Welcome, welcome! This is an in-depth look at the cosmology of the 07th Expansion works, meaning those of the When They Cry series (Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni, Umineko no Naku Koro Ni, Ciconia no Naku Koro Ni), Higanbana no Saku Yoru Ni, Rose Guns Days, Trianthology ~Sanmenkyou no Kuni no Alice~, Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni, Haworthia, Renai Harem Game Shuuryou no Oshirase ga Kuru Koro ni, and the spin-off that connects with it.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Kakera (Fragments)
- 3 Human Domain
- 4 Witch Domain
- 5 Featherine's Study
- 6 The Depths of Oblivion
- 7 Creator Domain
- 8 Discussions
The 07th Expansion cosmology consists of a metaphysical evolutionary journey of being/spirit, from the point where one's existence is that of a Human, to the almighty and boundless Creator, which resides beyond all restrictions. This journey is divided into two Poles/Sides, the side tossed around by Fate, and the side that creates Fate. Those 2 Poles are themselves divided into multiple existential hierarchies, the hierarchies themselves being divided into existential layers, and even those layers, in some cases, being divided into multiple dimensions.
Those hierarchies are usually called Domains or Worlds, and there are 3 of them: The Human Domain, the Witch Domain, and an Unnamed 3rd Domain (usually referred to by fans as The Creator's Domain).
Here we have Layer (層) or more often higher layer (上層), Domain/Region/World (領域 or 域), and the top layer (最上層).
From this we can see the 3 Domains and also that the superiority between those Domains is similar, this superiority being in such a way that the entire structure of the lower Domain is just a Gameboard (basically fiction) for the beings in the higher Domain, no matter how complex the lower Domain is.
We can also see that the layers don't end in the Witch Domain, but continue on to the 3rd Domain, as Featherine has reached the top layer, and came back from the Kingdom of God (神の国よ), where the Creator is and it's impossible to survive because of loss of restrictions (and yet she did, but I'll talk about that later).
Ok, now that we got this summarized bit out of the way, it is time to truly jump into the cosmology.
A vital part of the 07th Cosmology are Kakera or Fragments (sometimes they are also called pieces). They look like small crystals, but they actually are the conceptual form of things such as lower worlds, parallel worlds, fates, possibilities, theories, games, fictional stories, and so on.
Their crystallized conceptual forms are part of the higher Domains (Witch Domain and 3rd Domain), and only their contents can appear in the Human Domain, be it an entire world, or something more abstract like a feeling.
Beings of the higher Domains can merge together Kakera to create stories, as we see above in Higurashi - Matshuribayashi-hen, or Catboxes, as seen in Episode 7 of Umineko:
The Human Domain, or "Ningen Domain" (ニンゲンの域), is not just the domain of humans, but the domain of those tossed around by fate, the first Pole/Side. This includes humans, Yokai, ghosts, higher-dimensional beings, aliens, etc.
While the Humans don't have the power to create anything, they have the ground under their feet. This means that Humans don't need to actively define their existence (like higher order beings), and can go day to day without the fear of losing one's self. They also don't evolve through the layers of the Human Domain, as their only form of evolution is into a Higher Order being into the Witch Domain. Humans aren't even aware of the layers of their Domain or about the complexity of their reality, they are pretty much watching the shadows on the cave's wall without knowing of the existence of the fire behind them, or of the world outside of the cave.
As already mentioned, the superiority of the Domain of Witches over the Domain of Humans is compared with the superiority of the 3rd Domain over the Domain of Witches. Accordingly, they should have a similar internal structure. Then it is logical that the domain of humans should also be a similar hierarchy.
Of course, Willard has nothing to do with the Ushiromiya family. In the first place, even the hierarchy in which they exist is different.
The term hierarchy applies to the Domain of Humans, which is a separate Hierarchy to the one where Willard is (the Witch Domain).
Now, I'll use the Kakera to show that this hierarchy is one of layers. As I've said in the previous section, even things like human theories or fiction can be contained in a Kakera. So, for example, we have 3 Kakera.
At first glance, these three worlds are independent, but they are connected somewhere.
