Umineko no Naku Koro Ni – 8th Move – The Ushiromiya revised by Logic and Reasoning

perfect reasoning for a perfect win

Disregarding time of deaths, fake corpses, and red statements it’s still mandatory to create a list of possible motives and goals the culprit may have based on each Ushiromiya family member. This chess move covers all possible motives and judging how strong or weak they are to further reinforce or weaken the possibility of one of them being the true culprit from EP1 through EP5.

The Ushiromiya is a unique family, unique in a bad sense of the word for most part. Being threaten to lose their lifestyle they must get the money to pay off their debts and in the progress improve their lives in whatever form they see fit. There are 4 siblings in the Ushiromiya family and a lot of them have one child. All Ushiromiya except for one have a partner and each pair would help to the other one to reach the same goal. This is in the greater sense what makes sense the most. The question is always have far will they go for themselves and for their families to accomplish their goals.

As seen in the story the siblings and their partners have made an alliance to take down the big and scary older brother Krauss and to work out a deal (force him) to pay up for their own debts using Kinzo’s fortune. In all of this it’s worth mentioning that they much suspect that Krauss is also in deep financial problems himself and in this conflict they prefer to get their older brother to use Kinzo’s money rather than making him accept that their father  has passed away like they suspect. At this point of the story one could estimate that they had no intention of solving the epitaph  because if they couldn’t get it right before, they probably won’t on that day. However, a certain witch has forced them to reconsider that option by threatening their lives.. the story drastically changes after the 1st day is over. Is the real mastermind is hiding among them…?

Ushiromiya Krauss

Krauss is currently the thought to be Kinzo’s successor because he is the eldest, this is also demonstrated in flashbacks when Kinzo emphasizes how Krauss is the one who will be in charge. This is later in the story being challenged by Kinzo’s illusion and the siblings since Kinzo doesn’t exist anymore no one knows if he did want Krauss to succeed him or not. If we take Erika’s reasoning to heart then the existence of the epitaph tells us that Kinzo was never that satisfy with Krauss being his successor if there was a better candidate like she suggested. Based on the existing proof I believe this to be the case.

Because Krauss is the one in charge of Rokkenjima and of Kinzo’s assets it makes sense that he would want to keep it a secret from others as well as not being sent to jail for embezzlement. Adding to the fact that Krauss has spent a larger and still does an amount of time in Rokkenjima island, not to mention he is in charge of the servants Krauss has plenty of time and knowledge of his house to prepare traps and device plans to murder everyone on the island. Personality wise Krauss is a dreamer with some talent but he still a coward and not a good gambler, even when he makes the right moves and investments because he doesn’t trust himself he ends up losing greatly at the end. He is even taken advantage by his business partners. Overall Krauss comes off as a dog without bark for most part.

Thinking this rationally, Krauss’ motive to kill everyone on the island isn’t that solid. The reason why he would do it, disregarding whether he could even pull it off, is that someone has without a doubt found out that Kinzo is dead and plan on revealing it to the world. Seeing that his future and of his family is threatened he would then be forced to silence whoever knows of the secret for good. However, getting rid of everyone would only put him as main suspect so he would be force to resign from being head of the Ushiromiya and say goodbye to his rich life and big dreams anyway. Not to mention that none of his business partners would trust him after that incident unless he would have enough money to buy off anyone.

Because he isn’t well liked by his siblings he is the only the everyone gangs up on. In other words he should not get support from his siblings unless he reveals the truth. Krauss is a big guy and should know more of Rokkenjima than any of the other siblings and exactly where the guns and safe and blind spots are, yet overall he seems clueless or in the same level than anyone else. If Krauss could stop the secret from getting out Krauss could maintain the same life he has led and one day he would be able to clear his debts using those results from his investments to finally “bear fruit”. For now his only option seems to find the witch’s goal to keep his position as head.

*Note : Based on my previous reasoning I suspected that Krauss is in possession of his father’s ring or has left it on the care of something or someone reliable. Where the ring currently is and who is in possession of it may lead to Kinzo’s secret being found out.

Ushiromiya Natsuhi

The proudest Ushiromiya and Krauss’ wife. The first episode features Natsuhi as the main  and first female heroine and the story in most part is told from her eyes as her actions determine the outcome of the first game when for the first time Beatrice the Golden appears. Natsuhi plays a crucial role in the story as being the one who protects the secret that Kinzo has died the hardest in order to protect her family and the honor of the Ushiromiya family. Natsuhi is so focused on defending it that she will quiet no matter what and no matter who dies in order to keep it a secret, even if it endangers other people’s lives.

Natsuhi shares similar advantages that Krauss does for most part. One way to look at them is to say that they are both “territory lords” of the mansion as they should have greater control over Rokkenjima than any other. Natsuhi spends a greater deal of time in the house and she is in charge of the servants and handles things more often that her husband does. Prior to EP 5 Natsuhi roles had been only known to defend Kinzo’s “honor” and try to reach out to her daughter in EP 1, that one being her biggest highlight. Natsuhi is viewed as the protector type and known for a high loyalty demeanor for whichever side she has chosen. Lastly, Natsuhi does not display a single interest in the witch’s gold or solving the epitaph even going as far as disregarding that option as childish because she doubted its existence in the first place, which is later proven to exist thanks to her husband.  Her motive to find the gold would be to keep it from being found by the others. Thanks to a certain confirmation in red in EP5 Natsuhi’s suspicion of being the culprit has been changed drastically. But does that really exonerate her from being the culprit in previous arcs? That’s a very good question. You’d have to think and rethink that possibility from different angles to reach a better answer.

