DISCLAIMER: This blog uses a previous blog made by TheMightyRegulator as a basis, and much input on that blog was given by DarkLK. Credit and thanks to both Mighty and DarkLK for their help/assistance.
Note: Work in Progress
The following is an overview of the When They Cry cosmology (Higurashi, Umineko, Higanbana, and TriAnthology).
When They Cry follows a higher dimensional theory depicted by "endeavors", steps on an infinite ladder that leads to the realm of the Creator that transcends all lower layers (and is in itself, layered).
Even though layered, the Realm of The Creator is infinitely beyond the infinite dimensional hierarchy of the World of Witches, which, from the perspective of the entities that exist there, is nothing more than a gameboard.
The power of witches is wholly dependent on the heights they can acquire, the strongest of them having far less restrictions than even Lambdadelta.
The continuous progression in this hierarchy is the internal evolution of the creatures and the alteration of their perception of perspective.
Evolution is a lifting of restrictions. In the final step of this process, it allows you to unite with the Creator. Status of evolution is maintained even in a state of nothingness. From this we can conclude that the spirit or the most fundamental part of this is basically a part of the Creator, but the endless levels of restrictions separated it from the true divine nature.
This process of evolution does not change the physical dimensions in which they embody, but a change of reality-fiction layers. However, though this is a permanent transcendence of the spirit, this does not imply that an entity's manifestation is necessarily at this level. For example, voyagers permanently drift towards boundlessness, however they do not produce the highest manifestations for the sake of greater stability less they lose their sense of self and become "algae" in the sea of oblivion that's beyond the infinite dimensional hierarchy.
Once reaching these heights though, there will be no need for this creature to climb again. It may at any time return to a higher form because its power lies in the fundamental inner essence, but not necessarily in the manifestation body.
A lower layer world is visualized in the form of a fragment (Kakera or Piece), but it can also be presented as a book, "cat box" or a chessboard.
The white cells on the board is the human world. It's a normal 4 dimensional Universe with 3 dimensional space and one dimension of linear time.
The black cells represent a supernatural world. This includes other worlds (Such as purgatory), multidimensional space and non-linear time. Note that despite this huge difference in complexity from our point of view, these realities do not differ more than colored cells on the board in terms of the higher layer.
Then there is the reverse side of the chessboard, a transcendental nothingness (probably even in terms of supernatural beings) that exists beyond yet encompasses all times and places on the board giving already cosmically aware beings further insight. the world Gaap uses.
It is likely there are mirror world alternative version of all things listed.
Even so much as one fragment may contain endless possibilities of its story at the same time.
It is likely that the endless fragments can also be compressed in a limited piece of "matter" at the higher layer shown when Eva-Beatrice placed countless fragments in a single glass bottle.
Furthermore, by placing game boards within larger cat boxes, the recursion of kakera inside kakera is possible.
Higher layer creatures can perceive ourselves and the surrounding world as well as ordinary people, but it is only with their point of view. Even higher world language can not be transferred to the words of the lower creatures.
Of course such a difference in the scale and complexity should be between each layer.
There are no set borders. Layers are primarily standpoints achieved at the expense of internal evolution. Further, all layers are located within a single ocean of nothingness, which is not part of some layer, but the external background for them. This Sea of Fragments are that which Voyager Witches freely travel in their thousand year journey at the end of which they become one with The Creator.
Higher layers (from which the lower reality is seen as fiction) and physical higher dimensions are not the same things. The difference between the layers will always be equivalent to at least a few dimensions coinciding with our tiering system that's heavily based on M-theory. Each layer not only consists of dimensions, but contains non-dualism, an infinite nothingness, all linear time, non-linear time, endless space as well as infinite possibilities and impossibilities.
Therefore, When They Cry follows a composite hierarchy, each layer beyond Hayuu's World being a certain dimensional is only through guesstimation. It is not stated anywhere within the visual novels, or manga for Umineko, Higurashi, Higanbana, or otherwise, it is merely to accurately gauge each layer for our tiering system. Debating or arguing about these dimensions being non-canon or inaccurate due to the specific numbers not being stated in the official canon is unwarranted.
