Sengoku Basara: A Different Kind of Evil

Having watched Sengoku Basara, I was drawn to Hisahide Matsunaga’s character, who only figured in a tangential subplot.  Despite not having an actual standing army, he manages to screw with the Date and the Takeda with his schemes, threatening to turn both factions against each other. For what reason? Answer: just a bunch of treasures.

What’s fascinating with Hisahide is that he cares nothing for the threat that is sweeping over the land. While the good and decent warlords of Japan are struggling against Nobunaga’s might, he is simply content to live in seclusion, collecting various antiques. Nobunaga is motivated by conquest. Hisahide is merely avaricious. I think the former spared the latter because Nobunaga knows that Hisahide holds no threat to him, but could cause trouble for others. And boy, he did.

Nobunaga is obviously the villain of the show, but he’s just a traditional Dark Lord type who happens to have Norio Wakamoto’s awesome voice. He’s threatening, but not scary. Hisahide, on the other hand, scares me because his reasons for evil are all too real. Both are selfish, but clearly Nobunaga sees something of worth in conquering the land (more skulls for the Skull Throne?), or he would not do it in the first place. Hisahide doesn’t–the whole world is ugly and fleeting and pathetic, therefore he seeks refuge in decadence. This nihilistic view in life is something I am all too familiar with, and is more insidious than any bloodthirsty conqueror in this day and age.

Hisahide could watch the world burn without a care. Nobunaga might be born a demon, who possesses an otherworldly darkness in his heart, but Hisahide is merely a depraved human. To take things out of my ass further, Nobunaga is a Super, while Hisahide is a Real.

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4 Responses to Sengoku Basara: A Different Kind of Evil

  1. 2DT says:

    Having not seen Sengoku Basara… Is this a real skull throne we’re talking about?

  2. Canne says:

    Come to think of it, Nobunaga is the ultimate villain that can rarely be found in reality but the ignorant bad guy like Hisahide is commonly seen in real life.

  3. Sam says:

    Matsunaga may very well be my favorite villain in the entirety of the Sengoku Basara series.
    You’re right – he doesn’t care for conquest or glory. He just wants to kick back, collect treasures, and screw people over.
    In the games, he tries to kill Tokugawa just because it will tick Ieyasu off (back when they were still friends).
    He brutalizes Toyotomi, and then spares his life – setting him on the path he took to be the villain in the second game, and season 2 of the anime. In the fourth game, he taunts Toyotomi over the incident.
    In Utage, he brings back Nobunaga from the dead, and risks destroying the world, just so he can get revenge and kill Nobunaga himself because the Devil King smashed his favorite teapot.
    The man is the Quan Chi of Sengoku Basara – he’s just there to screw with everybody else and establishes himself as a catalyst to so many events and a major – if unrepresented – player along the way.

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