Last week I got my Samurai Job level to 60, finishing their first story arc.
Of all the Job stories I experienced so far (which weren't all that many) Samurai has been the most enjoyable one. It is probably my new best favorite, replacing the Pugilist and the first Monk Job stories.
But to be honest I was a bit worried at first about the story. I was afraid it would rely heavily on the western tropes about samurai: some terribly, heavy handed talk about some vague concept of honor or something along those lines. I know, it was a silly feeling since Square-Enix is a japanese company and Japan have their own set of tropes when it comes to samurai.
In the end my tendency to overthink stories and tropes end up tripping me a lot on this particular Job story as I tried to figure out where it was going.
WARNING: SPOILERS ahead for the level 50 to 60 Samurai Job quest.
My first worry, that it would draw from western tropes, was when I started the job and the NPC was saying something along the lines about a man from the Far East that had a different fighting style and was beating everyone in the coliseum. Fortunately that didn't last long. As soon as I spoke with Musosai, and he explained that he came to these lands to seek a new pupil because everybody else in Hingashi was too stuck with the idea of tradition, I knew the story would be interesting.
Side note about Musosai: Not only did I like his personality I also liked how he always got the names of places and people wrong. Specially because nobody tried to correct him. 🙂
After talking with Musosai my expectations for tropes went for tropes went from western ones to eastern ones. It wasn't going to be tropes about honor, seppuku or anything like that. It would be about the wandering samurai helping people in need and punishing bad guys. By the end we would find out that the man Musosai was tracking was his former pupil, who turned evil, and fight him.
Oh, how wrong I was. Yes, we did a lot go traveling around Eorzea protecting the weak and fighting villains. But I don't think that was also the only thing Musosai wanted us to learn. I think he also wanted us to learn that one should not just go mindlessly punishing anyone who looked evil but to instead investigate things first, find the root of such evil and then deal appropriate punishment.
For instance, in the case of the lovers who were murdered in Ishgard I was certain it was the noble who was behind their deaths. It was only because Musosai decided to speak first with the noble that we found out it was actually the guy's father who committed the crime. If I were to act on my first instinct, the real culprit would have gotten away. Actually it would have ended even worse than that, most likely.
Or when we found that Momozigo had done some really bad decisions in the past, by panicking, running away with some money and being branded a criminal. Momozigo was obviously never an evil person, he just did some terrible mistakes and if pushed in the right direction was willing to make amends.
I think that in the last quest, when Musosai revealed his whole story then forced us to fight him, he was actually testing us not to see how strong we turned out but also if we learned these lessons.
Side note #2: I was really not expecting for Musosai to die. Until the end I thought some miracle was going to happen or some magical remedy was going to be found for him to survive. Thankfully they didn't do that as I think the story ended on a stronger note this way.
Now I am curious is what kind of person Musosai's previous pupil is. I am obviously expecting to have some kind of confrontation against him. I am just not sure anymore if it is one that will end up with that man's death or if he will realize the mistake of his ways. It should be an interesting questline whatever the case might turn to be. 🙂