Seems likely Eijiro’s influence with Hirotomo is going to be tested a bit in the near future.
This plan is dumb and if Yori goes along with it he is a dead man. There is no way that Ejiro can leave him alive to challenge his rule in the future. Behead the kid now while his back is turned and Yori has a clean shot at challenging Hirotomo for the Wataro seat directly with Senshin support & the remnants of the Wataro Army (better to get in good with a new lord than be a prisoner of war and all that). I know that isn’t going to happen, but the student of real politik in me is swinging from the rafters right now.
In the more real sense Yori has now passed Hirotomo’s test and proven himself to be a worthy successor so I am guessing things are about to get complicated, especially now that Nataku is dead and no longer pulling strings in the background.
Either NTR or the coldest break-up ever. Or a scheme that she decided to play close to the chest, even with Yori and with her own father.
On the other hand, suppose Ina and Yori disarmed Eijiro and took him prisoner. How do you think Eijiro would react? How would his father react when he heard? Hmmm, actually that might be a point in Yori & Ina’s favor; “Big Daddy” Wataro appreciates strength and cunning, after all… 😕
But no, they’d have to kill Eijiro, or leave a live enemy at their backs. Crap, Ina, I really hate this plan; you should’ve just knocked him out when he wasn’t looking! 😵
Time to retcon some previous comments of mine…
– Yumiko was sent on a mission to watch over Ina and her friends by Ina’s uncle.
– I was wrong about Ina’s motivation. Initiative and responsibility are usually applaudable traits, but let’s agree she’s making a mistake here. It’s not penance, it’s more like indulgence in a desire to matter. Nothing wrong with that if you know what you’re doing.
– And lastly: found this neat set-up: https://nn4b.com/comic/623
You were right about her character growth, though. At the beginning of the story she was a child who was only able to think about how clan politics affected her. Now, she’s thinking about how she can affect clan politics. “A desire to matter” — i.e., she’s tasted the possibility of power and influence and wants more? Is what she’s doing right or wrong? I say let’s see how her whole gambit plays out before we make judgment on these things…
Whatever it is, she knows the treaty was a ruse. She better knows how to take advantage of it.
That’s part of it. But also: I’m not convinced this is the extent of her ploy. I feel like it might be more complicated than what we’ve seen so far. I notice that she agreed that Yori isn’t his father’s heir, rather than that he isn’t truly the heir the Wataro clan should have. (The heir you need, not the heir you deserve, or however that saying goes.) I’m hoping to see her prove herself her uncle’s niece…
She ALSO agreed he WOULD NEVER be his heir. So I think we can rule out “exact word” clause here.
I mean… “his father’s” heir…. but what about some different kind of heir….. I dunno, I’m trying 😝
Let me help you. She knows Yori is about as loyal and reliable as lord Wataro is disloyal and unreliable. I’m starting to see that she’s probably baiting Lord Hirotomo into a position where the final battle will unfold, one where he has very few trump cards to play except for Yori and his rifle detachment.
If not a heir, then why not an usurper? It runs in the family, after all.
Truthfully, Hirotomo has gone past the point of redemption; his spindoctor might have been a war mongering savage, but it’s by his order that the Daisuke clan was destroyed, Ina’s father was supposed to be assassinated and Yori was disowned and even condemned (be it to a trial by fire) for not wanting to be part in it. He will also never step down voluntarily, so he’ll need to be disposed.
But this can’t be done by the Senshin clan who are now negotiating peace with Hirotomo. It’s up to Yori + gang. Nothing stands in the way to kick down the palace doors, except for a few dozen riflemen. It’s time for change from within, and for the prodigal son to come home and claim his father’s position.
Even if he has to duel him to the death. Killing his father will be the final test that he’s ready; not for Yori’s sake, but for Hirotomo’s. This is in character and would square all debts, not to mention put him in a position where both he and Ina can be together (YorIna shipper fan service).
I at least agree so far as, I don’t think Yori is going to be willing to just be sidelined like the way we see him in the final panel here.
But is Hirotomo truly beyond redemption?
Back in the days when he was BFFs with Genchu, he wasn’t that bad… it seems his wife’s death is what broke him. We also know that Genchu was able to befriend Hirotomo on the battlefield when they were enemies.
So… it’s not impossible that after Hirotomo hears of Nataku’s meddling, he might rethink his actions. Especially if the war starts turning against him, and he has to face a choice between defeat or trying to rebuild the peace. The latter meaning he could be friends with Genchu again, and his son could marry the Senshin princess for a happy ending in which Hirotomo is redeemed rather than dead.
Now… if he’s smart he would at least consider that option, amirite?
Worst case, we can find Hirotomo a new peace-loving wife…. that strategy worked last time, it’s gotta work again! #amIsayingInaShouldMarryHirotomoInstead? #nahButItsAHilariousThoughtAnyway
I’m sorry, but that’s magical thinking to me.
