Oda Nobuna no Yabou 01 and 02

Somehow the main character Sagara Yoshiharu finds himself flung back to the Sengoku period, being present in the man who would become Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s final moments who entrusts him with his dream of a castle with some pretty girls. However just as he believes that this is a dream from playing Lord Nobunaga’s ambition, a girl leaps out on horseback pursued by some soldiers intent on taking her head.

I’m probably going to regret deciding to blog this, especially considering how late it is into the season, but this has to be one of the shows that I’m really enjoying this season. Either way one assignment down, one more to go.

Opening Theme:

“Link” by Aimi.

By using his cellphone however he’s able to delay them long enough for the girl’s troops to arrive, the girl revealed to be the head of the Oda family, Oda Nobuna. Following which the nature of the Sengoku period is briefly touched upon and how in the universe that the series takes place in, Absolute-Cognatic Primogeniture is in place, meaning that the eldest son or daughter inherits regardless. After this Yoshiharu returns with Nobuna’s forces, Nobuna interested in his cellphone, and finding that many of her retainers are now young girls as he sets about pledging himself to her, unintentionally earning the same nickname that Toyotomi possessed.

Elsewhere at this time Imagawa Yoshimoto learns of her vassal, Matsudaira Motoyasu (Tokugawa Ieyasu)’s failure to defeat Nobuna, and from Hattori Hanzou, that  it was because of Yoshiharu, now referred to as Saru/Monkey. As thanks for saving her life Nobuna gives Yoshiharu a house which Maeda Toshii accompanies him to, a nearby inn owner offering to marry him to his daughter Nene, however he refuses when he finds out how young she is. Soon after this Toshii picks up on an intruder, revealed to be Goemon, a companion of the real Tokichirou, and as such Yoshiharu resolves to take his place in history. Following this the lord of the Mino province, Saitou Dousan requests to negotiate with Nobuna, Yoshiharu seeing it as his chance to exploit his knowledge of the future by accompanying her, on the way advising her to order her riflemen to light their rifles, putting off any plans of an ambush from Dousan and Akechi Mitsuhide.

They then arrive at the temple to talk, Nobuna arriving in formal wear as a sign of respect, and noting her belief that rifles will change the way of warfare in Japan before admitting her desire to conquer Mino. Doing so she would effectively split Japan in two and be able to control it. As such negotiations turn sour as Nobuna declares her wish to unite Japan in a way in such that it could compete with the Western Kingdoms of Europe, Yoshiharu becoming captivated and Dousan accepting her challenge on the path of carnage she intends to take. To this however Yoshiharu bursts in and with Dousan ready to behead him, he convinces him to disinherit his son and follow Nobuna. In doing so saving his life.

In the next episode Yoshiharu eats breakfast with Toshii and Nene when Shibata Katsuie arrives to accompany him to Nobuna, on the way a small argument breaks out between her and Toshii and they run into Nobuna’s younger brother Nobukatsu, who wastes little time in denouncing his sister and how he should have succeeded their father, getting into a fight with Yoshiharu that ends with him hitting him for it. As such Nobuna now has to deal with her brother’s calls for Yoshiharu’s head, her retainers advising her that this matter could be put aside entirely if Yoshiharu were a general, Nobuna giving him the challenge of using 3000 kan to purchase 8000 koku of rice within a week, around half the price.

Yoshiharu however already has a plan for such in mind, he’ll simply act as a merchant in order to double the 3000 kan and buy 8000 koku of rice, Nobukatsu’s supporters however see this as the perfect excuse to rebel, Niwa Nagahide even advising Nobuna of such and Nobuna admitting that she will kill her brother if it comes to that. However while Yoshiharu’s plan seems to have worked for the most part, with the deadline drawing close he finds that he got a little too carried away and forgot to buy the rice, noting to Nobuna that Goemon and Toshii are currently trying to purchase it as she berates him. During which though he’s able to show off a bit by showing her where Japan and Europe, to be exact Spain and Portugal are, bringing them a little closer, but as the sun sets the rice still hasn’t arrived and Yoshiharu accepts his fate.

But just as she’s about to behead him, Goemon and Toshii arrive with almost four times the amount of rice that she asked, sparing Yoshiharu’s life but at the same time her brother and his supporters have gone ahead and rebelled. As such Nobuna now has to deal with her brother in such a way that won’t show weakness to Imagawa and besieges his castle. Knowing that the real Nobunaga killed his brother, Yoshiharu comes up with a plan to settle the matter of succession without killing Nobukatsu, cheering outside and swaying Katsuie and her forces to their side. Forcing Nobukatsu to surrender and attempting to avoid Nobuna going down the path that the real Nobunaga went down, Yoshiharu declares such to her, leading to her breaking down in tears and forgiving him, Nobukatsu renouncing his succession rights and taking the name Tsuda Nobusumi. After which Nobuna and Yoshiharu spend a moment together that ends with him pledging himself to her.

