One last review to end this year’s Musou May (and yes i want to make this a regular column) proper, and it couldn’t be anything else than the Dynasty Warriors live-action film that came out last year in Chinese territories and has landed on Netflix pretty much everywhere. In 2021.
I genuinely did not knew it arrived last summer, and somehow Netflix forgot to tell me they even had it, shocking given my cronology, and due to me genuinely looking forward more to the movie than to mainline Dynasty Warriors games, as i’ve lamented before.
Though it’s one that both leaves you with a lot and very little to talk about, at least in terms of plot, since the series it’s one of the many adaptations of the Romance Of The Three Kingdoms novel, and despite their over the top nature, the games stayed fairly loyal to the source material in terms of characters and events, heck, even on stuff like the sparing supernatural-magic elements.
I stumbled by chance into this new anime, and i feel it was meant to be, given my love for Romance Of The Three Kingdoms i’m not gonna skim over a new anime with good ol’ Zhuge Liang (AKA Kongming) as the protagonist, especially since it’s not a historical tale, but a sort of isekai-ish story where, after his death by illness in the Wuzhang Plains, sees him reincarnated as his young self in modern Shibuya during Halloween.
He gets drunk as a skunk and enjoys the party life that night, then the next day he’s helped by a young girl, an aspiring singer called Eiko, realizes what actually happened to him, and decides to help her back by serving as her “career strategist”, but first he needs a job to secure some “war funds”.
Luckily Eiko works and sings at a club run by a huge ROTTK nerd, so “ya boy” Kongming is hired as a barman.
First of all, let me just say i’m happy Koei is continuining their historical strategy series in time, so i’m glad we’re getting another Nogunaga’s Ambition, but my taste lies more in their hack n slash musou titles based on the same historical periods of China and Japan, so i’m gonna unleash some thoughts on Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires i had for some weeks, after the first gameplay video shown at the China Joy event.
Preface: i often find the Empires spin-offs often quite hit or miss, great in theory but not always in execution, as it’s by design a compromise, it’s never gonna be proper deep strategy management like the Romance Of The Three Kingdoms series, otherwise there would be no point to that or them even being named after Dynasty Warriors.
We’re finally taking a somewhat extended break from the recaps extravaganza (but not that extended, as we’ll find out) to have a TV special that actually features an original story, and calls back to a noticeably under-represented story arc, the Davy Back Fight, often completely eschewed from pretty much any adaptation of One Piece, and low-key hated by the fanbase, i feel.
Yeah, the premise sees Foxy and his crew send a false distress signal to the Straw Hats, seeking revenge after their Davy Back fight. The two crews begin another Davy Back, starting off with a mushroom eating contest as the first round of the challenge, but it’s a trap, as the new Foxy Pirates member, Komei, has made them eat the so called “Drousy Shrooms”, then reveals himself to be a Marine Vice Admiral and brings the four incapacited crewmembers as prisoners to Nebulandia.
The rest of both pirate crews follow them, but things get hairy as Nebulandia is an island that nullifies Devil Fruit powers due to its vegetation having adapted to live off sea water, acting as a natural prison for the many “gifted” pirates, so even more people get captured and it’s up to the few remaining to find a way to reserve the effects of the vegetation and escape the island.
I teased this with my comment on the Dynasty Warriors 20th Anniversary celebration video, and – as i said in the article – that was just the tipping point, the final push to make me write down an editorial on the musou genre/subgenre, one i had been ruminating about for a couple of years.
And to do that, i will have to start not from the beginning (i will eventually do a full retrospective, in time), but from the last numbered title in the main Warriors series, Dynasty Warriors, yes, Dynasty Warriors 9.