with that. All the manga is doing now is reveling in her pain by piling on more and more of it.
Well, she is still more or less the villain in the way that she set herself up as the villain of the story. The actual point that Battler is trying to make (and I agree with) is that there is no villain to the larger story. She set Kinzo up as the villain to give her ideas about suicide reason, then she tried to set herself up as the villain because she believed that this would give people agency to stop or condemn her, people in post-1986 set different family members up as the villains, Ange set Eva up as the villain.

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But as I said above, I don't have a lot of hope for this anymore. I'm starting to think the author is just a pretty cynical person. See below.
Maybe I am just equally "cynical" in way then

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His actions don't make sense even given the portrayal you have presented for him. His actions don't make sense by any metric.
You say that, yet he makes sense to me. What do we make of that?
Give me at least an example of what you think doesn't make sense with him? That he supported the family only to have the head of the household decide to kill everyone? Well, in his moral codex it was her given right to decide that...more than that he likely also felt like he owed it to her. That he kept the child from Kinzo though being so loyal to him? Being loyal doesn't mean that he can't be torn about what would actually benefit both Kinzo and the child. And he still can be wrong...like everyone in this story is wrong about almost everything.

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Yes, maybe, if it turns out a lot of stuff here was just overdramatization on Yasu's part. Should it have gotten this bad in the first place? No.
Again, what is this lot of stuff.

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Right, except tragedy did occur, which sort of suggests that the author's intent is to tell us that understanding is impossible.
I won't tell you your wrong, but I'd still tell you I read it differently.
Understanding isn't impossible, but it didn't happen and that is both the cause and the core of the tragedy. It is possible and it could have prevented this tragedy from happening, but it didn't. That is the message that at least I can take from this, to not fall into the traps that the Ushiromiya clan fell into, to not force your idea of the world unto others but allign it with others, communicate with others, care for the feelings of others.
This hope remains in form of Ange. She can still decide to believe in the good that was in her family and carry it on, or if not that at least take a lesson from their wrongs and do it better. Yes, Kinzo failed, Genji failed, the Ushiromiyas failed, the cousins failed, Battler failed, Yasu failed...but does that mean that Ange has to fail as well?

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To believe that things were actually not merely worse, but that much worse, and that Genji was basically too stupid and insensitive to grasp even the importance of basic human dignity... now it's tumbling over the edge. It'll take a hell of a rope to haul it back up.
Concerning the skeletons: Genji isn't lying when he says he only heard the story. When he came to Japan the mansion was likely already built and the skeletons were already there, in place. What was he to do? Deliver Kinzo to the authorities?

And another thing, what is this basic human dignity that Genji is too stupid to grasp?
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Old 2014-05-06, 11:46   Link #34445
Renall
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The examples should be self-evident and have been done to death. I don't have a script handy to pull all of them out. I suspect you know exactly what I mean and are just trying to be coy about it.

But alright, let's look at Genji. Genji's treatment of Yasu for her entire life is just absolutely crazy and in no way resembles any plausible human being's thoughts, behaviors, or actions.
  • He does nothing about the treatment of Yasu's mother, at all, and indicates only a very general unease with it. Not enough to actually do something, of course. This is a conflict of stated and actual morality, but it's acceptable if his future behavior plays off this conflict. It basically doesn't.
  • He is fine with the plan to introduce Lion into Krauss's family, but when it goes wrong he suddenly decides to hide the child from Kinzo. This is a conflict of motivation; is he concerned about what Kinzo might do or not?
  • He has a child he knows to be male sexed and raised female with absolutely no forethought as to the probable long-term consequences of this. This is a conflict of basic common sense, why even do this? It's neither necessary nor reasonable, and it's actually harder than not doing it.
  • He brings the child back into the family as a servant under extremely suspicious circumstances that could (and did, according to the manga) arouse Kinzo's suspicions. This is, again, a conflict of motivation; was he trying to hide Yasu or was he trying to return her to Kinzo? Why completely change her identity? What about the risks of this negatively affecting Yasu? He doesn't appear to care.
  • He appears to offer her no support or guidance whatsoever and refuses to answer any questions or assuage any fears until quite possibly the worst imaginable time, when Yasu is at her most vulnerable following the revelation of the truth about her identity... and he just dumps all of that information on her and then demands that she decide what to do with it. Again, does he care about her or does he care about Kinzo's wishes?
  • He dresses up someone both he and Kinzo know to be male in a dress to resemble her dead mother so her incestuous father can get personal satisfaction out of it. This is not only bizarre and nonsensical, it's just downright creepy. And he knows Yasu has gender identity issues because he's responsible for them. How does this help?
  • He is clearly aware that Yasu is suicidal, mentally unstable, and potentially homicidal as well. He has gone to all of this effort to return her to the family and help her become the head of the family, and she wants to not only throw it all away but kill a bunch of people who know nothing about what is going on. He indicates that he is totally cool with this, because she's the head so she can do as she wishes.
So what is it? Does he care about Yasu or does he care about Kinzo? To whom does his loyalty extend, Kinzo personally (so he will overlook Kinzo's actions unbecoming of a head because he owes him) or the headship generally (so he will do whatever Yasu wants even if it's moronic and suicidal, because it's his duty)? Does he have a moral compass or does he do whatever someone else thinks is best, even though he ought to know it's wrong? No matter how you answer this, something about his behavior and inferred motivation doesn't quite fit. His character was vague before and now it's just a mess.

Come on, you're smart enough to acknowledge this is just a wee bit silly. Genji does things because certain things had already been established but left vague, and to explain them necessitates an actor. Genji is designated as that actor and the result is that all of these actions he has undertaken have to be explained. And they can't be, because they clearly weren't that well thought-out in the first place and a number of them are retcons.
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Old 2014-05-06, 19:20   Link #34446
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I've to admit that I agree with Renall about Genji. I can wave away some actions Genji make with various excuses but the whole bunch is... just too much.

You don't need to be a genius to know that things won't be easy for Sayo and that many of his actions (hiring her to work for the Ushiromiya when she's too young, let her grow in the belief she's a normal girl who would have no problems living a normal girl's life, doing nothing when she started to show interests in the opposite sex and when she started to show problems with her body and sexual identity) made it even worse and then we even have him force her into a mummery to please Kinzo without her having no explanation whatsoever, then Karma conveniently kills Kinzo right in front of her and they catch this chance in which she's already likely vulnerable to drop on her a long chain of unpleasant truths, part of which she should have known already while the other part instead is made of painful truths she really didn't need to know.

And then they go and tell her they want her to be happy? How? And how did they act to help this wish of her to turn true?

Honestly, my best theory for Genji is that he also was a believer of the roulette of fate. He just dropped Sayo in fate's hands and washed his hands clean of her, doing only the minimum necessary and most of it was for Kinzo's benefit.

But while the roulette of fate can work to explain some choices, some others are just a plea for a horrible life falling on Yasu.

Honestly I prefer to think at Genji, Kumasawa and Nanjo as villains, I prefer to think they didn't really care about Sayo, Genji was just sent on helping Kinzo not to make the same mistake and Kumasawa and Nanjo were in for money than to assume they were good people, who cared for Sayo but didn't realize if they acted like that they would only made her desperate.

That or somewhere we should be informed they were retarded.

The fact that Sayo's life is the embodiement of Murphy's law as said previously didn't come to me as a surprise as there were enough hints to figure out nothing ever went well with her.
It's a fact I had to deal with prior to the last revelations and that annoyed me back then as really, she has the luck of Donald Duck only she's not in a commedy but in a tragedy.

