It’s some luck that the rain didn’t put out the match on that matchlock pistol!
I must say, I’m a sucker for the dramatic gunshot in a genre that usually doesn’t have guns. It’s rare, but when it does happen, it’s damn effective. (Even though guns have been a staple of this story, they still feel out of place in the best way, because in a literal sense they are.)
You could say pistols feel out of place because we hadn’t seen them before.
Eijiro has had that one for several pages, actually:
Pretty sure that’s just a very sawed-off shotgun.
Nope. It’s a smoothbore pistol. You *could* load it with either shot or a single ball, though. Do you want the full, nerdy explanation?
Luck? I was gonna give Eijiro some credit. “Kid’s pretty skilled if he can keep that old kind of gun working in the rain,” I was thinking. (Sorry, people, I don’t know names for kinds of guns.)
Flintlock? And, no, I’m not that old.
It’s actually a “matchlock”. You can see the oil-soaked wick dangling from
the striker on the other side. That brown thing dangling from the right
side (shooter’s perspective) of the firearm. The powder in the cup can even be damp… it might slow ignition but it should still be heated enough by the wick to fire after a moment or two.
And they actually do work better in wet weather than a flintlock, thanks to the oil that both repels water off the wick and keeps the smoldering flame in the wick going. The problem is lighting it before firing. So you can’t just pick it up and fire, loaded or not.
I was thinking percussion caps, but it’s too early for that, isn’t it? Especially in Japan. Hell, I think it’s too early for wheel-locks.
Nice info, thanks. I was never any good at paying attention to that kind of stuff in military classes in college. (Better at remembering info about non-gunpowder weapons…)
The fact that Genchu has no idea what Hirotomo means by that tells me Hirotomo might have actually gotten what he wanted out of this: his son killing him.
Or maybe Nataku was the father…that would have given him even more reason to have Harumi killed by Daisuke ronin…and make him even more awful (but perhaps explain why he took Eijiro under his wing)
I still like Atsumori for this. Which would mean, yes, that Nataku had killed both of Eijiro’s real parents.
Either that, or Eji was his real son but Hirotomo was too paranoid to believe it. It is kind of coming out of nowhere.
That was my immediate take. Maybe General Bastard whispered lies in his ear about it.
Do you know what’s worse:
die knowing or not knowing?
A perfect F-U.
I think that’s the case. Just look at them on this page. The same face!
I’m just relieved it wasn’t really Genchu.
And with that, I mean Hirotomo’s grey matter upstairs. Even if it wasn’t an actual headshot.
“All these self-repairing tiles will die! Hahahaha!”
Holy crap… conspiracy theory:
Nataku seduced (or raped, by force or trickery or drugs or whatever) Harumi. Implanting his own son into Hirotomo’s wife. Then used Genchu as a scapegoat.
This would leave his son as the official younger son of the Daimyo. Now… get rid of the elder son… then the Daimyo… and the result is Nataku’s son as the new Daimyo.
It kind of reminds me of those ancient stories about a servant woman who saves the lord’s infant son by leaving her own to die in the child’s place… those never quite passed the sniff test with me. “Sure she did. It’s not as if she raised her OWN child, then made up the story to give her son a chance to reach elevated social status as part of the aristocracy… right?”
There’s a switch. Usually its Boom! Headshot! Here it’s Headshot! Boom!
-or at least fairly close as the force of it was enough to undo his hair.
‘Oh, it was pretty difficult to keep the powder dry, but I had this watertight bag here, so I…’
‘Quite simple really, you pull this little trigger here, then this here fuse falls into place and ignites…’
‘By the kami, heir!’
Either Eijiro is the best gunman in the east to have exactly hit that tiny string from that distance, or Hirotomo will be lacking some important faculties to be able to give any meaningful last words.
Or maybe it’s like “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”; how about that, pilgrim? 🤔
Or – third option – Eijiro hit that tiny string by accident because he missed Hirotomo’s important faculties, because it’s taking place circa Before-They-Had-Accurate-Guns AD.
It was already established that Roberto’s guns are anachronistically accurate. Especially when you consider they aren’t rifled.
I don’t think rifling matters much at that range though.
The convenient thing about early modern firearms is precisely that they can be as accurate as plot demands – and it’s perfectly realistic. One of my favourite print comics makes extensive use of this fact, actually.
*GASP*! It’s 5:45AM and I literally gasped at the last 2 panels. How shocking. Good work, guys!
Shooting his father on the back? Has Eijiro no need for Bushido, or something?
If a problem is in your way, shoot it in the back.
There’s no full splash page, Hirotomo won’t die from this.
Unless the splash page (and all the blood, which is traditionally present in copious amounts in NN4B death scenes) is on the next page. I guess we’ll see soon enough!
Depends on where he was hit. If the ball got stuck on the front of his ribcage for instance, that would explain the lack of blood on the front of his clothes.
