Nobunaga Concerto (Japanese Drama 2014)

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Saburo, an ordinary high school student, travels back in time to the Sengoku era (1549). He encounters a young lord who looks exactly like him and is told, “Be my substitute. I’m the eldest son of the Oda family, Oda Nobunaga.” After the young lord leaves, Saburo is mistaken for Nobunaga by a vassal and taken to the castle. He starts to live as Oda Nobunaga from this day. The young samurai of the Oda family, which is merely a minor feudal lord, set out towards the extraordinary dream of unifying the whole country through the power of Saburo. 

Saburo, a person from modern times who has no experience killing people, does not understand the willingness of the warlords of the Sengoku era to lay down their lives for their family. It is the same for the vassals too. They have had a hard time understanding Nobunaga’s actions ever since the ill-mannered, wilful Saburo took over. Despite this “generation gap across space and time”, they are soon on the brink of achieving their dream.

Words from Me:

Nobunaga’s Concerto isn’t your ordinary time travel drama where the main character is looking for a way to get back home but instead he decides to live accordingly to the time he was thrown into and do his best.

When I watched this drama, I had a mindset that this was going to be a series full of mishaps, comedy and light mood scenes because the main character had to pretend to be someone who was a powerful Samurai Warlord during the Warring States Period. It did somewhat meet my expectation but what surprised me was the way they incorporated the serious into the funny. The mood tones of this drama was very much well mixed. If you parallel it alongside the real Japanese History before and during the Tensho Era, it does makes sense and goes accordingly to history, only it was elaborated in a very fictional way thus the comedy blends in. I also learned that this drama was also a manga adaptation, I haven’t read the manga yet but I did enjoy this live action.

Oguri Shun as Saburo/Oda Nobunaga was funny, annoying and at the same time full of wisdom when he sets his mind into it. This was another drama than Shun nailed since he had to act two different characters at once. It would have been hard for an average actor to internalize that but watching him here, it was like a breeze turning from one klutzy idiot to being a ruthless samurai.

The other characters I liked are:

Shibasaki Kou as Kicho, she’s the wife of Nobunaga, a very fierce woman who tries to hide her affection from her husband. Her acting complements well with Shun and they definitely have this chemistry going on, regardless if Shun is acting as the fake Nobunaga or the real one.

Mukai Osamu as Tsuneoki Ikeda, Nobunaga’s right hand man. Aside from being good looking all throughout this series (yes, he is good looking so please do not contradict my feelings for the guy, he’s been a long time crush now since Nodame Cantabile *fan girl mode on!*) he had a good role portrayal. I still can’t believe he was duped by the Saburo and he was able to unknowingly assist the guy into being the legit Nobunaga he can be. I liked Tsuneoki’s personality where he follows head in line with his heart and does things smartly and not being rash about his decisions.

Fukiji Naohito as Hanbee Takenaka, this guy! I’m really amazed that the drama is supported by veteran actors like Fujiki. So him, being casted in the later episodes is a bonus for me. I like his role as a tactician and how he worked with Saburo along the way due to his dreams of peace and unity for the whole of Japan.

Issei Takahashi as Nagamasa Azai, his character is someone I could not hate despite the fact that he and Nobunaga are fighting each other’s clans. His acting style and the way he shows his emotions in this drama was something that was really heartfelt. This gave way to a special spot for Takahashi in my own heart.

Yamada Takayuki as Denjiro/Kinoshito Tokichiro/Toyotomi Hideyoshi, maaaaan… this guy has so many names and aliases. I loved his vengeful character and still looking forward to the things he is about to do. I will not say more anything about his role because that in itself will become a spoiler. What I would leave here though is that he was awesome in this drama.

The drama is basically re-watchable, specially the slap stick comedy scenes. It made me laugh out loud to see some of the casts who looks intense at first but becomes idiots the next second. Then there’s also the music. I really love how the Japanese industry inserts there OST into the whole series. It makes everything more colorful and sets off all kinds of feeling or mood depending on the scene.

There is still so much I want to say about this drama but I can’t really put it here due to spoilers, so if some is reading this and want to discuss or do not mind being spoiled, please do send me message. Over all, I am recommending this to those who are interested into Japanese entertainment and its history.

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