I can’t blame him for how he reacted. He invited the Daisuke clan into his castle, and lost his wife for it. There’s no diplomatic response for that. But not seeing through Nataku after his folley, and valuing distrust and assassination over diplomatic solution and vigilance after the fact puts the final nail in his coffin.
His actions made his worst fears come true, and he dragged many good souls with him.
Were I to judge him, I would be less forgiving.
Well… that’s some extreme mourning, but really nothing unexpected from a man in a position of power.
As much as I may like it I don’t think Hirotomo is getting a “you cannot have my pain” moment.
Hirotomo beyond redemption? Surely not. Pretty much nobody is beyond redemption. At the same time, he’s been responsible for so much bloodshed that any redemption would probably have to include paying with his life, and would certainly have to include giving up all the nice things he was trying to grab and/or keep through his evil acts. So like, no more being a daimyo–best, highly implausible outcome would be repentance, shaving head, going into a monastery, living life of simple service. Anything short of that totally would not IMO actually redeem him; changing his ways and saying sorry does not cut it.
More plausible: Seppuku. Most plausible: Hirotomo isn’t interested in redemption.
Personally, I believe people are usually more capable of fixing things and doing good when they are alive than when they are dead. Also, Hirotomo is an experienced leader, so he would likely be able to do more good in a position of power than as a monk, assuming he chooses to only do good from now on. Although a reasonable alternative would be for say Ina and Yori/Eijiro to take charge, while Hirotomo could act as an advisor to make good use of his knowledge and experience.
Would that make up for the bloodshed he caused? Nope. But neither would his death, so of the two, I’d prefer the one that brings more benefits for those still alive.
Is that a likely outcome? Not really. But possible.
Specifically, he’s experienced at being a bad leader. Not sure that experience is required. Uncle would make a way better advisor anyway. There are a lot of people in the world; getting to “fix things and do good” from positions of authority is a privilege few of those people are accorded. What has he done that’s so great that “redemption” should involve him continuing to hold this privilege rather than someone else? Getting to decide what happens to the things he screwed up sounds more like reward than repentance, more about the vanity of the sinner than any benefit to the sinned against.
In terms of general utility, I think having him stick around with plenty of power, wealth and status sends a signal to everyone else that massacres, betrayal, and trying to have your own son assassinated are largely risk-free, acceptable parts of doing business and not to be censured. That’s a bad thing to encourage from both an ethical and a pragmatic perspective. And thinking of pragmatics, really, how long could you trust that guy not to stick a sword in your back?
But in any case, I thought you were talking about redemption. If you’re just talking about him saying “Maybe I went a little far, how about we forget about all that and I keep on ruling or go into semi-retirement” that isn’t redemption. Find some other word . . . “impunity,” say.
This all assumes that being a good leader is easy and wonderful, while being dead is the worst possible thing, and thus the best punishment.
I personally consider being dead the easy way out.
“You’ve made a mess and now you’re unable to fix it? Just kill yourself to avoid facing the consequences of your actions.”
Same with being imprisoned or isolated in some monastery. You won’t even have to look into the eyes of people who lost friends and family because of you.
A good leader? And why would we assume he could suddenly become a good leader? His awesome breeding? You could probably take a random peasant or one of those two idiot bandits, make them the boss and they’d do better than his track record. But yes, being a leader is, compared to being most other things, easy and wonderful. That’s one of the reasons people are always backstabbing each other in the scramble to become one. If being a penniless priest or peasant were better, everyone would be resigning leadership positions to do that stuff. They don’t. Being the boss is not service. The notion that being the upper crust is just sooo demanding and tough is largely propaganda. As to looking people in the eye, in case you hadn’t noticed, daimyos don’t have to look most people in the eye. The people in question bow deeply in their presence. Overall, the idea that continuing to be in charge constitutes some sort of restitution and punishment is a mangling of reality.
If you think death is the easy way out, I suggested a non-dead alternative: Living a life that does not involve privilege and getting to tell other people what to do, but instead humility and service. Although, dead is the traditional up-scale Japanese apology method for bad screwups. It’s also way safer for everyone else; as Long John Silver said, dead men don’t bite. Supposedly penitent ones often do.
I completely agree. She’s not going to just make everyone charge, kill the bad guys, and then sweep in and drop a rather bitter bomb and walk off “problem solved”. There’s no way it’s this simple. We also know Yori is smart enough to keep up with Ina. When Uso tried to mimic her, he didn’t give her mannerisms enough thought and that got him killed. I imagine even if he isn’t aware of her game, he’ll play along and follow her word as instructed. She gave him a reminder of where her heart is before this seemingly went downhill.
With Ina, nothing is ever quite what it seems. Which is why we have to sit and shake with anticipation. She rarely cuts to the heart of the matter directly, preferring to orchestrate situations that undermine the opponent and put her in a position of power. A good strategist thinks moves ahead. A great strategist pretends they’re playing the same game. Ina is like Yukizane, she’s never playing the same game as you.
