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2014 WINTER FIRST IMPRESSIONS: NOBUNAGA THE FOOL

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Nobunaga The Fool Anime

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The new anime season has begun. We are a few weeks into it and I figured it was time for me to give my thoughts on the shows. So, these next slew of articles will have my first impressions on a bunch of new anime that has recently came out this past winter. Now, these won’t be long but rather just give you an idea of what I saw and how I feel about the show. With that squared away, let’s get down to business as my first first impression will be on … Nobunaga the Fool.

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Once, the planet was bound together by something called the Ama-no-Hashidate. Yet, as cultures ended up dying out, the planet was split in two: the Western Planet and the Eastern Planet. On the Western Planet, Jeanne Kaguya D’Arc was starting to get visions of the Savior King that will save her planet in the midsts of an ancient culture renaissance. She goes on the quest to find the Savior King with Leonardo Da Vinci, as they land on the Eastern Planet where they meet Nobunaga, who is often called “The Fool.” Nobunaga, a noble on the Eastern Planet, joins with Jeanne and Leonard with his friends Mitsuhide and Hideyoshi. Unfortunately, Leonardo and Jeanne are targeted by the hierarchy of King Arthur as he sends Magellan and Julius Caesar them while Nobunaga’s own enemies are attacking. Yet, with the mecha that Leonardo gives Nobunaga, things start to heat up. Is Nobunaga the Savior King?

And that is pretty much a recount of the first two episodes. Nobunaga the Fool is an anime adaption of Shoji Kawamori’s The Fool stage play. This blends historical figures with fantasy and mecha in a story that promises adventure, mystery and intrigue. The anime is produced by Satelight, directed by Eiichi Sato with original character designs by Yone Kazuki.

THE GOOD:

The show has come on strong. The plots are engaging. The character are multi-faceted, entertaining and great to watch. There is a real sense of wonder with this show as East meets West in a whole different way. Kawamori makes sure that we are captured that wonder through the eyes of Jeanne, Hideyoshi and even Nobunaga. He also seems to blend this universe of real life characters mixed in this sci fi setting well as we get a glimpse of the antagonists, King Arthur and a Knights of the Round Table, with an incarnation like you wouldn’t believe; including Magellan and Julius Caesar.

The show’s pacing is great for both episodes and it is not too fast or too slow. It gives just enough time to show character development, move plots along and keep you interested then moves to the next scene. Nothing feels forced on the show and each episode ends with a solid cliffhanger than makes you want to watch the next one.
The animation is fluid, colorful and detailed. There is a great sense of styles clashing, yet still, the animators make it work so well. The redesigns of the classic figures such as Joan of Arc, Nobunaga and Leonardo Da Vinci are striking; yet fit well for their personalities on the show. The backgrounds are lush and the movement is very good. The CG even looks good in this show, adding to its impressive look and feel.

So far, we got a very strong cast here that includes Mamoru Miyano (Light from Death Note & Setsuna from Gundam 00) as our lead, Nobunaga. A boisterous attitude that is a little reckless but still very wise, Miyano delivers a strong performance in these first two episodes. Miyano is joined by Yoko Hikasa (Kei from Majestic Prince) plays a strong yet vulnerable Jeanne Kaguya D’Arc. We get some scene stealing dialogue from Leonardo Da Vinci, who is voiced by veteran seiyuu, Tomokazu Sugita ( Gintoki of Gintama). Other cast members include Yuuki Kaiji as Hideyoshi, Takahiro Sakurai as Mitsu and Yuihi Nakamura as Julius Caesar.
The soundtrack is good so far. The opening theme, Fool The World by Minori Chihara, is a decent theme. The background music works well for the show with some good pieces that is typical of Kawamori shows. Yet, it is the ending theme that is by far the most impressive. Axis by Stereo Dive Foundation is much like this show, mixing different types of music together and does so so very well, dubstep, hip hop and rock fuse for a pulse pounding ending theme that I really enjoy.

THE BAD

Absolutely nothing.

OVERALL IMPRESSION

Nobunaga the Fool is starting off just right with great characters, stunning animation, interesting story and a polished voice cast. This group works well together and they know it. You can hear it during the episode. The concept is great and original … somewhat anyway. The battles are good and I have to admit, I really enjoy watching the show and taking it all in to get the full experience. So, my first impression of Nobunaga the Fool gets …. 5 stars out of 5. You can find it on Crunchyroll.

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