Category Archives: Winter 2014

Nobunaga the Fool 21 – 24 (END)

“It was inevitable” ~ Nobunaga, when it wasn’t inevitable.

So what do we have here? The usual suspects – i.e. everybody dies and other last minute drama. Unlike Brynhildr’s finale, I actually greatly enjoyed Nobunaga’s final, extremely dramatic moments. What a ride this show ended up being.

Picture, if you will, the final scene – the story boiled down to just Mitsuhide, Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, and Jeanne. Mitsuhide turning on Nobunaga at last, admitting to having killed nobukatsu, battling with nothing left to lose against Nobunaga as Da Vinci paints his vision of the future in the “Last Supper” in a burning building from which he knows he will not survive. Melodramatic? Perhaps. Entertaining, powerful, moving? I believe so. Nobunaga throws much into the mix and despite making a serious hodge-podge of it sometimes, I must concede I was greatly impressed by the show and even more impressed by the scenes leading up to the finale (and the impressive showing in the second half).

Nobunaga was Judas. Mitsuhide was the true savior king. Calling Nobunaga the Destroyer King wasn’t just a red herring of doubt either, which truly surprised me. Arthur ended up being irrelevant (and his intentions unclear and slightly uninspired, which is a point of contention I have with the show).

What did I like? Everything outlined above was bloody fantastic. Kenshin riding in at the last second to challenge Alexander (What did I tell you?) made me get up and visually proclaim how excited I was – I couldn’t contain myself. God fucking DAMN was that awesome. Who’d ever thought that Kenshin would have lived so long in this show?

Ichihime dying was certainly Mitsuhide’s catalyst – with her gone, he had nothing holding him back. I knew we were in for some blood. Excellently executed. Speaking of executions, let’s talk about the more literal kind – good fucking riddance to those stupid know-it-all twins – dying Caesar handled you with one hand. Get wrecked idiots.

The final fight (including using Ichihime’s comb as a weapon) was nothing less than a precision F strike in regards to feels – talk about evoking some powerful imagery. There’s so much to talk about regarding what went well.

What was bad about it? Not much, really – I feel Arthur was thrown by the wayside and really wasn’t important, which was kinda annoying. Nobunaga and Jeanne’s feelings for each other felt out of nowhere, as we’ve really only seen Jeanne have feelings for Nobu but not the other way around. Nobu was hard to read but sometimes I’m not sure if it was in a good way. I was expecting the two twins I hated to be part of a bigger picture but they were just red ponytail guy’s henchmen.

The show went from being a 7 to an 8 or a 9 in my book. Fantastic second half, albeit melodramatic but thoroughly entertaining. Now I’m just waiting for Sentai to release this over here.

Nobunaga the Fool – 17 – 20

So let’s dive right into it – Mitsuhide and Caesar, left behind enemy lines, are captured by the star of the west and detained. Was there anything to Caesar’s chiding other than believing that he was more worthy of Ichihime because A) He had the initiative B) Mitsuhide is a slave to Nobu’s demands? I feel Caesar was challenging Mitsuhide to no longer stand in another man’s shadow. The bit about Mitsuhide not being able to wield a regalia is interesting but a big low blow – why is it that the regalia deem him unworthy? I’m not sure I have the answer but I speculate it has to do with his “Ends justify the means” philosophy – Mitsuhide has shown us he is very unafraid to get his hands dirty if the outcome he desires is not achieved.

I also wanted to say that I hate those goddamn twins – they are so annoying. Generally I hate any pair of “omg uber smart” twins or any villian that is like “lol i am rusemaster lul” so putting them two in one makes me hate them three times as much. Hope those little shits get killed really soon.

So Kenshin? Apparently really strong but not strong enough to beat Alexander, who is apparently undefeatable. Kenshin behaves admirably but is ultimately defeated – instead he makes a promise to fight Alexander again. I’d say that Alexander must be the strongest under King Arthur’s command.

Nobu foolishly engages Alexander and realizes that he is in major need of a power buff (or a training arc). Alexander continues to disrupt the ley lines of the east in the meantime, though. What better way to train that to endure the training his betrothed did when she was young?