Ending Theme:

“Hikari” by Makino Mizuta.

Thoughts:

To be honest I never really put much thought into this show, it just seemed like you’re typical loose Sengoku period adaptation where all the figures are genderbent and loose references are thrown around, nothing entirely original. However while to some extent it is that, there’s just something good about it, either way I’m always up for a historical series anyway.

I’m not exactly entirely familiar with the Sengoku period, being more familiar with Western European history (post-Rome to early modern, or at least when the Black Death screws everyone over with its 50-60 percent kill count) more than anything, but the approach that this show has taken just seems a lot more serious. There’s still the cliche aspects of the main character being from the future and all the famous figures being cute girls, but at the same time the main character has no desire to return and openly takes advantage of his knowledge, he knows all about the major events and what went wrong and uses it to change things for the better. And even though a lot of figures have been replaced with a cute girl equivalents, not all of them have, in these sorts of series it’s either all or nothing. You either get overly realistic/serious depictions with a bunch of old men sitting around, or (most of the time) vague/silly representations that have over the top badasses/cute girl equivalents run around with their names and throwing around quotes as if to remind you that they’re X figure, I shouldn’t have to name any.

Both can be fun but there’s never really a mix between them, in this show the likes of Oda Nobunaga and his retainers may have been genderbent but a few of the figures still remain as the old men they realistically were. The events in these two episodes were also pretty fun as well, in both we see Yoshiharu change the path that Nobuna would take in two unforeseeable ways, now once more I must admit that most of my knowledge from the Sengoku period comes from adaptations and wiki articles, that I haven’t delved into it too deeply so I can’t exactly speculate as to how much would have changed by saving Dousan. At the most, all I can assume is that it means he’ll stick around and Nobuna doesn’t get a Cassus Belli to take Mino by force in favour of him giving it to her. The second however is probably the most decisive, even without looking much into the matter for the real Nobunaga to have been forced to kill his own brother would have changed him, and to some extent Nobuna herself appears to have been about to kill part of herself to do it before Yoshiharu stopped her.

Other than that I’m really liking how the characters are being handled, Yoshiharu isn’t held back by a need to return to the present and actually takes an active role, his entire attitude to being thrown back 450 years is one of excitement and actually setting out and doing stuff. He gets beaten around a bit but so far for a main character he’s a pretty likeable guy and a fun protagonist. Nobuna herself isn’t so bad either, as far as representations of Nobunaga go they’re usually that of an over the top badass or demon king, however while Nobuna has been shown to have the potential to go down that path she’s simply a young girl fascinated with the West, and who’s father’s untimely death has thrust the responsibility of ruling and maintaining control upon her. Furthermore the side characters aren’t that bad either, Yoshiharu has got a fun group of supporters and Nobuna’s retainers seem great so far as well.

3 Responses to Oda Nobuna no Yabou 01 and 02

  1. SYMBV says:

    The story follows quite closely to the exploitation of the real Oda Nobunaga,which is a pleasant surprise to me. To me this anime is the top of this season, perhaps because I read so much about the history of that period. The anime actually got me to read more about the history at that time and learned things that I did not even know (like the meeting between Oda and Dozan at Shotokuji). The animation (sakuga) is done superbly and the girls stick much closer to their historical counterparts compared with other similar girls-in-historical-figures like Sengoku Collection. I talked to a number of japanese anime fans and quite many found this anime impressive enough to check the original light novel, which apparently contains even more historical details which anime has to cut because of the length limit. In short, an anime that I did not have much expectation at beginning but completely won me over with attention to history and balanced treatment of the characters (history vs moe) as well as top-class animation quality.

  2. Ginnodangan says:

    Same here, when I first saw it all I thought was Oda Nobunaga as a teenage girl how original, but it’s really been something else. I can’t exactly put my finger on it but it just seems to balance everything, art, animation, plot, history, characters, and PLOT all so well. Definitely one of this season’s dark horse by far, though I would expect nothing less from Madhouse, they’re a consistently great studio.

    That mix of historical accuracy and the tropes that you usually see in these sorts of shows is one of the things I’m enjoying about it as well. In the likes of Sengoku Basara or Rance some of the details and characteristics were maintained but they were more or less parodies of their real life selves, but this show knows both when it has to be serious and maintain that tone, and when it can mess about and have fun. It works well in both.

    Either way it’s made me look further into the Sengoku period as well, history has always been something that’s fascinated me and it’s interesting to get a better idea of these figures and the details to the events. Oddly enough it loosely reminds me of Western Europe during the Crusades without everything that could go wrong going wrong (Pope discredited, the Hundred Years’ War, further divisions, and the Black Death).

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