With Matsunaga Danjo having defected to their side, Nobuna learns of Konoe and his fellow conspirator’s plot which is only confirmed by the refusal by Yoshikage and Shoukakuin to dispatch emissaries to Kyo. To this Katsuie urges that they attack however Nobuna’s brother being with the Asai of Oumi, a strong ally of Asakura of Echizen Nobuna finds herself in quite a bind.
Being familiar with this event, Yoshiharu knows that Nobunaga mercilessly attacked the Asakura who eventually dragged the Asai into the fray regardless of the marriage between his sister Oichi and Nagamasa, and as such is surprised by Nobuna’s plan to attack Shoukakuin in Wakasa. For this the roles between him and Mitsuhide also find themselves reversed as he’s left to defend Kyo while Mitsuhide follows Nobuna, leaving him with a good luck charm she made herself. In Oumi around this point Nobusumi is forced to bathe in the woman’s bath in secret where he runs into Nagamasa, however while his true gender is revealed Nagamasa’s own is too, that she was raised as a man to avoid being sent as a hostage to the Rokkaku. And so with this they agree to keep the facade up while being open with one another in private.
Back in Kyo, Hanbei has fallen ill after using up too much of her power and is being nursed by Nene, after this however Yoshiharu explains the details of the event and how it placed Nobunaga’s forces in an incredibly volatile position, the Retreat of Kanegasaki. To this Hanbei realises that Nobuna’s attack on Wakasa was in truth a feint and that she intended to attack Echizen, Nagamasa’s father retaking control of their clan to honour their longstanding alliance with the Asakura. As such Nobuna’s forces would find themselves outnumbered and caught between two forces, Yoshiharu racing off to rescue Nobusumi but finds him unwilling to abandon his imprisoned wife, handing him a pouch tied at both ends instead. Which he then delivers to Nobuna to inform her of the Asai’s betrayal, they both then regret that they hadn’t been honest enough in their knowledge and actions. Now caught between two forces Nobuna is now faced with the possibility that those she loves might have to be sacrificed and refuses to give such an order, Nagahide affirming otherwise while Yoshiharu volunteers for the honour.
Telling her that without her he may as well have died in a ditch and is now capable of living with his eyes looking forward. At the same time Nobuna is also conflicted with the idea that everyone she loves dies, and that if he goes he will be the next, so to this Yoshiharu promises to come back, entrusting her with his cellphone, and requesting a kiss for his reward when he gets back. Alongside this Motoyasu volunteers to fight by his side but Yoshiharu refuses to put the future Ieyasu Tokugawa at risk, and so she leaves Hanzo with him instead of his own accord. Mitsuhide also affirms their rivalry and seems to be touched when he provides her charm as reason for such. Following this the retreat itself begins with Yoshiharu being entrusted with 500 men to hold the enemy at bay and allow Nobuna to retreat, and by making use of revolving rifle tactics he’s able to do this, ironically finding himself popular with the men. Still conflicted however Nobuna is on the verge of going back for him, the situation turning worse as the enemy forces draw closer. Due to this Nagahide suggests that she escape alone in disguise, yet as she assures herself that Yoshiharu will come back alive a bullet pierces her chest.
Personally I thought that the drama in this episode was a little forced but considering that the end of this season, and if it doesn’t get another one this show as well, is approaching fast I guess I’m okay with that. To provide tension and a feeling of conclusiveness it needed something which the events in this episode covered nicely.
Just what this seems to be is Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s Retreat of Kanegasaki, now as someone only loosely familiar with Japanese history I don’t really know the details of this retreat nor do I really know the significance of it. All I can really draw upon it was what was depicted in this episode, Nobuna’s forces being effectively stabbed in the back as the Asai somewhat (un)expectedly side with Asakura, and thus catch them in a vice. Even so however I thought it was set out nicely, Nobuna’s reluctance and fear of those around her dying was laid on a little too heavily, and perhaps everyone believing that Yoshiharu was marching to his death and making a show of it as well. However Nobuna’s fears hit hard, and while Yoshiharu assured otherwise it doesn’t seem absolutely certain that he will succeed.
Nobuna’s character in this epsiode may have come across as a little bit over emotional for an effective ruler/military leader, crying at everything and refusing to accept the reality that she would have to make sacrifices, so I thought that it was interesting to see this brought up. Given Yoshiharu’s intervention in things the events that would sharpen Nobuna into cold, brutal, and efficient war lord haven’t happened, and as such she doesn’t exactly have what it takes to get her hands dirty if she has to Furthermore as Nagahide directly pointed out she refuses to accept the idea that those around her will die, she’s effectively a ruler who’ll try to defend every inch and in turn fail to defend anything. I just thought that this was interesting to note, at the point where she is now Nobuna is radically different to her real life counterpart, both for better and for worst.
The part between Nobusumi and Nagamasa in this episode was also pretty sweet. Nagamasa’s true gender had been something that I was spoiled to in my usual progression over details disregard to them by a certain novel illustration of her, but considering that Nobusumi had been thrown in a dress and carried off to Oumi (quite literally) it’s kind of ironic in that an organised marriage set up as a cruel joke ended up being perfect for them. Through the combination of their characters they’ve been brought closer and genuinely love one another, also you have to admit that the whole point about them keeping up the facade yet being true to themselves to one another is pretty sweet in itself.