Hello folks! Oda Nobuna no Yabou finally finished airing its first season allowing me to finally poke at it in more detail. It’s an Anime about a Sagara going back in time to an alternate time-line with all the Japanese daiymo being females, or most of them. Both Sagara and Oda Nobuna work together to unify Japan.
(Link – MySite) – NO-BU-NA!~ NO-BU-NA!~
(All images taken using Fraps & WMP; Article may contain spoilers.)
Spoiler Warning: Article will contain spoilers from episodes 1-12! Feel free to skim if you wish to spoil yourself.
Oda Nobuna was an Anime I was originally going to let slide off my radar due to the ecchiness showed on the trailer. Oda Nobuna was supposed to be an ecchi harem to the point of over-kill, or as it was advertised to be. I wouldn’t blame the people who decided to let it slide off into nothingness, but I will blame those that dropped it on a whim or to be cool.
(Wait for it to get pulled for stupid reasons.)
This anime is both predictable yet surprising in so many ways that it made people wait in impatience for the next episode, even to the point of making me even re-watch it on many occasions.
The story takes place during the Sengoku period during the civil war to unite Japan under one banner. Sagara and Oda Nobuna group up after he saved her from the enemy, with very amusing results all throughout. Now with Sagara no where to really he more than happily attempts to assist Nobuna in every tasks possible, though nicknamed “Monkey” in both historical and comedy sense. What Sagara immediately finds out that the samurai lords (Daiymo’s) all turned into beautiful or under-aged beautiful girls.
Sagara’s side-goal is both turning all the samurai girls into his beautiful little harem as with guiding Oda Nobuna on the right path in conquest to unite Japan.
The Anime itself follows the history timeline firmly enough to allow both accuracy and comical deviations for Anime purposes. This actually keeps those not familiar with the timeline and those that are on their toes at all times, if predictable in certain places. It strongly points out that even if you know the future that it never stays certain due to choices being made to “correct” certain situations. What was once known for certain now becomes as much as a surprise to even a “historical expert” of Japan.
– Fun Factor & References:
The fun partabout this show is that it takes itself both seriously as it does comically. It manages to balance both comedy and seriousness equally that one would happily watch this show, possibly even re-watching it constantly. It managed to hook you in and entertain you to the point that you just want to watch more of it’s comical seriousness. Example? When Katsuie was ready to slay a daiymo only to Katsuie’s assets to make her stop. Which daiymo? For me to know and you to find out by watching!
Another fine example would be how Inuchiyo points out how useless woman’s breasts are by stretching Sagara’s mouth. Another situation also involves Inuchiyo poking at Katsuie’s breasts, calling them bags of fat. Strangely enough Inuchiyo gets hit, not Sagara which brought in a breath of fresh air for not using Sagara as a torture stick.
There are also obvious historical inaccuracies, but that is the fun of it all! It is however done in the way you wouldn’t really notice them, making them falsely culturally and period accurate.
It also loves referencing itself to “The Ambition of Oda Nobunaga“, which is also an actual game that was made. When Sagara explains the situations in his game there are screenshots taken from said game and placed into the anime, though not 100% accurate most likely.
As mentioned, each Samurai lord was changed into females with a few exceptions. Character designs are drawn up in your typical ecchi-comedy type manner. Though, that doesn’t mean the characters are to be taken lightly, ignored, to be viewed as generic. These characters are surprisingly detailed, change constantly, and even express as much as emotion as any top-rated Anime out there. Each character has some form of depth that makes them enjoyable in some manner. Granted, some simply stay mysterious.
The most surprising factor about this anime was how Sagara pulled his weight as a main character. He would constantly intervene, at his own discretion of course, to assist whoever needed help at that very moment. He doesn’t give up, nor does he flee. He constantly flirts with danger giving a proper reason for daiymo’s to flock to him instead of simply pampering him. Because of his pride in the game covering the Sengoku period Sagara goes on missions that should actually be way over his head, though he manages to pull them off all thanks to his historical game knowledge. He is Oda Nobuna’s greatest asset thanks to his contributions and behavior. He does occasionally wish for girls yet that gets lamp-shaded swiftly by either him or the other female characters, either by comical force or distractions. Due to his behavior and how he looks (also historically referenced) he was nicknamed “Monkey” or “Saru” in Japanese.
Even without Sagara there personally, his possessions were just as useful, if not more so than he was. Cliche at times, but him and his items were of great use.
Seeing Oda Nobuna as a tsundere princess and the ruler of the Oda clan is at the very least interesting. Her bluntness to be herself, her desire to conquer and unite Japan, along with doing what other lords makes her both suited and perfect to rule Japan. Similar to Sagara, she constantly flirts with danger, for better or worse all for her dreams to take dreams overseas. Seeing her mentally weaken up to Sagara’s presence makes one both interested and curious as to how she would toughen up by the end of the series.
