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NOOO, Tanaka!!!! He was, like, my third favorite stubborn Senshin general!

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  • Sunwu

    So passes Tanaka, son of Ecthelion

    • Arkone Axon

      Hopefully he won’t get his character twisted in the movie version to make him look buffoonish and lacking in redeeming qualities.

      (Seriously, the whole point of Denethor’s character in the book was that he was a badass who’d been broken by the hardships of standing alone against Mordor before the heroes arrived. He lit the beacons himself before Gandalf even showed up, he fought in battles – and saved his own son. He commanded until his only remaining son was seemingly killed. And then – after he’d been prematurely aged, lost his wife, lost both his children – only then did he deliberately set himself on fire to go up in a funeral pyre with his child, without screaming or running. People complain about how the Hobbit movies “ruined” things, but it was actually a better conversion than LOTR)

      • KungFuKlobber

        I expect the purpose of changing it so Pippin lit the beacons was to redeem him as a character.

        After they had turned him into a buffoon as well, of course. Blabbing Frodo’s real name at the Prancing Pony, for example, and being the one to stir up the Watcher instead of Boromir.

        • Arkone Axon

          Oh yeah, I KNOW! For crying out loud… the hobbits actually didn’t get nearly enough positive presentation in the films. They completely missed the big part when they got back to the Shire and cleaned Saruman’s clock. And then Samwise restored the Shire and became the greatest gardener of all time… hence his later decision to rename himself Samwise Gardener.

          Hell, they even messed up Bilbo’s big moment in “Fellowship” when they’re discussing how to get the One Ring into the fires of Mount Doom (Gandalf having already said “Yeah, I asked the eagles. They said no.”) and Bilbo sighs and says, “All right… nothing else for it. Give it here, I’ll take it.” And everyone laughs – not because they’re mocking him, but because they’ve known him for almost a century and they know he MEANS it. Thereby inspiring the others to follow the example of Bilbo, he who had always gone out and done stuff while others held back and made excuses.

          • Nos Rin aka CTCO

            To be fair though you can’t fit an entire book into a movie, changes have to be maid.
            I didn’t mind that they went straight on with the adventure but they could have mentioned why they didn’t use the eagles.
            As for the battle of the shire I was kind of glad that was excluded, gave it a more peaceful ending. Not to say the book ending is bad or anything but for the movie, i thought it worked okay.

          • Arkone Axon

            Oh, there’s always changes. The main problem with the films were that they shifted so much focus away from the hobbits. The whole point was that these were ordinary people doing extraordinary things – it was based on Tolkien’s own experiences as a soldier. The Shire is based on a real place – the shires of England. Aragorn was literally descended from semi-divine royalty, Gandalf was actually a kind of angel, Denethor (and Faramir and Boromir) had their own magic blood in them, the dwarves and elves as well… but the greatest victories were accomplished by the hobbits. In RPG terms (especially D&D), everyone else had stats in the 16-20 range, but the campaign was won by the actions of the characters whose stats were mostly in the 10-14 range.

            But yeah, they did do a pretty damned good job in all – I used to be in a Yahoo e-mail group for HACA and western martial arts, where one of the posters was a guy named Tony Wolf. He literally developed new martial arts for the films, different styles for each culture and kingdom and race, which were then used by the choreographers for the actual fight scenes. Here’s an interview someone did with him: https://ejmas.com/jtc/jtcart_klens_0602.htm

            (Personally, I like the Hobbit films even more. They also changed a lot of things from the book… but for the better, I feel. The dwarves were a lot more badass, and the goblin king was hilarious)

          • KungFuKlobber

            A lot of this is nitpicking: I very much enjoyed the LOTR films as well; along with the first Hobbit movie. I find it hard to stomach the third, however, largely because Bilbo is relegated to secondary-character status. Admittedly he does not really contribute to the battle and is unconscious for much of it, which is part of why I believe the three-movie split was a bad idea.

            Don’t get me started on Tauriel.

          • Arkone Axon

            Nothing wrong with picking a nit or two. My problem with the third movie was mostly how stupid Thorin was behaving… but that was inspired by the source material, so their hands were kinda tied. On the positive side, they managed to really do a LOT with what they had to work with. The dwarves were originally presented as… anti-semitic caricatures, really. Bearded, big nosed cowards who were obsessed with gold and didn’t grow spines until they already had the gold to defend. The film presents them more like the Israeli soldiers from the 1940s-1950s, ragtag but tough, brave, and skilled. “We were driven from our home… but we’re going to take it back. Even if that results in a lot of trouble with the neighbors until we can all learn to live in peace.”

