Sucker Punch’s upcoming open-world action adventure Ghost of Tsushima has captured the imagination of many with its gameplay at E3 2018. Yet, its setting remains shrouded in shadows for many.
The game is set during the first Mongol invasion of Japan in 1274, and that’s an extremely rare setting in video games and media, including those from Japan.
The thirteenth century can still be considered part of the dawn of the samurai era. Normally, games and movies focusing on Japan’s iconic warriors tend to gravitate around later and better known time periods, like the Sengoku Jidai.
If you’re curious about the history behind Ghost of Tsushima, you can read the extensive article I wrote on the topic, but starting today you have one more way to immerse yourself in the period. The first episode of a brand new anime series titled Angolmois: Genkou Kassenki, or Angolmois: Record of Mongol Invasion, aired today in Japan.
The anime is the adaptation of the manga that goes by the same title drawn by Nanahiko Takagi serialized on Samurai Ace since 2013. Like Ghost of Tsushima, it’s set on the island of Tsushima in 1274. Of course, the main plot is different, but the setting is exactly the same.
The series tells the story of Jinzaburo Kuchii, a samurai exiled to Tsushima who finds himself facing the whole might of the Mongol invasion. The original manga is held in high regards by many, and the anime series itself is very promising. A subtitled version has been announced by Crunchyroll, but at the moment we don’t know when exactly it will air. Update: the first episode is now available on Crunchyroll.
Incidentally, the term “Angolmois” comes from the prophecies of Nostradamus about the end of the world, and is believed to be an anagram of the French world for Mongols “Mongolais.”
Like Ghost of Tsushima, it’s not an exact rendition of the history of the Mongol invasion, but it’s a great way to immerse yourself in the game’s setting while we wait for more information from Sucker Punch and Sony Interactive Entertainment.
Besides, this is nothing short of a massive coincidence. At least to my knowledge, there have never been either games or anime series set during the Mongol invasion of 1274 with this kind of specific focus. Some titles (mostly a few strategy games) have covered it as part of a bigger picture. Yet, now we’re looking at a video game and an anime series focusing exactly on this extremely rare historical and geographical setting, happening nearly at the same time. What are the odds?
If you want a taste of Angolmois: Genkou Kassenki, you can check out a few trailers below, some of which include English subtitles.