War Game – 戦ごっこ
Wow, I think I just fell in love with Soo Won all over again.
I decided to wait till this episode before I give my two cents worth on the new OP, and I still didn’t like it any better than I did when I watch the previous episode. Although it’s an arguably likeable song if you just listened to it without watching Akatsuki no Yona, it’s just too different from the previous OP for me. It’s not just different from the previous OP, I just feel that it doesn’t fit into the mood and atmosphere of this anime at all. It didn’t help when most of the OP sequence was recycled from the previous one either. Let’s just say the only things I enjoyed about this new OP, is the very brief Soo Won scenes at the start, Yona’s archery bits, and the bass which lingers at the end.
This episode is all about Geun-tea and Soo Won, though more of the latter. Picking up from where we left off in the previous episode, the war game festival begins and the entire city got rather excited about being able to see the great General Geun-tea in action. The war game wasn’t like what Geun-tea had imagined – he had to wear some gown which didn’t looked suitable for fighting at all with a ceramic plat strapped to the top of his head, and there were lots of ceremonial performances before the “war” could begin. However, it was all arranged by His Majesty, Soo Won, so Geun-tea could do nothing but go along with it. Just like any game, the war game Soo Won had in mind has its own rules and here’s a table summarising the rules on who can and can’t attack who.
Soo Won was the white team while Geun-tea was the red team. On each team, there were commoners and nobles, who could be revived once throughout the entire game. “Death” is when the plates on their heads were broken, afterwhich they would be taken prisoner in the opposing side’s “territory”. “Revival” is when the spare plate is given to them, so they could participate in the battle once again.
Although things seem to be in Geun-tea’s favour at the start, with a group of white commoners taken prisoner and Soo Won fleeing from the red commoners, things soon took a change for the red team as Soo Won’s strategy started to work out. Yes, Soo Won, despite the ditzy appearance he kept up, had a strategy to win and it involved him running around to scatter the red commoners. It soon became clear to Geun-tea that he had grossly underestimated the “rabbit”, as his team depleted in numbers till the point where he the last one left on the field. During his one-on-one battle with Soo Won, the latter showed his true colours in that one split second where the fight got serious, but he purposely slipped and lost to Geun-tea.
So what was Soo Won trying to achieve with his whimsical decisions?
1) Increased morale in the people of the Earth Tribe
The war game festival brought out the warrior in General Geun-tea, the general whom his people respected and loved. Although the people of the Earth Tribe might have been losing faith in their dwindling power as a tribe, this festival definitely renewed their faith and respect in their general. Soo Won also made sure to give Geun-tea opportunities to show off his good side, such as offering him the option of reviving everyone on the red team while being well aware that the prideful Geun-tea will never accept that offer.
2) Boosting their economy – Fragrant tea
Perhaps the tea merchant from the Kai empire visited the city because Soo Won arranged it to be so, or it might just be a pure coincidence that the merchant was around at the right. Whichever it is, it was certainly no accident when Soo Won asked Yuno (hope I got it right) to serve the merchant her tea. The advice he gave her after she started worrying about producing enough quantities for the entire Kai empire also showed that he had anticipated the turn of events.
3) Boosting their economy – Selling the gems
By displaying the stones from their local mine on Geun-tea, who can be considered their national idol, Soo Won had planned for people to start buying the exact same stones in order to become closer to their idol. Soo Won has such a scarily good business mind, I think he can become a better entrepreneur than a king.
With just one visit, while looking as though he was sightseeing and not doing much, Soo Won managed to turn everything to the Earth tribe’s favour. They had their resources and just didn’t know how to use them. Soo Won just came along, evaluated the situation and did a few random things which seemed to make everything else fall in place (just like how he made the red commoners knock each other out with “luck”). Although he was close to being forgotten after the colourful appearances of the other characters during the past season, I think this episode of Soo Won more than made up for his long absence.
It doesn’t look like Soo Won is appearing anymore next episode, but it’s finally Suwabe‘s turn! Excites~