First impressions – Nobunaga the Fool

Are you ready fools!?

The second mecha anime of the winter is finally out and damn I really excited for this one because I can kind of tell that Buddy Complex was not well received which leaves me to ask if Nobunaga the fool is going to be better or worse? Anyway I guess we will find out.


This isn’t anywhere close to being “season of the mecha” or anything, but there are more mecha shows out than I thought there would be. I  also never thought I’d ever be shipping Jeanne d’Arc and Nobunaga (I mean, come on, that sounds like a terrible fan fiction), but here I am. Thanks again, anime.


 Phew, there sure are lots of, um, unique mecha anime this season. From coupling system to legends fused into one, all is there in this season. I just hope all the fusion won’t screw up this anime.


History is messy

Nobunaga the FOOL (6)

Nobunaga lives that hard life! Also Jeanne’s outfit wow….

With each passing anime season we are always seem to be sent back to the past to hang out with Oda Nobunaga and after a while those stories can be overplayed especially if they are gender-bent, but with Nobunaga the fool the creators for some unknown reason decided to throw in a huge batch of historical characters, space ships, alien horses and giant robots. So did it keep you interested the entire time or were you sitting there thinking whoa this is really dumb! I mean personally for me I like what Nobunaga the fool is trying to do by adding all these different elements together or is it a case of too much going on at once? I guess we need more episodes before we can say that for sure; however the one thing I did like was the introductions for Jeanne kaguya, Leonardo Da Vinci, Nobunaga, Magellan, Mitsuhide, Hideyoshi and a few characters kept mentioning King Arthur? I wonder if he is a villain in this messed up universe and I know Julius Ceasar and Alexander the great will show up later on and yeah that sounds completely crazy but I am actually excited to see all these characters.

Now I suppose I should talk about the mechs which appear to be completely CG like Nobunaga’s main robot that he gets at the end, but the entire time I was thinking back to Aquarion because I remember the original series had a ton of CG thrown in and of course it helps they are done by Kawamori Shoji who worked on Aquarion. The one thing I noticed right off the bat was the bishie character designs by leaving me to think that Nobunaga the fool is obviously aimed at the female audience because there are a lot of bishies running around, but of course there were lots of other girls shown in this episode so I could be completely wrong.

East and West

Nobunaga the FOOL (3)

Riding dragons is so cool!

Well, this Nobunaga isn’t voiced by Wakamoto, but I guess he’s still rather impressive. It’s interesting that they’re starting at the point before he became a badass, and that nobody seems to take him seriously. That will (probably) be a fun transition to see as the series goes on. Maybe Nobunaga’s character isn’t anything special as far as hotblooded anime protagonists go, but the setting is more than entertaining at the moment (until character development kicks in… if there even is going to be any). Jeanne’s role in this seems to be that she’ll be helping Nobunaga with whatever because the voices in her head told her to. There’s not a whole lot to say about her character right now, but that will most likely change in the near future when the plot isn’t so concerned with exposition.

The setting was pretty different. I guess the west is a giant mashup of Europe and the east seems to be Japan (because obviously Japan is the only eastern country that matters ╮(´ー`)╭). There’s a lot of possibilities right now as to how the east and west will interact over the course of the series, so it will be interesting to see how that goes. It would be an interesting side-plot to the main one about Nobunaga uniting the east. …Or at least I assume that Nobunaga’s exploits in the east will take up the majority of the anime, considering the title of the anime. It would be fine if that wasn’t the main focus too, of course. Really, this anime has so many (strange) directions it could go.

Generic Plot with Potential

Nobunaga the FOOL (2)

So many bishies so little time right Anaaga?

Though the setting might be a little bit, um, unusual, I don’t see anything special about the plot of this anime. Basically, this anime is about two different worlds, and one of the worlds happened to be messy with a bunch of lords and so on. Then there’s this one special guy from the lamest and most outdated province (because every hero in this world comes from the suckiest places ever) that will rise into power from the help of a super cute blond chick with the potential of being useless and some mysterious power from the other world. This guy, which happened to be Nobunaga, will not only save his world of course but also the other world since the chick, Jeanne Kaguya D’Arc has this premonition that something bad will happen to both worlds. And that’s probably the only useful thing from her. So yeah, ignoring all the setting, it’s just the usual hero plot with endless of predictable events and ending(s).

