DVD Review: Nobunaga the Fool – Part 2

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East and West collide once again in this alternate visualisation of the world; but what can you expect to receive within MVM Entertainment’s release of Nobunaga the Fool – Part 2? Well let’s take a look and find out in our latest review.

Synopsis:

As the ley-lines of the Western Star near the point of collapse, the threat of invasion continues to escalate. Fearing attack from their sister world, the Eastern Star braces for the eruption of full-scale interstellar war. Meanwhile, betrayal follows betrayal as the factions seeking the Holy Grail continue to turn on each other.

The Table is shattered and with Jeanne in the clutches of Cesare Borgia and Machiavelli, the seer seems destined for torture and burning at the stake. Will history repeat itself or will Nobu be able to pull off a daring rescue? King Arthur’s horrifying plan comes to fruition and the fates of two planets depend on the actions of one man!

Our View:

The adventures of Nobunaga, Mitsuhide, Hideyoshi, Ranmaru (Joan), Himiko and Da’vinci continue within this second instalment into potentially one of the most far-fetched visualisations of the warring states period of Japan. The first half of Nobunaga the Fool played the important role of introducing viewers to this ‘twisted variation’ and laying down the foundations of things to come. Now with the playing field set, and all of the characters present, it’s time for the story to really get moving and everything we learned previously may as well be thrown out of the window. Surprised? So was I; but the elements within this second half provide brief explanation and straight-forward mecha-action that could rival some of the most hardcore moments in the Gundam franchise.

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A constant battlefield; that’s pretty much what one can expect from the eleven episodes included within this second half of the series and it all begins with Nobunaga, Hideyoshi and Ranmaru defending themselves from an attack from new members of King Arther’s round table; known as Charlemagne and Hannibal. It’s a relatively short-lived battle; as Nobunaga and his friends are powerless to defeat this new opponent and in turn sees Ranmaru (Joan) captured by the enemy and taken back to hometown on the Western world. It’s here where some ‘sadistic’ elements into Nobunaga the Fool bears fruit; for starters Ranmaru (who is now called by her original name Joan) not only gets tortured by members of the King Arthur’s round table but it also sees the villagers of her hometown ‘torment her’ with abuse regarding her divine powers. Ironically enough this ‘capture’ may seem pointless and offer a different aspect of war but it actually helps further the plot along and begins to lay down the foundations for King Arthur’s true objective.

The objective of course is for King Arthur to use the Dragon Veins of both worlds, and the power of the scared treasures, in order to summon the Holy Grail. Why exactly King Athur desires this item is unclear, although judging from the ending I believe it was for his personal desires of attempting to resurrect a dead woman and secure eternal life; but it’s never really explained. Things just happen and Nobunaga puts a stop to it. In one aspect that’s actually what Nobunaga the Fool provides; a story whereby the exact details, and the events that move them forward, are irrelevant; things just happen and it’s up to Nobunaga to put it right – which is what exactly happens.

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King Arthur’s amibition aside for a moment the second half of Nobunaga the Fool offers so much more; for instance we get to see Nobunaga and Himiko form a stronger bond with each other and more importantly we see Nobunaga grow as a person but with dangerous consequences. There is also the numerous intense battles that take place between battle armors, including a brutal scene with Hideyoshi ‘s mecha being torn in half, and finally their is the emotional distress that is brought about to our beloved characters. It’s kind of uncanny; the storyline of King Arthur’s obsession with securing the scared treasures should be the aspect that drives people to watch this series; but in my eyes this story is complete trash and instead it’s the relationships between characters and the intense mecha battles that bring out the best of the series.

Extras:

Following suite with the previous instalment Nobunaga the Fool – Part 2 features a selection of trailers and textless openings; all of which are relegated to the first DVD disc with the remaining discs just featuring the episodic content of the series.

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As with most Sentai authored products a selection of other ‘Sentai Licensed shows’ are included as trailers on the disc and this release of Nobunaga the Fool – Part 2 is with exception; with trailers for a variety of ‘currently unlicensed’ shows being included. The exception of course being Captain Earth which has been licensed by MVM Entertainment and is currently available on DVD and Blu-ray within the UK.

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It’s pretty much the standard inclusion of bonus features; although I am slightly puzzled as to why Sentai Filmworks opted to place these bonus features on the first DVD disc, which features four episodes, as opposed to the third DVD disc, which only features three episodes. Sure enough the inclusion of these extras does not hamper the overall quality but I feel it would have made sense in the long-run to include them on the last disc rather than the first.

Specs:

Media:  DVD 9 x3
Region: 2
Running Time: 1:41:44 (Disc 1 & 2), 1:15:33 (Disc 3)
Video: MPEG-2
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow) Translation Notes (White)
Resolution: 720 x 480 (480p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps

Overall:

Once again Nobunaga the Fool continues to provide a rather dismal experience that is long since forgotten even after watching the events unfold and it’s mostly due to the presentation and delivery of the overall story. The characters in turn are superb and as each episode unfolds we get a deeper look into what each character truly believes in. For instance these selection of episodes may foertell the events that see King Arthur activating the holy grail and the misery of war that comes with it; but on the inside we see Nobunaga evolve into man we know from the history books as well as uncover Joan’s true feelings about her divine readings. Himiko, Ichi, Mitsuhide and Hideyoshi also play an important roleand while their personal interests may not envelope the screen their ideals and passions for supporting the cause do; and some in more destructive ways than others.

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As a progressive story Nobunaga the Fool falls down on several different occasions; but fortunately the intense battles and the chemical reactions between characters makes you overlook the confusing nature of the series. Unfortunately however non of these positives can overlook the rather random, and if not adrupt, ending which – however you spin it – is just plain annoying. No spoilers of course but the series builds up to a big finale that turns out to be everything but that to which the series just ends with no real explanation as to what just happened. Once again it’s disappointing, edgy and provides that unclarified explanation we’ve received throughout the entire series. It’s better to just forget about everything and watch the events unfold; otherwise you may ask questions that have no answers.

In any event MVM Entertainment once again manages to provide another straight-forward release with masters authored by Sentai Filmworks; so no real complaints from me. The only real complaints would be the English Dub – which constantly becomes worse as the series goes on – and some terrible music choices during set pieces; but alas this is an overall production issue rather than something Sentai Filmworks could control. It’s also worth mentioning that Sentai Filmworks have opted to provide translation notes during segments of the series; so a clear understanding to whats being said (or written) can be provided; but as always be quick or you may miss out. Dubbing quality aside everything works as intended and the picture quality remains consistent with no noticeable pixilation or distortion; something which we haven’t seen for a while on UK DVD’s.

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Overall Nobunaga the Fool provides a rather frantic and fast paced action series that delivers a lot of intense violence surrounded by an overcomplicated plot that just becomes completely insane by its ending. Personally it’s one I would watch for the characters and it’s artistic quality – which I enjoyed – but it’s not a series I enjoyed for its story-telling techniques; which even now have me clueless.

Score: review-stars-2

Nobunaga the Fool – Part 2 will be available on DVD and Blu-ray from the 28th November 2016 within the UK.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked on ZOMGPlay and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita or Xbox One.

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