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Nobunaga the Fool Episode 19 Review: Surreal Battlefield
To be honest, the latest episode of Nobunaga the Fool was one heck of a surreal roller coaster that didn’t really make much sense in some parts. I had an idea that things weren’t going to improve much from the dire situation that the previous episode ended on, but I certainly had no idea even half of the things that just happened in this episode would. So in short: Nobunaga is Jesus, Jeanne gets mentally tortured again, and Mitsu gets more screen time. Curious? Read on!
Nobunaga got his sorry behind handed to him by Alexander, and so Nobu has to find a way to counter the beefy powerhouse. The only option seems to be to undergo the trial of the dragon, which resides within that realm between depicted in an earlier episode. Nobu first attempts to go alone, but then ends up going with Jeanne and Kenshin. Apparently Kenshin wasn’t captured after all, and was merely let go by Alexander. So everyone has their reason to go and try to obtain more power from the dragon.
The dragon itself is a manifestation of the person on trial. The stronger the person, the stronger the dragon. So I figured it was going to be a typical trial by combat, was I right? Nope. The next five to ten minutes of the episode are the most surreal, nonsensical roller coaster of an acid trip. Nobu and Kenshin face the dragon in their own individual worlds, while Jeanne is cut off and put through mental torture in an attempt to get her to accept the visions that she has. Of course, with this being an anime, Jeanne goes through this entire scenario almost entirely naked save for her boots and gloves. I can’t help but wonder/worry if there is someone on the animation team that was applying a disturbing fantasy of theirs into this scene.
Meanwhile, Kenshin has his own attack turned on him and then just drops out of the episode entirely. Of course, this isn’t the first time that this has happened to Kenshin so I’m sure that the androgynous youth will show up again at some point before the series ends. Nobu is faced by the demons of his past, and soon realizes that the dragon that manifests is an incarnation of the pain and suffering of those closest to him. By accepting this and allowing the dragon to “devour” him, Nobunaga passes the trial and allegedly becomes more powerful.
At one point in the episode, Mitsu has his own surreal dreamlike sequence in which he looks within himself after a lengthy conversation with Leonardo. It seems to be implied that historical Mitsu’s betrayal of Nobunaga is something that could occur in the future, but that remains to be seen. But it seems like Leonardo is trying to push Mitsu to take a much more active front role in what he calls the “banquet”.
Speaking of Leonardo, enter the cliché blend of Christianity with anime. Leonardo is working on a painting that he calls the “Last Supper”, which bears some strong similarities to the real life version. So if the painting depicted is to be believed, the Savior King (possibly Nobunaga) is none other than the anime equivalent of Jesus piloting a gundam. While I probably shouldn’t have expected limits for an anime that mixes historical figures from almost every single historical period imaginable, I was admittedly caught off guard by the odd fusion of Jesus Christ and Oda Nobunaga. I guess it remains to be seen what will develop from this.
As far as the next episode goes, it’s hard to tell what will happen next. The preview showed various characters in brief flashes, making it difficult to get much context. However, there appears to be a scene between Julius Caesar and King Arthur. I wonder if Caesar is getting a blessing of some sort from the oddly celestial Arthur, or if there is another reason why Caesar is kneeling before him. I just hope the next episode will be less surreal acid trip, and more substantial in terms of explaining the significance of Nobu managing to obtain the power of the dragon. Mitsu and Ichihime are seen talking briefly, but it’s unclear if this is something that actually happens or if it will be a dream sequence/vision that Mitsu goes through.