The Path of No Return
Having made up his mind to leave the village, Yukimura charges out of the mountain.
Meanwhile, Ieyasu’s informed of Yukimura’s movements and whilst it was earlier than he expected, he plans his next move. But first, Kiyomasa and Masanori have decided to go back to Hideyori and leaves.
Meanwhile at Osaka, Hideyori has agreed to meet with Ieyasu regarding governance of Japan. So Nobuyuki heads back, but he is ambushed by Hideyori’s men dressed as bandits without Hideyori’s knowing. Luckily Keiji Maeda was nearby and comes to his aid.
Ieyasu decides to move and orders Todo to kill Yukimura and Masamune to kill Kiyomasa and Masanori.
Nobuyuki hears from Keiji that Yukimura has escaped and he instantly rushes off. He meets up with Todo to join in the pursuit for Yukimura but is refused and detained.
On their way to Osaka, Masanori and Kiyomasa are ambushed by Masamune and a fight breaks out.
Also on his way to Osaka, Yukimura is tracked down by Todo and surrounded. But just like Nobuyuki, Keiji comes to help and he gets away. Nobuyuki breaks free of his detainment at Todo’s camp and intercepts Yukimura before he is able to flee further.
Masanori and Kiyomasa’s situations looks bad until Nene intervenes and provides cover for them to escape.
Yukimura and Nobuyuki manage to talk and they part ways again.
And another parting of ways for the Sanada brothers, this time though it doesn’t feel as real as it did last time. Last time it happened it seemed pretty final and death would come to the loser, but of course that didn’t happen and it seemed like it might’ve been okay. Now they meet up again with pretty much the exact same resolve and outcome as last time, though I guess saying it a second time could also make it more prominent. Still, having grown up as brothers all your life, no matter how much your decision is made to face each other, there will always be hesitation. And when it comes down to it, I don’t think either party will be able to deliver the finishing blow. But we’ll see how much their resolve holds out.
After criticizing Hideyori last episode, I must say that he seemed to have showed some understanding of his people this episode. At least he could see that whilst his men say they can’t stand the Tokugawa anymore, they are also a little scared to go to war, or rather they’re not that certain. But if Hideyori declares war they would follow him of course. But having men who aren’t sure is never great heading into war, so it’s best to buy some time first and try to raise morale.
Ieyasu though, shows his leadership credentials not wasting any time in issuing the orders for pursuit and execution. I could say that he’s showing his ruthlessness eliminating any potential opposition without question. But he’s just doing what needs to be done. This of course makes clear that he doesn’t want to cooperate with the Toyotomi, but we knew that all along.
However he is looking to the future and planning for peace which will require skills with a pen than a sword. It’s not going to be easy to change a warrior’s mindset and I think he understands that, though not allowing them to face who they want now may just anger them and turn them against you.
Loved how Nene shows up randomly to drop bombs on them. She’s basically like a guardian angel that just appears out of nowhere to aid Hideyoshi’s friends. She is a ninja after all.
I was more surprised that we had no focus on Hidetada and Kotaro this episode. After how it finished last episode I was expecting some more from them. I guess until the war actually breaks out nothing will happen on that end. There has been some conflict, but mainly set up this episode, war upon us soon.