And so it has finally happened: the beginning of the end. I’m still quite surprised that it completely revolves around Sennou Rikyuu, rather than Sasuke. Still, Rikyuu having to perform Harakiri: it makes for a great ending. The end of this episode also showed that it will be Sasuke’s turn to try and stop things, which is actually something that will put him into the spotlights again one final time. I know Koichi Mashimo. He really finds a good ending important. Even the mother of all incomplete shows, Blade of the Immortal, still tried to leave with a good feeling. This build-up really can leads to some excellent finale that will be really hard to beat by the rest of the year.
This episode finally finished the thing that this series has been building up for months now: Sennou’s death. Bit by bit, ever since that bald priest got executed, things have slowly been building up to this point. There was the statue, the many scenes of high tension between the two, and last episode showing Rikyuu destroying one of those three legendary pots. This time with the assassination, it was the final straw, and I especially liked how Hashiba made the conscious decision, yet was partly pressured to do it.
I mean if you read it in a history book, things like Harakiri and Seppuku seem so incredibly distant. Were these people really so crazy to just order people to kill themselves? It’s really hard to imagine the state of mind that these people were in when they made these decisions, and especially reading about them quickly makes them feel like they were made on a whim or something. With that in mind, I really have to congratulate this series for deliver so many solid performances. Despite the over the top moments, the acting of this show is really top-notch and believable. With such an in-depth look at the mindsets of these people at these times, I really can say that this show gave me new insights about the history of Japan.
And really: it’s been a while since a series taught me something. Especially as extensive as how this series has been doing.
Rating: ** (Excellent)