As much as I disliked Yoshitatsu throughout the Anime I later noticed he was quite forgiving at times in a samurai way. Not the seppuku way, the “honor in battle” way. He followed the samurai code when he wore his red mask, and what he did at the end surprised me only confirming what I noticed episodes earlier.
Granted, there are cases were characters are very generic or lightly used. Some look generic while others just simply look like your typical comical light-hearted Anime, while others get the more detailed look.
– Favorite Character:
(Branching off from above.)
For me, as a favorite, I would have a tie with Nagahide Niwa and Goemon. Though, people will see me posting more about Goemon’s over Niwa due to Goemon’s more comical speaking patterns. She stumbles while Niwa has that elegant grace to her, enough to be associated as foxy.
One of my favorite characters is voiced by Kaneda Tomoko who voices Shinki Renge in the Busou Shinki anime. Yes, she is my favorite because of said seiyuu. There is however more reasons why I love Goemon the Ninja-Renge, because of her cuteness and how she stumbles when she speaks. She is noticeably cute along with being very useful.
For Niwa it has to be her beauty and elegance. She constantly keeps everybody’s heads cooled off. if anything, she is like a mentor or a teacher with the way she keeps everything under control, rating each situation with with points – Oda’s tea 50 points, Oda’s joke as 5 points, and etc. She is as elegant as she is effective in combat. She dances around the battlefield knocking out foes just like any skilled general, if not more so.
Like with any of my other Anime reviews it is a must for me to mention the music. Oda Nobuna’s music is actually a bit above the average sounding tracks. A lot of care seemed to have been placed into them to make them notable and note-worthy enough.Â Each track actually sounds as it should for an Anime trying to be serious as Oda Nobuna, while carefree (comedy) at the same time.
Oda Nobuna’s Atsumori dance is one such musical piece that made me immediately jump up in my chair in joy from the beauty of it. I wasn’t expecting anything like that to appear in an Anime advertised on ecchiness and harem. Such beauty. If you want to spoil yourself or re-watch it then here is a clip (clicky me).
I have to also note the whole soundtrack as well, even though I haven’t listened to it in full. From what was playing in the Anime sounded high-enough quality that I’d listen to it outside of the Anime. Some would fit into a Total War: Shogun game while others would fit in a more modern version of the Sengoku period. And yes, there are times when the tracks sound your typical comedy types to keep the mood “lightened” when things get tense. It wants to keep you in that perfect balance of entertainment without getting overly serious or stupidly comical.
There are also character albums that I should note as being listen-worthy. Hearing Oda Nobuna sing beautiful while Goemon comically brought a lovely smile to my face. Maybe I’m being bias, yet this and Zakuro no Otohime were the only two character albums I could enjoy to their fullest, or ones I can remember enjoying the most.
– OtherÂ Opinions:
– Battles: The battles are nicely shown, with some being nicely paced and others just briefly looked at. When it does get serious you do feel the stress from the various battle to be had.Â Sometimes we are on the side-lines which gets a bit disappointing while other times we get placed within such battles which ends up not disappointing. Quite nicely done for this type of Anime, with noticeable faults here and there. Won’t complain. Seeing Sagara using tactics not yet used on the battlefield was a nice homage to Oda Nobuna who was going to sooner or later in the timeline.
– Historical Accuracies: As mentioned, this Anime follows the historical Sengoku time-line loosely, yet firm enough that historical experts would be able to follow it easily. I was able to keep up all so slightly thanks to the little I played of Total War: Shogun II and Sengoku Basara. Sagara twists the accuracies into inaccuracies with how he constantly intervenes. Goes without saying the female daiymo’s already made it partly inaccurate.
– Ecchiness: This anime advertised itself as being an overly perverted show which isn’t the case. Sure, it does have ecchiness but it does it so tastefully that you have to search for it or look closely at each female character. When each obvious scenes do play they only last for a minute or two leaving the rest to being subtle. I’d recommend this as a general watch outdoors.
– Magic: What makes this all the more enjoyable is the lack of magic. Only two characters use magic forcing characters to rely on brute strength and tactics. Henbei and Nisahide are the only two able to use magic at will, yet rare enough that they aren’t deemed over-powered. Himiko and the Ninjas show signs through body reading and ninja teleportation.
– Surprise Factor: As predictable as some things could have been they still stayed shocking/surprising when they did happen. You would expect it in one way then it would do it, yet spin it to make it something else. It does this many times and another reason why I love this Anime. It at least tried, and did so to make me impatiently wait for the next episode.
