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The Saga Incident (佐賀事変 Saga Jihen) happened around the Meiji Restoration Period, wherein Yugiri steps in on the conflict between Kiichi Momozaki and Shojiro Ito.

Summary

During dark times, Saga Prefecture disappeared from the map and from people's hearts. A young boy tries to save this "Saga" at the request of his grandfather and with the help of a legendary courtesan manages to attract the attention of revolutionaries who want to bring Saga back to life.

Saga Rebirth

Fall of Saga

In the mid-19th century, Naomasa Nabeshima strove to fix the financial affairs of the Edo domain, reduce the number of government officials, and encourage local industry such as Arita porcelain, green tea, and coal. In addition, thanks to the proximity of the international port of Nagasaki, new technologies were introduced from abroad, such as the reverberation furnace and models of steam locomotives. After the Boshin War, many people from the Saga Domain helped in the Meiji Restoration. In the Meiji era, the modernization of coal mines in Kishima and Higashimatsuura districts, among others, advanced, fueled by the construction of railways.

Jofuku and Kiichi watch the horror of the Saga war

During this time of the Bakumatsu, Saga Prefecture westernized faster than other places in Japan, so it was a key place during the reform, but the samurai revolts in 1874 and the defeats of the wars, its glory was lost. In the past, by 1876 Saga Prefecture had been divided between Mizuma and Nagasaki, which completely wiped it off the map.

After the war, Kiichi Momozaki was orphaned and was taken in by Jofuku to restore Saga Prefecture in later years. Being aware of the supernatural activity in Saga, Jofuku knows that the deaths and destruction it is due to Saga's curse that manipulated the minds of the inhabitant people to deceive them and bring Saga to ruin.

Sparks of Rebellion

Saga is annexed to Nagasaki during this time, this prefecture was also known as "Hizen"

As a result of the effects of the failed uprising and the subsequent unification with Mizuma and later Nagasaki, Kiichi is seen regularly (and continuously) in the streets of Saga's castle trying to start a peaceful revolution to revive Saga's former glory by trying to partition flyers to random people numerous times; which annoyed several civilians, this led to him being captured by a policeman for these occasions, although he was saved by Shojiro Itou on this occasion (creating a ruse in the form of a fugitive bandit).

Momozaki suddenly runs into Yugiri on top of an origami paper windmill. Although he tries to save Yugiri from being run over, he catches a cold in the process by falling into the pond. Itou tells Kiichi about the rumors that his world is different from Yugiri's, due to her legendary status. Itou told Kiichi that the Meiji Imperial Court nearly collapsed due to serious competition to top her; in which the former leaders of the Meiji Restoration fought each other.

Kiichi tries to enter Yugiri's house to give her a comb as a gift for her coming to Saga, but he becomes quite embarrassed of her as he is caught at the front door by Yugiri. She accepts Kiichi's gift, but suggests that he go home due to his fever. However, he remained defiant and tried to confess that he saw the world differently, but passed out as a result of his fever. Yugiri then decided to give him herbal medicines at his house owned by his grandfather, who took him in after his biological father was killed during the Saga war 8 years ago. Once inside, Kiichi tells Yugiri about his reasons for wanting to save Saga, since he did not want his father's death during the war to be in vain, for fear of losing everything he loved and everything he protected in the event that Saga fell. He then tells Yugiri his intention that he wanted to create the new Saga. Yugiri's kindness and curiosity towards his goal of restoring Saga makes Kiichi fall head over heels for her. She, in turn, appreciates him for being the first in Saga to talk to her outside of her work.

Kiichi faints when talking to Yugiri.

As night falls, Itou visits Yugiri and gives her a large fish to serve for dinner. Kiichi also follows him and was surprised to see him and Yugiri as well. Later, the two have dinner together as Yugiri plays music on her wagakki. Itou comments that both Kiichi and Yugiri should be married, since that would allow them to live in a family and not have to worry about saving Saga, but Kiichi's attempts to deny being in love with Yugiri made him so nervous that he fainted one more time.

People are starting to get interested in Kiichi's proposal to bring Saga back.

During a hot summer, Kiichi was still distributing flyers, when two other burly men show up to support him. Yugiri looks out the window as she uses her new comb. At dusk, Itou was seen throwing a folded piece of paper to a "beggar" sitting in an unknown part of town, the document reporting a "target gaining support" and requesting instructions should this continue.

After starting to attract attention, Kiichi has found himself leading a group of veterans from the last war in Saga eight years ago, who are much more aggressive revolutionaries than Kiichi himself. Yugiri arrives, mentioning that Kiichi's grandfather refuses to take his medicine, but Kiichi has high hopes that his request will succeed, even as the men who have joined his cause begin to attack each other for not being fervent enough to claim Saga, forcing Kiichi to intervene. At the same time, Itou knocks down one of Kiichi's propaganda flyers with disgust in his eyes.

