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For those who predicted Atsumori’s fate, well, GOOD JOB. I hope you feel awful!

We went and saw The Arrival last weekend and it was damn good. For everyone sick of big dumb movies where all laws of physics are broken and the peril of the characters is intrinsically tied to dramatic plot moments and nothing else, The Arrival is like a life preserver in an ocean of blah. Even if it’s not the most complex story, and even if you do manage to see the twist coming early on, the journey there is still thoughtful, smart, well paced, and character driven. At no point did I think to myself “well, that was stupid”. In fact, the climax of the movie is SPOILERS someone making a phone call in a foreign language. It’s not overblown, bomabastic, or dumb. It IS tense, and exciting, and absolutely the movie I’ve been waiting for since being teased with scifi intellectualism by Interstellar. I’m not saying The Arrival is a perfect movie, as there’s a lot of science hand-waving, but nothing is dumb or contradictory, the problems dealt to the characters are all consistently worked out through a quality flow of logical deduction. So basically what I’m saying is go see The Arrival, it deserves your money and attention, because we need more stuff like this in theaters.

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  • Hfar

    Eijori: “Oh hell! Why do people keep bleeding on me?! This is a white outfit!”

    And yes, I feel mildly awful.

  • Dorje

    If a Nataku is standing behind you, you are going to get stabbed in the back. Always keep Nataku in front of you, that way you will only be murdered to your face. Remember this Eijiro, never let a Nataku behind you, and Atsumori will not have died for nothing.

    • Hfar

      Eijiro: “Oh crap…I used to let him stand behind me all the time!”

    • Not Real

      If Nataku is standing on front of you, you are going to get stabbed in the front. The only difference between him standing in front or behind is the amount of time you have to prepare to get stabbed.

  • Xinef

    I was expecting Atsumori to be a bit more intelligent than that. It’s REALLY obvious you can’t trust Nataku, and he of all people should have been quite aware of that.

    • Kid Chaos

      I think this is a bit too grim for NN4B’s usual shenanigans. RIP, General Atsumori. 😯

      • Turul

        Yeah, I figure Atsumori was taken by surprise by the sudden tonal shift. The normal procedure has been posing dramatically to get your opponent’s attention, making a grand declaration, and only then proceeding to the stabbing part. I mean, Uso had his illusions do the posing and declaring for him, but generally.

        Then again maybe that’s just for major characters… guess Atsumori overestimated his role.

    • Jake
    • EBeth

      I agree that Eijiro will probably reconsider his cooperation with Nataku at some point. However, I also believe by that time it will be to late for Eijiro to back out or separate himself from Nataku (and might be to late for him to do anything else, period.)

      • Xinef

        It depends on a few things.

        First, whether Nataku would really consider killing Eijiro. After all, while Nataku may be able to explain Atsumori’s death to Hirotomo somehow (be it by putting blame on the Senshin somehow, or by somehow “proving” that Atsumori was a traitor, or maybe with the “gun accident” theory), and Hirotomo may accept that explanation (after all he still has a general capable of winning a war, the other one was not really necessary). But Eijiro’s death would be harder to explain – Hirotomo would likely want to investigate it and make sure anyone responsible was punished. A general is replaceable, a heir and son? Not so (easily).

        Second thing – it depends on Eijiro’s brains. Telling Nataku outright that he will refuse to work with him would be kinda foolish. Secretly informing father that Nataku is a traitor would be more reasonable.

        • EBeth

          Oh, I’ll completely grant that it would be much more likely for Nataku to keep Eijiro as a figurehead he pulls the puppet strings on. But, I’m not discounting that he could at some point descend deep enough into madness to kill Eijiro. He is obviously obsessed to conquer and it does not take much to tip obsession into madness. That is, if our intrepid heroes do not stop him (and Eijiro) first! 😉

          • Xinef

            Eijiro: This is Sparta!
            Nataku: Sparta? THIS! IS! MADNESS! *fatally kicks Eijiro in the groin*

          • Bree

            One possible manifestation of this is Nataku accidentally killing Eijiro. It is certainly possible that if he is blinded by his bloodlust, in an attempt to kill an enemy he misses and hits Eijiro.

