This is my first anime review, so I figure I might explain what exactly I’m going to rank it by. Keep in mind that I’m going to be testing new things for a while, just to see what works, and my method of reviewing is in no way set in stone. Basically, I plan to review on three aspects: content, aesthetics, and appeal. Content will judge the story, characters, humor, spacing, development, originality, and everything else that has to do with, well… content. Aesthetics covers art, music, voice acting, OP and ED (both music and art), etc. I also might drop the aesthetics grade for excessive fanservice. Aesthetics will probably be the shortest section for a while, until I watch enough to be able to analyze graphics, music, and voice acting more. Appeal is a purely subjective rating based on how much I enjoyed the series. Each category will be judged with a value of 1 through 7. However, with some categories, like aesthetics, I don’t plan on ever giving a 1, simply because art can’t be that bad. The final score will be an average of the three values, and will be given a letter score, either A, B+, B, C, D, D-, or F. So in theory, the most common grade will be a C. However, I won’t review anime series that I don’t finish, so lower grades will probably be less common, because there’s a strong chance I’ll drop something that bad. A’s will also be rare. Enough with the explaining, I might as well get on with the review.
The first series I finished with my shiny brand new Crunchyroll subscription was Oda Nobuna No Yabou, or The Ambition of Oda Nobuna. What at first glance looks like your standard, run-of-the-mill fanservice harem anime turned out to be …pretty much your run-of-the-mill fanservice harem anime. However, it’s probably one of the better fan service animes of last year.
Oda Nobuna No Yabou’s main premise is that a highschool kid, Yoshiharu Sagara, who plays a lot of historic videogames, notably Nobunaga’s Ambition, finds himself in the Sengoku era. He is saved by the man who would become Hideyoshi Toyotomi, however in the process Hideyoshi is killed. Yoshiharu takes it upon himself to take Hideyoshi’s place and aid Oda Nabunaga (who is actually Oda Nabuna, a girl) in uniting Japan.
In addition to Oda Nabuna, pretty much all of the main characters, who are all historic figures, are female. And believe me when I say it, there are an awful lot of characters. However, while quite a few of the characters aren’t very developed, they are all pretty distinguishable, and I could tell who was who pretty easily. Also, the series seemed to follow the rule that for every normal girl there was a loli, and all of the lolis were magnetically attracted to Yoshiharu. But one of the lolis was a ninja, and there was another ninja too, so everything was ok.
I actually really enjoyed all of the (albeit distorted) historical facts and references. They added to the show without seeming out of place. I also liked the fact that although, and perhaps because, the series is about war, a large part of the plot focuses on Yoshiharu and the others actaully negotiating and planning strategy, which was a nice change from the standard idea of a few extremely strong characters completely obliterating armies by themselves (although there was a little bit of that too).
As far as aesthetics go, I thought that the art and music was average. I liked the large battle scenes involving lots of people, but there were very few of those, and all of them were short, most of the action focused on the main characters. I’m used to that though.
There was a lot of fanservice. I realize that it’s to be expected, as Oda Nabuna No Yabou is that kind of series, and I probably wouldn’t have dropped the rating for it, except, it should be physically impossible for breastplates to bounce. Yet Katsuie’s do. Even in the OP. For some reason, this really annoyed me, because it showed up at the beginning of every episode, so I’m lowering the aesthetics score.
I enjoyed Oda Nobuna No Yabou much more than I expected I would, especially considering the fact that the protagonist wasn’t that cool (which is normally a big turn-off for me), his only strengths came from the fact that he played historic videogames and was from the future. And the series didn’t go into how he got into the past into the first place, it opened with the (rather unimpressive, especially considering who he was, or rather, who he would be) death of Hideyoshi Toyotomi. I didn’t really care though. There were just enough historic references to keep me interested; just enough battle scenes; just enough plot; just enough drama; just enough interesting characters; just enough ninjas; just enough fanservice (just kidding), to keep me enjoying watching. In other words, Oda Nobuna No Yabou hung on the fine line between the ever-so-common boring fanservice anime and the not-quite-as-common interesting fanservice anime. However, I believe it made it over to the interesting side, making Oda Nobuna No Yabou a show to watch if you have some time left over for picking up some of last year’s titles.
Content (5) Aesthetics (4) Appeal (6)
Score: 5 Grade: B (Enjoyable; Watch, if you have some time)
Disagree, agree, want to criticize my review style? Leave a comment!