Nobu, Kenshin, and Jeanne go to face this force with the hopes of obtaining power. Jeanne, because she’s got a nice rack gets stripped and whipped while the other two get to fight badass dragons. I like Jeanne a lot but you’ve got to admit that is pretty funny.

In the end, Nobunaga consumes the dragon of destruction and Jeanne lives with her prophecies, which in the end make them stronger. Kenshin doesn’t return with them but I’m certain he’ll show up when they need him most.

Nobu challenge Alexander again and bests him, albeit only slightly (He MUST have been pretty strong). Caesar’s sequence with Arthur is difficult to make sense of but I believe he’s undergone a baptism of sorts – or he’s just been brainwashed (Which would be much more boring). I’m concerned as he’s the only villain that is frequently engaging.

Oh yeah, and Caesar summoned the Ladder to Heaven. Holy grail, ho!

Nobunaga the Fool 14 – 16

Wow, it’s been a while. So uh, what’s up guys?

Finally a bit of slight characterization in this otherwise entertaining show – Nobunaga has shown to just what lengths he is willing to go and what he is willing to sacrifice for the sake of his own justice. He wasn’t about to let our star of the west invaders hold his own villiage as ransom which was an impressive and somewhat selfish gambit – but let’s be honest, does anyone think that Charlamagne would have honored the ransom anyway? I sincerely doubt it and I give Nobu huge props for shoving a metaphorical sword straight up their ass.

Let me take a minute to highlight Kenshin. Holy fuck Kenshin is extremely powerful, my god. Guy comes out of nowhere and blows those two the fuck out. More interestingly is Caesar, who has shown his devotion to his new wife Ichihime stands above even his devotion to the star of the west. This was particularly powerful for me because he really has no reason to stand against his former comrades. Ichihime – well done. I think you’ve cornered your opponent. Perhaps it isn’t as tactical as I think it is and Ichihime really believes him to stand for something.

Jeanne gets some heavy torture (much nastier than I was expecting this show to ever deliver). After heavy bouts of psychological and physical torture, she is saved by Nobunaga and the show begins to throw around some bullshit about a “Destroyer King”, something we had not heard up until this point. Attempting to put some of Nobu’s more dubious actions into light, Jeanne questions whether Nobu is this “Destroyer King”, who is purported to be the opposite of the greatly talked-up “Savior King”. Who really is the savior king, here? I’m going to go ahead and say that calling Nobu the Destroyer King is a red herring; a classic last ditch bullshit effort to stir up controversy or doubt amongst the heroes. It’s possible this can be played to great effect and used as impetus for Mitsuhide to inevitably betray Nobu as history dictates.

The show really surprised me with the 14th episode; never when I started this show did I think I would be so entertained by it.

Nobunaga the Fool – 13

For someone who killed her brother, Mitsuhide sure seems to feel strongly about Ichihime. I must admit I was feeling pretty upset for the guy by the end of this episode too.

I don’t think anybody is ever happy seeing two lovers torn apart, even if Mitsuhide is kind of a bastard. In any event, I’d like to talk a bit about Nobunaga and his view on matters and achieving them; Nobu seems to value his dream above all else, and I almost feel its arguable whether he values the lives of his comrades more than that dream. I’m willing to be he’s right on the fence somewhere, although previously I might have been more inclined to say he no doubt values his comrades much more. Given that, and this is a scary thought, would he even begrudge Mitsuhide for killing his brother, given the reason? I’m still thinking he’s going to be pissed off beyond all belief, but the thought did occur to me as I watched this week’s installment.

I doubt we’ve seen Mitsuhide externalize his disdain as much as he did this week. He got mighty fierce with Nobunaga in their duel – not that I blame him. I wouldn’t be happy with Caesar running off with my woman either.

It was funny to see the table of rounds in disarray over Caesar’s actions – most of them aren’t sure what to make of it. Treason, or treachery? Is he deceiving his allies in order to deceive his enemies? They are unsure, but they intend to discern the true reason for his actions in due time.

