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Yep, just a normal day at Wataro Castle, nothing weird about this.

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  • Sunwu

    Eijiro trying to throw out some hard B-words at Ina, That’s her word he can’t use it.

    • clogboy

      There’s only one B-word he can use, and what follows is remarkably close to ‘ass tard’.

      • Turul

        But he doesn’t yet realise he is one…

        • clogboy

          I’d say even figuratively he’d have to figure it out, if his story wasn’t so tragic. He’s more than a plot device; rather, he’s desperately both trying to impress his father, and fill his brother’s shoes as he expects he was supposed to. Living proof that an abundance of good intentions and severe lack of insight (due to his youthful naivity) in most cases is potentially a bad thing.

          And this is where I take a moment to compliment the writer. Given the nature of his role in the events, he’s not simply someone who stuff just happens to; he’s making his own decisions, deals with the situations he finds himself in, and his motivation is always plausible, tangible and relatable. Due to his conviction, especially in the early stages of the story I’d say his character is up there as being one of the most rounded ones. in fact, it would be very interesting to see a condensed version where this is his story and not Ina’s. And with permission, I’d be interested in selecting the pages that tell his story best without getting out of the moment too much (which sadly means also getting rid of most of the comedy and fighting).

          • purplelibraryguy

            On “he’s more than a plot device”–I am reminded of the immortal words of the Golux, in The Thirteen Clocks:
            “I am the Golux” said the Golux, proudly, “The only Golux in the world, and not a mere Device.”
            “You resemble one,” said the minstrel, “As Saralinda resembles the rose.”

          • clogboy

            Not familiar with the story, but sounds like it resembles the same spirit as Dr. Who and Douglas Adams.

          • purplelibraryguy

            It’s a small book by James Thurber that has a ridiculously fun time being an over the top fairy tale. The minstrel is actually the heroic prince Zorn of Zorna in disguise, seeking to win the hand of the niece of the cold Duke of Coffin Castle, who breaks her suitors in his soup like crackers or runs them through with his swordcane for trivial offenses and then feeds them to his geese. All the thirteen clocks in the castle are frozen, stopped at ten minutes to five, and so it’s never Now in the castle, it’s always Then.

          • clogboy

            Sounds a bit like that new Matt Groening show.

          • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

            Well you certainly have my permission! I love Eijiro because he’s someone who’s done all the wrong things for what he thought were the right reasons. He’s an ‘ends justify the means’ character, but that’s largely because of who he’s been raised by and how he’s been conditioned. As soon as he encounters people who question his methods, he immediately starts to break down into self reflection and questions whether his ultimate goals are really what he wants, or needs.

  • foducool

    damn warriors and their bullshitto

  • Merlin

    Well, between being betrayed by those closest to him, losing the woman he loved, and his own terrible misdeeds, especially involving the annihilation of an entire clan, his *friend’s* clan, AND letting his wife’s true murderer live for so long in order to protect his people, it’s probably safe to say that this lord is consumed with shame and dishonor. The way of the samurai, of bushido, is to atone and regain honor by committing suicide. This is obviously a more roundabout way of going about it, but done in the name of achieving his desires WITHOUT destroying his people in the process, and, indeed, purging the worst elements of his reign, giving his successor a clean slate to work with. It’s right there in that possible crossroads of brilliance and insanity.

    So, no definitely not in his right mind, but quite possibly still a visionary nonetheless.

    • Yasmin Mazur

      A sane person would just suck up the dishonor, execute the rough elements themselves and send out a huge apology with compensation all around, but that would be shameful… let’s go with a risquy plan that may end up killing the heir and also killing lots of people up front, despoiling fields and supplies, and generally make everythiing 100 times worse…
      I’m tempted to say it’s such a guy thing to do, but that would be sexist of me…

      • clogboy

        A sane person can rarely handle that much power. That’s why modern democracies delegate.

      • Arkone Axon

        That would be your idea of what a sane person would do, in a sane society (i.e. YOUR idea of a sane society). He lives in a culture in which that is not a valid option. What Ina is saying is literally revolutionary – the idea that you can admit wrongdoing without everyone immediately jumping to take advantage (because you’ve ALSO been taught to jump to take advantage if anyone else should expose themselves like that).

