For today’s last episode I’m going to be typing up this recap and review as I react to the episode so it’ll go in chronological order with all my comments inserted along with the events.
The final episode of Nobunaga the Fool finally pits King Arthur against Nobunaga. After Cesare shoots Joan… he gets killed/shot by Mitsuhide cause he like all the other supporting characters are needed which means in this show he gets to die (at a random moment). Mitsuhide is totally on Arthur’s side and Nobunaga goes into super saiyan mode and summons The Fool literally into Arthur’s palace. Anyone remaining is stuck on the fact that Nobunaga is the Destroyer-King while King Arthur is the Saviour-King. King Arthur reveals that people see his face as a visual representation of a warped version of their values – basically, what they want to see and believe; a mirror that reflects man’s desire. Okay so we get like a bunch of repetitive dialogue to explain Arthur’s FACE but nothing else to explain anything about the world or technology or magic. Thanks.
King Arthur is almost surprised that Nobunaga doesn’t follow Arthur’s truth (like Da Vinci). Mitshide resolves to slay Nobunaga to “protect” Arthur and ends up facing Hideyoshi in battle.
Arthur claims that he can liberate people through the Holy Grail and says he can save Joan. Nobunaga gives a pretty cool speech before he activates The Fool into battle. As chaos rages, DA VINCI IS FINISHING HIS PAINTING LOLLLLLLLL PRETTY DAMN CALM THERE. It is finally Da Vinci’s turn to draw a card – Judgment to wrap up the tarot side of things.
Nobunaga fights Alexander the Great and as he pulls the Regalia into full power he sees visions of the souls of his deceased friends. Kenshin dies too. Of course. And Kenshin’s Regalia is absorbed into Nobunaga’s power as is Hideyoshi’s Regalia. All this happens out in the battlefield as Arthur summons the Holy Grail AND WAIT the opening sequence comes IN THE MIDDLE of the episode? WHAT?!??
The battle ends up turning into a crazy space dragon match and just before King Arthur can fully receive the Grail, it is destroyed and crushes Arthur along with him. WOW Mitsuhide is a pretty horrible character. Even as Hideyoshi dies and pretty much asks him to return to Nobunaga’s side, Mitsuhide decides to do this by personally confronting Nobunaga. Nobunaga becomes the embodiment of Destruction and Joan, in her stupid useless-female heroine side is okay with it cause she loves him and she’s just gonna go through with it. Mitsuhide reminds Nobunaga of his oath to unite heaven and earth.
Nobunaga and Mitsuhide have a duel… Da Vinci continues to draw. I guess King Arthur wasn’t that important after everything cause he died way before the show was over in the most anti-climactic way possible. We finally get to see what Da Vinci was painting and it’s just this weird anime mash of anime characters. Just weird.
OHMIGOSH the duel ends with Mitsuhide STABBING Nobunaga in the neck with Ichihime’s comb before SLASHING his sword into the man. The Regalia all die and fade with his life force. Nobunaga says the reason Mitsuhide couldn’t wield a Regalia was because he wasn’t meant to. Rather, he was meant to stop them. So… Nobunaga ended up devouring all the destruction of the world rather than actually destroying it. Nobunaga asks Mitsuhide to recreate the world for him. Mitsuhide can do it because he knows pain… Nobunaga asks Mitsuhide what world he desires. OBVIOUSLY PEACE.
WAIT NOBUNAGA IS JUDAS AND MITSUHIDE ENDS UP AS THE SAVIOUR KING?!?? Okay after Da Vinci makes his speech he falls down into a pit of flames. Randomly. And then cue the OUT OF CONTEXT LOVE SCENE BETWEEN JOAN AND NOBUNAGA.
Okay for some reason I can’t stop laughing because this show and its ending and everything is just SO RIDICULOUS. Now let’s do a character count of everyone who survived – Mitsuhide, Hideyoshi, Alexander and Magellan. Then we get a bunch of shots as the world is restored and even some future shots of when The Last Supper is shown in a museum with a young girl resembling Joan admiring it. A few shots later, we get a man resembling Nobunaga appearing before her. (Reincarnations and whatnot)
Final Thoughts (This is gonna be a long rant…)
WOW that show was just a whole lot of random. No world explanations. No legend explanations. Two seconds of back story explanation for the main characters. Filler scenes for supporting characters. RANDOM DEATHS. JUST. EVERYWHERE. I’m sure the original Nobunaga the Fool stage play had a lot more depth to the story. Initially I was fine with changing up the historical characters as long as they actually had some point to the plot. There was… little to no point to the plot. You could have watched episode 1 next to episode 25 and still gotten enough of the story cause nothing really links up properly. That flipside twist ending with Mitsuhide as the Saviour-King was SUCH A CLICHÉ!! And the cliché wasn’t even done well!
