Nobunaga The Fool

February 27, 2015

Oh dear. Not another Nobunaga anime adaptation. Can’t they get enough of him? Can’t they put him to rest already? But wait. Something about Nobunaga The Fool attracted me to watch it. This Nobunaga adaptation isn’t a gender bender one in the sense that the mighty unifier of Japan is turned into a woman, so where is the motivation to watch it? Furthermore, there are mecha elements and that itself is already a put off. So what is it? They mix it in with western historical figures! Wait a minute. Me, interested in that? Okay, not generally. But I really thought how cool it is to see the likes of Nobunaga and the other warring state generals with Joan of Arc, King Arthur, Leonardo Da Vinci and Julius Caesar. Yeah. It’s a mishmash and clash of both very different civilizations.

As the story goes, this fantasy setting whereby there are 2 worlds, namely the Western Star and Eastern Star. Both worlds are embroiled in turmoil and endless fights. There is something that could revolutionize and save the world and thus bringing peace but such is only known to a ‘heretical girl’ who envisioned a saviour that would save both planets. She embarks on a mission to find that saviour but it turns out the saviour is the ‘greatest fool’ of the land. Well, did anybody ever tell you never to judge a book by its cover?

Episode 1: The Star
In 1431 France, Jeanne Kaguya d’Arc is about to be burnt at the stake. I suppose she was praying to God when she heard a voice calling her as Ranmaru. If there is a world after this one, that is where they shall gain dominance. She views him as the Saviour King. Jeanne wakes up in tears yet again dreaming this dream. Similarly, Nobunaga Oda wakes up from another dream whereby his trusted aide, Mitsuhide Akechi betrayed him. Their world is currently fragmented and embroiled in clan wars. Nobunaga is advised not to miss Nobukatsu, his brother’s coming of age ceremony. Rendezvousing with Hideyoshi Toyotomi, they notice a large force from Shingen Takeda is making their way to their border. Nobunaga deduces that they might be just testing waters by testing their ability to mount an immediate response. Nobunaga goes to warn the border fortress. However they don’t believe him since Nobunaga has racked up a reputation as a fool. They are pretty confident this fort can hold whatever attack it may come. Of course needless to say, the end result is obvious. Nobunaga is stunned and shocked at the magnitude of their lost and annihilation. Back on the Western Star, Jeanne is still the target of rumours since others believe she is demon possessed. Leonardo Da Vinci approaches her, claiming to serve King Arthur. He lets her choose a tarot card and she picks out the star. He knows about the voice that speaks to her and invites her on a journey to the Eastern Star and find the king who shall save both stars. Riding on Magellan’s ship with the pretence to test out his new Giant War Armour, when Jeanne sees another vision, Da Vinci figures it is time to move. They hijack a Giant War Armour down to the Eastern Star before Magellan could do anything. Nobunaga is reeling from this big defeat and it makes him more determined to bring changes. He isn’t going to run away. Mitsuhide and Hideyoshi agree to follow his dream. A shooting star crashes nearby and it turns out to be a ship from the Western Star. Nobunaga enters it to check it out and follows a certain scent which leads him to unconscious Jeanne. A couple of Giant War Armours are approaching the site so Nobunaga climbs into the cockpit (with unconscious Jeanne). He hears a voice (Da Vinci) about only the true Saviour King can operate this machine. And you could have guessed it. He activates this machine like as though he is a natural. Jeanne wakes up and believes he is the Saviour King.

Episode 2: The Lovers
Operating it doesn’t seem so easy, though. He is told to synchronize himself and be one. Jeanne points her knife at his throat but at that position, can she even make a decent kill? Nobunaga throws her to the back. The enemy Giant War Armours open fire but Nobunaga easily slices them. Jeanne is convinced he is the Saviour King and came to this planet to meet him. The machine shuts down after the fight. Da Vinci introduces himself before Nobunaga and his men. He whispers to Jeanne about Nobunaga being the Saviour King. They need to find out the truth then. Meanwhile King Arthur’s round table discuss about Da Vinci’s betrayal and his intentions on Eastern Star. Gaius Julius Caesar offers to take the duty of bringing Da Vinci back because he possesses a wide knowledge on Giant War Armours and can pose a serious threat to them in the future. Nobunaga and co ride a trailer back to their castle at Owari. Mitsuhide is surprised the Western Star had such Giant War Armours at their disposal unlike on this planet they are rare. Nobunaga mocks Jeanne’s mission to come to this star to fulfil a destiny because it seems like she is following somebody’s destiny. She has no choice or else a disaster will befall on her star. And nobody knows what disaster it will be. Sounds like a wild goose chase, huh? Nobunaga thinks of naming his Giant War Armour. Because he is deemed as a fool by everyone, he decides to call it The Fool. I don’t know about his naming sense but at least it sounds unique because you’d be tired after hearing all those majestic names. Mitsuhide warns they may unleash something undesirable if they continue using the machine. Nobunaga is not cowed. If it unleashes hell, he will become the demon king. Da Vinci gives Nobunaga a timepiece as token of their friendship. So what does he want in return? The truth of this universe. Nobunaga welcomes him to serve them but Mitsuhide believes Nobuhide and his retainers will surely have something to say. Besides, Jeanne is a woman. Nobunaga doesn’t mind till he is reminded about his sister, Ichihime. Nobunaga wants Jeanne to dress up as a man and will call her Ranmaru. Nobunaga crashes into his brother’s ceremony to inform a fortress of theirs have fallen. He gives Nobukatsu the timepiece. Warning that they could fall to other clans too, this is what he proposes. He shows off The Fool and Nobuhide wonders if he has intended to make himself to king of this star.

Episode 3: The Chariot
Shingen thinks of testing Nobunaga and prepares to head off in his Giant War Armour, Fuurin Kazan. Mitsuhide tries to persuade Nobuhide to accept the Western Star’s services. However they believe bringing in the barbarians will only speed up their destruction. They think they are spies for Shingen. Mitsuhide will take full responsibility but they won’t hear anymore. Nobukatsu invites Ranmaru to join him for archery. He speaks of the lack of resolve he needs to shoulder the burden unlike his brother. He pleads to Ranmaru to be by Nobunaga’s side and take care of him since he is often misunderstood. Can’t say no to that, can’t she? Da Vinci discusses with Nobunaga about the need to infuse The Fool with some Regalia to account for its weaknesses. News break out that Shingen’s forces are coming. The Oda forces are low in morale. I mean, how the heck are those foot soldiers going to fight those Giant War Armours? Nobunaga gives them a much needed lift. He fires his arrows through the cockpit window and hits the pilot! Bull’s eye! Now it’s time for the big action. The Fool versus Fuurin Kazan. During the fight, a nearby house catches fire. Ranmaru sees several children trapped and she goes to save them. However the fire blocks her exit and her trauma of being burnt by flames paralyzes her. Nobunaga uses The Fool’s sword swing to cool down the fires and save her. Shingen thought he turned his back on the match but Nobunaga was just biding his time. He was waiting for the rain to fall. It isn’t just to douse the fire but to call forth the lightning which is a manifestation of a Regalia. Queen Himiko of Yamatai is responsible for that Lightning Regalia and if Nobunaga accepts her terms, she will gladly give it to him. Nobunaga realizes too late the words he is made to recite is actually a vow to marry her! So in addition to getting this Regalia, he’s got a wife too. The Regalia powers up The Fool with awesome accessories that make it look much better than its original plain generic design. Really. And now for the big power clash. Fire and… Lightning?

