Gunshi Kanbei

Gunshi Kanbei (2014)

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Ratings: 8.8/10 from 16 users
Reviews: 1 users

July 1590, Odawara. Toyotomi Hideyoshi's army had surrounded the Odawara Castle for over 3 months, hoping to conquer this last obstacle to his dream of the country's unification. Standing at the gate of the castle, a lone man facing the menacing guards shouted out: "Do not throw your lives away. Treasure living!". Not long after, the castle gates opened and the reigning lord surrendered. The name of that man is Kuroda Kanbee. read moreAn excellent military strategist, he worked hand-in-hand with Hideyoshi to unify the country.

Kanbei's family had fled to Harima, and were relatively poor. As the protege of Kodera Masamoto, Kanbei was very much trusted and relied upon by his lord liege. Kanbei became the head of the Kuroda clan at 22 years of age. Masamoto was aging and he very much wanted someone to take over his responsibilities, and thus he decided to marry off his much-loved daughter, Teru, to Kanbei. They were blessed with a son, but since many years had passed and yet Teru couldn't seem to conceive a second child, Kanbei decided to adopt the young children of his vassals as his proteges who were known as "Kuroda's warriors".

When Kanbei turned 30, a revolutionary young lord was slowly laying siege to all the various shogunates, aiming for a unified Japan. Harima became the place where the clash between Oda and Mori Terumoto was set. Kanbei was very attracted to Oda's unification plans, and had gone to Gifu Castle to meet up with him. There, he became acquainted with Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and soon became Hideyoshi's right-hand man, marking the birth of Gunshi Kanbei.

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    Gunshi Kanbee

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful
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2 days ago
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
Despite the discouraging length, It’s never wrong to watch a taiga drama. Or at least that’s how I see it through my experience.

Kurode Kanbe is an acknowledged figure of the Sengoku period –the most chaotic era of Japanese history. He came from a humble clan in Himeji Castle but he distinguished himself through his impressing battle tactics. I will stop here to not spoil those who are unfamiliar with the history read more of the main character.

This taiga drama illustrated the life of the historically-famous strategist. It wasn’t only a numeric retell of his life story. On the contrary, Gunshi Kanbei was more focused on the emotional side more than anything. Which implores that you will get to know the story without the clinical heavy/slow pacing.

Sengoku Jidai is known for its numerous battles, renowned generals, political clashes, lots of betrayals and utter turmoil. This drama didn’t only illustrate Kanbe’s personal battles but it also included all of the major events that occurred during his lifetime. And since he was close to several main figures of the era, Kuroda Kanbei found himself entangled in all of those continued wars. He was forced to make critical decisions and became a key character in the unification of Japan.

That aside, Kanbe’s familial life was also put in the spotlight. His relationship with his vassals, his wife and his offspring was vastly explored and beautifully dramatized. But the over-idolizing was probably a bummer. Kuroda Kanbei wasn’t exactly a selfless man like the screenwriting pictured him to be. He was known to be quite ambitious. They didn’t focus much on that side except near the end. But again this isn’t a documentary and the main historical points were left untouched.

As usual in Taiga dramas, the cast was relatively loaded. Okada Juichi was marvelous as Kanbe. He’s definitely a rare Johnny’s –an idol of high caliber. I am so glad I got to first meet him through this. Other cast members were pretty fitting. But the ones who stood out the most were Egushi Yosuke’s Oda Nobunaga (one of the best portrayals of the legendary character), the penetrating performance of Takenaka Naoto as Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Nakatani as Kanbe’s wife, Tanihara Shosuke short yet amazing portrayal of Takenaka Hanbe and other remarkable talents like Tanaka, Kuroki, Uchida, Ikuta, Matsuzaka, Hamada, Tsurumi and Takahashi.

The directing was noticeably improved from previous taigas but it’s nowhere near perfect. The cinematography was catching. The sceneries and outfits were as usual historically accurate despite some insignificant flaws.

The smooth flowing of events in Gunshi Kanbei proves that this is an impeccable example of how taiga dramas are supposed to be.
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Comments (3)

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  • Reply
    Ryu 6 days ago

    i dont like Historical, War genres. is this worth to watch?

  • Reply
    Cinnamaroll Sep 7, 2014

    I watched earlier tonight while in Japan when it came on NHK. I desperately wanted siubs, lol. It looks good.

  • Reply
    umikichi Aug 10, 2014

    How could this air from 2014 to 2013? lol time travel

  • Reply
    Cheer Mar 18, 2014

    It's getting subbed even slowly; this makes me happy but I will wait until at least 20 episodes are subbed to start this. My patience level is too low to wait for a long time.

  • Reply
    louloudi Feb 13, 2014

    I have no idea about Japan 's history at this period so I will follow CHEERFUL SOUL advice and try not to read the whole article.I wish the same that some volunteers will sub it for us and also having as mother-country a country with big history I wish the writer and director do not mess up with the story.

  • Reply
    Cheer Jan 8, 2014

    I hope some cool subbers will pick this one up. I will be looking forward to it.

    On the other hand, those who plan to watch this and don't have an idea about the history shouldn't read the synopsis, it gives away about half of the plot or so. I am sure it will take them at least 20 episodes to reach the part where he becomes the awesome strategist Gunshi Kanbei.

    • Reply
      enixela Feb 9, 2014

      Indeed. I hope some group subs this. I mean, just look at all the powerful cast, it'll probably be enough to keep fans from tuning to the show I wonder why no Fansub group picked this.

    • Reply
      Cheer Feb 9, 2014

      It's a pity really, how much taiga dramas are being ignored :(

    • Reply
      enixela Feb 10, 2014

      Sad but true :(

    • Reply
      kura2ninja Mar 4, 2014

      The subtitle for episode 1 has just been released, guys. Check it out on d-addicts, in case you're interested.

    • Reply
      enixela Mar 5, 2014

      Thanks! :)

  • Reply
    LitaChan Jan 8, 2014

    Where I can see this? :)

  • Reply
    soumatra Jan 6, 2014

    Toyotomi Hideyoshi a real legend from peasant to regent of nippon, the unifier of japan

    • Reply
      Cheer Jan 8, 2014

      But this taiga drama isn't about the Monkey Hideyoshi; it's about his right hand Gunshi Kanbei who was also an awesome general who participated in Japan's unification.

    • Reply
      soumatra Jan 8, 2014

      yes I know but Hideyoshi is one of the major participant in this story
      I think he dead in 1598 or 97 mean he will be in the cast for at least 40 episodes
      In dorama "Gou", he was my favorite character

    • Reply
      Cheer Jan 8, 2014

      He's not only a favorite character in dramas; he's also one of my favorite Japanese generals alongside Oda Nobunaga of course.


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  • Aired:

    Jan 5, 2014 to Dec 21, 2014
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  • Duration:

    45 min.


  • Score:

    8.8 (scored by 16 users)
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