Kuchii builds a small geographical model of the Toibarai fortress upon the approach of the Mongols, to help prep their defenses. Shiraishi, traitor undercover, takes one position, whereas Kuchii opts for a spot beyond the walls.
With the first wave of Mongol soldiers, they gain an apparent advantage by attacking first and drawing them to an appetizing gate. Kuchii and Hangan are pleased at first as the Mongols appear to back down, but all is not what it seems.
By the east gate, a handful of soldiers sent to fight with Sirashi, who turns on them the moment the Mongols have arrived.
Conflicted in speech but resolute in his betrayal, Shiraishi stands aside as he watches the Toibari who stood with him get taken down by Mongols.
The smaller force of Mongols don’t get very far – As a precaution, the Citadel at Kanatanoki is burned by the Toibarai elder, and even Tsushima’s princess gets in on the action. The fire alerts Hangan and Kuchii up front – the trap has been sprung: and the Mongols have tried to attack from the eastern side.
Kuchii, taking advantage of the fear in the Mongol’s eyes at his gate to the south, calls up forces to take them swiftly down the mountain in a direct cavalry attack. Although Edei recieves word of his failed attack on the east gate, this briefly strengthnens his resolve. After Kuchii and a handful of calvary race down the mountain, though, any rallying is short-lived as there is a brief stalemate: Do they take the castle, at the expense of a larger part of their men? Or do they leave Kanatanoki to move on to battles with a higher chance of victory with lower costs?
Edei backs down, the Mongols retreat.
As the sun lowers in the sky, Kuchii confronts Shiraishi about his betrayal. Shiraishi challenges Kuchii to a cliffhanger duel… for the next episode.
I love the early prelude to action on this one. We knew that Kuchii could build models, but watching everyone gather around it (rather than just saying “the south entrance” or “north gate”) was really helpful for the audience. The trope “everyone loves maps” is true: we like to have a sense of what’s going on – and if all you see shots of trees, or the side of a wall, it can be difficult to get perspective of where that is.
In the moment when Edei almost gets an arrow to the eye, it’s easy to see why he would consider backing down. So much of his plan was based on Shiraishi’s intel: the pincer move, the expectations of the soldiers to have no sort of backup plan, let alone a trap. Everything about their battle this episode is “Advantage: Japan”. The only exception is that the number of mongol troops are more plentiful, but even that factors into seeing Edei and his men further down in the campaign.
Shiraishi is, hopefully, going to get exactly what he deserves next episode. If he somehow manages to escape, I want to see him MANGLED. CRY HAVOC, AND LET SLIP THE HOUNDS OF REVENGE!!!
Angolmois - Episode 9
- The intersecting strategies on this and foresight was really fun to watch.
- The art just keeps getting more fun to watch.
- The line about the leaves not having that many trees made me laugh, and I don't know if it was supposed to.
- Still livid at Shirashi. YOU SHOULD HAVE STAYED LOYAL, TRAITOR.