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Zugzwang is the twentieth episode of the Umineko When They Cry anime adaptation and the second episode of Alliance of the Golden Witch.


Ange continues her search for the truth and learns how to use magic. She also delves deeper into Maria's past and begins to doubt if she ever lived a happy life at all. But the worst is yet to come, as Lambda gives Ange a shocking realization.

Plot Summary

First Half

Anime ep4 pinky promise.png

October 4, 1986. The time is 13:30. Rosa cleans Maria with a towel, who had been staying outside in the rain after Rosa had had another mood swing. Maria asks if she was a good kid for doing as she said, and Rosa says so, but tells her that if it rains she has to find shelter, no matter what. She asks Maria to promise she'll do that, holding out her pinky; Maria accepts, and they share a smile.

In the meta-world, Gretel suddenly stands up, getting bored and wanting to step outside. Battler questions her boredom, saying that it's about to get interesting and that Maria is probably going to say that she got a letter and umbrella from Beatrice. Gretel ignores him and leaves.

Now "outside" and standing in a void, Ange talks to Maria's spirit, who sees that she's irritated about something. Objectively speaking, Ange thinks Maria is unhappy, pulling out her diary as Maria explains that truth can change form depending on the observer. The diary opens to another flashback, where Rosa has again left Maria home alone and is calling to apologize; she might be there for two more days or so. Maria reminds her of their promise to go to the movies on Sunday; she looks sad, but then happily states that she will watch the house until then. Rosa promises to get her a present, telling not to let anyone know that Maria's home alone.

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Maria now sits on the couch sad, and Sakutarou walks up to comfort her. She's sad that she can't go to the movies with Rosa, and Sakutaro tells her that Rosa definitely loves her and works so hard for her, remembering a time when Rosa stayed with her all night and cried; she called Maria her only ally in the entire world. Maria begins crying as well, and Sakutaro cheers her up by saying they can have a pajama party together. They'll play around and eat sweets, and only the two of them will know; if they're noisy enough, more friends from through the looking glass and Wonderland will join. The two of them then have a fun time at their party, where Sakutaro is given a muffler as a present, one that Rosa originally made for Maria when she was small.

Maria tells Ange that they were really happy then, but Ange reminds her that Rosa forgot about their movie promise. Ange is asked if she thought the pajama party sounded fun, but she says it sounded lonely, and that in reality Maria was sad over Rosa not coming home and made a big fuss over it to forget about it. Maria asks where that was written, and Ange says she knows it to be true even if it's not written; Maria was starving for Rosa's love, but she only cared for her on the surface and was more concerned with her work and public appearance. She doesn't understand how Maria can be so happy when her own mother is like this, and is directed to read the next part of the diary.

Anime ep4 inn receipt.png

Rosa comes home after Maria's had her party and has bought a cake for her. As she takes off her coat, a slip of paper falls out, which Maria picks up; it's a receipt for a hot spring and hotel. Looking confused, Rosa snatches it from her hands and Maria apologizes. Rosa then says she should be the one apologizing, and gets down to hug Maria, shedding tears. Ange sees that the receipt was from a hotel in Atami; Rosa was actually on vacation, not working like she told Maria. Maria refutes her, saying it doesn't prove Rosa was lying and could've been a receipt from an old business trip.

Ange still doesn't understand why Maria is so willing to see Rosa's actions in a good light, and Maria calls her a pitiable child who only picks up unhappy Fragments instead of positive ones. She does understand how she feels, as Maria used to only pick up unhappy Fragments too until she recognized a certain power. Ange asks what this "power" is, and Beatrice appears to tell her that this power is magic. Beato then shows Ange a scene that happened not long after she and Maria first met. The scene features Maria and Beatrice sitting in a rose garden, with Beato being introduced to Sakutaro. Beato is impressed by Maria's ability to give life to inorganic matter; not only that, she created a soul from the sea of zero. She claims Maria has true magic, something that Kinzo desired above all else. When asked why she's praising Maria so much, Beato explains that obtaining 1 is easy, but creating 1 from 0 is difficult. If Maria continues her studies and becomes a Great Witch, even Beato will have to acknowledge her as superior.

