15 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Nobunagun episode 1 – A symbol for anime’s brighter future

Nobunagun - 01-22[2]It’s happening! Ladies and gentlemen, it is finally happening. Ever since Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure ended, I have been offering constructive criticism to every anime since then. That advise is that they need to be more like Jojo’s. Now we have something with Nobunagun that very clearly is trying to ape the aesthetic David Production used for Jojo’s. The colour filters, the solid blocks of smoke, the framing of certain shots. Nobunagun is taking cues from Jojo’s and that’s what makes it stand out. Not that it does it as well as Jojo’s but I’ll take it.

Nobunagun - 01-9[2]I like the artwork tricks used by Nobunagun. Not everything works. I don’t think the naming of everything is used terribly well. It could be used to add humour to scenes but instead it points out the obvious like a lazy episodic anime blogger. Look at her sitting at the back. That means she’s alone. She had water coming out of her mouth when she was asleep. That means she drools when she’s asleep. I see what they’re going for, but it doesn’t work. I did like the Gankutsuou-esque flowery filters over characters, particularly when I realised what they were going for with the not-fitting-in motif. I like it because it’s using animation to do something other mediums can’t. What qualifies as actual movement animation is rather limited, but it was also the case in Jojo’s so it works well enough here.

Storywise it’s very competently told and executed, if admittedly rather bland. Girl is alone, suddenly aliens appear, she has hidden power all this time, blah de blah de blah. Maybe my lowered expectations are showing after how poorly the weirder Nobunaga show of the season fucked up its first episode that I’m willing to praise something as simple as the ability to tell a story competently and coherently as being a big plus point. But hey, this might be a sign of a great new dawn. For the first few years of the 00s anime was going through a bit of a post K-ON phase with cute girl 4-koma adaptations everywhere. After that it was the My Light Novel Can’t Have Imouto In The Title, which is still ongoing and prevalent. Now though it’s time for the series inspired by Jojo’s. Nobunagun may not be amazing, but I choose to believe it’s a sign for a greater tomorrow.

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  1. Posted January 8, 2014 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    Careful in regards to wishing something will be like your favorites. It’s that sort of thinking that keeps the anime industry alive: so many people trying to recapture the magic of a classic (for example, the huge amount of crappy harems trying to succeed the same way Tenchi Muyo and Love Hina did) without understanding why that classic was so good.

    • Cirith
      Posted January 8, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      I think that love hina wasn’t any better and that people are just nostalgic. But I’m biased since I can’t stand love hina. (And I really want to know whether Scamp would still like it if he watched it today.)

      • Posted January 8, 2014 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        I’m referring to the manga. I’m not quite sure what effect the anime had since it was made back in the year 2000 (although some old fans told me it was popular), but the manga was very successful and spawned a ton of clones. And I maintain that despite some aspects being dated and the anime not holding up at all, the manga is still hilarious to this day.

        I guess a more personal example to me regarding “shitty clones” would be Pulp Fiction. I remember once stating that more movies should be like that. Then I was introduced to The Boondock Saints and wanted to punch the past me in the face.

      • Cirith
        Posted January 8, 2014 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        To be honest I’m know more of the manga than the anime and am assuming that the anime isn’t significantly better. The last contact I had with the anime version was a review about love hina again on thatguywiththeglasses.com and it didn’t exictly make me want to watch it (though the reviews on the site mostly aren’t all that serious.)
        Anyway I think love hina over uses the accidental pervert —> violence humor and since I started with not finding that humour funny and then developed a severe distaste for it, it was unavoidable that I didn’t like it.
        Granted maybe it gets better after the part I read.

      • Cirith
        Posted January 8, 2014 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        Oh found the review http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/bt/the-sage/anime-abandon/38437-anime-abandon-love-hina-again and 5 minutes in it has a nice seen with molestation leading to a crowd of man having nosebleeds a classic! I hope that the scene is anime original?

  2. Aethelwulf
    Posted January 8, 2014 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    The visual style on this was amazing, but my favorite bit was the leading girl herself. She was weird, but not “one note character with a defining qirk” weird, active and excitable without being an idiotic genki girl, a good person without being blandly nice, etc.

    I’m definitely looking forward to the next episode, probably more so than anything else I’ve watched so far this season.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 8, 2014 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      I think I preferred the version of her at the end of the episode with the giant gun and crazy grin

  3. Edraii
    Posted January 8, 2014 at 4:10 am | Permalink

    Now I realize they did not actually show the real opening animation this time around, but how could you not mention how METAAAAAAAL the opening song is (shown at the end)

    I am using the totally logical approach here and basing my expectations of this show on how METAL this song is, it is foolproof, anime of the season.


    • Scamp
      Posted January 8, 2014 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      I’m waiting until they attach some actual animation to that thing before commenting on it

      • Edraii
        Posted January 12, 2014 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        Spoilers, it sucked :(

    • Edraii
      Posted January 9, 2014 at 3:38 am | Permalink

      That’s fair enough, I just wasn’t sure if you were going to comment on more episodes or not. Well, it better be suitably crazy or I am going to be very disappointed.

  4. Silverbeard
    Posted January 8, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    This is good and is going to be even better.

  5. Redcrimson
    Posted January 8, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    I felt more like Nobunagun was trying to be some unholy amalgamation of SHAFT and GoHands. It didn’t really succeed at either one. I will agree though, that I much prefer shows trying to be stylish and failing than just being bland. An unpolished gem is still worth more than even the most polished of turds.

    I’m probably gonna stick with it. I’ve already seen way worse this season.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 8, 2014 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      Didn’t see any GoHands but agree on the Shaft part. Which is also a good thing because Shaft’s style is cool

  6. Posted January 14, 2014 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    Megaman X meets Gyo + War of the Worlds. That’s awesome and this is (and hopefully will stay) awesome.

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