Honestly the only part that I totally didn't expect was Genji randomly showing her corpses and letting her be traumatized by it.
It's... well, the last drop. They aren't trying to help her becoming happy, they're trying to push her to insanity.
Genji has to be completely void of human feelings to think it was okay to show her that... or okay to tell her the truth about it.

And what's Genji sudden need for telling the truth?

He lied and hid truth from Sayo and Kinzo for 17 years of their life and now he has to tell her everything in all its horrible details?

She didn't need to see the skeletons and if she were to see them by accident he could have made up an explanation for why they were kept there. Instead Genji is just... following the flow.

After arbitarily deciding to take Sayo away from Kinzo, place her in an orphanage, have her sex switched and then have her called back to Rokkenjima he just... stand there and watches as the Titanic will hit the iceberg.

Yes, maybe we don't know all the truth about Genji, as I said maybe he said he would play along but actually he tried to save her and give her a happy life as he claimed he wanted her to have instead of just watching the show maybe he tried to toss her a glove like Ronove does with Beato in Ep 6 or solve the closed room like Gaap attempted to do and... failed.

Maybe Sayo was so desperate that after learning the truth she didn't notice everyone's attempt to cheer her up so we're missing facts.

But still, we have some facts and those do not pain a nice picture.

As for the understanding... I get haguruma's point but somehow the situation in Umineko is so bad that expecting understanding to happen feels like expecting a miracle.

Rosa should have understood Maria. Rosa however was damaged herself and even if she should have understood Maria and maybe wanted to do so, she kept on failing to do so because her repressed anger blinded her so much that she acted before thinking.
We see more than once that she beats Maria without even realizing she's going overboard. Rosa loses control and I don't even know if there was someone she could go to get it back since on her own she couldn't get it back.

Natsuhi should have accepted the baby. Natsuhi however was a mess at the time and she too lost control to the point she wasn't even secure if she had pushed the servant or not.

George should have figured out Shannon had issues. George however failed to question Shannon, believed in how she apparently looked okay and couldn't really picture all those issues.

Battler should have contacted Sayo 6 years ago. Battler however had some serious issues to deal with. As for solving the epitaph sooner or figuring out she sent Beatrice's letter... I'm not even sure he could.

Ange should have understood Eva... but she lacked the necessary maturity and was in a lot of pain.

Eva should have understood Ange... but she was likely traumatized by what had happened and her life was hell.

In short... although understanding is still possible... in such situations I don't expect people to understand each other.
It would be better if they were to do it but... I'm not sure they can.
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Old 2014-05-06, 21:32   Link #34447
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Genji sending Yasu away to be raised as female is actually one of the more understandable things he did, IMO, taking into account that some real people during that time period did the same things with maimed male babies. While the consequences of that were later known to be catastrophic, at the time it was something that could be done with good intentions, believing that it was the best thing for the child.

That said, it could also be argued that Genji's reason was not the understandable one of well-intentioned failure but merely the most convenient thing for his plans. Imagine him sending a six year old boy whom everyone knew had suffered serious injuries in a major accident, to Rokkenjima as a servant. Even meddling with Yasu's official age wouldn't have stopped Natsuhi and Kinzo getting a clue. That possible reasoning made me think "but it makes Genji sound like a monster" but I do have to acknowledge that some of the things we already know about Genji as facts make him sound rather that way anyway.

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I've to admit that I agree with Renall about Genji. I can wave away some actions Genji make with various excuses but the whole bunch is... just too much.
I think I've got to agree with this too. The problem with Genji is that so many things are piling up. We can work our way around a few and explain some, but the problem is explaining them all simultaneously.

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Honestly the only part that I totally didn't expect was Genji randomly showing her corpses and letting her be traumatized by it.
It's... well, the last drop. They aren't trying to help her becoming happy, they're trying to push her to insanity.
Genji has to be completely void of human feelings to think it was okay to show her that... or okay to tell her the truth about it.

And what's Genji sudden need for telling the truth?

He lied and hid truth from Sayo and Kinzo for 17 years of their life and now he has to tell her everything in all its horrible details?
Genji's character still has a lot of potential in some ways. There are a bunch of ways we can read his character. We could say he's a robotic loyal servant who thinks only of obeying his current master (in spirit, if not to the letter), and that in a lot of ways his conscience has been dead for a long time. Perhaps what happened to his family just completely broke him. Or, we could say he lost all will to live after Kinzo's death and that's why he didn't do anything about Yasu's breakdown.

Or, maybe, aside from being loyal, we can take into account that even though he's basically villainous in a lot of ways, the weight of all the things he's done and the secrets he knows could be weighing down his conscience. Maybe he told all those things to Yasu as a form of catharsis. Maybe, Genji has been horrified by the skeletons under the island for all this time and his new master represented a way to talk about it.

Then there's always the idea that, although Genji was loyal to Kinzo, Genji felt a deep resentment towards Kinzo and maybe to the entire family.

And, there's also what we learned about Genji from the manga, that he was once a con-artist, scheming type of person who would do things that would annoy Kinzo but he still wasn't someone Kinzo could stay angry with. And that after the incident that led to Kinzo saving him, Genji wasn't the same and was a lot more servile. And this is all quite in line with what we know of him from the rest of the story: someone scheming who doesn't think about other people's feelings, who later became dedicated to Kinzo as his servant.

Problem is, none of the ways that we can look at Genji make total sense for his actions. And I don't really think that Genji was acting out of malice towards Yasu, but things just seem to be getting worse and worse. We found out not only that he left Yasu to find the skeletons and made a rather bad explanation of it when she asked him about it...but that Genji was AOK with daily sending Yasu in to the study where the frozen, preserved corpse of her (incestuous, crazy, raping, possibly mass murdering) dad/granddad (who died while begging her for forgiveness) is lying and stinking so badly that even Jessica can smell it from a distance? Really, the corpse in the study situation is a big, glaring issue! It's almost on a level with the shoving Yasu into her dead mother's dress so Kinzo can get his forgiveness thing.

But it's not only him. Kumasawa and Nanjo knew about it too. Natsuhi and Krauss didn't know about Yasu being Kinzo's kid or their history, and although they look dreadfully bad for perpetuating the corpse situation, it's not on the same level as the Genji/Kumasawa/Nanjo level of knowledge. Anybody would be going nuts in Yasu's situation. And yet, none of those three said "Hey, let's not send Yasu in there"? Maybe they wouldn't want to cross Natsuhi, but they could have made it so that the person who dealt with the study was solely Genji.

These things are so bad that it tests suspension of disbelief badly. Genji might be emotionally dead enough to fail to pick up on these things, but Kumasawa and Nanjo? Even if they're only out for themselves, it's still a bad thing for them if Yasu goes crazy from stress and spills the beans about Kinzo being dead.

(Makes me want to check the info we have to make sure whether maybe it really was primarily Genji who went into the study, in case I'm being unfair.)
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Old 2014-05-07, 00:54   Link #34448
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That possible reasoning made me think "but it makes Genji sound like a monster" but I do have to acknowledge that some of the things we already know about Genji as facts make him sound rather that way anyway.
[...]
And this is all quite in line with what we know of him from the rest of the story: someone scheming who doesn't think about other people's feelings, who later became dedicated to Kinzo as his servant.
I also often wondered how much we are allowed to insert Ronove nto the character development for Genji. Until EP7 we are basically told all of Yasu's development through her fantasy-characters (Shannon, Kanon, Beatrice), so I do wonder how far Ronove also works as a window for Genji's character. Yes, he is written with Yasu's idea of who Genji was in mind, but I always felt that the more the story proceeded the more the meta-characters began to reflect something more.

