|Invasion of Mino Arc|
Light Novel Volumes
Azai Nagamasa, Zenki, Hanbei Takenaka
This is the second arc in the series and follows the events of the second Light Novel. Following the events of the previous novel Nobuna and her retainers attempt to take the territory of Mino from Saitou Yoshitatsu, however they are repelled frequently by his strategist, Hanbei Takenaka. Another warlord, Azai Nagamasa, offers to help Nobuna to achieve this goal, but would force her to marry him as a result of their alliance
Yoshiharu wakes up to a typical scene in his small home, the ninja, Goemon, is asleep on the roof, and Nene, who had become his little sister, was clinging to his back. Yoshiharu notices that Nene has wet the bed and scolds her, noting that as an 8 year old she needs to start to break this habit. Nene cries loud enough to wake Goemon due to being scolded and Yoshiharu goes outside to clean the bed, where he runs into his neighbour, Inuchiyo. Inuchiyo, half asleep, barely dressed, and roused by Nene's crying, attacks Yoshiharu once she realises he's looking at her. Thus ends a typical morning for Nobuna's "Saru".
Yoshiharu and Inuchiyo later go to the shops to buy snacks for a party, with Inuchiyo noting that the guest they're entertaining will be Motoyasu Matsudaira, with whom their lord, Nobuna, will be signing an alliance with. Due to Inuchiyo's intimidating atmosphere the shopkeeper ends up reduced to tears and giving them a discount, which Yoshiharu uses as an excuse to stick around and buy a little extra, his real intent is to flirt, but the attention of all the girl's is taken by the appearance of a mysterious samurai. Yoshiharu takes issue with the way the man speaks about Nobuna as a foolish girl he can manipulate through marriage and passively ignores the women who might react negatively to this, given his popularity.
Yoshiharu is later present at the party between Nobuna and Motoyasu. Motoyasu is noted to be trembling, which Inuchiyo explains is a result of the time she was a prisoner of the Oda clan and more or less ended up playing Nobuna's games, Motoyasu's body, to say the least remembers being hung over a fire, litterally, by Nobuna. Nobuna then introduces Motoyasu to Yoshiharu and Inuchiyo. Motoyasu thanks Inuchiyo, as apparently whenever Nobuna grilled her it was Inuchiyo who dunked her in a river and saved her, she also recognises Yoshiharu(she once tried to kill him), but pretends they never met to eliminate the awkwardness of the atmosphere. After negotiations conclude Nobuna loudly announces his plan to invade Mino and then move on to Kyoto. After this, Nobuna and Yoshiharu soon enter their usual routine, with the latter being chased by the former for his perversion. Motoyasu, who just watched the entire act, can only note hos impressive Yoshiharu is for daring to pick a fight with the woman she herself is terrified of, and asks Inuchiyo if it happens often. Inuchiyo treats this act like a frequently occuring comedy routine.
The party is interrupted by the arrival of the mysterious samurai, Azai Nagamasa. To get on her good side Nagamasa brings up his childhood name "saru"Yashamaru and notes she may call him "saru" as such, which again earns him the dislike of Yoshiharu, who's opinion of him was already negative to start with. In order to serve his own ends, Nagmasa notes that if Nobuna becomes his enemy in addition to Mino's then conquering Gifu castle will be virtually impossible, thus forcing Nobuna to consider their alliance. Nagamasa then asks Nobuna to marry him, which flusters her. Nobuna notes she would prefer to choose her husband rather than make it political, however Nagamasa then asks her if she already has someone in mind, namely Yoshiharu. Nobuna denies this, strikes Yoshiharu, and tries to make him say something to defend her "chastity", however the conversation shifts to the two of them arguing so much that Inuchiyo is forced to ask Nagamasa to return and wait for their reply. Nobuna, realising Nagamasa has left, knocks Yoshiharu down and leaves. Soon after, Motoyasu applauds Yoshiharu, as his antics allowed them to resolve the matter for a time without answering Nagamasa directly. She notes that Nobuna is trying to delay her marriage to Nagamasa, as if she does marry him she'll forever be beneath him in power due to the fact her clan is weaker than his clan, but if she conquers Mino alone and without his help she can stand on equal terms with him in alliance and will not need to marry him. She then notes that she might have discovered a trump card against Nobuna thanks to him(Namely she realises Nobuna is in love with him) and walks away. After this Yoshiharu runs out of the building to confront Nagamasa.