For a higher-order being, there's no difference between them, as the conceptual form of Kakera belongs to their Domains. Nevertheless, while they are separate Kakera, they are all connected on a hierarchical level, as they are all stories of the Human Domain.
Alice: I understand. That is, the space war world is the world of the FPS game.
Alice: In other words, the space war world and the school light novel world are connected by a hierarchical relationship. In the school light novel world that is the higher layer for this world, there is only one person who calls the snitch.
But despite being limited to the Human Domain, stories within these Kakera can also be connected to one another in a reality-fiction hierarchical relationship, as we see in Trianthology, where a computer game from one human world is its own world, but on a lower layer in the Hierarchy.
I've also mentioned that the Human Domain is like a chessboard to the higher domains. The White Cells on this chessboard represent the normal human world, while the Black Cells represent the supernatural aspects of the Human Domain, from higher or alternative dimensions to Hell and Heaven.
There's also an underside of this chessboard, but I'll talk about that at the end of this section.
Now, let's get into the deeper complexity of the worlds take make up the hierarchies of the Human Domain and the cells of the gameboard.
As I've said previously in the introduction segment, in some cases layers themselves are divided into multiple dimensions, and this is something specific to the layers of the Human Domain. But before getting into that, I'll prove that those dimensions are quantifiably superior to lower ones, as according to the Wiki's standards.
So, not only is something from a higher dimension superior to something from a lower one, but it is to the point that even something infinite in a lower dimension would be non-existent for those in the higher dimension.
Is one of the “guardians (Jedas)” who monitor the immigration situation of their fellow “Ryūn people” who crossed the fifth dimension wall to live in the current world.
Is she a divine existence descended from a far higher dimension than the person world.
So in the Human Domain's layers, we got higher dimensions, and the hierarchy of layers would multiply the complexity of such things.
Complex Quantum Structures
I've mentioned previously the word "Catbox" without ever explaining it, but now it's the time to do that. A Catbox is a complex quantum structure based on the famous concept of Schrodinger's Cat.
By the way, the story I introduced this time introduces the difficult problem "Schroedinger's cat", which is well known in the world of quantum mechanics, with the poor writing skills of Dragon Knight 07.
"Is the cat in the box alive or dead?"
In front of you, there is a "box of cats" with unknown life or death. Inside this box, live and dead cats are sleeping "living and dead at the same time".
|~ Ryukishi07's working diary|
|“||You probably know that sides of a die go from 1 to 6.
You can predict what number will come up when you throw a die, but with logic, you can find out that the most likely outcome is 7 when you throw two dice and 14 when you throw four.
Now, if we return to the starting point, the question is what is the average when you throw one die. Coming from what we figured out, several numbers are most likely to come out.
“The number that will most likely come out is 3,5”. There are probably quite a few people who will come up with that conclusion.
However, a die only has numbers from 1 to 6. In other words, it’s not possible to get 3,5. Probably, a die that has a side with 3,5 isn’t sold anywhere.
I guess some people will try to get close to 3,5 by throwing a die multiple times, but it’s “an average you get when you throw several dice”, not “a die”.
The numbers on the sides of dice are from 1 to 6, and the probability of getting each number exists at the “same time” equally.
Like in a game of odd and even, you put die into an opaque cup. What number will die inside a cup show?
I’d like to say it’s 3,5, but that number isn’t carved out on a die. Which means, there are 6 “worlds” inside a cup, each for one side of a die. This hypothesis of 6 worlds existing at the same time is called “Many-worlds theory” or “Everett’s theory” in quantum mechanics.
※This “Many-worlds theory” speaks about “probable worlds” that exist at the same time, not about SF stuff like on more Earth on the other side of the Moon… (In other words, it doesn’t mean that just because you can get any number out of 6, there are 6 different Earths in this world).
|~ Ryukishi07's working diary|
The Catbox contains infinite Truths, here "truth" meaning universe. Those Truths take the form of Wave Functions and exist simultaneously at the same time, even if they contradict each other.
The concept of the Catbox is also called "Multi-Layered Worlds", which could hit back at the layered hierarchy of the Kakera contents.
