07th Expansion presents. Welcome to Rokkenjima (Six eaves island).
Fall 1986... in Rokkenjima, a private island owned by Kinzou Ushiromiya, eleven of his relatives arrive for a family reunion. He is dying and children want nothing more than to split the wealth he will leave behind. But as a storm traps them on the island, the riddle of Rokkenjima's legendary golden witch begins to take the lives of several people. Who can solve the riddle and gain the gold and the inheritance? Will the golden witch truly revive?
Umineko no Naku Koro ni - Episode 2: Turn of the Golden Witch was published in English in two omnibus volumes by Yen Press on May 28 and August 20, 2013, respectively, as well as in eBook format on April 22, 2014.
“From now on when I speak of the truth, I will use red.”
After the incident of EP1, Battler accepts Beatrice’s challenge in the meta world. To deny the existence of the Golden Witch, he must once again solve the mysterious murders on Rokkenjima which somehow has completely different events and outcomes.
In EP2, the murders occur around half way of the story. The first half focuses on some of the characters relationships, their feelings towards each other. Also some events prior to the family conference have been revealed which are important tips. Some may see the romance parts sort of unnecessary but do keep in
mind everything in Umineko has a purpose and meaning.
A major difference in “Turn” compared to EP1 is it tilts towards a fantasy story than a formal mystery, resembling Beatrice making her turn of actions. There are magical battles, a corpse controlled by magic and appearances of magical beings. Readers must decide whether to accept the witch’s illusions or not. That being said, there are still bizarre deaths and locked room murders that seem impossible. Some I found even more challenging than the ones in EP1.
In my opinion, the highlight of EP2 is the debates between Battler and Beatrice in the meta world. They formed a rival relationship and begin their endless torture. During their debate, Beatrice created a new rule: that when the truth is spoken, it will be in red. I’m really glad they kept this from the Visual Novel, not only is it a creative idea, it gives a degree of fairness to readers. With the Red Truth, readers could gather important tips more easily and challenge the witch’s game side-by-side with Battler.
As the first half of the story focuses on the character’s relationships, some of them received an amount of character development. Shannon’s struggle to be with George and also Jessica’s puppy love feeling’s towards Kanon. We could understand their feelings and beliefs through the events.
Beatrice is the most complicated and memorable antagonist I have ever seen. Though she is cruel and childish at times, she believes her duel with Battler is noble and the rules must be followed. The moment when she is involved is always fun to read.
First I have to point out that the artist of EP1 and EP2 are different. Battler’s face is more simply drawn and his hair style looks sort of different. Personally I like his facial designs in EP1 better but that’s just my preference, others might like the new designs more. Beatrice’s expressions are drawn really well, especially when she laughs and when she becomes twisted.
Similar to EP1 the corpses are drawn very detailed. There is a certain “Halloween” scene filled with bloody corpses which is even gorier than the ones in the previous episode. Again, I treat it as tips; such as “could the culprit have decorated the exaggerated scene by himself/ herself in such a short period of time?”
I had a fun time trying to hunt down the culprit just like in EP1. However with the interference of Beatrice and her magic tricks, the difficulty of EP2 raised a bit. The locked room murders and the master key debates are also challenging. The Battler and Beatrice debating scenes are really entertaining to read, just when he believes he found the correct solution, Beatrice destroys his theories with the Red Truth. Red Truth is a great addition to the story; it acts as reliable tips making the mysteries more solvable.
For those who enjoyed EP1, you are in for a treat. Turn of the Golden Witch provides more complicated locked rooms, disappearing corpse and other surprises. Though you are challenged by the Golden Witch Beatrice herself and resisting her magic tricks seems futile, never stop reasoning. Believe me; becoming the witch’s furniture is not pleasant...
Just a notice, I have also read Episode 2 of the visual novel, but I have not seen the anime. This is also my first review. I'll try to be as descriptive as possible. If you have not read Episode 1, spoilers from it WILL be included in this review.
Story (9) - Welcome to the second question arc of Umineko. If you're reading this review, then that means you know the story already: The Ushiromiya family is called to a family meeting, a typhoon shows up, and the people of Rokkenjima start dying off in a sick ritual to revive a witch.
The first part
of Episode 2 has a very slow start compared to Episode 1, but we get to explore the relationship between Shannon & George, and Jessica & Kanon. There's also the fact that Beatrice plays a major part in developing both of these relationships, and she actually has a main role now(as in you actually see her). It really sets the stage for the later parts of Episode 2. It's basically a romantic sub-plot.
