Recap: Nobuna has been an interesting show, moe gender-bent warlords and tangential bits of fan-service abound, but it also brought something more. It would be a real shame to pass this one up simply because of any expectations you may have based upon the genre.
Final Impressions: Wait, what’s this? I am doing a Final Impression for Nobuna even though I didn’t write anything about it all season? Yes, yes I am! Nobuna was one of those shows no one really expected much from going into this season, and honestly it turned out to be pretty good. You don’t believe me? Well I can understand that, but give me a moment to talk about what Nobuna did right, and maybe I can change your mind, but first a little bit of history is needed to really appreciate this anime.
Oda Nobunaga is a famous general from the Japanese Sengoku period of Japan; famous for his ruthless brutality, and cunning as he conquered Japan, and united it under his banner. Nobunaga’s death at the burning of Kyoto is an equally famous event. After Nobunaga’s death it was his retainer Hideyoshi Toyotomi who carried on Nobunaga’s ambition of uniting Japan.
Hideyoshi Toyotomi if a historic figure famous for being a peasant who rose to his position after first serving as Nobunaga’s sandal bearer. Hideyoshi impressed Nobunaga by keeping Nobunaga’s sandals warm under his kimono on a winter night, and from there grew to become a legend. That same Hideyoshi dies before a minute is passed in this anime; passing off his role to a history loving strategy game nerd from the future.
Okay, I just lost half of you somewhere in there I’m sure, but for anyone left let me explain how this was played off in a clever way, and was not just the same old thing every other gender-bent warlord anime has to offer.
The Ambition of Oda Nobuna begins before the time Nobunaga would have earned the title of “demon lord” he was so famous for. Our gamer nerd protagonist saves Nobuna’s life, and becomes Hideyoshi’s equivalent in this retelling of history. After spending some time with Nobuna he vows to help her unite Japan; without allowing her to lose herself in the process the way the real Nobunaga supposedly would have.
What follows is a cute tale of a guy from the future, becoming a hero through fulfilling the role of Hideyoshi; while simultaneously attempting to protect the things precious to Nobuna, and keep history moving in the direction it should go; all this with a little touch of romance to spice things up.
Generally this gender-bent warlords genre has one thing going for it, and that is recreating historic figures in an amusing way. More often than not that is the end of it, and you won’t be getting anything else of value out of such a thing. Nobuna takes things a step further and actually rebuilds events into an appealing story that quite frankly would be pretty good even without the gender-bending antics.
Nobuna is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you have any interest in the time period you owe it to yourself to give this anime a shot; it just might be the best thing this season you haven’t watched.