Oda Nobunaga was genuinely the only harem anime in the past four years that I honestly enjoyed. Now, perhaps enjoyed isn't quite right, maybe amused will be closer. It was amusing the see the brain dead plot and fetish-fulfilling characters actually achieve something. My amusement was a direct product of Oda Nobunaga no Yabou being set in feudal japan (in the warring states period/ Senguku era). If you have no idea who Nobunaga was or what the Senguku era is, you will probably not like Oda Nobunaga no Yabou for the sole reason that you won't be able to connect with it or even understand what's going on. Still, if you want a summary of what happened IRL, its like this - Nobunaga was this really chill guy in the Oda clan, and since he was born during the Warring states period, every clan was at war with one clan or the other clan(duh) and the Ashikaga Shogunate was weakened. He got up and did a lot of cool shit, took down the shogun and almost unified Japan under a single banner. He was forced to commit suicide before that happened though. Anyways, the peace he created lasted almost 300 years until the Meiji restoration in 1868 when the Emperor and the Shogun jumped at each other over foreign interests (mostly the U.S.).
Oda Nobunaga tries to do all the above (in a lot more detail and being much more specific though) while remaining a harem/ecchi/comedy. But if you want my advice, walk away if you know nothing about Japanese history or don't even know the map of Japan by heart or are just plain old uninterested in either. Well, unless you are willing to watch Oda Nobunaga only for the fanservice, in which case, I wish you best of luck.
Artwork and Animation (8/10) -
After all, what is an ecchi anime without artwork? The story isn't gonna do shit, atleast the artwork is a surefire thing.
Character Models - The characters models are fair enough.There is nothing _ wrong _ with them but nothing out of the ordinary either. Eyes are a bit dull, but eh, you get used to it.
Environment - Quite good, especially the background soldiers and stuff. Its almost breathtaking to see the huge armies carrying their banners clashing, or the massive ships sailing off into the sunset (even though that is historically incorrect). Despite that, the detail drop across the environment is pretty steep, so you won't see sprawling cities, ever. Well, no loss, most of the series happens on mountains/forests or inside a hut and those don't suffer the same problems.
Animation - Probably one of the strongest -and the most unused- part of the entire series. Right into the first episode, you will be awed by the fluid animation during the battles. But it was still disappointing. In the sense that it could have been used much, much more frequently. Considering how we are talking about the warring states, battles oughta be fairly common, right? Wrong. Despite its solid artwork and animation, it just isn't used in that sense. There were, what? five short battles in total? It was almost like the artwork was itching for a fight and the script told it to fuck off.
Fan service - Well, no nudity for you. There still some mediocre amount of fan service in the form of Nobuna always showing her breasts and Katsui's breastplate jumping around. The ED had a pretty ecchi video too.
Sound and Music (6/10)-
Gonna keep this section short.
Voice acting - The VAs were meh and I didn't particularly care for them. Most of the "heavy" conversation doesn't quite stimulate the viewer to the point it was expected, but its not something disappointing either.
Environment - By environment, I refer to stuff like town chatter, or the sound of a brook. While the chatter of other people was faint at best, the other sections (like the chirping of birds or footsteps) were pretty good. The war drums were also quite nice.
Music - Eh. Like, really eh. Despite having a great OP video the music accompanying it was quite shit. Same for the ED (except the ED had a shit video too). The BGMs were more....promising. Most of the times, the BGMs came up only when the tide of the battle changed (for better or for worse), and I really loved that. It gave a cinematic feeling to the entire thing.
There are two sides to war. One is strategy and the other is tactics. Strategy is about planning, diplomacy, economics, maintenance, supply and stuff like that. Tactics is more of a in-your-face affair. Its about (but not limited to) how to defeat the guy in front of you using outmaneuvers. Think of it like strategy, except on a much shorter time scale and with a much more specific objective. Oda Nobunaga is about strategy. It does have some tactics (read: battle) but its kinda secondary.
Premise - The premise relies around Yoshiharu who is a student and suddenly ends up in the Sengoku era for reasons unknown (and never revealed). He happens to be a big fan of the game "Nobunaga's Ambition" and therefore knows the ins and outs of the history of the era. At the same time, all the daimyos (read: feudal lords) just happen to be cute girls.