          • Nos Rin aka CTCO

            I see what you mean with removing the focus from the hobbits and that’s a shame, but it even with those flaws it’s still a great film trilogy.

            Denethor?

            I felt the Hobbit films were just too flashy, too cool. Like Skyrim compared to Oblivion or morrowind.
            Unnecessary stuff even like, I can agree, the flirting of the elf and the dwarf.
            I also wish it had been 2 films, but this might not have done so well but, firstly a slow buildup film that ends with them entering the secret passage and fading to black, and then the second film all action packed with the dragon and the big battle.
            but that’s just my own opinion. I just felt the feel of LoTR felt more right for the series than the feel of the hobbit films.

          • Arkone Axon

            Denethor was Faramir and Boromir’s father. The fat, incompetent coward guy who died running off a cliff while on fire. In the books he was a lot different.

            And I will admit that I actually prefer Skyrim’s playstyle to Morrowind’s in a lot of ways… there are a lot of things from Morrowind that I wish Skyrim had incorporated (the large use of factions, polearms and throwing weapons, acrobatics skill, etc), but… anyone who waxes nostalgic about Morrowind has forgotten about wandering about in the red wasteland trying to find the NPC’s home, only to eventually realize that his home is in one of the same dungeons whose entrances are indistinguishable from everyone else’s. That compass is a godsend…

            (oh, and don’t forget the whole “hack, hack, hack, hack, and wait and see if any of the hits actually land” thing :p )

          • Nos Rin aka CTCO

            I meant more, the looks of everything. large swords, spikes, everything looks edy and badass and cool and not realistic at all.

            also on a side note Skyrim is just too damn streamlined. Morrowind had the best story but the combat system was shit, daggerfall had the best character creation and oblivion was alright, pretty average, a really good inventory system and look to it.
            skyrim had good combat to an extent but, uhg, everything was so streamlined….

            AND FREAKING POLEARMS!!!!!!!!! WHY DID NOTHING AFTER MORROWIND HAVE THEM?!!!!

            okay the shitty combat system in morrowind is explainable. (not defendable, it was trash, but) basically it was visually a hit detection, but had an outdated dice roll system that works in old games without 3d models maybe. so that’s why it sucks.

            that actually makes me sad what they did to Denethor then, that he was more a broken man who still at least tried, instead of just a dickish obstacle that I hated.

          • Arkone Axon

            Regarding the polearms: PREACH IT! Polearms don’t get enough love. Too many games focus on the swords, not on the weapons that were far more common, and far more effective. I also agree regarding the look of things – Skyrim is basically Tamriel’s rural hillbilly province; it’s the home of the big buff anti-intellectual jocks who have grown increasingly racist and xenophobic since the fall of the Septim dynasty. Half the farmsteads don’t even have access to proper mills, they have wheels pushed by hand to grind the grain. Whereas Morrowind (in spite of being older and smaller) had two decent sized cities (one of which was a succession of pyramids. That was cool). And yes I know about the hit detection thing – I beat the original game, Arena, with an Argonian Spellsword. Changing things away from that was the best move they did with Oblivion (and there’s a Morrowind patch someone did that removes the hit detection thing and REALLY helps a lot).

            I’m very much hoping that TES 6 will have polearms, and the rest of the things I’m missing.

            (And yes, you should definitely read the books. Don’t go assuming that the books are better than the films or vice versa… each have their own merits. Personally I prefer the books for LOTR and the films for the Hobbit)

          • Nos Rin aka CTCO

            omg yes bring polearms back.
            I never played arena but I have the combo back they released a few years ago. and I have sort of played daggerfall but im mad i cant use console commands. >_> shame on me I know.
            i always liked how oblivion and morrowind you could loot what you saw. also liked how armor came in like 10 pieces in morrowind but oblivion and skyrim had less and less. :S

            I’ll read the books when i’m older. I read the hobbit in middle school and it took me forever so I’m working through other series first.

            and ya, swords are cool and all but I love polearms!

        • clogboy

          I believe the movie writers wanted to use his enlistment (which was book canon). Couldn’t have such a significant character sitting idle now.

      • Nos Rin aka CTCO

        Man, I really need to read those books…
        I actually love the movies but I feel all the changes once I read the books might not sit well.

        • clogboy

          I’ve read the books long before there was talk of the movies.

          • Nos Rin aka CTCO

            I read the hobbit. and it took me forever. I’m going to wait until I’m older. I have a lot of series on my plate.