If we were to take that into account then, yes, Genji was basically loyal to the headship and not to a certain person. On the other hand it's also interesting how from the very beginning Ronove was portrayed as keeping up his mistress' public appearance and working through the cracks that allowed him to steer certain situations. There's also the aspect that he kept acting in the shadows during EP3, 4, and 5, while Genji was shown to have been killed in the First Twilight...

Especially EP3 has a few very interesting scenes where I do wonder whether Ryukishi didn't know yet what to do with the character or if that really reflects Genji in a way: There is him telling Battler about the 1967 Beatrice II, working against Eva-Beato to keep certain people (Beato, George, and Jessica) save from her, him basically double-crossing Eva-Beato and going back to Beato (which, in the light of manga information, would mean him being loyal to the good-natured Yasu but not to the murdering Yasu)...

Yet he never actually goes AGAINST the Beatrices' or Goldsmith's wishes. The one acting on her own behalf (again especially EP3) is shown to be Virgilia (Kumasawa???). Virgilia tries to convince Beatrice to stop at the First Twilight and "remember what she once was", yet is defeated and killed by Beatrice, she attempts to guide Battler on his quest to not defeat but understand and accept Beato.

These things always made me wonder if they are supposed to tell us something about the characters these fantasies are supposed to represent. Well, of course you could also argue that they are equally complete fiction like the Sisters, the Chiesters, or the Eiserne Jungfrauen...

Quote:
(Makes me want to check the info we have to make sure whether maybe it really was primarily Genji who went into the study, in case I'm being unfair.)
It is never only Shannon or Kanon in the study, there is always Genji with them.
Well, on the one hand it is to keep up the illusion. Kinzo has the one key and Genji the other, both would never hand them over unless it is for a specificly pointed out reason.
In the Episodes there were only very few instances where Shannon or Kanon actually ever were in the study, and if they were, it was always in the company of Genji. In Confession she also mentions having to talk with Genji about the preservatives and the freezer, so it's likely that she isn't responsible for them.

Despite that, YES, freezer-Kinzo needs a big amount of suspension of disbelief. I actually had to chuckle when it came up, because that's what I actually imagined back when it first came up for Kinzo being dead all along.
It's along the lines of a man shot in the chest jumping acroos roofs, a bed being lifted to the ceiling, crossing a part of the ocean in a raft to create an alibi...basically a very typical element of classical mystery fiction. While there is something akin to a "Prime" here, we're still dealing with a story that presents itself as a mystery...so I just accept it as a wonderfully over the top genre-convention. But in the end...many people have kept corpses in a freezer even in real life.
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Old 2014-05-08, 00:41   Link #34449
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And I finally got my hands on an affordable copy of the Joker containing Confession(1)...though now I hope the next Tankobon comes soon, since it will probably end right before the beginning of CotGW (and yes that chapter deals with Tohya being found by Ikuko, as will be indicated by the intrductory paragraph).

Spoiler for Confession of the Golden Witch (1):


I will try to get some actual visual examples ready as well. Especially the final part is interesting, because it is very much written and drawn from Sayo's perspective, even having the typical "evil sillouettes" of people (in this case Genji, Nanjo and Kumasawa). What they are saying isn't necessarily evil...it's just incredibly selfish.
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Old 2014-05-08, 01:17   Link #34450
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That translation is quite interesting, because it shows that Yasu was someone who very firmly wanted children for her own sake (rather than only because of George wanting them). I don't think that's something that's been clear until now.

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Yet he never actually goes AGAINST the Beatrices' or Goldsmith's wishes. The one acting on her own behalf (again especially EP3) is shown to be Virgilia (Kumasawa???). Virgilia tries to convince Beatrice to stop at the First Twilight and "remember what she once was", yet is defeated and killed by Beatrice, she attempts to guide Battler on his quest to not defeat but understand and accept Beato.

These things always made me wonder if they are supposed to tell us something about the characters these fantasies are supposed to represent. Well, of course you could also argue that they are equally complete fiction like the Sisters, the Chiesters, or the Eiserne Jungfrauen...
Hmm. It's hard to be able to know how much of the things surrounding Ronove and Virgilia are intentional, dropped storylines, or merely noise. But I think your analysis of Ronove and Genji there is a good one.

I'd like to think that Ronove and Virgilia's approaches say something about the characters they represent. Maybe in some ways they represent an ideal that the real people didn't live up to? Ronove, adroitly and charismatically supporting Beatrice and trying to help her with the things she couldn't express, and Virgilia the same, but also being willing to stop her? The translation of Confession of the Golden Witch (1) above directly shows that one of the Virgilia scenes was Kumasawa's. Those characters are clearly very close to the real people in many ways. Maybe they just go to show how well Yasu knew and understood them. She did see them as the closest thing to her parents.

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It is never only Shannon or Kanon in the study, there is always Genji with them.
Well, on the one hand it is to keep up the illusion. Kinzo has the one key and Genji the other, both would never hand them over unless it is for a specificly pointed out reason.

In the Episodes there were only very few instances where Shannon or Kanon actually ever were in the study, and if they were, it was always in the company of Genji. In Confession she also mentions having to talk with Genji about the preservatives and the freezer, so it's likely that she isn't responsible for them.

Despite that, YES, freezer-Kinzo needs a big amount of suspension of disbelief. I actually had to chuckle when it came up, because that's what I actually imagined back when it first came up for Kinzo being dead all along.
It's along the lines of a man shot in the chest jumping acroos roofs, a bed being lifted to the ceiling, crossing a part of the ocean in a raft to create an alibi...basically a very typical element of classical mystery fiction. While there is something akin to a "Prime" here, we're still dealing with a story that presents itself as a mystery...so I just accept it as a wonderfully over the top genre-convention. But in the end...many people have kept corpses in a freezer even in real life.
Of course, the key. That's a relief! I know the freezer thing takes an amount of good ol' mystery suspension of disbelief at the best of times, but the idea of Genji/Kumasawa/Nanjo merrily letting Yasu spend lots of time in there with stinking freezer Kinzo took more than I could muster. If Genji is the one bringing the meals and so forth, it makes a lot more sense.

I thought that a freezer would be the most sensible option, but I thought it would be more likely for it to be somewhere outside the house, like in Kuwadorian. Krauss probably knew about that place at least after a point, and if not, Natsuhi and Krauss could have simply ordered Genji to take care of the issue and not taken care to keep informed about exactly where Kinzo was, just wanting the matter out of their hands. But it looks as if Natsuhi and Krauss really were okay with the simplest option, of having Kinzo stay in the building. I daresay it contributed to Natsuhi's issues a lot. Maybe she really did fool herself into thinking he was alive and liked her.
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Old 2014-05-08, 01:56   Link #34451
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That translation is quite interesting, because it shows that Yasu was someone who very firmly wanted children for her own sake (rather than only because of George wanting them). I don't think that's something that's been clear until now.
I also found it quite interesting to learn that she really did love George, quite a lot. The one being shown when she says "It's a lie that I'm related to you" is George, which says quite a lot. I do wonder if George ever actually got to know the truth

Quote:
I daresay it contributed to Natsuhi's issues a lot. Maybe she really did fool herself into thinking he was alive and liked her.
Now I had to imagine Natsuhi sitting in the study, talking to frozen Kinzo for an hour....only to remember that that is EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS IN EP1!!!!
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Old 2014-05-08, 10:16   Link #34452
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Also interesting to note that the scene with the vase and the cat happened to Yasu and NOT to Beatrice II. I suppose the hint to that was A: how would Yasu know about it otherwise and B: Virilgillia was a person to Yasu, not Beatrice II.

