Meet Azai Nagamasa. By the end of this episode, you will hate his guts. I sure did.
|The “Three Episode Rule” is usually the yardstick by which I judge which anime to retain, and which to drop. With Imagawa army massing on the borders of the Owari province, Saitou Dousan betrayed by his son with the greater part of the Mino army, and Oda Nobuna encountering a playboy suitor, I knew Oda Nobuna no Yabou was finally entering serious territory.|
Episode 3 : “The Mino Disturbance”
Exhibit B: Niwa Nagahide advocating women’s rights, circa 15th Century. I agree 100% with her.
I will be honest with my readers: I felt that this episode was hard to write about, primarily because it asks two difficult questions that anyone – whether from our modern-day period, or from the Sengoku Jidai period, would have a hard time answering. The first question is: should love and conquest be mutually exclusive when you’re a female daimyo of marriageable age? The second question is: what would you do if you’ve been depending all along on your “future diary” of past events, and the ever-changing present decides not to play along in a critical moment?
Love and Conquest. Two mutually exclusive concepts? Or two sides of the same coin?
Azai Nagamasa certainly thinks that for a female daimyo to succeed in her dreams of conquest, she must give up her happiness as a woman. His proposal of a political marriage to Nobuna reeks of that mindset. He even had a back-up plan involving Imagawa Yoshimoto should Nobuna refuse his offer. This guy is really a lady-killer, in more than one sense of the word. To the women who read this post, please think twice about dating these kinds of guys. You deserve better.
One of the most straightforward proposals I’ve seen in anime. I hate to admit it, but it sounds cool.
Forgive me for sounding like a typical otaku who has just read his first NTR doujinshi, but after five seconds after Azai’s proposal to Nobuna, I felt like shooting the blue haired pretty boy and his sycophants. Even someone as cynical and world-weary like me, believes that even if it’s the best choice from an objective point of view, a woman, whether she be a daimyo or not, should marry someone she has feelings for, rather than suffer from a loveless marriage.
Fortunately for all us who favor a Sagara x Nobuna ending, he and his fellow retainers decided that they would have none of Nagamasa’s realpolitik. Seeing them relax and laugh afterwards was a breath of fresh air into the heavy atmosphere that has permeated the episode from the start – until Akechi Mitsuhide arrived with Dousan’s daughter Kichou (the future Nouhime) and a farewell letter from Dousan to Nobuna.
Saito Dousan. Badass Grandpa and Zen Master. Should we rename the anime to “Oda Nobuna no Yume”?
On the matter of the second question, loli-ninja Goemon stated it perfectly: “didn’t that ‘game’ of yours tell you anything about this?” to which Sagara responds, “This wasn’t part of the game. We’ll have to make it on our own”.
Protip from an RTS gamer: when going down through a ravine, make sure your troops secure the high ground.
The way I see it, Sagara, relying primarily on information gleaned from the game “Nobunaga’s Ambition”, is already suffering from a version of the Law Of Diminishing Returns: the more he uses his knowledge of Sengoku Jidai history to change the future/keep his head/ensure Nobuna’s victories, the more he’ll end up in situations where said knowledge is useless, and has to improvise – which might become an important part of the plot later in the series. He was lucky Nobuna pulled a “Big Damn Heroes” moment to save his skin.
So does Oda Nobuna no Yabou hold up well when measured using the Three Episode Rule? The answer is a solid yes. In my opinion, the plot is progressing at a good pace, and the characters feel like real living-and-breathing people. Niwa Nagahide would probably say, “Excellent episode! Eighty-two points!” *wink*
Mamiko Noto Imagawa Yoshimoto: My fans will conquer Japan for me! Ohohohoho!
Next week on Oda Nobuna no Yabou, Imagawa Yoshimoto has invaded the province of Owari with 25,000 troops – leading to the famous Battle of Okehazama. Will Sagara survive his encounter with Hattori Hanzo? How will Oda Nobuna defeat a numerically superior opponent? Will there be more lolis? Find out in the next episode: “Winds of Change! Okehazama!”