Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Nobunaga no Chef (2013, 2014)

Ok, I got a few days off from work, so I'm profitting to catch up with some TV drama and movies to review.
Doing anything else would be waaay better in terms of quality time, but you know how dutiful I am, so here's the review for the two seasons of Nobunaga no Chef, a recent seasonal TV series based on the homonymous manga by duo Nitsuru Mishimura/Takuro Kajikawa.

I'll be quick with the review of this drama: READ THE MANGA INSTEAD.

The TV drama is extremely STUPID compared to the original source and I was quite shocked by how the authors of the TV series managed to destroy the realistic and accurate accents of the manga for the sake of-- Of-- I don't even know what they wanted to do!
I would like to dismiss this by quoting Ken (played by your random bishounen of sort, idol Tamamori "Tama-chan" Yuta) under here, "this is a work of fiction", but I'm not sure it's enough to justify the horrors that I had to face during these 17 episodes.
Seriously guys. While the cooking/food parts were quite well-made and enjoyable, the rest performed random one-on-one fights (Nobunaga jumping randomly in the action and destroying whole armies by himself-- SERIOUSLY?!), main characters completely changed on a whim for no reason, others removed to introduce some other young actress that would die the next episode (Hey there! Nozomi Sasaki!), mysteries that were never granted any solution (how did Mitsuhide know about the temple for time-travelling? Why was Youko back in the Sengoku period?! WHY IS KENNYO A WIFE BEATER?!!!)-- This drama is a serious case of trainwrecking, and my reason to talk about is the portrayal of Nobunaga in there only.

Let's proceed then.
Nobunaga was played by Mitsuhiro Oikawa, that we met already during the horrible Toshiie to Matsu as Keiji Maeda.

I would say that his characterization of Nobunaga was pretty much a caricature, filled with poses and stereotypes.

As usual, I wouldn't blame it all on the actor, as in other roles he acted decently, rather I'm starting to accept the idea that between Nobunaga and the modern Japanese there is a sort of "barrier" where this man is plainly impossible to understand-- and there goes the pantomime of a videogame, with random evil laughters and threatening glares out of nowhere.

This said, Oikawa's acting wasn't actually terrible: his idea of a decent person trying to hide his real feelings so to not show his weak side to enemies and allies alike got through quite convincingly, and this guy sure had the required charm to portray a nice Nobunaga (I really dig those wrinkles on his cheeks! How badass!!), but you have this impression, you know, of watching someone who has no idea of what he has to do.

Sure, his choice of clothes didn't help.

I found that sort of fur coat expecially outrageous but I have to admit that the "kabuki jacket" was quite amusing!

Speaking of clothes, the most ridiculous were given to the ninja Kaede (model Sei Ashina)-- She looked coming out straight out of a RPG.
Is that supposed to be some kind of fanservice? She looked expecially silly despite the overall good acting and cool fighting scenes because all the other ninja characters appearing in the series were dressed as "actual" ninja!

So, now I guess you'll be, "Ok Dae, that was fun... Seriously, what are the feats of Nobunaga described during the series?"
My reply is "He flaps around his red mantle continuosly."

I know, I'm annoying. But I have to get the frustration for watching this useless drama out of my system somehow, no XD ?
Let me bully you guys for a little bit!

Seriously, there are some intriguing interpretations of some of Nobunaga's actions, interpretations focused on making Nobunaga-sama look good, probably better than he really was.
First example, the burning down of Enryaku-ji on Mount Hiei (1571).
It's explained during the series that Nobu never allowed the random massacre of innocent citizens, and he actually burned down empty temples, as the most of monks escaped to Kai, while the other people were granted an escape route (and a lunch by chef Ken).
The message behind his idea of burning an area considered sacred but that was a ghost of its original spiritual self, was to make the fire visible from Kyoto and the surrounding areas, so to let everyone know that Nobunaga was quite keen on fixing things up, and burning to the ground was the fate of his opponents.
The narrator also takes her time to explain that recent archaelogical excavations showed no traces of the massacres of Nobunaga in the area, suggesting that they were probably gossips propagated by his opponents and the treacherous Matsunaga (expecially to piss Shingen off).

