(CLAMP) Gate 7 Manga Chapter 03 Review

(CLAMP) Gate 7 Manga Chapter 03 Review

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Gate 7 Manga Chapter 03Chikahito is surprised to see the oni, whom Hana identifies as Mikoto. Hidetsugu asks Mikoto if Chikahito’s arrival is a good omen or bad. Mikoto sees this as “mu” — nothing. While Hana is “mu” in that she absorbs everything, Chikahito is the exact opposite in that he expels everything. As such, Mikoto cannot determine if Chikahito’s arrival is good or bad despite that being one of her powers. Hidetsugu decides that since Hana wants Chikahito, Hidetsugu will bring him to “this side.” Hana rejects this, citing her desire to have ramen first. This amuses Mikoto, who finds Hana’s demand suits her.

After they have ramen, in which no one notices Mikoto, the foursome head to a graveyard and a place that Hidetsugu says is his grave. Chikahito recites what he knows of TOYOTOMI Hidetsugu from history and his relation to a Hideyoshi. During his recitation, in which something  negative about the historical Hidetsugu is mentioned, Mikoto gets angry and attacks, causing Hana to defend Chikahito. Hidetsugu thanks Mikoto for her enthusiasm but asks her to restrain herself as the discussion continues. Chikahito continues, citing that there were not only bad things said about the historical Hidetsugu, but also falsehoods such as Hidetsugu’s supposed attempt to rebel against Hideyoshi.

Hidetsugu is impressed with Chikahito’s knowledge and explains the history further beyond Chikahito’s knowledge. Hideyoshi, who was the first one to bond with Mikoto, had no surviving heir (his son Hideyori died young apparently) and since the historical Hidetsugu was his nephew, he inherited Mikoto. Hidetsugu explains how the inheritance works in that the oni transfers to the heir with the strongest blood tie. If the bloodline thins, then the bond between human and oni thins as well. Mikoto explains that since there is no one currently alive from Hideyoshi, she is with Hidetsugu. Chikahito wonders if this means that Hidetsugu is the reincarnation of the original Hidetsugu. Hidetsugu doesn’t know, but does state that his family registry recorded name isn’t Hidetsugu but Mikoto calls him that and so Hidetsugu he is. Mikoto states that Hidetsugu is the most appropriate person to be with in the current generation, which Chikahito takes to mean that Hideyori may be reincarnated.

Hidetsugu asks Chikahito what he knows about the origin of Kamishichiken, the district where Chikahito lives with Hana and the others. Chikahito recounts the history and Hidetsugu explains that in addition to inheriting Mikoto, as head of the Toyotomi clan, he also inherited the urashichiken (house) that Chikahito resides in with Hana and the others. Hidetsugu explains that his “job” is akin to being a corporate administrator and that he’ll eventually obtain bigger things such as the most powerful oni in Japan. He explains how oni have different powers and Mikoto explains her own word powers, in which a word can be wielded like a blade or shot like an arrow.

Chikahito wonders how Hidetsugu can obtain the most powerful oni since they take blood oaths and would then be inherited as Mikoto has been. Hidetsugu explains that someone named Oda Nobunaga made a blood pact with the strongest oni, Mara, but then sealed Mara within himself. Since Nobunaga’s remains were never found, his sword is all that’s burred in his grave. As such, there has been a search by many for his body and the strongest oni. Hana says no one has found it but she and Hidetsugu now know the way to find it.

As they talk, they find themselves in a null-space as Akechi Mitsuhide arrives, someone else who’s looking for Nobunaga and Mara. He takes note of Chikahito, whom he knows lives at the urashichiken, and decides that since Tachibana and Sakura aren’t there, he has a chance to take them down. Mitsuhide has what appears to be a mirror image of himself emerge from within him and they attack as Hana defends, being surrounded by massive flames.

Thoughts/Review:

Good grief!  I must have read this chapter multiple times to try to understand it. I’m not sure how well the unofficial translation was done, so I’m looking forward to reading the official translation when it comes out, where hopefully it will make a bit more sense (some of the xxxHOLiC stuff certainly did).

Anyway, Hidetsugu and Hideyoshi are actual historical figures. One would presume that Japanese students are taught about them, but CLAMP makes sure to provide the readers with a brief explanation of whom these people are with their own story modifications to include the oni elements. Its pretty heavy reading and if I knew more Japanese history, it might not have been quite so heavy.  Even still, CLAMP appears to be laying a foundation for the overall story they are trying to tell and so we get so much exposition to accomplish this. It could make your eyes burn but hopefully it will be worthwhile.

With the exposition done and the introduction of Mitsuhide, who’s also a historical figure for the record, the action looks to be returning.  However, the overall story at this point looks to be a quest to find Nobunaga’s body and oni and to do this, the players appear to be reincarnated souls from Nobunaga’s time.  As I read it from doing some research, Mitsuhide betrayed Nobunaga, who was the shogun.  I thought about doing some more reading, but since I’m already well behind in blogging, I’ll pass at this point. However, I might read up on all of the names CLAMP have mentioned in this chapter to try to improve my education.

I see chapter 4 is out, but I’ll let my mind recover from this chapter before proceeding.

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