Still, that was a clever trick by Ryu.




Honestly I think Genji had the right idea about sending Yasu away, but he probably should have sent her to a non-Ushiromiya orphanage and just let her grow up not knowing her crazy family origins. The gender reassignment surgery was also not a great idea, but would be very consistent with practices of the time.
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Old 2014-05-08, 10:50   Link #34453
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First of all I want to thank Haguruma for buying and taking the time to translate the confession. The new insight is very interesting and it feels like there’s a lot of information that really should have been included in the VN version.

Secondly I have a small question: Was it actually said that Yasu originally was a male but changed to a female? Outright said I mean, or was it implied to be the case but not actually stated?
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Old 2014-05-08, 11:21   Link #34454
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Secondly I have a small question: Was it actually said that Yasu originally was a male but changed to a female? Outright said I mean, or was it implied to be the case but not actually stated?
No problem at all. I love Umineko just as much as many other people here and I think it's important to share as much information as we can get.

Regarding the question, it was never outright stated what gender "Lion" was when born. Natsuhi at least doesn't seem to question the child being a boy in EP5, but Lion's statement that he prefers to remain ambiguous about it still stands.

Dr. Nanjo said that Lion suffered injuries to his 下腹部 which can both mean the abdominal or the genital area. It could be it was a girl and they had to take all her plumbing out or it was a boy and his equipment was ripped off. Both would result in an underproduction of sexual hormones...so we can't really say for sure.
I still think that it is supposed to imply that Lion was male, but in the end that remains a catbox for now.
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Old 2014-05-08, 11:46   Link #34455
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Regarding the question, it was never outright stated what gender "Lion" was when born. Natsuhi at least doesn't seem to question the child being a boy in EP5, but Lion's statement that he prefers to remain ambiguous about it still stands.
Alright, thanks for the clarification! I agree that Yasu/Lion being born male seem to be the implied answer, but I guess the truth was left ambiguous because it’s a very delicate issue. I still got a bit confused though, since a lot of people seem to address the issue as if it was an actual stated fact.
(On a side note; I believe the Umineko wiki currently has Yasu’s gender written as “Biologically Male (raised as female)”. Although I know the wiki aren’t always accurate it added further confusion for me.)

Edit:
Another thing I’m curious about:

Yasu’s feelings for Battler are supposed to be love, in the same way she feels for George and Jessica. But she has not had any kind of contact with Battler for at least six years, so she doesn’t really know if he’s still the same person as the one she knew as a kid... a lot can happen in the span of six years. (Although she could have heard stories about him from others.) From what I’ve read of haguruma’s translation Battler seems to have been the first person around her age to truly befriend her, which I guess is a big factor for her attachment to him. But it still seems (in my personal opinion) that her “love” for Battler at its best falls more in line with “loving a shadow” since she doesn’t really “know” the person he currently is, or possibly something close to an obsession looking at it at its worse. (Not to say that obsessions doesn’t seem to run in the Ushiromya family, but hopefully you people understand what I’m trying to say). I guess that having some lingering feelings remaining for a first love isn’t really that odd, but to put it on the same level as the other two (whom she has had a regular contact with) seems a bit… I don’t know. I have a bit of a hard time understanding it I guess.

I don’t have anything against either character. I simply just cannot wrap my head around this. So I thought I could ask how people around here interpret it.
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Old 2014-05-08, 15:45   Link #34456
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And I finally got my hands on an affordable copy of the Joker containing Confession(1)...though now I hope the next Tankobon comes soon, since it will probably end right before the beginning of CotGW (and yes that chapter deals with Tohya being found by Ikuko, as will be indicated by the intrductory paragraph).
Thank you so much for the translation! Though the chap dealing with Tohya being found by Ikuko took place just before our confession... Or are you meaning another one?

LOL, before the scene in which Tohya remembered his past was shown I was considering the crazy idea about Tohya actually being Sayo who pretended to be Battler to trick Ange into hoping her brother survived... But since Tohya remembered everyone minus Battler I guess it's impossible but it would have been interesting.

About the translations:

*sigh* it's sad even Sayo sort of realized it wasn't a smart idea to have her working so younger so that the age gap with the other servants would cause her to be bullied. Really, Genji, if she could realize this, why couldn't you?

*sigh* and I knew she was feeling sad, scared and alone but it's even more sad to hear her admitting it.

It's a nice touch she worried she overdid things with Berune. It seems to imply she didn't really want to scare her so badly... even if another side of her felt like she deserved it.

I wonder if Sayo feels Kumasawa, Genji and Nanjo are so nice to her just because that's the top of kindness she had experienced. Well, probably they looked nice since she apparently was just some random kid... but I think she was way more touched by it just because she had nothing else but this.

Though it's interesting... in this perspective Sayo seems much closer to Clair and Gaap than to Shannon...

Well, it's good the dream of marrying and having children was also her own. It sort of implies George wasn't forcing his dream on her but they were sharing the same dream... and probably before discovering the truth this felt like one of George's good points... but afterward George's words were likely only a painful reminder of what she couldn't have.

Sayo and Battler's relation is cute. It's nice to see another bit of it.

Just wondering... when she talks about a promise... do we see them over the balcony? In Ep 5 we see Battler remembering making a promise there (a scene original for the manga and never showed in Ep 7) and there is also where Beato met Battler in Ep 4 so it's a nice touch.

LOL, Sayo trying to become Battler's ideal woman is also cute yet sad as we know all her efforts will fail.

... and it becomes really sad when we see how she's aware she's deceiving herself and considers herself a girl with no friends. Evidently she didn't manage to make them at school and doesn't count Jessica as such. I don't blame her. As friendly and open minded as Jessica is she's still the grandaughter of her boss. It's not as easy as it might seem to forget this.

I'm not quite convinced by how she jumped on the idea of becoming happy by living as a boy. It's not like she could fulfil her dream to get married and have babies as a boy. But Kanon is introverted. Maybe it's just a way to cut herself out of the world more than a quest for happiness.
Also it sort of feel forced. As she doesn't know yet she's Lion she needs Genji and Kumasawa's help to trick Natsuhi which could cause them troubles. It feels weird she felt like asking it. But maybe things went much smoother and slower than I think and what started with just a short prank became a habit.

I sort of feel like banging my head on the screen at how Kinzo thinks to redeem himself. But well, considering he had been a horrible father maybe he had no idea how to act.

It's also nice to see that her relation with George wasn't bad but actually pretty nice in the beginning.

And when they volunteer to tell Sayo anything I start to bang my head against the wall.
Really, did she need to know her mother was Kinzo's daughter? Couldn't they have told her Beatrice was already pregnant when she met Kinzo? It's not like Sayo could know at which age Kuwadorian Beato died and do the math...

And the master deeply regretted all this so he did what? Gave her the gold he stole in place of giving it to the children he felt nothing for when he died? Such a kind act. It really took Kinzo lot of efforts...

And how do they know about Natsuhi pushing the servant? Natsuhi only confessed it on the grave of the husband of said servant. Did they eavesdropped? But they seemed fearful of Natsuhi so what? Did the servant manage to survive long enough to tattle it out before dying and Genji kept silent about it?

It's scary how they don't realize they're traumatizing her further and further. And the fact that they were 'careless' in their care makes me think they basically handled everything themselves. They didn't even had the common decency to take her to a specialist to deal with all this. I can understand Nanjo patching her up in a rush, but shouldn't they have carried her to a specialist afterward?