Yoshiharu confronts Nagamasa in town and notes that the latter is cruel for trying to force Nobuna to marry him and making it clear he doesn't love her, Nagamasa however notes that as a female daimyo Nobuna needs to acknowledge that this is the world she lives in and that she can't pick and choose her partner, he notes he will use her for his ambitions and that Yoshiharu can never be with Nobuna due to their different status. Yoshiharu eventually tries to attack Nagamasa in a rage, but is overpowered and beaten by his men before he leaves. Yoshiharu then returns to his street, still beaten, and enters Inuchiyo's house in his depressive mood in order to try and understand Nobuna's feelings from a friend of her's, but Inuchiyo notes she cannot tell him Nobuna's feelings because Nobuna ordered her not to.
Seeing Yoshiharu's depressive mood, Saitou Dousan arrives and kicks him down. Dousan lectures Yoshiharu on how he's currently behaving as if he's given up and is trying to escape here in Inuchiyo's house. He notes that if Nagamasa was right and Yoshiharu is not someone who stands high enough to marry Nobuna, then he should just become someone great, a thing Dousan himself famously, and infamously, did accomplish. Ultimately, Dousan encourages Yoshiharu to become a general and walks away. Yoshiharu asks Inuchiyo if she can convince Nobuna to not marry Nagamasa, but Inuchiyo notes that only Yoshiharu himself would be able to do so, since only he can truly understand her dreams. Ultimately realising that marrying Nagamasa would permanently pin down all of Nobuna's ambitions and dreams Yoshiharu snaps out of his depression and resolves to do as Dousan said, achieve a victory so grand against Mino that Nobuna won't have to marry Nagamasa. He however is still in denial about the real reason he didn't want her to marry him(he is in love with her himself).
The Strategist, Takenaka HanbeiEdit
Yoshiharu attends a meeting for the plan to conquer Inabayama Castle alongside Nobuna and her retainers, and is again met by Nobuna's moody desire for him to speak out against Nagamasa's proposal. Katsuie motivates herself and Nagahide reveals the details of the castle, built by Saitous Dousan himself, which they have to bring down. Nobukatsu and Inuchiyo are also revealed to be present, as well as motivated, for the battle. Saitou Dousan begins to note to them the reasons why the castle he built will be hard to take down. Nobuna, who is still annoyed that Yoshiharu isn't reacting whenever she brings up the engagement, begins to speak to Saitou Dousan about Yoshitatsu, and his policies which let the man take power. Dousan notes that basically Yoshitatsu undid his policies, which, given his lack of popularity, instantly made everyone who benefitted call Yoshitatsu a good leader and obey him. While thinking of ways to conquer the castle, Saitou Dousan mentions a genius strategist who is protecting it named(Yoshiharu interrupts him and says her name, much to his annoyance) Takenaka Hanbei, who Sagara and Dousan both compare to the famous chinese strategist Zhuge Liang. Dousan notes that Hanbei is defending the castle and brings up that there are only two strategists of that level in the world, the other is(Yoshiharu yet again interrupts, this time annoying Dousan to the point of breaking out his back) Kuroda Kanbei. Following this, Dousan reveals that Hanbei is an Onmyouji, and knows strategies far older than the ones used in mordern times. Hearing this, and scoffing at the idea of being beaten by somethign so unscientific, Nobuna charges without hesitation. Dousan, seeing this, asks Yoshiharu if he can borrow 50 of his men, which Yoshiharu allows.