Episode 4: The Magician
The Fool has better endurance than Fuurin Kazan. But after that lethal strike, The Fool goes offline. Shingen also withdraws seeing his machine is also at its limits. Everyone boards Himiko’s flying vessel, Ameno Torifune for a ride back to Owari. Mitsuhide tells Nobuhide and the retainers about Nobunaga’s marriage. They feel relieved that with this strategic alliance, others won’t attack and use this time to strengthen their defence. Nobunaga doesn’t believe in this and wants to launch a surprise attack. As both sides are logger heads, Da Vinci suggests holding a betrothal ceremony instead of a wedding as cooling off period. Of course this infuriates Himiko. Jeanne spars with Nobunaga in a sword fight. She doesn’t handle the sword well since she lacks focus and still feels guilty over that fire incident. He tells her off how she won’t be able to kill with that mentality. Because this world as at war and only those who create their own destiny will survive. Himiko interrupts them and is suspicious about Ranmaru. She unrobes her chest and confirms she is a woman. Nobunaga tells Himiko a secret so she won’t say this to anyone. Then the ladies get on each other’s nerves with strange rumours of each other’s planets. Mitsuhide talks to Da Vinci about if anybody else could pilot The Fool. Hideyoshi wants his own so Da Vinci will think about it. Jeanne couldn’t sleep that night as she kept dreaming the kids call her a demon because she was able to foresee danger (though she warned them about it but it fell on deaf ears). She talks to Ichihime and yells out her earnest opinion on Nobunaga as a big idiot. That felt good, didn’t it? Ichihime doesn’t feel sad to have a fool as her brother because others just do not see his true self. Nobukatsu talks to Nobunaga and envies his carefree way to live and feels people will be crushed by the expectations of him. Nobunaga doesn’t like this kind of talk. The commoners have to pay to see the betrothal ceremony (a disguise used to collect military funds). Himiko is in a western wedding dress and Nobunaga dresses up like a fool! The grand show begins with Ichihime singing. Himiko wants a passionate kiss (I thought she didn’t like western stuffs?) but he carries and swings her around like he used to when they were kids. To cut the cake (a giant castle?), they use the majestic sword swing of The Fool! The electricity discharge may have shocked some. Literally.

Episode 5: The Tower
Caesar is down on Eastern Star. He gets captivated by Ichihime’s beauty and vows to take Oda’s castle. Nobuhide is still not impressed with Nobunaga showing off The Fool because the enemy size is not the issue but how their men feel. Nobunaga is still adamant and will show what The Fool can do. He plots to destroy Fuurin Kazan. Himiko is visited by Ichihime who brings a message from Nobunaga. Disappointed not her betrothed in person? As he is busy making plans against Shingen, Ichihime is here on his behalf to learn how to activate the Regalia. She refuses and will tell it to him personally. So Nobunaga creates a bond with his blood and now can activate it. Jeanne ponders if Nobunaga is the Saviour King or just some destructive beast. Da Vinci thinks it is their destiny to find that out. When it is time to move out, Nobunaga prepares to ride The Fool. Nobuhide wants him to slay him if he is still bent on going. Sorry, he isn’t into slaying weak people. Suddenly Nobunaga drops dead! Actually, he is paralyzed by a drink. With Shingen’s forces closing in, Nobuhide goes into battle. He has Nobukatsu defend the castle and Ichihime to continue believing in Nobunaga no matter what. Nobuhide faces off with Shingen as Nobunaga regains his consciousness. He realizes this is part of Mitsuhide’s cunning plan. He purposely poisoned his drink to avoid him going into battle as he heard about assassination rumours on him during the battle. He suggests waiting for the right time for him to go into battle and save the day. Which is about now. Nobuhide loses but here comes his son to the rescue. The fight Shingen has been waiting for. Suddenly a third party crashes in. Caesar is going to help Shingen. After a powerful blast that pushes The Fool down, he dashes ahead. Nobunaga can’t go after him since Shingen is going to take him on. Nobuhide gets up to defend the castle. By the time Ranmaru assists Nobunaga to get the better of Shingen, Caesar stabs Nobuhide! Mission accomplished? Nobunaga becomes filled with rage that it’s enough to blow everything apart. It’s like he had become a raging monster. Nobuhide in his dying breathe has a few things to say. Well, even if father and son don’t get along, they are still father and son. Regretting this? Not as much as Mitsuhide who believes it is his fault for miscalculating and made a terrible mistake and Jeanne who thinks the disaster was on Nobuhide instead on Nobunaga. So once the old guy is gone, angry Nobunaga is again filled with rage. Heads are going to roll.

Episode 6: Strength
As Ichihime narrates, the death of Nobuhide means outside forces will see this as an opportunity to attack whereas respective supporters of Nobukatsu and Nobunaga will clash. Nobunaga is clearly missing even from his father’s funeral rites. The retainers want Nobukatsu to continue with the rites as they have waited long enough. Suddenly Nobunaga barges in and dressed as a fool. He takes Nobuhide’s ashes and scatters it around. One of the retainers, Hayashi is going to slay him for his uncouth behaviour when Nobunaga seemingly summon the wind carrying sakura petals. Then he just left without a word. Mitsuhide wants Hayashi arrested for committing treason against the clan lord but nobody dares to move. Hayashi makes his own way to the dungeon. Jeanne cannot take more of this and packs her bags to leave. Himiko couldn’t be happier. She tells her that she is unable to grasp Nobunaga’s vast potential and unless she is strong enough to see his goals and support him, she cannot hope to stay by his side during these war times. Nobukatsu talks to Mitsuhide about Nobunaga being a better clan head. But he would like to protect his land and not let his people suffer anymore. Though the retainers are oppose to Nobunaga to become the next head and pushing Nobukatsu to be the clan head, Nobukatsu assures he doesn’t have any intention of pushing Nobunaga aside and seize power. Nobukatsu plans to agree to this plan temporarily to unite the clan and then step aside for Nobunaga. Mitsuhide in his monologue views Nobukatsu as a great ruler who cares for his people. It would have worked if he lived in a different era. Because unless Nobunaga leads them, this hell cannot be tamed. He who has vowed to follow the demon lord will also become a demon. He is going to snipe Nobukatsu. But his hands are shaking… Jeanne on her way in the woods hears a loud cry. Is it a beast? This leads her to see Nobunaga underneath the waterfall and screaming his heart out. So is she having a change of heart? She then spots a sniper trying to take him out. Before she can do anything, Himiko takes the shot and dies in his arms, glad she has fulfilled her duty as his wife. The sniper got killed by female ninjas. Similarly, Nobukatsu is lying in his own pool of blood.

Episode 7: The Hierophant
Mitsuhide remembers seeing his father committing seppuku as he pulls the trigger. As Nobunaga brings Himiko in to seek treatment, Mitsuhide with a heavy heart announces Nobukatsu is dead. Everyone is gloomy. Nobunaga blames himself for being worthless. Isn’t that why he is called a fool? Even Jeanne is feeling down and talks her problems to Da Vinci. So she’s staying? Caesar talks to Shingen about what he did and he views Shingen an important ‘business partner’. Nobunaga and his retainers are discussing those responsible behind the assassinations. Many accuse Shingen so Nobunaga decides to go ask him directly. He is going to just talk and not fight. Meeting Shingen in person, Nobunaga asks him straight if he ordered those assassinations. Shingen denies. Okay. That’s it? How can he believe him so easily? Because that resolve is written all over his face and that it is not his way of resorting to cowardly tactics. Shingen has Nobunaga join in his hospitality by serving sake. And then they go fight. What? I thought they said no fighting? Oh Jeanne, you can’t understand how men think. No one is to interfere in their fight so their power battle rages on and are both on equal footing. So great that their powers cause a great mist. Conveniently blocking any witnesses of what is about to happen, huh? In the end, Nobunaga defeats Shingen by stabbing him in the chest. Shingen admits defeat and gives him his Fire Regalia and wants him to go conquer the Heavens and Earth. However before he can hand over his Wind Regalia, Caesar stabs him from the back and his little servant twins, Nell and Bianchi still that Regalia from his hand. Nobunaga knows advantage is not on his side and flees. Shingen’s men are in grief over their lord’s death. Caesar paints Nobunaga the bad guy that he cowardly killed Shingen from the back and fled. He promises them revenge at all costs. Just going as planned…

