Nobunagun: Episode 5



There’s still  a bit of casting around for footing in Nobunagun this week.  That’s actually a crime, as many more like this and this “slump” is going to turn into “tone” for what has, until recently, proven to be the most exciting show of the season.

I still suspect Noragami will disappoint me, my feelings on Sakura Trick are that it is fully capable of doing that, too.  But, picking favorites, from the purely emotional level, this is the series I want to succeed most.

We start with the higher ups discussing Shio’s fate.  Capa complains that she doesn’t know the first thing about sniping, so it would be pointless to put her on a sniper squad right now.

Wait. Sniper Squad? Last episode didn’t we establish there are all of TWO long range fighters in DOGOO? Shio and William Tell?

DOGOO consistently puts the cart before the horse, I think.  If we have a bunch of specialists who could help a sniper, but have, until recently, only had ONE sniper, there is something structurally flawed with Humanity’s last defense.

I blame Samurai Kyubey.

But ultimately, no matter HOW we arrive at it, the conclusion has been inevitable since Shio unlocked Nobunaga’s soul. Nobunaga’s battle instincts are needed in the field as strategist and combatant, not as a glorified red button.

And she’ll be part of Jack’s squad. Oh, the member she hasn’t been getting along with? Oh, you wacky writers, you completely fooled me for a second there.

She will be stationed on a glorified zeppelin, the “Alex Logan”.  But Jack can’t help but poke fun at the rookie some more, causing her to blush.

What is it with everyone thinking getting teased gets your panties wet?  Shio makes a comment in her head as she blushing bright pink that “but I have Asao…”  So…I think it’s fairly clear at least how Shio looks at it.

But they quickly lose my good will on introducing the rest of the team to us proper like.

Not that there’s anything wrong, exactly.  Well, okay, Newton comes off a little obnoxious, french kissing everything she sees.  But what really has me concerned with this is that I remember Galilei Donna and Roberto.  And character DETAILS are not character TRAITS, be they origami or french kisses.  Admittedly one is more wacky.  This episode didn’t exactly set my fears at ease, either.

Gandhi is given the lead on showing the newbie around.  He gives us the basics of the combat squads, that they are in three fortresses, housing multiple combat teams, who swoop down on Evos when they show their face.  He’s also a rather aggressive flirt, and seems to enjoy making Shio uncomfortable.  So maybe he’s not exactly a flirt, more an emotional sadist.

We meet the research and support team.

…Again, my fears are not dispelled as I notice SO MANY PEOPLE who have Humanity’s greatest minds running support, having missed that one crucial detail from last week.

Well wouldn’t you know it, they’re going to crack the mystery this week once and for all. Wow. Suspenseful.  You’ll note my sarcasm.

Shio tries to get in some serious character development.  She does some research on Nobunaga and the play she quoted last week.  She’s developing a concern that when Nobunaga “awakens” he seems to be playing the controlling role in her actions.

Naturally, none of the other E-Gene holders know what the fuck she is trying to say.  They talk about it in terms that really obfuscate the real issue Shio is having.  And their answers just amount to horoscopes. That’s all. “Some people say E-Genes cause your personality to shift, but sometimes it has the opposite effect in reaction.”  So…horoscopes. “Sometimes you are A, but sometimes you are not A.”

Real helpful guys.

It is at this point my hopes for serious exploration of the reincarnation matter, at least on the metaphysical level, are dashed. This seems to be an effect exclusive to Shio, so while it certainly will have character-consequences, I don’t think we’ll see it as having an effect on the broader universe here.  Which is a shame. I had such high hopes for that.

And poor Shio, she’s getting the social experience of playing an MMO without actually getting the fun part of it, what with all her teammates either looking down on her or trying to bed her.

Well the brains have developed a plan.  And really, did you think that they’d been doing any real work until Episode 1? Nope. But they have it all figured out.

So I have to say it again. My hopes are dashed.  The early episodes spoke to how DOGOO had been fighting the Evos for a century. Everything around us, standard procedure for their combat squads, using UN bases as cover, and their willingness to expose the whole kaiju war thing publicly are all indicative that this had been a long going conflict.

But as the plot has been moving, they aliens may as well have LANDED on Earth at episode 1, the story structure has been exactly the same.  They know next to nothing about them, and now they learned how they fight and adapt.  At this point nothing would have been lost if Samurai Kyubey had summoned all the E-Gene holders to Taiwan and made them power rangers.  And I think that’s a shame.  Despite the fact the window dressing is different, it is still the same sentai window.

So the squad is set to take down a sea-borne Evo, and bravo for actually having them have specialized craft since all these fights have thus far taken place at sea.  They need to blow out its brain so they can get the tiny, parasite Evos inside.  They are what is responsible for the “communication” between objects.  They abandon the host and “send news” of the defeat to the other Evos.

Alright, fair is fair, you win points for not taking the easy route with a literal hive mind.

Importantly, it’s nice to the see the military using conventional weapons against the Evos.  It may not be very effective but they are playing their part.  And props to the show for doing it.

So we’re calling these new things “messengers”.  Like literally. They are tiny radio towers.

….Calling bullshit on your clever idea. Sometimes when you try to be different you just make things more confusing.

But I can let it slide since this is just an action series with pokemon style aliens.

This was definitely a weak episode. You still have my good will Nobunagun, but as other series have proven: that isn’t inexhaustible.

Did I miss something?

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