While marching through Mino territory and defeating groups of small enemies, Nobuna's forces reach a misty region. Yoshiharu is immediately reminded of the mist which was present when he saved Saitou Dousan and realises that it is not a natural phenomenon when the enemy ambushes them from all sides. the small number groups they defeated were no more than lures to bring them into an ambush in this spot. Realising this, Yoshiharu leaves the retreat path to Nobukatsu and moves to confront Nobuna. Nobuna stubornly refuses to retreat until Nagahide tells her that the ambushes appear endless and they will be decimated, she gives the battle a 0 out of her usual habit of ranking things and basically notes they have zero chances of victory. Nobuna is forced to retreat, and Yoshiharu has Goemon fight off the mist using her smoke bombs to clear a path. The final ambush which would wipe them out is prevented, as Saitou Dousan and the 50 men he borrowed from Yoshiharu appear and use the mist, their voice and torches to appear as though they are an army of thousands invading Inabayama castle, and forces the ambush units to retreat. Nobuna asks who those fifty men were, but she receives no reply.
After returning to Aoshuu, defeated and humiliated by Hanbei's ability, Nobuna insists they launch another attack, but Nagahide cautions her that they will need a week for their men to recover from the battle and be ready to strike a second time. Nobuna allows a week to pass by. Yoshiharu constantly wracks his brain to find a way to beat Hanbei, while Nobuna, still refusing to be defeated by an unscientific power, rejects Nagamasa's constant envoys for marriage and reinforcements in the meantime. Saitou Dousan is also stumped. the week passes by and Nobuna sets out once again.
The Second Assault, Stone Sentinel MazeEdit
Nobuna puts her brother, Nobukatsu, in the vanguard specifically to bait Hanbei in their next attack and moves out at dawn with an iron defence but slow military formation so that the same tricks Hanbei used on them one week prior would not be used again. Eventually they are again caught by the mist and led into a swampy area full of large pillars, which causes Nobuna and the leaders of her army to huddle together when they realise they have become lost. Nagahide realises that they are only getting more and more lost as they try to escape and notes that the trap is without a doubt Zhuge Liang's infamous "Stone Sentinal Maze". Immediately after this a flood begins, in following with Zhuge Liang's trap they will be drowned by the maze itself. Yoshiharu asks Goemon if she understands things like Onmyouji, but Goemon notes that Ninja do not defy the realm of the physical with their techniques and therefore she knows nothing of the supernatural theory. Feeling desperate, Nobuna ultimately tells her retainers she'll give them any reward for defeating Hanbei, Yoshiharu, suddenly extremely motivated, agrees to this. Realising that the fact that they use logic is being used against them, Yoshiharu has Goemon take down the pillars in an illogical and violent display, he reasons quite simply that destroying the maze, rather than defeating it, as the competetive Nobuna was trying to do, is the best solution. Katsuie takes note of this and starts to follow the example by destroying the pillars as well. The men follow suit, amazing Nobuna, who calls it an utterly rediculous plan, Yoshiharu however just reminds her that he promised to support her dreams, whether they be to marry the man she loves or to conquer the entire world, and then reminds her that she herself promised to give him whatever he asked for after conquering Inabayama Castle. The maze is destroyed enough to let them escape, and Nobuna, realising Yoshiharu may indeed be able to win, wonders what it is he is so motivated to get from her, she wonders if perhaps what he will ask for as a reward is her herself, and remembers that he is after the No.1 bishoujo, which as always she believes is her.
Later on Nobuna summons Nagahide and katsuie to her room and notes to them how Yoshiharu arrogantly reminded her of her promise to give him whatever he asks for if he wins, which causes her to express openly to them her thoughts that he might somehow be proposing to her. Nagahide also points out that Nobuna gave him Nene as the No.1 Bishoujo, which everyone can clearly tell was deceit on her part. Nagahide and Katsuie both react in shock when they hear Nobuna say she thinks Yoshiharu is proposing to her, but the former is smart enough to quickly realise it is just Nobuna's own delusion. Katsuie however enters a rage and threatens to kill the "Saru".