Episode 8: Wands
Shingen’s advisors give Caesar read a letter from Kenshin Uesugi that was supposedly for Shingen. Nobunaga informs his retainers that it wasn’t Shingen who did the assassination and could be some outside force trying to take advantage of it all. The main priority now is to attack Caesar and take back Wind Regalia. Nobunaga asks Da Vinci more about Caesar. He is one of the brothers of the Round Table under Arthur sent to investigate the Regalia because the ley lines of the Eastern Star is more volatile, to find those who can master it. Da Vinci goes technical in his explanation. In short, he believes there is a strong correlation of the Regalia’s power and the willpower of the one using it. The problem in storming the castle is that their forces will be outnumbered. Hideyoshi suggests building a fort overnight and Da Vinci thinks it’s not impossible. Before Nobunaga leaves, Jeanne sees a vision he got killed by Caesar. So why doesn’t she just say it if it’s going to bother her a lot? Caesar tries out the Wind Regalia but nothing happens. It must be because Shingen has left its bond to Nobunaga. The only way is to kill him to nullify the bond, take all his Regalia and get the princess. The Oda forces surprise Takeda forces with their overnight might. As they head into battle, The Fool comes into the picture. Caesar thinks it was a distraction and will handle him while the army storm the castle. However when they reach there, it is empty. The castle is just a hologram projection. Takeda forces get wiped out. The battle between the Giant War Armours begins. I thought it is rather odd to see big robots riding big metal horses. I mean, WTF. Is this even necessary? Nobunaga surprises everyone by combining his Regalia and it wields a new different power. Suddenly out of the blue, Caesar stabs Nobunaga just like in Jeanne’s vision. I guess she was desperate to save him so she rushes out into the battlefield waving the white flag. You think Caesar cares? She prays so hard for the Heavens to protect Nobunaga and suddenly this power itself manifests into another new power for The Fool. Caesar loses Wind Regalia to Nobunaga and he unleashes all the elements on him. Yeah. He got burnt, blown away and struck. What an unlucky way to lose. With Oda forces obtaining a big victory, Jeanne vows to protect Nobunaga with her life.

Episode 9: The Moon
The citizens’ spirit are renewed after the victory of Caesar. Da Vinci has created another Giant War Armour built from other parts from such machines salvaged during the war. Orleans is for Jeanne to pilot and maximize her protective Regalia. Meanwhile Caesar sees Kenshin and fights him just to gauge his strength. Mitsuhide still has nightmares over Nobukatsu’s death. Jeanne pilots Orleans fine but it seems she cannot activate her Regalia and Nobunaga finds her annoying to be at this state. Then the news came in. Caesar has formed an alliance with Kenshin. The citizens prepare to leave in droves as they believe they will not stand up to their attacks. So much for having faith in your leader. Kenshin and Caesar personally speak but it seems Kenshin doesn’t like Caesar. Unlike Shingen who possesses the true warlord spirit, Caesar doesn’t and his eyes look deceiving. Mitsuhide’s spy informs him that Shibata and Hayashi are trying to make another move again so Mitsuhide has no choice but to take action. However he his hand still trembles. What is he scared of? His hands are already tainted in blood. Ichihime comes in to talk and calm him down. Nobunaga shoots arrows at Jeanne as he believes her Regalia will activate if faced with a mortal threat. As long as she is the way she is now, her Regalia will not respond to her will. He tells him of his desire to move forward for the Heavens and Earth and unify everyone under his rule. Yet is she still indulged with her selfish desire to protect him? He wants her to take a deep look at him to see how great a man he is. What did she see? The universe! Oh sh*t! He is really that great! With renewed resolve, her Regalia activates and protects her from Nobunaga’s strike. Meanwhile Mitsuhide is shocked to hear the retainers wanting to make Nobunaga their clan lord and then surrender to Caesar as they believe war will annihilate their clan and it is better to preserve it this way. Of course Nobunaga won’t have it this way and gives his piece of mind about such cowardly method that doesn’t deserve protection. How can submitting to the enemy protect their name? He will transform their resolve into strength and those who disagree slay him now and take over. Everyone bows down to him and since all the citizens heard (thanks to Da Vinci’s loud amplifier), they rally behind their lord. Feeling great now, huh? Ichihime gives Nobunaga a gift from their father once he becomes a true man. An empty bowl. It signifies presence and absence and thus totality. He greatly accepts it.

Episode 10: Temperance
Takamagahara is a sacred and neutral place and it locates a bridge that links to the Western Star. The Round Table guys do not understand why Arthur is sending Giant War Armour to Caesar when he has failed. But they are going to punish him if he disappoints them again. With Oda clan now unified and growing stronger, Caesar doesn’t understand why Kenshin isn’t going to strike them. Why did they form this alliance in the first place? Kenshin doesn’t want him to misunderstand. It seems he loves war and chaos. For it to be beautiful, it must be big and continuous and that’s why he let Nobunaga grow instead of crushing him when his forces are weak. In other words, the better the foe, the more worthy it is to be crushed. And more beautiful. Nobunaga gets word that Giant War Armours are being sent by Western Star and will be reaching Takamagahara. Caesar hears Nobunaga is going to attack them with a large army and so he prepares his. However it is just a diversion as Nobunaga and Mitsuhide infiltrate the very lax security of Takamagahara and plant bombs. Similarly, Hideyoshi and Jeanne do the same but plant transmitting devices. Jeanne couldn’t understand why Hideyoshi can eat at this time. He explains he had a sister and died by the Oda clan’s hands. They were very poor farmers living from hand to mouth daily. Due to the war, all their harvest was taken by the army as tax. They were left to starve. His sister was already weak but it was also good in the sense she didn’t have to put up any struggle. At first he hated the Oda clan and wanted revenge. He joined the army just for that. However he realized Nobunaga is a great man and decided to follow him. However if he ever shows signs of weaknesses, he’ll not hesitate to kill him. He wants Jeanne to keep this a secret. Finally the security detects intruders but they’re all easily dealt with. The device is activated and from what I understand, this Da Vinci’s invention allows them to control and gather the power of the ley lines that makes handling Giant War Armours difficult. Then they hijack the Western Star’s Giant War Armours. But one of them has Marcus Junius Brutus piloting it as he smashes his enemies. Hideyoshi climbs into one and starts piloting but is weak. He doesn’t mind dying for Nobunaga when that big man mocks his weak resolve to kill him. He knows about it. Hideyoshi decides not to only follow him but to become a great man who will stand by his side and shape this era together. Nobunaga gives him the Wind Regalia. He activates it and his Giant War Armour becomes like that legendary monkey king. Inclusive of that cloud flying stunt. He easily defeats Brutus. Once the victory is achieved, the decoy Oda forces retreat and Caesar realizes he has been fooled this time.

Episode 11: Death
Caesar talks to Brutus and they confirm Jeanne is that girl from Domremy village who can listen to the Heavens. The question is what did she hear and it could be Da Vinci’s plan from the start. With Nobunaga’s victory, neighbouring countries are in a dilemma to form an alliance or attack him now. Nobunaga has also ordered the evacuation of his people because he knows Caesar will come and attack soon to prevent them time from mastering their Giant War Armour. Jeanne is confident Orleans can protect everyone but Nobunaga is not so certain to rely solely on her. Soon Caesar’s forces attack and won strategic points that surround Nobunaga’s headquarters. Hayashi and Shibata perished in those battles. Nobunaga, Jeanne and Hideyoshi ride their Giant War Armour into battle. However it heats up and it takes time for it to cool down. They discuss Caesar’s light spear as the main problem. Mitsuhide suggests baiting Caesar to use it once as it takes time to recharge. Orleans will deflect that first shot before Nobunaga and Hideyoshi go in for the final blow. Everything goes according to plan. Caesar finds the recharge slower than usual because Ameno Torifune carries the ley lines absorbing device. But when Caesar refuses to be defeated, the dragons of the land respond to his wish and give him immense power. Now this cannon shoots ominous red beam! Orleans goes to deflect it but the power is so great that even Jeanne is screaming in fear. This causes the beam to scatter in different directions all over the place, destroying everything. The twins love watching this and even wish for more deaths. In the aftermath, Jeanne sees how the citizens have perished and becomes traumatized. It was like the death tarot card she pulled earlier. She blames herself as death. Nobunaga hugs her and doesn’t think so. Because he was the one supposed to pull it and thus he is death. Caesar won’t kill them because it’s his policy not to kill woman (?!). But this explains he knows Jeanne’s identity. He claims victory over this war and further strife is meaningless. He wants Nobunaga to submit to him. However Nobunaga invites him to a tea party and they will settle it there.

