The surprise here is that Oda Nobuna really isn’t half-bad – though maybe that’s not such a huge surprise, with Madhouse co-producing with Studio Gokumi. Cute girls doing cute things as ruthless Sengoku warlords is pretty absurd on the face of it and, arguably, proof that the anime industry really is running out of ideas. But as wish-fulfillment for teenaged boys goes, I’ve certainly seen much worse than this story of 20th-Century horndog Sagara Yoshiharu (Eguchi Takua) zipping back 450 years to live out the events of his favorite game, “Oda Nobunaga’s Ambition”. We don’t get much of an explanation for this – it just sort of happens.
The basic idea is that Sagara will be filling the historical role of Hideyoshi, who dies in the series’ first scene – and his first clue is when moe Oda Nobuna (Itou Kanae) starts calling him “Monkey”. All of the other Sengoku regulars are here, and all of them cute girls – some outright lolis. There’s something so incredibly silly about these moe girls playing Sengoku legends playing soccer – I mean, points for audacity there. The show falls back on cliché and cheap laughs far too often, but it’s generally well-executed. The animation is respectable, the dialogue isn’t too inane, and the pacing is probably the best part of the ep – there’s really no time to get bored (or perhaps more importantly, to think too much about what’s happening). There seems to be at least an overture towards historical accuracy too, believe it or not. This isn’t something I’m likely to blog, but it’s modestly entertaining in its own way and better than several of the really tired and listless premières so far this season.