The story, at its heart, is a mystery. While people of Rokkenjima are dying, Battler and Beatrice are watching this "game" from the parallel world. This is where Umineko really shines, as I've never seen such a debate of the likes of what Battler and Beatrice have. Every time someone dies, Battler must explain to Beatrice a human's way of the death, as he has to deny the witch in order to win.Beatrice's goal is to convince Battler that witches exist. The logic both Battler and Beatrice use are twisted, and some of the most complex arguments I've read in anything. Argument terms such as "Devil's Proof", a argument where something cannot be proved or disproved, are used and reversed in quick succession. It's almost like the words themselves are bullets, as they fire out as quick as a machine gun.
Art(7)- I'm not one to really care for art, so I'll be really brief here. The facial expressions of characters are really amazing, and capture the freaky moments of the visual novel in order to make up for the lack of music. Overall though, it's passable in every other area.
Character(9)- I'm not gonna go into much detail here, as that would be very spoilerific of who survived the first twilight. I'll go ahead and say that most characters get A LITTLE more depth. It seems Umineko wants to develop these characters slowly, as to keep the story fast-paced.
Now, I really want to discuss Beatrice. Beatrice is a magnificent villain. Her insane laughter and facial expressions will give you the creeps, and her actions will make you hate her. Her dialogue is great, as she really seems she's offering a view from someone who is not human. It's obvious that she's better than Battler in this game, as she's quicker on the argument than Battler himself. She's definitely among one of my favorite characters of all time. Her magic is explained a little bit more, but not much as to keep it mystery until the Answer arcs.
Battler is 10x better here than in Episode 1. He's a badass fighter who uses words like a pro. It's really hard to believe he's 18 years old, as he knows many more things than any 18 year old I've seen. He's the underdog of this game, and you can't help but root for him, because you WANT Battler to win. You want to see Beatrice's cocky attitude crumble. His lines are of the "never give up" sort, but it's really inspiring when you're looking at his odds. He's practically fighting a god, and it's still surprising how he's able to get back up time-and-time again.
Enjoyment(9)- The main enjoyment of this manga is the conspiracies of the people of Rokkenjima is picking out culprits, and Battler and Beatrice's battle. With the insanity and mysteries, this manga is incredibly enjoyable. It was a great thrill ride for me, and I read the Episode 2 in the VN before the manga. I was biting my nails with the suspense.
Overall(9)- If you liked Episode 1, Turn of the Golden Witch is going to flip you on your head. Legend of the Golden Witch was just a prologue. Turn of the Golden Witch is where the real story begins. It may have a slower start, but when it gets going it never stops! I'm still picking my head up off the floor after reading that explosive ending. Episode 3 isn't fully translated yet, so I'd suggest you start the VN after you finish this manga. You'll be clawing out your throat to see what happens next.
I ,quite frankly ,love the Umineko series .I haven't read the VN or watched the anime but I can say that this manga is a great piece of work when looking at how the story pans out .This is a review done after my second read of Episode 2 .I'm going to try and criticize it as much as I can.
Story - 8
Strictly speaking ,rating the story of Umineko's episodes individually might be a bit tricky considering that they are all part of one major sequence of events .So by seeing this as a sequel and an episode prior to episodes 3 through 8 I
can say that it does its job quite well .Umineko is not a generic story .It's extremely far from it .A battle between fantasy and reality .I'd like to give it a 9 but considering that I already know of the episodes to come I'll satisfy myself with an 8 this time around .
Art - 8
Another aspect I'd like to give a 9 would be the art .It's taken a step up from the first episode .If not for the fact that it gets even better later on I'd rate it higher .The characters' expressions are brilliant and unique when compared to many manga out there .Mocking expresions ,angry expressions ,panicked expressions ,Suzuki Jirou has done a very good job here .Some scenes are good enough for me to actually want as a wallpaper ,not to mention that the way Jirou shifts scenes in this work sometimes has me left in amazement .
Characters - 8
The insane and paranoid Umineko cast is here once again .This time with Rosa as its focus .I have no problems here and I like the interactions quite a lot sometimes .Especially when Battler and Rosa had an argument at a point in this episode (It's unrelated to this section but the art in this scene was amazing) .The villain (Beatrice) is not a cringe-worthy antagonist and I can proudly say that she was a pleasure to watch .
Enjoyment - 8
A wonderful episode for a wonderful series .I'm quite amazed as to why Umineko isn't spoken of a lot here on MAL .Though the anime has a notorious reputation I have to say that the manga is an amazing experience to read through .I hope that you continue with this series through to the end .