Hyouge Mono Episode 7
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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Episode Summary: After Sasuke’s risky attempt to storm the castle fails, he survives the battle but ends up receiving but a small reward for his loyalty and efforts. Frustrated by his inability rise in the ranks so that he can truly afford his expensive tastes, Sasuke jumps at any opportunity as he sees his window for advancement closing as Nobunaga moves to consolidate his power. Meanwhile, Sennou and Akechi are plotting against Nobunaga, and Sasuke appears to be nothing more than an unwitting, oblivious pawn in a much larger military/political chess match.
My Impressions: I have to admit that I’ve been negligent in keeping up on reviews, I actually watched this more than a month ago but been lazy in writing up anything about it, so many of the details are hazy.
In particular, the rather fine-pointed political intrigue as the vainglorious Nobunaga appears on a path to take a downfall at the hands of his “allies” escape me (I really should watch this on a more frequent basis so the details are not dulled with time). Even though this is a fictional story, it appears to be solidly based on one of the most important turning points in Japanese history, with fictional representations of real-world figures. I’m sure that any Japanese schoolchild could easily foresee where this is all heading, but I remain blissfully unaware of historical events, so it is all unfolding to my eyes for the first time…much like the current events swirling around Sasuke himself.
And that is really the heart of the series anyway. Sure, there’s a fairly complex web of deceit being woven by the power-hungry Sennou and his allies in Akechi and Mitsuhide — but what makes it enjoyable is to watch Sasuke traipse unaware through it all, being played for the fool without realizing it, nothing more than a mere pawn being leveraged by the real power players and completely oblivious. Loyal to a fault, he has his own agenda based on his own unsatiated greed and desires. One would think that such naked ambition would eventually lead to his downfall, but somehow Sasuke seems to land on his feet despite himself, and I expect him keep bumbling through major Japanese historical events.
Anyway, I’m not going to get caught up on the minutiae of the major political and military events, and instead keep my focus on Sasuke, the unwitting fool in the grand game. Because without him, Hyouge Mono would be nothing more than a dry and confusing historical drama.
- My earlier reviews:
- Info resources:
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “There’s no denying that this is one of the stranger and more fascinating anime of recent vintage, but I find it consistently entertaining and worth the wait. I think I could watch 22 minutes of Sosuke’s facial expressions and come away solidly entertained, but Hyouge Mono packs a lot more punch than that.” – Lost in America
- “Hyouge Mono is a work that emphasizes subtlety. This may be a surprising statement as many early reviews remarked upon things like the extreme facial expressions of the main character, Sasuke Furuta. What has become clear as the series progressed…is that Sasuke, though the main character, in terms of much of our perspective on the period, and in terms of providing a center around which the events of the story swirl, is by no means the most astute character.” – Abandoned Factory
- “I wonder where the original author got all his research from? Was he a history professor? An archaeologist? A sociologist? It’s funny, because this sort of research really is far too in-depth, almost to the realms of speculation – Hyouge Mono is this guy’s /life’s work/, if only because of the sheer amount of time you’d need to dedicate to produce such a work.” – O-New