Itou does not want to take the photo

After the group set out to take a photo to help with Saga's revival, Shojiro offers to have a drink, but Kiichi's comrades call out to him; Shojiro assumes that they are Saga's former ruling class, which arouses Yugiri's suspicions. These men have some plans behind Kiichi's back, having won the support of the merchants and looking for cannons and other weapons for a bloody revolt, they intend to attack the main road to Nagasaki. They don't care about Kiichi and his pacifist way of thinking, although Yugiri hears this and talks to Jofuku about it, Jofuku regrets losing his powers and says that if he was able he would revive them all. He refuses to take the medicine from her, proclaiming that Saga is him and he is Saga, and that there is no way to save him. Yugiri, however, makes him drink his medicine against his will.

Rebellion

Rebels call for immediate action

Kiichi's comrades are very angry asking to do something immediately to bring Saga back and that Kiichi cannot understand the anger they feel after the war eight years ago; They demand action and not in a good way. Kiichi pleads with them for more time and leaves to continue with his request. On a bridge, Shojiro meets him and tells him that the Saga war is about to repeat itself again because of Kiichi's actions, and urges Kiichi to wake up and discard his dream. Kiichi argues with him, but he just leaves. As he walks away, he runs into his contact again, who gives him instructions that surprise him.

Shojiro visits Yugiri and tells her to go somewhere away from Saga, and when she refuses, at least find Kiichi to inform him. Yugiri takes this seriously and writes several letters; some she sends to her allies in Nagasaki, one she writes for Jofuku and another for Kiichi. It's already winter and it's starting to snow, Kiichi finds a newspaper in his grandfather's house and realizes that his comrades have already started to take action on the matter. While trying to prevent a massacre of his companions, he runs throughout the city to stop an already announced war, to his misfortune, he only finds a pile of their dismembered corpses at the feet of a mysterious man, who is revealed to be Itou.

Itou massacres the rebels.

Having killed them all before they could foment a new war. He reveals that he was a secret government agent sent to monitor Saga and stop any revolutionary movement that went too far, but that Kiichi's actions always seemed harmless to him until he started drawing attention. Shojiro attacks his own friend intending to kill him, but Yugiri appears and blocks Itou's attack with a sword hidden in her shamisen, preventing him from hurting Kiichi. The police soon arrive with several reinforcements, forcing Shojiro to leave, allowing Yugiri and Kiichi to escape; at the same time, Jofuku collapses and seems to die as he feels that the spark of the revolution and the souls involved have disappeared.

Yugiri takes Kiichi to the mountains, and although he wants to give up, she inspires him to keep going. She instructs him to go with his friends from the government to Nagasaki, who will protect him from the government, and gives him his letter to read when he arrives, intending him to continue the revolution to free Saga from outside the prefecture. Through tears, Kiichi accepts the letter and escapes from Saga while his determination to restore Saga is more alive than ever.

Jofuku reads Yugiri's letter, realizing that they both finally saved Saga.

Yugiri waits, intending to stop Shojiro from going after Kiichi. He tracks her directly to her and a confrontation ensues. Surprisingly, Itou allows Yugiri to kill him after he betrays his best friend. In his final moments, it is clear that a part of him still believes in Kiichi's vision. Yugiri gave her life to save Kiichi, taking the blame for the deaths of Itou and the rebels in her place. She allows him to escape and continue working to restore Saga from the outside and with the protection of the government. Even as she is about to be executed, Yugiri maintains her composure and gives one last smile and bids her farewell before being decapitated.

The next day, an ill Jofuku finds a letter written by Yugiri before she was captured and executed by the authorities, asking him to tell Kiichi that she made it out of Saga safely and to lead the new Saga that Kiichi would create.

Aftermath

In 1883, the prefecture of Saga became independent from the prefecture of Nagasaki and months later there was a reform of military justice on executions. Finally, in August of that same year, the 1st Assembly of the Saga Prefecture was held.

Yugiri uses Kiichi's comb

Yugiri is indirectly responsible for having Saga Prefecture restored. She saved Kiichi from certain doom, allowing him to escape unscathed and fuel a campaign to restore Saga prefectural status. Unfortunately, not many in the present seem to remember her. The last thing Yugiri has left of Kiichi is the red comb he gave her and the picture of her with Itou that Jofuku keeps.

Trivia

  • During the chapters covering the Saga incident, it was revealed that the bartender's name is "Jofuku".
    • Yugiri and Jofuku seem to be already on the same page today. However, it is unknown how much Yugiri knows about the circumstances of Franchouchou's rebirth.
  • Yugiri is a swordswoman trained by the infamous assassin known as the "Demon of Hibiya".
  • Despite being a Yugiri-centric flashback episode, the look-alikes (and possible ancestors) of the other Franchouchou members manage to sneak into random places:
    • Sakura is a shopkeeper who sells food at a stall.
    • Junko is an unlucky passerby who gets an eel up her sleeve after Kiichi accidentally bumps into a fisherman.
    • Ai can be seen chasing a group of smaller children, playing with them.
    • Tae is in the car that almost ran over Yugiri and Kiichi, and she appears to be a noble of some sort.
    • Saki is a babysitter trying to comfort a crying younger Lily.
Event List
Events
Saga IncidentSagako OutbreakSaga FloodsRevenge of the Ekimae Fudosan
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