「墨俣一夜城」 (Sunomata Ichi-ya Shiro)
“Sunomata Castle in One Night”
In terms of historical accuracy, the only event that actually stuck true to the plot was the construction of Sunomata castle. Everything else completely deviated from the plot, so actually predicting what would happen was a mystery for me this episode.
The liberties the anime took in place of history wasn’t bad–in fact they brought out the traits. Although Nobunaga never had to be trapped in flames during the siege, its purpose served two-fold: one, to place pressure on Yoshiharu’s decisions and two, to uplift Nobuna’s ability as a tactician. The story is slowly moving in a direction that reminds us that Yoshiharu’s plans are not foolproof because history has dictated it–due to his changes in the timeline, history reacts in a different, unpredictable way. It’s true that Yoshiharu should be able to handle these dynamic scenarios, but this is a game he has not had practice to play. At first, hiccups in the timeline didn’t affect Yoshiharu’s battle plans significantly; generally the timeline kept true to its history and Yoshiharu was able to play it out by reflex. However, if we were to compare this game to AI in a game, the CPU definitely is getting more unpredictable. Thankfully, while the enemy grows unpredictable, Nobuna also continues to shine as well. It is getting a bit cliche how she’ll panic and tear up if Yoshiharu is in trouble, yet her general approach to the war is admirable. This mix of emotional sensitivity and superior war tactics is a recurring conflict that will not go away in this series. If the series can continue to provide these forks for Nobuna–deciding between love and conquest, while making sure she doesn’t get both–I will be a content viewer. If the series can also pull that off for Yoshiharu and somehow place a real lose-lose situation into the plot due to his selfishness, I will continue to eat the criticisms I’ve laid out in previous episodes. If the series can push what they did with the burning of Sunomata Castle into something more tense over a longer span of time, I won’t just be content, I’ll be a happy giddy viewer!
Speaking of those criticisms, the show continues to make me modify my criticisms: something both humbling and relieving for me to do. In initial episodes, I kept my concerns that all the protagonists had plot armor, especially the girls. When Yoshiharu actually started bleeding from Hattori’s shuriken, my new concern was that none of the cute girls would get harmed. Now that Goemon has been shot and knocked out, I want to start hoping that the show is actually listening to my words, and state that the next improvement is now to have one of the characters become incapacitated for a significant amount of time (aka lasting longer than one episode). Despite that hope, this is what I expect the show’s limit is in terms of creating situations of injury. If any one of the cast members were chosen to be knocked out for awhile, fans would be flailing, rage boiling…or so I would expect. Whilst having an occasional injury may create drama for the moment, actual serious injury would sour the comedy-drama balance that seems production has taken. But hey, I could be wrong, and who knows what’s next?
Next week, if you thought we didn’t have enough characters to manage in this show…no. More cute Daimyos and miko shrine maidens continue to challenge Nobuna’s rise to rule, with undoubtedly more skill than ever!
Meanwhile, while we wait, let’s take a moment to appreciate this scene. Props to Croos for making the gif!
Historical Notes: (Spoilers Possible)