RogerBW's Blog

Nobunaga the Fool 03 September 2014

2013-2014, 24 episodes: AniDB

On the Star of the East, Oda Nobunaga fights his local battles against other warlords (with Giant War Armour, of course). But the Star of the West is approaching, and the stakes are about to get vastly higher.

All the principal characters here are theoretically historical: Nobunaga and his generals Mitsuhide and Hideyoshi, Himiko the shaman queen of Yamataikoku, but also Leonardo da Vinci, Jeanne d'Arc, Hannibal, Niccolò Macchivelli… if you've ever wondered who'd win in a mecha fight between Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, this is the series for you. The show's respect for Japanese history is about as great as its respect for Western.

There are elements from the history of the real Nobunaga here, but they're only a very loose inspiration for the plot, which soon jettisons the historical references in favour of the potential end of both worlds. There's a well-mannered love triangle, and a less well-mannered one. There are lots and lots of mecha fights.

By the end, things have become something of a mess, so if you're not enjoying the show after the half-way point I'd advise you to stop watching; the writers' reach definitely exceeded their grasp. Some of the animation, particularly on the mecha, is very well-executed, and backgrounds are lovely; just a shame it's in the service of something that ends up not being terribly interesting. There's some fun stuff here, but overall I can't recommend it.

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