「秘儀王」 (Higi Ou)
After all this buildup with Nobunaga going through his pouty phase, what does he have to show for it? Not much, really. If we had cut out all the intermediate sad scenes of Nobunaga and his dramatic cherry blossoms and waterfalls while skipping to the final fight with Takeda, everything still would make sense. So what gives? Where is the character development that was supposed to come out of all of this? Jeanne is still a really useless secondary character and Nobunaga is still the keen yet overly reactive individual that he started the series as. Maybe we’re supposed to see a new wave of confidence around him, but if so, it’s lost among the other traits that have practically stayed the same.
The only character worth mentioning in terms of development would have to be Mitsuhide, whose struggles are the most interesting to watch of all the characters. The man has some serious backstory issues thanks to his dad committing seppuku, which nicely ties into the emotional struggles he has to face. After all, one commits seppuku either for personal honor and/or for the ‘greater good’–its possible that Mitsuhide saw disgust in him causing the same pain to Nobunaga and Nobukatsu that he had to suffer through as his father made him witness. However, now that Mitsuhide must lie to everyone in order to preserve the fabric of the Oda clan, it can only go downhill from here–when one piece of Mitsuhide’s plan starts to unravel, the best solution for him is only to perform more questionable acts. Again, I stress again that one of the main selling points of the plot moving forward will be when Mitsuhide has to seriously draw the line between a satisfactory goal for the clan and the sacrifices that have to come with it.
In fact, I fear that Mitsuhide himself will probably make deals with figures from the West Star–god forbid that it includes Caesar and his sadist twin loli/shota assistants. I do concede that it was clever in using the fog to their advantage to take over the Takeda, but it all seemed too convenient and obviously shock-value related that it seems like a cheap move for the story. Add onto the fact that Caesar is still chasing after Nobunaga’s sister–the only family he has left mind you–and it just spells disaster for the future. I do hope that they flesh out both sides of the West Star just as they have with Mitsuhide. As it’s currently playing out, it’s too easy to perceive the Western invaders as power-hungry and expansionist individuals with no remorse in what they do, save for Leonardo and Jeanne. As we approach the halfway point though surely things will start rolling by now with all-out conflict between Caesar and Nobunaga. But honestly, there are only a few things to look forward to right now–seeing what Nobunaga’s true face is (with the revelation of his inheritance, most likely a regalia) and seeing how Mitsuhide interprets as justified means to a better end.