Samurai Warriors (Sengoku Musou)

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

This season’s token visit to the Warring Kingdoms period, because the schedule just wouldn’t be complete without one. Adapted from a series of hack&slash videogames.

There was a OVA prologue of this that got broadcast 9 months ago and completely fell under my radar ; fortunately, Crunchyroll had the good sense of snagging the rights to it, so I’m probably watching it momentarily. This first episode does a good job of getting the viewer back to speed, anyway.


This show earns immediate brownie points for having everyone at about the right gender (and even some of the cast over 20 !), although the presence of a number of skimpily-clad warrior girls makes me doubt its strict historical accuracy.

Another good surprise : Oda –ing Nobunaga does NOT feature in this ; it’s set after his death, with Hideyoshi now running the show and on the verge of conquering all of Japan, with Kanto as the last holdover. This isn’t a time period usually covered by this subgenre, so my interest perks right up.

Our actual protagonist is Yukimura, hot-headed middle-ranked warrior. The type who runs to the sieged enemy fortress just before the all-out assault to ask for a duel with their top general, in a probable effort to avoid bloodshed. (He’s got a girl sidekick/future-wife in tow, mostly to square off with the general’s similarly-female top sidekicks.)

Nobuyuki, his brother, is obviously facepalming offscreen, but goes off after him to help him out (with his own girl sidekick in tow). After all, they do love each other.

And then they win. (With the help of the full force coming right after them, of course.) And we get the full “happy ending” course, including the sudden marriages. At episode 1 out of 12. This is obviously not going to stand.

Production Values

Okay enough. Everyone wears way too fancy armour to really feel historically-accurate (to say nothing of the somersaulting around), but at least everyone has distinctive enough character designs to help mitigate the massive number of character introductions.

Overall Impression

Fascinating. A Sengoku-era series that completely bypasses Oda Nobunaga and goes for the relatively unexplored territory of what happened next ? That’s quite refreshing, and enough to catch my interest a bit. But on the other hand, there are still some silly bits here that could grate on me very quickly if left unchecked. The characters have yet to win me over, and I’m still unsure how complex the politics at play here will turn out to be.

There’s a lot that can go wrong here, but it’s at least earned my checking out the OVA, and probably a second episode. I’m curious.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Winter 2015 – Page 2.

Nobunaga Concerto

(12ish episodes ?)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of yet another manga where a random Japanese teenager travels to the past and switches places with Nobunaga Oda.


Saburou, our lead character. Not very bright, shallow, terrible at Japanese history (he vaguely remembers about this Nobunaga dude) : the perfect protagonist for this kind of story ! How he travels to the past is refreshingly unexplained (it just happens suddenly).

Nobunaga himself happens to be passing by, on the run from servants who want him to stay at home. Hey, random weird lookalike, want to take my place for a while ? I’ll give you this cool sword. Saburou’s all “hey, cool sword” (after a bit of “where’s the camera filming this, anyway ?”), but quickly realizes that Nobunaga’s early life was a bit prison-like, and wants to go home.

Kichou, Nobunaga’s wife. “Wait, he had a wife ? She’s cute !” And so Saburou decides to stay around a bit more. She’s all too happy from the attention, after him seemingly having forgotten all about her. (“I know it was an arranged marriage, but still…”)

Nobunaga’s servants are baffled by their master’s bizarre new behaviour, despite his renewed healthiness. Has he lost his mind ? One of them lets himself be convinced it’s better to just kill him off, but Saburou somehow manages to deflect this. And hey, he can’t die now ; this would totally wreck history and stuff ; after all, Nobunaga’s supposed to conquer Japan or something. The servants then marvel at their master’s “hidden ambitions”.

Noboyuki, Nobunaga’s younger brother, sees the occasion as his chance to get rid of him. After manipulating that servant failed, he tries something against Kichou… but it doesn’t work out ; he winds up being sent off to an asylum for his trouble.

From now on, Saburou is taking this a bit more seriously. He’s started reading his history book (although it’s way too imprecise to be of much use). Anyway, he’s going to try his best ; Nobunaga totally conquered Japan and lived happily after, right ? (Ahah, no. We even had the history lesson at the episode’s beginning reminding us how it’s supposed to end ; Saburou didn’t pay attention, as usual.)

Production Values

Cell-shaded CG characters everywhere ! You ever love it or hate it ; I think it works quite well, giving the anime a bit of an “historical painting come to life” look. It helps that the CG backgrounds are gorgeous. And there are some nifty stylistic touches here and there.

Overall Impression

For a premise so well-trodden, this is a surprising breath of fresh air. Part of it is that it’s played entirely straight by most characters, with the comedy resulting from the clash of cultures. But the real selling point here is the sheer charm of Mamoru Miyano’s performance, perfectly convincing as this little git way out of his depth. It’s impressive how you end up rooting for a character so punchable.