Episode 12: The Fool
Caesar accepts and calls his troops to a temporary ceasefire. While preparations are underway, Nobunaga now understands the words of his father to understand his men. He learnt the lesson the hard way. As for if Caesar will play dirty or not, Nobunaga views this is the best time to test him and figure his intentions as well as the Western Star’s. If he asks for the Regalia, he will of course refuse to give it up. Because he believes Caesar is looking for someone who can control the Regalia. If he had only been after the Regalia itself, he could have killed Nobunaga anytime in the war. Ichihime will be the host of the tea ceremony so she teaches Nobunaga the customs. They will be using the empty bowl. Back at Caesar, he is in a dilemma. Capture Nobunaga and bring him to Arthur or defeat him and take his Regalia. Because his true goal is to make Nobunaga his ally and defeat Alexander. The tea ceremony begins and Nobunaga doesn’t want them to be too stiff or formal. How else can you enjoy the tea, right? Nobunaga begins by asking about Arthur. Caesar believes he is the Saviour King who will save this world. Arthur aims to use the Regalia’s infinite powers to create a Holy Grail to save this world from certain destruction. Failure to do so means the world will end. Caesar wants Nobunaga to surrender all his Regalia and join forces with him. In exchange, he will assure his land and people under his protection. However Nobunaga refuses because he still doubts if he would do that after handing it over. But Caesar replies this discussion is unnecessary for Nobunaga is not the one who will save the world. At that moment, Jeanne interjects and objects to it. She is certain she saw Nobunaga in her vision being the Saviour King. Could there be a possibility of 2 Saviour Kings? Nobunaga says he will live the life he wants and not change the way he lives. At first he thought he wanted a Giant War Armour, thus the hijacking. He realized what he wanted was the ability to pilot it. The Western Star must have been providing Eastern Star with such to find those with ability and it so happen Nobunaga and Caesar vied for each other. He believes now it is not the time to fight as it will bring destruction to the stars. When will they settle their score then? When he faces Arthur. Caesar proposes a temporary truce and as proof of his goodwill, he will protect his land and people with all his might. But in exchange, he wants Ichihime’s hand in marriage. Shocking! Nobody saw that coming, eh? They think it’s like holding her hostage. But Ichihime will answer this herself. She agrees to it as long as it will save her people, land and even Eastern Star. Hey, even Caesar is surprised by this. But if he fails to live up to his promise, she will take his life even if it costs hers. So is he up to it? Suddenly a crack is seen on Western Star but Mitsuhide is still reeling from the shock.

Episode 13: Ace Of Swords
Ichihime… Crying alone… Regret? Mitsuhide spars with Nobunaga. The latter still has not given up on his dream to unify Heaven and Earth. If he fails, he wants him to cut him down. Calamity is befalling on Western Star. Arthur and the Round Table discuss of Caesar’s treason. Some want him beheaded but there are those who believe he is just deceiving his allies so that he could bring everything back to Arthur. Thus even more reason to believe Caesar will backstab them. Due to the little time left, Arthur gives the green light to invade Eastern Star. Caesar also tells Nobunaga about this invasion because their ley lines are weakening. Nobunaga agrees to strike swiftly and fight their way to Arthur. Later Mitsuhide confronts Jeanne about her visions. Are they just illusions to manipulate Nobunaga? She explains about this ability she had she was young. Nobody believed her to a point they think she is the one causing the misfortune. So when she sees one, she chose to remain silent. Till she saw Nobunaga as the Saviour King. If this comes true, it will erase the feeling that all her visions only bring misfortune. That is what she really wants to believe. Da Vinci demonstrates some system that enhances the abilities of Ameno Torifune by resonating the Regalias and thus allows Himiko to cross the sea of stars. The ship is powered up and Nobunaga renames it as Azuchi, the peaceful land. Mitsuhide seeks Da Vinci’s thoughts about visions. He is then shown a painting that represents the truth of this world but Da Vinci can’t say more than that. Hideyoshi speaks to Mitsuhide and knows he likes Ichihime. He encourages to speak his feelings but I don’t think it’ll be that easy. Because Ichihime comes from a warlord clan, she accepted the proposal because it is her duty. But she is the one suffering the most about having to go to Caesar and he should understand where she’s coming from. Now it’s Ichihime’s turn to talk to Mitsuhide. She thanks him for being there, things could not be the same without him, etc. He in turn apologizes for not being able to protect her. She will go to Caesar tomorrow for her people and star. That’s why she wants him to stay by Nobunaga’s side. His dream is now hers. She gives him her comb and if anything happens to her, she wants him to bury it at Bodaiji Temple. Although he accepts it, he promises he will not let anything happen to her. Yeah. Send his ninja ladies to do the job.

Episode 14: The Empress
Hannibal Barca and Charlemagne are approaching Eastern Star. Caesar is sad that Ichihime is not smiling so he introduces to her chocolate cake. Who doesn’t love chocolate cake even if it’s their first time tasting such sweetness? As Da Vinci shows Nobunaga some contraption about compressed frozen air, Hannibal and Charlemagne drop down in their Giant War Armour, freezing the lake they stand on. Nobunaga of course goes to engage them but Hideyoshi underestimates them and gets frozen by their freezing combo. Hannibal has frozen the citizens and threatens to take their lives if Nobunaga does not hand over the Regalia. Jeanne jumps in between. She will hand over hers in exchange for them to stop. Hannibal gladly orders Charlemagne to release the hostages. Yeah. He released them alright. Release their lives. He smashes the ice. It’s raining blood. Jeanne is devastated that she didn’t keep her promise but Hannibal reprimands her for citing Nobunaga as the Saviour King. Arthur is the only Saviour King and that disrespect has her deserve a million deaths. Jeanne throws her Regalia to Nobunaga. But he can’t do anything since Hannibal is putting her blade at Jeanne’s throat. Charlemagne cuts up Nobunaga who is reduced to a sitting duck. Before he could kill him, Caesar fires his cannon into the sky to disperse the clouds that is the source of the duo’s amplified powers. Hannibal is not pleased Caesar has betrayed the Brotherhood but it seems he decided to follow his wife’s wishes. What good would a husband be if he doesn’t? Oh, you don’t know… Ichihime wanted to go to war but Caesar wouldn’t allow her. He also won’t attack since it would mean betraying the Brotherhood. However Ichihime throws him the ultimatum. Choose. His wife or his master. This sounds familiar in real life… And so Caesar is willing to cast away everything in the name of love! Hannibal orders her henchmen to finish them off but here comes Kenshin to turn the tables. They are going to finish off Hannibal when Charlemagne won’t allow her beloved to be touched. He rips out her cockpit, gives her his Regalia and then sacrifices himself by destructing his Giant War Armour to send Hannibal flying back up into space to be retrieved by their comrades. Although Hannibal has Jeanne in her hands, she vows revenge over Charlemagne’s death and will burn that planet down. She will also flay Jeanne alive but Cesare Borgia won’t allow it and stabs her! Join your beloved in Heaven.

