Does This Crimson Armor Make My Butt Look Big?
Remember when I was all like, “see you on June 6th”? Well, I technically still did see you all on June 6th (US EST Time)! Unfortunately though, this post has been a long time in waiting, what with conventions and gaming coverage and podcasts being done, I am just now getting set to present to you Sengoku Otome 9-12, with the final episode just around the corner. Let’s find out how the hunt for the Crimson Armor is going.
HA! And you thought Nobu’s Cruel Blade was deadly…
To start, Episode Nine introduces us to the 3 girls in Saigoku that hold the remaining pieces of armor. Motonari wears an evil claw, Sourin cosplays as Rosetta from Chrono Cross, and Motochika carries an axe. The girls have a Ginyu-like introduction, which Nobunaga finds as a brilliant chance to kill 3 birds with one Cruel Blade. I expect better sportsmanship from Nobu, but hey, who needs to waste time fighting, right? After capturing them and finding a box in a nearby hut which is believed to hold a piece of armor, it turns out to be a trap that puts Nobu into a rage and ends up actually freeing the girls who capture Hideyoshi. Good going…
The Saigoku Force introduces themselves…
…and then quickly get captured.
As they search for where the girls have taken Hide, Nobu and Mitsuhide get split up. Mitsuhide has to fight Motochika and Sourin, and things started rough for her. But after doing the badass “rip off sleeve and use as headband” thing, she swiftly traps the two of them in a net and walks on. While that was happening, Nobu was being affected by an anesthetic that Motonari let flow with the wind. Let’s laugh at Motonari as she thinks Nobu can be taken down so easily; one Cruel Blade and she’s knocked out. Mitsuhide saves Hideyoshi and collects the final pieces of armor, but feelings of jealousy still affects Mitsu’s feelings toward her master and Hide.
I used to know a moeblob that did this a lot… things didn’t end so well for her </currentanimereference>
Episode Ten brings Mitsuhide’s jealousy over the top. Date, who’s been watching from far back as we’ve seen a number of times, takes the opportunity to convince Mitsu to drug Nobu with a drink. After some long thought, Mitsu pours Nobunaga a cup and she passes out. Mitsuhide thinks of going in for a kiss (cheater), but instead decides to burn the house down. Damnit, no yuri…
Remember that drunk sex I mentioned in the Sekaiichi blog? Mitsu says “Here We Go!”
As that’s going on, Hideyoshi was tied up to a tree, but she drops a few pounds around her stomach so she can get loose. After opening Mitsu’s eyes of her wrongdoing, both girls jump in to try and rescue their lord. Nobunaga is already awake and ends up saving Mitsuhide not only from the fire, but from committing suicide after feeling shame for betraying her lord. Mitsu gets some yuri CPR action and is satisfied with the work Nobu does. Yay yuri!
A dozen kisses. Happy now?
While Hideyoshi is still inside the house, she runs across Date who is carrying the pieces of armor they got from Saigoku. Date saves Hide-san from the collapsing roof, which makes Hide realize that Date and her teacher from the present timeline are the same person. The episode concludes with Mitsuhide bragging about those 12 kisses while Date is riding back to town with the last armor pieces. Wait a second, though, Ieyasu (Tokunyan) comes in and looks to steal the armor from Date.
Date thinks she’s got the Armor. Tokunyan goes, “Not so fast!”
Episode Eleven starts off with Tokunyan using her magic to knock out Date and steal the last armor pieces. As Nobunaga and the others race back, Hideyoshi falls off her horse in a pretty frightening way, but falls down a hill and a passed-out Date is there on the ground to stop her fall. Here, we learn why Date is doing what she did; she saw someone from the future come out of the dojo that hinted at the history of the Date family and the importance of going back in time to get the Crimson Armor. They were supposed to go back to the Warring States period, but instead they came to this timeline. Date felt that the world was perverse and that Ieyasu or Nobunaga getting the Crimson Armor would change nothing.
She drank a little too much of that Sake she gave Mitsu earlier.
