First Impressions: Nobunaga the Fool

What I like about the Japanese is their ability to make an anime out of any particular topic may it be about mangaka or manga artists, sports (you name it, there’s likely an anime for it), cars, agriculture and even famous historical personalities. And the thing is that the plot of the anime is interesting and fun to watch. It’s hard to imagine that someone like me who’s not really interested in sports found myself watching Hajime no Ippo, which is an anime about boxing, or Slamdunk, which is an anime about basketball back when they were being aired locally.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

“Choose your challenger”

More surprising is finding myself wanting to learn how to drive, particularly drifting because of Initial D which is an anime about car racing and the concept of drifting. In fact, I used to spend money just to become good in playing the Initial D arcade stage games that can be found in arcade centers in mall. Based from my experience I must say that the Japanese are consistently good when it comes to coming up with an interesting plot for any kind of anime subject they could think of.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

“Wish I could drive like this guy”

But if there’s one particular subject that the Japanese are really good at, it is about how they portray historical characters. And one of the most commonly portrayed historical personalities in most of their history-based anime is Oda Nobunaga. For those who’re not familiar with him, Oda Nobunaga was the first to initiate the idea of unifying Japan under one rule in the late 16th century and ruled Japan until the Meiji Restoration in the year 1868.

Back when he was in his younger years, he would be found running around with the other youth of his age regardless of his status in society. Because of his eccentric behavior, he was commonly referred to as “The fool of Owari” or Owari no Outsuke”. When the first firearms in Japan were introduced, he was one of those rulers who developed a fondness for them henceforth you’d mostly see anime portraying him as someone who wields a gun rather than the usual katana.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

And the anime Nobunaga the Fool is perhaps one of those anime that’s able to closely portray the character and life of the famous ruler of Japan. Nobunaga the Fool is a story about two different stars in the universe; the West Star ruled by King Arthur, and the East Star which was divided into many nations, each amassing its own army in an attempt to conquer each one. The prologue of the story starts with events in each star taking place many years ahead of the start of the story; the first event shows an adult Nobunaga who’s looking over his palace in flames while being attended by a vassal who reports that a certain Akechi Mitsuhide betrayed him. Meanwhile in the west star; a blond girl who’s tied at a wooden stake looks up at the sky and pleads for God to hear her prayers before being burned at the stake by the authorities.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

“Ain’t she cute?”

After this opening sequence, the narrator tells the origin of the West Star and the East Star as well as the start of a new era of heroes. The story start with a blond girl named Jeanne D’ Arc having a dream of being burned at the stake. While attending to her morning duties, a mysterious man wearing strange garments who calls himself Leonardo Da Vinci approaches her and hails her as the one who’s destined to travel to the East Star.

Meanwhile somewhere in the East Star, a young man by the name of Nobunaga was being awakened by his friend, Akechi Mitsuhide. Nobunaga tells his best friend of a dream where he saw a blond girl whom he wasn’t familiar with. Little did they know that their fateful meeting was about to take place as the story progresses.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

“From that day onward, they called themselves, the Tres Darongas”

The setting of the East Star as well as the mecha (yes, there are mechs in the anime) being utilized by the soldiers reminds me of another anime entitled Samurai 7 which was based from an old Japanese film in the year 1954. I also find the portrayal of the other characters that were based on personalities in different parts of history really interesting like Leonardo Da Vinci being true to the real life personality who was an inventor, Magellan being a character who commands a ship travelling to the east.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

There’s even a character that was based on the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar as well as his friend, Brutus. What’s even more exciting is that they’re both members of Camelot’s round table who’s ruled by King Arthur, the king who unified the nations in the West Star. Also, for some reason, Jeanne’s role as well as her relationship with Leonardo Da Vinci, plus the tarot cards he lets Jeanne pick for divination purposes reminds me of another anime entitled Vision of Escaflowne. Though I wasn’t able to completely enjoy the latter anime, Nobunaga the Fool seems reminiscent of it.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

I also like the character designs and illustration, particularly Jeanne D’ Arc’s when she’s wearing her armor. Overall, the anime is very promising and I hope that the pacing of the story becomes better though based on the story’s prologue; I am guessing that the anime won’t be ending happily ever after but would end in a tragic manner. If you’re someone who enjoys watching anime where historical characters are being portrayed, I’d highly recommend Nobunaga the Fool for you.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool


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Raven Knives