Thankfully, the setting balances the generic plot of the anime. Yes, the characters might be odd since they’re literally history and legends mashed up together, but the setting has everything that can make the generic plot looks less generic. It has the mysterious mecha whose origin can be dug further, the legend of the worlds’ origin can be used to max during Nobunaga’s quests, and so on. All of these things can be fused together to create this mind screw that can make the audience brim in excitement. Truth is, every anime and manga uses this formula. What makes this anime different is the setting though. It’s weird, and that’s it. But it’s a fact right that some people watch this anime because of it’s weird setting (at least, I do)? It’s so weird, it’s so messy, it’s so full of potential that can keep the audience’s interest. Of course, now it’s up to the studio whether they can use the setting’s potential to the max to make the plot more interesting.

Extra fools

Nobunaga the FOOL (4)

I love this character already!

Nobunaga the FOOL (7)

Ihave seriously missed hearing Mamoru Miyano~

Nobunaga the FOOL (8)


Nobunaga the FOOL (5)

Jeanne is not in the mood.

End thoughts

Well that was certainly a strange episode and a bit messy in terms of setting things up and just like every typical mecha the main character finds his giant robot, but it was different with Nobunaga jumping right into his robot with Jeanne on his lap? It sure is tough being Nobunaga right guys? Besides all the wacky things going on it was great to hear Mamoru Miyano, Yoko Hikasa, Yuuki Kaji and of course the best actor ever Tomokazu Sugita! So what did you think of this episode? Are you planning on giving it two more episodes or is one enough for you?

Well that was something. Apparently someone went “let’s combine absolutely everything and see what happens”, and thus, Nobunaga the Fool was created. Though with so many iconic figures from history running around, one really has to wonder how many historic events are going to take place.  For example, just in case you haven’t been paying attention to history class (like I’m one to talk, everything I know about this part of Japanese history is almost entirely due to Sengoku Basara and otome games), Mitsuhide is the one who kills Nobunaga. Of course, the fact that mecha, dinosaurs, and intergalactic travel all seem to coexist in this anime doesn’t exactly give the creators the obligation to be historically accurate about everything. As for this opening episode itself, that was pretty entertaining due to how weird it was. Now let’s watch Nobunaga unite the east using the power of Europe(?)’s giant robots. …Yeah.

That was interesting. The setting, I mean, not the characters. So far the characters are meh, but it’s nice how the studio decided to add more depth into Nobunaga’s story by putting the reason of his ambition in the first episode already. With Nobunaga, I can put some hope in the characters,  though I’m not so sure about the others since it seems that all of them will have little development. It’s all about Nobunaga, after all. Back to the setting. The setting is interesting, so I’m curious how the story is going to end up with that kind of setting. Will it be as good and plausible as Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, or will it be another mecha train-wreck like Valvrave?


Nobunaga the FOOL (1)

Nobunaga is itching for a mecha battle!


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44 Responses to “First impressions – Nobunaga the Fool”

  1. skylion says:

    Yeah, this is the stuff that Kawamori is smoking! EVOL had the destiny of 12,000 years, and Fudo Zen rocking the house. 00 had the line of understudies and successors. The guy loves repeating memes,and The Fool is no exception.

    Arthur rallied his fellow Brits to stave off foreign attack, just as Oda would help further Nihonjin pride in the emerging nation, not just a collection of warring states (it still took quite some time to manifest). Jeanne d’Arc also helped strengthen Frankish resolve against the invading Britons. They all recognized common foes.

    Even Leonardo was part of the act in his time and place as he wrote several tracts against Italian city-state warfare; he saw the cannon as a sign of mutually assured destruction. One heck of a common foe.

    How does this work out in this story. Heck, if this history of East Star and West Star has it’s own repeating memes, then something big is coming over the horizon.

    I’m pretty hooked.

    • Di Gi Kazune says:

      Arturia should just spam EKUSUKALIBAAAA~.

      • skylion says:

        Knowing how Kawamori thinks, this should not be out of the realm of possibility…for the given value of EKUSUKALIBAAAA (remember Soul Eater).

    • Foshizzel says:

      Yeah its great to see Kawamori in his element with crazy mecha designs! I can’t wait to see Nobunaga get some kind of power up types of attacks from Aquarion like the mugen punch?! AWwwweee yeaaah! PUNCH THE MOON!

      Ah so Arthur and Oda are similar in personality? That might make for some interesting battles if those two ever get into a battle! Damn that has me excited.

      I am hooked as well.

  2. Di Gi Kazune says:

    I’m sorry, but if Jeanne d’Arc is going to be the damsel in distress type of character… pass

    Even Madoka had her as a strong magical girl.

    Ultimately Jeanne should be like:

    She should be the one doing the ASS-Kicking and Nobunaga her slave.

    Leo kinda reminds me of King Radical. M-O-S-T R-A-D-.