– Image Dump:
I took more than enough images that I needed that I thought I’d simply share them. Ya, I hate myself sometimes for flooding myself and you guys with images but hey, when we like something we tend to over-do it so it’s all good in the end; Kon!
If you want to view them then you may do so, if not skim to my final thoughts below. To view the images just right click -> Open in new window -> if you haven’t already. Have fun!
I did warn you about the spoilers! Your last chance to back out of this article until you finished it!
……AND it ain’t over yet either! I still see ties to a second season as well as it teasing subtly three times for season 2! Please let there be one, Last Exile and Dog Days style! Last Exile took a decade while Dog Days took a year and aired almost exactly as the previous first seasons did. Japan still needs unifying in an alternate time-line!
– Final Thoughts:
Oda Nobuna no Yabou is one awesome anime that needs a strong support! Similar to Otome Yokai Zakuro, I feel that this Anime will be just as under-rated all because the Anime community did what I almost did – ignoring the anime for being ecchi. I highly enjoyed how unique it tried to be along with suppressing the urge for the ecchi-fan service spammage. The battles are actual battles, the struggles and hardships of the characters makes you impatient the next episode.
I’m also praising this Anime because Sagara, the main character, pulled his weight while protecting others when he was absent. He did things I’ve seen other main characters struggle with. His contributions genuinely contributed to Nobuna’s conquest as with being rewarded with group of girls. All the female samurai lords are simply in love, not sexually….simply in-love which I believe negates a harem. They simply want to be around Sagara for how useful he was.
I’ll also have to give my praises to the perfectly placed comedy, without it it would have simply been a generic anime that I would of originally avoided.Â The music as well, I want that OST damn it!
Just so we’re clear: I don’t view Oda Nobuna no Yabou ground-breaking, just highly enjoyable by attempting to break certain molds in places. It feels fresh and unique in various small areas.
– The main character – Sagara a.k.a Saru (Monkey) is one of the best main characters out there. He pulls his weight and contributes loads. If he gets spoiled by woman then that simply means Saru is a bad-ass.
– The battles are actually tense, deadly, and feel as they should. Most of them actually are actually awesome to observe with how formations change and attack.
– Each daiymo, general, and etc feel like genuine characters with their own pain to shoulder. Each feel life-like and are lovable in some way, shape, or form.
– As generic as this Anime might seem it does have nicely placed surprises that makes you question if its cliche or not. Sometimes you get multiple surprises in a row. Take it as it is and enjoy it?
– Awesome soundtrack! Oda Nobuna’s Atsumori dance and the general background seem more than your average Anime.
– Goemon’s running joke about stumbling, stuttering, and catching her own tongue. Kaneda Tomoko voices her who voiced Shinki Renge; Regardless I love Ninja-Renge as her own character, sometimes referring to her as Renge from another life as a joke.
– Follows historical events semi-loosely, yet loosely enough to keep people guessing. It allows itself to be free and enjoyable enough without going overboard.
– Food items, entertainment objects (football/Soccer nets), and equipment not native to the period were made falsely historically accurate for the purpose of the show. It does it in a nice manner.
– Ecchiness fan-service was tamed to the point you had to search for it if you wanted to get horny. When not obvious they were subtle or used as slap-stick comedy.
– Constantly making references to the Oda Nobunaga Sega game constantly as with present day events in a vague manner. Sagara said the world had no wars, meaning Japan itself was peaceful.
– It rushed one battle with Nisahide in Kyo(to) which should of carried over to another episode making it 13 episodes long. Take your time and don’t rush, even if on a budget!
– Noticeable quality in art in certain places, yet understandable due to said scenes being mostly insignificant.
– It didn’t mention how and why Sagara ended up in the Sengoku period with a female Oda Nobuna, generals and warlords. Anything could kill him at any moment yet nobody questioned “WHY” he was there. Nobody investigated in secret. Sure, they did poke but not in detail.
– Lacking in any real merchandise. I tried ordering a few yet got denied. Need Figma’s of the girls themselves! Goemon and Niwa for me please!
I’d give it roughly 8/10
(-1 for a rushed Nisahide battle and -1 for not investigating why Saru is even there in the first place.)
“120 points!” – Niwa
Hope this article wasn’t too much for you to go through or my degrading grammar skills torturing you along the way. I just loved how fun this anime was when I simply wanted to ignore it at first. I feel it’ll get ignored like the Zakuro anime. Thanks for viewing and hope you enjoyed this anime! If not, stop spoiling yourself and watch it!
Goemon, you’re absolutely hilarious! NO-BU-NA!~ NO-BU-NA!~ NO-BU-NA!~ NO-BU-NA!~
Let me know if you like it as much as I did. If not then I’ll think I attract the silent bunches similar to myself.
Peace and stay safe!