Yoshiharu's Ultimatum: Recruit HanbeiEdit
Some days later Yoshiharu tells Inuchiyo what he wants from taking over the castle, and that would be for Nobuna not to marry Nagamasa. He and Inuchiyo disguise themselves as vagrants and sneak into Mino territory with the intention of bringing Hanbei over to their side and eliminating the problem of her defending Inabayama Castle. They come to a shop where Hanbei is holding a recruiting event for retainers in the hopes of becoming her subordinates and using negotiation to have her change sides.
Due to his use of the Kawanami group and the fortune he'd secretly amassed, Yoshiharu managed to pay for his rise through the Takenaka clans ranks and meet Hanbei overnight at her recruitment event. They are soon greated by Hanbei's uncle, Takenaka Shigetora, who is better known as Ando, and he offers to lead them to Hanbei. However, he reveals that the real reason Hanbei has been called upon is because he, Ando, is not trusted by Saitou Yoshitatsu and Hanbei presents a threat to the man, so Ando asks Yoshiharu and Inuchiyo, who he knows are from Owari, to protect her from Yoshitatsu if worst comes to worse.
Upon reaching Hanbei's room, Yoshiharu recognises Azai Nagamasa and argues with him, but Ando pulls them aside. Motivated to recruit them only because of their wealth, he turns away everyone else and lets the three of them become Hanbei's retainers. After that Ando leaves, but cautions them not to anger Hanbei. While they continue to argue, a man who calls himself Hanbei Takenaka Shigetora appears within the room. Hanbei offers them some drinks and dangos before they talk, which, after they have eaten, he reveals his form of a fox and notes that due to an illusion he cast what they actually ingested were horse piss and horse dung, the results of this cause Inuchiyo to stab him, seemingly killing him. This causes the illusion to fade and reveals the real Hanbei, who, due to Nagamasa's anger, hides behind Yoshiharu, who comforts her by noting that none of them intend to bully her. Hanbei attacks Yoshiharu with a knife to see if he would get angry, after shich she summons Zenki again, who nearly bites Yoshiharu to death for upsetting his master, in effect, Hanbei is left crying, Yoshiharu is left bleeding to death, and Ando returns to the room to appologise. Ando notes that Hanbei is scared of being bullied and will use every trick in the book to find out how easily angered someone is, Yoshiharu retorts that nobody will be calm after all that Hanbei had set up and asks him to help, but Ando wishes him luck and simply leaves him where he is.
The next day while appologising on their way to Inabayama Castle Hanbei reveals that the sole reason she joined Yoshitatsu in repelling Owari is because she is scared of the Demon King of the Sixth Heaven, Nobuna, and the Viper of Mino, Dousan, and Yoshiharu ultimately realises that her fear of being bullied is the blame. Hanbei refuses to go over to either of their sides because she'd be hated by Yoshitatsu, and also because of her fear of Nobuna and Dousan. Ando ultimately wonders if they'll be alright, since Hanbei only seems to be comfortable talking to the squirels around her(Apparently Dousan brough them in to be food, which doesn't help her fear of him). They then reach the top of the mountain and approach the castle. Yoshitatsu, who has become cautious of Hanbei's intellect, comes up with a plan alongside his retainer Saitou Hidenmori to anger Hanbei, make him(they assume it's a 'he') angry and then execute him when he draws his weapon. Hidenmori thus has a dog piss upon Hanbei's face, effectively causing her to cry, when he realises his mistake everyone in the castle notices a little girl who's been bullied by a dog and, due to apparently each one being a lolicon, including Yoshitatsu, they offer to help. Yoshiharu is able to see through them though. Realising Hanbei is about to go berserk, Ando tries to get someone to stop her, but Hanbei summons all of her Shikigamis and scares every single soul out of Inabayama castle with them. Hanbei, now thought of as an official traitor, is asked by Nagamasa to join his side, but Zenki and Gouki, neither og whom trust him, interfere. Ando, who has become drunk due to the idea that his niece has just become a fortress owner and he might be able to just retire happily and drink away, is then taken away by Nagamasa under the pretense that he has something he must discuss with him. Inuchiyo takes Hanbei to shower and change, while warning Yoshiharu to stay away, he notes he has an interest in Katsuie for her chest, but not them, which results in her knocking Yoshiharu out.
