「美濃動乱」 (Mino Douran)
“The Mino Disturbance”
“Women are not tools of conquest.”
-Niwa “Scorekeeper” Nagahide
You don’t hear that said often in anime, where the work acknowledges the equality of women. As I’ve said before, I don’t consider labeling myself as a feminist, but one need not be one to appreciate such a fresh statement in what’s often a sexist medium (how sexist is up to debate). Almost every character in this show has exhibited some sort of strength that’s not tacked on. It is integral to their characters, whether it’s Scorekeeper’s order, Katsuie’s restraint, Monkey’s willingness to die, or Nobuna’s
Ambition ultimate dream.
The events that triggered their personalities have thuroughly impressed me thus far. Instead of the genderbending being a purely fanservice modification, that aspect of the show is explored in the anime as a true ‘what if’ scenario. What if a female Daimyo came to power? What if we have to marry against our own will? What if the people we love are doomed to be distant from us? All of these questions get explored thuroughly, not just by one or two people, but various parts of the cast. Although Azai (Saiga Mitsuki) is a despicable character, he makes fair points concerning the reality of relationships in the political sphere. In a more realistic and strategic perspective, Yoshiharu could be at most a male concubine for Nobuna, whilst she saves her own hand for political gain. On the other hand, it’s ironic that Azai states that Nobuna must throw away any happiness she has as a woman, for the prime inner reason why Nobuna desires to save her father-in-law is her position as a caring daughter. Yoshiharu’s reasons for following Nobuna follow the same pattern: it’s not because he’s a guy who wants to protect a girl, but rather he’s a visionary from the future who believes in Nobuna’s “dream”.
Despite these powerful words and statements, some of its effectiveness is lost due to what seems to be a bad case of plot armor. At this rate, none of the Daimyos are going to die, nor any of the main characters, and most definitely none of the women. When Yoshiharu was on that raft and Goemon happened to deflect three arrows with her ninja skills…that’s when the armor became most apparent. Although the scenes themselves may be filled with tension, without the knowledge that SOMETHING could go fatally wrong…the tension isn’t at its fullest potential.
While we’re on the topic of tense scenes, I would like to briefly mention the pacing. Personally, I found this to be a non-issue until this episode, during the clash between the Mino rebellion and the Oda forces. Although 20 or more seconds would’ve sufficed, the clash lasted 10 seconds or so. Due to all of the investment in focusing on the buildup, the actual excitement of the event…felt rushed. Although it might be reasonable to attribute this to a low amount of episodes, it’s still an issue that has to be addressed. The conclusions these past few episodes have felt like quick and dirty conclusions to the conflict built 20 minutes before. Hopefully this isn’t a trend for every episode, but if it truly is a one-cour show, it’s a sort of necessary flaw that’ll have to be dealt with, lest the show decide to cover less material.
These flaws shouldn’t hamper too much from enjoying the plot. If you’ve been following this show thus far, expectations for this show have been met, if not exceeded. The fanservice is regulated, the tension is there, and history has been changed. Although veteran Sengoku watchers may find this a bit repetitive, I vouch again to the line said by Scorekeeper: there’s some surprises that make this show different from the rest.
Historical Notes: Spoilers Possible
PS: tourisugari, if I got the pronounciation wrong again, let me know! ^^’