Sengoku Collection – All hail Nobunaga!
April 6, 2012 4 Comments
Well, the new season has begun, and so to has Sengoku Collections, an anime loosely inspired by the Sengoku Era (warring states period). I say loosely because the only real link to that period so far has been the name of our protagonist, Oda Nobunaga, and all the other characters appear to be named after various famous figures from that particular period. Of course, like several other series, all these famous figures, rather than being their normal, male samurai selves, are of course women, or girls. Not entirely original, but it as worked before, and appears to work again.
The episode started off with Nobunaga appearing to fall off of her burning castle, only to then be transported to present day Japan, and landing on poor, unassuming Oota. Obviously, like many other series with similar themes we have a classic case of a fish out of water, with Nobunaga in a time period that is utterly unfamiliar to her. Whats interesting is that she seems to adapt remarkably quickly, and even saves Oota from a would be robber, although apparently without quite understanding what she has done.
I enjoyed watching the interaction between Nobunaga and Oota, with the former showing an amazing ability to adapt, and of course Oota, who at first is reticent to help her, seems to grow quite attached to out little pink haired warlord towards the end of the episode. It was great to see Nobunaga immediately claim Oota as her retainer, and continuously ordering him around, even in his own house. And yet, there was never any doubt in this episode that Nobunaga or Oota would let the other down.
What was fascinating actually, was the way in which they became something similar to a family within such a short period of time. Now, we might have had fanservice, with Nobunaga displaying a fine figure, along with her stripping down in plain view of Oota to have a bath, but there was never any real lust there. Seeing them both sleeping next to each other – albeit with Oota on the floor, while Nobunaga takes the bed – showed that they had learned to live together, and that there was never any thought of taking advantage of the situation in Oota’s mind.
There is the potential for romance there, with Nobunaga and Oota getting closer throughout the episode, and yet it remains only a possibility for now. Oota does not feature in the Opening, and Nobunaga is intent on getting back to her alternate universe. We are left questioning whether or not Oota will ever appear in this series again, since Nobunaga is quick to leave as soon as she has her goal, and interestingly enough next weeks episode preview does not appear to involve her at all.
Of course, the story in a sense doesn’t exactly matter when you look at the series – those glorious colours and vivid world leave you entertained, and simply enjoying what is a fun series. The story itself is potentially very interesting, with ideas about betrayal, along with notions of why these warriors have been transported to present day Japan. There is also enough of a story to get certain emotional reactions, especially when Nobunaga can switch from happy to sad in an instant. The story itself is no work of wonders, and in places is relatively generic, but so far the way in which it has been portrayed, coupled with the colourful world mean that this detail doesn’t necessarily matter.
This series has some serious edges, and yet it still manages to portray them in ways that mean they don’t take over. There is fanservice, but it is not overdone, and instead appears to meld into part of the story rather than being pushed into your face. Furthermore, the soundtrack is spectacular, with some brilliant hard rock pieces, along with a few more delicate touches courtesy of blues, rock and even a few acoustic pieces it seems – very different from many other series that appear to rely almost entirely on J-Pop. The OP itself had a nice vibe going on, that at first seemed to be entirely opposed to the colourful display of the main cast, and yet it fit perfectly. There appears to be very little to do with the Sengoku Era in this series, if anything it is more akin to a Magical Girl show, only the characters are all named after famous historical Japanese figures. It’s to early to tell where this show will go from here, but so far its certainly been an enjoyable first episode and I hope it continues in this way.