Anime: Nobunagun Complete Series (Limited Edition)
Released By: FUNimation
Release Date: June 2nd, 2015
Retail Price: $69.98
Shio Ogura, is a seemingly average Japanese high school student, who, while visiting Taiwan on a trip with her school, is suddenly attacked by various monsters. Agents known as “E-Gene Holders” from a government agency named DOGOO also arrive, who are armed with weapons infused with the spirits of historical key figures. However in the fray of it all, Shio is revealed to also be an E-Gene Holder herself when the soul of Oda Nobunaga awakens after she tries to rescue a friend. The action/adventure series explains the original concept that transfers the essence of important figures in history before their moment of death so they can reappear at one point in the future when needed. However, there is not an actual way to detect these E-Gene Holders until they are discovered by their awakening, which is the way Ogura Sio (Nobunagun) taps into her abilities.
While on her trip, the loner (and military aficionado) Sio is warming up to the popular student Asao Kaoru, and she quickly becomes flustered and exhibits the typical signs of having a crush until they are attacked by Evolutionary Invasion Objects, aliens that root themselves in the universe through cells in meteors before adapting to the planet that they invade by observing and adapting to different examples of life, until they can further evolve as an ultimate being that will dominate the world. When Sio begins to watch her friend/crush in peril (as mentioned earlier) she takes the device that activates a E-Gene holders (courtesy of Jack the Ripper) and goes into full-on battle blitz as she guns down fleets of the creatures. The concept for Nobunagun is very unique on its own, and I can’t quite draw another anime comparison, despite getting lost from time to time in the chaotic battles.
The characters of Nobunagun are very appealing for their multi-leveled personalities. The characters that you think you have a grip on (for their typical characteristics) are altered by their E-Gene state. You see them each begin to cope with different memories and abilities of their historic predecessors, and find a balance throughout the series. Where this becomes complex, is the way they actually incorporate their views of historic figures that comes off offensive at moments. The portrayal of Gandhi was the most frustrating who teases Sio and has an addiction to surrounding himself with girls, while Japan is made out to be victimized by series view of history. The historical aspects of Nobunagun could obviously be tweaked, or have more depth, because the seriousness trumps the humor (as opposed to a historic/worldly anime series Hetalia.)
The animation is a major selling point for Nobunagun, and I can’t quite pinpoint one scene where I wasn’t interested visually, though I will admit the endless barrage of demons and bullet shells becomes hard to focus on from time to time. The audio is also something enjoyable to the anime, with the voice actress for Sio wavering between cutesy-awkward girl, and badass militant Nobunagun who mows downs her enemies. If there are any yuri readers reading this, or anyone who may have a fan-service guilty pleasure residing within you, there is definitive fan service in the series, through jokes and compromising scenarios. Sure I may not have a specific appreciation for yuri-fan service, (or fan-service in general) but there is a very wide audience who will come to love Nobunagun for it. With interesting characters, action, and don’t forget…inaccurate history, Nobunagun is a very unique series that fans will most likely enjoy, and an ending that provides closure as well as answers.
Aedan’s Final Thoughts
-I really enjoyed Sio’s character; she has an interesting almost bipolar personality that is triggered by her E-Gene
-The action sequences are very elaborate, often using many foes as opposed to one.
-I enjoyed scenes between Sio and Asao, I would have liked more focus on the pairing.