We all knew he had to die at some point. It’s just history, man.
Episode summary: Nobunaga continues to be MIA as the day of his father’s funeral draws near. During the funeral itself, the conspirators within the War Council continue to insist that Nobukatsu becomes the next clan leader, to which the younger brother reluctantly accepts. Nobunaga finally shows up, but says nothing as he throws some ash and sakura petals around before disappearing off to god knows where again. Infuriated by his actions, Jeanne decides to leave once and for all, but when she hears a beast crying in the distance, she rushes to see what’s going on. There, she encounters Nobunaga training his body beneath a waterfall, but she also spots a sniper attempting to assassinate the protagonist. The sniper pulls the trigger, but Himiko appears out of nowhere to block the shot instead. Meanwhile, Mitsuhide has taken it upon himself to assassinate Nobukatsu. He thinks that if the younger brother assumes leadership of the Oda Clan, the War Council will never allow Nobukatsu to relinquish it. And seeing as how Nobukatsu is hopelessly inept at leading even a field trip to the zoo, I guess we have no choice but to kill the guy.
• That person on the left is supposed to be Nobukatsu:
I honestly hadn’t realized how physically small the guy actually was. He looks like a small child next to Ichihime.
• It’s telling that Nobukatsu sits with all the women:
If you’ll notice, all the men have weapons next to them, so you could say that the right side of the room is reserved for the War Council. Why Nobukatsu hasn’t been trained as a warrior, however, is beyond me.
• Even Ichihime’s like, “Man, I’m sick of your needy shit. Just grow up and make your own decisions in life already.” Still, Nobukatsu chickens out: “I will do it as my brother’s proxy.” Get a backbone, son.
• But you guys have to understand that this contrast between Nobukatsu’s effete demeanor and Nobunaga’s larger than life machismo isn’t just happenstance. The contrast is being put on display for a reason. Do you find Nobunaga appealing as a character? Do you like his brash, overly-compensating style of leadership? Now compare it to Nobukatsu and ask yourself which of the two you’d prefer. Personally, I think they’re both fucking idiots, but people like to take sides. People like divide themselves into teams (“I’m on Team Jacob!”). Call it cynical if you want, but I think it’s all too easy for storytellers to manipulate the audience. It’s all too easy to get people to swallow Nobunaga’s tripe when Nobukatsu is rendered as such a pathetic, little worm. The narrative is practically beating us into submission with the fact that Nobukatsu is weak and ill-prepared to lead. We almost want to beg Nobunaga to return under the pretense that he can somehow restore balance to the proceedings with his relentless masculinity. When you have the pushy advisors bully the little brother, the audience can’t help but think, “Enough already! Nobunaga would never stand for that shit!” That’s true, but… that doesn’t mean Nobunaga’s right either. Nobukatsu being completely worthless doesn’t make Nobunaga worthy by default. It’s an important distinction to keep in mind.
• Lo and behold, the macho Nobunaga is exactly what we get. In fact, he can’t just crash the
party funeral. He has to enter with half of his broad, chiseled chest sticking out:
And of course, he has to throw one of the many faceless guards around. Why? Because fuck… Nobunaga is manly!
• Even Nobunaga’s thundering footsteps are beast; the entire room is shaking from them and them alone.
• And the anime’s like, “Which would you prefer? An imperfect man who can make mistakes from time to time… or a child?”
Well, if you put it that way, Mr. Strawman…
• Even the lack of words here from our protagonist is important to note. The title of the episode is “Strength,” by the way. I think you can draw your own conclusions.
• And with just a single glance, Nobunaga freezes his opponents in their tracks:
His burning will alone conjures up a vortex of sakura petals. He is the tru3 warrior of Nippon.
• Make no mistake about it: the age-old trope that we saw in Buddy Complex is here in this anime as well. Y’know, the one about ineffectual governing bodies preventing men of action from doing what they need to do? Yes, these conspirators in the War Council are not exactly your standard bread-and-butter governing body, but the War Council is nevertheless analogous to one. And the implicit conclusion here is that had everyone listened to Nobunaga in the first place, i.e. had they taken the war to Takeda instead of waiting for Takeda to come to them, perhaps Nobuhide would still be alive today. But like Nobukatsu’s bizarrely effeminate portrayal, this is nothing but a strawman.
This isn’t some War of the Roses-esque struggle between several intelligent but devious leaders vying for power. It’s just a bunch of bumbling idiots fucking up so much that Nobunaga gets to win the people’s heart by default. Take the main crux of their argument. These men endlessly parrot the idea that Nobukatsu is fit to lead when it’s so patently obvious that the younger brother wouldn’t even be able to decide between having Lucky Charms or Fruit Loops for cereal in the morning. These “fools” are nothing but a strawman designed to make us side with Nobunaga. These men are so comically incompetent that, again, you can’t help but think Nobunaga is in the right.
• And so we are told that “[w]ar is coming.” As a result, the Oda clan cannot afford to dawdle. It then becomes an issue of just picking the least offensive option, and of course, with all the strawman arguments that we’ve been getting, there’s really only one choice that the anime wants us to make.
• And if you can’t handle Nobunaga, it’s really your fault: “Unless you are strong enough to see his goals and to support him, you cannot hope to stay beside such a man in these war-torn times.” Again, it’s war-torn times, i.e there’s no time to think. There isn’t even time to talk as Nobunaga has clearly and succinctly demonstrated. Don’t even bother to understand any of his actions. Since it’s war-torn times, you just gotta stick with the warrior even if he’s an asshole.
• Nobukatsu is obviously naive if he thinks he can unite his people and avoid going to war with the rival clans at the same time. Keep in mind, however, that his naivete is purposeful. He can have good intentions, but ultimately, he can never be right.
• So Jeanne sees Nobunaga screaming over and over beneath a waterfall and this is supposed to convince her of what exactly? But it’s okay, because creepy childqueen got shot in the process. On the bright side, she finally got penetrated like she’s always wanted.
Literally, her character’s only function within the anime is to bestow upon Nobunaga a Regalia, fawn all over his dick, then die in his arms as she continues to profess her unconditional support for him. I had no idea being a childhood friend with a Japanese guy was so contractually binding. In any case, good fucking riddance, creepy childqueen.
• I guess you could say…
…Nobukatsu simply ran out of time!