The game/world of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni contains countless worlds of possibilities (Cat boxes). The Game Master of this world is supposedly Hanyuu. In relation to it's spiritual successor Umineko, like Lambdadelta, Bernkastel was a piece to a great witch on a gameboard, a game which fell into a logic error Bernkastel was forced to solve herself. Considering Bernkastel is portrayed as Rika, as well as Hanyu's visage, it is apparent that this gameboard is the setting of Higurashi, to which Hanyuu is the Game Master.
Hanyuu's world, a.k.a the "World of the Gods" is around 8-9-dimensional. How? Considering the basis of the human world is 3-D (4-D timepsace), and each added layers adds 5 (6 spatio-temporal) dimensions, and the world of gods is above the conventional worlds where the events of Higurashi take place. We know this because Rika's higher incarnation visualizes these lower worlds as kakera/fragments.
The game world of Umineko no Naku Koro ni is the territory of the Endless Witch Beatrice and Lord Battler. It contains countless worlds of possibilities i.e. cat boxes. Beatrice's World is a higher dimensional construct consisting of a plethora of pocket worlds, dimensions and parallel universes each with their own endless possibilities, as well as a higher layer from which worlds of infinite complexity appear no more impressive than a simple gameboard or a 3 dimensional object in the visage of a fragment.
The Human World (4D)- Regular 4 dimensional construct consisting of 3-Dimensional space and a linear dimension of time. Supernatural world (7D)- Where various supernatural entities reside. The lowest plane is the world of spirits, transitional reality that transcends the human world. Existing beyond even this, however, is the spirit world resulting in at least five dimensional space, likely on the same plane as heaven and various underworlds. Of course, these supernatural worlds have their own time and non-linear time.
The reverse side of the board (8 D, Possibly 9 D)- A transcendental void beyond lower world concepts of space and time. It exists beyond time and place of the board making it an 8 dimensional plane, or possibly 9 dimensional considering it should logically transcend Hanyuu's eight dimensional world which exists beyond the 5 dimensional wall removed from the human world. This is the captured tile discarded pieces that left the game go.
Endless undefined possibilities (9 D, Possibly 10 D)- Beatrice's Catbox is noted to consist of endless possibilities that are explicitly stated to exist on a higher plane than the lower worlds.
Sea of Fragments/The Ocean (10 D, Possibly 11D)- This is transcended by the Sea of Fragments, a Universe of the first higher layer in which higher dimensional fragments of the Human Worlds reside. It is a lower dimensional aspect to the true sea of fragments through witch Voyager Witches tread where no set dimensional boundaries exist, but is the background of the infinite hierarchy of the World of Witches.
Fragments are perceived as three-dimensional objects here, where there is a difference of about at least 7 dimensions with the three-dimensional world of the lower layer. This is the difference between the layers.
Meta World (11 D, Possibly 12 D)- Above this is the Meta World, a higher parallel reality in which different segments exist.
Cathedral (12 D, Possibly 13D)- The Cathedral exists on an even higher plane of existence and sometimes acts akin to a courtroom.
Golden Land (13 D, Possibly 14 D)- The highest plane of existence on Beatrice's gameboard is the Golden Land, a nigh impenetrable Universe 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".
It, in fact, is in itself a catbox which is a construct where endless tales are generated.
Witch's Theater/Heaven/Bernkastel's Game board (33 D, Likely 34 D)
Bernkastel's gameboard is massive higher dimensional structure that dwarfs even Beatrice's own in sheer size. This was a strategic action considering she needed to modify it (that is, Beatrice's gameboard) to a fitting size in the hopes of allowing Lion's almost miraculous existence to be possible.
For instance, Willard, a piece on the gameboard, is capable of lifting all of Beatrice's infinite games in his hand whilst manifesting in the Cathedral, which is just one layer among many, with a higher version of the Sea of Fragments and the Witch's Theater itself, still transcending this first layer.