It’s fun, it’s charming, and it looks great. I didn’t expect to enjoy this at all, but it turns out I did. I’m in.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Summer 2014 – Page 8.

Nobunaga the Fool

(13 episodes)

What’s it about ?


Wait, let me try this again. This is a bizarre multimedia project ; the other media being stage plays. (With animated sequences.)
The setting involves two twin planets ; the “East world” is vaguely modelled on the Warring Kingdoms, while the “West world” features random European historical figures from centuries apart.

Also, mecha. And tarot.


Nobunaga “the Fool” is obviously our protagonist. He’s the cocky teenage son of the Oda family who has adventures with his sidekicks Mitsuhide and Hideyoshi. He’s supposedly a cunning strategist, but so far his only display of that is “tell everyone to run like hell from the bigass army that’s vastly superior”, so yeah. Not that he’s taken seriously, given his reputation for mischief. Thus plenty of people die, and he vows to “change the world”.

Jeanne Kaguya d’Arc (/facepalm) is a teenage girl from the West world whose propensity to hear voices has labelled her a witch. The mysterious dreams she’s been having of being burned at the stake (in “Paris”, /double-facepalm) aren’t helping. Since those dreams also prominently feature Nobunaga, she vows to head for the East world.

Leonardo da Vinci agrees. Wait, were you stalking her to appear just right at this moment ? And what’s with the megaphone ? Anyway, he works for King Arthur, and together they board Magellan’s spaceship. From which they drop onto the East world, with a mecha in tow. And they crash-land right next to Nobunaga, who immediately hijacks the mecha to fight the incoming enemy armies.

Production Values

Perfectly alright. The character designs have the same clean genericness as most other Satelight productions, but they’re the least of the show’s problem.

Overall Impression

Where do I even start with this ? It’s pointless to deride the laughably inept use of historical figures, although they sure are distracting. I presume it’s supposed to be a fun romp, but the result is just a terrible mess that fails to bring its disparate elements into a coherent whole. It just feels completely creatively bankrupt, and desperate in its attempt to coopt everything into itself. That none of the characters are interesting (aside from maybe da Vinci, who’s just weird) doesn’t help.

No way I’m watching one more episode of this.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2014 – Page 3.

Summer 2013 capsules

Turning Girls is the latest web-thingie from Studio Trigger. Now, you may remember this studio was founded with much fanfare by the mad minds behind TTGL & Panty & Stocking w/ Garterbelt ; they also produced the wonderfully-animated Little Witch Academia one-shot for the Anime Mirai project earlier this year. But they’ve yet to produce an actual full series, and won’t until this Fall. In the meantime, all they’ve given us are shoe-string-budget shorts like Inferno Cop and now this.

Inferno Cop had some zany charm, but I quickly got tired of it. This is noticeably worse : an attempt at satire that’s not really funny, and has nothing more to say than “[female stereotype of the week] are annoying and terrible people, dur dur”. Also, it looks absolutely horrible, like something that was quickly thrown together between proper projects (which it probably was).

Don’t watch this crap. Especially when there are non-terrible takes on similar themes (such as the all-fujoshi new season of Genshiken) due out this very summer.

via [In which I review] New anime, Summer 2013.

And now for something completely different : a few words about the first instalment of Ghost in the Shell : Arise.

This is a series of four one-hour OVAs, the first of which was released on DVD/BluRay AND debuted in theaters about a week ago. The pitch is that it’s a prequel about how the Section 9 team got together, so you don’t really need to know anything about the previous movies & series in the franchise.

The good news is that it’s very good indeed. The plot for this opening chapter may be a bit too convoluted for its own good, and it certainly deserves a rewatch to make sure all the pieces fall together, but then the same could be said about many SAC episodes. And it’s certainly got a clever twist that puts everything under a new light… and makes the Major look even more awesome in retrospect. It’s also great-looking, with impressively-animated action sequences that contribute a lot to conveying the stakes.

In many respects this is a fanservice project (“so this is how the Major met Aramaki…”), but it’s well done enough not to feel too contrived. (And it refrains from having the whole of the team coincidentally investigating the same initial event.)

I should probably mention that all the roles have been recast with different voice-actors. It doesn’t jar too much ; sure, Maaya Sakamoto is easily recognizable, but she recaptures a lot of Atsuko Tanaka’s original performance (and there’s precedent for her to play a younger Major anyway). Also, Miyuki Sawashiro seems to have a lot of fun playing a Tachikoma Logicoma, which is delightful.

The next episode is due in November ; it’s going to be a long wait…

via [In which I review] New anime, Summer 2013.