      • Nos Rin aka CTCO

        I think it’s already too late, maybe way too late.

  • charles81

    ALIENS! ALIENS BURSTING FORTH FROM MY- Oh wait, it’s just a sword X(

    Well… Thats what you get for putting your stinkin’ paws on the young lord.

  • KungFuKlobber

    Eijiro was just preaching that the ends justify the means. Let’s see how he reacts to seeing the logical conclusion of such thinking in action.

  • Little Kingsguard

    Now taking bets on how Nataku dies. Theories:

    * Ken gets his revenge and kills him.
    * Genchu wins their next rematch.
    * Yori kills him to allow peace between the clans.

    And to add another one to the list:

    * Eljiro suspects him of treason (e.g. plotting to kill Eljiro and blame the Senshins to provoke Hirotomo to war) and has him preemptively assassinated.

    • Jake

      he who stabs another in the back is always first to be suspected of treason. that and the eyebrows are a dead giveaway.

    • Xinef

      * Tao wishes him dead, and he trips over his own sword.

  • Arkone Axon

    This is actually the result of the same aspects of Nataku’s personality that made him complain about the rifles in the first place. He’s a total traditionalist. The general disrespected Eijiro and refused to obey. Nataku decided to act accordingly. He might have disagreed with Eijiro about the rifles… but Eijiro still commands his loyalty, regardless.

    “It is a samurai’s right to protest any actions his lord might make, and death is the final protest a samurai can make.”

    • Pangaea

      I’d disagree with this assessment as Atsumori’s lord is Eijiro’s father, Hirotomo, and he’d be within his rights to not follow Eijiro’s orders if he thought the orders were against his lord’s wishes.

      Nataku is setting up the war with the ultimate aim of destroying the Wataro clan. He is allowing Eijiro to use the rifles because he knows that they would become worthless and would draw the fear and wrath of pretty much everyone else.

      The rifles cannot maintain an advantage for the Wataro army as they have only limited ammo with no factories to produce more. The only way to resupply would be to open up to the west and import more.

      • leavescat

        Musket balls are pretty simple to produce, and they already know how to make gunpowder. Reverse-engineering the muskets themselves would take some time though.

  • Pumpkin_Cake

    Wait, what did Eljiro do? Atsumori is asking him to face the consequences of… what, again?

    • okamitora

      Hiring the ninjas to kidnap the Senshin family head so Eijiro could make it look like the Senshins were moving against them, thus beginning this war based on a lie.

      • Pumpkin_Cake

        Oh, right, thanks. I forgot that they weren’t all on the same page on that.

  • clogboy

    …oh right, they are the bad guys :)

  • okamitora

    “Stabbed through the heart!
    And you’re to blame!
    Oh, you give bushido
    A bad name!”

    • Not Real

      Oh, oh, you’re a loaded gun
      Oh, oh, there’s nowhere to run
      No one can save me
      The damage is done

  • Bob

    Can stab you in back, apparently.

  • Dshim

    note to self: don’t let people with a grimace and a sword slowly walk behind you

  • mai876

    Guess the eyebrows won this fight – which is really too bad since I put good money on the mustache.

    • Turul

      The mustache was facing the other way, thus covered by the back of the head. Else the eyebrows would never have stood a chance.

      • Jake

        that is the one true problem of having eyes in the back of your head… they’re always covered and thus blinded by the hair.
        as for me, the eyes in the back of my head still need glasses.

  • Draxynnic

    I don’t feel awful. I wasn’t the one who put Atsumori in the way of Plot. I just saw it coming.

    After all, you don’t have an extended arc about handguns only to have them not see action because the general on the field wants to keep to a truce.

    • Nos Rin aka CTCO

      rifles… they’re rifles, not handguns. >_>

  • Turul


    • Turul

      And I must admit that both Atsumori and Eijiro’s looks of disbelief gave me a bit of a chill.

