Seems we’re getting to the juicier bits of Admiral Watanabe’s recollections now…luckily, he skipped over most of his pre-war millitary career. Which must have been hard to do, since there would have been so many stories to tell…like the one time at naval academy, when they took a dozen bottles of sake, ink, Indonesian rubber, Lieutenant Sakamoto’s car, a shaved pig and…but I disgress.
I have no idea at which age you could sign up for the fleet in Watanabe’s day, but I have good reason to believe it was a very young age. That reason is anime and manga, where 12 is considered an ample age to control giant mecha in climactic battles over the fate of the universe, and 14 is considered the proper age to turn your goggles over to some younger kid. It would be preposterous to think that that tendency in fiction isn’t based on history and reality. =P
Concerning the dialogue (or rather, monologue) for panel 2, Admiral Watanabe does hold a certain view of the origins of the Pacific War. Which I’m not endorsing, but it would be illogical for the character to have a different one.
As far as panel three is concerned, one has to admit that Admiral Watanabe kept his promise to his soldiers. He did not forget their sacrifice, just as promised. That it would take him a bit longer to recall in his later days, compared to when the memory was still fresh, just comes with the territory.
The Professor is right, of course. He knows enough about military fortifications AND villain’s hideout to know that you should always include an alternative escape route. And Watanabe would have done, if his superiors hadn’t been so allergic to the concept of escape in general. Still he managed to get the sally-port funded…and then it gets blocked up just as he was about to sally forth. Ces’t la vie.
More on Thursday!