Went for a walk in the grey dank and came home in the mood for more Woxin.
The subtitles are beginning to bug me big time. They make no sense in the way subbed anime doesn't: because details and nuances in the dialogue are being completely elided over. (This is why dubs are theoretically more informative, except that voice actors can't act. What you theoretically gain in fullness you certainly lose in atmosphere.) So we have Gou Jian saying all through ep 2 that he'll fight Wu and can't possibly send his sister back, right up until his wife tells him he can't send his sister back and here's why, whereupon he says she *must* go back (and is Not Nice to his wife while saying it) until ep 3 where he says he *won't* send her back, nado nado. Possibly it would help if I could read Chinese body language, but I can't do that either.
With this kind of confusion inherent in my watching, not surprisingly I take a settled dislike to anyone who says one thing and means another. In consequence I have absolutely no use for Shi Mai. And not much use for Gou Jian to date, but he at least is smooth and sinister and doesn't have wibbly Old Retainer mannerisms. However all this 'I'll fight' 'Well no I won't fight' 'I intend to fight' 'We cannot fight' **all from the same person** is making me a mite dizzy.
And also: they could have called Shi Mai Supreme General, which would make his position clear. Instead they call him Field Marshal, which may be technically correct but which doesn't convey a sense of supreme command to *me*, who have at least heard of Montgomery of Alamein, and will probably convey nothing at all to most Americans who've never had field marshals at all. (Useful info from wikipedia: "The United States has never used the rank of field marshal because George Washington only held the rank of general, and it was therefore considered inappropriate to have a higher rank.)
I suppose I must resign myself to the same odd obscurity as to Who means What when we come to the later eps, which is heart-breaking. This, doubtless, is karmic payback for all the series I've nattered about to people with the rider 'but it's only in Japanese.'
However I notice with disapproval the bad behaviour of the princes of Wu. I'm sure real princes behave like that when there's a throne at stake but I have resolved that my own princes will be united in brotherly harmony and loyalty and iron-clad primogeniture, aided only slightly by the fact that they all screw each other like bunnies.