Thinking this rationally, Natsuhi even more than Krauss has advantages over everyone in the Rokkenjima. She knows the place, has the servant following her orders, and knows locations and places. One thing to mention is that Natsuhi sees all siblings as “vultures” and does not trust one of them despite acting friendly towards them, it’s most likely that she doesn’t even consider them as friends because of this. Because Natsuhi is so fixated on protecting Kinzo’s honor she hides secret she only knows.

This reasoning takes a different course at this part when one finds that the very reason she keeps it a secret is to protect the Ushiromiya honor and her family. Natsuhi being the culprit and murdering everyone including her own family would destroy the Ushiromiya family and thus any honor left they may have. Besides from that honor and the protect part, Natsuhi is hard to think of the criminal due to the contradiction in her goals. Still, her behaviour is still extremely questionable in all games because of the fact she knows certain information. In this sense Natsuhi’s position and is very similar to Genji’s  whose  plan to eradicate the Ushiromiya family would most likely equal the end of  the proud Ushiromiya  family. Did all that pressure of a person who rather block out unwanted memories would finally get to her and obvious betrayal would lead her to snap?

*Note : Being the one in charge, Natsuhi’s role overall  actions and involvement are to be investigated in greater detail. For someone who is prone to panic it’s easy to deduce that she had left plenty of holes in her plans that are to be exploited by other parties.

Ushiromiya Eva

Eva is the conniving sibling and Kinzo’s oldest daughter who wants to be the next head as badly as it can possibly get. It’s not exaggeration that she wants to be it the most out of everyone here. Eva seems deeply interested in both the money and in the pleasure of being the next family head because according to her the position should belong to her. Contrary to Natsuhi’s vision of honor, Eva wants to be the next head to prove herself worthy and to finally “beat” Krauss and prove her superiority. Eva is the very skillful and the slyest of all siblings being able to adjust easily to situations and having plenty of ways trick others. Based on her history Eva still resents deeply what happened to her in the past and how she was never praised for her accomplishment leading to other unfulfilled desires and certain never met goals.

Eva has  George as her only son, who she is proud of. She also has her husband Hideyoshi who is very supportive of her. In all of this Eva is present on that day to earn that money to help her husband’s company to not be overtaken by other malicious business partners. Eva seems to be the least who cares for Kinzo’s death and wishes to make good use of that fact to put a final check on Krauss. For similar reasons Eva is the only one who is least trusted out of all siblings due to her mischievousness and quick temper.

Thinking this rationally, Eva, being a martial artist has the upper hand in close combat despite being not being a man. Actually she probably can beat the siblings in a fair fight and the only one who could rival her would George. Having both brawn and cunning Eva makes a perfect suspect because she has everything she needs to do the deed. Additionally, the lack of care for her own siblings’ deaths and only care of her own and family makes her appear even more suspicious. On the other hand, Eva doesn’t have the advantage that Krauss and Natsuhi do and the servants aren’t bind to follow her orders if they go against Natsuhi (Kinzo’s). Eva’s allies are her husband and her son who has “accepted” how adults do things. The siblings are part of her group because they rather team up than go against her.

Eva has multiple times helped the culprit by keeping quiet about some facts she only knows (EP 5) and she has been the only one who had survived any of the episodes for reasons yet unknown. The case of keeping quiet is similar to Natsuhi but Eva seems fixated on pining it on Natsuhi even after suspecting that Kinzo is dead. Eva is conniving but her quick temper lead her to do things she probably didn’t plan. It’s very easy to control if her family or herself are in danger and even more when money is on the table. She is the sibling who wants the gold the most and has much to gain from all of this because she doesn’t care for the Ushiromiya honor.

*Note : Because she is always “there” and is always secretive it’s not overly difficult to have her as main suspect, however, the very reason she is that suspicious no matter what the context makes it seem like she serves as a red-herring either voluntarily or involuntarily. Keeping  a watch on her actions and those around her is a mandatory move.

Ushiromiya Hideyoshi

Hideyoshi is a jolly good fellow who everyone likes. He is seemingly the perfect partner for Eva as he is supportive and cheerful. Hideyoshi is present on that day because his company is having huge problems and extorting money from Eva’s abusive older brother might provide just what they need. Thus although Hideyoshi is here to support his wife, it is him who actually needs the money to paid off his debts therefore this is more personal than he lets on. Hideyoshi comes off as a “simple” man, not at all difficult to get and who say frankly what is on his mind, sometimes trying to be as subtle as possible and calming everyone down when things get heated. The general idea is that he is well trusted despite being Eva’s husband.

Surprisingly enough Hideyoshi isn’t that simple-minded as he is the first one (according to the game) who doubted of Kinzo being still alive leading to his wife and the rest of the siblings to start the operation against Krauss. Hideyoshi doesn’t stand out much and he rarely gets much screen time even in the games which makes us wonder what is on his mind and what he does when we are following someone else’s actions. He has a very strong build and determination.

