Sunday, January 12, 2014

Irrational and Irrefutable Assumptions About the Winter 2014 Anime Season

It's the (almost) All-Nobunaga edition of these assumption posts.


Y'all remember that Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere anime? There was some crazily intricate world and we got tossed right into it and we had to figure out what the fuck was going on through tedious exposition and, yeah, it sucked. It was interesting in that there was obviously a hell of a lot of thought and planning put into the thing, but it was presented in such a manner that made comprehending it all less of an enjoyable experience and more like homework. You had to be some sort of Lovecraft-like scholar and delve into untold ancient mysteries to make heads or tails out of the thing. It's interesting conceptually, but painful in the real world.

That's the same feeling I got from watching the first episode of Nobunaga the Fool. That infodump intro made my eyes glaze over. The way things bounced back and forth between these two worlds, trying to balance these concurrent storylines, was executed pretty poorly. Maybe if this were a novel, much like how Horizon was based on a series of novels, it'd all make more sense structurally. But as an anime? I don't feel like I'm getting tossed into the middle of things all en media res style. I feel like I'm being waterboarded by bad World History fanfiction come to life.


Some secret spooky centuries-old conspiracy takes the DNA of major historical figures, does secret spooky conspiracy stuff to make sure said DNA is dispersed through humanity to ensure reincarnations are born in the future, and they fight the fish monsters from Gyo.

Nobunagun is a hell of a lot crazier than Nobunaga the Fool, yet I was able to distill its insanity intothe sentence above. That alone marks it as vastly superior to the other Nobunaga anime this season.

What makes this thing work can be further distilled to a single scene at the very end of the episode. The previously cheerful and friendly- if a bit anti-social- lead girl grabs the weapon thing used by the reincarnation of Jack the Ripper. It triggers all of her wonky Nobunaga DNA shit, and she summons forth a Big Ass Gun. When said gun manifests, she gets this sinister grin on her face and she starts to laugh maniacally.

It was beautiful.


Mazinger and other Go Nagai giant robots are reincarnated as asshole girls. They pick on a bunch of innocent monster girls and their BFF Baron Ashura who are only trying to do their best to do the bidding of Dr. Hell. But nope, the Robot Girls Zs are jerks and bully them and take away their snake puppets and blow them up with laser shit.

It's a sad tale tackling the very relevant topic of bullying. The popular kids who conform to what's expected of them by society do all sorts of nasty things to the kids who are all too different. These popular girl mecha things are also hoarding a renewable green energy all to themselves and do all sorts of horrible things to the heroic monsters girls who just want to free it for use by others, so it's tackling current energy issues as well. Another reason why anime shorts are at the forefront of relevance.

I have a feeling this will enter the ranks of the Anime Short Revolution by the time it's over.
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