After having Hanzou (or as we find out, Hanzous in plural) go thru the many traps set in the castle, Ieyasu is able to fuse all the Crimson Armor pieces together and, as Date describes, bring out the evil side of the armor due to Ieyasu’s feelings of hate. There’s no backstory to why Ieyasu ever wants it, so we’ll just say she’s power-hungry and get on with it. This episode marked the return of Shiro, who mainly followed Ieyasu around thinking that she couldn’t actually get the armor to work for her. But hey, doggy did get to see naked transformation scene.
Fantasizing about what this could do for Hideyoshi now…
Episode Twelve is all about trying to strip Tokunyan of the Crimson Armor. Sounds like an awesome plan! However, with the power of the Crimson Armor taking over Ieyasu more and a magical shining circle floating above the castle attacking, it ain’t gonna be easy for even Nobunaga. Mitsuhide tries to attack all by herself, and in failing to do so almost falls to her death before Shingen (along with Kenshin) saves her. The scene between Mitsu and Nobunaga afterwards, I must admit, warmed my heart. No lie. I’m a softy for even that small stuff. Nobu bows her head, begging everyone for help, and a little later, the 3 Saigoku girls from back in Episode 9 return to assist. Time to take down Ieyasu, even if it means taking her life!
Gimme that armor, Ieyasu! I want to try it on!
Mitsuhide devises a plan that can setup Nobunaga with a chance to fight her head on. It starts with Mitsuhide and Shingen tag-teaming on her, which leads into Sourin firing her cannon from underneath Ieyasu; Yoshimoto jumps in next firing Gale Void Wave; Motochika uses Mountain Slasher, forcing her down a level; Kenshin surprises and unleashes Lightning Spear Flurry; after Ieyasu gets pushed back, Motonari uses Dance of the Black Funeral on her. This all leads to Nobunaga using Cruel Blade, which ultimately breaks Ieyasu’s staff and her power, removing the armor from her body. As if Mitsu didn’t have enough anger towards Hideyoshi, Tokunyan turns tsundere in apologizing to everyone and puts herself in Nobu’s bosom, wanting to be with her.
Bonus Tickle Tickle
What of the Crimson Armor?:
Episodes 9 and 10 with the introduction of the new trio of girls and Mitsu jealously were really fun to watch. With such a small cast for the first episode, some new personalities not only brought some nice ladies to look at, but some actually pretty good action that not just rivals, but trumps what we saw in episode 4. And we had sensed Mitsu’s jealousy build up, and it was only a matter of time before she did something drastic as she did trying to burn the house that they were staying at, after having gotten the last armor pieces. Nobu’s reaction to all of this helps reaffirm the relationship she has with Mitsu, “kissing” her 12 times.
Episode 11 helped reveal some of the story of Date that was mentioned at the end of episode 7. Her family actually exists in the future and they had previously failed to go back to the Warring States period to collect the Crimson Armor. Date’s reason for wanting the armor matches up with why she saved Hide-san back in episode 9, and she basically maintained her “player in the background” character type as she didn’t help in the fight against Tokunyan. It’s an interesting arc, but with 13 episodes, there’s really no opportunity (or need) to explore it more and make Date more relevant to the main story.
In the past, I laughed off Tokunyan as a legitimate threat, but with the Crimson Armor activated, she was a force to be reckoned with. With her staff amplified tenfold and the floating platform that she had shooting laser shots at the castle, It didn’t seem like Nobu could’ve stood a chance herself, so thankfully she had 7 other girls to help her fight. I really liked how all the girls got to showcase their main abilities and actually liked the choreography of that whole segment. Episode 9 also had good action, even utilizing the “slow-motion” trick with kunai coming from the back of the screen towards Mitsu.
I feel like the production values in this stretch of episodes is far better than any other point in the series, almost to the point where I would call the animation legitimately good and not just “second-rate” amongst its peers of the Spring 2011 season. Not saying that it rivals Hanasaku Iroha or anything, but the quality of animation is fairly good. The action sequences were fun, use of shading and lighting was pretty good in the last battle sequence, and there’s really no big inconsistencies to report on. And just to touch on the music, there were a couple of moments where the music suddenly cuts off or fades out of tune that were blurt-laugh funny. I really wish the anime used that trick more early on in the comedic episodes.
Episode 13 Preview (Sunshine Maiden)
So I guess the main conflict is over. Does this mean we can have beach episode? Plz!