Anime ep4 maria shining bright.png

Maria is overjoyed at her praise, and Beato decides to give Sakutaro a present. Virgilia arrives, and Maria is asked to present her diary/grimoire. Beato begins writing a contract into it, with Virgilia as their witness. They sign it, and Beato proclaims that Sakutaro has been accepted as an individual with his own will, and is now a friend of Mariage Sorciere; Sakutarou is then transformed, gaining a human body. Maria is also transformed, gaining a new dress and Eagle staff as the apprentice Witch of Origins. Maria narrates that the Magic of Origins is all about finding happiness in someone's daily life, reminding Ange that she was taught once before and had her name entered into Mariage Sorciere.

Second Half

Sakutaro gets smothered.gif

Ange has a flashback to when she was learning how to use magic. Maria tells her to imagine a vast space, one that is neither hot nor cold, no wind blowing at all. She imagines a white void, and is told to practice summoning. Sakutaro asks if Ange can really summon friends like him, and Maria explains that as a member of Mariage Sorciere, she can call forth beings used by other witches in the alliance, including the lion boy. He's happy to be Ange's friend, and Maria suggests summoning the Seven Sisters of Purgatory, Beatrice's furniture. Ange concentrates, invoking her title as ANGE-Beatrice, and the Stakes appear one by one. After presenting themselves, the Stakes immediately gather around Sakutaro, trying to bask in his cuteness. Satan berates them for being too rough, and Belphegor comments that she's holding Sakutaro the tightest. Maria calls the Stakes to attention and tells them Ange is learning how to use magic, so they need to help her out and stay in their human forms around her. Some of them reply that Ange's powers may not be enough to keep them all summoned at once and recommend that a smaller number of Stakes be present. The Stakes do rock-paper-scissors to decide who should stay, and Mammon wins. The rest of the Stakes disappear, and Maria reminds Ange that it's almost time for lights out at St. Lucia. She asks Mammon to take care of Ange and disappears with Sakutaro.

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Ange returns to the real world, where Mammon is surprised to see her sitting in a bathroom stall; this is the only place where Ange can truly be alone. At lights out, the students are lined up in the hallway and awaiting an inspection by the headmistress. Mammon compares it to being like prison, having to stand at roll call like this. Ange makes a sarcastic remark about prison releasing people for good behavior, and Mammon then notices her hair ornaments, thinking they're a bit cheap. Ange reminisces of how she went to an amusement park with Battler long ago, and he won those ornaments for her in a crane game. As Ange is being stared down by the headmistress, she thinks about why she's learning magic: she wants to revive her family someday. Mammon then realizes that her hair ornaments have strong magical power because of her desire to see her family; someday, Ange will become a Great Witch on par with Beatrice. In a future narration, Ange says that she wasn't able to continue her training properly, and lost her magic and Mammon's company until she graduated St. Lucia; scenes of the Stakes dying are displayed as she says this.

In 1998, Ange is meeting with Ootsuki, a university professor who teaches folklore but is very interested in magic and the occult; Ange heard that he was especially knowledgeable on the Rokkenjima Incident. Ootsuki explains that in April 1987 several occult-related books were sold at various auctions, and there were some unique documents that were being sold by Eva, known for being the sole survivor of the incident. There were also two message bottles discovered, each containing papers describing a serial murder taking place on Rokkenjima. Ange asks if they were fabricated, but Ootsuki says the handwriting in each was analyzed to be the same. The bottles each perfectly described the layout of the island and Ushiromiya mansion, but describe completely different events happening; the viewer is then shown the murder scenes from previous episodes, indicating that the bottles described the events of Legend of the Golden Witch and Turn of the Golden Witch. What's also strange is that the bottles were signed "Maria Ushiromiya," yet the actual handwriting doesn't match hers at all. All these mysteries made people incredibly interested in Rokkenjima; people started searching for more message bottles and information about the Rokkenjima Incident, and thus the Witch Hunt was born, which Ootsuki proudly states to be a member of. Ange asks if he's ever seen these message bottles and the handwriting for himself, which Ootsuki confirms. Ange then pulls out Maria's diary and opens to a page containing a signature and shows it to him; Ootsuki is amazed, recognizing the handwriting in the diary as matching the bottles. He begins to ask who Ange is, but she's already gotten her answer thanks to his reaction. She hands him a stack of money and leaves, but Ootsuki yells and asks her to come back and show the book again.

