Sunday, July 15, 2018

First Impressions: Angolmois - Genkou Kassenki Ep 1

A government ship filled with criminals on their way to be exiled is caught in a storm in the middle of the ocean. One of these criminals is a former Kamakura Shogunate retainer, Kuuchi Jinzaborou. A self-proclaimed rich merchant recognizes him but seems to have no respect for his kind. As the storm rages on, the prisoners beg the government personnel to free them from their handcuffs. After some reluctance, the government personnel do so only to have the prisoners mutiny almost immediately and throw them overboard. The mutiny is cut short once Kuuchi points out that they need to find shelter from the storm before they all drown. A large man with sharp teeth, Onitakemaru, a former pirate whom Kuuchi once tried to suppress, helps steer the ship to safer waters.


The ragtag group come within sight of their destination, Tsushima Island, where they are welcomed by no less than the Island Ruler's daughter, Princess Teruhi of the Sou Clan. That evening, the prisoners enjoy a feast prepared by their host. Princess Teruhi soon arrives with her servants and reveals her real motive in welcoming the prisoners to her island: she wants them to fight the Mongols who are posed to invade Japan. When the men protest, Princess Teruhi does not hesitate to give the order to kill all dissenters.


Later, in her private chambers, it is revealed that Princess Teruhi is just putting up an act out of duty to defend her island. That same evening, an advance party of skilled warriors secretly attack Princess Teruhi's camp and kidnaps her. The Sou Clan immediately mobilize their soldiers, including the ones guarding the prisoners, drawing a comment from Kuuchi how disorganized they are. The prisoners easily escape and quickly deduce where Princess Teruhi has been taken.


The Sou Clan soldiers catch up to the advance party but are unable to do anything for fear of hurting the princess. Onitakemaru arrives and starts attacking. Kuuchi also slips through and kills several of the advance party. His fighting style is revealed to be Gikei, the style used by Yoshitsune. However, the advance party's leader appears to be schooled in the same style and holds his own against Kuuchi. As the fight continues, the warriors come to a draw and the leader shows his face to Kuuchi. Much to Kuuchi's shock, he is no Mongol. The warrior escapes back to his ship and sets sail for the far seas while Kuuchi and the rest of the prisoners watch on. Unbeknownst to them, a trio of shadowy figures are watching over them.


The next morning, Princess Teruhi mourns her dead servant and the soldiers of the Sou Clan. Thinking that it is one of her servants who approach her, she comments that war is sad. But it is Kuuchi and he says only that what happened last night was not a war. He is disdainful of her seeming ignorance and wonders if she has the stomach to fight off the Mongols. Princess Teruhi surprises him however of her determination to protect her island. Just then, another of Princess Teruhi's servants, Kano, to warn that the Mongols are coming.


Wooh, historical anime! I like it so far. I don't know how accurate it is or whether the characters are based on real people. But it is true that the Mongols did try to invade Japan but were unsuccessful. It is a very interesting setting and one that has not been done before as far as I know. The characters are interesting. Kuuchi seems like a good main character -- charismatic and appropriately broody but not annoyingly so. Teruhi, despite being a damsel in distress in this episode, is not annoying either. The music is also good. I like the opening theme. The animation is not so bad. The filter is a bit weird and could take some getting used to, but I don't mind it very much. I like this anime. Will definitely watch.