Yes that’s what I’m trying to say, thank you Tim 😄
Yeah and I think Eijiro would do well as the ward of Yukizane. The kid has good instincts he just needs a better role model then Nataku.
That was a punch in the groin.
So to speak.
You know, looking at Yori in the last panel, it looks literal as well.
I really hope this plot line gets done in ASAP.
I hate “star-crossed lovers bound by duty” stories, and given this comic’s pace, I’m tempted to just drop it for a year before checking in if this is resolved.
You and me BOTH. With the OPTION to look back later. I’m getting a little tired of comic creators saying “screw you” to the fanbase by putting in plot twists like this and finding out later that it was the intent all along to end the story on a sour note.
Just here to reassure you that both Joe and I are big fans of happy endings.
Are you a Mick Jaeger and the Rolling Stones fan by any chance?
Somehow I cannot help but see the whole “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need” vibe imbedded here.
I love the song, I don’t necessarily feel the need to represent its wisdom in comic form.
I think the vibe here is more along the lines of “…but if you follow the Tao, you will get your hot dogs”.
Not ending on a sour note.
The thing (well, “my thing” here) is that the ending isn’t the only thing that matters.
While I don’t see it as a “screw you to the fan base” or anything like that as Connors suggests, it’s just not a kind of *plot* I (personally) like to read. And that is fine, my personal tastes are a poor measurement for quality, there are plenty of other people who enjoy such a drama, and most of all, it isn’t my story, it is yours.
But if this split continues for to long (Maybe a month? Two if I’m unusually patient?), then I don’t care if they end up together – I may still care about a happy ending, but that just means I’ll come back in the far future and skim whatever part of the ending I care to, while skipping the story itself, because at that point the parts of the story I care about will have ended with this page.
What matters to each individual is important. I encourage you to read the comic however you prefer!
I cant wait for the sequel to NN4B;
“No Need For Prenuptial Agreements”
Where Ina will get half of Ejrio’s manga collection in the divorce
Ow, that’s cruel. This is why you need to make prenuptials, folks.
I’m pretty sure he isn’t reading Shonen Jump…
You’re right its prolly Shojo Eijiro is a sucker for RomComs
inb4 a sudden quarterstaff to the head knocks Ejiro out cold.
Ina feels so much more grownup now
Inb4 Ina is only doing this to tease Yori, because she loves playing with his feelings.
In that case she would also accomplish teasing Eijiro simultaneously, and might discover she likes that too
Compromise: An agreement that makes everyone unhappy.
*Sigh. Ina you don’t heal family rifts by making New ones!
If this does go through as canon though the potential of other ‘meddling’ parties to have a say in the matter will be both hilarious and expected.
I think Ina is inadvertently calling Hirotomo’s bluff. Because, now I’m just recalling this from memory so might be wrong, wasn’t the plan all along for the treaty to be unfulfillable? So that Hirotomo could justify wiping out/absorbing Ina’s clan? But if she shows up, with witnesses, saying she’s ready to begin treaty negotiation, doesn’t that throw a monkey wrench into Hirotomo’s plans?
Yeah the plan was supposed to be for Yori to kill Lord Senshin…
So, what you said… maybe? Or is she doing that advertently….?
She knows Yori is about as loyal, honorable and reliable as lord Wataro is disloyal, dishonorable and unreliable. I’m starting to see that she’s probably baiting Lord Hirotomo into a position where the final battle will unfold (probably an attempt on Lord Senshin’s life), one where he has very few trump cards to play except for Eji and his rifle detachment.
Ofcourse Yori and gang will drop by to save the day.
I won’t go into what WILL happen, but any plan for a secret post-marriage Masuhiro assassination is a little hampered by that info getting out.
It’s a lot harder to backstab someone who has been warned ahead of time that their new family is fond of the old hug-and-stab.
While Hirotomo could try to do that anyway, his other options are:
– Obey the spirit and intent of the original treaty (peace, albeit under terms he doesn’t like)
– Reject the previously accepted treaty and reveal that peace was never his intent.
I can see that happen…
Panel 1: Hirotomo saying ‘Peace was NEVER my intent.’
Panel 2: Ina rolls eyes, slaps head.
Panel 3: Ken rolls eyes, goes like ‘uh duhh’
Panel 4: Cho saying ‘I could see that coming’
Panel 5: Yori draws sword, challenges his father
Panel 6: uncle Yuki saying ‘Well well boys, there’s no need for bushido!’
Next page: Hiro begrudgingly signs peace treaty, Eji begrudgingly marries begrudging Ina. The rest of the cast sits down on tables circled around a spitroasted boar in song and dance, while drinking Gaulish wine. ~Fin~
Who will be tied to the tree? …Ricardo?
No, the Kabuki guy
speak now, or forever hold your peace.
This is either the real plan, or a fake plan that Yori wasn’t a part of to make it look more real, to get his brother…. Lets find out!
The kid’s slow-match is going to burn out soon . . .
Where’s that DARK VOID OF BETRAYAL when you need it