Thinking this rationally, Hideyoshi appears to play the family man who possibly has no other family than the one he has now. He can relate to Kinzo for having a similar background because he has come from below and made himself to what he is now, that’s why he was even liked by Kinzo himself. Unlike Eva, Hideyoshi has respect for Kinzo but that doesn’t stop him from forcing to get some money for his family either. At first glance, Hideyoshi always seem like a victim because he is so well liked by everyone and doesn’t try to get on anyone’s nerves. He does not even look down on the servants because he used to work hard in the past. Hideyoshi is also the most approachable and easier to deal instead of his wife whenever it may be required. You can say that it’s difficult to reason with Eva if Hideyoshi isn’t involved. For the same reasons, if we subtract him out of the equation it becomes extremely difficult if impossible to deal with her. EP5 proves this right.

*Note : Hideyoshi has little influence on the family conference despite being Eva’s husband and he doesn’t seem to have any additional issues with himself or with other members even with Krauss who he should harbor at least some small dislike. Only Hideyoshi himself could notice or realize if Eva is the real culprit or not. Failure to mention it would lead to cooperation from his part. His simpleness and lack of motives besides the money doesn’t give him necessarily great depth for his motives if he is like he claims to be.

Ushiromiya Rosa

The youngest of all siblings. Rosa  has neither the authority nor influence in the Ushiromiya family and doesn’t seem to  care about family matter. She, more than once, mentions how she is better off and is actually relieved that somebody else will be the head implying that she wouldn’t want to be the next head even if the title was attributed to her. Yet, Rosa still does need a share of the money to pay off the debts of her own company, reason why she is forced to join the siblings in their alliance despite disliking the idea of it. Rosa is neither as clever as Kyrie or as cunning as Eva, in fact, Rosa is a normal person but not exactly as naive as her siblings remember her for either. She knows when a situation is going to negatively affect her and when it happens she defends herself. Overall, Rosa’s attitude is mainly passive and tries to stay away as possible from the family issues as much as she can. In other words, her position is more of a defensive one rather than an attacking one which the other siblings rather take.

Rosa’s nature is normally caring and thoughtful, however, because of her past and current life issues which was made by a long list of unfortunate events Rosa may behave in abnormal manners which can be described as a plain frustration with her daughter and with herself. In EP 2 she acts very cold as Natsuhi did in Ep1 to protect herself and her daughter, and similarly is also killed near the end of that arc. Having to deal with real life events and adding to this family conference/money problem, everything gets mixed in with her own issues resulting in a horrible combination. Rosa demonstrates that although she doesn’t want to be head she wants if possible to get a bit of happiness by seizing part of the Witch’s gold and maybe, just maybe, be able to buy a bit of that happiness.

Rosa really dislikes talking about money in front of Maria.

Thinking this rationally, Rosa’s character has been linked to the witch since a young age similar to Maria. She is the only one out of the siblings who has met her and presumably gone to the 2nd mansion. Rosa is in a similar position like all her siblings therefore even though she doesn’t show it she is much interested in how this fateful day will provide her the money she needs.

Her case is similar to the other siblings but also different because the lack of a partner doesn’t give her with an accomplice in the  killings like for the others. Servants don’t follow her orders and she is the sibling with less influence which should put her in a great disadvantage.  Being the culprit is still possible even though she isn’t particularly strong as Eva or as smart as Kyrie. Her unbalanced personality puts her at moments as possible culprit because in addition of not being interested in the Ushiromiya name she belies she is probably be better if she would leave everything behind for good. However, it’s also not easy to image she could successfully do the deed having child with her a great amount of time more than any other sibling to be able to carry out the murders without Maria or others finding out.

*Note: her constant involvement with magic both in the past, the present and her changing moods put her in a situation that further investigation is necessary.

Ushiromiya Kinzo

Red: Ushiromiya Kinzo is dead at the start of all games!

Thinking this rationally, Kinzo himself cannot not be able to carry out the murders but someone on his stead could by being given instructions by someone equally driven mad like Kinzo was. Question is if the culprit is someone who would follow him blindly or if the solution to this riddle lies in a promise of a delusional dying man.

*Note: Kinzo has a knack for yelling Beatrichee into the night. It is believed that he is  in great part the root of his siblings’ tragedies. You can never put things past him.

Ushiromiya Rudolf

Rudolf is Kinzo’s second son and mostly known for being popular with the ladies. He isn’t haughty like Krauss and isn’t as tricky like Eva, but he isn’t submissive like Rosa either. Based on further investigation Rudolf appears to be more considerate than Krauss and Eva and overall a “better” brother. Rudolf, similar to Hideyoshi, also owns a company and you could say that he has people depending on him. He also shares a very similar position as Hideyoshi as his wife Kyrie does a great majority of the thinking at the family conference. Rudolf appears to be cool-headed and hardly if ever gets upset even if he’s about to get killed. He most known for being Battler’s father and responsible for Battler leaving the family for 6 years. It’s mandatory to mention that it’s not much known about Azumu (Battler’s mom) and he doesn’t seem to want to talk about it either for some reason.

Rudolf seems to be the only who predicts that someone (in this case himself) will die on the first game and sometimes in later arcs. This strange statement appears to be baseless at first because there were no indication of the epitaph/gold being discovered. Surprisingly he isn’t killed when it was found in EP5, sort of excluding why he would be killed in the first place. Rudolf despite being Batler’s father (of that at least we can be sure) gets enough screentime, at least not enough to explain his own story even in the games. Being a “major” character on top of being Kinzo’s son, there is not much known about him.

Strangely enough even his “thoughts” cannot be followed unlike the rest of the siblings who at some point we get to “see” what they’re thinking even if it is from their own point of view. The game from my point of view is set on keeping him in the shadows, same as his son. Is there another reason for that?