I still am not a huge fan of Caesar, given his duplicitious style of doing business, but he could prove to be an invaluable ally which is no doubt the same train of thought going through Nobu’s mind. I’m sure we can count on Mitsuhide to keep him in check.

Mitsu shares a warm, upsetting moment with Ichihime before she departs for Ceasar – you’ll never see this guy be so vocal about his feelings. He vows to protect her at all costs – even when Ichihime fears the worst for her health. History already knows how this sordid scene plays out and what happens to the two of them – but will this show deviate? Time will tell.

Nobunaga the Fool – 12

ZEEEEE FUUUHLLLUUU!!!

Nobunaga is going away to college, upon his first day there, he meets his wacky roommate who owns a pet snake. Together, they tack-Oh, wait, sorry, this isn’t the beginning to a sitcom. Japanese plays based upon figure from 700 years ago and Modern day sitcoms have so much in common they just kinda blend together in my head.

So, what can we take away from this episode? Caesar is still a dick and was surprisingly open to diplomacy – although his reasons for diplomacy were later revealed to be because of his intent to take Nobunaga alive or as an ally, if possible. We all know what kind of person Nobu is and why that may not be possible. Something you may recall (and I think I entirely discounted) was that Caesar had taken particularly strange notice of Ichihime for some reason. It’s simple; he likes the asian ladies (And Jeanne, even though she’s not actually asian). The guy even had the audacity to say this in enemy territory and give them a heavy handed alliance where he takes her as his wife. What a brazen mother fucker!

Nobu’s idea for a tea party seemed particularly bizarre to me, even for him; you’re ready to lose and you think you’re in position to begin making demands? It’s akin to playing rock paper scissors with a friend and upon losing, you’re like, “Uh, best two out of three!” Usually it doesn’t work that way. Perhaps Caesar feared accidently killing Nobu rather than allying with him. Or perhaps Caesar is a raving idiot.

I really didn’t think there was any redemption for Caesar at all – he crossed the point of no return as soon as he killed Nobu’s old man. The tea party situation was actually quite interesting because I thought for an instant that Nobu was attempting to turn Caesar against King Arthur in attempt to unite them under a common enemy. While this seems to be what has taken place, I doubt we can completely trust Caesar – he’s shown himself more than capable of duplicity in the past (Lying to Takeda’s men about the manner of his death, stabbing people in the back, etc.) More disconcerning is that Nobu seems to trust he will uphold his end of the bargain for some reason. I wouldn’t be so sure….

This means that we currently have an alliance of the Oda, Caesar’s forces, Takeda (without any Takeda), and the Uesegi. That’s a pretty damn strong alliance. Hopefully the second half of this series has them busting down the doors in the star of the west and blowing shit to kingdom come.

Nobunaga the Fool – 11

“It was inevitable!…that you would see me blog about this show again!” ~ Nobunaga, circa never.

Wow, remember when I was blogging this show? Yeah, me neither; it’s probably been about a whole month and a half since my last entry to this series. Sorry about that but I’m sure you survived without my banal nonsense. Go read Hanner’s blog, he’s much more entertaining and analytical anyway.

Nobunaga has been a real roller coaster for me. It started out as something I felt was highly promising in the first half of the first episode, then I was sure we had something mediocre on our hands until the fifth episode or so, and now I’m convinced it’s actually a fairly strong show. I also may not be the best person to ask about things like this, oops.

So, Caesar is a jobber right? He got his ass whooped already so who cares about him, let’s move on to the real big bad! As Agent Shi Long Lang would say:
NotSoFast!

Caesar is pissed. As would most, he isn’t happy with the way events at his last battle transpired. Furthermore, he’s been issued an ultimatum by his superiors and we all know there is nothing more dangerous than a cornered snake. A desperation event is surely on the horizon.

Da Vinci hatches a brilliant plot, using his knowledge of Caesar’s ultimate move that nearly spelled Nobunaga’s demise earlier in the series. While they do gain the upper hand against the remnants of the Takeda and Uesegi, Caesar does launch his desperation move, destroying much of the innocents in the area (And I believe some of the Oda? Not sure). I must concede, it feels kinda cheap – we had no prior knowledge of this. It kinda felt like a villainous asspull for the shonen “Well, you powered up, now I’M going to power up!”