    • skylion says:

      It’s still too soon to tell. Jeanne d’Arc lead from the front when the Franks were busy kicking Briton tail…the should have stayed in Normandy!

      • Di Gi Kazune says:

        The issue is that Jeanne needs to be kicking ass right from the word GO!

        On your suggestion, I will give her ONE more episode to start dishing out KICKASS (her own allies’ asses are fair game as well.)

    • Foshizzel says:

      Awwww why not? I guess that might be annoying if it comes true and with all these guys around I am sure she will be perfectly fine.

  3. zztop says:

    The one thing I noticed right off the bat was the bishie character designs…

    Character designs are done by Kazuki Yone, who also did the designs for the Hakuoki and Hiiro no Kakera romance games.




    Personally I like the European/Japanese dragon tapestries in the intro. 😀

    • zztop says:

      The real Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Nobunaga’s right-hand man, was recorded as having monkey-like facial features and a thin build. @( o・ω・)@

      In that respect, Yone definitely captured the description well.( ´ ▽ ` )

      • skylion says:

        His first wife called him “The Bald Rat” so, history is a fun place…

        • skylion says:

          …or he was a bishie that came from the future…Oda Nobuna, still best….

    • Foshizzel says:

      Yaaaarrr bishie designs will bring in all the fangirls~

      • BlackBriar says:

        Yeah, then they’ll reveal the closet fujoshis. You know they’re hiding somewhere. Right, Anaaga? 😉

  4. zztop says:

    The east seems to be Japan (because obviously Japan is the only eastern country that matters ╮(´ー`)╭)…

    To be fair, the Japanese are making it,so of course they’d focus on their own history.
    If it was the Koreans or vice-versa, the creators would use their own native histories too.

    • skylion says:

      If I was more cynical, I would tie this in to Japan’s current state of high nationalism. But any reading of history shows that this is incredibly common.

      • Highway says:

        Well, I don’t know if it’s as much Japanese nationalism as much as historical animosity between all the nations in that part of the world.

        • skylion says:

          Nothing like regional animosity to build strong nationalism; it really does get as simple as “We aren’t those other people, RAAAAARRRR”

    • Foshizzel says:

      True that!

    • Irenesharda says:

      Yeah, but it does seem weird that we have a planet that’s only Japan and the other is a Western world stew. Also I might be wrong but the Japanese characters seem to be all from around the same period of time while the Western ones are from all over the place. I won’t be surprised if suddenly Cleopatra, George Washington, Rasputin, Columbus, Charles De Gaulle, and Shakespeare don’t all show up as well.

  5. Highway says:

    I’ve been calling this one “Nobu-nabe the stew”. It’s ‘throw everything in the pot and see if it can make sense’. It wasn’t awful, but it didn’t really do much for me. Just throwing all those expys together doesn’t mean anything to me.

    • Foshizzel says:

      That is a good call Highway I thought the same thing! I am curious to see where things are going, but I can already tell a lot of people are going to drop this series because it comes off as being messy or uninteresting.

      • Highway says:

        That might be the reason I drop it eventually. If it’s just ‘Soandso is important because they *were* important’ then it’s not really interesting. These characters have to be important because of what they’re doing in the show, and if anything use the name as just historical reference about HOW they do what they do. Just having Joan of Arc be a random girl in the show means they could have named her anything. Just having the loud sidekick guy be Leonardo Da Vinci doesn’t mean anything at all.

        • skylion says:

          It’s still early days, but I think they have a good base to build on…who and what they are and do have yet to begin. But I can see that as a good reason to leave the show behind.

    • skylion says:

      I have to admit, I am of the same mind, but I still want to see the recipe play out…I will give Kawamori my trust.

    • Irenesharda says:

      Hmm, this series had a good start. I have a feeling that it wanted and was trying to be grand, but this really seems to be one of those cases when a show tries too hard.

      First, I really like the idea of the Eastern and Western worlds being separated into two stars. I thought that really fascinating seeing the juxtaposition of the samurai-era Japan and the medieval Europe. I haven’t quite got an understanding of what the plot is supposed to be other than somehow uniting the two worlds, however that kind of confused me, in fact, the entire episode was a bit confusing. It’s weird, it’s like I know what was going on on screen, and yet, I still didn’t know what was going on overall.

      First, there was A LOT of exposition at the beginning of this, which is not a good thing. Also, they decided to throw in everything including the kitchen sink when it comes to historical figures. This show decided to throw in famous figures from all over history on both sides of the East and West. We get Joan of Arc, Leonardo Da Vinci, Ferdinand Magellan, and King Arthur just to name a few. On the East’s side, we get Oda Nobunaga, Akechi Mitsuhide, Mori Ranmaru, and I think Sarutobi Sasuke to name a few.