...You forgetting, miss. Multi-layered World Contraction. The power of an Endless Witch paired with the power of a Finite Witch. Only an Endless Witch can realize it, and it is the most powerful effect on Endless Witches.
We can see the Kanji "層" paired with "多" creating "多層" meaning "multi-layered", followed by 世界, or Sekai, meaning "world".
Multiple Catboxes exists throughout all of 07th Expansion, like Beatrice's Catbox, Bernkastel's, or Hanyuu's.
A higher narrative dimension
There seems to be a higher dimension above the normal ones where the story of the human world is stopped, and Pieces of Higher Beings can fight using abilities such as Red or Blue Truth. Normal beings aren't aware of the existence of this higher dimension.
The World of the Yokai
Yokai are spiritual beings, and as such, they exist in a different world to that of normal humans called the Spirit World, which is a different dimension to that.
Renoir and the worlds of fiction
Renoir of the Artroom is a Yokai that hunts by taking his victims into the worlds of the paintings in the Artroom. His power, to dive into 2-D (2-D from the normal world's perspective, as we'll see soon) is a power of the Gods, of the Higer-Order Beings, as Humans can't travel those fictional layers.
The main way Renoir uses his powers is through paintings, which, while they appear 2-D, they actually have their own multi-dimensional world based on the painting... like the non-euclidean world of M. C. Escher's Ascending and Descending, where the victim would run endlessly on the stairs without ever reaching the next floor:
But Renoir powers don't only work on a painting, but anything that is fiction. Comics, manga, and books works too:
All of this is in line with what we saw in the section about Kakera. Human fiction from a world have their own worlds on a lower layer from the main one.
Kyou and the boundaries between worlds
Kyou is a Yokai with the ability to travel on the border between Worlds and into said worlds. Is an ability specific to Higher-Order Beings, and him being a Yokai, a being of the Human Domain, makes him quite special.
Anyway, the first time we see Kyou in action is with the Worlds of the Mirrors, like how his pseudonym, Kyou of the Mirror, is. Different worlds reside behind each mirror, worlds where everything in nature/creation - Shinra Bansho (森羅万象), exists in an opposite state. Those worlds have the same structure as the main world, even their own versions of the beings from the main world (Yokai included), but reversed in some way (like personality, for example).
Besides that, something may be reversed. ...... After all, the mirror controls all kinds of things, everything.
Those mirror worlds also have their own mirrors, which also lead to different mirror worlds, and this recursion continues on forever. An infinite number of mirror worlds are obtained from a finite numbers of mirrors.
But that's not the only border between worlds that Kyou can access, he can access also the border between Reality and Dreams, the world of Daydreams. World, because even dreams and daydreams are their own world, with their own versions of the real world (Yokai included).
This is a bit of a more weird world from reality, where even ghosts can interact with living humans.
And as I've said, the world of Daydreams has its own versions of the Yokai, including Renoir, who can transport beings into fictional worlds, meaning that even the fictions of the Daydream are their own worlds on a lower layer.
This opens the possibilities for an endless recursion of lower worlds, as fictions and dreams of one world exist as their own on a lower level, and so on. The recursion from the mirror worlds would also greatly increase this chain too, as this principle of dreams, daydreams, and fictions should apply to those mirrored worlds too because they have the same structures as the main world.
The World of Gaap aka the Underside of the Gameboard
The Underside of the Gameboard is a void without the concepts of time and space, beyond all the time and space of the Human Domain. It is the boundary between the Domain of Humans and the Domain of Witches, and it's impossible for humans to access it.
- So, as we had seen, the Human Domain is its own hierarchy of layers
- Those layers are the fictions made by the beings of this Domain, anything from paintings, to books, video games, and even dreams or daydreams
- The fictions that make up those layers have their own complexity, with quantum structures such as Schrodinger's Catbox, or higher dimensions
- All of this is caped up by a void without the concepts of time and space, that exists above all time and space of the Human Domain.
The Witch Domain (魔女たちの領域), or the World of the Gods, is the 2nd domain in the cosmology and the first one of the higher pole, or the side that creates fate. This domain is purely abstract in nature and the concepts of the lower domain can be visualized as Kakera.