Episode 15: The Hanged Man
Nobunaga and co are heading to the Western Star to rescue Jeanne. Cesare reports the deaths of Hannibal and Charlemagne killed by Nobunaga. Later he tortures Jeanne in hopes that she will acknowledge Arthur as the Saviour King because people will believe her words as a prophet. She will not budge but before he can torture her further, Niccolo Machiavelli wants to handle it from here. Mere physical torture won’t do. This girl must experience some mental torture too. She brings Jeanne to her home village and makes her walk through the town. Everyone hides in their homes. Crucified in a chapel, Machiavelli brings her old friends and let them explain the misfortune she has brought. She continues playing mind games from Jeanne at all the persecution she has been suffering from. Also, her parents have been exiled from this village ever since she left this star. They didn’t even do anything wrong. The only way to escape this is to acknowledge Arthur and become his wife. Jeanne won’t be cowed and has always believed Nobunaga is the sole Saviour King. Da Vinci couldn’t understand why Jeanne is brought to her birthplace so the twins report that they heard she is going to be executed. Jeanne is to be burnt at the stake and everyone in town is forced to watch. Why do they have this guilty feeling then? Machiavelli talks to Jeanne one last time. Her goal is to inherit her power. Whether it can be or not doesn’t matter. After she dies, she will lie to the people that she has obtained her power and they will believe her. Besides, the other reason she is brought to this village is because she can’t kill Jeanne under Cesare’s watch because he wants her alive for her power. Jeanne sees visions that this village will burn down. The people think it is the devil’s work and start running. Mist descends on the place and it is Nobunaga and co attacking. The attack is just a diversion to clear the way for Nobunaga to save Jeanne. The village is further engulfed in flames and Jeanne can’t bear to see the people die. Nobunaga lends his Regalia to her in which she activates the wind but the flames are too big. Her earnest determination to live as a normal human being is probably what puts out the fire. Cesare and his men arrive. Hand over Jeanne. No can’t do. Nobunaga doesn’t care about the prophecy and won’t hand over Jeanne as she is his retainer. Suddenly the villagers form a line to prevent Cesare and his men from taking Jeanne. They let them escape. Trying to make up for the awful things they did to her? However after Nobunaga and Jeanne retreat far enough, the land starts acting up and it turns all buildings and people into nothingness. Jeanne wallows in despair and Nobunaga thought he saw some horrifying vision.

Episode 16: Ace Of Cups
Arthur notes that with the Eastern Regalia wielder and the girl who sees visions appearing, the Western Star enters a new era. And when the 12 chosen are assembled, the ultimate Regalia called Holy Grail will appear. In the near future, its sacred wielder will also come to the Round Table. But will the Holy Grail or their destruction come first? Jeanne starts to wonder if Nobunaga is the Destroyer King instead because all this happened when he came into contact with this planet. Nobunaga hides Jeanne in the crevices of the dark cave to fool Cesare and his men chasing them. Then they go back out the same way they came in. Nobunaga mentions the nightmare he often saw as a kid. He was enjoying killing his people. He thinks Jeanne is more of a Saviour King than him because ever since they’ve met, he has forgotten about his nightmares. She has saved more lives than him. Whatever king he is called, he will still follow his own path. The village then crumbles to reveal an ancient temple underneath. It has familiar symbols. From Da Vinci’s theory, these pillars (known as Pillars of Hercules) are those that connect the stars. They plan to use its power to propel Azuchi back up into space and back into Eastern Star. Mitsuhide rides down to retrieve Nobunaga and Jeanne while Caesar and Hideyoshi stall Cesare’s army. When Caesar strikes down Cesare, he isn’t aware that he planted some bomb in his armour. Nobunaga is ambushed by Machiavelli who is obsessed in obtaining a Regalia because she believes this is her ticket to enter the Round Table. Mitsuhide stays back to stall her and let Nobunaga and Jeanne up Azuchi. When Mitsuhide cannot make it in time, Caesar dives down to get him but the bomb activates and disarms his armour. Azuchi warps out into space. Arthur notes the awakening of Pillars of Hercules that links both stars. It is the fanfare announcing the imminent restoration of the Holy Grail.

Episode 17: The Hermit
As Himiko tries to go get Nobunaga, in her weakened state she falls off Azuchi. Nobunaga dives down to save her and they wait on a little island before Azuchi picks them up. Da Vinci analyzes Himiko (as a painter, he is quite acquainted with a naked body of a woman) and although he detects something, he relays to Nobunaga that she is just weak from using too much power and needs to rest. Caesar and Mitsuhide are captured by Cesare. Mitsuhide is beaten up when he gets worked up after Cesare badmouths his father. This prompts Caesar to think his father is his weakness. Why would a smart guy like him work under Nobunaga? He isn’t fit to seek dominion, can’t use a Regalia so a strategist is the best he can be. His ambitions may be a means to shake off the shadow cast by his father. Nobunaga talks to Himiko about meeting when they were younger. It seems to be a sacred place between life and death and the ley lines converge where Yamatai priestesses seclude and train themselves fighting monsters within their soul. Nobunaga happened to wandered lost there and he ‘slays’ some monsters to make her smile. Nobunaga might not remember because the barriers may have tampered with his memories but for a mortal for him to live, it proves that the ley lines accepted him. She chose to become his bride not because of that but because she fell in love with him at first sight. Later Himiko talks to Jeanne and hates how she can pretend and hide her feelings even she is by his side as though nothing happened. As a woman, she declares war with her over Nobunaga. Jeanne also does the same because she too loves Nobunaga. The fool has got another set of wars waiting for him… Meanwhile Alexander is summoned by Arthur. It is time for him to move and wreak havoc on Eastern Star. To reward his loyalty, Arthur shows his face. It looks pretty normal but I guess it was ‘beautiful’ enough for Alexander to cry. As Caesar is set free, he mocks Mitsuhide one last time that he doesn’t deserve Ichihime. He tells him to take a good look at himself in the mirror. He can’t even confess to her. He isn’t worthy of her for Ichihime is wiser and nobler than him. Caesar will be the one who can bring her happiness. Bye. As Mitsuhide ponders about things, somebody attacks the guards and throws a key to set him free. Mitsuhide takes the chance. Could be the work of the twins… Alexander and his men take off heading to Western Star. Da Vinci speaks to Himiko and knows he power is getting faint. She also knows that her life is short. Just like all the other Yamatai priestesses before her. She cannot escape this fate and doesn’t want Da Vinci to tell anybody about this. Not even Nobunaga. In exchange, he can have her body and dissect and experiment on it as much as he wants. She’d like to be the last to suffer this fate.

Episode 18: The Emperor
Mitsuhide stows away back to the Eastern Star. Chandragupta leads the attack on Takeda and Kenshin’s land. However Kenshin easily kills him. I didn’t expect they got rid of this Indian dude so fast. However Kenshin lost when he faces off with Alexander. Alexander then goes around planting stuffs in the ground and when the 5 points are linked, the Holy Grail will emerge. Ichihime runs away from the guards with her ladies in waiting. Mitsuhide becomes the fast and furious to take them all out. They are glad the other is safe. But save that for later because Mitsuhide must warn Nobunaga not to engage with Alexander. Too late. Nobunaga could feel his hands shaking when he stands before Alexander. Is he afraid? Alexander is not impressed by his flashy show but no substance. Even if Nobunaga uses his Regalia, not a scratch on him. How disappointing. His Giant War Armour, Gaia is absorbing the ley lines’ power and at this rate the planet will die. Nobunaga turns into a demon and wants Hideyoshi and Himiko to lend their Regalia to him. However the power is too much for him to handle and the Regalia is devouring him. When both their swords clash, it sends shockwaves like an atomic bomb! Woah! Definitely this planet is doomed. Though, Nobunaga succeeded in breaking Alexander’s hammer but he’s going to die anyway. Hideyoshi fights Alexander so Jeanne can bring Nobunaga to safety. Alexander is disappointed that Hideyoshi still choose Nobunaga as the Saviour King. Alexander then rips apart Hideyoshi! He is barely hanging on to his life! Nobunaga is forced to retreat or else Hideyoshi will die. He will not forget this humiliating defeat. In view of his loyalty, Alexander lets them live for now. Their rampage has caused the ley lines to go berserk and the land is falling apart.