I'm unsure... Nanjo talks about her not being able to make kids and she talks about her not being able to make love. Was the work they did so bad she can't even make love or she's jumping to conclusions?

Poor girl though. I knew she had it bad but... really guys there's a thing called tact, you know? Expecially in dealing with clearly traumatic info.

About Ronove and Virgilia:

I think with them we stumble in the classical old problem. They show up starting from Ep 3 so... do they reflect Tohya perception of how Kumasawa and Genji would act, do they reflect Battler's knowledge of how they acted or Sayo also viewed them as such? I'll say their names and look came from Sayo as Maria met them but I'm not sure about their actions in the gameplay parts of Ep 3 and co...

About Kinzo:

The easiest way to deal with Kinzo was to burn him while the servants and Jessica weren't on the island (same as the corpses underground). I really don't get why they prefer to keep him in a fridge. It's not like it'll conserve him perfectly so after a year they can pull him out of it and claim he just had a heart attack and died in front of them.

About Lion:

Well, I'll say Lion was meant to be a male even though the manga only prefers to give hints and not state it. Or maybe they at least spared her from knowing this little detail and Lion is ambiguous because she had suspicions but refused to ask for confirmations.

About Sayo's attachment for Battler:

Well, let's say that yes, the Battler she loved was the Battler she knew, not the Battler of 1986. Not that it made much difference because, at least in the forgeries, it's stated that the only change Battler apparently underwent is that he got taller so he's the same person she loved only bigger.

But she must have loved him quite a lot as, in the end, it's in him she put all her hopes to be saved.

Probably she loved George but didn't felt the same chemistry she felt with him. Or maybe George's relation ended up being tainted too soon by many dark feelings and fears so it was a love she couldn't... apprecciate fully (first she was afraid to use him as a replacement, then once she knew the truth... well... she felt even worse).

With Battler instead she had a long period of "untainted" love... until he didn't came back and she started fearing he didn't care about her and feeling worse and worse.

Another important truth is that we know that during youth a person tends to change a lot so that 12 years old Battler might have been very different from 18 years old Battler (and add to this he underwent some radical changes in his life) and would probably be different from 25 years old Battler (adults instead unless something happen doesn't change that much in 6 years) but Sayo, being young herself and probably not realizing she had changed as well, might have overlooked this detail.

But well, as said before the detail remains unimportant as apparently Battler didn't change.
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Old 2014-05-08, 17:37   Link #34457
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Not that it made much difference because, at least in the forgeries, it's stated that the only change Battler apparently underwent is that he got taller so he's the same person she loved only bigger.
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the detail remains unimportant as apparently Battler didn't change.
My problem was that she had no way of actually knowing that. And I slightly doubt that he was exactly the same as six years ago. I remember that they mentioned in one of Sayo’s games how Battler was the same but bigger… but it’s understandable for Battler to be the-same-but-bigger in Sayo’s stories since it’s the only Battler she know, she wouldn’t know any other kind of Battler to write. Although Battler being written in a similar way in ep3-4 seem to indicate that he probably hadn’t changed much at least (as far as Toya knew/remembered at least). But as I said, she could not have know that until she actually met him. So him being at the same level as the others… well I guess it could have been something as simple as her betting on the miracle that he actually was the exact same.

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But she must have loved him quite a lot as, in the end, it's in him she put all her hopes to be saved.
I wonder… not to say that she didn’t love Battler, she obviously did, but isn’t it possible that this was a case of an unconscious regression?
She wanted to be understood, and used a murder-mystery to accomplice this goal because it was something she was familiar with. As a child she used to read mysteries, and Battler was her companion in reading/solving these mysteries. Battler was also the kind of person to show sympathy even for the culprits and care for the heart (Speaking of caring about the heart, does anyone have an idea of what relation Will could have to Battler?).
Sayo basically betted on that Battler would be able to solve her mystery and show her the same sympathy/understanding he showed for the mysteries back when they where young. She’s trying to go back to a time when things was simpler, a time before her life went completely to hell. Sure it wasn’t perfect, but it was far easier than what was to come.
Of course above is just an idea I had… I might be completely off track, but it’s something that I haven’t seen anyone talk about so I thought I’d throw it out there.

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With Battler instead she had a long period of "untainted" love... until he didn't came back and she started fearing he didn't care about her and feeling worse and worse.
This reminds me… How long was she in love with Battler before he left? And when did she fall in love with George and Jessica?

Also… I don’t want to jump to conclusions, so what exactly do you mean with “untainted”?
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Old 2014-05-08, 19:40   Link #34458
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Secondly I have a small question: Was it actually said that Yasu originally was a male but changed to a female? Outright said I mean, or was it implied to be the case but not actually stated?
It's as Haguruma says, there's nothing outright saying it.

There are some things which may imply it, one of which you might have already seen at the Umineko wiki, which is Lion's answer (written by Ryukishi) to a q&a.

Quote:
“Lion: I like most subjects, but probably the one I like least is English. It seems my pronunciation is too native - my classmates laughed at me, which was a little uncomfortable. I’m also skilled at cooking. Gender equality, after all. I think that regardless of gender, one should be able to stand in the kitchen.”
Other things which may imply a male Lion are the height difference between Lion and Beatrice when they meet in ep 8's manga. There is also some of the stuff that we're shown in Yasu's thoughts about Kanon, ("For Kanon, who was this lump of all the ugliness inside of me, For him who was the opportunity for a life as a boy") but that is slightly more questionable now that we know Kanon was being acted out prior to the epitaph being solved. Though it is strange the way that Yasu jumped from worries about her female physical development to creating a persona who could live as male, thinking that could solve it somehow.
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Old 2014-05-09, 01:00   Link #34459
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Thank you so much for the translation! Though the chap dealing with Tohya being found by Ikuko took place just before our confession... Or are you meaning another one?
No, no, I meant exactly that one. Though I do wonder how they are going to follow that up in the next chapter, now that Confession is finished. Or if they are just going to go to the scene with Ange in the Golden Land waking up (like what happened right after the fainting scene in the VN).
But I totally overlooked those scans last time I checked the blog. Damn, I sure hope the next tankobon arrives fast. Still nothing announced, so I fear it's gonna take till August or something (even though EP7 came out of nowhere as well)...

I do wonder though. Ikuko finding the message bottle is a little bit more of an explanation of why she got into the Rokkenjima-fandom so hard, instead of just, "uhm...searching for inspiration I guess."
On this page she says: "Here, look at this. A few days ago, I picked this up at the ocean where I also found you and I though we could read it together. But instead of a forgery, it's more akin to the message bottle from 'And Then There Were None'."

And then there is this page here where Tohya has a short memoryflash of (apparently) Sayo handing him a stack of paper, kind of implying that at least something like that took place.

Btw. can we take boobs as a hint that Ikuko is not Sayo? If we wanted to imply that she wanted to fulfill Battler's fantasy she should have been blond, if not then there's not really any need for fake breasts...is there?

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I wonder if Sayo feels Kumasawa, Genji and Nanjo are so nice to her just because that's the top of kindness she had experienced.
Nah, the manga actually does portray them as quite nice. They help her out, Nanjo gives her candy, Kumasawa is quite motherly and Genji...well "a servant has to cast his heart in iron" says a lot about what kinda father figure he was

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Though it's interesting... in this perspective Sayo seems much closer to Clair and Gaap than to Shannon...
Well, she still regards Yasuda Sayo=Shannon to be her real identity. She quite clearly admits that Kanon, the witch and everything is made up. That's why the revelation that she is Ushiromiya Lion is that much more devastating to her, because even Yasuda Sayo was a lie and Ushiromiya Lion never even existed...so she is quite literally a person that never existed.

