Now that Battler's found the truth, he's become the next game master. In order to prove to Bernkastel and Lambdadelta that he understands all of Beatrice's previous tricks, he's built a game board of his own and now has to face off against Erika once again.
If ever Ryukishi07 knocked it out of the park, he did it here. Dawn feels like the climax the whole series has been building up to, and capitalizes on virtually every plot point mentioned in the previous five chapters. The back-and-forth between Battler and Erika is some of the best interaction in the series, with some beautifully sinister lines out of her. Beatrice's subplot is perhaps the most moving in the series, it's brilliantly stylish, and it reincorporates the elements of the previous chapters in a wonderfully clever fashion. Ange fairs in a less enjoyable fashion, simply reading the entire story with a mysterious and powerful being. And every plot for all three of the protagonists converges at the end, in one of the best showdowns in any manga. And the ultimate ending of this arc works just as well as the ending for the series itself. While it doesn't wrap everything up, it instead makes you think "well, do the answers really matter anymore?" While that answer is ultimately yes, this tale is brought back again to bring an answer, but ultimately this chapter functions well as the climax of the series.
The cast of this manga is legendary by now, and all the best characters get their moments in the spotlight with truly memorable scenes. Particularly notable is Beatrice, who ends her subplot in the most tense moment of character interaction in the entire series overall. Also great are the stories of George/Shannon and Jessica/Kanon, who have a dramatic conclusion themselves. Erika really gets her time to shine here, showing off her deliciously sinister side in all its wonderful glory. The two witches also have their own great moments, though not to the extent that they got in End. Aside from that, the cast is just being their usual selves, not that that's a bad thing.
The art isn't something easy to talk about without spoiling absolutely everything in this arc, so I'll just say that the spectacle here is higher than anywhere else in the series, and is an absolute joy to read.
In accordance with my own belief that Umineko is a must-read for anyone who reads manga, I can sum all my thought up with this: If you haven't read this chapter (or indeed the series) yet, you need to go out and do it by any means necessary.read more