Since this is a plot-heavy episode, there are MAJOR SPOILERS.

I know this angle was done for dramatic effect, but the animation quality in the rest of this episode is almost just as bad…

Summary:

Continuing on from last time, Mitsuhide runs away after regaining her memories, horrified at what she’s done.  As she reminisces about the past, we get a peek into the generals’ lives in the other world.

Mitsuhide was only one of many advisors/generals that worked under Nobunaga while she attempted world domination.  She was also one of the few that didn’t have a Secret Treasure.  It’s in this episode that we finally learn exactly what a “secret treasure” is.  Apparently, they are physical manifestations of power or strong emotions, and they have to be earned.  Having one is a sign of high esteem.

Nice rainbow sketch table you got there Nobunaga.

Why did everyone’s faces look so bad in this episode?!

When Hideyoshi suddenly gains a Secret Treasure, that leaves only Mitsuhide who doesn’t yet have one.  This puts Mitsuhide into a deep depression, as she sees Nobunaga begin to favor Hideyoshi over her, believing it to be because of her lack of a Treasure.  This causes the seed of a Secret Treasure to be born in Mitsuhide; though as it was created from her negative emotions, it only brings her pain.

On the eve of the final battle, Nobunaga inexplicably hands command of the troops over to Hideyoshi instead of Mitsuhide.  This act is what finally pushes Mitsuhide over into the pits of deepest despair, causing her Secret Treasure to mature.  However, this malevolent Secret Treasure causes Mitsuhide to lose all logic, making her follow her most primal instincts.  Under its control, Mitsuhide sets fire to Nobunaga’s tower in an attempt to kill her.  All this causes is a portal to another world, and what leads up to the events that are transpiring now.

Apparently in Nobunaga’s old world, everyone lived in a black void.

A power born out of despair…

Back in the present, Mitsuhide deeply regrets her decision, and collapses at the feet of Rikyuu, who takes her home.  As Mitsuhide recovers at Rikyuu’s place, Nobunaga unexpectedly barges in, and the fateful reunion between Nobunaga and Mitsuhide occurs…

Yeah, I would say that things have gotten pretty serious…

My Opinion:

I honestly wasn’t expecting so much plot from one episode, and so I was pleasantly surprised.  A lot of things are actually explained, and we even get the reason for what exactly happened at the beginning of the first episode!  The explanation I was most happy about was the Secret Treasures.  Since not everyone gets them, that explains why Nobunaga seemingly skipped over some generals, like Gennai from episode 6; and the trio from episode 14.

I’m also glad that Mitsuhide got fleshed out a bit here.  The episode really made me feel sorry for her, even though I was just kind of “meh” about her in the last episode.  Though I can see that some people might hate her more this episode because she’s too “angsty.”  In my opinion, I thought her angst was portrayed fairly realistically.

Another nice thing about this episode was that there are lots of cameos made by some of the earlier generals.  However, there are also quite a few bad things.  It seems like the animators cut corners the most on this episode.  There is a lot of very noticeable QUALITY ANIMATION, especially in the character’s faces.  Why do nearly all their faces look off-model?!  There’s slanted mouths everywhere!  Also, the backgrounds for this episode were severely lacking in the flashback.  I want to know what the generals’ world looked like!  But instead all we get are dark backgrounds with some objects placed here and there.  I get a sort of sci-fi mixed with old oriental style vibe from the brief scenes we see (what would that even be called?  Sengoku-punk?), but it would have been nice if we saw more of what’s “outside.”  Because of the way the scenes were set up, most of them seemed to take place in an endless void.  It’s, uh… all very artsy, at least?

Comparison picture between *that* scene in episode 1 (left), vs. the same scene in episode 20 (right). See how bad the animation quality got? (click for bigger picture)

Also, what’s with the classical music?  I don’t mind classical music, but it’s really damn obvious that the animators are just using classical music to fill in space because they couldn’t be bothered creating new music to fit the scenes.  Although I at least give them credit for attempting to make the music fit the mood.  However, it did create kind of a… culture whiplash?  I think some Japanese classical music would fit more than… European classical music based on the series’ subject matter, but whatever.

Overall, a good episode.  It has a hearty chunk of PLOT, though the animation is lacking.

Out of five:

      

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