Is that a fair statement? I think it’s a valid opinion and probably a common opinion, and the post itself seems fine. The opinion might be fairly considered given what he has stated. It’s just as someone who’s just 5 episodes in, I think the show has long since survived the falling-on-swords-of-mary-sue-moe-genderswapped-sengoku-reenactment. Five episodes! Is that so much to ask for people who review anime? In fact since episode 3 my opinion on Nobuna hasn’t really changed. The latest addition, the Yui Ogura loli-kei character, feels like a major distraction actually. Granted, she is kind of a cool character for what she is (ie., loli fanservice draw), the show is rock solid with or without the latest Nobuna haremite.
Of course, I am just as biased. After 5 episodes of this Sengoku gender-swap mary-sue, it is still impressing me, and it does not go by the name of “Sengoku Collection.” (Actually, Sencolle stopped impressing me after episode 8, in which it pulled the Alice-in-Wonderland directorial schtik; it isn’t to say Sencolle is no good now, but my expectation has long since adjusted to match.) I really didn’t expect Nobuna’s Ambition to be the show that it is today, however, so I find that kind of criticism I linked valid only in that magical, alternate universe where the anime ended after 1 or 2 episodes.
And that’s just it. It’s a game about expectations and consistently blogs confound their opinions and feelings with actual critical judgment. The funny thing in the example I quoted was that there was actually a lot of nods on what Nobuna has done well. It’s the assumption that it’s just another moe sengoku genderswap anime which makes the review incredibly shallow. To clarify, that’s like assuming a root beer float is a root beer float, so it’s bad? What’s wrong with this particular version of the sengoku genderswap (or any version)? The lack of burly dudes in lead roles (wait, which part of “genderswap” did you not get)? Dumb characters? Nobuna’s right tit? I have no idea, after reading that post.
In the grand scheme of things, Nobuna is still just your average, garden variety of romance/comedy/adventure anime. It might not be worth writing home about unless you enjoy historical game/RPGs especially the various Nobunaga’s Ambition spinoffs. It might not be as charming as Ankori Pasta Rice, but who would have given either show a second thought if they were thinking any anime with a main character and a harem was no good? Well, maybe it is no good, if by good you mean “Cowboy Bebop” or LOL “Redline.”
Come to think of it, on a very basic level, there just are not too many adventure anime these days that has those components, and still can be finished in a cour or two. Nobuna’s Ambition fits that description. We won’t retread what is good: the solid writing and good animation/direction. We won’t even talk about the way how the main character actually sticks to just Nobuna, despite his unavoidably awkward interaction with the rest of the (and like in-game generals, disposable) female cast. Certainly we won’t talk about that there’s an intended audience for this show, which may be a valid justification for someone like the guy I quoted to react in the way he did. Maybe some people don’t like cute girls in their anime, or ninjas that stutter. Or anything to do with mary-sues. Maybe this is why replay novels never really took off in the west.
On a very fundamental level I could say that our act of gauging our expectation is influenced by the show we watch, however little. Perhaps you can find that type of mismatch as a result of the show. However, for example, I know for every whiner about Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere’s character designs and fanservice, there’s a genuine concern about either cultural smashing or simply a distaste for aesthetics or something like that, which is invariably going to happen as long as the world has more than one flavor to choose from. That is opinion worth taking into consideration. But that’s a very different thing to talk well of shows you like and talk badly of shows you drop. It’s a very different thing to judge a show based on your incorrect assumptions. It’s like reviewing a sports car as a mini-van. Or chocolate ice cream for someone who’s tired of chocolate.
Which is again really just the continuing and constant problem of decontexualization that oversea fandom of anime suffers from ever since the very beginning.