Now will he able to take the place of Kinoshita Tokichiro and unify Japan under Nobunaga?
Execution - Considering how pointless the premise sounds, my expectations were fairly low. Still, the story goes around Nobuna (Nobunaga's female version) trying to conquer japan on her own as the fortune teller MC guides her hand. He meets other important people (who are mostly girls too, for some reason) who played a great role in Nobunaga's conquests and downfall IRL. As I mentioned earlier, the focus is on strategy, so Nobuna is basically treading on a fine line where she can be overwhelmed by other clans if she makes one wrong move. Most clans don't support the rise of the Oda clan and will stop at nothing to kill Nobuna. This allows for great pressure on the diplomatic side of things, allowing for a more enjoyable outlook on the entire matter. The series all but explains to you the predicaments of being a daimyo during the Sengoku period. It still isn't KSnH levels of bullshitting and is sometimes fairly funny, which I guess is a good thing. I would go so far as to call its buildup to episode 8 great but it kinda started dropping off after that. I mean, there were boring emo parts here and there, but overall it was fairly fast paced. I just kinda wished that the battles were more...active.
To quote Sun Tzu (albeit out of context)- 'Strategy without tactics is the slowest path to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat"
I know I'm taking it completely out of context here, but Oda Nobunaga also took the slowest path to victory. With a few great battles, it could have been a much, much better series. See, the problem is that the tactics totally got killed. The fights are literally just one man armies killing each other's cannon fodder. Most of the focus was on the support crew. I would have preferred it if it showed how the common man fights, because there is nothing more beautiful about battle than a guy fighting to the last breath -torn banner and all- in the service of his lord. Like, seriously. This was one part that was seriously downplayed since the OP support and Main cast go berserk on Soldier C's ass and then he dies without so much as a second look. Archers fire at the valiant defenders who hold against the barrage with their battlements falling apart and without a shield, and we get to look at MC talk bullshit for five minutes straight. I mean, give those brave people some screen time, you fuckfaces.
Also, real battles are much more coordinated than blobs of soldiers hitting each other at random intervals.
I also hated how most of the cast went into battle without armor. Nagahide literally fights with only a Nagitana and katsuie doesn't wear a helmet and leads the charges at the same time. Even a complete retard knows that the general is the most important man (or woman) on the battlefield, and a dead or dismounted general is usually a routed army, Katsui somehow doesn't comprehend that stray arrows exist. Toshiie Maeda also doesn't wear any armor despite using a yari (which leaves too many opening between thrusts). Other than that, the fights are too simple minded and don't quite comprehend logistics. Perhaps you will realize why during the Imagawa arc.
Other than that, the main diplomacy can't really be argued against, since it happened irl. I did find that some diplomacy was oversimplified to fit the (already narrow) viewer base, which was a bit sad.
As a side note, the romance is, for the most part, about nobuna being a tsundere and saying emo stuff while crying. Not cool.
As I mentioned earlier, the characters are made for the purpose of fetish fulfillment. Toshiie is your strong calm loli, Goemon is your loli with the voice impediment Nene is the cute imouto type loli, Katsui is the dependable strong girl and Nagahide is the "clever" woman and Mitsuhide is the token tsundere who hates losing. Yeah, pretty damn cliche.
And of course, there are the villains, who don't really have any clear motives to speak of, but want Nobuna stopped anyways. They all assemble in a dark room and be REALLY condescending while saying non-descript things like "so it has begun". Because that's what villains do.
Other than that, the characters have no development or goals to speak of with no backstory (even for the MC) and none of them are anywhere near what they were in real life. Despite that, I still kinda liked the people that did not turn into cute girls, the Viper was pretty cool, and so was hanzou.
Despite me finding Oda nobunaga interesting, most people will perhaps not share the sentiment. Mostly because of a difference of interest. Still, its decent enough and even teaches you a little on the fly, so it really isn't all that bad. Despite my rating making it end up in the 60's its decent enough to be a 70~ anime. Tch, if only its characters were good enough. While I won't recommend it to anyone but desperate history fans, its really not all that bad even if you go in blind. Besides, Japanese history is fun, and learning while watching anime can't possibly be all that bad.
Or can it?