Of ALL the episode in Nobunaga the Fool thus far, this is my favourite episode to date. There were no crazy giant explosions or intense action or even any fighting, but there was so much intensity to the atmosphere and the events of this episode really brought out the force of politics and diplomacy core to the plot of the show.
The episode begins with the aftermath “reaction” phase from the last battle. Mitsuhide is evacuating citizens and organizing the wounded, Joan is dealing with the scars of battle and Nobunaga is in court with Hideyoshi and everyone else discussing the plans for the official war council tea party he plans to have with Caesar.
Ichihime has quite a big role in this episode. She brings the bowl of emptiness to Nobunaga’s council to show him that it will be suitable for the ceremony. Nobunaga agrees. I never saw close Nobunaga the Ichihime were until this episode because they are usually separated due to the strict gender roles separating men and women in feudal ancient clans.
Caesar on the other hand plans to make Nobunaga an ally to defeat Alexander (I assume, the Great). The imps know that Caesar also secretly wants to possess Ichihime for his own and we can only shudder at whatever pent up lust he’s been holding ever since he creeped her in the opening episodes.
Nobunaga goes back to that waterfall that he had been standing under when his fatherdied. It turns out that he use to stand under it all the time and Ichihime had joined him when they were kids. They converse around the fire and Ichihime voices her sentiments about taking the tea ceremony seriously as hosts. Ichihime vows to do everything in her power for the Oda clan and their people. She promises to follow him from now on. Even though her brother tells her he’ll take care of everything, she’s insistent on helping him and supporting him in any way she can.
Joan draws another card – The Fool, and everyone (including me) thought that it referred to Nobunaga, boy were we wrong… The next day the tea ceremony begins between the two factions. Mitsuhide’s personally planted spies around the ceremony just in case. Negotiations begin. Caesar marvels at the beauty of the women of the east, Nobunaga asks him how the ceremony is going. They make small talk and Caesar remarks on Ichihime’s charming presence. Nobunaga has heard that King Arthur is the King of the Star of the West. Caesar claims that King Arthur is the true Saviour King of the world. Everyone is shocked at this, especially Joan and she even steps forth to defend her vision about Nobunaga as the Saviour King. Caesar says that King Arthur has the power to wield Regalia that will unlock the powers of the Holy Grail…
Caesar tries to coerce Nobunaga into surrendering his Regalia to Arthur. THE DIE HAS BEEN CAST. Da Vinci watches these two lions face off pensively. Naturally, Nobunaga refuses as he will lack the power to defend his people should he give up his Regalia. He tells Caesar that he wishes for the ability to control power rather than power itself and that the Regalia has been Arthur’s way of testing those with the mettle and resolve to wield such power. I have to give it to Nobunaga for getting into the mind of a King. It’s a good hypothesis and Caesar agrees to bring Nobunaga to Arthur one day (foreshadowing). Caesar offers his temporary allegiance so long as he is given Ichihime as his bride and Queen. HOLY CRAP!!!!! I CAN’T BELIEVE HE DID THAT. REALLY BRAZEN considering that he is alone in enemy territory. Mitsuhide is appalled as are the other advisors. Nobunaga looks bothered by this but Ichihime steps in, announcing that she will be the one to decide her own marriage affairs. Ichihime says that on the condition that Caesar keeps his promise never to attack the Oda forces, she will agree, but should he break his word, she will personally see to it that he is destroyed, even at the cost of his own life. DAYUMMMMMM ICHIHIME. *Waves feminist flag* Ichihime gets a thousand gold star plated points for offering up herself for the exchange of the lives of her people and her loved ones. Although Caesar made the offer, I don’t think he thought Ichihime would be willing to go through with it. Caesar looked pretty surprised when he saw Ichihime accept as well. For a princess always protected within the palace, she is truly amazing; well versed in politics, aware of the gravity of court diplomacy and willing to take risks. But now, let’s take a look at Mitsuhide, who just looks like his whole life’s been torn apart before his eyes, and it very well has. It’s been hinted that Mitsu and Ichi had feelings for each other in the last two episodes but Mitsuhide was reluctant to begin a relationship with her due to their individual social statuses as well as his own guilt to Nobukatsu’s murder. Well honestly he has no right to be upset when he’s the one who pushed Mitsuhide aside in the first place. The previews offer us some sweet Mitsu X Ichi scenes though so I’m looking forward to those next week.
Really great episode of Nobunaga the Fool so far. Ichihime just became my favourite character in the entire series and I can’t wait to see how she’ll kick ass in her own polite princess way if she really becomes Caesar’s bride.
What are you pondering today?