Original Run: January 11, 2020 - March 28, 2020
Number of Episodes: 12
Genre: Comedy, Historical, Slice of Life
Based on the Series Created By: Una Megurogawa
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Oda Cinnamon Nobunaga. Reader discretion is advised.***
In all Japanese history, there has never been a figure more legendary than the warlord Oda Nobunaga (voiced by Kenyuu Horiuchi). In the year 1582, the general met his end when his subordinate betrayed him. With his dying breath, Nobunaga mentioned how it would be amusing if he were reincarnated as a dog. He never imagined it would happen.
Now in the modern-day, the once most feared samurai has returned as an adorable Shiba Inu name Cinnamon. As luck would have it, many of Nobunaga’s contemporaries were also granted a second life as local neighborhood dogs.
Although nothing can quite compare to being the person who almost brought all of Japan under his rule, the life of a canine isn’t so bad either.
Oda Cinnamon Nobunaga wasn’t a bad show. However, I don’t think I can go so far in saying I would recommend it to everyone. This series might play better to someone familiar with Japanese history, particularly the Warring States era (1467 to 1615). You might be fine if you, at least, know the name and a few of the exploits of Oda Nobunaga. If you don’t, then you might want to skip this one entirely.
I will be tackling this review under the assumption you are as knowledgeable about this part of Japanese history as me – limited but not quite zero. I certainly won’t be focusing on the historical accuracy of this show.
With that out of the way, again, Oda Cinnamon Nobunaga was just okay. This series had the same entertainment value of listening to a group of energetic old men. I do mean that in a positive way, so let me explain.
Picture a conversation between a few elderly gentlemen. No one in this group is necessarily the best of friends, but there are a lot of shared experiences among them. As they talk, there are plenty of insults, a ton of stubborn pride, and a general sense of not giving a s@#$ about what the rest of the men think or say. It’s the same sort of roasting you might have with your buddies, except these guys have much more material.
Now, just replace the local Bridge Club with some of the most historically significant warlords Japan has ever seen – but, you know, reincarnated as dogs. Oda Cinnamon Nobunaga was never any worse – or better than that.
Regardless, this show had its funny moments. The warlords were this series’ strongest aspect. When they were all together, things got pretty entertaining. For example, I liked how the generals were commenting on the nuances of modern life rather than struggling to adapt to it. After all, they were pampered dogs that suddenly had every comfort imaginable to them; why would anyone resist going along with that?
Had this merely been the dog version of a slice-of-life anime, it would have been nothing special. Although making these dogs Japan’s most legendary samurai didn’t elevate this show to anything worthwhile, at the very least, it made it unique. I doubt if there will be any die-hard fans for Oda Cinnamon Nobunaga. Hell, it wouldn’t surprise me if this review is the first time you’re hearing about this series. Be that as it may, I can confidently say this didn’t fall flat on its face.
Nevertheless, this show didn’t make much of an effort to stand either.
This was a series where its primary joke got really old, really fast.
The majority of this cast were past warlords reincarnated as dogs; what can you do with that? If Oda Cinnamon Nobunaga is any indication, the answer is, not much.
To give this show some slack: In about three episodes’ (but it was more like one episode’s) worth of time, you saw everything this series had to offer. So I hope that you liked those three episodes because that’s it; you’ve just seen Oda Cinnamon Nobunaga.
Again, this is where a Japanese history buff might find this show a bit more entertaining because they might find value in the different characters. For me, though, all the dogs were the same guy – a prideful warrior who wanted nothing more than glory and power when they were alive. They were all arrogant, bitter, and each of them thought they were the most exceptional person ever. The only difference was that there was one Shiba Inu, a French Bulldog, a Pomeranian, and a Borzoi.
This show had no business being a full-length anime. You could beat each episode’s scenario to death in five minutes, but this series thought it was a good idea to stretch things out to fill twenty minutes a pop.
I get it; they’re dogs.
Oh, there were actual human characters, too. I cared even less about them.
In the comments below, if this show interests you at all, please tell me why.
To end this review, Oda Cinnamon Nobunaga was like making plane toast. So long as you don’t burn it, you’re technically going to make an edible meal. If that is what you like, who am I to judge? For me, though, I would like at least a little butter or jam on the side.
To be honest with you, I thought this show was going to be beyond stupid. Although it was silly, it wasn’t the bad kind of stupid. Too bad it wasn’t much of anything else either.
This series went all-in with one joke. And once it said that one joke, there were still eleven episodes left to go.
You do you, but please ask yourself this. Is there not a better use of your time?
Oda Cinnamon Nobunaga is simply one show I can’t recommend.
But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise Oda Cinnamon Nobunaga? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.