Teruhashi risks her life to save Kuchii from Ginshichi, one of the Sasu villagers in the night-raiding party. Ginshichi and a few other villagers had been blackmailed by Mongols: his family and others were being held hostage.
With the moment of surprise lost, Kuchii leads the 70-ish remaining villagers and exiles into the Mongol camp, warning them to stay together but not lose track of their bearings.
The enemy general, Kin Houkei, is alerted by one of the captains, but given incomplete and terrified information. After listening to the sounds of battle, the practiced leader can tell that it’s actually not as large of a group as the captain was estimating, and accurately guesses that Kuchii is leading them (“The man who killed my son, the mingghan commander”). Kuchii has also garnered a bit of attention from the Vice-Marshal of the Mongol forces, Ryuu Fukukou, commander of 30,000 soldiers.
Kuchii is forced to make a choice between saving hostages from the village or retreating—until the cavalry arrives in the form of the Tobarai, a well-trained group of warriors who are conscripted to protect Japanese villagers without alliance to a specific feudal lord. One of the other exiles, former pirate captain Onitakemaru, clashes briefly with Fukukou before being saved by Kuchii.
After the raid, they do finally make their way towards the capital, stopping to take stock of injuries, the hostages, and what they hope will be a joyous reunion with family and other forces. Or, at least, so they think…
This episode gives us a look at some of the other wider factions that are invested in the war for Japan—the Toibarai is a formidable ally, there at the request of the emperor. There’s a chilly exchange between Kuchii and the leader of the Toibarai, but it’s nice to put a name with the mask.
In the other side of the mirror there is the learned presence of the leaders of the Mongol attack. They show both a patience and wisdom that is admirable in a leader, but also terrifying when being placed against in conflict.
Right now, they’re mostly one-dimensional, but that’s because the screen time they get in the episode is about what you get for most ensemble cast members: short, to the point, and off to the next action. While this has upsides, the drawbacks are a little frustrating.
A quick note about plot armor:
We want to see struggles happen. We want to see fights happen. We want to see victory and defeat. But literally letting Kuchii escape with a scratch on the cheek after his confrontation with Ryuu is anticlimactic. Although watching Ryuu slowly recognize Kuchii as his actual target is nice, and the possibility of recognizing each other in daylight will be a potential plot point later, Onitakemaru didn’t get a fair shake at his fight.
The ex-pirate is absolutely there for comic relief, but as a character loss I would have totally been okay with him getting stabbed properly. He went from no injuries to on his back in a matter of moments, and then escaped without a scratch thanks to Kuchii?
The post-credits stinger is a real barn-burner. Don’t miss it.
Angolmois - Episode 4
- So many new characters!
- The Toibarai are amazing, and I'm excited to see more of them later.
- Onitakimaru. Throw the whole pirate away. (Just kidding, but still, he's unpleasant.)
- Music on the battlefiled? Really?! WHO DOES THAT?! (Fukukuo apparently...)