Jeanne’s vision looks to be suspiciously like what they are currently witnessing. I must admit that I am woefully unfamiliar with Jeanne’s historical significance and um, actual story. Forgive me for being dense, but what is the connection here? I ask that rhetorically, of course.

Where do we go from here? The narrative desperately needs Caesar dead before we can continue. Caesar was cool but he’s had his moment; let’s focus on some of the other knights of the round. I’m anticipating that the show will bring the battle straight to their doorstep and if it, in fact, does that, consider me happy.

Saki – Zenkoku – hen 13

And that’s all the Saki we’re getting for like, another three years! GREAT!

In any event, this episode was tying all the loose ends up with Achiga and catching us up to the present with Kiyosumi. For a wrap up episode, I probably enjoyed this way more than I should have. Not only that, but the path has been paved for our next contenders in the following round. Whoever Kiyosumi ends up against, I sincerely doubt it will ever be as challenging as Shiraitodai, Senriyama, and Shindouji, who our Achiga girls had to face in their final round.

I loved it when Nadoka and Miho watched on as Subara played against Teru in what I believe to be the best match of the series. I could write a whole entire article on that match alone but I’m surprised there were no earthquakes or casualties or BLOOD. Seriously, greatest match in Saki history. What an intense struggle.

Nadoka also mets the Achiga’s and caught up as we saw at the end of Achiga-hen. We also got to hear other things we knew about Nadoka like her relationship with the Achiga’s in the form of an interview. It was all very nice until I realized this was the last I’d see of these characters for another three years because Ritz writes slow as shit.

What am I looking forward to next season? Other than the obvious, I’m looking forward to Hisa slamming the shit out of Hinematsu’s braggart-ass captain. I want her to drown her in her own tears. I know it will happen.

Then we draw closer to the finals in what will be Kiyosumi vs Shiraitodai vs Achiga vs mystery school? Honestly, I hope it isn’t Hinematsu, I really don’t even like them. Especially since Senriyama and Shiraitodai were way better schools and they didn’t advance at all.

Noragami – 12

Another one bites the dust this week (and I’m extremely unhappy to see this one end); Noragami’s final episode is upon us.

Noragami finishes its run this past week and in order to do so, Hiyori needs her memories back, Raibou needs his ass kicked, and everyone else needs to be able to have a happy ending. Ok, none of that needs to happen but that’s how I’d like it to play out, ok. Hey, stop saying I have shit taste, I can hear you, you know! Hopefully the darkness contained in this episode will be a little less than the average urobutcher story amount of edge.

Raibou and Yato finally have their confrontation. Raibou’s aim is apparently to draw out the old god of calamity in Yato, and to do so, he realizes he needs to be edgier by slicing his wrists ok, I’m kidding. He decides to remove all of Hiyori’s memories, but not without teasing Yato first. Hoping to have enraged our hero, he finds out quickly that he got exactly what he wanted; he summarily gets his ass kicked. Desperate for the power necessary to stand on even footing with this enraged Yato, he fuses with a phantom. Getting the power that he wanted, he combats Yato and manages to hold his own…until he takes out Hiyori with a giant boulder.

Luckily, Yato is faster and manages to save her. But what does it matter now? She has forgotten everyone and everything…that is, until she smells a familiar scent. It’s Yato, and suddenly, it all rushes back to her. She kicks Yato off of her and Yato finds his strength again, the warmth returning to his face. Yato fells Raibou in one blow. Raibou then tells all; he wanted to die. After waking up from his 500 year slumber, he wanted to be slain by the one he felt to be most like him. Yato exclaims that they’re nothing alike, and Raibou passes on.

There’s not much to speak of beyond this. Yato does get a little warm when talking about Hiyori and Hiyori herself does blush a bit and say things that could be misconstrued as a confession. It was sweet. We’ll miss you, Noragami. Come back for a second season please?

Saki – Zenkoku – hen 12

And another season of Saki “unofficially” draws to a close, with Kyosumi and Hinematsu the victors that proceed to the next round.

