If gender roles were reversed and women ruled the world, what would become of the concubines?
While this movie focuses on more than the 'manly' squabbles of the shogunate concubines, I would very much rather focus on the small picture. It is rather intriguing. We will slowly back out to focus on the big picture, but right now, just right now, we will talk about pretty boy squabbles for position and power.
Many times have we watched a movie, a drama serial about the concubines of Imperial China. The Emperor would be the cock in charge (forgive the uncouth language, for the lack of a better word...) and the women will fight each other in an endless (and often deadly) competition for the man's attention.
Women, their nature is conniving and possessive. It is only natural that they would fight each other for a man's attention. As reality dictates, a woman would fight another woman for a lesser man, much more can be said if it were the Emperor of China.
Now, imagine if the concubine grew penises. Imagine the concubines' places taken up by a bunch of pretty boys. There you go. What a wonderful idea, no?
Say, an epidemic stormed the land, infecting the men - and only the men. What is left is a surplus of women and suddenly, the roles reversed. The shogun is a woman and hundreds of men are lining up, pining to be in the good graces of the shogun.
Such is the world in which our central character, Mizuno lives. Forced to abandon his first name when he entered the inner chambers a.k.a. Ooku when prospects were growing thin for a descendent of a samurai, Mizuno found himself in a bizarre world. Male servants of the shogun were ranked by hierarchy of those who were the favourites of the shogun slowly down to the ones whom are not worthy to be seen by her.
The good thing about a reverse harem of pretty boys is that they can bed a higher ranking pretty boy to leap up. Handy, no? Not necessarily more peaceful than a harem of psychotic women, this offers a different look into an alternate world where for once, women had to pay for sex and they had to do the chasing. Interesting, no?
A wonderfully entertaining watch! Makes me want to get my hands on the manga.