        Hell, it’s still a problem in Japan today. “Saving face.” Entire businesses have gone bankrupt because nobody wanted to tell the executives they were making a mistake. If you want to see what I mean, look at older anime (especially stuff from the 80s and prior). You’ll see heroic characters going off to do things they KNOW are horrible, stupid, pointless, etc, because they were ordered to do so. It’s only in the more recent stuff (Bleach, Naruto, etc) that you see characters saying, “no, that’s stupid and it’s wrong and we are NOT going to blindly follow authority.” (Possibly because the Japanese equivalent to Gen X grew up during the 90s recession that hit after the “Unstoppable Japanese Economic Juggernaut Created by Bushido in the Workplace” turned out to be all smoke and mirrors, so they’re getting tired of the “authority is authority and you will obey authority because they are the authority” refrain)

        • Yasmin Mazur

          well – when you put it that way – where I live it does feel like a politician can’t admit a mistake for fear they’ll be replaced like that…
          Still – I do have more respect to people who can own their mistakes and not aggrevate them.

          • Archangel

            Not a politician. Different rules, different stakes.

          • animalia555

            There is a reason that the third ideal of Bondsmiths in the Stormlight Archive is “I will take responsibility for what I have done. If I must fall, I will rise each time a better man.” Let’s face it BOTH Hirotomo and Dalinar commited atrocites in thier past, but Dalinar shows far more honor by owning up to his mistakes and refusing to run away from them (or commit suicide then Hirotomo does)

            “Life before death”

          • http://www.id271866.sexyql.website chronoboy

            yasminmazur yes but

      • purplelibraryguy

        We talk here of honour, not sanity.

    • Tim “Azur3flame” Eldred

      There’s a fine line between brilliance and madness. And more often than not the latter is assumed to be the case. Visionaries are crazies first.

      That said, I think Hirotomo is a bit of both. I see the method behind the madness, but there’s definitely some batshit loco happening there.

  • Turul

    Ina still has no need for Bushido :)

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

      If that’s Bushido, I don’t need it either.

      • purplelibraryguy

        I don’t think there’s a lot in Bushido about fathers setting up fights to the death with their sons. I mean, I’m not up on the fine print, but . . .

        • clogboy

          Bushido says the lord has ultimate and perfect authority, no matter how wrong or misguided he is. This is simply his way of atoning without losing face.

          • purplelibraryguy

            Well, yes. Actually . . . you mentioned Douglas Adams down-thread. Japanese lords under Bushido are much like the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in that, if they’re wrong, they’re definitively wrong and it’s the universe which is in error.

          • clogboy

            Hehe I forgot that part. But there’s so much in all the five volumes in the trilogy (although I enjoy the first two books most). It’s a good thing though that their meddling doesn’t have quite the same impact where the fabric of time and space can actually be torn if they f#ck up.

          • Archangel

            That’s actually a really good analogy. Western Chivalry has its flaws, but it’s workable. In my considered intellectual opinion, Bushido is whack. (I do have a degree in history, so I’m not being entirely sarcastic.)

          • animalia555

            Bushido came up AFTER the wars was over to be fair

          • Archangel

            Thanks, I didn’t know that. My far eastern history is extremely spotty prior to the advent of European Colonialism, TBH.

  • Crestlinger

    Coming up to 777
    ‘You’ve got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?’

  • endplanets

    It is an elegant dance of blades. They are really tearing up the floor.

  • Minando

    Bah, that’s girl talk. Let them do this like REAL men.

    That is, bash each others head in and see what comes next.

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

      Oh c’mon, that’s… true. Never mind.

    • Arkone Axon

      I’ll just leave this here…

      https://youtu.be/MtrrhO3MHoY

      • Minando

        Weeelll…it IS the age of gender science.

  • Carolo Taphilus

    One has to acknowledge that these kind of political debates, compared to the ones we are used to, has its advantages. Candidates need to be well prepared, exchanges are entertaining and they usually end on a colorful note.

    • Carolo Taphilus

      Moderator: “And now, I give the floor to Yorikiro.”
      Yori, kicking the floor, tearing a chunk and picking it: “Hey, thanks, I have a friend who could use this.”
      Bunzo bursts in happy tears.