Thinking this rationally, Rudolf being the culprit is possible. He gets to keep the gold for himself and with it he can fulfill any wishes he may had. Rudolf’s position as Battler’s father guarantees him that he’d get his share in case he becomes the next head no matter what.  In the story, Rudolf is portrayed as the athletic kind and good with guns. All in favor of being possible for him to be able to pull it off. Rudolf doesn’t seem to overly care about the family honor either but doesn’t express as much dislike as Rosa or Eva. Rudolf at first glance appears to be the most “normal” sibling out of all of them and he appears to be the only sibling to have “moved on” from his past indicating that his motive would mainly be the immense amount of gold rather than any little grudges as he has little place to rant about. Truth or plain misleading information on a character that his shrouded in mystery despite not being simplistic rather than complex to not keep Battler’s past a secret? More to the point, would the final culprit be Battler’s father himself? What a strange twist and somewhat dry twist hat would be.

*Note: The very fact he suspects that murder may be committed on that night before anyone else is strangely suspicious. However, being that closely related to the main character of the story gives him the benefit of the doubt to be the real culprit of the story. Rudolf, Battler’s sin and his late wife are without a doubt related to the big mystery behind Umineko and possibly the reasons for the killing.

Ushiromiya Kyrie

Unlike her husband, Kyrie gets a background story which is told from the perspective of her crazy sister in EP4. Kyrie, like most Ushiromiya, also had a hard childhood which can be reflected on her cold personality. Kyrie is both intelligent and smart and is definitely not afraid to confront anyone who would get in the way between Rudolf and her. She doesn’t appear to be overly interested in the money itself, rather she is interested in solving the problems she and her husband face by using that money. Often she can be viewed as being the thought to be the leader (or Eva) of the sibling alliance to extort money off Krauss. Kyrie always knows what to do next and it’s not unusual to think she always has a backup plan when things to wrong or even better than she had anticipated. Kyrie unlike Eva is hard to provoke and keeps her cool at all times. In addition to that she keeps a scarier self and is not to be messed with. She is the type that it’s better to have in one’s team rather than against.

Kyrie holds a tremendous grudge towards Azumu even after dead and hold some dislike for Battler even if he isn’t at fault at all. Kyrie shows a strong possessive nature, yet she doesn’t seem to care that much about money. Having being brought up in a family with strict rules and where money declared how things were going to happen Kyrie probably sees money as a second priority after happiness. On the other and, because of her upbringing Kyrie has grown to be independent and strong, yet not distrustful to the point of being unnecessary wary of others. In other words, despite being cold and calculating she is approachable, manageable, and satisfy with her current life. Out of everyone on the island I think of Kyrie as being the one who usually the first who picks up on cues and hints. Whether or not she reveals them to the others is a different story. Kyrie is the one that is the first one to use (and teach) the turning the chessboard over to Battler. She usually dies in the first parts of the story possibly because of her close connection to Rudolf.

Thinking this rationality, Kyrie is the one that I could link to being the culprit the most due to her high level of intelligence and abilities. If she wanted she could probably recreate the same killings, not saying she would but it is within her abilities to pull it off. Kyrie’s main role is to get that money to her husband and to go back their happy life, Battler included at all costs.

Kyrie hardly shows weakness and is a very rational person therefore one could think she wouldn’t have much of a problem doing whatever she could to reach the goals at any time. For the same reason, since the motive to murder everyone usually includes her husband, it contradicts the belief that she prioritizes her happiness (Rudolf) over money. Unless she had a huge change of heart due to some unexpected and decisive event that leads her to abandon Rudolf and being “better off” and Kyrie making herself the only “winner” in this story in a family she doesn’t belong to is something to ponder about. How exactly does she prioritize and views the Ushiromiya family?

*Note: Kyrie out of all Ushiromiya is the easiest to suspect because of her abilities. One has to wonder if they would make the real culprit that obvious, or that in itself is the trick.

Ushiromiya Maria

Maria is even in this list.. Let’s do it for the sake of the mystery genre and for perfect reasoning. Maria is Rosa’s daughter and the youngest of all cousins. At first glance Maria is a cheerful kid but giving her a second glance Maria is full of hatred because of the events in her short life. Maria acts up in attempts to get her mother’s attention and her rants are second to none. Maria is the first who claims to have seen Beatrice and she is usually the one who even gets the letter from her in many occasions. Maria claim to know awfully a lot about this Witch of the forest who is alleged to the be real culprit of this mystery.

Because she is unstable and difficult to deal with it’s not certain when she is lying and when she’s telling the truth.. even if she is it’s not possible to know if she only thinks she saw what she believes or someone is tricking her. If one doesn’t believe in magic in the slightest then Maria’s words are a bunch of delusions from a tormented and delusional kid bearing no case in a murder investigations… But is that really the case?

Thinking this rationally, unless Maria gets super (magical) powers that allow her to carry out her vengeance in real life it’s physically impossible for her to murder everyone. Even if by accident she shoots one of the Ushiromiya she can’t possibly get everyone without being caught. Thus carrying the bodies, roughing people up, etc etc is impossible. Maria is actually more intelligent and she lets on but she is still without a doubt exonerated of being the killer because it’s just impossible for her. The resentment she holds and how “different” she sees the world from regular people makes her in her judgment not something normal among people. It makes us wonder if there are only things only Maria can see, do, and understand.

