|A nice example of a crash and burn anime title.||1 out of 1 user found this review helpful.|
Nobunaga the Fool is essentially an anachronism stew of notable historical figures of eastern and western lore from different time periods living on two separate planets with war slowly erupting between them as the western planet has their own heinous desires with the eastern planet unveiled throughout the course of the series. The series very loosely adapts elements to the historical personas of each character in the series with some of the major characters (particularly Jeanne and Nobunaga) gaining aspects of the historical character they are based off of while many of the Westerners don't get much to them beyond being archetypal evil characters per Japan's usual penchant of demonizing other countries in their works. Mecha, magic and elements of steampunk are also tossed into the mix as mecha serve as the main means of combat for the military in this series with powerful gems called Regalia that serve to amplify the abilities of a mecha and Leonardo Da Vinci milking use of fortunetelling to foretell upcoming events within the series.
The first half of the series sets up Nobunaga's rise to becoming the ruler of his clan and exploring the world of his planet as he gets into conflict with other clans, claims Regalia and hints are dropped over the lurking threat of the Western Planet's influence. This point of the series was solid in that it helped establish the backgrounds and problems facing the major characters of the series and the world of the Eastern Planet.
Unfortunately, the second half is where things start becoming a mess with the title's plot as many of the major Western Planet characters lack the depth and personality of the Eastern Planet ones and makes an attempt at trying to be an epic clash between the Western and Eastern sides yet comes across as more predictable thanks to its milking of action and mecha anime cliches. It also tries establishing an unconvincing love triangle with Nobunaga, Jeanne and Himiko that doesn't get much focus thanks to the plot's greater focus on the conflict between the Western and Eastern planets. Also, the ending of the series is rather awkward as details on aspects of character motives and prophecies are suddenly tossed into the series finale without any hints to their coming or earlier exploration of them.
Visually, the series is one of the better-quality titles I've seen for the year thus far with vivid scenery and a good amount of detail with scenery and character designs. The mecha used in the series are rendered in CG animation and move fluidly in action during heated battle scenes, though they stick out quite prominently compared to the regular animation.
Overall, I found Nobunaga the Fool to be a case of an anime that started off well for its first half, yet crashes and burns for its second half. What started off as solid character focus and plot buildup devolved into fairly typical territory that action/ mecha titles delve into and a subpar attempt at trying to be grandiose with later plot developments. Kind of regret having to go through the second half of this title.