This is potentially the most misleading first image ever.

Ogura Shio begins this episode the way many young anime heroines do – with a strange dream. She then has to run to school with some toast in her mouth because she overslept! Luckily, she’s in time for her class to leave on a field-trip to Taiwan…where she can’t help being sad that she doesn’t seem to have any friends. One of the cool and popular girls is nice to her, sending her heart a flutter as lovely music plays and pastel flowers dance and sway… then ALIENS ATTACK OUR ARMIES ARE USELESS MANKIND’S ONLY HOPE IS FOR THE SPIRITS OF GANDHI, NEWTON, JACK THE RIPPER AND ODA NOBUNAGA TO JOIN FORCES AND TURN INTO WEAPONS THIS IS THE BEST SYNOPSIS I HAVE EVER WRITTEN ON THIS BLOG.

Gotta love the colour palette shift in the second half of the episode.

Your enjoyment of Nobunagun is most likely going to depend on how much you can embrace the lunacy of its synopsis. I embraced it immediately because I’m still laughing at it, I’ve been laughing since I read it online a few weeks ago. Historical figures resurrected to fight in modern times isn’t a new concept – the Fate franchise actually manages to do it well and take itself seriously at the same time, and Nobunagun itself seems to have a lot more in common with Shaman King what with the spirits fusing into weapons. Japan’s utter fascination with making anime about Oda Nobunaga (this is, what, the 300th anime about him? It’s not even the only anime this season.) is something that I’m clearly just not Japanese enough to understand, and they’re pretty much a dime a dozen, but I think I can safely say this is the only one where he transforms into a gun.
To be fair, its more that Shio is his reincarnation and she can manifest his energy as a gun. Or something. Whatever it is, it looks like a hell of a lot of ridiculous fun; it’s already showing itself to have some great atmosphere and action. Shio, a highschool girl who just happens to also be a military otaku, is a likeable main character and the rest of the cast seem promising.
There’s a lot of interesting visual choices in the animation; most of the ‘normal’ scenes are all flowery; literally; the girls are covered in flower patterns with Shio usually excluded, having a military camo-patterned shadow.  Once the action starts the entire colour palette changes and its like it’s an entirely different show. It’s really quite well done.
It’s a prime contender for the new Moeronpan edition; I’m going to have to wait and see what episode 2 brings. Apparently other critics have found the show ludicrously dumb, but this is the kind of dumb I like. But…seriously. It’s an anime with Ghandi and Newton fighting aliens. That is hilarious. I am onboard.

The gun design isn’t half bad, either.

Out of 5,