Episode 19: Wheel Of Fortune
Hideyoshi is kept alive in an ICU powered by Himiko. For Nobunaga’s sake, she will not let him die. Nobunaga will go to Yomotsuhirasaka to obtain the ley lines’ power. A place where the dragons dwell. A place where the living and dead meet. Jeanne wants to go with Nobunaga to become a stronger shield. Mitsuhide is left in charge to protect the people and castle till he returns. With Kenshin, they sail to the place. The place locks out Jeanne while the guys trudge forward. They see Shingen before them but he is actually the dragon and it is going to test their resolve for this power they seek. Nobunaga sees haunting visions of his past as well as other people he knows like Nobuhide and Nobukatsu. Jeanne wonders why she can’t enter so a voice tells her it’s because she doesn’t accept her prophecy and bear ill will towards herself. Demonic hands grab her (like tentacle rape?) and torment her to accept the sin and blame. I don’t know, it feels like some kind of rape torture. Da Vinci talks to Mitsuhide about some Noh mask, whether it will be a happy or tragic expression. Currently he is drawing a painting called The Last Supper. It depicts the Saviour King and his 12 followers that will influence the fate of the stars and universe. He wonders if he should include Mitsuhide. And the centre as the Saviour King, will it be Arthur, Nobunaga or Mitsuhide? Mitsuhide then sees visions of Ichihime before being engulfed by another vision of his past. His family reminds him of avenging them. Jeanne continues to withstand this rape torture thingy. She is adamant on her stand of not wanting to bring misfortune to others. She takes a dagger and is willing to cut off her ear. Kenshin fights a dragon but as he strikes it, it is akin to striking himself and gets injured. Likewise, Nobunaga sees the dragon composed of his people suffering. If this is the dragon’s true form, he realizes this is how it has suffered. His immaturity hurt them all. He accepts their pain and suffering. Everything. Then he calls on Jeanne to accept her prophecies. Hesitate no more. He will accept her and everything that she is. Well, that was enough to snap her out from the illusion. Nobunaga also exits the place as Jeanne notices the dragon behind him. It seems he has gained honour by offering himself to the dragon. Nobunaga and Jeanne return to their castle but Kenshin’s whereabouts remain unknown.

Episode 20: The Sun
Mitsuhide makes plans to defend Yamatai but Nobunaga can tell it has already fallen into Alexander’s hands. Caesar is sent to see Arthur who will not punish him for his betrayal as he believes he has his reasons. As he speaks about true salvation, Caesar cannot understand that so many people have died especially with Cesare burning down the village. Is this what Arthur believes in? Arthur also feels pain in the deaths of multitude and many lives indeed have been lost for that. However true salvation can only be attained when he holds the Holy Grail. He shows Caesar his pretty face. Wait a minute. Arthur is a girl?! So pretty that Caesar is just crying. Like he just saw the face of God. Arthur gives Caesar the Excalibur that will give him the strength to seek true salvation. Alexander has already plotted and connected the lines and is going the take the ley lines power by brute force. But here comes Nobunaga to stop him. Da Vinci asks Alexander if he has seen Arthur’s face because he cannot paint him otherwise. How does he look like? A man among men. Huh? And Da Vinci is so shocked in hearing that. Nobunaga and Alexander fight with the former breaking the latter’s sword. However Alexander uses his brute strength to toss away Nobunaga’s sword and this causes the place to activate. I don’t know about Da Vinci’s comment about the many possible futures has been reduced to one by this act. Life or death awaits them. Now that the ley lines power is restored, everyone starts moving in. Including Hideyoshi who is feeling better than ever as he is now part cyborg! Caesar also arrives as he walks up the altar and plunges Excalibur into it. This manifests the bridge between the stars and allows Arthur to come here. Yeah. The king is coming. As Nobunaga and co flee, Jeanne hears a voice telling her that Nobunaga is the Destroyer King.

Episode 21: Justice
Caesar sees Nobunaga and proposes peace and that Arthur’s wish of bringing salvation and prosperity to both stars. However Nobunaga turns him down noticing he has changed. Who wouldn’t after seeing Arthur’s face? Cesare then confronts Caesar of his doing as he doesn’t believe Arthur wants peace because he is an infinite darkness that engulfs all. Caesar thinks Cesare has misunderstood. He wants him to use Perfecta, a technology Da Vinci left behind that Cesare has perfected to help in Arthur’s cause. Ichihime then sees Caesar to ask his real intentions. He wants eternal peace. A world where love is equal for all. Mitsuhide is here to bring Ichihime back but Caesar wants to save her at all cost. He says that the world will be ending soon and to prevent that, the Holy Grail must manifest. That led Arthur to find a chosen one who has overcome death and will never die. That sacred being is Perfecta and has been created by Cesare’s team. Bottom line: The world will be saved after its destruction. Ah, that’s the catch. They can survive that destruction if they become Perfecta. They call this plan mad but Caesar believes Mitsuhide would love this utopia world too because as he loves Ichihime, this new world without love where all love becomes equal and neighbours. Although Nobunaga will never accept this, that is why Caesar needs Mitsuhide to convince him. Ichihime slaps Caesar now that she knows his true self. Then the inevitable. Caesar versus Nobunaga. Although Caesar loses, he is still bent on saving her and creating that equal world. The twins relay a message that Ichihime is too obsessed with life and the idea of living and thus being held back. This makes Caesar believe he needs to liberate the things holding her back and aims at the castle. Ichihime stops him so that Nobunaga can cut them down. Yes, she is willing to lay her life on the line as she believes Nobunaga is the only one who can unite Heaven and Earth. He mustn’t be swayed by the gravity of his destiny. Jeanne tries to stop him from turning into Destroyer King but to no avail. After Nobunaga cuts Caesar down, Bianchi tries to cut Caesar down but Nell impales the trio so Ichihime, Caesar and Bianchi feel like they became a human sheesh kebab! Caesar then cuts down Nell. Caesar has realized. The happiness he sought was to spend time with his loved ones. He already obtained that. In Ichihime’s last dying breathe, she tells Nobunaga she is happy and believes he can bring true peace to all. So trust in your path. Ichihime… NOOO!!!

Episode 22: The Devil
Mitsuhide dreams of killing Nobunaga. A small funeral is held for Ichihime. Mitsuhide confronts Jeanne about her vision having Nobunaga as Destroyer King. Although Jeanne is not certain if Arthur is the true Saviour King, Mitsuhide notes Ichihime fell victim to the Destroyer King. Would she follow him? She will. She has decided on that. Arthur summons his Round Table members. Those died have returned as Perfecta. They look like zombies… The time has come to manifest the Holy Grail and 4 more seats are left to complete the 12. He believes to leave this role to the Eastern Star and to bring Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, Himiko and Jeanne to his side. In Mitsuhide’s dream, he is about to snipe Nobunaga when Hideyoshi appears before him and dares him. He snaps out of it when the real one appears. He reveals he killed Nobukatsu so Nobunaga can achieve his dream. Hideyoshi is so enraged but holds back himself. He reasons he would have done it himself as he thinks the Oda clan will fall under Nobukatsu’s leadership. However he reminds Mitsuhide about their pledge they made. If he decides to call it quits before Nobunaga achieves his goal, he will kill him. Nobunaga may be losing it in grief. Jeanne hugs him and says she will support him all the way. Mitsuhide talks to Da Vinci about his reason to come to this star. As he has not seen Arthur before, he thought of coming here to meet Nobunaga to predict the future. As Mitsuhide believes he made Nobunaga into the Destroyer King, he thinks visiting Western Star’s stronghold to determine Arthur’s will and since he doesn’t possess any Regalia, this will not result in immediate bloodshed. Himiko is trying to use her lifespan to restore the ley lines of this star. Hideyoshi won’t have her do it because she did the same to him and won’t let her die till he repays her. However this is her life and she will live the way she deems fit. Mitsuhide goes alone to see Cesare who in turn brings him to Arthur. His invasion of Eastern Star is to stop the Destroyer King as he doesn’t wish for war. Because it is the Saviour King’s sole job to ensure eternal utopia on the world, he wants Mitsuhide’s help to strike down Nobunaga and become a brother of the Round Table. If he wishes for true peace, work with him. Then Arthur shows him his true face. Now he has a samurai face? Actually, it’s his father. Just like anybody else, he becomes moved and will obey his will but is crying because he is going to kill Nobunaga.

