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Nobunaga the Fool Collection 2 (anime review)

Nobunaga-the-Fool-Collection-2Title: Nobunaga The Fool: Collection 2 on Blu-ray

Director: Eiichi Sato

Writer: Shoji Kawamori

Studio: Satelight

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: September 29, 2015

Format: Blu-ray / 11 episodes / 275 minutes

Genre: Mecha, Action, Drama, Romance

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B

Synopsis:

As the ley-lines of the Western Star near the point of collapse, the threat of invasion continues to escalate. Fearing attack from their sister world, the Eastern Star braces for the eruption of full-scale interstellar war. Meanwhile, betrayal follows betrayal as the factions seeking the Holy Grail continue to turn on each other. The Table is shattered and with Jeanne in the clutches of Cesar Borgia and Machiavelli, the seer seems destined for torture and burning at the stake. Will history repeat itself or will Nobu be able to pull off a daring rescue? King Arthur’s horrifying plan comes to fruition and the fates of two planets depend on the actions of one man!

Commentary:

In the year of Nobunaga some of the series paying homage to the infamous Japanese warlord who aimed to unite Japan. Nobunaga the Fool does a great job of telling the story of Nobunaga in a fanciful mecha world where the historical warrior of the western past meet the historical warriors of the Japanese past. Of course there is plenty of rewriting of the characters to make them more interesting, but I’m not complaining.

The one area that I felt was missing from the second half of the series was the simplistic persona of Nobunaga. He became much more serious and introspective which ended up loosing some of the charm. The story manages to keep moving forward and we do finally get to the big event, but getting there just isn’t as well put together as the first 13 episodes were.

Overall Grade: B

Nobunaga the Fool as a single series does a great job of blending the history with fantasy and keeping some of the historical realities with the characters even if the story doesn’t really stay in the same universe.

The animation is classic for a mecha and the overall quality makes it very easy to watch the series without any cringe worthy moments. I did think it too a little too long to develop a few of the characters. I guess that the last two despises managed to save the series for me and remind me that this is truly a product of japan not a Japanese story adapted by the North American entertainment industry.

If you are looking for a solid Mecha anime that blends the past with pure fantasy then Nobunaga the Fool is something that you will enjoy for what it is.

Nobunaga The Fool Collection 1(anime review)

Nobunaga The Fool Collection 1Title: Nobunaga The Fool: Collection 1 on Blu-ray

Director: Eiichi Sato

Writer: Shoji Kawamori

Studio: Satelight

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: April 28th, 2015

Format: Blu-ray / 13 episodes / 325 minutes

Genre: Mecha, Action, Drama, Romance

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B+

Synopsis:

Long ago, in an age when the cosmos was still known as Chaos, the world was split into two planets, forming the West and East Stars. After years of war and strife, the Western Star has finally become united under a single king, the legendary Arthur. But conflict still threatens to consume all until hope arises in a vision: a vision of a champion who could save the futures of both worlds.

Setting forth on a dangerous journey, Joan d’Arc must travel from the West world to the East, seeking the man she believes can use the devices of the great Leonardo Da Vinci and become their savior. But will Nobunaga Oda be the kind of man they are expecting? Will history’s greatest heroes find themselves choosing not a liberator, but a destroyer? Or is Nobunaga’s role that of the Fool from a deck of Tarot, the wild card whose purpose is to invoke change, no matter what the cost?

Commentary:

It is great to see the Mecha genre having a bit of a revival and maybe even a renaissance. Nobunaga The Fool takes this literally by introducing historical figures from both the far east and the western cultures divided by worlds not just simple geographical lines on a map. These cultures get to play out a rather interesting battle to see if there is a true Savior King who will save both worlds not just their own. Of course we have king Arthur on the western worlds guiding light and the young and inexperienced Nobunaga for the East to maintain a brash arrogance that represents some level of true grit.

I do like the touch of having these mechanical armor to wield, but so far it has not gotten to any viable explanation on how they power them other than the magical lay lines or dragon lines / earth forces. This aspect comes out a little weak in the story, but that is of no real significance to the series of its value as a solid anime. I guess that if I were to question the physics of anime then most of the great Sci Fi / Mecha series would fall apart rather quickly. It’s not like we question the force in Star Wars so why question the dragon lines in Nobunaga The Fool.

The real strength of the series is the way that these strong characters enter act and develop. For Nobunaga it is obvious from the very beginning that he is something of a adventurist and not concerned with the politics that exists in his fathers world. he is also very crude and undisciplined. In the Japanese voice over with english subtitled version he comes across a little more subdued than he does in the English dub. With that in mind I can easily say that I prefer the brash young man in the English dub. He doesn’t mix words and can even offend in a single word. This plan in your face approach is well suited to his character and in many ways helps save the series from its own heaviness.

Overall Grade: B+

I don’t always gravitate toward mecha series, but it seems that as of late many of them are of a higher quality and have given me a reason to watch out for them. Nobunaga The Fool proves to be one of these series that keeps the action going without a severe amount of repetition. There is also a slick approach to the story that keep the two groups at odds but at the same time interesting in their own right. I know that the story doesn’t compare to Full Metal Panic, but there is something about the series that I like and it reminds of my fondness to the way the characters became well like in the FMP classic.

I am very interested to see how this series ends up and I hope that they just take it higher from here. It can be very easy to screw this up and I have seen it happen all too many time. So, Nobunaga The Fool has a real chance at become something even better lets just hope that the writers don’t give up on the remainder of the story. If you like history or historical figures put in crazy stories you will really like Nobunaga The Fool, I know I do.