      However, while I can kind of understand why all the Japanese figures are thrown together (and thankfully, as I admit to being one of those Americans who know little of history outside of that of the western world, it was a good thing that I had watched Sengoku Basara a few years ago or I would have never know anything about these guys ) the western figures are not really explained that well and why they have all been tossed together. Jeanne, other than that early scene, acts pretty ditsy and weak in comparison to the strong woman warrior that she’s supposed to represent. Leonardo doesn’t seem to have much to him, and in fact the whole western side seems to be lacking in terms of plot development.

      I understand that this is the first episode and that this is told moreso from the East Star perspective since Nobunaga is supposed to be the MC. However, if this story is supposed to be about united the East and the West, I need to see more of the West and see why it’s supposedly important that these two worlds mesh. As it looks now, it really seems as if the two worlds simply ignore each other, and that the East world has to unite itself before even thinking of trying to unite with the West. I guess it does mirror our own history as it were, I just wish it was told more coherently.

      I think that’s what’s missing here: a bit of coherence. You have what is a very interesting world. I can assure you that having a samurai world, or even a medieval European world and then adding mechs is pretty cool and the animation, music, and character design is pretty great as well. However, there are many times where I feel as if I’m just watching things move on screen with little overall meaning and no coherence. It’s like they’re trying to cover a lot of material without giving much life to the characters they’ve thrown in. Not a single character is really developed much beyond face value, and it’s a real shame because I want to get to know these characters better.

      Hopefully they will do more with this, it is only the first episode after all. I’m intrigued and I want to see what they do with it.

      • Irenesharda says:

        Weird….I didn’t set this up as a reply? Sorry about that. 😛

    • Irenesharda says:

      Yeah, I felt a bit like this. It feels like a big hodgepodge, but you the wonder if it really means anything. Are these characters (especially the West ones) any more significant because of their historical names or could these characters have been completely new and not lost their meaning?

      • skylion says:

        I think they will have both traits in different measures. Of course, they will shape and be shaped by this world.

  6. zztop says:

    I’ll stay for seconds.This stew looks interesting. Waiter!!( ´ ▽ ` )ノ

    • BlackBriar says:

      If it gets better, I might stick around for thirds or the main course.

  7. anaaga says:

    I just realized how odd the CG mecha looks in that animated sky (the preview). So. Painful.

    • AllenAndArth says:

      i would have never realised that if it weren’t for Naa-chan’s comment… super strange indeed, it looks misplaced, like they just shoved it in there and hoped no one noticed… or maybe it was to give priority to the mecha… or not!

  8. BlackBriar says:

    I’m calling it now: This is going to be a train wreck but may prove to be an epically enjoyable one. It’s much better compared to the first episode of Buddy Complex (The 3 episode rule flag has been raised on that one).

    What really caught my interest was the bold move of integrating futuristic mecha with historical periods. Nobunaga, Jeanne D’Arc and Da Vinci in the same timeline. Should we expect some cowboys or Vikings along the line? We’ve already heard King Arthur (Arturia for all we know) is not too far behind and might be holding Excalibur as we speak.

    Bottom line: This show is odd but has me wanting to see more. Count me in for a few more episodes.

    • skylion says:

      Right there with ya….

    • akagami says:

      Hmmm, I’m the totally opposite, I’m cautiously optimistic on Buddy Complex but I’m giving Nobunaga the Fool one more episode before dropping.

      The idea sounds good, but the first episode was poorly executed imo. That and the mechs are just horribad. Reminds me of Chamber, and I thought that was an ugly design as well.

  9. Rathje says:

    It was alright… interesting and stuff…

    But honestly, I think I’ll see how the reviews go before bothering to watch much more of this, unless the mood strikes me.

  10. AllenAndArth says:

    they mixed strange world, mecha, war, japanese history and european history and reincarnation…I approve of this message o/
    this anime made a strike in my heart when the riding dragons showed! definetely seeing this!
    though…my inner mecha-fanatic was a little miffed…
    but, nevermind that let’s hope they keep up the same style, or i’ll be disappointed!

  11. akagami says:

    I have to agree with you Karakuri and Highway. I was coming in expecting this show to blow me off my feet and it totally let me down instead. It’s just a mess, a whole bunch of things thrown together with some string to tie it all together.

    It doesn’t help that the main character really rubs me the wrong way (and a really bland generic character design).

    Show ▼

    Guess it shows you that sometimes hype is just hot air about nothing.

  12. Namika says:

    Haven’t watched this yet, but it strongly reminded me of something.

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