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Umineko Vol. #18 Manga Review

4 min read
A riddle laid bare and the self-made witch.
Umineko Vol. #18

The solutions to the puzzles and a matter of perspective and possibility.

Creative Staff
Story: Ryukishi07
Art: Eita Mizuno
Translation/Adaptation: Stephen Paul

What They Say
Umineko: When They Cry Episode 7: Requiem of the Golden Witch Vol. #3
What new truths will Lion and Will uncover on their journey through the many legends of Beatrice? Is the truth of Beatrice as everyone expected, or yet another twist on the Witch’s curved path?

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Schrodinger’s Cat: a cat imagined as being enclosed in a box with a radioactive source and a poison that will be released when the source (unpredictably) emits radiation, the cat being considered (according to quantum mechanics) to be simultaneously both dead and alive until the box is opened and the cat observed.

Is the cat alive or dead? Are all things are possible until observation locks them into its final state? That the crux of the puzzle of the Ushiromiya family.

Lion is given the full truth of the fate of Beatrice the Witch. We the readers are given the solutions to how humans could have orchestrated the many murders in the household over the various timelines. Many involved insiders acting to set up the crimes, actors who had been paid off, and ultimately each case is slashed to bits by Will. That leaves the phantom Claire a redundant echo of the past. Beatrice the Witch is no more, her existence and all her magic explained via human interaction.

Yet Lion’s story doesn’t end where it should. There are multiple versions of the events on the island, and we still have multiple timelines to deal with. We can’t be satisfied with the one scenario where everyone lived happily ever after. Bernkastel won’t allow us that luxury.

What follows is a gory scenario where a final solution is proposed by Bernkastel. Lion ends up as a witness, along with Ange who bears the full brunt of a nasty reveal. The deadman’s switch on a storehouse of ordnance, a no longer mysterious epitaph, a child of incest devoid of free will. Nobody is shown as innocent or free of fate.

Ange is given the verdict of her own family being the final executioners of her estate, leaving only her aunt. Yet this is just one of many scenarios, and yet the witch tells her it’s the truth in red ink so she’s forced to believe it and it tears her apart. It’s a flimsy scenario, one which doesn’t make a ton of sense giving how these characters have acted in the past. Lion is indignant at the game but there is no game being played here, just a cat toying with her prey to entertain her master.

Thus we’re left with a single promise from Battler to his sister. The promise of a story about the truth of what happened on the island for the final arc. I can’t imagine everything will be wrapped up so simply. I do expect there will be a final clarification of many of the mysteries and maybe even an explanation as to why Battler was signaled out for the original game. This mystery is so much larger than him and the family as a whole. A family built on one man’s sin, and the poison of a fortune.

In Summary
Lion learns that they are the single possibility of hope in a family tragedy. The last, final wish of Beatrice was the chance at a happy ending. Will closes out the mystery and all is well as ends well. Except this isn’t the ending, and Lion isn’t the only one at the mercy of the infinite possibilities of the incident on the island. The systematic reveal of every locked room mystery and solution to each main murder arc is satisfying after being teased with them for so long. The reveal of Beatrice’s identity and the origins of the conflict paint a grim picture. As one last murder scenario plays out in graphic detail we are left much like Ange is, in disbelief at the play put forth. There are still several questions left needing answers, and some much-needed clarification. There’s one last arc to go (for now) to put the final nail in this mystery’s coffin.

Content Grade: A –
Art Grade: A –
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: A

Age Rating: Teen +
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: July 24, 2018
MSRP: $30.00 US / $39.00 CAN

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