|Yoshitsune defeating Benkei, from Vingle|
TNK ep 39 (1172 CE) opened with the legendary fight between Yoshitsune and Benkei at Gojo Bridge. Yoshitsune (Kamiki Ryonosuke) was at that time known as Sanaou; Benkei (Aoki Munetaka) was known as Onikawa. It seems that Benkei thought that Sanaou was a Heike. Because the monk was always challenging Heike samurai, Benkei attacked Sanaou. But the boy easily took over the monk’s sword and defeated the monk. Soon enough, the scary Heike girls in red came and challenged them. For some reasons unknown to me (oh, English subtitle...), the girls ran away. Yoshitsune found himself parrying Benkei’s naginata once more. But when the boy defeated the stubborn monk again, for some reasons Benkei realised that he wasn’t dealing with a Heike. He was in fact fighting one of the sons of Minamoto no Yoshitomo. Apparently, Benkei had met young Sanaou in the past (when the boy’s name was Ushiwakamaru). Surprised to see the child already grown into a boy, Benkei held Sanaou and twirled him around. Sanaou’s funny expression reminded me of Himura Kenshin’s (Sateru Satou) amused expression in Rurouni Kenshin live action (that I haven’t seen because the English sub hasn’t been distributed outside Japan yet. Arrrgghh!).
Meanwhile, back with the Heike, here’s Auberginefleur’s summary (taken from NHK, I think):
In 1172 in Fukuhara, Kiyomori with the backing of the cloistered Emperor Go-Shirakawa steadily advances construction work of a port, together with Usagimaru (Kiyomori's retainer) to prepare for the trading with Sung. Kiyomori orders Usagimaru to complete the construction as quickly as possible, however, Usagimaru condemns Kiyomori for acting out of self-interest, over his once held ambitions. The rift between Kiyomori and Usagimaru become irreparable.
I sense that this episode is an important one that will lead to the fall of the Heike. I am now watching Usagimaru getting angry at his house in Miyako. I wish I could find another site written by a Japanese speaker that tells in detail what happens with Usagimaru (other than he’s angry and disappointed with Kiyomori).
|Kiyomori (Matsuyama Kenichi) quarreled with Usagimaru (Kato Koji)|
... Oh. Crap. Usagimaru is murdered by one of those spooky girls in red. Who the heck are they? I only know that they are Heike’s very efficient and scary SWAT team. Oh man, now like about 10 girls murdered Usagimaru! Poor old man...
Wait. Kiyomori apparently didn’t order the demise of Usagimaru. He was informed by his henchman about it, and now I’m watching him looking utterly perplexed and hugging the deceased Usagimaru. So... if Kiyomori didn’t order it, who orchestrated Usagimaru’s death? Did the girls in red took the initiative to kill Usagimaru because they saw him arguing with their lord Kiyomori? Won’t know it until I watch the Eng sub or read the English review...
Anyway, now Kiyomori is attending Usagimaru’s funeral (of sort) and reminiscing at his past with his old friend. Usagimaru was a pirate when he first met Kiyomori. They were friends till almost the end of his life. Sobsob...
Oh, by the way, newsflash, for you fans of Naohito Fujiki, he appeared in this episode as Saigyo Hoshi. He’s still charming despite being a monk...And casting-wise, it’s interesting to know that Kamiki Ryonosuke actually played young Yoshitsune in the 2005 NHK Taiga Drama ‘Yoshitsune’. Kamiki did a good job portraying Yoshitsune so far. Munetaka as Benkei was funny when he wasn't being scary.