The Final Episode: An Unpredictable Ending
Let’s dive into the final episode of this intriguing series, where things take a surprising turn. The episode begins with a perplexing revelation: James Tyrell, who we know to be Henry V, is unexpectedly revealed to be Richard as well. Although this is a figurative representation rather than a literal truth, it leaves us puzzled about the allegorical intentions of the mangaka (assuming this was an adaptation and not an original ending). This unexpected twist adds to the series’ tendency to introduce extraneous elements that cloud an already captivating historical narrative. While different from Shakespeare’s depiction, this absurdity is equally bewildering.
Despite the confusion, the final episode manages to deliver a satisfying conclusion. Surprisingly, it features a noticeable increase in animation quality compared to previous episodes, capturing our attention from start to finish. Beneath all the nonsensical elements lies a poignant and relevant core. One commendable aspect of the episode is its focus on Catesby, who remained loyal to Richard until the end. This loyalty, or lack thereof, is a central theme throughout the entire saga, echoing Richard’s tumultuous life and the backdrop of the era.
Catesby: The Ever-Loyal Companion
In the context of the story, Catesby stands out as Richard’s loyal companion from the very beginning. In reality, their early encounter in childhood may not have taken place, but Catesby remained faithful to his king until the bitter end. Notably, he served as Hastings’ man, introduced to Richard by Edward’s closest friend and confidante. Even staunch Ricardians struggle to defend Richard’s premeditated murder of Hastings, as there is evidence suggesting Richard himself was appalled by the act.
Accurately depicted in the episode are the other great lords who played pivotal roles at Bosworth Field. Richard’s relationship with Northumberland, also known as Henry Percy, 4th Earl, was complex. Edward IV had effectively made Northumberland subservient to Richard in the North of England, making him the second-most powerful lord in the region. While Richard maintained good relations and treated Percy with deference, there were moments when Northumberland resented Richard’s popularity in the region. The extent of his involvement in the betrayal at Bosworth Field remains uncertain, as his men were held as reserves and Richard may have chosen not to call them into battle despite holding a numerical advantage.
The roles of the other two great lieutenants, Lord Stanley and Lord Howard, are far less ambiguous. Lord Stanley, known for his frequent switching of allegiances, was indeed Henry Tudor’s stepfather and ultimately joined forces with him during the battle. Richard likely mistrusted Stanley to the point of not wanting him to fight by his side. However, it may have been a case of keeping enemies close for Richard’s strategic advantage. On the other hand, Lord Howard stood faithfully beside Richard throughout the conflict, earning the Duke’s complete trust. Trustworthy allies were a rarity in the volatile landscape of the Wars of the Roses era.
A Lack of Familiar Quotations
Those familiar with Shakespeare might have expected a moment reminiscent of “my kingdom for a horse,” yet Kanno wisely avoids borrowing this phrase from the Bard’s fevered fantasies. However, horses did play a role in the battle, with Richard himself reputedly riding a white charger. In contrast, Henry Tudor was not the type of king who led from the frontlines. He preferred manipulation over combat, and unlike Richard, never proved his mettle on the battlefield. It’s worth noting that history often favors the victors, and when analyzed without Tudor propaganda, Henry Tudor’s character and actions may not hold up as admirable.
A Series Filled with Flaws, Yet Historically Intriguing
Now, you may be wondering if it was worth enduring the series’ flaws over the course of 24 episodes. Despite its unevenness, Baraou no Souretsu managed to shed light on one of history’s most captivating periods (just ask George R.R. Martin). Interestingly, it presented a portrayal of Richard that might be closer to the real man than what established historians or Shakespeare’s caricature would lead us to believe. While it would have been preferable for the adaptation to be fully animated rather than resembling a manga slideshow, devoid of distinct character designs, the opportunity to witness an anime centered around the War of the Roses is indeed a rare one.
In conclusion, the final episode of Baraou no Souretsu delivers a mix of perplexing developments and emotionally resonant moments. The series overall presents an alternative perspective on Richard’s character, offering viewers a chance to explore the complexities of the Wars of the Roses era. While it may have its share of flaws, the historical significance of the subject matter makes it a worthwhile watch for those interested in this captivating period of history.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Is Baraou no Souretsu based on historical events?
Baraou no Souretsu draws inspiration from the Wars of the Roses, a series of conflicts in 15th-century England. While the series takes creative liberties, it incorporates many historical figures and events.
2. How accurate is the depiction of Richard III in the series?
The series strives to offer a portrayal of Richard III that deviates from established narratives, including Shakespeare’s. While some aspects may align more closely with historical evidence, it’s important to approach the character’s portrayal with an open mind.
3. Did Richard III really ride a white charger at the Battle of Bosworth Field?
Historical accounts suggest that Richard III did indeed ride a white charger during the battle. However, it’s important to remember that historical details can be subject to interpretation and speculation.
4. How historically accurate is the depiction of other prominent figures in the series?
While the series captures certain historical realities, such as the complex relationships between Richard III, Northumberland, Lord Stanley, and Lord Howard, some details may be open to interpretation. It’s always advisable to consult reliable historical sources for a comprehensive understanding of their roles in the Wars of the Roses.
5. Are there other anime or media that explore the Wars of the Roses?
Baraou no Souretsu stands out as a unique anime, offering a perspective on the Wars of the Roses. However, there are other media, such as novels and films, that explore this intriguing era of English history.