Anime Reflections: “Nobunaga no Shinobi”

Had the opportunity here recently to check out this Spring’s offering of fresh, new anime series and movies. Unfortunately, what I saw was more of what I’ve come to expect from Japan’s seasonal, animated offerings. Stories of adolescent men and women falling in and out of love. Heroic forays into ancient Japan, or futurist, space-operas somewhere in a universe far, far away (had to switch it up a little). Eventually, whether through written review or through radio–my plan is to discuss some of those new shows and get at what’s hot and what could use some work.

Today though, I’m discussing a television show, that actually made it’s debut last October.

Ninja Girl and the Samurai Master

aka Nobunaga no Shinobi

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Nobunaga no Shinobi is a four-panel manga series by Naoki Shigeno. The historical comedy began in 2008, and has been running nine volumes strong since making it’s debut in Young Animal magazine.  The anime version is called Ninja Girl and the Samurai Master, and even it’s animation style lends itself toward something similar to a quick, snappy, ‘four-panel’ episode. As episodes are literally around three minutes long, the dialogue, narration, and colorful cast of characters fly in and out of frame as swiftly as they appeared. The jokes, sight-gags, and witty nature of the program really had me and my ten year-old laughing out loud; but I would like to give a bit of a warning. The show does feature blood, cartoon violence, and even some crude, gross humor that may be a bit much for some.

As it is a historically-inspired work, the series sort of summarizes each event in Nobunaga’s eventual conquest of Japan. The viewer’s eye ‘sorta’ comes in the way of a young, silly, but skilled shinobi named Chidori. Now Chidori and Oda Nobunaga seem to swear allegiance to one another fairly quickly and their antics and adventures with other characters in Oda’s clan. Again, it takes a lot for an anime to make me laugh, but the snappy characters featured in this anime pulled it off with aplomb.

As of now there are currently nineteen episodes available for viewing on Crunchyroll. Please give it a watch, and let me know what you think. While we’re on the note of thoughts and opinions, send yours to worduppodcast@gmail.com

 

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