Attempting to Solve Umineko Episode (Arc) 1

The following is my best theory currently for how the events in Episode 1 (the first anime arc) of Umineko no Naku Koro ni were committed. However, I offer no motives or exact logistics.

Kanon is the murderer, and he is in cahoots with Nanjo.

– Kanon bribed Nanjo with money, because the Ushiromiya servants are very well-paid. They earn enough money that they can simply retire after a relatively short period of employment (possibly just a few years) and live out the rest of their lives in comfort.

– Kanon gave the letter to Maria in the garden. He was wearing a Beatrice costume. He looked feminine enough for the role and fooled Maria.

– Kanon put some drug into six of the cups of tea or coffee that the adults wanted during their late-night family discussions. It did not matter who drank the poisoned cups; it was random. Gohda and Shannon taste-tested the stuff and both of them were unfortunate enough to have picked the drugged ones.

– Kanon transported those six people to the shed and killed them. Maybe he used that wheelbarrow from earlier.

– For the chained room, when Genji left to fetch Natsuhi and Kanon was to get Kumasawa, he was alone and had the opportunity to kill Eva and Hideyoshi. Perhaps the chain was just duct taped onto the door frame or wall. After killing the couple, Kanon then got Kumasawa and the chain-cutter.
– Similar idea: Eva and Hideyoshi were already dead when Genji and Kanon tried to open the door. Kanon just killed them earlier in the day and duct taped the chain, etc.
– Then again though, I could be very, very wrong if it has been said in red that the door chain was never removed from the wall.

– Kanon faked his death. Nanjo declared him ‘dead’.

– Nanjo could’ve placed the letter on the table in the study room. He might have reached across the table for something (that tin of mackerel?) and allowed the letter to slip out from the sleeve of his roomy lab coat. Or, the letter had been there from the start, hidden underneath a book on the table, and Nanjo moved the book.

– Kanon got back into his Beatrice getup and Nanjo let him into the room. Kanon fooled Maria again, and killed Kumasawa and Genji. Then he betrayed Nanjo and killed him, too.

– Natsuhi and Kanon fired simultaneously. Kanon had a long-range (sniper?) gun that put him out of Natsuhi’s Winchester’s range, so he was safe from her.

– Battler, George, Jessica, and Maria saw Kanon, who was still in his Beatrice costume in the dark. Kanon shot the four cousins with his long-range gun.

– Kanon died. In what method, I don’t care too much, but I hope it’s not some cheesy reason, like revenge or he was under orders from Kinzo and he killed himself since he reached the goal of killing everyone else, or he accidentally killed himself in celebration, or that he became so mentally insane he committed suicide.

A demo of how the Eva/Hideyoshi room could’ve been locked:
(Pretend that the wall end of the chain has already been broken off the wall, and the door end is already in the door slot)


14 responses to “Attempting to Solve Umineko Episode (Arc) 1

  1. It has at least some foundation to it, though I’m starving right now so I can’t pick through it at much as I should.

  2. Kanon doesn’t even need a ‘Beatrice costume’. If he just went up to Maria and proclaimed that he was Beatrice, she’d believe him, fully and completely. It doesn’t matter if he’s a guy or not. Genji could have just as easily been in cahoots with him. It’d be much easier if they worked together, and Genji could have painted all the symbols. Remember, Kanon is pretty weak, so Genji could have helped with the wheelbarrowing. I personally don’t think that they’d include Gohda in their plans, with whatever they’re doing. He’s still a newcomer, and it’s unlikely that they trust him, even after these few years.

    • I’m supporting the idea of Nanjo being an accomplice because he was the one who could declare people to be dead or not.
      …Doctors (or medical personnel) exist in mystery stories for a reason, that they will almost inevitably throw everyone off with death diagnoses. They aren’t meant to be bystanders most of times.
      But yeah, Genji could’ve been working with them, too.
      Gohda’s been at the mansion for a little over a year. He’s never seen Kinzo and the rest of the servants always leave him out of the loop. (Poor guy)

  3. Yeah, but why would he kill his own sister? He loves Shannon too much to kill her even on Kinzo’s orders.

    I don’t know, this theory doesn’t sound too plausible (good job though), but it’s not like I can think up of one that’d get through all the loopholes.

    (And how did Kanon duct tape the chain to the wall?)

    • Shannon isn’t Kanon’s biological sister. They came from the same orphanage and they’re close with each other, so it’s natural for him to address her as a sister.
      I didn’t give motives because Umineko is still a fictional work, so the craziest little reasons can set anyone off. Maybe Kanon holds romantic feelings for Shannon as well and totally lost it when he overheard George proposing to Shannon and her accepting it.

      I will admit the Eva/Hideyoshi murder is the weakest part of my theory. Maybe Kanon killed the couple before he and Genji even approached the door. Duct taping is easy. Kanon just needs to break the end of the chain off the wall first, slide the other end into the slot on the door, and put a strip of really strong duct tape (or even super glue) on the broken end. Then he exits the room and tapes the broken end to the wall, pressing very firmly. The door crack shouldn’t be wide enough to fit an arm through, but certainly enough for Kanon’s fingers to reach through and tape the chain to the wall.

