「信奈上洛」 (Nobuna Jouraku)
“Nobuna Advances on the Capital”
Up until now, Nobuna’s problems have been fairly controlled without much of any real threat. History has kept itself in course, letting Saru use his historical knoweldge as leverage. However, now that Nobuna has begun her ‘Tenka Fubu‘ stage, beginning with Gifu, those who are knowledgeable about the Sengoku era will see how warped history has become. Even Saru himself acknoweldges his weakened position thanks to disparities with the current world. Although I will expand on the differences more in-depth in the historical notes section (which will be the most extensive thus far when complete), there are some key issues that I shall address here.
First off: the Miyoshi Three never existed (as an alliance) and only serves to spice up the story. The historical opponents to the Oda’s path to Kyoto were the Rokkaku (who were quickly defeated) and the Miyoshi and Matsunaga clans, who had overthrown the Ashikaga Shogunate and placed a figurehead, two year old Ashikaga Yoshihide, as shogun. The Asakura were not in a position during the time to interfere with Kyoto politics, as shown by their refusal and inability to help out the true successor to the Shogunate, Ashikaga Yoshiaki. Yoshiaki requested the Oda to help him retake his rightful spot as Shogun (which contrasts to the Oda of this timeline who use Imagawa as their figurehead). Of course, Nobunaga used this as his excuse to march onto Kyoto. Thus, the suggestion of Mitsuhide to make Imagawa the Shogun is also a plot point made for the sake of drama.
Secondly, Empress Himiko doesn’t exist either, nor did the historical emperor have any influence to help the Oda at this point. It would not be until the Oda retook Kyoto would a benenficial relationship occur between the Oda and the Emperor. Saru recognizes this anomaly in the timestream, hence he does not know that the convenient loli character is actually emperor. However, the role that Himiko will play in this timeline, even during episode 8, is still to be seen. Although I feel that she will become a convenient solution to subduing the resistance in Kyoto, I have hopes that her story and involvement become more complex than expected.
The same hopes could be applied to the many, MANY other characters introduced in this episode. If you look at their historical context, most of these characters actually supported Nobunaga instead of antagonizing him (prime example being Hisahide). This twist of allies becoming enemies surely will knock Saru off-balance, but how off-balance is yet to be seen. Danjyou looks to be the most unpredictable of the bunch, which is supported both by her character and her historical basis (for those of you who have played Fall of the Samurai as the Tsu, you should recognize the mon easily). The probability that she could potentially switch sides is high, but the motives that’ll lead that betrayal–that’s what I want to see. An exception to this curiosity though would probably be the return of Yoshitatsu…whose ability to hide his identity (or the inability of anyone recognizing him) is…amazing? It’s a bit silly that Katsuie is unable to recognize Yoshitatsu, given that his facial structure is so…recognizable.
In conclusion, the episode was jam-packed with development, setting up much potential for interesting conflicts. However, it seems not all the setup is complete, as seen in the next episode…
Due to the immense research this episode calls for, historical notes will be added later. I will be sure to include the notes both here and in episode 9 when completed.
「黄金の自由都市・堺」 (Ougon no Jiyuu Toshi Sakai)
“Golden Free City, Sakai”
Initially, this episode comes off as a filler. The takoyaki stands and the actions of the various merchants this episode have little historical basis other than the existence of their characters. The acceptance of the shogun through payment of koku to the court also has little basis in history. However, although Mitsuhide’s jealousy is developing in a manner that may be consistent with history. Mitsuhide didn’t actually compete via takoyaki (or visit Sakai at this time), but the historical basis of Mitsuhide’s character, a development many Sengoku fans are interested in seeing how her character will pan out. Her jealousy with Saru has been growing at a steady rate since her introduction, but now this ultimate disappointment with Nobuna may tip the scales in her mind. I won’t spoil anything for those unacquainted with the era, but the next few episodes are going to be some of the most fascinating and exciting episodes thus far. I would say more, and I WANT to say more, but for the sake of avoiding spoilers, I leave the discussion for the comments (with spoiler tags of course). What do you think Mitsuhide’s role in the next few episodes will be? Is Honnou-ji coming early, or is this something entirely different? The answer is so exciting to me…I can’t wait till Sunday to post!
There is one side note I would like to address though. When Soukyuu Imai heard of Saru’s position as a time traveler, his eyes were raised in a potential foreshadowing. Do you guys think that this is a foreshadow of Imai taking Saru’s side and accepting the takoyaki agreement, or is there something else we have yet to see? It could be a possible overanalysis, but it was a scene that stood out to me upon rewatching.
This section will not have extensive Historical Notes due to the lack of any actual historical events that occurred here. However, Soukyuu Imai, Soukyuu Tsuda, and the Egoushuu’s equivalent did exist during this time. Both actually gained the favor of Nobuna rather than antagonize or negotiate with him. It was through their knowledge of the tea ceremony that brought them to the lord’s good side.