The second example, is the siege of Odani Castle (1573), where Nobunaga is shown to care shamelessly for the safety of Oichi (Mari Hoshino) and her daughters.
Oichi has also the heart to say that she's going to hate Nagamasa for ever because he hid his true feelings to her to force her escape. Nice thing to say to the guy you love who's dying there alone in his burning castle XD
Again, here the main actor is your usual Ken (Hideyoshi what? LOL), who has the chance of cooking despite the siege and the burning of the castle to convey the feelings of his lord-- In the end Nobunaga has the chance to enter the castle and save Ken, too! Ahahah, how ridiculous x'D (ok, I ruined my own attempt to give some dignity to this drama...)
I mean, it was kinda refreshing to see an Oichi who wasn't enraged with her brother for Nagamasa's death (yet, New Year's celebrations with the golden skull of her hubbie has yet to come).

We also have a few flasback where we see a young Nobunaga in action during the memories of the people who loves him.

It was fun to see how Mori Yoshinari remembered him as shining as the sun on the battlefield, Nouhime as the gentle dew during their walks on the mountain and Ieyasu-- Well, Ieyasu as the pushy brat (played by Tenma Nakauchi) that he was!

During this drama we also have various chances to see Nobunaga dancing Atsumori.
It happens also when it shouldn't, imagined by Shingen while realizing the gravity of his illness XD

It was a neat rendition, even if not memorable.

A few words on the other characters.
Mitsuhide was played by Goro Inagaki:
His character was completely raped from the start: he's portrayed as a devilish fox waiting for the best chance to betray his lord.
He asks Ken about Nobunaga's destiny, since he claims to come from the future, and when Ken hesitates in his answers he "got everything" and starts plotting his betrayal-- He also plots to get Ken back to the Heisei era, then he says he wants to kill him 'cause he's a problem for his plans, then makes fun of him-- It's really ridiculous.

Kennyo is played by Ennosuke Echikawa IV! It's the guy who played as Shingen in the Fuurinkazan taiga drama :D !
Kennyo is characterized as a neurotic pervert that enjoys beating his women.
That was kinda sad. Or maybe it's the truth, who knows. Yet, another character that has nothing to do with his manga counterpart.

Nouhime was played by Yuki Saito (LOL, I was almost writing Kichou Saito x'D):
At first it looked as if she was another traitor collaborating with Matsunaga, then fortunately the authors changed their mind (or maybe they just got out of the heavy drugs that were using during the compilation of this tv series), and just gave her more screentime.

Ieyasu was played by Cunning Takeyama:
He was characterized as a sort of simpleton... I don't know if it matches the manga description because the scanlations didn't get there yet ;_; but I don't like this charaterization of Ieyasu, also if the huge FAIL of Mikatagahara sure required some flaw on Ieyasu's part...

Last but not least, my beloved Shingen-sama!! He was played by Masanobu Takashima!

He suffered some serious "videogame moments" highlighted by embarassing CG, but I really liked him!!
I noticed that his eyes were green (coloured lenses, I guess)! they really gave the vibe of a tiger's!!!

And as a parting note from this pathetic review, have some food porn and Nobunaga dealing with it!
It's dango-shaped misokatsu, I thought it fit the title of my blog!

Looks delicious, doesn't it? Mhhhhh.... Umaiiiiii!


  1. "He flaps around his red mantle continuosly."
    HHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA 。・゚・((≧▽≦))・゚・。

    It' a shame, hahaha, because the manga was amazing. Ken seemed like such a dumbass in the drama.

    1. Seriously! The same for "Nobunaga Concerto"!! Why did they do that D': ?!

    2. I don't know about Nobunaga Concerto, though. The scanlation stopped at Okehazama =___= I'm too lazy to watch anime so I will never know the story unlesss someone continues scanlations XD

    3. Well, the anime was very short and didn't give more room to explanation either... It stopped with the victory of Mino, if I'm not mistaken.
      Yet, it was an enjoyable read. The TV series tried to give more details and moral interpretations to the whole thing. Probably they felt sorry to make Oguri play the role of the complete moron XD

  2. To read Nobunaga no Chef click,