          • clogboy

            The Hobbit is only roughly a quarter of the LotR trilogy. Where the latter omitted entire subplots in the movie, The Hobbit fleshed things out a lot more to add more actions and tie in with the story that was yet to come.
            Forgot everything about the elf/dwarf romance, Legolas being in there, Galadriel, Radagast and Saruman. They did not exist yet in The Hobbit lore. Forget about a lot of the fight scenes and plot conclusions in the Battle of the Five Armies. Some of the armies acted merely as a deus ex machina.
            That doesn’t mean that the book isn’t worth reading, on the contrary. It does such a good job developing Bilbo into a Thief character, the cat-and-mouse game between Bilbo and Smaug, his inner struggle to do what’s right, Middle-Earth world building and setting up Gandalf as a wise and powerful wizard. The Ring only existed as a tool to help Bilbo develop as a thief (invisibility). Oh, the songs were in there, but not the fight scene from their barrel ride.

            In short, I love the book, and would read it again if I didn’t come up short on time for the GoT books (now there’s a long read).

          • Nos Rin aka CTCO

            i thought the hobbit was written after lord of the rings as a sort of prequel?
            hmmm. Ya I didn’t mind the movie tie in stuff, I just wish it hadn’t been so flashy, I wanted it to feel more like LOTR. but that’s just me.

          • clogboy

            The Hobbit predates Fellowship by 27 years (1937). It’s older even than The Wizard of Oz.

          • Nos Rin aka CTCO

            oh shit I had no idea.
            Ya I read it once. it was slow and boring. But not bad. I mean granted I was in 8th grade then.
            there’s a reason I’m waiting another decade before I tackle LOTR, besides all the other books I have.

          • clogboy

            The Hobbit was the most exciting adventure I read, probably at age 16. Granted, that was 20 years ago, long before WoW, and I wasn’t old enough for other high fantasy novels, and I didn’t read Dune. And I read a Dutch translation (my primary language), and the tone can differ depending on who translates it.
            I’ve read two translations of LotR: one where the sentences dragged on endlessly, and another that was probably more faithful and definitely written in a more engaging manner that didn’t test my concentration as much. I loved both versions, and I think I grew more patience and imagination given the first translation (which I read even before The Hobbit), it really is that good of a read.

          • Nos Rin aka CTCO

            I hate to say it but the one that seemed to drag on was probably the more faithful one from what I have heard. I heard Tolkien was well known for going into waaay too much detail.

          • clogboy

            Yeah I figured I made a little booboo there. Did he also string like ten sentences together with semicolons? No joke.
            The old ones I read were pocket novels with original drawings, but my favorite translations have the grey rune covers. I didn’t bother with the movie novelizations, of course.

          • Nos Rin aka CTCO

            it’s been…. nearly two decades since I read the hobbit, read it in, I want to say 7th, might have been 8th, those two are blurred together for me for some reason. :S I’m 30 now.
            so lots of math means it’s been forever so it’s hard to say.
            but ya. I’ll read them when I’m older.

  • Xinef

    Ah the dying, always so talkative.

    [‘] RIP Tanaka, you will be remembered as the general who died because he had his facial hair in the wrong place.

    • LordBolanderFace

      F.

    • Ilmari

      I am, on the whole, quite impressed by the pogonotrophic capabilities of these Japanese. Clearly there is a lot of Ainu blood in some of these men.

  • Crestlinger

    Hmm
    pinterest.ca/pin/423831014914161336/?lp=true
    or
    pinterest.ca/pin/382243087101475819/?lp=true

  • SlugFiller

    Wait, so he survived through that whole epilogue, but croaked mere seconds after talking to Masuhiro?

    • Hfar

      Actually this lines up. Bullets even to this day are not the insta-fatal weapons that we think they are. A person will still stagger around for a couple of minutes even when they take a bullet to the heart.

      Arquebus bullets were even worse. Since they were relatively inaccurate even compared to bows, bullets to the intestines and other “not immediately fatal” organs were common. In the early days of gun warfare it was far more common to die slowly from either internal bleeding or the wound becoming infected, the latter of which can take the longest for someone to die. There are some accounts of soldiers with gun shot wounds spending days in agony before they succumbed.

      To say early gun warfare was extremely brutal would be an understatement.

      • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

        We saw Tanaka had taken a pretty bloody wound during his charge, although it wasn’t clear where he’d been hit. And we saw the priests pull him off the battlefield. Since he looks pretty bad in that second panel, one can assume he was actively trying to hold on just long enough to speak to Masuhiro and apologize for his actions. Likely Masuhiro’s magnanimous response was more than Tanaka could’ve expected.

        • Thomas

          There are numerous example of people fighting against deadly disease who hold out just long enough to make it to some special event or holiday, but then to succumb shortly thereafter. The will to live (or to keep on not dying yet) does matter.