Hanbei Takenaka, Retainer of the Saru, Yoshiharu SagaraEdit
After Yoshiharu wakes up night is revealed to have descended, Nagamasa officially holds Hanbei's uncle hostage in order to get Hanbei to come to his side and Hanbei would need to refuel her energy at a nearby shrine to use her Shikigami again in order to defeat him, problem is that the deadline would not be met if they did this. Goemon appears, having been chased away by Hanbei's Shikigami before, and reveals her plan to pretend to try and save Ando, fail, and let a revenge driven Hanbei join Nobuna's side. Yoshiharu, refusing to allow Hanbei to suffer such a loss, and remembering Toukichiro's dream, tells her to never suggest such a plan to him again. He abandones the conquered castle in order to help Hanbei. Seeing this, Hanbei is moved, since in this situation they would only have to kill her and have Nobuna invade Inabayama Castle to win. She refuses their help and tells them to take the castle, but they refuse and choose to help her regardless. Hanbei sends a message to Yoshitatsu, appologising, explaining her actions, and then returning the castle to him.
Upon reaching Sunomata, they're shocked to find Nagamasa expected their ambush and used it to return to Inabayama castle, he has effectively explained to Yoshitatsu his actions, allied with him, and tells Hanbei to join Oumi in exchange for her uncle's safe return.
On their way back, hearing Yoshiharu's feelings towards Nobuna, Hanbei says he should just hide her away safely from the world and lead Oda in her place, but Yoshiharu instead tells her that he wants her to shine, he compares her to the moon, something beautiful and majestic you wouldn't want to hide away even if you had the power to. Hanbei, seeing his spirit, ultimately is overtaken by an emotion her heart has never felt and cannot explain, in the end, she vows her loyalty not to Nobuna, but to Yoshiharu himself, and finally has a dream: to make him shine and protect him to the end.
Yoshitatsu and NagamasaEdit
Yoshitatsu holds a party to celebrate reclaiming(more like it was given back) Inabayama castle. During this time, Yoshitatsu thanks Nagamasa for reclaiming the castle, but notes he's aware that he's just trying to force Nobuna to marry him. Yoshitatsu knows he will eventually have to fight his new ally, but drinks it off with his belief that Inabayama Castle can't be bested. After this, Nagamasa's reasons for forcing Nobuna are shown to be more complex, he reflects in her relationship with Yoshiharu a feeling that he tried to forget, but never truly gave up on. Yoshitatsu promptly puts out wanted posters for Yoshiharu and Inuchiyo, as a result, Yoshiharu lends some members of Goemon's Kawanami group to Hanbei so that she can rescue her uncle and returns to Owari.
3 Day DeadlineEdit
Upon arriving home, Yoshiharu and Inuchiyo see Katsuie burning their houses down. Nene reveals that Nobuna has decided to relocate her base from Aoshuu to Komakiyama and that any retainers who refuse to move would have their houses burned down. While complaining that instead of not moving he simply wasn't there to move, Yoshiharu is told by Katsuie that Nobuna has litterally been complaining about his absense since he left. Katsuie promptly leads them to Komakiyama, ignoring Yoshiharu's inquiries as to why she chose to burn his house first.
Upon arriving at Komakiyama, Inuchiyo explains their recent venture to Nobuna, who then takes Yoshiharu away to help plan her strategy against Inabayama Castle. Yoshiharu remembers the famed Sunomata Ichiya Castle, which Tokichiro would've used to conquer the castle by building another, over night, in that same mountain range.
Nobuna ends up arguing with Yoshiharu about how he abandoned the castle to help Hanbei, and how Hanbei chose to serve him and not her. As a result of her anger she notes she will accept Nagamasa's marriage request in three days if Yoshiharu fails to take the castle. Saitou Dousan and Katsuie both overhear this, with the former yelling at Nobuna about her obvious feelings for Yoshiharu, only for her to continually tell him to shut up. Katsuie decides the build Sunomata Castle herself to spare Nobuna's chastity, and beats up Yoshiharu on her way when he complains about her taking his job. In Katsuie's mind, if she fails Nobuna will marry Nagamasa, or if Yoshiharu succeeds she might marry him, but if she succeeds she can use the promise Nobuna made to grant the desire of anyone who can take tha castle and have Nobuna for herself(She immediately realises she just said that after having done so). She promptly fails and ultimately wastes two days of the three day deadline.
