Of “Accidental Deaths” in Umineko and the Mystery genre

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Another interesting topic. This time I talk about “accidental deaths” their probabilities and implications. As usual you can consider these entries to be strongly Umineko or to the mystery genre related to fit your reasoning better.  I’ve just considered the possibility of suicide cases last time and now I’m talking about accidental deaths. I think you already know where I’m going with this, don’t you?

That being said, I’d most like to prove you wrong if you believe that there aren’t hinting or cases of accidental deaths in the When they Cry series. By the end of this entry you’ll know why.

Besides the possibility of one of the victims committing suicide for X reasons as I pointed out before, there is another possibility that doesn’t completely involve clear homicide per se. This is refers to as accidental death the person in question never saw coming until it was too late. We refer to it as an unplanned, accidental, most likely undesirable action who the person in question doesn’t benefit from it. This only applies to the person who happens to perishes due to this own “blunder”.

Don’t forget that.

Well, do I mean simply one of the characters in the mystery or do I refer to the culprit itself? There is a clear difference here that I’d like to make. Both cases are clearly different and we use different reasoning for them. If I refer to a normal person who probably isn’t the culprit or is related to him then the cause for death would likely be related to :

1)    finding death while trying to get away from the place or culprit. In general make a fatal blunder resulting his own death. This also could applies to malfunction of machinery, due to nature or the surroundings. This refers death as a result of oneself’s fault.
2)    dying as a result of other people’s mistake in the excitement or commotion of a situation.

Oho, you already know? Perfect.

Beatrice in Turn of the Golden Witch

Let’s consider the first claim, shall we? We see a lot of survivors running around in the middle of the rain, trying to reach a safe place, and running away from the culprit, correct? Surprisingly, the amount of injures or small accidents that have occurred in the story are extremely limited. I figured that if some small accidents would occur to some members then it’d be easier for the culprit to take them down, however, that case hasn’t presented much. Wouldn’t that mean that there are none then?  Off the top of my head I don’t think I could even name a few examples, to not say they are almost non-existent.

The cause of death would be a misstep for example. It can also be due to the “bad luck” of the character that results in his death. Falling off the stairs, hitting your head in a bad position to name a few possibilities. Normally people aren’t that careless, however finding oneself in a situation where panic is common it wouldn’t be unusual for someone at some point to make a fatal mistake in the commotion.  I recall them saying that weapons aren’t even that safe. In the 3rd Game it is mentioned how the weapons could malfunction and work as a trap to them that it wasn’t safe to leave them out of one’s sight. To remind you what I mean let’s see what would happen to a person in the 4th Game when the illusion of “Eva” tries to kill Ange. An “accident” like that would surely lead anyone to their own death. See below.

So after presenting this accidental death to you. Are you wondering how this ties with the bodies found around the island? I’ll answer that too. The most logical assumption would be that the person died in an isolated place (or was carried there) and the culprit is the first to find the corpse and makes it fit the Witch’s ceremony as necessary.

Can the last survivor have a most unfortunate accidental death to explain being found dead by the end of the game?

—-

The Black Witch in the 4th Game

Well, what about the second claim? We usually refer to accidental death as a result of an action NOT in a person’s plan that results in his. We do have to deal with a situation where there are other people involved in the so-called accidental death? It should clearly be different.

In the first it should be due to our own rashness (even bad luck) that cost us our lives. In the second claim it refers to an existent party whose actions results in a character’s death. Here we can claim that it was a deliberate act (though that’d be premeditated murder) or likely ACCIDENTAL in nature, both of them result in a character’s death, however, the 1st and 2nd premise are extremely different. To follow the premise that I myself put in this entry where deliberate “homicide” isn’t involved in this theory, the result I obtain is that there was a situation in which one of the characters accidentally became responsible for another person’s death or was led to believe this was the case.

Let’s mention a few examples of possible accidental deaths in this tales either with examples or pictures. In the 3rd Game it hints to at least one accidental death in the 1st twilight when explaining the chain of murders and closed rooms that Beatrice refused to explain altogether. The although much debatable  Jessica’s battle with Ronove speaks of Jessica hurting herself as a result of Ronove’s reflective powers then accidentally killing herself along with George. In the 3rd Game the gun Eva and Jessica were fighting over fires off and practically blinds Jessica for the rest of the game almost costing her sight.