Heaven likely exists on the same plane of existence as Willard, an entity said to exist on higher plane than the main cast, is able to travel to and from this world freely via the sea of fragments. Lambdadelta and Bernkastel were located on the highest level (whilst simultaneously transcending it, at least in Bernkastel's case). Heaven is the headquarters of the Inquisition. Located apparently at a higher plane than the territory of Beatrice, since it is connected with the City of Books.
Aurora's Study (43 D, Likely 44 D)
Where Aurora resides whilst observing the Umineko story. Universes here are contained as books (including the games of Beatrice spanning from Episode 1 to 5).
It's revealed that the Witch's theatre is just a game board to the entities that exist there, once again identifying it as an even higher layer.
City of Books (63 D, Likely 64 D)
The largest structure shown, the books showcased here are Worlds that dwarfs all lesser realms shown thus far the entire Umineko Franchise sans the City itself where even entities that exist here, who dwarf entire higher dimensional worlds, are likened to butterflies in the midst of ocean trenches.
There exists yet another layer here, which transcends the gameboard (only referenced to by the designation spectator rows). There's also the great game boards belonging to Featherine. It is assumed that they are immeasurably superior to the territory of Beatrice.
Note: It is difficult to say for certain whether Higanbana is part of When They Cry, but the general concepts (i.e. supernatural beings, such as in Umineko, is the epitome of the personifications of some fictional characters, concepts and affect reality of only the lower worlds). Personally, I say most likely yes, because considering Virgila wrote fan fiction about characters of Umineko and Higanbana, they must have existed in Umineko. Also, I have discussed this over with DarkLK and we have agreed that Higanbana being part of the larger series' Sea of Fragments is quite the possibility, and can be treated as canonically part of the series.
Tri Anthology - Sanmenkyou no Kuni no Alice Yori
Note: I am currently re-reading Tri Anthology (the visual novel and currently reading the manga) in order to decide the placement of the characters within the overall hierarchy. I am also in the making of Tri Anthology profiles.
Tri Anthology features the presence of higher order creatures, similar to those i Higurashi and Umineko, but I am not certain on their position in the hierarchy so far.
Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni
New manga by Ryukishi07. A new story with connections to Higurashi and Umnineko. As I am currently reading over this story, information will be updated over time.
From the prologue of Hotarubi entitled (When They Cry - The First and Last Gift)
“Oh, this takes me back… And it felt like just yesterday that I’d been playing around with Bern, too. I wonder when this much time passed. Oh well, whatever. I’m super thick paper. Rather than dwelling on memories of the past, I certainly, certainly have more fun tearing the wrapping off the chocolate called the future.”
Lambdadelta welcomed a rare guest.
It was one of the black cats that served under Bernkastel. It had come a long way, carrying a beautiful envelope in its mouth.
“Uh huh, you’ve got it. That letter of yours is addressed to me; I’m none other than the Witch of Certainty, Lambda-chan-sama. Thanks for coming all this way, little kitty. Which would you like as your reward: chocolate senbei or chocolate arare? Oh, you don’t want anything? Hmm, that so.”
Cats can’t eat chocolate. The black hat hung its head apologetically.
“Still, I never thought I’d see the day when that girl sent me a letter. I wonder what’s gotten into her. Maybe she was on the very verge of death by boredom, and writing a letter was the only idea she could come up with? …No, that would never happen with her. I get it now. She wants to bully me in a new game of hers, doesn’t she?”
With a nasty smile on her face, Lambdadelta tapped the black cat on the nose. Of course, there was no way that the cat who delivered the letter could know what its contents were.
When Lambdadelta opened the envelope, a sparkling Fragment came rolling out in addition to the letter itself.
“My, my. Now here’s something interesting.”
Indeed, this was a Fragment—the crystallization of a single world, extracted from among the myriad of multicolored universes in existence. Heheh, I wonder what kind of world this Fragment contains. It has a pretty unique radiance to it.
“Not a bad idea, coming from her. Now then, let me take a look at this letter…”
To my only friend, Lambdadelta,
Knowing you, I can’t imagine you’ve been laid low by the illness of boredom. Still, you are quite thick sometimes. I’m sure you’d start sulking if I didn’t play with you every once in awhile.
