Oda Nobunaga embraces his wife, as the difficulties of the Sengoku Jidai threaten to overwhelm them.

Oda Nobunaga embraces his wife, as the difficulties of the Sengoku Jidai threaten to overwhelm them.

Nobunaga Concerto is a bit behind the rest of the shows airing this season; episode three is out now, however, and it does seem that it is trying to be something unusual. Most series based upon the conceit that a high school student that has slipped back in time to the Sengoku “Warring States” period (in this case about the mid-1500s) are light in tone, and often comic, but Nobunaga Concerto takes a different approach, both to animation (which involves motion capture and rotoscoping), and to the story, which is more serious.

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General Akechi's banner unfurled.

Episode 10 is not only another good episode of Hyouge Mono, it is also a critically important one, full of character study, and significant events. In other words, reading this review will expose you to spoilers. This episode concerns itself with the events surrounding Lord Nobunaga Oda’s death in Kyoto, 1582. This was an event of extraordinary importance in the real world, so the details are well known to Japanese students. Hyouge Mono manages to alter the events, in many significant ways, all while making it plausible that our received history could have become the official version. In other words Hyouge Mono doesn’t depict an alternate history, but a secret history.

In addition this episode includes the most BAD ASS tea ceremony ever, a really interesting take on Bushido ethics, and in particular a complex study of Sasuke Furuta.

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Treachery can be beautiful, too.

Things have been building up to the events of episode 9 of Hyouge Mono for a while. Lord Nobunaga Oda arrives at the Honnou-ji and a tragedy results.

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Sasuke Furuta, aesthete, and ambitious man.

Huzzah’s recent release of a subtitled version of episode 6 of Hyouge Mono is very welcome indeed. It transports us back to 1582, and the struggle for Japanese unification under Lord Oda Nobunaga. This episode principally concerns itself with Sasuke, his realization that the window of opportunity is closing, and his desperate attempts to raise his stature.

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The subs are out?

I was starting to despair that the cynicism and crass commercialism that is pervasive in our world had been effective in shutting down Hyouge Mono (Tea for Universe, Tea for Life). Huzzah get my gratitude for persevering in the face of indifference and lack of discernment. So, “Huzzah! to Huzzah.” Episode 4 displays many threads of the developing story. A fashion show develops characters in the context of pageantry, gift giving demonstrates egotism, and the tea ceremony is the setting for both petty ambition, and spiritual colloquy.

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Only an honest heart may discern the true beauty of tea.

Thanks to Ginnodangan for pointing out that I had missed the release of a subbed version of episode 3 of Hyouge Mono (Tea for Universe, Tea for Life!). And it turned out to be a pretty interesting episode, too. We get a little more development of several characters, and hints of a plot development.

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