Wait, what.

Hine-fucking-matsu, really?! Uh. You mean the weakest school in the rotation of the four of them? They somehow beat Miyamori and Eisui, with their far better players and overall broken-ass abilities?

Well, I’m a little upset over that (in case you couldn’t tell!) That, uh, that sucks. See, because in my opinion, not only is Hinematsu the weakest school but they’re also the least interesting; I can’t even recall anything about them other than the purple haired girl and their arrogant captain who is, admittedly, a great mahjong player and certainly fearsome. But they didn’t deserve it over Miyamori or Eisui, with their far better cast and much more interesting players. Seriously, I love almost everyone on Miyamori. I love Eisui and their god-descending game breaking bullshit.

Kyouko’s entire victory was essentially orchestrated by Saki anyway, and I doubt she would have made it through if she didn’t throw her that Baiman tsumo to achieve +/- 0. In any event, that’s how it went down.

I will greatly miss Miyamori and their antics, especially their coach, who seems to be as disappointed as I am that they are not moving on. Poor Toyone; it’s hard to remember how vulnerable she actually is because she seems like a creepy doll when playing the others in mahjong.

Hisa notices that Saki never took her socks off during the “battle”, so it’s unlikely she really felt that threatened. Saki pretty much held full control and dominated the flow of the match; as I mentioned in my previous entry, it was a sight to behold to see Saki unrestrained at full power. What happens now? Apparently a beach episode, which I am okay with.

Hamatora – 12

I find myself saying this a lot, but holy shit what an ending. Winter 2014 was the strongest winter season I’ve seen for anime since I started watching religiously 10 or so years ago.

What’s left to happen in Hamatora? Nothing other than the Art vs Moral smackdown we’ve been waiting for since the third episode or so. Everything ends this episode as Moral injects himself with the forbidden minimum 0 which he obtained from the police headquarters. Obviously, injecting yourself with a second, artificial minimum when you already have one is hella dangerous and extremely stupid (Moral has shown his mental fiber isn’t the most stable). Now considering himself Nice’s equal, the stage is set for the final battle.

It’s interesting how modern Hamatora is, in regards to the use of technology, the meta created by the internet, and the impact it has on a normal person’s daily life. Unfortunately for just about everyone, Moral understands this deeply and that’s likely why he employed the help of a networking specialist. She might be from geek squad. In any event, Art’s partner finds and apprehends her.

Murasaki and Nice confront Moral. Murasaki handles the nameless lackies while Nice confronts the big bad. Moral has stated that by giving Nice a wall, he hopes he is able to attain eternal peace. Moral’s thinking is actually not so crazy; those at the top have no equals and nothing to surpass. By giving Nice a challenge and becoming that wall, he is sating that hunger that those at the top might have, despite Nice’s protests that this isn’t the case. Interesting theory but bat-shit crazy in practice, as Moral has lost it. Nice gets his ass summarily handed to him in the beginning of the fight, especially having his feelings rattled about Art and Takahiro.

The show begins to pull the cliche but still lovable “Everybody, tell MC-kun he can do it!” but then subverts the trope at the last minute; Nice is annoyed and chucks his phone into the drink, telling everyone to shut up. Love this show’s spunk.

He backs off and figures out a counter strategy, which seems to be anticipation of Moral’s teleports. They get into a dragonball z battle pretty much (It’s actually really awesome, but short) and Nice comes out the victor. Moral is coughing up blood, as the effects of using two minimums is finally catching up to him. He’s no threat anymore.

Here’s the kicker: Art enters from the adjacent room on the boat. ART. He’s alive? Not only is he alive, he puts that miserable fucker Moral out of his misery. Although unnecessary, he totally deserved it. Nice is amazed he is alive and questions why it was necessary to kill him, before having a gun put to his head by Art, who pulls the trigger.

What happens next? NO FUCKING CLUE! We got a “to be continued.” Can it even be speculated on what happened, and why? I certainly couldn’t tell you. What a ride this show was, though. Hopefully we’ll find out relatively soon!