      • Xinef

        One major advantage of this kind of debate is the much higher employment in quarries and masonry. Someone has to fix all those floors, and when it’s a castle or palace they can ask for some extra payment.

    • Arkone Axon

      …Does anyone else want to see this sort of thing in 2020? Either during the general election or just during the primaries?

      • animalia555

        Anyone else watch the Daily Show with Trevor Noah? As an imagrant from South Africa he occasionally throws in clips of footage from African parliaments where people break into brawls, and compare them to stories of earlier years in American History when Andrew Jackson would break out his cane, or Aron Burr would duel someone.

  • SlugFiller

    Is it me, or does Eijiro, in complete opposition to his father, not even seem to consider the possibility that Yorikiro wins? Fine, he’s okay with Yorikiro dying. Is he okay with the person he believes to be his father dying?

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

      Eijiro has issues.

      • reynard61

        It’s why he’s such an Ej-Lord…

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      Eijiro just has complete confidence in Hirotomo. Or at least he did until very recently, now he’s saying what he feels he aught to be saying, but maybe not feeling it quite so much.

  • Debbie Wright

    I really hope this isn’t how he learns that isn’t his father, cause that will be both so sad and so awkward.

    • Xinef

      *Hirotomo takes a fatal wound and lies dying*
      Eijiro: FATHER!
      Hirotomo: … I… am… your… father… NOT *dies*
      Eijiro: NOOOOOOOO!

      • Debbie Wright

        …okay, apparently it can potentially be sad, awkward, and hilarious.

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          disqus_Vx0F8OLmPg wrote

    • Arkone Axon

      Thankfully, Hirotomo has made it clear he does not wish Eijiro to know. He’s not that cruel – even if Eijiro isn’t his son, he’s still the son of the woman he loved, and the man he called friend.

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      Doubly so since all Eijiro’s ever wanted is his father’s approval!

  • drealm2459

    1st Yorikiro is the only true heir. And he at this point would be the best choice and best leader the clan could have. Yes he disobeyed. and thus betrayed his father and clan. But what he did isn’t like he really did anything that bad. he chose to walk away. that’s his crime. walking away. Basically he had a temper tantrum. Everything else that happened after he left. that’s all on his father or his father’s flunkies. his fighting and killing the hit squad. on his father. he defended himself. fighting his father’s army. on the nut job general who killed his mother. there was no real reason to attack. everything he did was because other’s put him in a place to choose right from wrong and he choose right every time. 2nd. Eijiro wants to be clan leader. period. his brother looses in his mind he is sure to become clan leader. he can’t believe for even for a second his father will loose. To him his brother is good as dead. and here is this girl raining on his parade. trying to make him do the right thing. we will see if he does or not. 3rd. this is the lords way of atoning for all the mistakes while at the same time protecting his people and clan. Now I am pretty sure he does not think or regret having the warito clan wiped out. That was pay back for his best friend fathering a son with his wife. ( Eijiro). he couldn’t openly admit it happened or punish either of them. ( wife or friend) but her being killed by members of his friends clan gave a perfect excuse to attack and wipe out said clan. and brand said friend traitor. If he had to tolerate a general that had his wife killed. (something he couldn’t do himself) so be it. as long as this general didn’t hurt the clan or defy him openly he could work with that. as to the rest. he see this fight as fixing it all.

    • Xinef

      Not to mention Yori’s disobedience was because he didn’t want his father-in-law-to-be assassinated. I’d say that’s not a bad reason for disobedience.

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      Eijiro does not just want to become clan leader, though. Eijiro wants his father’s approval. He wants his father to choose him as clan leader. He’s not just trying to grab power.

  • Takedown275

    Eijiro, if Yori dies I’m pretty sure Hirotomo would off you and adopt someone as his son.

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

      That would make sense, which is why Ina can see it but Eijiro can’t.

      • Arkone Axon

        Eijiro can’t see it because he doesn’t know he isn’t Hirotomo’s genetic offspring. “Though he is unaware of it, Eijiro cannot be my heir.”

      • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

        Ina’s likely thinking further ahead than Hirotomo at this point!