*Note: though with  a sweet side, Maria possesses twisted version of reality,being ok with everyone being killed by a witch therefore they will be able to reach paradise. It’s suspected that she may play part in this charade or is just being tricked by a third-party due to her own hatred or rather naiveness of a kid that just wishes for happiness. Maria usually dies a bit before Battler either because she isn’t viewed as threat or because of some other reason.

Ushiromiya George

George is displayed as the goodie two shoes of Umineko no matter what kakera we are shown. George has a fairly balanced personality and  no apparent “flaws” even if we look hard enough. In business and as a person George is successful and according to the story he has a bright future ahead of him.

Unlike Jessica George shows no dissatisfaction with his current life. His only desire is to marry Shannon who his mother is 100% against. For that George had prepared himself for that day in which he will face his mother and tell her off, which that days never comes because of the killings on that day. George’s involvement in the gold and the story isn’t that great and it is mainly emphasized by Shannon’s strong bonds to Beatrice and the pact and “friendship” they had. George possesses a formidable knowledge in martial arts which should make him difficult to kill and it would also help him to get rid of the victims if it comes down to strength. As a mastermind George hasn’t demonstrated to be that smart despite being described as “intelligent”, proof of this is how he is completely lost when they try to solve the Witch’s epitaph, which he has shown not much interest for.. even though it may solve all his problems and earn him the life he wants with Shannon. Is George’s  true self the same as the one we see or is just one big fat lie?

Thinking this rationally, George’s sole reason to murder everyone would clearly be believed to be related to love and earning Shannon for himself even if it requires to get rid of everyone. Having her killed would result in an automatic mission failed leading to him killing himself as it is theorized many times before. Because George is portrayed as being fair and compassionate it’s very difficult to believe he would do something like that disregarding he could do it. Based on past events even when Shannon is killed, George gets depressed rather than violent most of the time which doesn’t show enough violence side from him. The only time when he is shown to be aggressive and determined to do  everything for Shannon is in EP4 against her fight against Gaap in which later dies at the same time as Jessica. George is the least prominent person in the cousins’ group but with the biggest advantage of them all.

*Note : George next to Erika are the humans with most involvement to Kinzo’s furniture. George’s story follows a certain steps in many arcs and most of the time therefore his actions and thoughts are easy to follow. Shannon appears to be his soulmate according to evidence.

Ushiromiya Jessica

Jessica is easy to get and she is more down to earth than one would expect of Kinzo’s granddaughter. Jessica is straightforward, friendly, and outgoing. She doesn’t keep that many secrets from the others and says what’s on her mind and because of that it’s easy to believe that she is one of the most real character in the show based on her behavior.  Jessica doesn’t necessarily seem to have ulterior motives and doesn’t seem set on lying or defending the real culprit even she knew the truth like her family.

Actually, the only time if I recall correctly when Jessica refers to the events committed by magic it’s in EP4 when she calls Battler which assuming magic was never involved tells us that clearly something drastic forced her to say that. Jessica comes off as neither clever nor cunning but just normal as far as the story goes. Her temper makes her extremely and  comically easy to manipulate and her moves extremely predictable as indicated by one of Beatrice’s letters in EP2 when she is taunted. Any ulterior motives are very limited and easy to imagine being linked to dissatisfaction of her life as a frustrated teenager and being part of the Ushiromiya family. Would the culprit be the very same daughter of the one who wants to keep Kinzo’s secret from getting out? What an ironic twist indeed.

Thinking this logically, Jessica has a bad condition of bronchi since a young age and because of that it’s not easy to picture her perfectly carrying out multiple murders even if it was possible for her. Jessica’s reason for killing will be mostly defined by her desire to free herself from the Ushiromiya family and lead a normal life she desperately craves. The restriction set on George to not kill Shannon appears to be gone in Jessica as there isn’t always concrete proof that Kanon has indeed died as his body most of time goes missing..

Jessica doesn’t care for the Ushiromiya name but cares for her parents even though she doesn’t understand them and they don’t understand her either. Jessica is the only cousin with plenty of advantage over the others by being knowledgeable of the territory but lacking physical strength and the stamina required to play the  culprit all by herself is hard to believe.

Ushiromiya Battler

Battler is the main character of the story therefore he is assumed to be exonerated from any guilt in the story. Despite similarities to a certain character Maebara Keichi’s questionable actions leading to the murder of his friends, Battler is assumed to a victim in all of this trying to fight off the ones causing it. Be it human or a witch, the identity of the culprit isn’t known to the investigation and it’s only assumed who could it be. Battler does his own research and detective work but is majorly biased and suffers from a great lack of objective reasoning. Rather than putting the guilt on someone Battler jumps at the chance of defending the possible suspects. Battler is not suspected but his actions are questionable in the sense that we don’t know what the results of those will bring about. You can easily notice that he contradicts himself more then one would expect.

Thinking this rationally, Battler’s situation could be reason to be a case of dementia in which he believes to the center of it all.  However, from a different logical point of view the story revolves around Battler understanding parts of the mystery and what he must do. Following this reasoning in addition to a certain red statement, Battler’s reason for committing murder appears to be close to zero for ethics and story wise. Even if possible, Battler’s motive isn’t solid enough to give the mystery the depth it requires. Even without
knowing he is the main character of the story, the reason behind why he dies last and what else is about his past we don’t know about opens many questions which at this point aren’t answered.

*Note: the sin he committed appears to the reason behind the killings. His lack of methodical personality but with sudden moments of genius makes him a character that brings unexpected results such as the ones we can appreciate.

