Taking tsun tseriously

by dm00

The cutting edge of tsundere: The Ambition of Oda Nobuna

I am enjoying The ambition of Oda Nobuna far more than I probably should.

I have a feeling that if the series had come out when the novels first started appearing in 2010, instead of in the wake of Sengoku Collection and other gender-bent historical series, it would be viewed more positively.

So: lucky me! I didn’t see those other series, so I’m having a lot of fun with this one, anachronisms and all.

One thing this show has going for it is the way it leavens its silliness with seriousness: it plays off real events in history; the protagonist is not just some schlub, but progresses the plot through his (game-mediated, admittedly) knowledge of his past; it’s taking its politics with some seriousness (for a cartoon about cute girls). In episode two the main character is actually courageous and steadfast.

Or maybe this series is fan-fiction and he’s just a Mary Sue (sigh, why did I have to think of that, now that image will haunt me as I watch the series).

I am looking forward to how the series plays off the protagonist’s knowledge of the past, and how he and Nobuna work to change that past (having Nobuna rebel against his knowledge of her future, as she does at the end of episode two, is a nice touch).

I think I could do without the lolitas, but so far, they’re harmless.

The background art is wonderful, with great use of color (think of that scene in episode two where the light on the window-screen changes from late afternoon to evening — or the use of light in the image excerpted above). That said, the CG battle scenes in the OP are weak, and the battle portrayed in episode two has a cast of dozens.

Kanae Itou is doing a wonderful job playing Nobuna: both vulnerable and imperious. Yasuhara Takanashi’s soundtrack is also wonderfully dynamic.

3 Responses to “Taking tsun tseriously”

  1. 1 omo July 15, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    I think regardless of how you feel about the original material, the anime is done pretty well given all the various factors.

    It doesn’t matter if you’ve taken an interest in the gender-flipping historical-re-enactment genre or not, good show is good. Or I should say, the anime is solid, and the source material probably adds to it by making it less mary-sue than it actually is? Because it is.

    Kusanagi’s BG is usually great, as it is in this show.

    • 2 dm00 July 16, 2012 at 11:41 am

      I haven’t gone back for another look, and it’s probably just the fanboy in me making things up, but I’m beginning to form the theory that the series is carried by Kanae Itou’s acting. I think she adds credibility to the underlying premise of a young woman in a culture that has only recently agreed to allow women in leadership roles like hers.

      • 3 omo July 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm

        Well, while I don’t know if I agree with you, I do enjoy her performance enormously. I think she adds that extra dose of moe and vulnerability in her different portrayals of Nobuna that probably wouldn’t be present if it was a straight-faced sort of story.

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