Hi, I've watched through Episode 10 and after reading the first twenty-two pages
of posts in this thread I thought I'd reply to some stuff I saw people commenting on first. Then maybe in another post I can go into some of my thoughts with the other episodes, including the newest ones (11 and 12).
About Tokugawa Ieyasu being depicted as a vassal of Oda Nobunaga's:
A lot of people were saying that they didn't like this -- primarily because it went against depictions of Ieyasu's early life that they'd seen in other dramas. But the thing is, this actually sounds the most historically accurate.
According to Wikipedia:
(note: keep in mind that Ieyasu's boyhood name was Takechiyo when reading this big chunk of text )
In 1548, when the Oda clan invaded Mikawa, Hirotada turned to Imagawa Yoshimoto, the head of the Imagawa clan, for help to repel the invaders. Yoshimoto agreed to help under the condition that Hirotada send his son Takechiyo to Sumpu as a hostage. Hirotada agreed. Oda Nobuhide, the leader of the Oda clan, learned of this arrangement and had Ieyasu abducted from his entourage en route to Sumpu. Ieyasu was just six years old at the time.
Nobuhide threatened to execute Takechiyo unless his father severed all ties with the Imagawa clan. Hirotada replied that sacrificing his own son would show his seriousness in his pact with the Imagawa clan. Despite this refusal, Nobuhide chose not to kill Takechiyo but instead held him for the next three years at the Manshoji Temple in Nagoya.
In 1549, when Takechiyo was 7, his father Hirotada died of natural causes. At about the same time, Oda Nobuhide died during an epidemic. The deaths dealt a heavy blow to the Oda clan. An army under the command of Imagawa Sessai laid siege to the castle where Oda Nobuhiro, Nobuhide's eldest son and the new head of the Oda, was living. With the castle about to fall, Imagawa Sessai offered a deal to Oda Nobunaga (Oda Nobuhide's second son). Sessai offered to give up the siege if Ieyasu was handed over to the Imagawa clan. Nobunaga agreed and so Takechiyo (now nine) was taken as a hostage to Sumpu. Here he lived a fairly good life as hostage and potentially useful future ally of the Imagawa clan until 1556 when he was age 15.
As you can see, Ieyasu was an Oda clan hostage
for most of his boyhood. From age 6 until 15, he went from home to home, always a political hostage of the Oda. He actually fought against
the Oda in his early manhood but (for political reasons) changed sides and became an ally of the Oda -- which he remained for the rest of Oda Nobunaga's days. Instead of thinking that they were showing Ieyasu as a vassal, you should think that they were showing him as a closely-allied general who's as good as a fellow kinsman.
Nobunaga would have personally known Ieyasu (by name and by face) before he'd ever met half of his other vassals. He and Ieyasu, you could say, "go way back." Doesn't mean they were the best of friends. But they had a very mutually beneficial relationship against Takeda Shingen: and I think our story opens at around this time, so it would make sense that we see Ieyasu wining and dining with the Oda clan.
Another thing you can take away from that huge block of quoted text is some insight into why Ieyasu acted as he did in Episode 3
About Ueno Juri behaving like Nodame -AND/OR- about Ueno Juri playing a child:
I agree that this has been distracting and I wish
the drama didn't do this. But I also don't think that it's too too bad. NHK has done worse (Naoe Kanetsugu in Tenchijin
); and Juri's Gou isn't even the worst at this. Mizukawa Asami's Hatsu is probably the #1 character guilty of this. Every time she throws a tantrum or pouts it's just completely
over-the-top ridiculous! At first I thought she was just being a clownish actor. Then I realized she was trying to portray an adolescent and suddenly it all made sense. But it's still like nails on a chalkboard
every time we have to see her pout while stuffing her face full of manju! Then there's one of my favorite actors, Kitaoji Kinya, who is supposed to be playing an Ieyasu in his 30s (and who would have just turned 40 in Episode 10) and yet he looks like he's already a grandfather of 60!
I really sympathize with those for whom the age thing was just too much. It was the same for me with Tenchijin
so I totally know where you're coming from. I'm glad it didn't happen to me with this series but I really can't tell you why it didn't. I just got lucky this time, I guess. Or maybe it just boils down to how much knowledge you have ahead of time? Because I already knew about Kanetsugu's age before starting Tenchijin but I knew nothing about Gou and her sisters. I only found out they were still supposed to be little girls when I started reading timelines on Wikipedia. Maybe this is one of those cases where knowledge ahead of time can ruin a show for you. It happened to some Japanese friends of mine who couldn't stand to watch Karei Naru Ichizoku
because they could hear the characters using anachronistic Japanese grammar (e.g. someone using zenzen
in the positive as in zenzen heiki
). I didn't notice these subtleties and for me the show was -- and remains -- one of the best I've ever seen. Oh well!
About Toyokawa Etsushi as Oda Nobunaga:
This was my first Nobunaga so I'm obviously going to be biased, but ... I absolutely LOVED his portrayal.
The moment he showed up onscreen I knew he was Nobunaga. He totally
fit my mental image of the warlord -- he looked more like Nobunaga to me than the actual Nobunaga looks like Nobunaga to me!
You know what, though? I think I can understand why some may not like his portrayal. Toyokawa portrays Nobunaga very much like another figure who he bears a striking resemblance to (or at least, according to Koei's Dynasty Warriors games he does, hahaha) -- Cao Cao
of the Warring States period in ancient China. Cao Cao was portrayed in the classic Romance of the Three Kingdoms
as a cunning and ruthless warlord. And you see a lot
of that in Toyokawa's Nobunaga. Very
cunning and very
ruthless. Perhaps other depictions of Nobunaga have been more romantic or boyish, I dunno. But I thought this one worked. I thought it perfectly fit the phrase "Nobunaga's ambition"
to a tee.
I'll post more on this next time, but my overall satisfaction with the show is mid-high
. I regret that I've almost caught up with everybody -- because now it means I have to join you in playing the painful Waiting Game each week! lol The game wouldn't be painful if the show weren't good, so I hope that gives you a sense of where I'll be heading next time when I post about some of my thoughts on specific episodes and scenes. (I'll try to keep it more focused on newer stuff, too, since you've all discussed the older stuff already.)