“Look who’s talking. …I see now. You got lonely because I stopped paying attention to you for awhile, didn’t you? Heheheh, Bern is so cute.”
That’s why, in a rare bout of compassion, I’ve deigned to concern myself with you.
Say, Lambda. How would you like to play with a Fragment I’ve sent, as a gift from me to you? Of course, you’re free to consider it a simple way of killing time. You may consider it a written challenge, or you may consider it a care package. You can even think of it as a crystallization of my love for you, if you like. Do as you see fit.
“Aa~h!! I can’t believe you missed me this much! Heheheh, I love you, too, Bern♪ Alrighty, what’s next? How am I supposed to play around with this Fragment?”
The way to play with this Fragment is quite simple. The victory condition is quite simple, as well. If you can make it out alive, you win. See? Even someone as thick as you shouldn’t have any difficulty playing along.
“Hmm… In other words, whether you have to drink mud, or whether you have every limb ripped from your body and end up crawling the ground like a worm, you just have to make it out alive in the end? Those kinds of games are my specialty, you know. It’s not like you don’t already know that. …If she’s throwing down the gauntlet in spite of that, I guess this really is a written challenge, after all. Oh, she is just the cutest thing.”
I do hope you enjoy the Fragment.
Well then, I’ll see you again someday. When they cry.
The letter ended there.
After reading that, there was nothing left but to take her up on the challenge. It had been awhile since Lambdadelta had played around with a game board of substance. Since Bernkastel had gone out of her way to pass it along, it was sure to be an entertaining one.
Lambdadelta touched the Fragment.
The moment she did, an array of constellations was suspended in the air, pivoting around the Fragment and forming a miniature galaxy.
“…Oh, now this is nostalgic. So the stage is set in the Japanese countryside. Reminds me of Hinamizawa. …Though, it looks like this place is more desolate than Hinamizawa ever was. …Right then, time to pick my piece. Which one should I choose?”
Lambdadelta held out a hand, and white, black, blue, and red pieces in various shapes and sizes, reminiscent of chess, appeared in the air.
“Which one would be best? …Hmm…”
To participate in a game within a Fragment, you first must send in a piece. In other words, this was much like the character select screen of a video game.
After folding her arms and giving it some deep thought, she eventually settled on a black piece.
She wasn’t sure of the situation, but if the point of the game was to survive, she figured her best option would be a sturdy, clever all-rounder with a strong desire to live.
“…In which case, it’s gotta be this piece. Let’s go, my other self.”
She plucked the piece out of midair, then tossed it into the galaxy.
As soon as she did, an infinite number of dazzling lights scattered about, and within a moment, the world was completely buried in a sea of stars.
Within those bright lights, Lambdadelta’s consciousness was sucked away…
This is definitive proof that Hotarubi is part of the When They Cry cosmology and directly connected to Umineko and Higurashi.
The Sea of Oblivion/Depths of Oblivion/Abyss of Nothingness (Beyond infinite dimensional hierarchy)
When erased, destroyed or conceptually denied, the essence of the discarded pieces of the higher layers are scattered to this area beyond the infinite dimensional hierarchy the sea encompasses where there is no concept of life, death or dimensions, vanishing from the game board entirely and disappearing. Similarly, this is the "hell" Voyagers who "missed a step" and lost their sense of self, fall into.
Powerful enough entities can effect the lost souls who stumble here (such as Bernkastel). However, even the weakest entities such as Rika or other human higher beings, if erased there, can still exist and reform in or from this nothingness state as long as they can imagine a body, maintain (or regain) their will and emotions.
Since it's unknown if this state is applicable in combat, however, even the weakest of entities are at the least noted to be Outerverse level in durability via regeneration and hax, whilst more powerful beings are noted to being capable of effecting these structures.
Though she no longer exists in the realm of the Creator she still exists in an even higher world than the endless hierarchy of the world of witches to which she perceives as a simple gameboard. Featherine's guard may also manifest here.
Realm of The Creator
Not only does this realm consist of several layers, but even the lowest of these realms are qualitatively transcendent to that of the infinite dimensional world of witches. The Creator transcends all of this and will reabsorb any entity that surpasses the highest boundary.