The Japanese people of Tsushima are (still) fighting off the Mongol invaders. This time, with a twist! (not)
Japanese Original Episode Title: 覚悟
Sooo the episode starts and – again – I have literally no memory of what happened last time. Probably because every episode is basically a battle. We get to see princess Teruhi crying and collapsing over the sight of her burned-down hometown. While the survivors are hiding in the bushes, she deems it a good idea to start killing the enemy’s scouts. Jinzaburou spits out that genius phrase – what was it – ‘if they see a horse without its rider coming back they’ll know something is up’. Because if the scouts don’t come back at all they’ll probably think they’re having a picnic up in the mountains, enjoying the view. I feel sorry for the horses.
The Mongols attack again, the Japanese hide in a very narrow path to protect themselves from their enemies vast numbers, which I guess makes sense. They lure them in in small groups and kill them with some self-devised spears that are basically knives on bamboo. As the battle goes on and Jinzaburou keeps taking the absolute piss out of Abirou who, never having been to war before, is scared shitless. After a completely pointless flashback on Jinzaburou’s father figure-person, Yajirou seems inspired and throws himself to battle with some newly found motivation. Slaughtering continues, whatever.
Is this even an anime: I thought that the main element of all anime was the fact that they needed to be… animated. This show’s animation is so poor that it could actually be an elaborate PowerPoint presentation. Action scenes are still with white lines shaking as a frame, the majority of the shots is some characters yap opening and closing pointlessly, and I swear, every single move I see the characters make has been copied from some sort of archive. Embarrassing.
Jinzaburou’s bullying: Yes, the who Sou clan with the sole exception of their deceased father are spineless cowards who have never seen battle before. Yes, they are spoiled rich brats that have not much to offer except for the fact that they won’t die right away because they’re wearing armor. But they are also people whose families have just been slaughtered and their homes (MANSIONS) burned down. So could be done is to other discard them from the battlefield as useless or console them and encourage them to continue fighting so that everyone can survive. Jinzaburou, instead of doing that, is just being a preachy bully.
Why the flashback: So at some point in his life JInzaburou was playing Japanese chess with his father’s friend, Nagoe Tokaiki, and he told him that the reason why he loses in chess, unlike his estranged father, is the fact that he is unwilling to sacrifice and pawns. That said, Nagoe’s home is invaded by a rival clan that has connections to the Shogunate and he is beheaded before Jinzaburou’s eyes, just in time, after he tells Jinzaburou to see him as a father. This, somehow, connects to Jinzaburou’s battling motivation. That’s about when I fell asleep. No wonder I keep forgetting the end of each episode…
Themes & Trivia
Shogi: Also known as Japanese chess or the Game of Generals, is a two-player strategy board game in the same family as chess, chaturanga, makruk, shatranj, janggi, and xiangqi, and is the most popular of a family of chess variants native to Japan. Shōgi means general’s (shō 将) board game (gi 棋).
Yokoyagake: It’s actually a thing. Yokoyagake is a structure which allows a defender to attack an enemy from the side by arrows or guns. Not sure how it ended up having a name.
Nagoe Takiaki and Kimitoki: As far as I can tell, and to my great disappointment, these guys are not historical figures. I was hoping for some more history trivia there to keep me going but naah.
Smoke bombs: The smoke bomb was first created in 1848, by the inventor Robert Yale.He developed 17th-century Chinese-style fireworks and later modified the formula to produce more smoke for a longer period of time. Early Japanese history saw the use of a more rudimentary form of the smoke bomb. Explosives were common in Japan during the Mongol invasions of the 13th century.
Next time, another battle
This episode was really great, I can barely wait for the next one.
How did you find this Angolmois: Genkou Kassenki’s episode? Let us know in the comment section! And don’t forget to check the rest of the Summer 2018 anime reviews on MANGA.TOKYO!
Angolmois: Genkou Kassenki (Record of Mongol Invasion)
Summer 2018 | Anime Info | Simulcast