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That Huge Shogun Episode 9 Death Is Leaving Many Viewers In Tears

Contains spoilers for "Shōgun" Episode 9 — "Chapter Nine: Crimson Sky"

Two reviews may have ruined the perfect Rotten Tomatoes score of "Shōgun," but that won't stop it from going down as easily one of the best shows of 2024. The miniseries is filled with a wondrous visual style and compelling performances, particularly from Anna Sawai, who plays Lady Mariko. For a show filled with samurai, she may be the most strong-willed of anyone, and fans expressed their devastation when she sacrifices her life in Episode 9 to protect Ishido Kazunari (Takehiro Hira). There may only be one episode left, but it seems no one is ready to say goodbye to Mariko. 

The episode is a magnificent showcase for Sawai, as comments flooded X (formerly Twitter) praising the actor. User @aruwin wrote, "It was a tear-jerker of an ending, the queen should not go that way. But she slayed." X user @ReadLoveListen1 found one quote from the episode particularly poignant, especially upon seeing how Mariko's journey ends: "'Flowers are only flowers because they fall.' I'm trying to keep my lashes on."

The 1980 adaptation of "Shōgun" changed television, and this newest iteration is leaving its own mark on the landscape. Many are already predicting some Emmys in the show's future, and @beepsplain needs Sawai to be part of that awards conversation: "Go ahead and let the Emmys know that Anna Sawai has won 2024."

Anna Sawai has gotten emotional talking about Mariko's death

Anna Sawai is having a stellar 2024 so far. In addition to being arguably the best part of "Shōgun," she was incredible in "Monarch: Legacy of Monsters," which earned a rating of 8.5/10 in Xoop's reviewThe Hollywood Reporter asked Sawai about "Shōgun" before the show was released. Having to revisit the series and her character was clearly a lot for her: "I have not talked about 'Shōgun,' and I'm not really ready for it yet, because it means so much to me. (Sawai gets visibly emotional.) I don't know why I'm getting emotional. I'm crying, and I'm so sorry."

She could speak more freely once the show (and her character's demise) came out. All of Episode 9 is an emotional rollercoaster, with it seeming like Mariko could perish at any moment, such as her nearly performing seppuku at one point. But it all led toward one singular purpose for Mariko, as Sawai told Entertainment Weekly, "It's more about having a purposeful death. Your purpose can be achieved by living and doing something like Toranaga-sama [played by Hiroyuki Sanada], and it can also mean a purposeful death. And I think that she understands that she will be getting everything that she wants for herself and for Toranaga-sama through her death."

Sawai is living with great purpose right now and has yet another TV show upcoming. She's part of the cast for "Pachinko" Season 2, which doesn't have a firm release date yet but should come out later in 2024. It remains to be seen if her "Pachinko" role will make audiences cry as much as Mariko does.