Dumping a few chapters of Sangokushi whenever I have time now that it's completely translated.
Recap of story so far: Lu Bu mounts a successful surprise attack on Yanzhou, owned by Cao Cao, prompting Cao Cao to abandon his campaign on Xuzhou to take back Yanzhou.
For those who don't know what this is, it's a faithful adaptation of Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Yokoyama Mitsuteru, the mangaka of Tetsujin 28, Giant Robo, Mars, etc. The art isn't amazing but if you've ever wanted to get into Three Kingdoms but didn't feel like slogging through book, reading this is the easiest way. The 2010 Chinese TV series was alright too, but that skips out on some fun arcs.
Mega link for all volumes: https://mega.nz/#F!dtcTnaZK!wYcKFdUATwdDt9MkFolypw
Is the Water Margin a good way to get into that whole story?
I know you said in your blog posts that it's not as complete as Sangokushi but if what's skipped is mostly unimportant details then it's not that big of a deal, right?
Like, I assume they're explained or something.
Well... Not so much. It's not that it skips important details, since Water Margin, unlike RotTK is more of an episodic-kind of story with new heroes getting regularly introduced and doing some crazy shit. So Yokoyama's abridged manga of it kind of comes across as something more like "best selections from ____." But I suppose it's still a decent way to get into the story initially.
I should note that Xu Chu is drawn as surprisingly slim in this manga. In the book, I think his torso is described as a big tree trunk, so he was a pretty burly dude, which is why you see him as a fat dude in the Koei games.
That's just how story telling went back in the day. You can see it even with /a/'s favorite classic, LOGH. I mean fucking Andrew Fork probably had a higher salary than all of /a/ combined when he led the fleet to that massacre.
It's not just an element of storytelling though. There's been plenty of real-life battles where generals simply refused to be cautious and got rekt.
Fork did nothing wrong.
But yeah, LoGH is very similar in that regard. First have everyone act completely retarded so you know which characters are the smart ones, then have the smart characters fight each other. First part is really cheap, but the payoff is great in the second part.
I'd like to see just how many references or similarities the stories have. Right off the top of my head, the whole "He's known for being sneaky, so this must be a trap" and overthinking the enemy's strategies.
It's over exaggerated though, because it never includes why the generals do such things. Maybe like 1/3rd of them are just fucking retarded and let their pride get in the way or some shit, but at least 2/3 had some kind of element that went in their favor (whether it was intentional by the enemy or not is another story) and basically used it as confirmation bias, basically seeing the tree and not the forest. They are still idiots in the end, but it's a huge difference between being Fork level and being even more retarded than Space Yuan Shao.
Or maybe I'm just being way too optimistic during a time where basic education was non-existent, as well as nutrition and healthy living.
It just ages poorly when you compare it to today's equivalent of military fiction. For example the lengths of detail and thought process of a series like Alderamin puts LOGH and Arslan to shame, yet the characters in them are generically flawed as fuck and you can still see the 'twists' coming volumes away so it's not the benefit of a better plot, simply better exposition.
If Chen Mou wrote LoGH Andrew Fork would look more competent than any character in Gundam history and he'd still be the biggest jobber.
Well yeah, that's the thing. We don't know all the factors that went inside their head, which is also not necessary considering most of these officers are minor characters that don't stick around for too long. But it's perfectly possible that there were many factors out on the battlefield that aren't described that can lead one to think that pursuit is the better option over retreating, as actual historical records show around the world. Of course, it is the author's fault for not describing these other factors, but in a story like RotTK where there are literally hundreds of battles, you simply can't do in-depth descriptions for all of them, lest make the story dreadfully long. It's enough to do in-depth portrayals for only a few of the major battles, like during the Northern campaigns, when we see both Sima Yi's reasons for wanting to pursue or retreat.
They aren't sound according to you, but they are sound enough to others. And you can see where they are coming from, even if it's obviously flawed.
To begin with something like a presidential election that features stuff like national budget and what not is far too complicated for the average US citizen, so anyone who can water it down and casualize it will stand a chance because even if they are wrong, the people can follow what the fuck he is rambling on about. Democracy is ultimately just capitalism, the guy who can sell his ideas/products the best regardless of the means is who wins.
