***This is a spoiler free review***
Have you ever started watching something with the intent for it to fail? This might sound strange but after having this show recommended to me by so many people I wanted to come here today and just rant on how horrible it was just so I could stick it in their faces and state they were wrong. Unfortunately I ended up liking Oda Nobuna no Yabou a lot more than I wanted even with its various faults.
Understand this if you are interested in watching this anime; this is not a serious action/adventure show. I was lead to believe after the first couple minutes that this was going to be a storytelling of how our average Joe was going to help lead Japan to peace. While that is the underlying focal point of the show, this show tries to do exactly what Campione! and High School DxD tried to get away with; being a smart harem. This show is a harem first, historical action drama second. The show feeds off of those awkward fanservice scenes that have been recycled throughout anime’s recent history of garbage. Just to note however that this show does not go as far as either Campione! or High School DxD in terms of its fanservice level; I’m just pissed that this aspect really ruined what could have been a great story. The story starts out with our main protagonist Yoshiharu somehow being sent into the past during one of Japan’s civil war struggles. It just so happens that our “hero” is a historical game nut that knows this time period very well. He then uses his knowledge to take Hideyoshi Toyotomi’s (apparently someone really important that ends up dying in the first minutes) place in history to help Nobuna Oda (the head of a noble family and ruler of a part of Japan) unify Japan and end the civil war. The events that take place in the anime are actually pretty interesting to watch unfold because the more Yoshiharu helps Nobuna the more the past begins to change. He must then learn what has really happed compared to what he remembers from his games. There is also some slapstick comedy thrown in here and there making it pretty funny in some cases. Overall the anime is quite interesting to watch it’s just unfortunate that the fanservice scenes really ruined the overall mood of the show.
I was able to watch a blu ray copy of this show (I promise I’ll buy it…eventually) and I have to say that even though it looks great I feel as if Studio Gokumi and MADHOUSE could have done a better job. Compared to other 2012 anime (K, Fate/Zero 2, Nisemonogatari, ext) it falls a little short of what I have come to expect especially from MADHOUSE (not sure how involved they were in making this anime). All the characters, backgrounds, and textures are well defined and have great lighting but there just isn’t anything that makes this show stand out of the crowd. The anime did however do a fantastic job with keeping the heavy action scenes free from any artifacting or loss of quality. Overall a great looking anime but expected more from these two studios.
With the exception of K, this past year of anime has really not progressed very far in terms of using sound as a way of enhancing the overall experience. Some people do not realize how much a perfect score/soundtrack can make even the worst show redeemable. This show does exactly what every other harem anime has done before it; just throw some generic sounding music in with the dialogue and action scenes and as long as the anime looks good it will work. Well it doesn’t. In fact some of the music really distracted me from enjoying the show. It sounded like accurate music for the time period of the show but overall it wasn’t done very well. The only reason I am giving the sound category anything above a 4 is because the voice actors did do a pretty good job. Each character’s emotions are amplified by their respective voice actor’s performance.
The characters of Oda Nobuna no Yabou actually do a pretty good job of providing some interesting moments throughout the entire anime. The relationship between Nobuna and Yoshiharu seems to escalate a little too quickly but this in the end helps provide some funny scenes with all the misunderstandings Yoshiharu gets into. The other main characters of the anime are pretty interesting and help make this war drama work even if every serious moment it ruined by Yoshiharu quest to have the most beautiful women in Japan. Now that I think about it even though Yoshiharu is a perv in most cases, he is actually a breath of fresh air compared to other harem leads. He is somewhat intelligent, caring, and bold. The fact that he is a more dominant male lead is a welcome compared to the generic no balls male lead we usually get in harems. Overall the characters help make the show more interesting but like I said earlier on I really think this show could have been one hundred times better if they just took the fanservice out and kept it an action/adventure with some comedy.
Even though I ended up ranting on about the fanservice ruining the overall experience of the show, I did end up enjoying it. Heck I even rated it 4/5 stars on my profile because although the unnecessary stuff does hinder the series, the characters and plot helped make it an enjoyable experience. I do not hate fanservice if it is in say a romantic comedy placed in the present and maybe in a high school setting but when you try to mix it with a war drama it doesn’t always work out the same way. I wanted to hate this show just so I could say “Hey guess what, it sucks!” but I cannot tell a lie; this is an enjoyable show. Far from perfect but by no means unwatchable.
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