Hyouge Mono Episode 5
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.
Series Premise: Hyouge Mono is a televised weekly anime series started in April 2011, based on the prize-winning manga series by Yoshihiro Yamada. Set in sixteenth century Japan, Furuta Sasuke is conflicted by his loyalty to his master, and his undying appreciation of tea.
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ep. tl;dr review: Senno and Hashiba plot Nobunaga’s downfall, while Furuta absconds a small national treasure.
Episode Summary: General Hashiba and Tea Master Senno continue to plot the overthrow of Nobunaga. Furuta learns from his brother-in-law of the three tea jars whose apparent ownership confers the ability to rule all of Japan. While viewing the precious gifts given to Hashiba by Nobunaga, he furtively switches replaces a reassured wooden tea stirrer for his own, knowing Hashiba will never notice. But when Hashiba meets with General Akechi to sweet-talk him to his cause and hands over a “small token”, the keen-eyed Akechi certainly notices.
My Impressions: It’s quite clear that vainglorious Nobunaga is getting ready for a downfall (frankly, I don’t know enough about Japanese history to know what’s “supposed” to happen, so it’s all suspense for me), and all the game pieces are being positioned for the inevitable confrontation. Senno is certainly a sly bastard, pushing Hashiba behind the scenes and bending his desires to his will, using him to pull Akechi over as well. Tea master my ass, that guy’s a Machiavellian backstabber.
Meanwhile, it seems that Furuta is getting caught up in the larger events around him, which is fine — after all, he’s always meant to be a pawn in the story anyway. However, so much of this episode focused on the larger story with Hashiba and Senno and Nobunaga and Akechi — that Furuta ends up getting the short end of the stick in terms of coverage. A bit of a shame, since it is his over-ebullient personality that he wears on his sleeve so baldly that is half the entertainment of the show. Yet his small moment of unbridled desire where he manages to add the tiny token of the wooden stirrer to his miniature prized collection may end up with larger-than-life consequences. Ain’t that always the kicker? In the end, it seems that Hyouge Mono is the story of a relatively minor, forgotten person in history whose small actions cause unintended consequences that turn the force of history. Not an entirely new idea, but what makes Hyouge Mono work so well is that minor, forgotten person is so much fun to watch.
- My earlier reviews:
- Info resources:
- If you like this series, then you might also like: Well, nothing. Because I can’t think of anything else like this. Oh wait, I know! How about Black Adder?
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “Exactly what role the Nitta, Hatsuhana, and Narashiba tea jars will play is still unclear, although the Narashiba, being the one tea jar not yet in Lord Nobunaga’s possession will probably be featured. Beyond this, Sasuke’s own selfish desires, including his greedy desire to possess treasures of aesthetic delight is a bit of a wild card. Sasuke’s indulgence may have some unknown effect on Hashiba’s designs, or it could be the thing that ensnares him in Hashiba’s plot. Regardless, it was wonderful to see this show is still getting subbed, even if slowly.” – Abandoned Factory
- “It’s funny how researching makes this show so much more interesting. Expanding on what I said last time, not only do you have to write things down to understand, but researching things, even things that could be regarded as spoiling (since this is just retelling history), makes everybody’s actions that much more meaningful. One-time characters that would not even be named in other anime make a brief appearance early on to be treated with much more weight at a later time. After all, in real life, there isn’t a set ‘cast of main characters’ – there’s many, many characters, each weaving in and out of the daily lives of everybody else.” – O-New
- “This episode wasn’t mostly about Sasuke, but he still cracks me up whenever he appears. As someone obsessive over aesthetics, he first marvels over the beauty of a horse, only to later outright steal. I must say, it’s very subtle how he did it, but especially his face as he swapped the wooden stir thingies was priceless. Bee-Train have always been really focused on non-verbal communication, but this show is on a completely different level on that. It’s both really subtle, and straight at your face. ” – Star Crossed Anime Blog
- “As for the anime itself, well, it’s still great. What a masterpiece of subtle dialogue and intricate plotting (both by the writers and the characters). On the giant chessboard of Sengoku era politics and warfare all of these men have their part, with the specter of Oda Nobunaga casting a giant shadow across all the other pieces. And even pawns like Sosuke can have their dreams of greatness.” – Lost in America