Before getting into the complexity of this higher domain, we should first understand the qualitative difference between it and the Human Domain, and what it takes to reach the Witch Domain.
The Witch Domain is completely superior to the Human Domain, in a similar way to how the 3rd Domain is superior to the Witch Domain. Accordingly, no extensions of the Human Domain would be able to reach here physically, only being represented as a concept in the form of Kakera, and all of its expansion is nothing but a game board (fiction) to the beings in the Witch Domain.
The Human Domain is nothing but a chessboard to beings in this domain, with there being no difference to them between the normal human worlds and the supernatural or higher dimensional world, as all of those are just cells on the gameboard.
The concept of time also gets increasingly vague as one closes to the Witch Domain, to the point that it stop existing there alltogether.
The words and languages of the Human Domain are limited compared to those in the higher domain, and they can’t express the concepts of the Witch Domain or understand them. So the fictions/stories created by Humans that make up the Human Domain would never be able to reach into this higher domain because of this limitation of expression.
But those limitations aren’t only to language, but to one’s own spirit/being too. The only known ways of reaching into the Witch Domain is by either being led there by a higher being, becoming their Piece or Miko, in this way the higher being guaranteeing your existence in the Witch Domain; or by an internal evolution of the spirit.
The former requires a lot of time, as was the case for Rika and Bernkastel. Only after hundreds of years of traveling the Sea of Fragments in Hanyuu’s protection was Rika starting to delimitate from her human self and internally evolve into a higher being, the Witch Bernkastel.
‘’.... it is being reborn into a higher world being.’’
But most of the time, those humans would mostly be part of their Higher Being’s Territory, similar to how the Ushiromiya family was in the case of Beatrice’s Territory, where once Beatrice would disappear, they would also disappear. So unless the transition towards a complete higher being is done, one would alway be part of a higher being’s control.
It’s also good to note that if the higher being doesn’t want to give its protection to the human it brings into the Witch Domain, said human would cease to exist, as he didn’t achieve the internal evolution to be able to survive the pressure of the higher domain.
In the case of one getting into the Witch Domain through an independent internal evolution, this road is even more rare. The only known case till now is the one of Beatrice, where she achieved the evolution into a higher being on her own. But Beatrice is a special case, as her Endless Magic grants her endless evolution.
But even in the case of this internal evolution, one must get recognition from a higher order being for their evolution to be completed.
One would only become a Witch once this internal evolution was completed and in the process advanced from the Human Domain over the Threshold, the boundary that limits the evolutions of Humans, into the Witch Domain, transcending all limitations of the previous domain in the proccess.
Now that we understand the difference between the Witch Domain and Human Domain, and how one can only reach the higher domain through an internal evolution of the spirit, is time to get into the complexity of this higher domain.
The Witch Domain is part of an infinite number of layers like a ladder, referred to as “endeavours” as metaphor for will or ambition. From a higher layer, the lower layer is considered fiction and appears in the form of Kakera. Those layers are indeed infinite, as they aren’t limited by any short of numbers.
This ladder is also one of loss of restrictions and gain of power. The higher one goes and evolves through the layers, the less restrictions they would have, and, proportionally, more power they would gain.
Sea of Fragments
One of the most important structures in the Witch Domain is the Sea of Fragments/Kakera, which is the background on which all the layers of the domain exist. It is called as such because this place is filled with Fragments/Kakera which represent either worlds of the Human Domain in the form of Catboxes, or worlds from a lower layer of the Witch Domain.
The Sea of Fragments is also a dangerous place, as one could easily lose his sense of purpose and end up falling into the Depths of Oblivion.
I’ve mentioned Catboxes in the Human Domain section, and now I need to say that they aren’t just part of the Human Domain. A Catbox, in the broad sense, it’s a structure of the Witch Domain that contains part of the Human Domain inside it.
A Catbox itself can contain layers of the Witch Domain above the Human Domain, and because we don’t have a clear “layer 1” for the Witch Domain, I’ll use Beatrice’s Catbox as the base for the ascension of layers.
The Local Sea of Fragments
The 1st layer in this evolution is the Sea of Fragments localised in a Catbox (in this case that being Beatrice’s Catbox). From this layer, all of the Human Domain worlds appear in the form of Kakera. This is just a small part of the true Sea of Fragment.