Sunomata Ichiya CastleEdit
Yoshiharu then sets out with the Kawanami group to plan the construction of Sunomata Ichiya Castle using the Two-By-Four method of constructing the parts and moving them to the site, effectively setting the castle up in a day. Nobuna, who has lost her own workers and can't afford to send her soldiers, cannot aid them, instead she will attack Inabayama Castle once Yoshitatsu notices Sunomata Ichiya Castle and sends all of his troops out under the belief that a full force will be waiting there. After asking Goemon about the search for Hanbei's uncle she notes that they have not found him, but that she doubts Nagamasa is dumb enough to kill the uncle of Takenaka Hanbei. After she asks if they will use Hanbei to help fight, Yoshiharu declines by noting that Hanbei, as a former vassel of Yoshitatsu, would ruin her own reputation fighting against him. The Kawanami group, now promised the chance to become true Samurai if they succeed, agree to aid Yoshiharu in this seemingly suicidal strategy.
The castle construction goes smoothly until sunrise, when Yoshitatsu's men take notice and send an army of 8000 men to confront them. Goemon, motivated to let them have just a little more time, fights and leads half of the Kawanami group to aid her as the other half finish the castle. Yoshiharu brandishes a spear and runs after Goemon, but a musket is fired towards him in the confusion, one only Goemon takes notice of. Goemon takes the hit and falls in Yoshiharu's arms. After realising the reality before his eyes Yoshiharu and his troop are suddenly aided by the arrival of Takenaka Hanbei, her Shikigami, her rescued uncle, and the missing half of the Kawanami group. Yoshitatsu notices Hanbei, but she doesn't hesitate any longer and causes all of Mino's men, now terrified and inspired by her reputation, to lose their moral. Seeing Hanbei, whom they've come to respect, and their leader, Ando Iga, on Yoshiharu's side, and seeing how Yoshiharu stood up with only a handful of men against eight thousand men, both Inaba Itetsu and Ujiie Bokuzen Naomoto, the other two members of the Mino Three, decide to side with Yoshiharu as well. Yoshitatsu, unwilling to surrender, uses both his bravery and brute force to get his men back in line and press the attack, but Nobuna then appears and attacks his army from behind, utterly ignoring Inabayama Castle and attacking specifically to take the general, Yoshitatsu himself, out. Yoshitatsu, realising his mistake, returns to the castle.
Fall of Inabayama CastleEdit
After the battle, Nobuna praises Yoshiharu's ability, but he relents due to Goemon's death, Goemon however, annoyed that they're wasting too much time, reveals herself to have survived(due to the bullet being stopped by her chain mail) and states she only wanted Yoshiharu to be aware of the consequences of wanting everything to go his way. They then begin a systematic and swift conquest of the surrounding areas and take over almost all of Mino before Yoshiharu and Goemon split from Nobuna's group, take a secret passage provided to them by Hanbei, and sneak into Inabayama Castle to open the gates from the inside.
Nobuna, who is seen to be waiting for Yoshiharu's signal, finally sees him swinging her calabash(Cantine) on a stick like a flag as the symbol and charges, she promptly announces that this calabash will hence forth be Yoshiharu's flag in battle and invades Inabayama Castle.
Nagamasa, having realised what is happening, tries to reach Inabayama Castle to "help" Nobuna, when in fact he merely wishes to kill Yoshitatsu and hide his co-operation with him. He is stopped by Nagahide, who notes that Nobuna has declared the victory belongs to Yoshiharu and anyone who dares interfere will be cut down, including Nagamasa. Ultimately forced to bear the humiliation and leave, Nagamasa reminds her of the marriage and notes that the Oda clan cannot go back on their word with him. Nagahide promptly tells him to meet them after their victory is done.
