It’s often hard reviewing two part Anime series’. Why? Well, the perfect example is this here review: Nobunaga The Fool: Part One was, let’s say, lacklustre at best. It’s now been months since I reviewed it, and my overall view of the series is that it has the potential to grow and change between releases, but the reality of the situation is that, well…it really doesn’t. Some Anime will take you by surprise with a second season, but with releases like this that split one season into two parts; chances are, if there was something wrong with the first than there’ll be something wrong with the second. That’s simply the way it goes.
Bar some amazing story development, Anime like this don’t usually get much better, but in saying that, for the sake of this review, I’ve tried to keep my mind open to the possibility of this series’ second half blowing me away. Thanks to Madman Entertainment who’ve released both parts one and two down here in the great land of Australia, I’ve been given a chance to revisit the Anime that rewrites history in one of the more imaginative ways. Nobunaga The Fool is a series with a lot of heart and a lot of potential, let’s just hope it doesn’t squander it, once again, in part two. For the sake of comparison, why not check out my review of Nobunaga The Fool: Part One? Click Here.
Long ago, in an age when the cosmos was still known as Chaos, the world was split into two planets, forming the West and East Stars. After years of war and strife, the Western Star has finally become united under a single king, the legendary Arthur. But conflict still threatens to consume all until hope arises in a vision: a vision of a champion who could save the futures of both worlds.
Setting forth on a dangerous journey, Joan d’Arc must travel from the West world to the East, seeking the man she believes can use the devices of the great Leonardo Da Vinci and become their savior. But will Nobunaga Oda be the kind of man they are expecting? Will history’s greatest heroes find themselves choosing not a liberator, but a destroyer? Or is Nobunaga’s role that of the Fool from a deck of Tarot, the wild card whose purpose is to invoke change, no matter what the cost? – Madman Entertainment
Nobunaga The Fool features an amazing story. In all honesty, the tale woven throughout this series is one that, in the right hands, could be made into an award-winning Anime. Unfortunately the writing staff behind the series, a story of this calibre was way too much for them to handle and instead of us, the audience, being delivered a concise and hard-hitting tale of warring planets each representing different armies from history, what we got was a mix-match of odd characters who had only their names in common with the historical figures of which they were based. Fact is; Nobunaga The Fool does have a rich level of backstory, elements of which appear in the forefront of the series but are not explained well enough for the audience to properly understand, making them nothing but silly mumbo jumbo that makes this intelligent series seem as though it’s nothing but uneducated clutter.
That’s the true issue with Nobunaga The Fool; it has so much depth yet none of it was utilised properly. Often characters would roughly detail a worldly concept just enough to have it appear in the main flow of the story but with a lack of explanation that only works to confuse audiences rather than put them into a state of shock and awe. What kept me interested in watching Nobunaga The Fool was the small shred of hope that lead me to believe these more detailed interest points would be soon delved into. Unfortunately, they never were, which left us with little more than a mixed bag of somewhat intriguing story features that never got more time of day than a simple mention.
Visually, there’s not a great deal of difference between parts One and Two, which is to be expected considering this series has not been split up due to a season break but simply for the sake of an elongated release schedule. Nobunaga The Fool features a great deal of computer generated animation which, unfortunately in this case, does not work well with the traditional animation style that occupies the rest of the series. Typically, the computer generated animation is used during battle scenes featuring the series’ uniquely-designed mechs, though it seemed as though this was less of a style choice and more of an attempt to spread out a small budget.
At least the designs of said mechs, as mentioned briefly, were unique enough to keep me interested in seeing them go head-to-head with one another, the unfortunate truth is that the animation seemed sloppy and, in fact, beneath the series as a whole. What Nobunaga The Fool did wonderfully, and without fault, was the environmental design which changed from star to star (planets) and all looked different enough from the last for the audience to be able to differentiate. It’s just too bad that this well-designed backdrop wasn’t enough to hold the series up visually.
The voice acting present in the series was, and I always hate saying this, terrible. Though it was somewhat the fault of the actors and actresses playing their roles, I feel as though a great deal of the blame has to fall on the quality of writing. Most dialogue pieces were dry, stiff, and featured a severe lack of any real personality. I found myself disliking characters the more they spoke and, even by the very end, had no connection whatsoever to the people I just spent the last week and a half following through this tale of hardship and war.
I took a lot of joy in listening out for the score of the series which actually made it a great deal better. Utilising older composition style reminiscent of classic samurai films mixed with modern rock sounds was a tick in the right column for the staff behind the series because it fit the overall story to a tee. Hearing an obvious change in tone and style when travelling from one area to the next gave the series a feeling of actual movement between cultures that I think, had the series as a whole been much better, would have helped in making this quite an impactful series.
Writing a negative review never gives me an pleasure. It never has, and it never will. Unfortunately us as critics have a sense of duty that forces us to be as honest as possible when it comes to any piece of media, and the honest truth about Nobunaga The Fool is that it was simple a disaster of an Anime series. It didn’t quite know it’s ups from it’s downs, it featured a lot of interesting information but didn’t know how to properly present it, and it had a visual style that was clearly the way it was for the sake of cutting corners.
As mentioned; it had the potential to be something magnificent but, like many that have come before it, it simply could not live up to it’s own image. This extensive concept proved to be far too much to handle for this team, and that was made clear through the way this series unravelled. Had it been in the hands of a more capable team, I feel as though what we would have gotten is something great, unfortunately all we were given was a husk, and that’s not enough to keep audiences invested.
Still, in saying that, it did feature a great soundtrack, and some amazing background visuals, somewhat backed up by an interesting story that I’m sure you could get something out of if you put the research in yourself, but I’m not sure that’s enough to hold up a series.
Check it out for yourself! Purchase it at Madman Entertainment’s official online store: Click Here