Episode 23: The World
Himiko continues to push herself. Nobunaga confronts Da Vinci and threatens to kill him for he believes he influenced Mitsuhide. He shows him his incomplete sketches and his ambition to know the truth behind this world. As it is raining ashes, he thinks it is a necessary material for Arthur to create a new world. The only way left is to storm Arthur’s castle and Himiko suggests using Azuchi to teleport them. Hideyoshi will not allow it and reveals Himiko is at her limit. Nobunaga prohibits Azuchi’s use and they will barge their way through. Hideyoshi is going to get his rematch with Alexander but Kenshin returns (is he trying to be a pirate with an eye-patch now?) and he is better than before, although he is just on par with Alexander. Nobunaga and Jeanne are stopped by Hannibal and Charlemagne. Perfecta form. How do you stop the undead anyway? Himiko is stubborn. She thanks her servants for their loyalty and services before heading off to pilot Azuchi. She uses what is left of her power to teleport Nobunaga and Jeanne into Azuchi to crash into the fortress. Nobunaga and Jeanne rush to her side. Her final words are that she will marry Nobunaga in the afterlife as a dragon. So in this life, she wants Jeanne to wed him. Everyone is sad over her death but Nobunaga won’t mourn her yet until he defeats Arthur. But in the room, standing before them is Mitsuhide. He is praising Arthur like as though he has been brainwashed. He apologizes for being the one leading Nobunaga to become the Destroyer King. He also reveals he was the one who killed Nobukatsu to save him. Nobunaga will deal with this after he settles things with Arthur but Mitsuhide won’t let them go further. He fires a few warning shots at Nobunaga and forces Jeanne to proclaim Arthur as the Saviour King. She does so. At that moment, Cesare shoots Jeanne while Arthur begins the ritual to summon the Holy Grail.

Episode 24: Judgment
Although Jeanne lives but is weak, Mitsuhide shoots and kills Cesare. But he’s happy because he knows he will have eternal life after Arthur summons the Holy Grail. Well, if that happens. Nobunaga is mad as he summons The Fool to barge his way to Arthur. Nobunaga sees the face of an old man in Arthur. This is his true self. Arthur explains others see what they want based on their values and beliefs, the reason why different people see different faces. As he is merely projecting their values and all men cling to that desire, he believes he is granting the happiness people desires. Nobunaga rejects his argument and won’t accept false happiness. Arthur is impressed that aside Da Vinci, he too rejected his view. Nobunaga just believes himself as a fool. Hideyoshi faces off with Mitsuhide and the former knows he is going to kill Nobunaga and fights him. Da Vinci is completing his Last Supper painting. After all, this is the only thing he can do, right? The painting shows Mitsuhide as Judas going to betray Nobunaga. Nobunaga rides The Fool and fights Alexander who is now in his dragon form. All of Nobunaga’s Regalia start glowing and he can feel its warmth. As the dragons fight (devouring everything while at it), Arthur begins summoning the Holy Grail and the land starts falling apart. So the Holy Grail is in the form of a woman? However something is wrong. Destruction has yet to cease. Arthur thinks Nobunaga can even destroy sacred hope. The Holy Grail breaks and Arthur is squished by the dragons’ fight. Flat Arthur. How is that even funny? Hideyoshi saves Mitsuhide from a certain death during the chaos. He makes remember about their vow. What good would a nobody like Arthur do if he rules Heaven and Earth? It has to be them. Mitsuhide’s eyes are now opened. If you want a job done, do it yourself. He is going to kill Nobunaga.

Jeanne continues to throw her support behind Nobunaga who will continue to follow the path of destruction. Mitsuhide confronts him about their unification goal. Nobunaga will destroy that too. In that case, Mitsuhide will cut him down and do that. As the guys clash swords, Mitsuhide seems like he is losing when he takes out Ichihime’s comb and stab it in Nobunaga’s neck! All his Regalia go dead. Nobunaga realizes the reason Mitsuhide cannot wield a Regalia. It is because he was not meant to do that. Nobunaga’s dragon reveals that he did not devour the people but protected them. This is partly thanks to Jeanne’s help. What he devoured were Giant War Armours and the power to create wars. Now that he has devoured destruction and will die with it, he leaves the rest up to Mitsuhide. Can he do it? Because he killed Nobukatsu, he knows the endless pain. Only a person like that can create a new world without pain. Asking what Mitsuhide truly desires, he wants peace. Then there is no place for Nobunaga here because he only knows how to destroy and loves chaos. Da Vinci realizes his painting is slightly off because Nobunaga was the one in Judas role and Mitsuhide the Saviour King. He throws away his tarot cards and jumps into the flames. So now he has seen the truth of the universe, he kills himself? Dying Nobunaga and Jeanne declare their love for each other and kiss before they head off to the other world. And what it seems like another world, a modern one like ours, a group of people is seen visiting the art museum with Da Vinci’s Last Supper painting. There are a couple of students curiously resembling Nobunaga and Jeanne as their eyes meet.

Only Fools Rush In
Uhm… I don’t know anymore. To summarize my feelings for this series, it went downhill. When it first began, it was quite interesting, the concept and mystery to it all. Also the mixture of eastern and western historical figures makes it an interesting watch. However somewhere along the second half of the series, things started to get a bit confusing. That is where the downhill ride begins. Naturally all I understood was somebody known as the Saviour King is going to summon Holy Grail to save the world but the Destroyer King will stand in his way. At least that it is what I understand. When they put in too many of those confusing explanations that I don’t really comprehend, I couldn’t connect the dots and that’s when my interest for the series waned. Too many terminologies. Too much talk. Too much drama. Too confusing. I guess summoning the Holy Grail isn’t as simple as it seems. Makes it look like world destruction is so much easier. Heck, even the ending feels crappy. I thought they should just kill everybody since they have killed a few important people and even the main protagonists themselves. Everyone alive should just do a Da Vinci and commit suicide. Thank God this show is over.

I think they tried to put in some twist in the plot and screw with our minds like having us think Nobunaga is the Saviour King all along and then suddenly he becomes known as the Destroyer King. Can we blame Jeanne for that misinterpretation? Well, she came here to this Eastern Star to find out and I presume that she assumed Nobunaga is the man with the right qualities to be that and sets off her journey with him. Who knows suddenly her inner voice decides to let her know so late that Nobunaga is the Destroyer King and even naming him in person. What is a girl got to do so late at that point? Deny? Try to change it? Accept? Live with it? And as we start to believe Arthur might be the one, blam! He gets squished (honestly, the funniest scene for me in this entire series) and who the f*cks would have guessed that Mitsuhide is the actual Saviour King. He had no signs. He had no talent in wielding a Regalia. He stained his hands. And this dude who betrayed his lord is the Saviour King? Who the f*cks come up with this kind of thing?! And as we see, the world isn’t destroyed. Time to rebuild. Too bad for all those betting on Perfecta and became one. Stay in zombie land for all I care. It’s the living that matters.

With the plot shifting towards world destruction in the second half, I suppose the importance of the Regalia which everyone seems to be fighting for in the first half that is supposed to power up their Giant War Armour becomes irrelevant. Heck, because Nobunaga got them all, right? Even those in the hands of Hideyoshi and Kenshin, for reasons unexplained (convenience is what I can see), they all float and go to Nobunaga in which I don’t see how he powers up with it because eventually they go dead. And then Mitsuhide scatters them away. Useless, huh? Why not after all the Giant War Armours have been disabled. No more wars? For real? Peace has been attained? What are the chances that idiotic humans from either side of the star won’t come up with a conspiracy to make another world war happen and destroy the universe this time? And how can Nobunaga unify Heaven and Earth if he is dead and residing in the stars? Oh sure, leave it to Mitsuhide your trusted aide who almost killed you to do that.

