Ecchi with plot: The Ambition of Oda Nobuna

8:00 PM on 11.20.2012 // Rank57

A promoted article from Rank57!

[How about another promoted article? Rank57 shows us that there is more to The Ambition of Oda Nobuna than just a gender-bending harem! Hit the jump and give it a read to see if he can persuade you to check it out! For the chance to get yourself on the front page, all you have to do it write something in the community blogs. We read all of them! You can also try out the current "Bloggers Wanted" for a better chance! - Chris]

It was my biggest surprise of the year, anime-wise. I was catching up with the recent anime like I always do when the summer season has ended. People were talking non-stop about Sword Art Online, which I found amazing at the beginning, then started to become a clichéd love story. Okay, on to the next one. Binbougami ga was a great comedy, full of parodies. Then I hopped to Tari Tari, which you can read a great review by Derrick Crow right here. Next was the one that I consider the best of the year, and will write about it next; Humanity Has Declined. But the biggest surprise had yet to come. 

 

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Japanese history always drew my attention, not to the point of making me study it more seriously, but at least making me check anime or games were based on it. What kept me away from The Ambition of Oda Nobuna were the images I saw from it and some quick reviews. "Cute girls as historical warlords. Yeah right, this is another harem hentai trying to attract the otaku crowd". That's what I thought, yet I decided to check a few episodes. 

Man, was I wrong. Yes, Oda Nobuna hangs around with her bras showing, most of the main historical figures are represented as moe girls or big breasted babes, and the main protagonist is a teenage boy who came from the future. Even so, with this ridiculous premise, The Ambition of Oda Nobuna is a fine example of ecchi and moe used with intelligence, with a great plot as a background. Or perhaps it is cute girls as a background to an accurate historical tale? 

Time for a strategy meeting. Yes, the generals are hot girls, but whatever

Anyway, the show still portrays feudal Japan with a surprising amount of detail, without ever, EVER giving priority to show breasts. Oda Nobuna(ga) is still a warlord trying to conquer and unite the country, there is intrigue, war strategies well applied, drama and everything just works, although the 12 episodes made the plot seem rushed, especially towards the end. 

Sagara Yoshiharu, the male protagonist, is the teenage student who came from the future, and one of the greatest things about this show. He is an avid gamer who knows everything about The Ambition of Oda Nobuna, a game that portrays the life and conquests of the one responsible for uniting Japan. The thing is that Saru, as he ends up being called by everyone, actually uses the fact he came from the future to his advantage. First, he saves Nobuna's life with the help of his cellphone. From there, he displays impressive amounts of knowledge, to economics to modern architecture techniques to war strategies. He just implemented what he learned from the game or copied what we use in modern days, but still, to the eyes of the feudal Japanese, it's impressive, and it's great to see how this advantage is used and portrayed. Using this kind of knowledge, Saru becomes one of the most reliable generals under Oda Nobuna. 


Our intrepid hero

The other characters follow the lead. There's a reason why Oda Nobuna is a tsundere, as she is a warlord and must keep her behaviour as such. Inuchiyo and Goemon would be the main source of moeness, but both help Saru with his plans and both are incredibly useful. Katsuie Shibata is the main big breasted girl, but her role as the strongest warrior in Oda's army is more accentuated (no pun intended). Every character fulfils their role, and no one feels forced or put there just for the sake of fan service. My only complaint is the usage of magic: Hanbe Takenaka's brilliancy as a strategist is outplayed by her magic powers, as she can overpower an army and put down a fire alone. This takes some of the "realism" the show could have had.

To put it short: this is not a harem anime. Nor an action one, as there is no "PUT YA GUNS ON!" and people mowing an entire army with lightning (except for a quick Hanbe intervention). The battles and even minor conflicts are resolved with intelligence and strategy. The numbers make a difference in battle. All in all, The Ambition of Oda Nobuna is the most accurate historical anime I have ever seen, even if most of the important figures are replaced with cute girls. An example to the anime industry, as yes, it is possible for ecchi and moe to coexist with a good plot.


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