Before I get into this show, let me explain its title. NOBUNAGUN is a portmanteau of "gun" and "Nobunaga"--as in Oda Nobunaga, credited with helping to unify Japan as one nation in the 16th century thanks in part to his brutality on the battlefield. Nobunaga is often depicted in popular culture as demonic, and frequently as a demon.
Does this sound like the kind of guy you'd like to share a soul with? Because that's what's happening to Ogura Shio. Obsessed with military tech, she's been outcast by her classmates. When a bunch of monsters come out of the sea and attack her school's field trip, though, she awakens to the fact that she is effectively the reincarnation of Oda Nobunaga, and uses some funky magic-science to summon a giant, badass gun and proceeds to make sushi out of the invaders.
Despite starting with cryptic flashback war dreams, NOBUNAGUN takes time to get off the ground. Shio has to go through your standard high school protagonist procedure of sleeping late, running to make it to school on time, and experiencing ennui due to her exclusion. But even in the course of this there are some interesting touches to read into; all of Shio's classmates cast shadows colored with flowers while Shio's shadow is tinged with military camo, underscoring her nonconformity.
But the real star of the show is Nobunaga, despite barely being in it. In all his scenes he is what we refer to colloquially as a BAMF, but in the final bit of this premiere episodes he's got the best "chew on the scenery like a rabid dog" scenes in recent memory and a laugh that will haunt your dreams.
Now there's a whole lot here I'm not feeling positive about, like the fact there are several other people who also have special powers due to their historical figure reincarnation; none of them are anywhere near as interesting as the Nobunaga/Shio combo. The fight scenes are lazily animated and don't bode well for the future of the show. But I honestly know I'm going to check out episode two no matter how much I know better.
I really, REALLY like maniacs.
You can watch "Oda Nobunaga", the first episode of NOBUNAGUN, here, and decide for yourself! Already watched it? Leave a comment in the talkback below!
About the Author
Matt Murphy is a freelance nerd who has contributed to many nerd websites. You can reach him by going to where the light meets the shadow, by sending out zeta-brainwaves or by following him on Twitter @Murphix.