Nobunagun: Episode 9

Author’s note: The next few reviews have been delayed, but I can’t put them off anymore, because my life has been hectic and depressing of late.  Some of my sour mood will probably spill over.  So take these opines with a grain of salt.


This weeks Nobunagun demonstrated the aspect of human nature that craves and idolizes that which it cannot have. A look into the psyche about not always getting what you want.

Yes I’m referring to the audience, why do you ask?

Nobunagun finally played the Asao-san card.  And…I know I’ve been yelling for this for weeks…but…in the end, I think Nobunagun was too certain of its own conclusions to actually get what they wanted out.  This isn’t even about the blow to our yuri-goggles this week, but that just compounds the frustration.

We begin with Shio waking in a hospital.  Apparently the Commander gave Shio one day in the hospital in her native country as a favor.  We know it’s only one day because St. Germain is here to tell Shio she’s back on active duty TOMORROW.

God I hope the plane fare was worth it.  Seems like you could have treated her on-site and she’d be fixed before the plane even landed if all she has is a sprained ankle.  Well at least DOGOO is as competent in its fiscal division as research or combat.

Now, in what are probably the first shots fired for the conclusion of the series, it seems that the Evos have been launching a total attack. Everywhere. All at once.   They know the jig is up on their main base, so in order to buy time they are throwing everything they can at Humanity.  DOGOO is holding, so there’s no critical disasters yet, but neither will Team1 and Team2 be receiving any backup when they launch their final attack on the tunnel-base. Things are just stretched to the limit right now.

It turns out what the Evos are guarding is very likely some version of stem-cells. Suddenly Evo evolution is completely synonymous with Earth evolution, which is how we determined this. See, Vidocq deduces that since the guard Evo was a squid type, and several of the kaiju they’ve sent at the mainland has been vertebrate, that there must be a source material that allows the Evos to go in either direction.  A sort of genetic forge where they turn out the latest and greatest models of cars, boats, AND planes.

Of course there are several explanations that might just as easily fit, say, Evos can reproduce down caste lines and evolve between generations, but we will give them the benefit of the doubt on this one that they actually know this based on dissection, and not just by looking at a picture and saying “must be.”

Asao finally makes her appearance in Shio’s hospital room, just as Shio turns on her phone and receives all of the texts Asao has sent over the past months.

This is a sticking point with me.  The show wants to eat its cake and have it, too.  They launch the SPAM of sweet emails at us, literally seconds before Asao shows up.  This can work in a pilot, or as a jumping on point for new viewers. Maybe.

But at this late juncture it feels like we should KNOW this is the most important person in Shio’s life as of right now. But if you jumped in at episode 3…you would have NO IDEA who this “Asao-san” (so adorable when Shio says that…) was.  It’s like they realized how long it had actually been since she made ANY kind of appearance, so we had to dump this all on and say “See? See? They really ARE friends!”

Don’t misunderstand, I would have liked it, and it would have been super sweet, if they had just picked right up where they left off, like no time had passed for their friendship.  After all, that is what the strongest friendships can do, a lack of contact for months, even years, but on seeing each other again, it’s just like old times.  It would have been a little thematic even, as Shio is entering her post-high-school world, and her friendships must…pardon the pun…evolve.

Though my preferred method would have been to get a little letter to or from Asao “Dear Princess Celestia” style every episode, just to carry the thread of their friendship through the series.

This method of spamming us (and Shio) is trying to have it both ways, I think, and I can’t even fully articulate WHY this bothers me so much but it just does.

But then seeing them interact makes me want to weep. With joy! Not everything is loathsome around here.  Their chemistry is still perfection incarnate.  This is a natural friendship, and I am so depressed we had to go so long without it.  Just think, every time we see Newton cramming her tongue down someone’s throat or beating us about the head with how Vidocq is a cocky asshole, it is time we COULD be spending on watching these two on the phone together, or something.

But it can’t all be cakes and sunshine. We take a blow to the Yuri goggles as Asao lets it slide that Shio seems to have a crush on Jack.  Curses. Curses! KISS HER YOU FOOL! Sigh…

I don’t NEED the girl on girl, but I LIKE the girl on girl.  We also get told that Asao is studying to become a nurse, or something.

Well, you know what’s coming now.  Yes, the kaiju are launching an offensive against Humanity…and Asao has the bad fortune of being in Tokyo.  That’s like trying to avoid a tentacle demon with crotchless panties.

There were more than a few callbacks to the earlier parts of the series, the least of which isn’t Asao herself finally reappearing. During the Evo attack, Shio is mostly stuck on the sidelines waiting for an airship to drop her an AU ball.  Meanwhile, Asao has had disaster training and knows exactly what to do to help evacuate some children from the hospital.  I am reminded of Episode 2 when Samurai Kyubey was talking to Shio about her power.  “When you try to help people you will see how powerless you truly are.”  Shio is mostly useless without her gear, despite the fact is she one of only some two dozen heroes of Humanity (speaking purely of the combat squads, here).  Meanwhile, though Asao has nothing she’s able to help the staff of the hospital.

And when an Evo attacks and Asao tries to draw it away from the bus evacuating, we get a callback to episode 3, when St. Germain mentioned that AU powers are theoretically biological but it’s never been done.  And yes, we called it, Shio is going to be the test case.  She calls on Nobunaga to help her save her friend.  In a move that I think almost certainly is a homage to Yusuke Urameshi’s Rei Gun.  Speaking of St. Germain, he takes a level in metric badass when he runs the thing over with his car.

Jack finally arrives to clean house. Wait what? Don’t tell me that’s IT Nobunagun? Is that the grand connection to her past life? Please tell me there’s more >.<

Jack gives Shio some space as she says her goodbyes to Asao.  ASK HER OUT ON A DATE, DAMNIT.  And he says it’s now “his turn” for a talk.  Judging by comments Jack had been making earlier (he had a lone cutaway) he probably wants Shio to assume command of the unit in an official capacity due to her performance last battle.

But that’s just speculation.


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