We had 24 episodes of Nobunaga which should be well enough time to tell the main plot of the story as well delve into enough of the characters or at least the main characters, to give us some backing for their personalities. Nobunaga remained an enigma till the end. He never speaks his thoughts – actually none of the characters ever speak their thoughts and to be honest NOT EVERYONE HAD TO DIE. SERIOUSLY. Nobukatsu and Nobuhide- Yes, to spur Nobunaga into action. Himiko – No not really even though she was “betrothed” to Nobunaga. They basically killed Himiko so Joan could move in. Ichihime – Yes (as much as I hate to say it) cause she had to spur Mitsuhide’s character forward. Caesar – No, not really, he didn’t do much to begin with. Kenshin – maybe cause he was a major power player among the clans. Shingen – yes to gives Nobunaga extra power. Machiavelli – yes because she was kind of insane. Charlemagne and Hannibal – uh they died in battle so I guess it makes sense. Nell and Bianchi – Sure why not? Let’s randomly kill the unexplained imp children of a different species. Cesare – yes because EXCUSE YOU for shooting an innocent (albeit useless) main character.
Mitsuhide could have turned out to be a loved anti-hero sort of character… if he was properly developed throughout the series. Instead, he came off as a pretty evil bastard when he killed Nobukatsu and then cold and unfeeling when it came to Ichihime. Worst was when he became indecisive and insecure, thus falling into the clutches of the villains and it got worst that worst when he just FLIPS SIDES back to remind Nobunaga of his oath of uniting heaven and earth when Mitsuhide had obviously already betrayed Nobunaga by turning against him.
Nobunaga has such a great seiyuu cast to begin with and it sucks that they ended up voicing two-dimensional characters in a jumbled up storyline that didn’t make any sense at all. Symbolism became vague references. Prophetic storytelling turned into heretical ramblings. King Arthur, who was supposed to be the main protagonist for what? TWENTY-THREE EPISODES gets a cop-out ending where he’s simply squished to death by a GIANT MAGICAL CUP. Yes that’s essentially what the Holy Grail is. A giant. Magical. Cup… that grants wishes. Okay so maybe it’s a special cup but no one exactly explained the philosophical dichotomy of beliefs between the east and west and why they believe different saviours or destroyers and etc. The most we got for all our mysteries and questions was a one line answer.
If I had to point out ONE GOOD THING about Nobunaga the Fool, it would be how well each of the supporting characters bring out a very poignant trait in human nature. For Himiko, it was persistence and unconditional devotion. For Caesar, romantic love. For Ichihime, duty and for Hideyoshi, friendship. These four characters (In no particular order) were probably my favourite ones throughout the series. Naturally when they were killed or injured I got immensely pissed at the plotline.
Let’s look at Joan now. STOP IT JOAN. JUST. STOP. Joan of Arc is one of the most courageous women in history and I abhor how they took her character and stripped her bare to the fan service, dependent, wishy-washy little girl in Nobunaga the Fool. Initially I thought she was going to start out as a naïve and fearful stubborn girl who eventually would mature into a fearsome warrioress by Nobunaga’s side but she ended up CLINGING to him till the very end and in an anime world where strong female characters are few and far in between, THAT REALLY ANNOYS ME. I mean, I just want to go and shake Joan and smack her in the face for desecrating the progress that feminists throughout the century have worked towards. Joan just GAVE UP at the end and allowed Nobunaga to destroy everything even though she was adamantly strict with Nobunaga staying on the path of the good and righteous at the very beginning of the show. Since she was obviously a main character, I thought some budding relationship between her and Nobunaga would pull him back from the destructive cliff but NO that’s too rational for anything in Nobunaga the Fool. Instead, just have Joan shot by a random side character and leave her to die in her man’s arms.
I’m wondering if my lack of understanding with Nobunaga the Fool comes with the fact that I’m a North American viewer but I’ve never had that problem with other Japanese-culture-heavy anime series and I’m a history major so I’ve actually studied this stuff (I swear!). Nobunaga the Fool is really one of those shows you love or hate – well, actually it’s one of those shows you accept or give up on.
Never trust prophecy rambling blue-haired characters who constantly pester you to draw cards
Don’t just watch a show because Mamoru Miyano is in it (even though I love him and let’s face it I’ll probably make the same mistake because Mamo-chan is one of my top favourite seiyuus).
Never watch another anime that pits a bunch of out of context historical figures together, genderbends some of them and utterly ruins others.
Random Other Thoughts
I actually laughed ridiculously loud for some of the parts in the last episode
Man I really wish they hadn’t killed Ichihime cause she was my favourite character and her scant narrations at the beginning of each episode actually gave us some explanation as to what was going on.
I feel bad for all the characters who died so that Nobunaga could eat all the destruction of the world and die.
I’m definitely going to be wary of anything Satelight adapts from now on…
What happens when Hideyoshi finds out Mitsuhide killed Nobunaga? Epilogue? OVA? Please don’t let there be an OVA. I just want to forget about this series. I don’t even care anymore.
I recommend you show this series to any friends… you want to troll.
Okay I’m basically done my rant of Nobunaga the Fool and I don’t think I can rant anymore because there’s almost nothing to analyze in the story. Let me know what you guys think of Nobunaga via comment or twitter. The only reason I didn’t want to drop Nobunaga the Fool was because I really don’t want to leave the reviews hanging halfway. I hope I choose wisely next time with anime series and if you actually watched the entire thing, a hundred cloudy points from me to you… okay we all need to mentally move on from this series now. The end. Done. Finito.
What are you pondering today?