Sasuke’s timing is on par with someone who makes a yo mama joke to someone on their way home from their mother’s funeral.
There is still something off about Judge End’s animation but I honestly can’t point my finger on it and say, “yes, this is it. This is why we need Production I.G.” If someone can put it on words, I’d probably be like ‘oh my gosh, I think that too!’ but right now, everything is just wonky and wooden and it’s just too bad because the previous seasons were so beautiful.
The majority of the episode is focused on the formation of the Western army, which is great, because I love the Western army. I love using their characters and I loved their Sekigahara stage in Basara 4 because you don’t have to do bullshit like fighting Date and/or Ieyasu while having to deal with Honda. I just. Wow. Western army.
It’s been a while since I played through any of Yukki’s routes in Basara 3 but I recall vaguely that it took Yukimura until the end of one of his routes to come to this conclusion that now he is fully the Tiger of Kai in Shingen’s absence. He was just all sorts of sad and lost for most of Basara 3’s story until he met with Ieyasu at Mikatagahara and then he went to fight Uesugi. Judge End’s staff doesn’t care for Yukimura’s angst crisis and they decide to skip all of that and jump straight to the end of his route.
At first I thought Yukimura looked ridiculous in Shingen’s helmet but now that I’ve gone and made it into a screencap, it’s not all bad.
Ieyasu and Uesugi were really important when it came to Yukimura coming to grip with his taking over for Shingen, but of course, Ieyasu is terrible in Judge End’s universe, so only Uesugi helps Yukimura. The dream that he is drowning in a river isn’t mentioned but it’s paralleled here. They are really jumping through Yukimura’s in-game story but I guess sad times with Takeda isn’t what people want, and it’s not necessary to go into too much detail in the grand scheme of the Basara 3 story as to what Yukimura’s thoughts are regarding his position as general of the Takeda army.
I’m glad that Judge End’s decided to keep the ‘ahnnn~~~ <3<3<3 Kenshin-sama~~~~~” aspect of Kasuga’s character because I, for one, thinks it’s absolutely hilarious that everyone else around them think it’s weird. Keiji’s comment of “it’s weird (why people can’t be as in love as Kenshin and Kasuga are)” and Kasuga’s embarrassed reaction from season 2 was really funny. The roses and the yelling of Kenshin’s name is not even in the game (to this degree). They’re so entertaining.
While I’m on the subject of Kenshin, it’s nice to see him actually fighting (though he spent most of the vs Yukimura fight dodging, though the fact he stopped Yukimura’s battle axe with just his sword without even getting into a stance is impressive). The I.G. seasons constantly had people saying “ahhh, it’s the God of War!” but he didn’t really do anything except get shot with an arrow.
This episode also introduces us to Kingo a.k.a. Kobayakawa Hideaki (kingo is, like gyoubu, his court title, I believe. Everyone calls him kingo anyway). Ieyasu approaches him to try and make him his ally, but Kingo is unsure and scared; he’s terrified of Mitsunari, Otani, and Mouri. And for good reason! Ieyasu leaves, and the next day, upon hearing that Ieyasu tried to form an alliance with Kobayakawa, Kingo’s nightmare trio arrive to pretty much threaten and antagonize him to the point he’s too scared to think about going with Ieyasu.
Kingo’s annoying, but he’s somehow likeable due to Fukuyama Jun’s portrayal of him and his somewhat adorable antics. It does bug me how he and Sorin are playable in 4 but fan favourites such as the Uesugi duo and the Maeda couple are not. I was real excited about playing as Maria and Char too but apparently, that’s never going to happen…
I wanted to see the scene of Mouri stepping on Kingo with his fashionably green high-heeled boots but maybe that’ll come later.
The thing about Ieyasu in 3 that makes him somewhat tragic is that a lot of his past friends hate him because of people like Tenkai and Otani, who do terrible things and blame it on Ieyasu. By the way, just who is this mysterious man??? He looks a lot like Akechi Mitsuhide, and sure sounds like him … but nah, it can’t be him. There’s no way it can be him.
If Ieyasu is just like a sad little victim, then that’s that, but the interesting thing about Ieyasu is that even before 4 where he became somewhat ambiguous in his aims and morals, he was already kind of freaky in 3 with some of the comments he makes. I was pretty interested in that part of Ieyasu as a protagonist because he’s not just nice or cool or whatever; he acts nice but in reality, he’s kind of a secret asshole!
I went off-track but it turns out that Matsu was taken hostage by Tenkai, and Tenkai wants in on Otani and Mouri’s secret strategist club. This, of course, does mean that Judge End may end up going the route where Tenkai revives Nobunaga and everything is terrible. I hope not, mainly because that’s already been done in the movie.
Yukimura wants to take down Ieyasu but he can’t alone, so he wishes to form an alliance with Ishida. Sasuke and Kasuga (sent by Uesugi) go and visit Osaka Castle to talk things through with them. Otani, probably as a way to test them, calls for Mitsunari, saying that Ieyasu sent spies to Osaka, and Mitsunari pretty much immediately appears. Who knows what Mitsunari does all day. Maybe he was sitting outside Otani’s room the whole time. Maybe he was sleeping. He’s a man of mystery.
Chosokabe appears too and the four of them start to fight in a scene that was animated like a show from 2005. Eventually, Sasuke and Kasuga stop them by threatening to kill Otani, and Mitsunari is understandably angry and upset. Fortunately, Otani is like, “ha I’m teasing” and agree to form an alliance with Takeda. While Sasuke is bringing Mitsunari to Ueda Castle to see Yukimura, Date is on his way to Osaka and decides to take a path through Ueda, not caring that he’d be intruding on Takeda territory. As he and Yukimura are about to rumble, Sasuke and Mitsunari shows up. To Date’s surprise and anger, and the amusement of fans, Mitsunari has no idea who Date is, even though he whooped his ass in the first episode.
In Utage of Basara 3, there was an extra stage where you go assassinate a sleeping Mitsunari. At a certain point, Otani will call out, “Mitsunari, Tokugawa’s spies have infiltrated the castle!”, much like how he does in the show. It doesn’t matter who you play as, he still does it, because he’s a butt like that. Even though Mitsunari was supposed to be sleeping, he immediately yells, “WHAT?! DAMN YOU, IEYASUUUUU!!!!!” The reason I give this little story is because I think it’s absolutely hilarious how quickly Mitsunari can just jump awake and start yelling things like that. I’m jealous and wish I could be as energetic as he after an interrupted sleep.
Overall Enjoyment: 7.5/10 – No matter what happens, no matter who appears, I will probably always be a little harsh on Judge End on principle that the animation weirds me out. I’ve truly been coddled by I.G.’s version of Basara.