          • Nos Rin aka CTCO

            Fascinating.

          • EBeth

            He not died just long enough. Then he stopped not dying…

      • SlugFiller

        This might explain how he survived that long, but not how a few words from Masuhiro delivered the finishing blow.

      • clogboy

        If you weren’t lucky enough to bleed out in minutes from an artery (or multiple), then better hope something else takes you before gangreen does.

  • Turul

    Happy next life, Tanaka. This comic has been hard on generals lately.

    (Is this the first time Ken calls Yori by his actual name to his face?)

    • Kid Chaos

      Might be; too bad it’s under these circumstances. 💀

    • Ocean Burning.

      Wait, is that Ken? I couldn’t even tell…

      • Turul

        I’m assuming it is: he’s not in the cast list for the page.

    • IDPounder

      I noticed the same thing, Turul.

    • clogboy

      Ah, that thing he’s good at. Opening up in a non-aggressive manner.

  • David Connors

    Ah, and here comes the insult to injury…

  • Hfar

    “Thank you my lord. But…we both know…I still sucked…” *bleh!*

  • Thomas

    I notice the prone figure in the last panel does not have the sheet pulled up over her head. Too much to hope that she is still alive?

    • Nos Rin aka CTCO

      She’ll live. Or I riot.

      • EBeth

        Roger that! Right with ya’, there!

        • Nos Rin aka CTCO

          Whoo!

  • Kid Chaos

    “Dammit Yuri or Yori, or whatever your name is—don’t just sit there, get out there and fight for her!” 😎

  • Brandenfascher

    Ken: “It’s very strange. I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it is over I do not know what to do with the rest of my life.”
    Yori: “Have you considered Kabuki playacting?”

    • IDPounder

      Better than piracy, I suppose.

    • Turul

      I think he’d enjoy that. He seemed to have fun with that one play they did.

      …Audience might begin to enjoy it too, after a while.

      • Kid Chaos

        “They’d better enjoy it…or else!” 😜

  • Da’Zlein

    “Well, your girlfriend left you and mine is dead. Guess we’ll have to marry each other.”

  • animalia555

    @SuburbanSamurai Forgive me if this is the wrong place to ask this, but have you finished the SFDebris videos?

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      I just finished watching them. They’re quite good! It does reshape how I think about Lucas to a degree. It doesn’t really change that I think he’s not a very good story teller, even if he is visionary when it comes to the technical future of film making. It’s too bad he couldn’t collaborate with Spielberg or worked with Kershner again for Return of the Jedi. Oh, what could have been!

      Watching the episodes about Lucas’ making of the prequels just cements to me how in over his head he was when it came to crafting a story, and how his own OCD seemed to prevent him from handing it off to professional writers early on even though it was beyond his own capabilities under the constraints of time.

      The Disney films aren’t really what I wanted in new Star Wars films, but I’ve enjoyed them well enough. I feel pretty confident the results we’d be getting from more Lucas helmed Star Wars films would be far more frustrating to watch from a narrative perspective, even if they played up the original trilogy cast in a more positive light. I also doubt we’d have Kylo Ren, whom I love unconditionally.

      • animalia555

        Fair enough. What I like about it said videos is that in a world where people either praise him to the high heavens or kick him to the curve. Here we have a reviewer that manages to find a look at him that balances his positive AND negative aspects together.

        That’s what I appreciate about the reviews.

  • Takedown275

    Yori learns what it means to be a leader; judgment.

  • Eric

    Yori is clearly about to go into extended sulking mode. Ken will not find this acceptable. Intervention is called for.

    Now in theory Ken could get all sophisticated and political, and drop his Nataku betrayal truth bomb in a way that rocks the Wataro clan to its foundations and gets Ejiro out of an inheritance and grounded for sixty years to boot.

    This is Ken though. What’s GOING to happen is that they will drink sake and then start punching people. The only questions are who will get punched first, and how many people will get punched before the sake runs out.

    • Xinef

      “I’m here to punch sake and drink bubblegum and I’m all out of sake.”
      ~Ken

    • http://www.comicsagonistes.hackenbush.org/ Ginger Mayerson

      Mmmm, maybe Yori will notice what Ken has lost and might soon lose and Yori will get over himself. Sorry, feeling bitter today. Annoyed with Ina, too.

  • endplanets

    The sad thing is that his disregard for the foreigners advice was irrelevant. Being told that the loud sticks kill you means nothing, but knowing that guns easily butchered a ton of armored warriors will make people pay attention.

    If Tanaka had heeded the warning then even he would have no idea of their power having not seen it and a different general later down the line would have been butchered.

    A large group of people gotta get shot before people realize guns are powerful.

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