Yeah, it’s been a long time since I blogged Hyouge Mono. So long, in fact, that I had a bit of a hard time remembering what was happening, and as I didn’t have time for a rewatch of the eps leading up to this one, that made following the events a little challenging. But the good news is, this series is every bit as superb as I remembered it.
I fully realize that covering this show may be about the most Quixotic thing I could do here – by comparison, Ginga e Kickoff is a massive mainstream hit. And I don’t really see much point in covering it episodically – the show has finished airing months ago, and I’m several eps behind even where the subs are now. So, whatever tiny audience I did have is probably long-gone – either given up waiting for the subs, long finished watching the raws, or several eps ahead of me now that Doremi has picked up the series.
So, for all that, I guess I just wanted to check in (especially as it’s a slow week for anime) and say I’m still with Hyouge Mono. I’m still entranced by it, still amazed that anyone put up the money to produce this strange and wonderful anime. If you’re interested at all in Japanese history this is a must-watch, because the unique blend of documentary-style realism and a fascinatingly slanted twist on real (as best we know) events is really compelling. Plus, it’s a really interesting series to look out – so completely unlike any other anime in visual and narrative style that it stands alone, with nothing to really compare it to. That alone would make it a series worth watching for me.
What stands out for me in these two episodes? First, just how much of a Svengali Sennou has become. He packed a truly sinister aura in episode 15 – his cold, calculating soul has found its perfect match in the color black. Second, just how funny Hyouge Mono can be. The entire banquet sequence at the Tokugawa camp (perhaps even more so for me as I was Nikko only yesterday) was hilariously bizarre. The “shrimp mongering dance” was quite unlike anything I’d seen before, not to mention the giant oppai rice balls – but to his credit, Sosuke kept him rage in check – one-upping Ieyasu in the process – and managed to palm a slate of Iga pottery in the process. For all his buffoonery, Sosuke is indeed something special – he’s developed into quite the survivor.