I could finally watch the subbed versions of the last episodes of the "Nobunaga's arc" of the current drama taiga Gunshi Kanbee, which means that I could finally drop it XD and most importantly, write about the Nobunaga starring there!
Fortunately I was wrong: I liked the sanguine acting of Eguchi, and after the tiny trauma of seeing an oyaji playing the role of a 16 years old outsuke, I found myself more and more engaged with the work of this extraordinarily expressive artist.
So, after we ascertained that the actor playing Nobunaga was quite cool, we have to take into consideration his role in the drama and-- Let a grimace up my lips.
A few words on the nature of the drama are required.
First, the protagonist of the TV series is Kuroda Kanbei (played by the good Okada Junichi), a legendary strategist of Toyotomi Hideyoshi's crew.
I won't complain about the over-dramatization of his life on an attempt to make the watchers sympathize and cheer for him or the disturbingly "made-up" similarities with Yamamoto Kansuke, but it's obvious that the role of the strategist in this series is depicted as even superior to that of the warlord.
It shouldn't be surprising, but it is: warlords are depicted as fickle, unfocused and "sentimental". Unable to think coldly, they do the wrong thing at the wrong time, leading to desaster.
This aspect is quite strong with the interpretation of Nobunaga, and it's blatant since the first episodes.
In the scene of the first battle against Saito Yoshitatsu he's depicted as hopeless, acting only on instinct and regrets. In a difficult situation, he could only attack over and over, like a beast.
We have to wait for the intervetion of Hideyoshi (here played by an expressive Takenaka Naoto) to see our hopeless warlord "secured" back in his authority.
The drama is quite obvious about the kind of man who is supposed to lead.
Warlords are just required as a "symbol", for their "charisma", but sure they are not the best kind of people to take as an example.
Calculating, aware of his surrounding, favouring the "local" and a modest life with family and neighbours-- An ideal that sure doesn't fit Nobunaga.
An interesting example can be found in the decorations of Nobunaga's quarters:
Eccentric, colourful (I laughed when Nobunaga explained his room to Ieyasu with the expression "This is the style of the fool of Owari") and excessive. They are the traits of a creative, curious nature that sure fit Nobunaga's character, but they are also an accent on his vanity, his superficiality and, in short, his inapteness to lead, his lack of the balance and sobriety expected by the source of power.
The climax of this misrule on Nobunaga's part is the scene of the massacre of Araki Murashige (Tanaka Tetsushi)'s relatives and servants, here featured as some sort of Christian martyrdom by the hands of a merciless Emperor of Rome:
How Dashi (played by Kiritani Mirei) turned from the spoiled noblewoman of history to the angelic heroine of this drama was one of the tasteless parts of this whole series-- Thinking that it was supposed to be the emotive climax of the whole thing and that it left a good number of Japanese watchers teary-eyed!
In the end, the result of this and many more evil-doings (the top was Nobunaga planning to become the new Emperor-- Project that made Mitsuhide (Koasa Shunputei) take betrayal into consideration) is what we know, the Incident of Honnouji.
Sure the presence of Kichou (a vapid Uchida Yuki) in the middle of the battle was one of the most ridiculous things that I ever saw.
Also, I couldn't help but laugh at the "Dream of a Japanese Middle-Aged Woman", the recurring "ultimate wish" of the average Japanese old lady for a travel around the world with "hubby", that found its way also in this drama.
The presence of Nouhime in this scene was SO ANNOYING that I couldn't even focus on the nice arrangement of the final fight, expecially the manly way Ranmaru and his fellow kousho protected their lord:
--After all the scene of Nobunaga's last fight at Honnouji is pretty much standardized, thanks to the accurate depiction of the Shinchoukoki-- So the only things that capture the attention of the watcher and make it memorable are the "little details" like this.
In short, a wonderful actor, nicely fitting also a charming but not very pleasant portrayal of our favourite warlord-- The drama is entertaining, but it has some parts that are quite difficult to digest, besides the unbearable "interpretations" of the script-writing.