Final Notes:

Who do you believe is guilty and who is not? Is there a possible hole in reasoning or any information I didn’t cover or do you have a truth that can rival this reasoning?

Appearances may trick you and everything could be far from the real truth. It’s hard to believe even if there is any actual truth to some of these characters and what we see on screen. Yet, some of them are innocent and one or many of them could be guilty even if we don’t believe they are. An expected clash and contradictions among goals and clearly suspicious and strangely not too suspicious characters are mixed in with the rest hiding the real culprit. The real culprit may as well be the one that we trust the most or the one we have always suspected right from the start and whether or not they have valid reasons for doing so. Not everyone can easily point the guilt finger without being doubted themselves. Who knows exactly what is going on? Not that many. Truth is a fragile thing after all.

“Although far from over you have cleared the first level of this game and reached a better understating of the mystery than most. The Game Master has prepared a few gifts”.


9 thoughts on “Umineko no Naku Koro Ni – 8th Move – The Ushiromiya revised by Logic and Reasoning

  1. Asumu….

    I like your Kyrie reasoning I think of her as the most possible culprit really. The big hint of this is episode 5 and Rudolf saying that he have to say something related to Battler birth and the I will be killed of EP1.

    • Kyrie does rank high as a possible culprit, or maybe it is Rudolf who we should be watching for. How he seems to know that he’s going to get killed even though no great hints indicating something is going to happen on that night (assuming no one solved the epitaph) is dead on suspicious.

  2. Really nice write up. Don’t see anything to add to this from the facts standpoint, as most of the additional stuff we “know” about theses people are speculations and interpretations anyway. Good job summing up their characterizations.

    But as this whole analysis still gives as a tie of many character for most likely culprit / mastermind, we still have to assume that we don’t know enough or aren’t creative enough. (even leaving out all the culprit / helper combinations which are possible but unlikely)
    So I’d like to point you to a totally different take on this question about likelihood of involvement in the murder, which I once saw on the Animesuki forums.
    There was someone who tried to systematically take this question on the meta-level. Not the meta-level of the witch-involvement or Erika-style meta-mystery but even further as an interpretation of the story as “the game” played reader vs. author. EP5 even hints into this level of reasoning at the end so why not try it? (I know EP6 somehow plays with this even more but as I don’t know the exact connections and relevance to the plot – as I didn’t reader enough about EP6 – I leave this out entirely)

    So the proposed questions was something like this: “If person X is the culprit / mastermind, will this give as an coherent, believable and interesting solution to the events (if its a twist how surprising will it be etc.) and will this possibly give us a rewarding final for this whole mystery universe?”
    Its clear that this question will give highly biased and speculative answers as there is never THE reader but I found it interesting to look how this compares to the chessboard only analysis and where we find similarities.

    I don’t remember what this posters results were, so here is my breakdown of this idea from my opinion with some of your points included or addressed:

    Kinzo: I’ll start with this as I was rather surprised how you brushed this of with “Dead = not of relevance”. While its obvious that dead people can not murder I still think there is more to say about him, as his illusion is SO omnipresent in the minds of all the people that we don’t really get that he is dead until the 4th game and IMO its still not unlikely that his actions as a living person still has influence on how this played out. Besides we get a lot of indirect characterization of this guy. As you stated: We should put anything past him. :P

    Battler: This is the same as your conclusion. We are given his PoV, his opinions about most plot points and made to fell sympathy for him and we are often even “put in his shoes” by dealing with the same dilemmas he has to reason about. I guess a really messed up twist in the interpretation of the events could make him a responsible person for all of this (without directly murdering anyone) but any way of doing this most likely would be a slap in the face and not get accept by the fans. So its unlikely.

    The servants: ” ‘The servants did it’ is a really 3rd rated solution, isn’t it. What do you think everyone?” On top of this making the problems of the servants the main motivation behind the story makes the strong focus an the family affairs and drama as a red herring rather silly (in terms of story proportion vs importance).
    Besides your other article already stated that they make better unintentional helper or accomplices then culprits.

    Eva and Natsuhi: Both are given enough suspicious and redeeming qualities to be interesting “big bads” but in the end I had a rather balance and neutral view on both about their actions so I don’t see them as highly likely or unlikely. But taking this to the meta-level what really killed them of as the masterminds it the fact, that they both already had their “what may happen if I am the center of this mystery” story and both ended in a worst case bad ending for themselfs IMO. So after all I only see the option that their master plans got majorly messed with by the others involved (not soooo unlikely in the EP3 setting) or they really have the big victim roles of this story. So twisting this around again by presenting one of them as the actually big bad of this story sound really far fetched and silly. They seem to lose more then they gain no matter what.

    Krauss / Hideyoshi: Both have their edges in characterization but have too few scenes of actually “hateable” behavior to make them satisfying culprits. Having clear financial interests don’t make you evil in this setting and besides this as you noted Hideyoshi come of as far to nice and Krauss as to idealistic and plain dumb. Bad villain material in a story about wits.