The many characters are great although some I feel exist just to play a small part that would lead to something. Some are shallow (are the twins just bloodthirsty kids?), some were short-lived (Hannibal and Charlemagne comes to mind) some change but without sufficient explanation (did Caesar really turn over a new leaf because of love?) and some makes you wonder what happened (remember Brutus?). One of the biggest disappointing character is Jeanne herself. Because for most of the time, she looks like somebody confused and unsure of her destiny. Even though she has made her resolve, it still feels that she isn’t strong enough. Unlike the strong and independent woman I hope for her to be, she falls really flat of this expectation because it is as though she is always following in his shadow. And when she really seems she has accepted her fate of following Nobunaga to hell and back (literally, death cannot even do them part), it feels a little too late. The worst part is it felt as though Jeanne has become one of Nobunaga’s submissive concubine!  You know, you see her in the last episode clinging on to life, clinging on to him like as though to show us that Nobunaga is the big hero and heroes always get the girl, right? Yeah. That. Because she’s been holding in her pain from being shot by Cesare and waiting for Nobunaga to finish his business before breathing her last breathe. Wow. It’s like they’re in sync when they’re dead too.

Da Vinci is an amusing character, if not someone who is full of mystery. What makes me say that is his tarot card trademark which also in a way bugs me. In every episode, he never fails to carry this pack of tarot card and lets somebody pick it up and the card picked is of course reflected in the title so it is hardly any surprise. It is just whether it would be upright or upside down. Despite him being a genius inventor and having great visions, I never knew he was quite adept in reading tarot cards. Because the instant somebody pulls out a card, he can explain what the card implies although I would be mostly left confused since the way he explains it is also somewhat in a form of a riddle. Maybe. Maybe not. I know Da Vinci has drawn lots of sketches of inventions well ahead of his time and in a sense like he is predicting the future. But tarot cards? Nice try but it feels odd. And the way he explains so smoothly and sometimes leaving others in stitches over his explanation, sometimes it felt like as though he is the scriptwriter of this show and hence he could answer what is coming. And he is always right. Almost. Heck, he himself picked the card in the final episode but when that happens, it seems he got it off a little. Maybe this is why he never picked the cards himself.

Other characters felt rather okay like Nobunaga feeling like a rebellious teen wanting to do things his way instead of being tied down by some shackles or something. He has got his good points and bad points but ultimately the important thing is that he tries to be himself and live out the dream that he wants and not what others expect of him. Then you have the very conflicted Mitsuhide who is always torn what to do and what the next best move is while Hideyoshi true to his monkey nickname acts close as one. For the eastern side, I suppose they try to recreate the events but loosely based on the real history like how Mitsuhide betrayed Nobunaga and killed him. That nearly happened here, right? I’m not so sure for the western counterpart since it is a mishmash of Europe instead of one specific country. Because even though there is Arthur, there is no Lancelot or Merlin and Alexander (who I believed is supposed to be modelled after Alexander the Great) takes up the role as the strongest knight of the Round Table.

Like I have said, with so many characters around, it feels that many of them are fleeting especially those from the Western Star. Of course be warned that they do not actually reflect those historical figures accurately and as though they just only had that in name. I felt that only Caesar (aside Jeanne and Da Vinci) made an impact since he was the first and only person from the Round Table to head down to Eastern Star and did his stuff. That was in the first half and in the second half everyone else there gets a piece of the action so it is somewhat ‘diluted’. I expected Alexander to play a significant impact but alas I do not feel otherwise except maybe to provide some muscle action. So that guy still lives in the end which I don’t know signifies what because from the way the others bow down to him it looks like he is the next leader for the Western Star after Arthur’s demise.

To even think about the romance part is atrocious. Do you even consider it here? I mean, Himiko’s love is unrequited and she knows it. Makes you wonder if that betrothal ceremony was just a show, which it is. Himiko and Jeanne’s little showdown to win Nobunaga’s heart made me think that this might descend into one those harem shows but to actually execute it would have devalue greatly this series so I guess it was better never to have happened. Nobunaga and Jeanne’s love at the end felt so rushed that it wasn’t just convincing. I knew it was bound to happen but I didn’t expect it to happen this way. Right at the end. Well, they’ve been together for almost the entire series and with Jeanne being his protector, it is unlikely that nothing would develop with that kind of bond. I don’t know if their supposed reincarnation in another world will be about rekindling lost love but that would be an entirely different story altogether. I could say there is true love between Caesar and Ichihime but only in the very last moments. Till death do them part. I think it is a bold concept trying to have a union between eastern and western people but I don’t see it working out here. Yeah. They died.

I don’t know if it is a good thing or not since the mecha fights are not the big focus of this series. It feels like a side distraction. Most of them are in the first half of the series since the second half becomes more drama-like. Even with a few varied moves and some packing a punch with the Regalia power, personally they are hardly memorable and it lacks the wow and oomph factor that would want to make me replay and watch the scene again. Really. Even the final episode, Nobunaga using The Fool after not having used it for some time feels like a reminder that in a way this is a mecha anime in some little ways. Heck, it wasn’t much of a fight either because the short bout with Alexander turned into some dragon fight. So the mecha action parts are just rather okay.

The art and animation are pretty standard and okay. Just that I feel that the mecha designs for the Giant War Armours are not appealing except maybe for the ones from the Western Star but even so, it isn’t as majestic like in some other mecha animes I have seen. Yeah. I have watched ‘a lot’ of mecha animes in my life whether I realize it or not. Seriously. Therefore when I first saw The Fool, I thought the producers didn’t put any effort into it to look ‘good’ till they put on some ‘accessories’. But even so, it still looks pretty plain overall. Although the only saving point for them is its CG animation as they are quite neatly and smoothly done.

There are quite a number of casts lending their voices and especially a handful of familiar names. Like Mamoru Miyano as Nobunaga (Light in Death Note), Jeanne as Jeanne (Mio in K-ON!), Minori Chihara as Ichihime (Chiaki in Minami-ke), Takahiro Sakurai as Mitsuhide (Suzaku in Code Geass), Yuuki Kaiji as Hideyoshi (Eren in Shingeki No Kyojin), Nao Touyama as Himiko (Karen in Kiniro Mosaic), Yuuichi Nakamura as Caesar (Gray in Fairy Tail), Tomokazu Sugita as Da Vinci (Gintoki in Gintama), Rikiya Koyama as Shingen, Kazuya Nakai as Alexander (Zoro in One Piece) and Sayaka Ohara as Hannibal (Erza in Fairy Tail).

The rest include Keisuke Oda as Arthur (Suruga in Re: Hamatora),Takayuki Kondou as Cesare (Oishi in Prince Of Tennis), Aya Endo as Machiavelli (Miyuki in Lucky Star), Haruka Ishida as Bianchi (Kanata in AKB0048), Ibuki Kido as Nell (Nanami in Kanojo Ga Flag Wo Oraretara), Hiro Shimono as Brutus (Keima in The World Is Not Enough), Kaito Ishikawa as Charlemagne (Tsumugu in Nagi No Asukara), Hiroki Nanami debuting as Kenshin, Nobunaga Shimazaki as Nobukatsu (Shido in Date A Live) and Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Magellan (Sora in No Game No Life).

The first opening theme, Fool The World by Minori Chihara isn’t a bad rock piece as it fits the pace of the series. The first ending theme, Axis by Stereo Dive Foundation feels like techno rock and I think it is not too shabby either. Unfortunately the songs for the second half aren’t much to my liking not because I have gotten used to the first ones. Breakthrough by Jam Project sounds weird. I thought there was a group of people chanting the haka war cry at the beginning. Otherwise this typical rock style from Jam Project feels just ordinary. Then there is Ran by Asuka as the second ending theme. I just don’t find this slow rock piece suitable. The song is okay but somehow I just don’t find it fitting.

Seriously, I don’t think this will be the last Nobunaga adaptation ever and there will be more in the future to come. But at least it was a rather good concept to adapt both eastern and western historical figures so I guess this is the only highlight of this series in otherwise what would be a lukewarm and disappointing towards the end. Overall, this isn’t a bad series but perhaps it wasn’t just my destiny to enjoy and like it. Not one of the best Nobunaga adaptations but hey, at least you can’t accuse me of watching ‘creative’ adaptations of Japan’s greatest unifier only when turned into a woman. I know I’m a bigger fool but on second thought, if I am ever going to watch another Nobunaga adaptation, might as well see him as a busty sexy woman.

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