Kochoki – Anime Preview
Synopsis: The fearsome warlord, the demonic king—Oda Nobunaga! Before he was trying to rule over Japan, he was a teenager who began his path to greatness with his younger brother and faithful followers. Through succession, betrayal, battles, and bonds between one another, the struggles these boys face promise a future where they can blossom into powerful men. (Official Funimation Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: The first few minutes and opening credits of Kochoki are literally awash in bishonen vibes as the audience is treated to pretty boy designs for every significant cast member. Even after we go back to Oda’s early youth, he and his companion are both drawn having taunt and toned bodies, even featuring a scene with them undressed for a swim, offering up a fair amount of fan service for bishonen fans.
Tom: Despite the pretty boy designs, Kochoki feels a lot like the “Young Adventures of Oda Nobunaga” a tale meant to highlight the formative years of the man who would go on to unite Japan. Despite the youthful framing, this is the most “no frills” adaptation of Oda Nobunaga’s life available in anime form. There’s no time travel gimmick, or Oda and Co. are all sexy gals, or what have you. It’s listed as a historical on most tracking sites, and based off this first episode it seems there will be a strong attempt to follow history, but I imagine there’s still plenty of creative license with lesser known parts of the man’s life. This episode alone seems predicated on depicting Oda’s youthful days as a boy who helped the poor children steal in order to feed themselves, something I’m dubious of when it comes to honest historical accuracy.
Linny: This first episode is a little confusing in that it keeps jumping around time periods. We start the episode with Oda older and at the cusp of his most famous victory but then we jump back to his early youth only to then jump to his coronation and then several scenes of him clearly looking older than he was at said coronation. And as for a next episode preview, all we get is the word ‘Festivities’ with zero visuals making it hard to predict if this means we will continue following his early youth or if we will be doing a bit of time skipping again.
Tom: If you’re looking for a straight drama focused on Oda Nobunaga this is really your only choice, but it hardly feels like a bad one. The first episode moves at a decent pace, and the dialogue isn’t too bad either. Couple that with fairly good art and this might be one of the best Oda Nobunaga centric anime I’ve seen yet.
Linny: Anyone even slightly familiar with Japan and anime’s obsession with Oda Nobunaga won’t be surprised to hear that Kochoki seems set to be another show that extrapolates on all the various ways Oda was amazing. This first episode showed us how he was willing to go against his father for the sake of the orphaned urchins he befriended as a child, willing to risk self harm and injury to spare their lives. If you happen to be a newcomer to the Oda saga, be prepared to basically watch as Oda always emerges on top. If you’re a fan of pretty boy shows and designs and haven’t tired of shows about Nobunaga, Kochoki seems poised to be a decent means to experience it all thanks to decent storytelling and of course, the bishonen designs.
Kochoki is available for streaming via Funimation.com