      • TheMaskedFerret

        Yeah. If you are going to hold a Nataku by the leash, you need to be aware that it will occasionally make a mess on the carpet, is very aggressive, and has been known to kill at every opportunity.

  • Ladon

    “General Nataku can shunk. Yes, thank you general. That was exactly what I was going to say.”

  • prime_pm

    CAN WHAT!?!?

  • Flaming Squirrel

    Nataku can shunk! He’s the best dern shunker in the whole shunking world!

    • reynard61

      He probably killed his own Maternal parental unit that way, the Mothershunker…

  • Tim “Azur3flame” Eldred

    Are we certain Nataku isn’t secretly a ninja? He did that whole “slip around, draw sword and run-the-man-through” without making a sound. And Atsumori probably disregarded the whole frantic/shaky voice and OSHIT demeanor as “This kid is trying to grow a pair and tell me what to do, time to nip this in the bud” and as such ignored the looming threat without even realizing it.

    • Xinef

      Nah, he’s not wearing a bikini, so he’s not a ninja.

      • Ido Jeorchim-Litman

        It is known

  • Sunwu
  • Sunwu

    You can Slowly see Eijiro’s innocence and Childhood dying as the comic goes on

    • Turul

      He does really come off as a kid in many ways, like on this page or when he started giggling happily because he managed to get the musket working. It makes him slightly painful to watch.

      • suburban_samurai

        He is only a 16 year old kid, after all! So is Ina. Yori’s 18. They’re all a bunch of kids! Geez, I started the comic when I was 18, that’s crazy.

        • Sunwu

          wait what?! b-bit Eijiro is so much shorter than Ina

          • okamitora

            Apparently he has lacked a growth spurt that she has not.

    • suburban_samurai

      Man, Eijiro spends a lot of time looking shocked!

    • Da’Zlein

      Ironically, a few more moments like this and he may become the biggest proponent of peace in the Wataro clan…

  • IDPounder

    Panel 2 – hilt of wakizashi visible. Panel 4 – no longer visible. Hope you feel guilty about this Eijiro, because it’s not like you can later say that you didn’t see this coming…

  • Nos Rin aka CTCO

    Saw it coming a mile away. Still sad.

    I looked up spoilers for Arrival. Sounded good.

  • Da’Zlein

    Now that the last voice of reason has been removed from the equation, this slaughter can commence as planned!

    • Kid Chaos

      NOW can we get Yori. Genchu, Ina & co. to the front lines? It seems like they are needed. 😯

  • reynard61

    “You can get much farther with eyebrows and a sword than you can with eyebrows alone.” – Gen. Nataku (Later paraphrased by Chicago Mob Boss Al Capone.)

  • Blake

    Can I just say that whenever I look at panel 5, all I can think is that General Atsumori is holding a gigantic imaginary breast in his left hand?
    “And they’ll be this big after the surger- General Nataku, don’t start cutting before i get my anesthetics!”

    • suburban_samurai

      This is why your friends give you weird looks, you know!

      • Blake

        I can’t help that I have such good looking imaginary mammaries!

    • Xinef

      Gigantic? In terms of manga/anime these would be tiny.

      • Blake

        Look, if we were going by manga/anime rules and sizes here, everyone would have a massive bust size, even the swords. And the ninja clan would just be cartwheeling spheres.

  • squirejames

    When Nataku uses his DOOM sound-effect, he means it!

  • Spoons

    Beautiful colors on this page!

  • LazyReader
    • reynard61


    • Turul

      And discovered that Yori is more bishounen than he is. Now his life is shattered.

  • Astralfury

    Are you really going to Congratulate us for that prediction? It was the largest death flag I have ever seen.

  • Nos Rin aka CTCO

    damn, waited all week to see what happened next and no update. :(

  • Unhooked

    “Message for you, sir!”

  • clogboy

    Chose one heck of a page to leave us hanging after Thanksgiving :)

  • Insane Disciple

    Traumatizing him some more

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