There’s been so many versions of Oda Nobunaga in anime that you probably could do a Top 10 list of your favorite anime Nobunagas and still be missing some favorites. I suppose that leaves Kochoki feeling a little unoriginal though somewhat in its favor is that it’s an anime about Nobunaga’s adolescent years, before he became the legendary warlord is he known as now.
I’m going to go a whim and assume historical accuracy is not something this show is vying for. Some details seem about right such as Nobunaga going by his childhood name (Kippoushi), his association with commoners, his fascination with firearms, and his strained relationship with his mother. Where liberties are possibly taken is his personality. The show seems to largely portray him as a man of the people. He befriends and helps some street urchins pillage his father’s ships for goods to sell on the black market. Even when their last heist goes south and his father prepares to execute his friends, Nobunaga still chooses to side with them and stands against his father. On one hand, this is a pretty likable character and a not entirely unfaithful depiction of his historical counterpart. On the other, it feels too simplified and morally digestible, especially for what is supposed to be one of the most complex figures in Japanese history.
That kind of leaves me in a somewhat tough spot. I kind of enjoyed what I saw of this premiere but I can see the liberties possibly being taken here grating on me. It is admittedly hard capturing the complexities of people who actually lived and events that actually happened but I’d rather see a work of art try to do so rather than work around it in favor of something viewers can consume more easily. Maybe I’ll watch a little bit more if I have the time to spare but I may check on what other people think of the show instead.
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