I give up : I can’t muster the will of giving Gifuu Doudou!!: Kanetsugu to Keiji (“Dazzling Sengoku Period Story: Kanetsugu & Keiji”) a full review. It’s going to be hard to beat as the most mind-numbingly dull show of the season. It may be a cultural thing, but those “legendary” men spending their time monologuing in poetry about the beauty of the world, and patting each other in the back on how awesome they are, just bore me to tears. And this ain’t helped by the retro-ish artstyle that makes all those 6-feet-tall forces of nature look the same to me.

via [In which I review] New anime, Summer 2013 – Page 2.
A few words on Yami Shibai first : it’s a series of horror shorts with peculiar collage-like artstyle… and it doesn’t really work for me. Maybe because the first tale is so deliberately obtuse. (I think I get what the twist is supposed to be, but would it have killed the creators to spell it out ?) It’s not like it’s doing anything particularly original, anyway. But nice artstyle, still.

via [In which I review] New anime, Summer 2013 – Page 11.

The Ambition of Oda Nobuna (Oda Nobuna no Yabou)

(12ish episodes ?)

What’s it about ?

Gender-swapped sengoku warlords, because there must be one of those in every season.


Yoshiharu, our generic male lead. The narrative wastes no time and has him already thrown to the past (or whatever parallel world this is) by the episode’s start. The gimmick here is that he’s an avid player of videogames set in the Sengoku era, and can thus predict just about everything that’s going to happen. Well, aside from the fact that nearly every single major character is now a girl. Anyway, he stumbles on Hideyoshi getting killed way ahead of schedule, and has to take his place and become the servant of…

Oda Nobuna, our female lead, just starting on her quest to conquer the whole of Japan (and beyond). It’s a bit painful to see her reduced to a generic tsundere.

… But not less painful than seeing some of the other major historical figures now being 10-year-old (at best) girls that can barely speak ye olde Japaneseth. Urgh.

For some reason, Saitou Dousan is still a dude. Presumably he won’t matter beyond this first episode.

Production Values

Perfectly okay ; it’s always a shame to see the budget wasted on those things.

Overall Impression

Terrible. It’s a weak concept that’s been done before, and better. (Seriously, even Sengoku Otome was better executed than this.) None of the characters have any charisma and the protagonist’s gimmick kills any suspension of disbelief you might have (seriously, how the heck do exactly the same events keep happening despite the obvious differences in the setting ?).

Don’t bother with this one.

via [In which I review] New anime, Summer 2012 – Page 11.

Sengoku Collection

What’s it about ?

Gender-swapped Sengoku warlords thrown into the modern world.

Adapted from a cardgame app, because that’s a thing now.


Nobunaga Oda, the only girl who really shows up this episode. She’s shangaied away from her parallel world because… er, it’s not quite clear… and drops from the sky into current Tokyo. She eventually learns she’s not the only one and she’s gonna have to battle others like her to get back to her world, but most of the episode is spent on the culture shock.

She quickly shacks up with a poor random wage-slave dude, who’s somewhat bemused by this weird girl who won’t take no for an answer.

And that’s basically it for the cast this episode.

Production Values

Surprisingly good for this sort of thing. There’s a care to the animation that’s entirely wasted on such a project. (I guess Brains Base had to pay the bills and couldn’t find anything better to do…)

Overall Impression

Gender-swapped Sengoku warlords ? It’s been done already. Girl from a magical world who falls on some guy’s lap and experiences some “hilarious” culture shock ? Done to death too. This series is proof that bringing the two concepts together creates absolutely nothing of worth.

Of course, this show could have been saved through superior execution. But we don’t get that here : the characters are the same boring archetypes as usual, and there’s no spark whatsoever to this. The animation’s good, but that’s not enough to overcome the tediousness of the whole affair.

Pass along, nothing to see here.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2012 – Page 6.

Brave 10

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Yet another Sengoku-era anime…


Isanami, the only surviving priestess of a temple that got burned down by ninja mooks. She’s really, really annoying ; the kind of useless, needy, rude and emotionally manipulative damsel-in-distress I hate on sight. To the show’s credit, this does seem to be intentional. Also, she’s got a magical jewel on her head that starts killing everything in a ten-feet radius when she’s under too much duress (but she doesn’t seem to be aware of it).

Saizou, our protagonist, a ronin that Isanami stumbles onto while fleeing more ninja mooks. He tries (and fails) to get rid of her for the whole episode, but those pesky mooks keep attacking and dooming themselves by announcing they don’t want witnesses. Since he’s a badass with magical attacks, that’s obviously a terrible idea. Anyway, he’s painfully aware that Isanami is trying to take advantage of him.