The same principle about loss of self that applied for the true Sea also applies to this piece of the Sea.
As said previously, because of the lack of a definite baseline for the Witch Domain, I’ll consider this layer as being the baseline.
The Meta-World, also named as Purgatory or the Meta-Room, is a higher layer above the Local Sea of Fragments, from where the worlds of the Human Domain appear as a gameboard. This is the primary reality that higher beings use when playing their games.
The Cathedral exists on a this layer, and acts like a courtroom for the Witches and Pieces.
There’s also a higher layer superimposed over the normal layer. This secondary layer could likely apply to all the other layers of the Catbox.
The highest plane of existence on Beatrice's gameboard is the Golden Land, a nigh impenetrable reality where Beatrice reigns. When almost the entire Cat box was consumed it alone existed in a Tale in which it was regarded to exist "on a higher floor".
The Game Master’s existence
While not technically a true layer, the Game Master exists above all layers of its Territory/Catbox.
The Cathedral of Bernkastel’s Catbox and the Witch’s Theater
This higher layer is part of Bernkastel’s Catbox which she created by merging multiple Kakera together. This Catbox is much larger than Beatrice’s, to the point that the Games that took place there appear as just Kakera in here.
The Witch’s Theater is a higher layer above the Cathedral, from where all the evens and places of Bernkastel’s Catbox, including the Cathedral, are just a play.
Heaven and Hell
Not much is known about those realities, but they are on a much higher level than the Catboxes of Beatrice and Bernkastel, from where the beings residing there can travel freely into the Sea of Fragments.
The City of Books
It’s an enormous library holding endless books, but each of those books is a world from a lower layer or from the Human Domain. The height of the layer it exists on is unknown, but it’s likely very high as the City is restricted to only Great Witches and Witches of the Senate.
There exists a higher layer here too, only referred to as Spectator’s Rows.
Erika states the place is the territory of Witches who exist on a far, far higher plane than the likes of her and Ange, and have returned from the Realm of the Gods much like Featherine herself has, and as mentioned before, it is where they store any tales which they end up taking a liking to, and the whole realm itself comprises Featherine's personal collection of carefully-selected books.
This study is a higher reality from which all of Umineko is merely just a story, including Bernkastel’s Catbox.
This study is where her witch self-insert resides, from which she sees the Witch Domain the same way witches see the Human Domain, although it is still below the Creator Domain, in which her true self resides.
The Depths of Oblivion
The Depths of Oblivion is the endless void at the bottom of the Sea of Fragments and encompasses all of existence. The Sea of Oblivion is the void where beings of the higher domains go when their existence gets erased, destroyed, or conceptually denied. It lies at the bottom of the Sea of Fragments, beyond the infinite layers that makes up existence. Concepts such as life and death have no meaning here.
This is the “Hell” where Voyager that “misses a step” on the ladder, or beings that lose their purpose and self to the Sea of Fragments, also go.
Powerful enough beings, like Bernkastel, can send others here or take them out from here. However, even weak Meta Beings can regenerate from here and reform as long as they can regain their will/sense of self, since they are the depths from which everything is born.
Beyond the expansions of the infinite ladder lies The Creator Domain, the last boundary that Featherine reached before becoming a Creator. At this point, the number of restrictions is non-existent.
This is the place where Featherine’s true form exists, and, to her, there’s no difference between her human avatar and her Witch avatar, similar to how to an actor there’s no difference between the roles he plays, as they are all just roles in the end.
Its inhabitants are Gods and Creators. Boundless beings, freed from all restrictions, described as bored creatures who lost their sense of self.
Creators are sacred beings who can create 1 in the sea of nothingness.
They produce 1 from 0, infinity, and return to 0 in the blink of an eye.
Free from all restrictions, the voyagers in particular call them Gods.
In that sense, the Witch of Origins Maria may be the chosen girl who was promised to become a Creator.
The voyagers fear that the end of their own journey is to become a Creator.
Why they fear evolving into a higher being is incomprehensible to anyone other than those involved.
|Discussion threads involving 07th Expansion Series Cosmology|