Saturday, February 7, 2015

Mechanime Update: Nobunaga the Fool

I'm a sucker for this show. Or should I say fool?...Sorry that was terrible.
When I reviewed Nobunaga the Fool, I gave it a 9/10 without much difficulty. I thought it was a great anime, with a creative concept, endearing characters, and great writing. Since then, I’ve watched up to episode 12, and my opinion of it remains unchanged. This follow up isn’t so much a re-review, but a chance to talk about any changes or developments in the plot.

Just a warning: I will be getting into spoiler territory, since I can’t really explain some of these points without some spoilerific examples.

Also, before we begin, I have a correction to make. In my review, I said Nobunaga was the heir to the Owari clan. This is incorrect: his clan is the Oda clan, and Owari is the area they control. Its not a huge mistake, but I still feel the need to correct. Anyway, on to the actual update.

The Regalia
That little trinket can give your mech wind turbines! Some assembly acquired, batteries not included.
The special macguffins of this series are the Regalia, special pendants that, when in the right hands, can augment the abilities of the pilot’s War Armor. For example, the Regalia of wind gives the War Armor a set of turbines that can create powerful wind storms, and the Regalia of light allows the pilot to use a barrier creating staff. The Regalia become central plot elements as the series goes on. The attachments themselves are very cool, and allows for some ridiculously awesome moments, like Hideyoshi using the Regalia of wind to create a tidal wave that destroys an entire fleet of invading ships.

Shift to Character Development
Hideyoshi is my favorite character due to his backstory and good nature.
In the more recent episodes I’ve watched, the focus seemed to shift away from action and more towards character development. Characters are given more developmental moments and backstory moments, while the fight scenes are short. This isn’t a problem though; as I’ve said, the writing of this show is excellent. If anything, I’m now more attached to these characters given their recent development. And there are still plenty of awesome moments, like were Kenshin (a rival warlord) defeats an attacking army by creating a fissure for them to fall in.

Actual Consequences
"Questions? Yes, Nobukatsu?"
"Uh, yeah, why did you kill me?"
Let me just tell how refreshing it is to see a show that features characters facing consequences for their actions. If one of the heroes here messes up, it shows, and it actually impacts the characters and plot. For example, Mitsuhide, in order to ensure the Oda clan unites behind Nobunaga and not his brother Nobukatsu, assassinates the latter and blames a rival clan. However, there are several scenes where Mitsuhide feels regret, including one scene where he wakes up from a night terror. After seeing so many shows and movies were most protagonists get no worse than a slap for messing up, its great to see actual consequences.

Oh Look, Fanservice!
Write your own witty caption, I'm a bit distracted.
Yeah, this series has some fanservice. Compared to some more modern animes, its not too bad, but its still noticeable. Most of it comes at the expense of Jeanne’s giant breasts, but there is one moment where the camera is fixed on Himiko’s butt. I mention this because Himiko still has the body of a prepubescent girl. While the line accompanying the fanservice is fairly amusing (“I’ve honed my skills with years of fantasies!”), its still a little girl. But as I said, its not too bad, and as of episode 12, I can count the incidents of fanservice on one hand.

Freaking Ley Lines, How Do They Work?
Insane Samurai Posse!
A central element of the plot in later episodes are ley lines, and honestly, I have no idea what they are. I probably wasn’t paying attention, but its not explained clearly what they are. From what I could gather, they’re the energy given off by the Earth, and the Regalia may or may not use them to activate their powers. Like I said, its not clear, but this may as much be my fault as much as the show’s.

That ought to cover it. Once again, I urge you to watch this anime. Until next time, see ya.

This has nothing to do with anything, I just really love this pose.

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