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First Move is the second episode of the Umineko When They Cry anime adaptation and the second episode of Legend of the Golden Witch.

Synopsis

With the potential existence of an unknown 19th person, the guests become concerned over the letter from "Beatrice" and their threat to take everything from the family. Despite the uproar, George proposes to his fiancé Shannon, hoping to get an answer by the next morning. When morning finally comes, some people, Shannon included, seem to have disappeared.

Plot Summary

First Half

Anime ep1 maria letter.png

During dinner, no one admits to giving Maria her umbrella, leaving them to wonder if there is a 19th resident in addition to the original 18 guests. After everyone finishes eating, Maria pulls out a letter she claims to have received from Beatrice earlier. Everyone notices how the letter is sealed with Kinzo's ring, marking it as official. Maria begins reading the letter and takes on a sinister disposition. In the letter, Beatrice welcomes everyone to Rokkenjima and introduces themselves as the Ushiromiya family's alchemical advisor, working under contract with Kinzo. Kinzo has terminated the contract, and so Beatrice is resigning, but not before fulfilling certain conditions.

One of Beatrice's conditions was lending Kinzo a mountain of gold, which was to be returned at the contract's end, along with everything the Ushiromiya family has as interest. As the family listens in shock, Maria reads out a special clause: if anybody, not just the family, solves the witch's cryptic epitaph and discovers the hidden gold, then Beatrice will abandon their right to the gold and return everything that has already been collected. Beatrice caps off the letter by announcing that they've taken Kinzo's Head Ring, and that they hope the night turns out to be intellectual and elegant.

The adults can hardly believe this and go to Kinzo's study to question him about the letter, but to no avail; Kinzo ignores their pleas and looks forward to seeing the roulette that Beatrice is planning. Maria, sad that no one believes in Beatrice, cries in front of her portrait.

Could one of the 18 be Beatrice? Is there a hidden 19th person?

Soon after, Battler and Kyrie discuss the letter, with Kyrie posing two theories: either there really is a hidden 19th person, or one of the 18 is posing as Beatrice. Kyrie believes the latter. Using "chessboard thinking," she puts herself in Beatrice's perspective and deduces that one of the 18 wore a disguise and gave a letter to Maria, creating an illusion that there is a 19th person. Rudolf interrupts them to call Kyrie back to the conference. Afterwards, Rudolf wants to have a private talk with Kyrie and Battler, making an ominous remark that he will probably be killed tonight.

Anime ep1 gold.png

Meanwhile, Krauss shows Natsuhi into a locked room containing a single gold bar; the letter's mention of solving the epitaph and claiming the gold might be true after all. The clock strikes 20:15.

Second Half

Jessica later runs into Natsuhi, who's suffering from another headache, and gives her Maria's scorpion charm.

Anime ep1 shannon butterfly.png

The cousins then head to the guesthouse, with George inviting Shannon to play cards with them. They also want to invite Kanon, and Shannon heads to the servant room to see if he's available. There, Kanon and Genji explain that Krauss has made changes to the work schedule, and so Gohda has the midnight shift in the mansion while Shannon and Kanon have midnight shift in the guesthouse. Genji and Kumasawa are to spend the night in the guesthouse. Genji starts to leave and says to contact him if anything happens, and reminds them that they have special guests tonight. Shannon says the cousins invited them to play, but Kanon rejects it since they have midnight shift. He also says playing is unnecessary for furniture like them. Shannon is dejected, and Kanon tells her to inform the cousins of that.

In the guesthouse, Battler expresses shock that George and Shannon are dating. George and Shannon go to the rose garden in private, where George refers to Shannon by her real name Sayo and proposes to her, asking that she wordlessly give her reply the next day by wearing the ring on a finger of her choosing. As the conference continues into the night and the servants perform their duties, a golden butterfly is seen floating through the mansion halls. The clock strikes 24:00.

Anime ep1 natsuhi door.png

The following morning at 6:00, the servants awake and start to prepare breakfast, only to see that Gohda is nowhere to be found. Genji goes to wake Natsuhi, who put the scorpion charm on her doorknob, and tells her that the phone lines are out. Natsuhi then sees strange marks and what appears to be blood all over her door, thinking it to be a disgusting prank. The other relatives awake and find that not only is Gohda missing, but Krauss, Rudolf, Rosa, Kyrie, and Shannon are also missing. Natsuhi goes into Kinzo's study to look for them while the others search elsewhere.

Anime ep1 tool shed.png

Inside the study, Natsuhi and Kinzo have a discussion about Natsuhi's past with her old family and her marriage into the Ushiromiya family. Kinzo blesses Natsuhi and says that even though she doesn't wear the One-Winged Eagle on her clothes, she wears it in her heart. Uplifted by this conversation, Natsuhi leaves the study and Eva returns with the servants to report their search: they believe the missing people are inside the outdoor tool shed, where a strange symbol is drawn on it.

Anime ep1 first twilight.png

The cousins and Nanjo, who were oblivious to these events, are relaxing in the parlor when Nanjo is called to investigate the shed. Battler, Jessica, and George follow to discover the family standing around the open tool shed, with the missing people's brutalized corpses inside. Battler and Jessica break down crying at the sight of their dead parents as Shannon's body is shown to be among them, wearing George's ring on her left ring finger.

Teaser

Maria narrates the preview, happily saying that witches really exist and is saddened that nobody believes her. She says that witches are capable of a lot of great things, including raising hourly wages, adding pork to ramen, and turning snacks into cream puffs. She says the next episode title and then excitedly says Beatrice's name as a clip of Battler looking behind him is shown.

Soundtrack

Start End Title OST Description
0:00 1:29 Katayoku no Tori Katayoku no Tori Opening
2:07 2:22 Witch in Gold VN OST The family questions who gave an umbrella to Maria.
2:46 5:17 N/A N/A Maria reads a letter from Beatrice.
5:22 6:33 N/A N/A The family realize the meaning of Beatrice's letter.
7:43 9:28 N/A N/A Kyrie theorizes over Beatrice's existence.
11:51 13:38 N/A N/A George proposes to Shannon.
13:48 14:20 Scorpion Entrails VN OST A golden butterfly appears as Shannon makes her rounds.
17:42 18:40 Gloomy Afternoon Umineko no Naku Koro ni ~Rose Crimson~ Kinzo asks Natsuhi if she longs for her old family.
19:08 19:30 N/A N/A A magic circle is found drawn on the garden storehouse.
20:37 21:43 Golden Slaughterer N/A Dead bodies are discovered inside the storehouse.
21:45 23:14 la divina tragedia la divina tragedia~Makyoku~ Ending
23:15 23:57 Melody VN OST Teaser

Comparisons to Source Material

  • This episode adapts the visual novel chapters "Letter and Umbrella", "Legend of the Gold", "Night of the Storm", and "The Six Chosen By the Key".
  • The anime omits a scene of Natsuhi and Krauss talking about the latter's distrust of his wife.
  • The anime omits mention of the shift change being caused by Krauss's suspicion of the servants.

Trivia

  • In Chess, the First Move is the very first move of the game; typically the white color moves first.
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