I like it when Yokoyama draws a character with his finger pointing right towards the reader, but the perspective is a bit off, so it looks like he just has a really fat finger.
I'm not saying the author did a bad job, merely that compared to today, writing and standards have changed. People have more leisure time, and drawing comics has evolved leaps and bounds. But that doesn't mean I can't say a 2016 car is way more efficient and powerful than something made in the 1950s. Stuff like aesthetics is mostly subjective, but performance isn't and that's what I'm comparing, the focus isn't on the author since that era of writing and education is totally different even during Sangokushi let alone the original novel.
The best case scenario of comparison would be how the LOGH/Arslan author clearly hasn't improved over the years, as Arslan is literally just LOGH with Persians, except Yang is now a side character and Julian is now the MC. It might not follow LOGH play by play, but all the themes and archetypes still mirror 1:1 right down to the mustache twirling villains using low fantasy magic to take advantage of two existing factions and make them fight each other.
Even Iwaaki has changed his art more than that guy has changed his story telling. But it's not like he's alone in that either. Any long running author in China is basically the same with their generic Wuxia/Xianxia.
Ultimately it's no different than looking back at how the 1950s thought the future would be like.
No yeah, I understand what you're getting at. I'm simply arguing back against reader's tendency to laugh at generals for being so stupid as to pursue when there's "clearly" a trap, when millenia of military history shows that the pursuit/retreat dilemma is never an obvious decision and is one of the most common ways armies got fucked.
Exactly. There might be a few exceptions where the general just didn't deserve his spot (ya know corruption and shit with eunuchs) or just ended up there by luck/misfortune getting passed the buck. But most of the time, those kinds of people shouldn't be too ballsy unless it's a panic over fear of not doing their job.
Technically, what's supposed to happen is that the governorship is returned back to the imperial court so that it can then assign it to a new appointee. If the previous governor wishes to nominate/recommend a candidate, he'll make an official report to the imperial court which will then consider it, and accordingly accept or reject it.
Of course, by the late Eastern Han, the imperial court really only had nominal authority over these various positions. So they'd pretty much have no choice but to accept whoever the previous governor wanted the next governor to be, effectively making it hereditary.
Maybe I'm just and impressionable idiot, but that middle panel with the full focus on Lu Bu's face just stuck with me for some reason.
It feels like one of the most memorable panels of the whole thing, even though what's happening isn't exactly anything special.
This difference between nominal and de facto authority is probably confusing to first-time readers. For instance, Sun Quan asks the imperial court, effectively controlled by Cao Cao, if he can have the title "King of Wu," and the court/Cao Cao consents because they just concluded a temporary armistice, even though Wu-Wei relations are still far from cordial.
Not in English. It's translated in French and Italian. Maybe in a few other languages too.
>no English translation
>but there are French and Italian versions
No, I don't think so.
Although land was given on a strictly hereditary basis in Europe and the Middle East, you do see broadly similar conflicts between de jure and de facto authority in those parts of the world too. Like European kings not being able to do much about squabbling dukes even though they're nominally supposed to be subservient, or the Abbasid caliphs granting titles like Emir and Sultan even when they have no real power to revoke or contest them.
Because it's a turn-based rpg, duh.
I think it was for the best though.
It was, Liu Bei wouldn't be able to build much of a nation so close to all the other powerful warlords in the north east. I suppose it really was fate.
And that's the end of today's dump.
As Hox said, the imperial court at the time have no power to disapprove/approve you. However to nominate a person to a title will involve said person able to grasp and hold on to the power associated with the title.
Yuan Shu went as far as nominating himself to be the legitimate emperor to succeed Han dynasty. He named his own dynasty "Zhong". He could not have made a worse move. In the two years that followed, Yuan Shu made enemies with Cao Cao, Sun Ce, and Lu Bu - as his claim to the throne gave the latter plenty of political incentive to invade or seize his territories.
He has the honour/dishonour of being the poorest emperor in Chinese history, and he pretty much died while on the road looking for people who'll let him live with them.