Gun No. 1: Oda Nobunaga
So history is pretty par for the course when you’re in school. Dates, events, people. You learn about the past so we can move into the future, a new age. Those who don’t learn are doomed to repeat the mistakes of times long gone. You know, that old chestnut. So it may appear a little counter intuitive when the present’s best hope for survival revolves around breathing new life into the past.
Anyway, how about we meet our protagonist? Ogura Sio. Kind of a difficult girl to qualify. In some ways the typical anime schoolgirl, she begins her day by running to school, toast in mouth, panicking at her lateness. That being said, we learn beforehand that she is intensely interested in weaponry, guns to be more specific, a fact belied by her cute appearance. A quirky girl who somehow manages to both blend into the scenery and stand out. Each student knows her as the weird girl yet a teacher completely forgot about her when taking attendance. For a field trip to Taiwan. Which is a pretty cool excursion if I do say so myself. Going by first appearances, which is what we have at the moment, Sio is a pretty interesting protagonist, combining both the relatability that highschool anime students are supposed to express, along with a uniqueness that makes you want to follow her story…which gets a little crazy from here on out.
After a little sightseeing in Taiwan, there is a surprise appearance by a monstrous creature who rises from the ocean, ready to make a go of it on land. Unfortunately for literally everyone who isn’t the monster, it has a fondness for obliteration and decides to partake in a little anti-human, anti-life behaviour. Naturally the military shows up, proves ineffective and subsequently explodes. It’s like they’ve never watched a monster movie before. Similarly on queue is the arrival of someone who can actually do something against the titanic creature: some guy. Though, through the power of us being the audience, we learn that he is part of an organisation created to defeat these creatures, who have just now begun to encroach on land, having previously living solely in the ocean. Revealed to be Jack the Ripper, he calls forth a kick ass blade arm and goes ballistic on the beast and, as expected, deals considerable damage…before it explodes into hundreds of smaller monsters…damn.
Meanwhile, Sio stumbles around the battlefield in search of her not-quite-but-still-kinda-getting-to-be friend, who has not yet escaped. This is a pretty defining moment for her as, since she is the outcast of school, she really doesn’t have close friends. That she would be willing to risk her life for a girl who was nice to her only minutes ago, showcases a powerful sense of bravery, loyalty and compassion. Imagine what she’d do for someone she knew well. Anyway, running into the fray, Sio eventually crosses paths with the monsters and stands face to face with death…which is then killed by Jack, who is subsequently stabbed, who stands face to face with death, which is then killed by Sio…it’s all very neat and cyclical. What’s that? How did Sio save Jack? Oh yeah, I kinda skipped over that part…sorry. Well ol’ Jack, when injured, dropped a mystical artefact that was in turn picked up by Sio. Bearing the power of a historical soul, she was able to unlock her potential and reveal her true self, a form she herself named: Nobunagun. Don’t you just love it? It’s just so…punny. Even Jack can’t believe it. Anyway, with giant, soul powered gun as hand, Sio proceeds to unleash a barrage of bullets unto the coastal menace…and looks just a little too happy doing so.
Though only two have been shown fully thus far, with two more glimpsed at, the character’s personalities also seem fundamentally affected by the soul they carry within them. For example our heroine Ogura Sio, bearing the soul of the apparent firearm proponent Nobunaga, is herself a bit of a gun nut, able to tell from a glance the calibre of even military level hardware. This effect seems to only be amplified when they manifest their weapon. Sio fired upon the creatures with the same fervour that Nobunaga himself is implied to have. As the remnants of his persona laugh maniacally within her mind, Sio herself has a rather murderous smile etched on her face.
In a similar vein, the visuals of the series are also pretty damn cool. The two weapons we’ve seen so far pretty much exist for the sake of being cool as much as they are for fighting monsters. I mean that gun is as big as Sio is, not to mention the tonfa/Swiss Army sword Jack wields. The monster attack also brought with it an interesting visual effect, in that the colour palette took a bit of a dramatic shift. Sio’s eyes turned red, her hair a shade of blue and the world went overall darker. This really incited a sense of the unknown and served to show just how scared and lost Sio was. This also contrasts with the earlier visuals, where Sio was surrounded by flowers and there was some sort of floral overlay in a number of scenes.
Well that was Episode 1. How’d you all enjoy it? So far, it’s proving to be a rather interesting series. The whole reincarnation, weapon summoning premise is rather unique and fresh. With Nobunaga and Jack the Ripper on stage, plus Newton and Gandhi on their way, there seems to be quite a mash up of history on its way.
Check out more Nobunagun Impressions HERE.