Sonozaki Shion in Watanagashi-hen

If we remember our history, in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni in Watanagashi-hen the killer for that arc is  known to be Shion pretending to be Mion who has managed to fool everyone on the story until the very end. After fatally stabbing Keichi, Shion is in a state of euphoria while running back and trying to enter her room from the outside of the building Shion trips and “accidentally kills herself” being unable to get away with her final murder.  There was nobody involved in her death other than her making a small but terrible mistake that would cost her life. The difficulty of that 2nd Game was high because the very culprit DIES therefore we’d be led to assume that she is on the loose when we see her finishing off Keichi back in the hospital, which was of course a delusion of his before he passed away therefore the total mindscrew. This is a very good example where accidental death played a tremendous role messing up our logic because we normally wouldn’t think that somebody even the culprit would find death by his or her very hands. Can it really not repeat itself?

So what if there was one culprit for the 1st or a few twilights and the culprit had an accident and another one took over after the culprit’s “most unfortunate” death, huh? Wouldn’t that be interesting? To think that either someone who played dead before would “come back to life” and continue the work for example. Is such scenario really possible? Such opportunism? Such luck? Ha! That’ll force you consider that the “first” culprit died in a most pathetic way and do most of the work then he was replaced by his accomplice or the “second” culprit of the story. Fancy that!

*pause*

But I’d like to turn you to another direction and make you think about other possibilities. But what if there was really was an accidental death at some point and nobody felt like ratting out their family/friends or just plain decided to cover up the crime because it was too inconvenient. Place? What did you expect? The family conference, of course. It is a likely if not the perfect place for this to happen. I’m sure that things get heated a lot in the Family conference from the moment it starts till the very moment it ends and usually they get irritated and lose their cool. Not only the family conference, just about any place they take shelter after the Witch’s ceremony starts is filled with a hostile environment.

Supposedly dead in an accident. The “man from 19 years ago” in End of the Golden Witch

Nobody trusts the other and it’s easy for people to get violent and lose their cool in these situations, they’re humans after all. Similar to Eva’s case when she fights to keep the gun with her, we could speculate that there was a similar situation in which there were two people fighting over a gun. We could say that they didn’t trust one another and wanted the gun to be in his own possession for safety. We could say that one of them already knew the other was suspicious of being the culprit. We could say that they just needed something to protect themselves but the other one wouldn’t let go.

We could say that they were too scared and paranoid that the person happened to accidentally pull the trigger and kills the other one due to pressure, with or without witnesses nearby. Maybe they just went a bit too far with the interrogation? All premises are similar, one wanted the gun and the other one wouldn’t give it no matter what and in the commotion one kills the other one and doesn’t know what to do. Hide the body? Lie about it? Blame on somebody else? Blame it on the Witch?

The concept of having accidental deaths in a mystery is a red-herring to mislead the reader. To make him believe that something is when it isn’t and create this X theories for who is the culprit for a plotline murder. Similar to the last entry dealing with suicides in Umineko. Are we always to assume that these are all “homicides” where not a single accidental death is present in such chaotic place? Isn’t it really possible for someone to accidentally become a murderer in single day? have a ftal blunders in either side?  A 2nd Wanatagashi Shion to exist?

Well, isn’t it highly unique how many accidental deaths there are in the When they Cry series when you step a few steps back and look at the big picture?

I wouldn’t have to mention this but I’ll say it regardless. This does not imply that all or a great deal of the deaths are caused by accidental death as there would be no killer in the story if that were the case. Instead the culprit would be the sheer stupidity from the main actors of the story or the characters’ own faults. Clearly such outcome is simply not allowed in a first-rate mystery. It’d be acceptable if one or two accidental deaths max in the whole mystery at best but explaining the cause of deaths as “accidental” to cover up for the culprit multiple times using such petty tricks should be avoided if possible, wouldn’t you say?

Hey, reader-san. Are you really turning the chessboard over enough times? Are you really considering all possibilities properly, everyone?

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2 Responses to Of “Accidental Deaths” in Umineko and the Mystery genre

  1. moichispa says:

    Not having accidental causes in our theories might be difficult. Having it as a main thing to explain murders is way too easy but having it for the deaths that seems no possible in another way seems good.

    Did you forget about accidents that not leads to death? for example Jessica in EP3. A accident can cause that someone does not come back for example, but no because he or she is death, it is because he/she can’t move.

    • keikakudoori says:

      I like this accident that not leads to death yet almost equivalent to “death” itself.

      By disabling a player thus rending a character useless by majorly restricting his or her abilities such as field of vision in the 3rd Game makes for a perfect strategy even if unintentionally. It is almost the same as killing a player in the long run. It’s really like placing enemy pieces all around a single piece making it impossible for it move until it gets immediate help from other pieces.

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