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      Hirotomo has made it very clear that he’s staked everything on Yorikiro winning this duel. If Yori fails and Hirotomo wins, Hirotomo doesn’t care what happens next, or at least hasn’t thought about it.

  • Archangel

    An abnormal response to an abnormal situation constitutes normal behavior.

  • Agent 52

    I’m just imagining a maintenance guy offscreen having a heart attack because of all the damage to the arena

    • http://www.id1674823.sexybj.website phoenix_kitty

      Kdog07 (:

    • Archangel

      “Think of it as job security, Kenta. Just think of it as job security…”

      • Agent 52

        Can you imagine all the crap kenta has to deal with in this castle.

  • IronFox

    Except, he’s not really in line at all, now is he. If he does anything, this will turn even more ugly very quickly…

    • Arkone Axon

      He doesn’t know that, though. He has no idea about that… the poor kid…

  • Nicholas Q

    theory from 772 onwards:

    What if “Genchu joining Harumi in death” is a foreshadowing to him being Eijro’s father?
    Genchu wouldn’t give a hoot about Eijiro if he didn’t know he fathered a son with Harumi.
    Of course, this is a stab at Genchu’s character, but given how close he was to Hirotomo and Harumi, it is entirely possible.
    Hirotomo mentions that Nataku’s betrayal was not the only one he suffered in secret – which either hints at Harumi or (someone else).

    And given that Genchu has Wataro and Daisuke blood, having Eijiro as the Wataro heir would have a messy outcome for Hirotomo’s honour (if it still exists), and the clan’s as a whole. Nice job destroying the Daisuke under false pretences, and letting one of the remnants take over the clan.

    Interestingly, Eijiro might intervene, with no knowledge of all these.

  • Astralfury

    “Also if you don’t step in they are probably going to destroy the castle. Look at the state of the floor”

  • themadpsychologist

    What’s Ina’s angle? If the fight is stopped–especially if Eijiro seizes power to stop it–Eijiro will still be the heir, and Ina will still have to marry him rather than Yori. Does Ina fear that Hirotomo will kill Yori?

    • Peter

      I think she’s just done with all the deaths for stupid reasons and hopes to for once solve an issue with talking instead of fighting.

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

        I love Ina. She’s done well for herself, her friends and her family. However, once things settle down she’ll have to go back to being decorative and silent, as was the custom in those days, screaming in childbirth being the exception to that rule. :)

        • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

          That doesn’t sound like something Ina would be very good at!

      • purplelibraryguy

        Talking instead of fighting? These crazy new ideas will never catch on.

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

      I think Ina is afraid Hirotomo will kill Yori, or what it will do to Yori if he kills his father. This fight is a no-win situation first for Yori, then Ina.

      • themadpsychologist

        How is it a no-win situation? Hirotomo, being crazy, is not a fit ruler, and wants to die and have Yori rule anyway. Neither is Eijiro a fit ruler. If Yori kills his father and takes the throne, the plots against the Senshin clan cease, the guns aren’t needed (or are used for defense rather than conquest), Ricardo’s group goes home without ending the world, Yori and Ina get married as per the treaty, and everyone lives happily ever after.

        • Opal Eyes

          Do… you know how much psychological damage killing someone with your own hands causes? Not only that, but to kill your own FATHER… Yori would be utterly destroyed, for a good long time. Survivor’s guilt is one thing… being the survivor because you killed someone else to live? That’s a whole different story.

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

            I agree that it would really mess Yori up, but if he has to kill his crazy father to save the sane people he loves and all the people who count on the clan for survival — find a way to think of it as a sacrifice for others — he might sort of be okay. Yori’s changed so much over the course of this story, grown up nicely, but I think this fight is going to do him harm or kill him, which seems undesirable to me. Nevertheless, I’m an optimist, so I’m still holding out for a happy ending all around. I mean, the bad guys are dead; a happy ending for the gang would be nice (for me).

          • http://www.id2700160.sexylvte.website maggiebreedlove

            ginger_mayerson no but

          • themadpsychologist

            I’ll grant I wasn’t thinking about psychological damage.