  4. If you add Jessica to the equation, you can explain all the murderers in the four games, with the help of servants and crazy unrelated MILFS


  6. You didn’t think this through very well, did you?

  7. Nice theory, but I believe that Kanon wouldn’t (intentionally) kill Shannon.

    I propose that she was killed (shot?) accidentally by Kanon when he was killing off the other five, possibly because he was caught by surprise. He probably had to use her as one of the six for the epitaph to keep with plans. (The fact that he liked her too much may explain how Shannon’s face was only half destroyed, from Kanon’s inability to destroy her whole face…)

    Just a thought. 😛

  8. Ahhh, sorry to nearly write a book the first time I post a comment on this site. >.>

    It’s a fairly solid theory, but doesn’t hold up under some minor details. First, the door. Genji didn’t open the door casually when they discovered the chain; he was attempting to get in when the chain physically impaired him from doing so, with a solid noise. If there had been any give, as if it was tape, it would have been noticed or ripped off entirely. I tested the theory- my front door has a chain lock, and I happened to have a roll of duct tape and very small fingers. No matter how firmly I pressed, even when I opened the door carefully, it came off. Allow me to propose a counter-theory regarding that – the killer was in the room, and stayed there while they were investigating, then left once they closed the door behind them. They didn’t check the room thoroughly (under beds, etc), and didn’t re-enter, so it would have been easy for the killer to simply make their exit afterward, though the window or door (which they had all left unguarded).

    The theory of Kanon also doesn’t address how Rudolph knew, before the murders took place, that he would be killed that evening. To quote the translation patch, at 10pm Oct. 4th: “… Tonight… I will probably… be killed.” He also wanted to have a serious talk with Battler and Kyrie later, something stated to be out of character for him. Kyrie was surprised, as well, so this was something he found out about without her. It’s even possible with his reactions that he was one of the co-conspirators initially (tired, worried, resigned), but had decided he wanted out, but that’s just another theory.

    • Mind you, even my own theory doesn’t actually hold up unless the killer was one of those killed earlier and, for instance, used a prepared body to replace their own. 🙂

  9. I think that first culprits are Eva and Hideyoshi, they put toxic in food/coffe (and killed Gohda, coz he could saw them on kitchen), after that they ask Shannon give food to Kyrie, Rudolf, Kraus and Rosa, when the poison worked, they removed Shannon as a witness (or Eva killed Shannon with motive of break George marry). Kanon somehow learned name of culprits, told George that his father and mother killed first six peoples. Kanon said if they follow Beatrice epitaph, Shannon and others will be revived, crazy George agreed. Second part of theory similar with author, i just think that first twilight murders done by Eva and Hideyoshi.

    • Oh, i forgot one detal: “(red text)impossible to make a “closed room” from the outside”. George killed Eva and Hideyoushi for revange of Shannon dead (i think they told him their plans to make culprit Natsuhi, but George disagreed with them and so on. Its like 3rd episode, when Eva kills George – emotional distress).

  10. I’d like to put forward my theory which is similar in some ways.

    I believe, at the beginning, there were 4 murderers. Kanon, Genji and Kumasawa and Shannon. After George proposed, Shannon refused to join the plan so Genji and Kumasawa had her killed instead of Natsuhi, explaining the bloody scratches. They also murder Gohda, the only other servant on duty, (and the only one hired by Krauss) so they can carry out their plan. After Genji spots Hideyoshi and Eva heading back to their rooms, he, Kanon and Kumasawa kill Krauss, Rosa, Rudolf and Kyrie. The more probable weapon would be guns, but it’s not too unlikely that they could use other weapons if they catch them by surprise. They move the corpses to the shed, smash the faces in and draw the circle. Then, once they’re done, they send Genji to report the victims disappearances.

    For the second murder, a lot of the ‘closed door’ mystery comes from the servants testimony. Only Genji, Kanon and Kumasawa actually saw the chain in one piece. It’s quite easy to presume that, during the murders, they silently cut the chain, sneaked in, took Eva and Hideyoshi by surprise, and pretended the chain was in one piece when they got there.

    The next part is more interesting. Originally, I’d guess Kanon and Kumasawa’s plan was to ‘find’ Kinzo’s body, but instead, Kanon (angered by the death of Shannon) faked his death by stabbing himself, likely using fake blood. Perhaps, then, Kanon tricks Dr Nanjo into declaring him dead by whispering something like ‘I know who the murderer is but I need to be dead to stop them’. Kumasawa is naturally very surprised at this as it wasn’t in the plan, and is shown to be more shocked than with the last deaths. However, what is more important is that Genji came to the natural conclusion that Kumasawa murdered Kanon, creating a rift between the two.

    Genji then tricks Natsuhi into separating him and Kumasawa from the main group (along with Maria and Nanjo), Kumasawa is shown to be particularly afraid about leaving the main group, despite the fact that she’ll still be in a group of 4, because she knows what Genji will do to her. Genji then takes them to the parlor and locks the door so Kumasawa can’t escape. He then kills Nanjo and he and Kumasawa are left in a ‘mexican standoff’ position. Doesn’t matter who won, but Kanon comes in and murders the survivor, then sets up everything. The rest pretty much follows your idea. At the end, there are two options as to what happened to him. In the monologue at the end, it says ‘the children who are thought to have survived to the end’. Kanon is younger than Battler and the cousins so he might have been counted as one of the missing (eg, he escaped) or he went back to where he supposedly died and committed suicide.

    Sorry it’s so long but it’s worthy theory, no?

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