Nobunagun: Episode 4

First Nobunaga, now Galileo…science dictates there will be a Jack the Ripper series in the coming year. Science!

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Did you ever read the riverworld series? It is a science fiction story about what might happen if everyone who ever lived, from the stone age until the modern day, went to an afterlife of the riverworld (it may have a proper name but it eludes me) all centered around this river. Billions upon billions of souls walking around in fresh bodies.

Like all good sci-fi, while there was a plot, one of the interesting things riverworld did was explore the consequences of its universe.  This took many forms, but one that stuck with me was that there were all kinds of fellows proclaiming themselves to be Jesus Christ.  In one of the stories we met a man, just a little Hebrew carpenter from Roman times trying to make his way in the new world and mind his own business. “Hey aren’t you-” “Nope, you must be mistaken.”

Nobunagun reminds me of that.  If every anime just tried to be itself instead of trying to be the second coming to “save anime”, the whole field would be much more entertaining on the whole.

Because even though I feel Nobunagun’s flaws are starting to show, it still feels “genuine”. A show that’s just having fun and doesn’t give a crap what theorycrafters have to say.

That said, chinks begin to appear in Nobunagun this week.  We’ll get into that.

Also, yes, I’ve fallen a bit behind. Been a busy weekend, I haven’t even caught all of LAST week’s episodes. But they’re coming! Don’t worry! Like dragons.

So, further worrying my confidence in DOGOO, turns out they have two ranged characters! For the entire planet. Yup. Meaning prior to this series, if you needed something to be hit at range, you needed William Tell. If they were busy, sucks to be you.

Which I can buy.  For now. There’s no demonstrable way they have to detect E-Genes except random chance, and probably some way to measure the probability but wholly impractical for the entire population.  Though Samurai Kyubey, being directly responsible for this crap, probably gives them clues where he’s placed them. At least at birth, but that’s no guarantee.  It’s still something that, it feels to me, like there are WAY more E-Genes out there than are actually drafted, maybe 10% or less.  The only way we know about Shio is random chance, and if it weren’t FOR that random chance? The entirety of the southeastern United States would be helpless right now.

We also kind of dropped the drama of the crew kicking the bucket, shouldn’t there be more weight on Shio than is shown?

Okay that’s kind of a lie, she tries to made a platitude about how their death isn’t in vain…only for Jack to shut her down by just not giving a shit.  In fact, he expects her to fail.

I like Jack.

Turns out Jack was useless after all, though, because the beast carries eggs.  All of the pressure is thrown onto Shio. She now has to kill it in one hit, or the beast will scatter the eggs over the land.  And becoming wounded, it may just drop them prematurely, which while better than worst-case scenario, will still cause a disaster.

Meet Galileo! Who is mostly a pair of telescope goggles.  But she’s a spotter for Shio, who is the sniper. I approve of them actually thinking of that. But beyond this basic function, I don’t actually think she was given much personality.  She’s there to fill a job, one you arguably could have done away with by the laws of fiction.

Well, Shio cracks under the pressure.  And when she cracks…who would show up? Nobunaga.

Okay, I’ll address this now: I feel for the writers here. I really do.  It is lose/lose for them.  They could construct an event eerily similar to the famous events in Nobunaga’s life, and be decried for being lazy and contrived.  Or, they could take the more sophisticated path and craft a scenario similar in spirit, not identical, but the moral of the story remains the same, and hope that that works out.

Twice now, Nobunagun has attempted the latter, and twice is has, to someone like me who enjoys history, fallen flat on its ass.

So, for historical context: Many Daimyo in the feudal era led what are to be known as “marches to Kyoto”.  As lord of Owari province, Nobunaga was essentially the last stop, the last major power before reaching the capital if you were approaching from the east. He tried to deflect many such marches, several attempts successful, others were not. This week references the very first, and the event that put Nobunaga and Owari on the map, so to speak. Outnumbered over 8-to-1, Nobunaga launched an attack at the Imagawa army which was passing through Owari.  It was a move no one expected and all of his advisers were against.  It was, in fact, so unexpected that Imagawa Yoshimoto thought the battle was, at first, a brawl between his own forces.  He got killed for his trouble. This battle essentially destroyed the Imagawa’s clan power base.

Beyond the amazing victory itself, this established that three way alliance between Nobunaga, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and, as tradition would have it, Toyotomi Hideyoshi.  The battle of Okehazama has many, many symbolic points to it.

All of which are basically lost here.  The most accurate use of it is that this is, for certain, one time Nobunaga may have felt he was walking forth into death. Just as Shio does, by leaping out of the plane, and trying to get closer to the Evo.  The ‘poem’ in her memories is actually said to be Nobunaga’s favorite quote from a play.  It is almost always referenced in any work about Nobunaga, even Sengoku Otome (but much more sublte than this).  But regardless, Nobunaga now seems to be wielding more influence on Shio for the moment.

Shio leaps into the hurricane, and destroys the Evo.  Only it’s not one Evo. It’s two. One a carrier, the other the bomber, of eggs. Tasty bomber.

Jack follows, and though a few eggs are dropped the pair manage to take them all out by working together.  But the whole “reaching back” phase seems to have tired Shio out, so she passes out.  Jack seems very confused about this…which is odd.

Is it only Shio who has a connection to her soul? Seems like this would be pretty routine early in someone’s training.

Ah yes.  Samurai Kyubey.

I am not a fan of reaching in shows.  Okay, so earlier this episode, Capa said something off the cuff about maybe they learned to attack from the air after the assault on Taiwan failed.  Well Samurai Kyubey just runs with that.  It is now an accepted truth of the show.

Which I loathe. It barely even makes sense.  There is no proof that the two incidents are yet related, besides being Evo attacks.

Again, supposedly we have been fighting the Evos for 100 years here.  And not once, ever, at all, did it occur to anyone, NOT EVEN SAMURAI KYUBEY, who I remind you predicted this invasion at least 500 years ago, no one thought that they might have a hive mind like structure? Never? At all?

And all it takes is one coincidence and a slip by Capa to make us re-evaluate the existing world view?

At best this is a bit of a reach. At worst, it just shows how unprepared Humanity’s only defense is for this threat.

Because if this is indeed true, then the Evo’s have probably had the ability to attack land quite easily for years.  The past few years of battles with DOGOO have probably been them testing Humanity’s defenses. Seeing how well they react. Checking the fences for weaknesses. Clever girl.

And no one noticed? Not, noticed and gave up on the thought, but no one planned on this? This is the organization of the reincarnations of Humanity’s greatest geniuses?

…We are all fucked.

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