Sound the drum and signal the flares. The war’s begun so let’s rumble party!
After a one week break, we’re more than adequately rewarded with an enormous amount of outrageous original interpretations to the battle of Sekigahara with not 2 parties, not 3 but 4 sides vying to win! It was originally meant to be just Ieyasu with Date Masamune, Honda Tadakatsu, Sakai Tadakatsu, old man Hojo and his shinobi Fuma plus Chousokabe who just wants to get even with green Mori, against Ishida backed by Sanada Yukimura, Otani, Kobayakawa (who amazingly could still cook up a wok of food) and the western alliance of Otomo Sourin, old man Shimazu and key-finding Kanbee. And then Maede Keiji joins with his Saika mercenary troops in a bid to forestall the return of Oda Nobunaga, who through Akechi, makes a most dramatic entrance as the 4th party to this battle.
Things seem to be going according to plan for Ieyasu, gambling with the various pieces he has up his non-existent sleeves. In the other camp however, Ishida’s royally pissed because his alliance aren’t quite cooperating. Otani’s commanding the army and setting the flares for their alliances to attack yet Mori and Kingo aren’t following them. I can understand Kobayakawa/Kingo’s internal struggle over which side to take but Mori? What’s stopping him? Takeda’s Sanada Yukimura’s adamant that he’ll only mobilise the Takeda army when the time is right. Good on you Tiger Taisho for putting your foot down to slowly but surely earn your stripes :D
So how outrageous did things get this week? Let’s start with the warring period’s greatest warrior Honda robot (which I suspect to be a play on the fact that Honda company has indeed made robots in Japan) taking off on a roller-coaster looking ramp. And then the human cannon old man Shimazu fired up literally to somehow battle Honda in mid-air even when he has no means of flight… Following such technological prowess on Ieyasu’s side we have Chousoukabe’s walking ship! Not to be outdone is Mori’s giant mirror using the sun to burn the enemies like ants under a magnifying glass. But sometimes simple technology is all that’s required and no one shows this better than Kingo’s valiant efforts in going to the aid of Tenkai using woks as transportation to mow the enemy down bowling style. Last but not least let’s throw in a dash of foreign flavour with Otomo’s Xavi influenced
troops troupes singing. Even his chief retainer Tachibana Muneshige (Inada Tetsu) can’t believe that all they came to do was convert 1 of Ieyasu’s commanding leaders over to Xavism. What a glorious in-joke that turned out to be though! For the uninitiated, Sakai Tadakatsu is voiced by Nishikawa Takanori aka anime theme song god T.M. Revolution lol Sakai even changes into outfits T.M.Revolution’s famous for wearing!
Saving the best for last is the return of the Devil King, revived by none other than the man who killed him in the first place. Oda Nobunaga prepares to make his entrance via a resurrected Honnouji Temple which is historically rumoured to be where he was assassinated. Tenkai as he is now known by, was Akechi Mitsuhide, the very person who betrayed Oda leading to his assassination in the first place. So why is he now resurrecting the dark lord? And while we’re at it, let’s throw in a zombie army that just won’t, ever, die. Right, Hattori? With Sanada’s orders the shinobi has charged towards Tenkai in a bit to not only find out why he’s in the middle of the battlefield but also because he wants to save Kasuga, his constant flirting companion. I do dearly miss the way they go at each other, true affections or not. Hope she’s all right…
If you’re not going to follow history then you better go all out and be outrageous. Thankfully Sengoku Basara: Judge End has done just that, accumulating with a spectacularly fun start to the battle of Sekigahara. Now that’s entertainment! I don’t want Sengoku to end!