Using Inuchiyo's wild nature to scare the guards and sneak past, Yoshiharu and Goemon open the castle gates, allowing Nobuna inside, and through the calabash attached spear as the final signal.
Due to the Mino Three and Saitou Dousan's pressence, the people of Mino quickly welcome Nobuna, and due to the dicipline of her men(who're under threat of execution for harming any citizens) they come to welcome the new military as well, effectively, Mino is conquered before nightfall.
Nobuna and the Oda clan attempt to greet Hanbei into their ranks, however, due to his master's shy nature, Zenki appears in her place and is shot by Nobuna, who figured out he was just a spirit and threatens the real Hanbei to come out. Katsuie then finds Hanbei, who promptly hides behind Yoshiharu. Nobuna asks Hanbei who she wishes to serve, both Katsuie and Dousan raise their name but Hanbei is too scared of them and insists she serve Yoshiharu, which Nobuna accepts.
Following this, Nobuna promptly brings Saitou Yoshitatsu into the room and interrogates him about his intentions. Yoshitatsu notes he is happy to be executed, but first must tell Nobuna about Nagamasa. Nagamasa immediately speaks out, ordering Yoshitatsu's execution before he speaks, but nobody listens and Yoshitatsu tells Nagamasa that the current him is simply a diplorable person. Nobuna ultimately asks Dousan what to do with his son. Somewhat heartbroken, Dousan admits that Yoshitatsu is too dangerous and advises Nobuna to kill him, and though he is shocked Yoshitatsu seems to understand his father's wish. Nobuna promptly spares Yoshitatsu, against all of Dousan's warnings, and Yoshitatsu notes his father was right as he leaves the room.
Nobuna then rewards her followers for their work(Although Katsuie ges swindled with a worthless tea set she's led to believe cost as much as a whole province). Nobuna gives all three members of the Mino Three the right to maintain their lands while serving her. Ando, the leader, accuses Nagamasa of locking him up, but Nagamasa is able to lie his way out of it, and Nobuna does not honestly care. Ando asks Hanbei to forgive his incompetence, but she instead says its ok since in the end she found her master due in part to what happened. Finally, the time comes to reward Yoshiharu himself(Although, since she promised him anything he desired, Nobuna tries to back out and give his reward to Katsuie until Nagahide speaks out about it). Nobuna herself openly expresses that Yoshiharu should just ask for her to marry him, but Yoshiharu instead tells her his will is that she not marry Nagamasa, which gives her grounds to deny Nagamasa fairly. However, Nagamasa insists they need to form an alliance, so Nobuna offers to give him a princess from the Oda clan. Nagamasa leaves, keeping them to their promise. Nobuna and her retainers start contemplating girls to send as her little "sister", which Nobuna does not actually have. Katsuie and Nagahide both can't match, and eventually Yoshiharu mentions Oichi, Nobunaga's sister in his history, but Nobuna notes she has no such younger sister, her only sibling would be Nobukatsu, who at that moment is in the courtyard celebrating. Suddenly Nobuna asks her retainers if they're thinking what she is, everyone, including Hanbei, agree to send Nobukasu off to Nagamasa. He is promptly captured by Goemon, givent he alias of Oichi, and litterally dragged away in a cage towards Nagamasa. Nobuna then renames Inabayama castle to Gifu Castle based on Nagahide's suggestions.
