I really hate to turn to Wikipedia for information. The dabbling philosopher in me always thinks about that little chestnut from one of the Socratic dialogs about how any worthwhile search for knowledge shouldn’t be instantly gratifying. But… I was curious about one aspect of history highlighted in this episode, and I didn’t have time to dwell on it, so I gave in a little intellectual laziness and read up on the Shimabara Rebellion.
On the one hand, it was to intriguing to learn about a time and place in fairly recent history when Christians were a persecuted minority. On the other hand, I can’t help but chuckle about how big of an aneurism this show must’ve given to Japanese history teachers who had to deal with any students who learnt anything about the Edo era from this show. It seems to be hopping around the 1600’s and the 1800’s, willy nilly. Haha. If you think the difference between the two is negligible, just step back for a moment and think about the world of difference between Colonial America and the Old West.
Pushing another chip forward in the dub vs. sub debate, I actually watched this episode dubbed for a change after discovering that the show’s actually available on Netflix instant. As I always say, my preference is case by case. In this case, I prefer the sub (even though the dub team does a pretty decent job.) It really comes down to the how the story’s set in a very specific place and time (though anachronistic, at points.) Yeah, you can have beatboxing samurai B-Boys. That’s OK. But once they start talkin’ in English, then it seems outs of place to me. I know, I know...
Of course, now I’m really intrigued over whether the original voice actor of the phony Franciscan monk (I like to call him “Father Guido”) did the same trick of switching accents after his ugly face make-up got torn off. Color me curious about what a garishly stereotypical Spanish accent sounds like to the Japanese.
Watch this episode, "Unholy Union” below and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.