|This article is about a piece of terminology in Umineko no Naku Koro ni.|
|This article is under construction and may be incomplete.
Please be patient while the rewrite is in progress.
A Message Bottle is a form of communication in which a piece of writing is placed inside a resealed wine bottle and set adrift at sea. In Umineko, this is the medium in which some of the scenarios shown in the story are discovered in the real world.
Discovery and Contents
The first message bottle was found by a fisherman on the nearby island of Shikenijima years after the incident. It was initially privately kept by the fisherman, but was later released to the public after the Rokkenjima incident began to gain more notoriety. Some time after this first announcement, it was revealed that a second message bottle had actually been found by the police in the surrounding waters during their search for evidence in the aftermath of the accident.
Both bottles were stuffed with scraps of notebook paper that each described a complete account of the events of the island in the time period from October 4 to 5, 1986. These accounts were written in a diary-like style, and included the typhoon, the witch's ceremony, the bizarre murders, and the revival of the Golden Witch. Neither of the message bottles reveals the truth behind their accounts of the murders.
The message bottle discovered by the fisherman is known to contain the tale of Legend of the Golden Witch; the tale of the second one is not explicitly stated, but is strongly implied to be Turn of the Golden Witch. The fact that the accounts in the two message bottles were completely different became a major source of debate. In addition, both message bottles included Eva, the only survivor of the incident, among their list of victims. Eva did not ever comment on the truth of the incident or the contents of the message bottles.
Due to the evidence from the surrounding area, the police determined that the likelihood of their message bottle being a fabrication was low, and that it had been abandoned a few days before the incident. The fact that the handwriting and style of both message bottles matched also increased the credibility of both of them. Both message bottles are signed by a person claiming to be Maria. However, a comparison of the handwriting within them and Maria's own revealed that the two were different, indicating that someone else had written them in her name. Ange later discovered that the handwriting in the message bottles matched that of "Beatrice's" handwriting in Maria's diary.
The message bottles end with the following lines:
By the time you have read this, I will probably be dead.
Although there may or may not be a corpse.
You who have read this, please find out the truth.
That's my only wish.
In the Twilight of the Golden Witch manga, it is revealed that Ikuko Hachijo came into possession of another message bottle titled "Confession of the Golden Witch". Unlike the other message bottles, it does not describe an account of the events of the two days, but instead is a personal account of the culprit's own background and motives, as well as the rules behind the tales in the other message bottle accounts.
Known Message Bottles
- Legend of the Golden Witch
- Turn of the Golden Witch
- Land of the Golden Witch (undiscovered)
- Confession of the Golden Witch
Many other message bottles were set adrift and are never discovered. Land of the Golden Witch, described by Beatrice as her masterpiece, is one such tale, and is only known in the story due to Beatrice mentioning it in Twilight of the Golden Witch.
This article or section contains untagged major spoilers for all of Umineko no Naku Koro ni, possibly including the manga. Readers who have not completed the story are advised not to proceed further.
The message bottle tales are written by Sayo Yasuda, and represent hypothetical plans to be carried out on the days of the 1986 family conference. The stories within follow three rules:
- Rule X: Different coconspirators each time. All adults are in need of money. Buying their cooperation is easy.
- Rule Y: Any lies that all parties agree upon are depicted as reality.
- Even better when it pertains to locked rooms. Those who see golden butterflies are either on the culprit’s side or dead. Those who haven’t been bought off will not see the butterflies until thirty minutes before their death.
- Rule Z: Someone please stop me.
- I won’t pray for absolute certainty. I want you to solve it, so I won’t put too much pressure on you. Winning by killing everyone or losing by having my mystery solved are both outcomes I desire.
(More info coming...)
- The last lines of the message bottles are very similar to those of the note Keiichi Maebara left at the end of Onikakushi-hen in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
- The three rules of the message bottle tales are also reminiscent of those of the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni series, which describe the constants of the different scenarios in the story.
- Land of the Golden Witch was meant to be the original third arc in the series. It was scrapped by Ryukishi07 due to the feedback after Turn of the Golden Witch and replaced by the easier Banquet of the Golden Witch.