From the conclusion of Episode 4: Alliance of the Golden Witch, Beatrice is one step away from being checkmate by Battler. To fulfill the promise to “kill her”, Battler must understand the truth of the witch’s game. Once again he enters the witch’s game for the fifth time even though the host is absent. Could he arrive at the truth this time and fulfill Beatrice’s promise? What is Beatrice’s fate? Who is the mysterious visitor of Rokkenjima?
Main Characters: (9)
Unlike the previous games, Natsuhi and Krauss got an amount of screen time in EP5. Secrets that they held
back previously have been revealed, which serves as answers to the question arcs. Natsuhi also gets threatens constantly from “the man from 19 years ago”, a major focus of EP5.
As Beatrice is in a vegetable state, Lamdadelta takes her place and hosts the fifth game. Battler does not participate the game directly as he was too late to join. He is not the detective in this game and his chess piece is controlled by Bernkastel. In EP5 there are moments where he presents his ridiculous theories which I find really entertaining. However he has his moments in the meta world, together with Beatrice defending Natsuhi’s honor.
Erika is a visitor of Rokkenjima who claims herself as a detective. Blessed by miracle, she drifts to the island unwounded after a ship accident. She is actually an added chess piece by Bernkastel which has no effects to the previous games. Though she seems well-mannered and polite in first sight, she is actually very cunning and sometimes breaks down when her reasoning falls apart. She would do anything to support her reasoning and is the perfect rival for Battler.
Dlanor A Knox:
Dlanor who acts as Erika’s sidekick is actually the personification of the Ten Commandments written by Ronald A Knox (As a side note, the name Dlanor is Ronald spelled backwards). These Ten Commandments are rules Ronald created that he believes mystery novels should follow, which makes the mystery fairer to the readers. In Uminko’s world, the author deleted one of the rules and changed the other a bit. Dlanor could wield these commandments as “Red Truths” to support Erika’s reasoning.
What I like about Umineko is though it introduces new casts from time to time, no matter magical beings or not, they are never meaningless and all have their purpose. In EP5, the members of the Eiserne Jungfrau, Gertrude and Cornelia represent Erika’s “weapons” duct tapes and the paper slips that she uses to seal doors. The character Dlanor is the author’s salute to Ronald, giving him credits for his contribution during the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, which I think is meaningful. The great detective Erika, though having a twisted personality, she is a memorable, charming character, my favorite new character introduced in Chiru.
End of the Golden Witch has a rather slow start, in the beginning it focuses on Krauss and Natsuhi’s financial crisis and their acknowledgment of Kinzo’s condition. Though it has a slow start, these tips are essential to the story, such as the servants keeping their secrecy of the situation in the previous games.
EP5 has a lot of impactful scenes. Without spoiling too much, my favorite scene is where Battler and Beatrice “welcomes” Erika to join the witch’s game, which is really well done and satisfying. I cheered for Battler during that scene!
Different from the previous games, EP5 is a Formal Mystery rather than debating if the scenario is mystery or fantasy. Under the Knox’s Ten Commandments, secret passages cannot exist; Battler’s widely used theories such as “Trap X” is also denied by the commandments. They serve as additional red truths.
Interestingly, these commandments could also be used in the previous games to act as additional tips, which aid the readers that have not arrived at the truth yet. It is sort of the author’s way of saying “All the tips have been given to you, the mystery is now solvable”.
With these commandments Umineko could be looked at in a different angle,by re-reading the previous episodes, readers may discover clues and tips they once missed, which I find amusing.
In EP5, there were some new tips to solving the witch's epitaph. To me it’s of the most difficult mystery to solve in the series.
As always, battles and fighting scenes are done through debates and dialogues, which make Umineko stand out and unique. The debates of Red and Blue Truth is even more intense than actually seeing to two characters fighting each other physically.
What I like about EP5’s artwork is how the character’s expressions are vivid and lively. This expresses their emotions really well, such as when Natsuhi feels hopeless, when Erika’s jeers at others and when Dlanor switches to execute mode. Also, the background is clear and I never felt confused while reading.
After reading EP5, I could see that the author is taking another approach to the story. For the first four episodes, if the truth cannot be arrived under that structure, no matter how many same scenarios are done repetitively, the truth still cannot be seen. That is why the author changed the story’s structure and added the Commandments to assist readers.
In my opinion, EP5 is the most challenging scenario amongst all the episodes (excluding EP4 as there were too few tips and Battler never paid attention to the out of control situation. EP4 could have infinite possibilities). Again, the meaning of truth is discussed, Erika’s truth, Battler’s truth and the REAL truth. Different truths could co-exist in the cat box under Schrödinger’s cat, which is my favorite part of Umineko, you are the one to decide what to believe hence becoming your single truth.
As a side note, for those who are interested in the REAL truth for EP5 could visit my profile page below. I did not discover the truth myself, it is the info I read from EP8 Twilight of the Golden Witch manga which I wish to share. These tips were never included in the Visual Novels and with these tips, the Real truth of EP5 is finally revealed.
EP5 is really enjoyable; it has twist and turns of unpredictable events, locked room debates that seem impossible and an unexpected, satisfying ending!
Episode 5: End of the Golden Witch is a solid addition to the series. While answering some questions from previous games, EP5 provides an amount of new challenges. I feel refreshed from the new story structure the author introduced, while giving out new tips, they are also applicable to the four previous episodes.
Overall, End of the Golden Witch has an in depth story that is worth thinking about, charming new additional characters, artwork that illustrates the character’s expressions really well. I highly recommend one to read this after the conclusion of EP4 Alliance of the Golden Witch.
And so we come to the 5th episode as well as the second highest rated on on MAL .The End Of The Golden Witch is truly an excellent part of the Umineko series ...
Story - 9
In complete ,utter and absolute subjectivity I'll like to declare that this episode is one of the most outstanding examples of plot progression in this series .
Well ,I say subjectivity but I like to think that most people who read this agree .The MAL score is the second highest in the series after all.
In 28 chapters I was exposed to a combination of epic moments ,insane plot twists ,exposition on
the true nature of the mystery and power-ups that leave other shounen bowing their heads in shame .
Oh my goodness .That was pretty damn amazing .
Problems ?Sorry there aren't any of those here .Look somewhere else .
Art - 7
Not a 9 this time around sadly .Much of the drawing was scratchy and not as neat as in the other episodes .It did however ,have its moments of glory .I suppose with the most brilliant troll gone there wasn't much motivation for Suzuki Jirou to draw excellently .
Characters - 9
Battler was especially excellent in this epsiode .Well he's always excellent but this time he really out did himself .Natsuhi was very nice to read about as well and in this game people truly tasted the terror known as Troll-kanstel .
Everyone was full of life in this episode .
Well ,writing an ode all over again for the characters when they're pretty much the same as in the other games (apart from a few more minor additions which weren't really noteworthy) is unnecessary so I'll skip it for this review .
Overall - 9
Excellent .Superb .What a wonderful episode .