Well, it's good the dream of marrying and having children was also her own. It sort of implies George wasn't forcing his dream on her but they were sharing the same dream... and probably before discovering the truth this felt like one of George's good points... but afterward George's words were likely only a painful reminder of what she couldn't have.

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Just wondering... when she talks about a promise... do we see them over the balcony? In Ep 5 we see Battler remembering making a promise there (a scene original for the manga and never showed in Ep 7) and there is also where Beato met Battler in Ep 4 so it's a nice touch.
In the EP8 manga it's the rose garden and in the EP7 manga it's more specifically the arbor. I think the EP5 setting was done more for emphasis of importance than for actual setting, but it still makes a nice game out of the power ballance, because Beato is actually demanding the promise from Battler when he is standing where he made it.

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Also it sort of feel forced. As she doesn't know yet she's Lion she needs Genji and Kumasawa's help to trick Natsuhi which could cause them troubles. It feels weird she felt like asking it. But maybe things went much smoother and slower than I think and what started with just a short prank became a habit.
Well, the manga makes quite a big thing out of the decision (which I like more than the VN's "and then I needed a little brother"):
Spoiler for Confession (1) p.17-24:

She is obviously very much not only tomboyish, but practically a boy (except for her facial features maybe). It is also implied she read up alot about sexual development and will probably have noticed that something is wrong with her, she didn't yet think she IS a boy but considered it as "the complete opposite of Shannon" which made it possible for her to escape from the pain.
She also mentions that in the beginning she saw Kanon as a way to slowly let Shannon fade out of existence. So she actually considered becoming Kanon, if not certain events (coughGeorgecough) would have happened.

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I sort of feel like banging my head on the screen at how Kinzo thinks to redeem himself. But well, considering he had been a horrible father maybe he had no idea how to act.
It's also still quite telling how he says that there are "no regrets left in his life now"...like he was a perfectly okay human being otherwise.

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And the master deeply regretted all this so he did what? Gave her the gold he stole in place of giving it to the children he felt nothing for when he died? Such a kind act. It really took Kinzo lot of efforts...
Well, to give him credit. The idea of introducing Lion as the child of Natsuhi was already part of his making up for his mistakes according to Kumasawa, so he might have immediately seen his mistake and it was really a moment of complete black-out because he missed Bice THAT much.
Still, yeah, Kinzo was an asshole and I think Kumasawa is more trying to calm Sayo down, though in a completely wrong way.

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And how do they know about Natsuhi pushing the servant? Natsuhi only confessed it on the grave of the husband of said servant.
That's why I translated it as "and made the servant holding you go off a cliff by..."
The original Japanese 夏妃はあなたを抱いていた使用人ごと崖から・・・ doesn't translate well, since it would become something like "Natsuhi (verb missing) you and the servant holding you from a cliff..." by Japanese working different than English (and most European languages)

They know that Natsuhi was with the servant that went off the cliff and that she called Genji, knowing what had happened. Nanjo also said that she was clearly suffering under severe neurotic behaviour at the time...but what actually happened is yet another catbox.
Even Natsuhi was probably too mentally unstable at the point to know whether she was actually holding the servant, pushing her, or maybe even just standing there staring (like a certain servant did a lot)...

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I can understand Nanjo patching her up in a rush, but shouldn't they have carried her to a specialist afterward?
Well, the specialist would have probably taken her away from them and conducted an investgation on who that child was...especially with such an incident.
Also, I think that it also shows that the three wanted to talk about these events, being able to share them is cathartic for them (even though it is traumatic for Sayo). They had all this good will of what would become of the child and how they would make everything better...yet they totally messed up.
I can see them actually WANTING good.

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Was the work they did so bad she can't even make love or she's jumping to conclusions?
Well, she talks of a 恋をすることも出来ない体, literally a body that cannot make love (though it is ambiguous whether it means physical sex or not), and Beatrice mentions alot how "love is measured in two bodies piled atop of each other". Sayo also mentions how everything would have come out if she had spent the night with George...so it is quite likely that she is really unable to have sex at all...that basically Nanjo only formed it as to look female, but it doesn't really work much, which would again hint towards a male child (missing the whole internal equipment that allows vaginal penetration and such).

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But she must have loved him quite a lot as, in the end, it's in him she put all her hopes to be saved.

Probably she loved George but didn't felt the same chemistry she felt with him.
I think I'd agree with Pocuma, that she chose Battler to challenge her mystery because that is what she was building as a fail-safe to stop her. She wanted to be with George and Jessica as Shannon and Kanon respectively, which was possible in the Golden Land, but Battler gave her a chance, to be understood.
Pocuma also said it, Battler proved that he was interested in the heart of the story, that he could sympathize with the culprit and by doing so find out what the whole scope of events was.

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But well, as said before the detail remains unimportant as apparently Battler didn't change.
Well, the fact that the island exploded implies that he did change. He didn't remember, he wasn't the charming prince on a white horse, he wasn't the great detective. I think when looking at EP1 and 2 Battler there is also a lot of spite towards him that comes through in CotGW as well.
He is incompetent, he doesn't find the culprit, he does fail, he doesn't remember...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocuma View Post
This reminds me… How long was she in love with Battler before he left? And when did she fall in love with George and Jessica?
Well, let's say Sayo probably joined the household around 1974 to '76. She had around 5 years to develop her friendship with Battler. Reading detective novels maybe started around 9 for them, so '76 for Sayo or '77 for Battler. The manga depicts her actually falling in love only in '80 when he made his promise of returning the next year, what he never did.
Then she is depicted actively waiting till '83, which is also be the year of the letters. '83 (when she is 16) is also the year she apparently actively starts wondering about her sexual development. So she started appearing as Kanon after the family conference in '83. It is also after this that she started opening up as Shannon (by pushing all her hatred into Kanon), the year she was noticed by Kinzo, she started playing with Jessica, started the Marriage Sorciere and it was only after that that she began dating George apparently.

It was not a family conference when she was first honestly approached by George, so it could have been around spring '84.
She then solved the epitaph on November 29th 1984 and learned everything. Only after that did Jessica honestly try to get with Kanon, so the school festival was probably the first half of 1986.

So, she's been with George for 2 years and had Jessica hanging on her heels for maybe around a year.
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Old 2014-05-09, 17:00   Link #34460
jjblue1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocuma View Post
My problem was that she had no way of actually knowing that. And I slightly doubt that he was exactly the same as six years ago. I remember that they mentioned in one of Sayo’s games how Battler was the same but bigger… but it’s understandable for Battler to be the-same-but-bigger in Sayo’s stories since it’s the only Battler she know, she wouldn’t know any other kind of Battler to write. Although Battler being written in a similar way in ep3-4 seem to indicate that he probably hadn’t changed much at least (as far as Toya knew/remembered at least). But as I said, she could not have know that until she actually met him. So him being at the same level as the others… well I guess it could have been something as simple as her betting on the miracle that he actually was the exact same.
Nope, she had no way of being sure if he was still like she remembered him or not. There's to say that too played in her roulette. She thinks her Battler (the Battler she remembers and love) would be able to solve her mystery and save her. In Ep 4 she basically blamed the Battler who doesn't remember of being a fake. Even though she knew he was the original, she sort of rejected him by making an excuse.

