Angolmois: Genkou Kassenki keeps getting better, especially with this week’s episode. It won’t blow your mind, but at least it’s been raised to the level of being enjoyable to watch.
Japanese Original Episode Title: 金田城
The episode begins with the meeting between Jinzaburou and the Emperor – exactly where the previous one left off. My Japanese history knowledge is failing me so I’m trying hard to understand why this emperor lives abandoned in the mountains, how Teruhi is related to him, and why do the Toibarai obey him. Plotwise, the important bit is the fact that the emperor can exercise his will over the Toibarai, and that forces them to accept Teruhi and her immigrant people who are seeking shelter. Upon arrival, the Toibarai show off by killing some Mongolians and we get a bit of unnecessary yet cute fan service of the show’s couples fooling around along with some customary cleavage. After Teruhi presents Nagamine, the Toibarai leader and hot piece of ass, with a letter from the emperor, the Toibarai accept their plea for help and take the Japanese in. When in Kanata-no-ki, the ancient Toibarai hillfort, finding out the walls are too big and mostly unmanned, Jinzaburou throws a fit about how bad their security is. Right as he may be, that guy is still a pain in the ass, and he should really consider changing his tone once in a while.
Themes & Trivia
Juei period: The Japanese era name after Yōwa and before Genryaku. This period spanned the years from May 1182 through March 1184. The reigning emperors were Antoku-tennō (the short guy with the creepy eyes) and Go-Toba-tennō.
Kanata-no-ki: A hillfort in Japan built in 663, on the Tsushima islands between Japan and the Korean peninsula. Length 2.8km, inner area 28.7ha, it has 3 outer gates and 1 gate for the inner building. A modern military fortress was built on the site during the Russo-Japanese War.
Genji: An alternative name for the Minamoto clan. Minamoto was one of the surnames bestowed by the Emperors of Japan upon members of the imperial family who were excluded from the line of succession and demoted into the ranks of the nobility.
Emperor Antoku: An actual real emperor of Japan. Emperor Antoku. He was the 81st emperor of Japan and his reign spanned the years from 1180 through 1185. During this time, the Imperial family was involved in a bitter struggle between warring clans. Specifically, the Minamoto clan was trying to seize power from the Taira clan that controlled the emperor. He was drowned by his grandmother at the age of 6 in order to avoid being captured at the battle of Dan-no-Ura, which is also seen in this episode.
Dan-no-Ura: The battle of Dan-no-ura was a major sea battle of the Genpei War, occurring at Dan-no-ura, in the Shimonoseki Strait off the southern tip of Honshū (where emperor Antoku was drowned). The fleet of the Minamoto (Genji) clan, led by Minamoto no Yoshitsune (in the show called Minamoto no Kurou Yoshitsune), defeated the fleet of the Taira clan (Heike). The morning tide was an advantage to the Taira but turned to their disadvantage in the afternoon (hence the reference to the tide in the show). I stand here slightly confused, as what I understand is that the Angolmois storyline implies that Minamoto no Yoshitsune wanted to save the child emperor, who offered him the sword Jinzaburou was given by the leader of the Sou clan. I believe this means that the ‘real’ emperor survived hidden, the Toibarai kept following his orders as they believe him to be the true successor to the bloodline (which is probably why they don’t obey the local rulers), and that Teruhi carries his royal blood, somehow.
Jurchen: After looking for the Toibarai for a while and getting back nothing but results on Angolmois, I finally got a clue on who these guys are by something Nagamine referred to in this episode: the Jurchen people, sometimes called ‘Toi’. The Jurchen, also known by many variant names, were a Tungusic people (Eastern Siberian, probably like the Ainu, hence their light-colored hair and eyes) who inhabited the region of Manchuria until around 1630, at which point they were reformed and combined with their neighbors as the Manchu. Interestingly enough, the Manchu language is visually quite similar to the Mongolian one. For reasons unknown, these particular Jurchen people are obeying the emperor and protecting the land of Japan, but that’s either random (as Tsushima is a bit further – the area that was once called ‘Manchuria’ -and don’t try to google map this- is the northeast part of China that is found between present-day Mongolia and North Korea) or somehow established within some historical knowledge I am unaware of.
That hit the spot
I believe this was the best episode of the show so far – there was a lot to be learned and quite the controversy to dig out. It mostly lies with my interest in researching things though – I don’t know how common the knowledge of the 81st emperor’s fate is within the Japanese audience but I believe they should have invested some time giving us more historical background on what’s going on, rather than wasting screen time of bloodbaths.
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