You guys, I realized something: the (original) plot of the kabuki play all the way back in Volume 2 was actual, legit foreshadowing. I’m impressed.
Holy shit, you’re right. Talk about Chekov’s Gun. Literally.
Well, what I was referring to is not quite Chekov’s Gun. It bugs me a little when I see people overusing the term Chekov’s Gun on the internet, sorry. : P
On the other hand, the guns themselves have been quite a game-changer in the story up till now! XD
It bugs me when I see people overusing the term game-changer… :p
Is it really a game changer when we’re in the end game? I think apotheosis might be a better definition.
Ha, fair enough! That word does get over-used… However, I meant to refer to the gun(s) in the sense of an item. And I guess this is just how I think of guns in general military history… and NN4B is actually the only story I can think of that I’ve seen/read that features the introduction of guns as a weapon in the plot (huh, that’s crazy), so… XP
What’s interesting about the advent of firearms is that they weren’t adopted for their killing power but rather for their psychological power. Crossbows/longbows were far deadlier than muskets for a long time, and trebuchets were equally effective in siege roles and cheaper to build. But gunpowder is friggin’ scary, and psychology is at least 75% of actual warfare.
I know we haven’t seen this literal pistol before, but considering that–as you say–firearms were a major arc in the story and it was Eijiro who first figured out how to put them to real use, this has been foreshadowed fairly heavily in retrospect. Plus the fact that it’s a literal gun makes the term impossible to resist in this instance. ^_^
I do share your inclination to hair-splitting, though, so I can’t really refute your objection. 😛
Haha, makes sense!
What I was referring to was the adultery thing, though. : P
Clearly I need to improve my reading comprehension skills. 😛
No worries! ^_^ Volume 2 was a long time ago, anyway. But I do encourage you everyone to go back and re-read that part, because it’s hilarious. Definitely one of my favorite parts of the whole comic.
dammit now I gotta go back and reread that. if I ever find the time.
Pretty good point almost forgot about that thing. Might read the second paperback volume tonight.
Rule of thumb for storytelling: Anytime you see a story within a story, that inner story is always definitely foreshadowing 100% of the time with zero exceptions. Cookie Cat was foreshadowing for Change Your Mind.
Yeah, I agree. It’s just that the kabuki play was so long ago that I think almost everyone forgot about it! Obviously the author didn’t, though XD
You know, it’s kind of messed up that possibly the best thing Eijiro has ever done for his family and his clan is kill his father.
Yeah. The Wataro clan is messed up.
He shot the hair tie off of him!
Shot from the back
And you’re to blame
You give Bushido a bad name
I was waiting for this lol
Well it’s sort of what he wanted.
I’m not sure he was even really aiming at his father. It might have been meant as a “warning shot” to get his father’s attention, since we don’t see any sign of impact (other than the aforementioned hair tie). So where did the bullet actually lodge?
Thanks for giving love a bad name kid.
Sweet last panel!
Thank you, Eijiro.
The rain put out the match? Quite the opposite! See, he was hesitating whether to actually shoot and a tendril of the lightning hit the gun, detonating the powder. He’s innocent–the storm did it!
A shocking accusation!
Well damn! That look of shock in the last panel – it’s actually surprise! “What the hell just happened?”
Just imagine if he’d missed.
Something tells me that Eijiro won’t be one of those “smiling while holding a gun” types anymore.
Seems more like ‘I just bit on a lemon and it’s all your fault’ .
That’s his resting bitch face. I was actually referring to that bit where he fired a gun for the first time and it knocked him on his ass. Once he recovered from the surprise, he laughed like a crazy person.
No more of that for Eijiro, I think. Holding a gun will probably make him think of shooting his dad, from now on.
He’s going to turn around and go “Ow! What the heck was that?! That hurt!”
…you know, when we all think about it, we all knew he was gonna die. Not because we hate him, but because it was slowly becoming obvious that he was essentially a rabid animal; one that needed to be put down for his own good and the safety of others.
He’s been trying hard to die. He was bound to succeed sooner or later.
Bang bang, he shot me down
Bang bang, I hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, my baby shot me down
It really is some luck that he HAD a matchlock pistol. They weren’t all that common. Practically nonexistent, really.
Eijiro’s matchlock pistol was first shown here: http://nn4b.com/comic/746. He was not lucky, but prepared. Also, if you dislike anachronism, you will have a bad time with this webcomic.
Mmm, whatcha saaaay
Mmm that you only meant well?
Well of course ya did…
I couldn’t stop laughing at this!
Now that song’s playing in my head. Again. Well done, sir or madam.
What does this mean for succession? If Yorikiro was to gain the crown by killing his father, is Eijiro daimyo now? Or is he allowed to abdicate?
This page wins the most dramatic page award. The prize for this is…
• One bullet.