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"No. There is no way that you are my opponent Ushiromiya Battler. With this as proof."
"Proof, you say?!"
"You do not know of that sin six years ago."
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"That is enough. ......I was slightly aware from the beginning that you might not be Ushiromiya Battler. ......So, I had to question you. I had to ask about something the real Battler would have known. ............What a shame. I even bet on the one in a quadrillion chance of a miracle, that you might really be Ushiromiya Battler. However, it looks like you're a different person with the same first and last names after all."
In a way her hope that Battler had remained the same might look childish or foolish but she believed she loved that Battler. If he had changed it would have been for her the same as he had died as the Battler she loved wouldn't exist anymore.

In a way she however believed she had confirmations of him being close to the self she remembered. She pays quite a lot of attention to when Kyrie and Rudolf talk about him.

If you ask me I believe Kyrie and Rudolf's info weren't that reliable. They present Battler as popular with ladies, which tends to make us think he had a Rudolf-like attitude (and makes Sayo fears he was only playing with her) but we know that insitead Battler is single and prefers to have friends. When the cousins read the letters they claim Battler says he's having a blast and living his life to his fullest... but we know after 6 years Battler is still scrambled on the insides for what happened with his mother.

So I think that probably when Battler went on Rokkenjima or when he related with Rudolf, Kyrie and the cousins, he too showed more a persona than his true self. Maybe his true self was more like the Battler of Ep 6 (let's also consider in 6 years Battler lost 3 of his relatives one after the other)... but he presented himself like the cheerful Battler everyone knew.

But well, I guess this part didn't matter much for Sayo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocuma View Post
I wonder… not to say that she didn’t love Battler, she obviously did, but isn’t it possible that this was a case of an unconscious regression?
She wanted to be understood, and used a murder-mystery to accomplice this goal because it was something she was familiar with. As a child she used to read mysteries, and Battler was her companion in reading/solving these mysteries. Battler was also the kind of person to show sympathy even for the culprits and care for the heart (Speaking of caring about the heart, does anyone have an idea of what relation Will could have to Battler?).
Sayo basically betted on that Battler would be able to solve her mystery and show her the same sympathy/understanding he showed for the mysteries back when they where young. She’s trying to go back to a time when things was simpler, a time before her life went completely to hell. Sure it wasn’t perfect, but it was far easier than what was to come.
Of course above is just an idea I had… I might be completely off track, but it’s something that I haven’t seen anyone talk about so I thought I’d throw it out there.
More than regression I'll say for a part of her time sort of stopped. The young Sayo who loved the young Battler and hoped they'll live happily ever after never got to grow and move over her love for him. Her feelings were simply pushed aside so as not to deal with the pain (the blossom of love moved from Shannon to Beatrice) but never died or were cut or dealt with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocuma View Post
This reminds me… How long was she in love with Battler before he left? And when did she fall in love with George and Jessica?
The VN/manga seem to toss in the idea it started in 1980 but likely it was a gradual building up as in 1980 Sayo was waiting for Battler and we know they exchanged books already more than once. In 1980 she was probably aware that to her Battler was special, believed to love him and wanted to be loved back.

She began aware of George only in 1984 (though George had been pursing her for a long time) but in 1984 she also solves the epitaph so things turn sour pretty soon.

Kanon 'had birth' in 1983 but Kanon seems to become aware of Jessica's existence only after going to the festival with her which took place after Shannon went to Okinawa with George so very likely it's a pretty recent thing. At best 1985 if not 1986.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocuma View Post
Also… I don’t want to jump to conclusions, so what exactly do you mean with “untainted”?
When Sayo begins dating George she feels regret because she fears she's using him as a replacement. It gets even worse when she learns the truth about herself.

With Battler she didn't have that sort of thoughts. He wasn't a replacement, she could feel whatever she felt for him without bad feelings attached. Maybe more than untainted is untroubled... but untainted to me gets better the idea of how her lovestory with Battler felt for her compared to the one she had with George.

I'm not too sure how to explain it better...

Quote:
Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
No, no, I meant exactly that one. Though I do wonder how they are going to follow that up in the next chapter, now that Confession is finished. Or if they are just going to go to the scene with Ange in the Golden Land waking up (like what happened right after the fainting scene in the VN).
But I totally overlooked those scans last time I checked the blog. Damn, I sure hope the next tankobon arrives fast. Still nothing announced, so I fear it's gonna take till August or something (even though EP7 came out of nowhere as well)...
Well, I found odd how we had the new volume of Ep 7 but not the one of Ep 8. Maybe they want to add extra material for that one or it's supposed to contain some heavy editing and this slowed down its release? Because there surely was enough material for a volume.

But it'll be interesting if, before showing Ange waking up, we were shown some more Tohya scenes as it's pretty obvious he's a male and not Ange and therefore people can't be tricked like in the VN thinking he's Ange... and since he claimed to be 18 they can't even think he's Sayo whose ages are either 16 or 19.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
I do wonder though. Ikuko finding the message bottle is a little bit more of an explanation of why she got into the Rokkenjima-fandom so hard, instead of just, "uhm...searching for inspiration I guess."
On this page she says: "Here, look at this. A few days ago, I picked this up at the ocean where I also found you and I though we could read it together. But instead of a forgery, it's more akin to the message bottle from 'And Then There Were None'."
Honestly I find Ikuko's expression scary as she watches the Pc... she... reminds me of Erika. Maybe she ended up inspiring her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
And then there is this page here where Tohya has a short memoryflash of (apparently) Sayo handing him a stack of paper, kind of implying that at least something like that took place.
I thought they were books and Battler/Tohya was remembering when they were exchanging them...

Quote:
Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
Btw. can we take boobs as a hint that Ikuko is not Sayo? If we wanted to imply that she wanted to fulfill Battler's fantasy she should have been blond, if not then there's not really any need for fake breasts...is there?
Well, I think Sayo's wish for breasts wasn't just caused by Battler but by how she wanted to look like a normal woman.
But technically the fact she has 'confession', if confession included really what those chapters showed and it wasn't merely a... last trick to make us think something and then reveal us something else... this can explain from where all the info about Sayo's life that Tohya couldn't have known came from.
One of the reasons for which Ikuko needed to be Sayo was it was hard to picture how Tohya got all those info that are in Ep 7 (but also in other episodes) without someone basically revealing them to him. If he has Sayo's confession he could have merely fished them out from there.
Honestly I find it a cheap trick to justify it but it's a trick that work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
Nah, the manga actually does portray them as quite nice. They help her out, Nanjo gives her candy, Kumasawa is quite motherly and Genji...well "a servant has to cast his heart in iron" says a lot about what kinda father figure he was
I guess I explained myself poorly. I don't mean to say they were cold to her, just that to her those acts of kindness felt much more important than they would had she had a normal family. She ends up considering them her parents but were they like real parents or it's just she had no better?

(on a sidenote, considering that in Umineko there are also horrible parents and that Kinzo was one of them, it's more than likely that Kumasawa and Co fit the role much more nicely than some other adults in the story... -_-;;; )

Quote:
Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
Well, she still regards Yasuda Sayo=Shannon to be her real identity. She quite clearly admits that Kanon, the witch and everything is made up. That's why the revelation that she is Ushiromiya Lion is that much more devastating to her, because even Yasuda Sayo was a lie and Ushiromiya Lion never even existed...so she is quite literally a person that never existed.
Well, it probably is. As much as the fandom try to set Shannon, Kanon and Beatrice on the same level Shannon is probably the most close to her own soul as the other two are only made of parts she discharged and completed with random ideas she had for them. Kanon is more like a mask she created, a role, while Shannon for a long while was how she presented herself to the world, the filter she used to interact with it, modeled over her abilities and problems. It's not enterely her but, for a long while, it must have been.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
In the EP8 manga it's the rose garden and in the EP7 manga it's more specifically the arbor. I think the EP5 setting was done more for emphasis of importance than for actual setting, but it still makes a nice game out of the power ballance, because Beato is actually demanding the promise from Battler when he is standing where he made it.
*sigh* I wish they would pick up a setting. The so called promise is a rather important thing for Sayo but in the VN is pretty vague (Battler actually never say I promise although he sounds pretty assuring when he claims he'll be back) and I thought it was nice in Ep 5 they confirmed there was a promise but then that scene seemed to be made up as it's never showed in Ep 7...

