Oda Nobuna no Yabou – 03

Meet Azai Nagamasa. By the end of this episode, you will hate his guts. I sure did.

The “Three Episode Rule” is usually the yardstick by which I judge which anime to retain, and which to drop. With Imagawa army massing on the borders of the Owari province, Saitou Dousan betrayed by his son with the greater part of the Mino army, and Oda Nobuna encountering a playboy suitor, I knew Oda Nobuna no Yabou was finally entering serious territory.

 Episode 3 : “The Mino Disturbance”

Exhibit B: Niwa Nagahide advocating women’s rights, circa 15th Century. I agree 100% with her.

I will be honest with my readers: I felt that this episode was hard to write about, primarily because it asks two difficult questions that anyone – whether from our modern-day period, or from the Sengoku Jidai period, would have a hard time answering. The first question is: should love and conquest be mutually exclusive when you’re a female daimyo of marriageable age? The second question is: what would you do if you’ve been depending all along on your “future diary” of past events, and the ever-changing present decides not to play along in a critical moment?

Love and Conquest. Two mutually exclusive concepts? Or two sides of the same coin?

Azai Nagamasa certainly thinks that for a female daimyo to succeed in her dreams of conquest, she must give up her happiness as a woman. His proposal of a political marriage to Nobuna reeks of that mindset. He even had a back-up plan involving Imagawa Yoshimoto should Nobuna refuse his offer. This guy is really a lady-killer, in more than one sense of the word. To the women who read this post, please think twice about dating these kinds of guys. You deserve better.

One of the most straightforward proposals I’ve seen in anime. I hate to admit it, but it sounds cool.

Forgive me for sounding like a typical otaku who has just read his first NTR doujinshi, but after five seconds after Azai’s proposal to Nobuna, I felt like shooting the blue haired pretty boy and his sycophants. Even someone as cynical and world-weary like me, believes that even if it’s the best choice from an objective point of view, a woman, whether she be a daimyo or not, should marry someone she has feelings for, rather than suffer from a loveless marriage.

Fortunately for all us who favor a Sagara x Nobuna ending, he and his fellow retainers decided that they would have none of Nagamasa’s realpolitik. Seeing them relax and laugh afterwards was a breath of fresh air into the heavy atmosphere that has permeated the episode from the start – until Akechi Mitsuhide arrived with Dousan’s daughter Kichou (the future Nouhime) and a farewell letter from Dousan to Nobuna.


Saito Dousan. Badass Grandpa and Zen Master. Should we rename the anime to “Oda Nobuna no Yume”?

On the matter of the second question, loli-ninja Goemon stated it perfectly: “didn’t that ‘game’ of yours tell you anything about this?” to which Sagara responds, “This wasn’t part of the game. We’ll have to make it on our own”.

Protip from an RTS gamer: when going down through a ravine, make sure your troops secure the high ground.

The way I see it, Sagara, relying primarily on information gleaned from the game “Nobunaga’s Ambition”, is already suffering from a version of the Law Of Diminishing Returns: the more he uses his knowledge of Sengoku Jidai history to change the future/keep his head/ensure Nobuna’s victories, the more he’ll end up in situations where said knowledge is useless, and has to improvise – which might become an important part of the plot later in the series.  He was lucky Nobuna pulled a “Big Damn Heroes” moment to save his skin.

So does Oda Nobuna no Yabou hold up well when measured using the Three Episode Rule? The answer is a solid yes. In my opinion, the plot is progressing at a good pace, and the characters feel like real living-and-breathing people. Niwa Nagahide would probably say, “Excellent episode! Eighty-two points!” *wink*



Mamiko Noto Imagawa Yoshimoto: My fans will conquer Japan for me! Ohohohoho!

Next week on Oda Nobuna no Yabou, Imagawa Yoshimoto has invaded the province of Owari with 25,000 troops – leading to the famous Battle of Okehazama. Will Sagara survive his encounter with Hattori Hanzo? How will Oda Nobuna defeat a numerically superior opponent? Will there be more lolis? Find out in the next episode: “Winds of Change! Okehazama!”