    The rest of the “kids”:
    Battler has his special case as PoV character but even without he would be kind of on the same level as Jessica. Both are just too normal persons and really far away from those “adult problems”. It would really need a Shion level mind rape equivalent (unmentioned until now on top of this) to make it work out that one of them is a cruel murder.
    George has this much more shady side to him and I think its really important (as you noted) that he is rooted with his thoughts more in the adult business world than all the others. But I have a problem with his motives. This whole idea about him vs. everyone else for the sake of Shannon…. is this even realistic? I can hardly think about 3 people who would have any negative opinions about his marriage idea (Eva obviously, Natsuhi may miss her meido and fear for some secrets getting known in the family and Kanon would say its a big mistake). But besides those thats no one elses problem really. In this light the whole “me against the world” speech in EP4 seems rather braggy and childish. This and I always have to lol when I see this “evil overlord George” fanarts… that just doesn’t work for me at all. :D

    And Maria…. yeah you are absolutely right that she is unthinkable as a murderer as a small child. But this story gives you even more character interpretation based hints you didn’t mention. The whole story about Lady Maria in witch dress gives her again and again traits which favor creativity over destruction (all this stuff about “making” Sakutarou, the creator witches concept etc.). And when you watch closely her ulterior motives are quite innocent. The few times she shows rage and aggression is when someone tries to torment her (Rosa or those in her school) or someone tries to question her world view (as it may make the bubble of her warped self perception burst, I’ll count this as self defense). And Ange even idolizes this part of her character as it prevented her from becoming so cynic as she is.
    So I come to the conclusion that there simply is nothing really evil in her intents.
    The only problem with this is your mentioned abnormally twisted perception of almost anything. Perhaps she DOES see things as innocent and ok by this point even if they are highly questionable and cruel for every normal person.
    Still from the meta PoV she is THE perfect unintentional helper but anything more would come of as an ass pull. ^^

    On the other side the kids are just like in Higurashi in the center of all this stories (e.g. only the kids in purgatorio at EP1 tea party) – as Battler as the protagonist hangs out with them the most – even if their problems for the most part aren’t connected to the adults problems at all. So their view on the story must still be quite relevant to the whole mystery to give them so much “screen time” to tell their stories.

    Rosa: Well this is a great candidate from the meta-level no matter what. She may not have enough influence in the setting to work that all out alone and may not be so clever to outsmart the rest of the family as you stated but she comes of as a rather interesting character in the unlikable character traits department. She is really messed up in her intentions and past events. And especially in EP2 shown as violent, paranoid, selfish, not completely trustworthy (as she is lying to the others a few times) making her the prime suspect. She is somehow involve in the solving of the epitaph in EP3 and gets a tragic back story later on as a good excuse for her actions and “sinful” ideals. Furthermore Battler trusts her somehow at the beginning of the every stories (as the nice aunt) but still shows some sort of conflicts with her as the 2 days progress (if she is even given some opportunity to act at all) . But most importantly this rather dark interpretations of her characters are never completely taken away in later stories (in contrast to Eva and Natsuhi who get a slightly more sympathetic outlook later on to balance their characters).

    Kyrie & Rudolf: I agree with you how this story seem to forcefully exclude there side of the story and this makes them suspicious. But I think its more to keep the riddle about Battlers past going.
    Rudolf still seems to me as a poor choose to bet on. As you stated he is nether as scarred as other people in the family to harbor deep seated hatred for anyone nor has he the extreme ambitions or value of other people in mind to push him to planning murder. IMO he’s more of a follower in the plans of his siblings and tries to get his share of money etc with little else to gain. Still I cannot ignore how easily he could trick Battler and how this could also translate into Battlers PoV as highly unreliable.
    But Kyrie still is a much more interesting case with her intellect and sometimes forceful way of pushing discussion in a specific direction . EP3 and EP4 give her a big amount of suspicious and shady scenes and Battlers indeed trusts her completely. “Oh and by the way your mother did it”… what a wicked twist would this present to the reader. So you countered with “too obvious” but I think thats not so convincing here as the problem with this reverse psychology stuff is that you can turn this around as often as a chessboard and in the end you gain nothing from this if-she-knew-what-he-thought stuff. Specially if she brought up this chessboard thinking herself even if she had evil intents I would assume that she was really capable of thinking 2 or more steps ahead of everyone.
    But finally her motives don’t make sense to me. Her personal problems seem to specifically focused on her own family and Battlers branch to match this setting. Besides Beato started in EP4 how Battlers personal family problems have nothing to do with his sin (= reason for people dying). So why would she want to see ALL this people dead?
    And she is too clever and cool in her moves to present a blood-thirsty or insane character like Evas alter ego.

    In summary: George, Kyrie and Rosa could be considered interesting characters for the antagonistic roles IMO … all the others would require some usual and unexpected twists and turns to make them work (which I’m not creative enough to make up ;).
    Additionally I should mention that this is once again from the stand point that EP1-4 are constructed to give a “complete” riddle as a orthodox mystery story dictates. So never hinting into dark or immoral behavior of a character but in the resolution twisting the character 180° is just no option under this premise. This only leaves my interpretation open to misinterpretations of the characters action due to missing context and similar mystery tricks.

    Don’t know if you think of this take on the mystery as relevant but I really had my fun looking from this perspective. Perhaps it may complement some of your thoughts in a useful way.

    • You took good notice of certain hints that I didn’t mention in this general write up of the Ushiromiya. Though I’m a bit glad that you didn’t pick up on certain parts ;P

      I agree that the true culprit being a servant would be third-rate because the numbers of them who could have a deep story/motive is extremely limited. The game would have to add additional info to them in later arcs to make it work out. Evil George makes me lol as well. That is so not happening; even if it did I wouldn’t want the mystery to go that way.

