Oda Nobuna no Yabou 03 and 04

Having sided with Nobuna, Dousan finds himself confronted with his now disinherited son Yoshitatsu as a group of his retainers known as the Mino Three defect to his side, forcing him to flee Inabayama Castle.


As the situation grows worse Yoshiharu, Katsuie, and Nobuna’s tactician Niwa Nagahide come to the conclusion that Dousan’s resilience is a sign that he intends to die, knowing that Yoshitatsu would seize Owari if Nobuna were to send him reinforcements, Nobuna herself refusing to do such with tears in her eyes. Yoshiharu later talking to her and finding that she’s used to losing the ones that she loved, her teacher and her father standing as examples for such. However at this point the young head of the Asai clan, Asai Nagamasa arrives with a proposition for Nobuna, that he will lend her troops to save Dousan on the condition that she marries him, from there they could crush Yoshimoto.

For Dousan however, the situation grows worse and he hints to Mitsuhide that Yoshitatsu may not be his son. Back in Owari, Nobuna responds to Nagamasa’s proposal by getting flustered but calms down when he states that it would be purely political, to this she refuses and he then goes on to speculate about her relationship with Yoshiharu. Eventually Nagahide has to split them up and so Nagamasa leaves her with this offer, and so as they discuss this, Katsuie adamantly being against it while Nagahide begrudgingly backs it, Yoshiharu however goes on to confront Nagamasa but finds himself against someone who believes that sentimental qualities in a ruler in the Sengoku period should be cast aside, and almost hits him.

As such he steps between them and refuses to allow Nagamasa to marry Nobuna for such reasons, all her retainers backing him. What was a lighthearted moment between them all however is abruptly cut short as Mitsuhide arrives in Owari with Dousan’s daughter Kichou and a letter from Dousan, entrusting her with his dream and accepting his fate. And as she attempts to mobilise her forces to save him, Yoshiharu steps up to do it himself, joining forces with Goemon and her followers and catches up just as Dousan prepares to make his last stand. Finding Dousan reluctant to step down, and entrusting him with leading Nobuna’s way, to this Yoshiharu refuses to head back without him and eventually manages to sway him. Forcing them to make a desperate attempt to escape from Yoshitatsu’s forces, Nobuna leaving Owari defenceless in order to save them and blaming Yoshiharu for running off.

In the next episode, Nobuna’s actions to save them have provided Yoshimoto with her chance to invade Owari with over 25,000 men, Nobuna’s forces numbering only around 3000. In response to his insubordination in the previous episode, Nobuna punishes Yoshiharu by releasing him from her service and refusing to hear another word of it. Yoshiharu cursing himself as the situation in Owari grows bleak, however Dousan convince him otherwise as they talk about what will happen soon. Which due to him still being alive Dousan suggests that by acting, the future as he knows it might not be possible to attain, and that Nobuna’s actions toward him had another layer to them. From such he resolves to turn the tide against Imagawa, explaining the details of the Battle of Okehazama to Goemon.

However he finds that Okehazama is a mountain, making his plan of a sneak attack useless until Nobuna’s brother, now Nobusumi arrives to help, one of his followers pointing out that Okehazama has a plateau. So in order to get the plan to work he has Nobusumi and his followers attempt to distract Imagawa’s troops, but as he, Toshii, Goemon, and her followers make their way through the forest they find themselves confronted by Hattori Hanzou, the others choosing to remain behind so that Yoshiharu can make it back to inform Nobuna of Imagawa’s position, finding himself in Hanzou’s crosshairs as a result. So in order to escape he appeals to Hanzou’s loyalty to Motoyasu and narrowly convinces him.

Back in Owari the situation still doesn’t fare too well, Katsuie and Nagahide arguing with some of Nobuna’s vassals, with Yoshiharu arriving back to tell Nobuna what he knows and that he intends to keep the oath he made to her. From which Nobuna performs the events of Nobunaga’s Atsumori dance before leading her meagre force to face Yoshimoto. Around this point it starts to rain, and having spent their time drinking and partying not that long earlier, Imagawa’s forces are completely unprepared, Nobuna’s forces carving through them with ease as Katsuie confronts Imagawa head on. Yoshiharu stops her from delivering a decisive blow however, and instead convinces Yoshimoto to surrender. In turn establishing Nobuna as a Daimyo to be reckoned with.

Thoughts:

Slowly catching up with this show, and once more another interesting pair of episodes, Yoshiharu may be changing the past but it’s interesting to see the extent and ramifications of his actions actually being acknowledged. Somethings appear to be staying in line but at the same time the possibility that his actions might make some of the points impossible is still in his mind.

For instance while he may have made it so Dousan has acknowledged Nobuna as his heir, they still have to deal with his now disinherited possibly illegitimate son, Yoshitatsu‘s coup to seize control of Mino. Fate itself isn’t something that Yoshiharu can combat just because he knows how things will turn out, the real Dousan died in that coup and it wasn’t as easy as convincing him to come back, Yoshiharu had to fight tooth and nail and even then it was an incredibly close escape. In effect just because he has knowledge of the future doesn’t grant him omnipotent powers, it’s one thing to know but another thing entirely to do, and so there will be somethings he won’t be able to change no matter what he does.

Corresponding with this I also liked the idea that Yoshiharu’s knowledge might become useless at some point, in a way it’s almost an opposite to the former, so far in these early episodes he’s dealt with events that were not far off. The things that would set them into motion were still in place, having been set up prior to him arriving, Yoshitatsu’s doubts at his fatherhood still would have caused him to rebel and Yoshimoto still would have invaded at the first moment of weakness, so all he’s really been doing is pointing them in the direction he thinks is best. However as time progresses that might not be the case as the things that led to those events may have changed, and as such the story has an element of unpredictability to it, it could stick to the historical version of events but the potential for other things to happen along with it.

Other than that I also like the relationship that Yoshiharu and Nobuna have, it has some elements of your standard tsundere relationship with her constantly abusing and getting flustered around him, but that’s not all there is too it. If there’s anything that these two episodes proved it’s that she likes him and cares about him a lot, however in these episodes he also violated that trust she put in him and had to make up for it. She sees him as someone who understands her and doesn’t balk at the ideas and objects the Jesuits bring from Europe, however due to the difference in status she can’t act upon them. The sort of relationship that they have is just sweet, and in these episodes we even saw a catalyst thrown into it in the form of Nagamasa‘s character, who showed up and offered troops in exchange for Nobuna marrying him. Forcing Yoshiharu to act to avoid such.

Lastly it was interesting to see the Battle of Okehazama covered as well, being quite unfamiliar with it until now the details for it were fascinating, Nobunaga went up against Yoshimoto with 3000 at the most, outnumbered more than ten to one. His only choices would have been annihilation or humiliatingly conceding defeat, however through Yoshimoto’s overconfidence, clever use of the terrain, and ingenuity, he rips victory from his foe’s hands and reverses the situation. It even reminds me a bit of Crecy in that regard, that saw Edward III throw the rulebook out and slaughter armored knights with peasant conscripts. Moving on it was interesting to see how the show portrayed it, with Katsuie’s involvement it even managed to include the detail of a deflected spear thrust, however Yoshiharu was able to reverse the situation and save Yoshimoto from her fate at the last minute. Seeming to mix accuracy and the sort of approach you take in games set in this period nicely.

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