Nobunaga Concerto: A Surprise Hit


Oda Nobunaga, a name that brings forth the spirit of the great warlord of Japanese history. However in anime, it brings forth a cringe and immediate disregard of any worth. Thankfully, despite this preconceived notion, Nobunaga Concerto manages to do one thing right: Entertain!

Saburo is a high school boy who hates history. Feeling that it doesn’t affect his life, he disregards it on a daily basis. Comically enough, he would soon find himself regretting this as he, by some strange occurence, is transported to Japan’s Sengoku Era.

Not only this, but he’s immediately confronted by Oda Nobunaga and tasked with becoming his stand-in as they look identical. This is because Nobunaga is gravely ill and finds himself unable to fulfill his seat and lead his people.

Completely confused and unable to grasp the situation, Saburo is dragged back to his castle by Nobunaga’s council and forced to return to his daily tasks. While Saburo doesn’t like being pent-up all the time, and hates being scolded for his “odd behavior,” a near assassination attempt would soon drive him to want to fulfill his textbook and conquer Japan. Because that’s what Oda Nobunaga did right…?

Admittedly, I was a bit late on picking up Nobunaga Concerto.  Mainly due to its name and concept.  Oda Nobunaga has been thrown under the bus so many times in anime that it’s no longer funny.  It never turns out good and it always tells a terrible tale.

Enter Nobunaga Concerto to prove me wrong.  While it’s not ground breaking, and has a questionable style, it still manages to capture me and entertain me from start to finish.  I still can’t help but find the idea of a random high school kid leading a nation as Nobunaga a bit silly, it somehow pulls it off well.  Saburo is likable, has a great personality to fit the situation, and oddly catches you off guard when he pulls something off.

nobunagaconcerto7I can’t help but feel I’m missing out on a lot of interesting elements for this show because I’m not too versed in Japanese history, but it doesn’t keep it from being engaging and relatively easy to follow.  So if you’re like me, don’t fret.  I even find myself wanting to look up the names of the characters to see what their real selves pulled off in the world.  I’m definitely getting a sense that some of the characters follow quite a different route than in reality.

I would assume that my cluelessness to Japanese history helps me relate to Saburo so much as I struggle to figure things out as he is. Even when he’s pulling out his textbook, it never seems to help him entirely to figure things out. Though Nobunaga’s impending death to assassination really has me curious how things will wrap up.

nobunagaconcerto11The humor of the show really does play off the aspect of clashing cultures, but it never seems to overplay it. Just sudden outburst by Saburo that flies past everyone with clueless stares. It’s cute and keeps me entertained during the more slow-moving points.

I will admit that another element that kept me away from this show was its exclusive use of CG.  That said, I managed to get over it very quickly (this coming from someone who dropped Arpeggio quickly for it).  Besides the odd head turning animations, the art style used actually lends itself to a sort of living Japanese painting that looks really good.

Finally, I can’t wrap this up without mentioning the amazing ED that this show has.  My First Story pulls off yet another fantastic song that has me maxing out the volume every time it comes on.  Along with many other great OSTs this Summer season, I can’t wait for this track to go on sale.

In the end, Nobunaga Concerto is wrapping up to be a surprise hit for me this season.  I thought I would hate it, I gave it a chance, and I’m absolutely pleased that I did.  If you’re on the fence for this show, put aside your fear of Oda Nobunaga and give it a shot!

Episode 1-8 Impressions





  • Good humor
  • Easy to follow
  • Great pacing


  • Head turns look odd

This impression is based on a set of episodes and doesn’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

Co-Founder of and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 1300 shows. Outside of Otaku Spirit, he has been a judge for the Anime Awards and aided in reviewing titles for some publishers. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Sharing this joy, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.