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8 Responses to “Oda Nobuna no Yabou – 03”

  1. Highway says:

    Please, no more lolis! I can’t keep the ones there are now straight! I mentioned in last week’s comments that I’ve never seen any Sengoku period stuff before, and it continues to be difficult to figure out who is who, what importance they have, etc. Heck, I have a hard time just remembering who is in what province. Actually, scratch that. I don’t know who is in what province. So I’m just flying by the seat of my pants in following the story.

    But it’s still very enjoyable. I like that Sagara’s advice is moving him away from his game knowledge, because that will give him the opportunity to use his *other* game knowledge – how to deal with new situations. I also like how ‘contemporary’ the rest of the regular cast are in their interactions with him: They all buy in that he’s from the future, they all buy in that he knows things they don’t, but they also know that he’s pretty much just a guy, not an oracle or a shaman. And to me, they’re pretty much all shipping Nobuna and Sagara with a wink and a nod.

    I’ll just keep enjoying the cute historical babes. And keep hissing whenever Azai Nagamasa shows up. I’m half convinced he’s actually a girl, cause he’s waaaaay too pretty.

    • Magus_Killer says:

      I was just joking about the “more lolis”-part, since at the start, there were six confirmed loli characters from the OP alone, but the reveal of Kichou threw me off-track and made me think twice. I was expecting she’d be in her teen years like Nobuna.

      Lesson learned: I’ll remove the “lolis” part from my next episode preview lines. Thanks. =)

      • Highway says:

        Heh, it’s mostly that I am having trouble remembering who people are in this show. And as far as lolis go, usually a show has one or two, so they’re identifiable as that. Having to tell them apart is the difficult part. “Hmm, there’s the girl with the leopard thing on her head, there’s the girl with the silver hair, and then the rest…”

        Like another thing that confused me: in Episode 2, was Katsuie the leader of Nobukatsu’s forces? Was she always that up to that point, cause I thought she was with Nobuna before that?

        • Magus_Killer says:

          Ah Katsuie-san and her gainaxing plate armor. It must be advanced “barbarian” technology. Hehe.

          Katsuie’s official (read: on paper) role is one of Nobukatsu’s retainers/advisors. That’s why she initially and reluctantly sided with Nobukatsu when he rebelled.

          In the field, however, she acts as the cavalry commander of Nobuna’s forces (since she’s always leading cavalry charges against the enemy in the anime, I assume this is her role in the chain of command).

    • skylion says:

      Next season, it’s all the loli Sengoku period comedy/drama. Wait, that’s the currently running Collection. Well,it’s mostly loli. Mostly.

  2. akagami says:

    Azai is like a brainless model… pretty to look at, but once they open their mouth the whole image is shattered.

    I was hoping Sagara would show us some GAR during the rescue, but all they did was float down a river.

    Katsuie is pretty awesome with a spear on horseback. Really looking foward to the next episode, and this show has really risen up the ranks. It’s in my top 5 favorite shows this season (out of 13 shows that I’m still watching, dropped 5 so far)

  3. skylion says:

    Another good review, Magus_Killer. I think this show had me hooked by the second episode, so no need for three to do the deal.

    And about the “future diary” approach. Yeah, monkey is gonna have to start thinking for himself. But I bet the staff will still surprise us here and there with his game knowledge. Good call and claiming his “just a guy” status.

    Until next time…

  4. BlackBriar says:

    Good review. First meeting and I already hate Azai with a passion. He’s another in a long line of privilidged, arrogant, air headed bastards. What I depised most was him blackmailing and trying to use Nobuna as a means to an end. I could tolerate Sasuke Uchiha better than him. Take away his wealth and status and he’d have and would be nothing at all.

    One thing is certain: The Sengoku era is an era rife with people of low morals. Political marriages, betrayals. They’ll do whatever it takes to gain power and would resort to betrayal if they can’t get it. Dousan’s son is an idiot simply because he doesn’t want to take orders from someone else and his ego can’t take it.

    I have no answer for the first question but for the second question, I’d be forced to improvise. If you can’t rely on the pre-ordained knowledge that was set for you, you have no choice but to come up with solutions of your own. They may not be perfect in real time dire situations but at least it keeps you alive a bit longer. Even in Mirai Nikki where the “future diary” reference is used, events that were destined were randomly changing giving chance for anything to happen.

    In my opinion, Oda Nobuna no Yabou has held up well when measured using the Three Episode Rule and earned its right to be watched. It’s been pretty good since the first episode so it deserves some love.

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