Back in the car, Amakusa asks Ange if she found anything new; she was just confirming some suspicions of hers. He then asks if Ootsuki kept quiet, as Kasumi is probably still chasing them. She tells him to just go to the hotel they have reservations at, remarking that expensive hotels have an obligation of confidentiality.

"On your October 6, 1986, did Battler come home?"

Back in the metaworld, Mammon appears and asks Gretel to return to the game, who's stopped thinking about the past. Mammon is happy that Ange finally got to see her brother again, and asks if Ange will really defeat Beatrice. Ange plans to and won't ask for help, seeing as this is 1986 and Mammon is still Beatrice's furniture at this point in time. She's about to say something else when time suddenly stops, and Lambdadelta appears. She calls Bernkastel mean for tricking Ange and asks her to think about it for a bit. Bern promised that if Beato is defeated, Battler would return to his original world: the world of 1986, where the six-year-old version of Ange is waiting. The older, 1998 Ange will still be alone by herself, as Battler never returned in her world. Ange suddenly realizes what she means, and Lambda laments how she was unwillingly made a piece for a witches' game. Lambda then offers a deal: she wants Ange to avoid letting Battler win and make the game tie over and over for all eternity; Ange can be with her beloved brother forever, and Lambda will get her wish fulfilled too. She asks Ange to consider it, laughing.


Sakutaro narrates the preview, sad that Maria is going out. He agrees to be good and stay in the house, and the door locks. Alone, he says that he's finally free and starts complaining about Maria saying "uu, uu" all the time. He asks the viewer to put themselves in his shoes, having to deal with it every day. Sakutaro then says the next episode title, but has no idea what "prophylaxis" means. Maria comes back, and Sakutaro starts acting like his cheery self again. He sees that the Seven Stakes have come with her, and begins complimenting them as they dogpile onto him.


Start End Title OST Description
0:00 1:29 Katayoku no Tori Katayoku no Tori Opening
1:48 2:19 Gentle Afternoon Umineko no Naku Koro ni ~Rose Crimson~ Rosa and Maria share a promise
2:45 4:45 N/A N/A Maria is left home alone
5:22 6:31 A Small World Umineko no Naku Koro ni ~Rose Crimson~ Maria and Sakutaro have a fun time at home
7:04 8:14 N/A N/A Rosa apologizes to Maria
9:30 11:16 N/A N/A Sakutaro is given a human form
12:31 12:45 Witch in Gold N/A Ange summons the Seven sisters of Purgatory
12:49 13:51 Those Who Smile in the Dark Umineko no Naku Koro ni ~Rose Crimson~ The Sisters squeal over Sakutaro
14:31 16:15 N/A N/A Ange and Mammon talk about St. Lucia
16:37 18:55 N/A N/A Ootsuki talks about the Rokkenjima Incident
20:26 21:44 N/A N/A Lambda tells Ange about how Bern tricked her
21:45 23:14 la divina tragedia la divina tragedia~Makyoku~ Ending
23:15 23:26 N/A N/A Teaser
23:32 23:57 Fishy Aroma N/A Teaser
23:59 24:23 N/A N/A Teaser


  • In chess, a zugzwang is a situation where a player is forced to move a piece and weaken their position.
  • In the VN, the receipt from Rosa's pocket is for a train ticket instead of a hotel.