            Yori may be hard enough to kill his father. He is a warrior, accustomed to bloodshed, as we’ve seen during repeated battles and Demons of Sorrow attacks. But if he isn’t willing to kill Hirotomo, he won’t. He can defend himself without killing; he proved that in the fight with Tadashi.

          • purplelibraryguy

            He’s a samurai and a hero; it’s sort of in the job description for both. Hasn’t he already killed some people in battle? It’s doing it to your father that would be the damaging part . . . but even there, arguably it’s not like what we’re thinking, like a modern day father. Dude’s a daimyo and an asshole, he probably hardly spoke to his kid his whole life outside formal occasions. It’s like those well-off Victorian parents who left the kids to the nanny and then sent them to boarding school. So it’s not like it’s someone he knows well.

          • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

            Based on the flashbacks, I think it’s safe to say that even though Genchu was doing some of the heavy lifting, Hirotomo was present and active in raising Yori and Eijiro through their childhoods, and not in a cold, clinical way.

            http://nn4b.com/comic/654

          • purplelibraryguy

            Ah, I see.

          • http://www.id8631306.sexyli.website Captnshacky

            purplelibraryguy no but

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

          Maybe bushido has a way to look at patricide and/or infanticide I’m not seeing, but I think it would really mess up Yori’s head to kill his dad, even in self-defense/for the greater good/sunspots/whatnot, because bad-ass swordsman Yori is really a sweet guy (but might not be after he kills his father), so that seems like no-win to me. Either his body will be dead or his soul will be maimed beyond recognition. And if this kills everything Ina loves in Yori, then she’s lost the man she truly loves (and that kind of love doesn’t come along very often) so that’s totally no-win for Ina. Maybe I’m just a hopeless romantic, but, well… I don’t see a good way out of this fight as long as Hiromoto continues to be bugf^ck crazy, for which condition maybe death is the only cure, alas. However, NN4B has surprised me in the past, so I guess I’ll go back to obsessing on Mary Worth until the next update. Merry Christmas everyone! And a wonderful and prosperous 2019! (By the way, lads, have you considered getting NN4B syndicated when it’s done? Or before it’s done since you’re so close to finishing it? Depending on the money and rights situation, it could bring you both some well-earned cash and a way bigger audience for your wonderful work. Jason Little syndicated “Shutterbug Follies” and “Motel Art Improvement…” on GoComics, so I see no reason you two couldn’t at least look into it. :) Good luck.)

          • themadpsychologist

            That is an angle I hadn’t been considering. I’ll agree to wait and see what happens. Merry Christmas!

          • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

            We’ll look into webcomic syndication. My main concern is that NN4B poses a lot of challenges because there’s a good chunk in the middle of the comic that needs to be reformatted, and the comic overall is not a very consistent product. It shows plenty of artistic growth, but it also starts out very amateur!

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      Ina went with Eijiro in the hopes that she could smooth relations over between the clans, and potentially get Yori a pardon so he could return to his family. No matter how the duel plays out, she knows it’s not what Yori wanted, and she ultimately wants to help Yori. If Eijiro seizes power and ended the duel, it would mean he was listening to her advice, and it would ultimately mean she could convince him to pardon Yori. Sure, she doesn’t end up with Yori in the end, but she’s already accepted that at this point.

      • themadpsychologist

        Nothing of Ina I’ve seen so far would indicate she would put Yori’s wishes ahead of the fate of her clan, particularly if the solution includes marrying Yori, which they both want. Eijiro as daimyo would probably continue the attack on the Senshin clan. Yori as daimyo would never.

        • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

          Okay!

      • purplelibraryguy

        What Yori wanted? Uh, didn’t Yori kind of want . . . her? I do hope she remembers that part at some point!

      • themadpsychologist

        On second thought, since Ina’s not a warrior, she might believe that killing is [gasp] wrong and not a good way to resolve differences. That would explain it.

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

    I wonder if castle administration is shut down while father and son fight this out.

    • Archangel

      Probably, assuming that all the officials are among the witnesses. It’s not like it’ll take more than an hour or two.

  • animalia555

    Sorry for being gone so long. As an apology here’s another video from Linfamy’s History Of Japan series
    The Jomon, a 10,000 Year Old Culture (and Pots!)|History of Japan 3 https://youtu.be/gDBB5nazfM4

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