Yukimura, the local lord. Isanami was advised to run to him, but he doesn’t think she’s worth the trouble and throws her away. He changes his mind after seeing the effects of the life-sucking jewel : this looks like something worth controlling, although he’ll need more muscle to keep hold of it. Hence his decision to assemble 10 warriors for that task. (Yeah, I don’t really trust this dude either.)

It looks like the show is going to spend some time gathering the 10 ; so far, we only have Yukimura’s right hand man and a reluctant Saizou. I’m pleasantly surprised to see there’ll be some women amongst the others.

Production Values

Perfectly okay.

Overall Impression

Hey, this was a lot more entertaining than I expected. A good deal of the show’s charm resides on Daisuke Ono’s charisma, who’s perfect for world-weary badassitude and injects tons of personality into our protagonist. You can hear the facepalming at getting dragged into this nonsense.

… Because, let’s be honest, there’s not a shred of originality in the plot itself or the way it unfolds. This is rife with clichés, and only the tongue-in-cheek sense of fun makes it watchable. It’s a show that knows it’s stupid and invites us to join the ride anyway. I think they had me at “Daisuke Ono” anyway ; I’m a sucker for mediocre shows starring him.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2012 – Page 4.

Hyouge Mono

(39 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Japan’s Warring States era from the perspective of an tea-obsessed esthete.


Sasuke Furuta, our main character. He’s technically an elite messenger/diplomat for Nobunaga Oda, although he doesn’t really get to display any skill at it in this episode. On the contrary, he easily gets distracted by irrelevant stuff around him (such as other attendees at a meeting’s poor fashion sense), leading to him not paying attention when important people are talking to him.

Nobunaga Oda, the warlord. This series depicts him as quite a bit of a thug, to be honest. I think he tolerates Sasuke because he thinks he’s funny.

Hideyoshi Hashiba, one of Oda’s major vassals and all-around snake. He completely bungles Sasuke’s mission by barging in with his soldiers at the least opportune moment. I can’t exactly see why he’d do that, apart to mess with him.

Our mission of the week involves Sasuke trying to arrange a rebel vassal’s reddition and pardon in exchange of a prized teapot the rebel owns (since he’s an esthete who’d probably like owning the teapot too, this may have been a test on Sasuke’s loyalties). I’d probably take the dude more seriously if he wasn’t wearing that terrible wig that just makes him look ridiculous.

Production Values

Fairly good ; this looks like a decent feudal Japan drama (if you don’t pay attention to what’s actually happening).

Overal Impression

Well, this is certainly a thing. A very weird and homoerotic thing. (The OP and ED being love songs don’t help.) The historical figures in this are barely more in character than in Sengoku Otome. I’m probably missing a lot of references due to knowing fuck all about feudal Japan. And still…

I found this absolutely hilarious. The disconnect between the “serious” artstyle and the characters’ ridiculous behaviour works perfectly. I’m not sure if the joke can sustain itself for 39 (!) episodes, but so far it’s a riot.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2011 – Page 12.

Battle Girls – Time Paradox (Sengoku Otome: Momoiro Paradox)

(13ish episodes)

What’s it about ?

An ordinary high school girl is transported to a female version of feudal Japan.


Hideyoshi, our protagonist. Late for school, not very bright and utterly superficial. She goes to pray at a local shrine not to mess up with her exams, stumbles on a magic ritual, and that’s how she ends up in feudal Japan. Of course, her first reaction is to mistake everyone for cosplayers and complain about the poor cellphone reception.

Nobunaga Oda, at this stage a local feudal lord in a quest to gather the pieces of a mystical set of armor and conquer Japan. I have no clue why she tolerates Hideyoshi’s antics or has any reason to think she’ll be useful, besides plot convenience. (I mean, Hideyoshi’s Japan History textbook will probably come handy, but it’s introduced too late for that to work as an explanation for Oda’s tolerance.)

Mutsuhide, Oda’s aide, who for some reason looks exactly like one of Hideyoshi’s classmates (are they going for the “it was all a dream” ending ?). Utterly irritated by Hideyoshi, but suffers through it because Oda said so. I can sympathize.

The OP & ED show half a dozen more girls that shall presumably be introduced in later episodes.

Production Values

Well, it could be worse : sure, the outfits (especially Oda’s) are ridiculously stripperific, but we don’t get too many panty shots and the like. Still, to make clear what kind of series we’re watching, the ED shows all the girls naked, with thin strips of fabric overlaid at random to hide the naughty bits.

Overall Impression

It seems like nearly every season there’s one of these (See also : Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Girls, Koihime†Musou…). It’s not outright terrible, but it’s very generic indeed and offers nothing of note to make it worth watching.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2011 – Page 4.