Nobunaga no Shinobi or “Ninja Girl & Samurai Master” is a hilarious short that I randomly decided to pick up while I had some time on Sunday. This show takes place at the end of the Sengoku period, which was the Japanese equivalent to the War of The Five Kings from Game of Thrones. There’s political backstabbing, wars, assassination, and corruption; all leading to giant upheavals of the country’s entire future. So what this show specifically entails is a hilarious historical telling of the saga of Oda Nobunaga, one of history’s most iconic military minds and strategic geniuses and his accomplishments during the Sengoku period. He was renowned for his brutal tactics, political acumen, and sharp business mind, with skills in high and low-level management and organizations. Which is one of the many reasons why this show is absolutely hilarious.
Nobunaga no Shinobi’s Shinobi part is the aforementioned “Ninja Girl” Chidori. Chidori is a 16ish-year-old girl who fangirls over Nobunaga after their chance encounter 5 years ago when he saved her from drowning. I wish I could simply include the first episode (again it’s a short so it’s only about 2.5 minutes) but a hilarious introduction as to who the characters are is only capped off by Chidori showing off while she’s a ditz, she’s hyper lethal; killing 4 samurai assassins in the blink of an eye. There are numerous times this happens over the course of the show, typically IMMEDIATELY after someone makes the comment of “oh no, don’t go out there little girl…” only to result in a bloodbath like the one below.
As far as how addicting this show can be, I honestly managed to burn through the 18 episodes currently out right now and it gave me an amazing distraction and reminded me of why I love shorts like this and Space Patrol Luluco. Even without a PhD in Japanese Military History, the show introduces the cast and events in an entertaining and easy to digest fashion. The dialogue and pacing are very, very quick but I never felt they were going too fast. Somehow at 1.5x speed, the conversations and jokes were all perfectly timed and had me literally rolling on the floor laughing sometimes. Again Chidori’s adorable and efficient, resulting in her being well loved by many of the characters and even by her enemies at times. After being pivotal in a battle’s outcome, Nobunaga promises to reward her after she rests, for which there is only one real appropriate request. For Senpai to notice her.
And she isn’t the only one that’s hilarious. In addition to a number of hilarious retainers from the pretty boy Mori Yoshinari, who gets absolutely rekt by Chidori; WAY too sickly Takenaka Hanbee who coughs out as much blood as a vampire with the flu; Kichu, Nobunaga’s super gung-ho and pragmatic wife; and my surprise favorite side character, Toyotomi Hideyoshi or the Monkey. He is portrayed as a comical relief character at first, then shows his ingenuity and the reason why (spoiler alert) he is the successor to Nobunaga. Although his first encounter with Chidori is one step up from “ARE YOU NARUTO?”
So to wrap this hilarity up, I just have to say give it a shot. At worst you lose two and a half minutes of your life and at best you find yourself literally rolling on the floor laughing as these characters go about the complex process of unifying a country. It’s a prime example of a light hearted affair and even has some seriousness to ground it, such as Chidori’s main motivation for assisting Nobunaga being that by bringing unity to the country, he can also bring peace. Now go watch the show or Oda Nobunaga will shoot you with a matchlock rifle. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!