Quote:
Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
Well, the manga makes quite a big thing out of the decision (which I like more than the VN's "and then I needed a little brother"):
Spoiler for Confession (1) p.17-24:
Thank you so much for the pics! You've no idea how much I want to see those chapters!

Quote:
Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
She is obviously very much not only tomboyish, but practically a boy (except for her facial features maybe). It is also implied she read up alot about sexual development and will probably have noticed that something is wrong with her, she didn't yet think she IS a boy but considered it as "the complete opposite of Shannon" which made it possible for her to escape from the pain.
She also mentions that in the beginning she saw Kanon as a way to slowly let Shannon fade out of existence. So she actually considered becoming Kanon, if not certain events (coughGeorgecough) would have happened.
My feelings are she just wanted to shut herself out of social contacts. Kanon is designed to be asocial and bitter. Becoming Kanon would mean breaking all her ties and not building others. Kanon tries to be firm into rejecting Jessica... which means she was probably not planning to look out for a happy life with Kanon, just for a life in which she could avoid dealing with some unpleasant parts of life (Sayo isn't good at social interaction. We see she claims she has no friends, discounting classmates and Jessica, not just the other servants. She also felt horrible pain from how her relation with Battler failed so maybe she just wanted to be left alone. Probably she also thought that Kanon wouldn't be bullied and that in return could answer back).

Quote:
Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
It's also still quite telling how he says that there are "no regrets left in his life now"...like he was a perfectly okay human being otherwise.
Honestly, I've hard time liking Kinzo. I get maybe he wasn't purely evil and that he had his good moments but he was selfish and egocentric as hell and had no idea what it mean to take care of another human being. I'm not even sure I approve how he let Genji become his servant instead than helping him to rebuild his own life as an equal... but maybe Genji was so broken by what he went thought that was the best for him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
Well, to give him credit. The idea of introducing Lion as the child of Natsuhi was already part of his making up for his mistakes according to Kumasawa, so he might have immediately seen his mistake and it was really a moment of complete black-out because he missed Bice THAT much.
Still, yeah, Kinzo was an asshole and I think Kumasawa is more trying to calm Sayo down, though in a completely wrong way.
Honestly I don't even like the idea of introducing Lion like that. He's the father but pushes that responsibility on Krauss and Natsuhi. He doesn't even tell them the truth so the siblings see Lion as an orphan who replaced them instead than their brother. Maybe this helps not making him look like a bastard in the eyes of the world, but in the eyes of his family he was likely worse than that, he wasn't even related to them (okay, they could have had suspicions but still he didn't even had the guts to tell them the truth).

Honestly I consider Kinzo the main responsible for his tragedy due to how he handled his family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
That's why I translated it as "and made the servant holding you go off a cliff by..."
The original Japanese 夏妃はあなたを抱いていた使用人ごと崖から・・・ doesn't translate well, since it would become something like "Natsuhi (verb missing) you and the servant holding you from a cliff..." by Japanese working different than English (and most European languages)

They know that Natsuhi was with the servant that went off the cliff and that she called Genji, knowing what had happened. Nanjo also said that she was clearly suffering under severe neurotic behaviour at the time...but what actually happened is yet another catbox.
Even Natsuhi was probably too mentally unstable at the point to know whether she was actually holding the servant, pushing her, or maybe even just standing there staring (like a certain servant did a lot)...
Uh? In Ep 5 is said she pretended nothing happened and that she just had let the baby in the care of the servant while she was resting alone. Then, when Kinzo searched for the baby they realized the servant had disappeared and then they discovered the broken fence.

The only one to whom Natsuhi confessed the truth was the servant's husband after he died. Genji could have overheard her but as this happened, according to Natsuhi, not so many years ago, he shouldn't have known by the time he hid the baby from Kinzo... and maybe not even by the time Sayo came on Rokkenjima.

Does the manga give different info?

Quote:
Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
Well, the specialist would have probably taken her away from them and conducted an investgation on who that child was...especially with such an incident.
Also, I think that it also shows that the three wanted to talk about these events, being able to share them is cathartic for them (even though it is traumatic for Sayo). They had all this good will of what would become of the child and how they would make everything better...yet they totally messed up.
I can see them actually WANTING good.
Well, the specialist could be bribed. Or tricked into believing that baby was... I don't know... Genji's illegittimate son whom he didn't want to recognize but that he wanted to help. Or just a poor orphan for which they felt sympathy/pity/whatever. They don't really have to give him more details than the one they gave to the Fukuin director.

Yes, I think they wanted good but they did it in such a clumsy way they remind me of the old saying 'with friends like those who needs enemies?'

Quote:
Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
Well, she talks of a 恋をすることも出来ない体, literally a body that cannot make love (though it is ambiguous whether it means physical sex or not), and Beatrice mentions alot how "love is measured in two bodies piled atop of each other". Sayo also mentions how everything would have come out if she had spent the night with George...so it is quite likely that she is really unable to have sex at all...that basically Nanjo only formed it as to look female, but it doesn't really work much, which would again hint towards a male child (missing the whole internal equipment that allows vaginal penetration and such).
Which would have been also a good reason to get her to a specialist and that makes little point of having her sex switched as she wouldn't have been able to have a decently normal life as a woman... actually, since she can't even develop the look of one she's even more troubled by it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
Well, the fact that the island exploded implies that he did change. He didn't remember, he wasn't the charming prince on a white horse, he wasn't the great detective. I think when looking at EP1 and 2 Battler there is also a lot of spite towards him that comes through in CotGW as well.
He is incompetent, he doesn't find the culprit, he does fail, he doesn't remember...
Did he really? Was child Battler a great detective? Would he have solved the epitaph? Sayo's plan is sadly very flawed. Battler can't solve the epitaph if he misses the detail Kinzo viewed Taiwan as his home and, should a real murder take place in front of him, he likely wouldn't have the same reaction of him reading of a mystery book.
Sayo is angry at him and pessimist over her chances for him to stop her. She wants him to do so but doesn't let herself believe he'll just jump off the boat, run to her, hug her and tell her 'I'm so sorry I took 6 years to be back but now I'm here to take you away'. Not that I believe this could have happened, of course, but one of the main requisites for her to spin her mystery tales is that he won't solve them so Battler can't solve them in her tales.
In Prime though it's possible Battler remembered, only he wasn't fast enough.
In Ep 5, 6, 7 & 8 it's implied Battler did so, but he did so too late. Maybe it's possible he even solved the epitaph but the siblings were simply faster than him and by the time he got there everything had already happened... though again, he still have the problem he didn't know Kinzo was from Taiwan... unless Genji gave him a hint as well, hoping this would stop Sayo but he too acted too late.

We also know that Battler remembered. Some things he remembered too late apparently, but some others, like liking Sayo he remembered early enough but let the subject drop merely because he thought he was too late as Sayo was apparently happy with George.
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