Saturday, April 30, 2016

Onna Nobunaga: No, really.

This is real. I worked on it.

If you know any Japanese and have looked closely enough at the poster image, you already grok what's going on. If you still don't know what the deal is, I'll lay it out for you:

Oda Nobunaga was this crazy feudal Japanese lord who really liked Western stuff like clocks and guns and JEEEESUS and made what was probably the first nearly successful move toward unifying Japan during the Sengoku period. And when I say he was nuts, I mean like he drank sake from the skulls of his enemies and stuff. He didn't play around. I mean, ultimately his attempts at unification were unsuccessful, but he was getting there.

So Onna Nobunaga is a two-part TV event that basically goes 'Okay, what if this crazy badass was also secretly a woman.'

Yeah, it's basically a pun they turned into a miniseries. There are definitely worse things one could do, though. This was pretty awesome.

Now, admittedly it travels down to Tropetown: Nobunaga can't let anyone know she's a woman or her clan will lose power, and she battles between her masculine upbringing and her desire to be loved as a woman. So it's six of Princess Knight and half a dozen of Rose of Versailles. If you're not about that stuff, then you might not be about this. But I'm such a sucker for this kind of thing, really, no matter how many times it's been done in other contexts.

Because it's a history lesson, too. That's the thing. Minus all the stuff altered to give the 'woman in disguise' subplot a seat, it's good history. For lack of better phrasing, the 'front of house' stuff is legit, with the 'back of house' motivation and fallout being tweaked.

Also, I may have fallen for Amami Yuki (who plays Nobunaga) — unsurprisingly, she's a former Takarazuka star.

People who love their historical fiction will probably be divided on this. I personally enjoyed it. And it's a grand total of two episodes long, so it's not as though you're in it for life. Give it a peek. Enjoy the crazy. And then, if the story of Nobunaga is new to you, enjoy all the time you'll invariably spend researching the real one afterwards.

You can watch all of Onna Nobunaga now on Crunchyroll.