The stage is set, the alliances clearly formed and most of all, our main 2 boys are back!
I really can’t complain much about Sengoku. It’s delivered its bombastic OTT liberal interpretation of the warring period week after week to such entertaining effects. It’s been more or less consistent and well-paced as we reach the halfway mark. This episode was especially easy to watch because the plot was just laid out simply, step-by-step, moving from one group onto the next, which is important given how many players there are in this show!
Date Masamune’s got his groove back
Last week we saw the one-eyed dragon struggle with having fallen from the skies as his loyal retainer and right-hand man Kojuro could do nothing but watch on as Ieyasu easily overwhelmed Date. But a good BONTENMARU smack-down from Kojuro finally made Date come to his senses. Bontenmaru is Date’s given name as a child so hearing Kojuro call him that really reminded me of a mother reprimanding her child. Date Masamune’s behaviour was like a petulant child anyway as Kojuro reminds him of his maiden battle. He was clearly on the losing end but because it’s his very first battle, he didn’t want to retreat! Such a prideful child. And here’s when a good friend/loyal servant comes in to beat reality back into you, Lord-Servant relationship aside. That takes guts and as Ieyasu rightly observed, a very strong bond between the Lord and his servant. Banging your head against a tree won’t bring your men back Date Masamune. Sear that image of your fallen buried before your eyes (one of my favourite scenes all this Summer season) and remember you’re bearing the heavy burden as a leader. Kojuro’s prepared to die for you but he’s never prepared to die on a battlefield (omg it’s so difficult to resist shipping these 2 already!). That’s how much trust he has in Lord Masamune, who after being punched back to reality, is once again fired up. The dragon’s back and so is Date Masamune’s crazy engrish! Along with those crazy engrish-named moves of his!
Sanada Tiger Cub grows up
In the other camp, Sanada also does some reminiscing as he remembers his first encounter with Sasuke. The shinobi was back from a job assigned by Takeda Shingen and was assigned one final task by the great Tiger of Kai – to support the tiger cub. Easier said than done. The boys fight it out because no shinobi would want to work under a general they don’t respect right? Of course as we now know it, Sanada proves his worth, even if he’s still just half-fledged. And that’s how the Sanada Ninja Corps. was born. Last week we saw the half-fledged tiger cub crumble under Date Masamune’s revenge-driven rage. This week, he resolves to face Ishida to decide the fate of Kai by bearing the full responsibilities of a true general. Oh how the tiger cub’s grown up! Even more so than Ishida at least. Poor boy’s still operating under revenge for his Hideyoshi-sama, without any care for what the goal of taking on Ieyasu means for greater Japan. At least Sanada’s proven he’s not just all straightforward recklessness – the guy could at least appreciate Hideyoshi’s objective of going to war in the first place!
Magoichi makes the most sense
Amongst all the brawn and muscles the boys bring to Sengoku Basara: Judge End, in the end it’s the woman who makes the most sense. How can you believe on face value that Ieyasu kidnapped your sister Maede Keiji? How can you believe on face value that Ieyasu annihilated your home Motochika? Just because someone else said so and just because you saw Ieyasu’s flag used doesn’t mean it’s definitely his doing. She’s a mercenary so she should know. The only way is to find out from the horses’ mouth himself! Duh. Don’t let floating mummy Otani get his way guys! Don’t you have some faith in your friend Ieyasu?
With 58 days till Sekigahara to go, the alliances are clearly formed with Date and Ieyasu in the East vs Sanada and Ishida in the West. The crux of the second half of Sengoku is undoubtedly the fights to come but just what did Divination girl mean by the darkness Ieyasu is shouldering alone? And why did Oichi comment that Ieyasu’s so bright (in the goodness of light sense) yet covered in blood? I’m really looking forward to the second half of Sengoku although if I can complain about one thing, it’s that the OST just isn’t epic enough. But then again, filling Sawano Hiroyuki’s shoes ain’t easy!