The new ShogunEdit
Akechi Mitsuhide appears, revealing herself to have become a vagrant after Dousan was forced out of Mino, and offers to serve under Nobuna. However, for now she notes she is there to deliver news from Kyoto. Yoshiharu guesses that Mitsunaga Hisahide and the Miyoshi Three killed the shogun and she wants to install the shoguns sister as the hair, but Yoshiteru is revealed to have escaped with his sister to the country of Ming(China), effectively meaning history has changed course. Juubei promptly reveals a new plan: Make Imagawa Yoshimoto the Shogun in Ashikage Yoshiaki's place. Yoshimoto agrees, but when Nobuna brings out a rediculously arrogant contract for her to sign, which entitles her to execute Yoshimoto for defying her and effectively makes Yoshimoto a puppet shogun devoid of any power, Yoshimoto calls Motoyasu to try and think of a way out of it. Motoyasu promptly convinces her to sign the document through deception(all she really did was say she would help after Yoshimoto signed the document, and Yoshimoto was so air headed she did it without thinking.) Mitsuhide then recognises Yoshiharu from the meeting between Dousan and Nobuna, but is shocked to hear that he is "the" Sagara Yoshiharu now famous for bringing down Inabayama Castle and building a castle in one night. She blushes and shakes his hand, which causes Nobuna to caution her. Yoshiharu does not notice the atmosphere between them, but the Incident at Hannou-ji comes into his mind when he remembers Juubei's name.
Saitou Dousan is seen brooding over Nobuna sparing his son and comes to the opinion that he's become a symbol of weakness in her heart. He is greeted by Yoshitatsu and Nene who ask him to join the party with the rest of them, but he declines. Hearing Dousan's feelings, Yoshiharu tells him to read out the new name of the castle and town himself before walking away. the lights below then form a snake, not a scary viper but a childish cartoonish snake that children would often draw, seeing this, Dousan reads out the new name of the castle and town. Gifu Castle = Godfather Castle, Gifu Town = Godfather Town.
Continuity and ConclusionsEdit
- Yoshiharu manages to recruit Hanbei into his following, by extension she also serves Nobuna.
- The Kawanami Group become true Samurai under Yoshiharu, thus legitimising the Sagara Corps
- Nagamasa ultimately doubts his decision to forgo his own dream and heart for the sake of being a ruler due to how Yoshiharu and Nobuna are so obviously in love with each other that only they seem to be unaware of it. Nobuna even went so far as to actually ask Yoshiharu to use his one wish from her to make her his, a thing which litterally everyone was present to overhear.
- Nobukatsu is given to Nagamasa as a wife(Dressed in drag and disguised as Nobuna's "sister" Oichi). in this case the name Oichi came from Yoshiharu, the idea recieved Hanbei's agreement.
- Inabayama Castle is conquered and renamed Gifu Castle, Saitou Yoshitatsu is spared, however.
- It's revealed that Saitou Dousan is slowly passing away, he knows it, but he doesn't mention it to anyone else.
- Mitsuhide joins the Oda clan and reveals the Ashikage Shogunate has fallen to Matsunaga Hisahide, her plan is to make Yoshimoto Imagawa into the new Shogun. As a result, this event was clearly influenced by Yoshiharu saving Yoshimoto's life in the last arc, and is the first indication of the future changing its route from what he knows.
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- In the Anime Hanbei is adament about not hurting Nobuna's forces and letting them retreat, in the Light Novel, she is equally adament in keeping them out of Mino due to her fear of Nobuna herself, and uses two of Zhuge Liang's famous strategist which each had the potential to annihilate all of the enemy army without allowing them the chance to run away.
- Nobuna's losses against Hanbei are much more defined in the Light Novel, which shows her fighting Hanbei's traps twice and both times suffering a heavy defeat, in fact she would've died both times if not for Saitous Dousan and Sagara Yoshiharu's respective insight in both occassions.
- Hanbei's method of testing Yoshiharu and Nagamasa's agression is different in the anime, for one thing in the novels Zenki used an illusion to make them eat something much more disgusting than the stones which they bite down on in the anime.
- In the Anime, Yoshitatsu is the one who kidnaps Hanbei's uncle, he also attempts to make her his concubine to secure her full loyalty, the results don't differ from the incident where they bullied her in the Light Novels however.
- Nagamasa still attempts to join Yoshitatsu in the anime, but is much less successful. In the anime he also offered to marry Nobuna much sooner, during her attempt to rescue Saitou Dousan.
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- When they're drowning in the Stone Sentinel Maze, Yoshiharu referrences the popular Manga/Anime series Naruto while conversing with Goemon about her techniques. Specifically he mentions the "kage bunshin" and outright says to himself "in reality, ninja don't ride on big toads."