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.