      Since Maria could not be the culprit she could only the helper/accomplice though as mentioned because she really believes in the witch someone might be exploiting that to make her its accomplice by making her cooperate, for example, the “witch” makes Maria her messenger and deliver the letters to the Ushiromiya. This is where the first time that a witch introduces herself so it’s very critical. This, of course, happens when Maria stays outside in the rain looking for her rose which someone mysteriously hid from her. Maybe it was the true culprit or its accomplice that set it up that way? I believe that part is most important as it’s one of those events that repeat in almost all episodes.

      The siblings’ motives aren’t strong enough to hold up unless the killer’s motive is something they haven’t given enough hints yet. As for Kyrie/Eva/others who are most suspected of all, this reverse psychology works great to not rule her out but as we’ve also seen in EP3 Eva was considered to be the true culprit until EP4 came up and practically told us that she isn’t. So we’re back on this could it be or not. Still I can’t shake the feeling that a character so “obvious” could be the real killer. Also there’s this it’s your mom/dad/aunt/uncle/relative who killed everyone strange feeling that doesn’t click right even if I found them suspicious. Still, I don’t know what if I’d feel any accomplishment at all if the culprit was the very same one that one thought of when this story started. I could accept it if the “obvious” culprit was only the killer for one but not for all arcs.

      In other words, everything sound very realistic and logic until we hit the part where the motive could be connected to something we couldn’t possibly know about, like, for example, Hideyoshi being a serial killer or Gohda being a mental case that escaped from the sanitarium prior to the story or any other far fetched theories which the game hasn’t given enough hints for.

      I think that the culprit should be someone that it’s very possible that s/he could be the culprit but it isn’t necessary too obvious PLUS the motive gives enough depth to the story. I don’t know if the author is shooting for that but it sounds very likely that that is the case.

  3. Natsuhi is an interesting case. I don’t know if Ryukishi wants to trick some people into thinking in Natsuhi’s innocence. The red states that she’s innocent for episode 5, so maybe Ryukishi wants us to think this makes her innocent in all games, when she’s the culprit in one of them. That red is so vague.
    Also, well, protecting the honor might not be really contradictory with killing everyone. If everyone were killed by an “evil witch”, then the foul secrets of the Ushiromiya family would die with them. It’d simply be a tragedy, especially if the “witch” manages to cover Krauss’ embezzlement activities. If Natsuhi were to have this kind of mindset, maybe killing isn’t so far-fetched. Ironically, this would mean that she has to create something she doesn’t believe in.
    As for her being the culprit, Beato mentioned that if she were a witch, she’d be on Lambda’s side, someone who plans things, goes on full force with them and takes into consideration every little detail. Natsuhi is surprisingly smart when she needs to, as she managed to trick the siblings in a past family conference and make them think Kinzo was angry. However, she has trouble keeping her cool, and in a situation like this, where it’s a bit difficult to control everything, if something went wrong, she’d be screwed.
    Though, personally, I’d hate to see Natsuhi to be the culprit. I find her struggling to be quite sympathetic.

    As for Kyrie, she’s my main suspect for the same reasons as the ones you’ve mentioned. She’s smart, she’s cool and she is good at reading others. Because she can do that, I don’t think it’s impossible for her to actually manipulate some to do what she wants. She can pull off some of the witch’s tricks and knows how to lie. But for this same reason, I always get in a conflict. She’s easy to suspect, so I then think if Ryukishi wants me to think that Kyrie’s the culprit or not. And then I go to a “ADSLJKADS, what if he knows that I know that he knows” paranoia. The same goes for Eva. Both are easy to suspect and everything, which makes me wonder if Ryukishi wants to go with someone unexpected, like Rudolf or Natsuhi or in some ridiculous twist, Genji or Gohda.

    • That’s not a bad way to look at Natsuhi’s motive from that perspective. It still makes sense why she’d carry out the murders even though at first glance it contradicts her goal.

      I was surprised in EP5 to find out that Natsuhi was the “mastermind” behind keeping Kinzo being dead a secret. EP1 makes her seem rash and everything not indicating that she could be able to come up with such plan. I don’t have a negative idea of her but I wouldn’t consider her to be at a “mastermind” level.

      R07 tricking us into believing that she isn’t the culprit while she could be the culprit in at least one of the previous 4 EPS is not unthinkable. Still when I saw that she is the only one that was exonerated from being the culprit in an EP really shocked me not to mentioned that I thought it was unfair to the rest of the cast. I thought to myself if this was the beginning of the author finally telling who is not the culprit or not. I don’t know maybe EP6 will tell us again who could not be the culprit for certain arcs.

  4. Kyrie’s intelligence is important. She’s the one who could plan to kill everyone in a very smart way and make sure that by “looking at the chess board from your enemy’s point of view” you still can’t see her as the culprit.

    • Kyrie being the culprit is “too easy” but she is the one next to Eva who the game clearly gives enough hints that it is within their capabilities to be able to pull it off. Reason why I and others still suspect her. Other than that it would take a large amount of team work to come up with such plan, or the culprit making use of her genius to assist him/her at some point like it was hinted in EP4 to momentarily spare her life.

      • “Jessica doesn’t care for the Ushiromiya name but cares for her parents even though she doesn’t understand them and they don’t understand her either. Jessica is the only cousin with plenty of advantage over the others by being knowledgeable of the territory but lacking physical strength and the stamina required to play the culprit all by herself is hard to believe.”

        Her battle against the demon butler (god, I’ve even forgotten his name!?) proves that she’s got a few tricks to attack somebody :P

        Eva and Kyrie being so smart could mean that one tries to kill the other one as soon as possible too. But yhea, it’s definitely “too” easy in most cases.

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