What it’s about: Saburou, a delintquent teenager from modern-day Japan, is suddenly and inexplicably transported through time to the Warring States Period, where he practically drops on top of a young man who bears an uncanny likeness to himself. A man by the name of Nobunaga Oda, heir to an aristocratic family but without the physical or mental temperament to live up to his name. Saburou makes a deal to take his place, and sets about using his wits and poorly-remembered history lessons to ensure that things turn out as they should.
Why you should watch it: It’s a fun adventure romp with a protagonist more capable and interesting than he appears at first glance. There’s been something of a glut of Nobunaga stories in anime recently, which has led many to pass this one over, but it’s definitely worth a quick binge through all ten episodes. Just don’t take it all that seriously. As an aside, the end credits are fantastically rendered, and it’s fun to watch the details change as the story moves along (banners update, character names and appearances alter to fit the new reality, etc.)
Caveats: The animation is largely computer generated and it takes a while to get used to. The show also struggles to find its feet in the early episodes, focusing a little too much on the “fish out of water” humour. It gets a lot stronger once the plot begins in earnest and you can begin to see the changes wrought upon Nobunaga’s story. Speaking of which, while you don’t need any familiarity with Japanese history to enjoy the show, it’s a definite bonus. Some of the subtleties require you to at least know the names of the major players and how they relate to each other.
Themes: Leadership – the privileges and responsibilities that come with it.