Imagine a Steam PunkSpace Opera version of the sixteenth century, complete with Humongous Mecha, spaceships, revamped historical figures, and Schizo Tech galore. Now throw in a prophecy involving a "Savior King" who is the only one who can pilot a special Humongous Mecha. Now make that man an incredibly attractive alternate version of Oda Nobunaga. That is Nobunaga The Fool, a stage play and anime created by Shoji Kawamori of Macross fame. The anime, animated by Satelight, began in January of 2014. Long ago, there were two planets, now known as the Western Planet and the Eastern Planet, bound by the "Dragon Pulse" spanning the heavens. Though the civilization on the planets had once prospered, it soon was torn asunder by the inextinguishable flames of war, as endless battle engulfed both sides. However, there exists "sacred treasures", forgotten super technology that could revolutionize the world order. Sadly no one knew of them...nobody, that is, except for a certain "heretical girl."JeanneKaguyad'Arc, a girl originating from the Western Planet, bore witness to visions of a "Star Messiah," who would be the one save the worlds. Together with Leonardo da Vinci, a man claimed to be "the one who observes the world", Jeanne embarks on a quest to the Eastern Planet. It isn't long before the two come across an Eastern heretic known as "the Greatest Fool of the Day": Oda Nobunaga, who winds up on the helm of an immensely powerful superweapon—one which can only be controlled by the legendary Savior King.
Nobunaga the Fool contains the tropes of:
Adaptational Heroism: While it might be a bit too early to tell, Nobunaga's position as the protagonist does hint that he will be the hero of the story, as opposed to the villain role he is mostly known for in fiction. May also double as a Historical Hero Upgrade.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Leonardo da Vinci. He goes around with a horn around his chest which he uses as a megaphone, immediately steals a ship when Jeanne has a vision that they needed to leave, and in general acts in an over-the-top manner. However, he obviously has a lot of pull in the Western Planet, name dropping King Arthur and warranting escort by an Admiral on the mission to the Eastern Planet.
Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": The "horses" that Nobunaga and his companions ride sound like the real thing... but resemble dragons and are ridden like motorcycles.
Elemental Powers: Equipping a Giant War Armor with a Regalia allows its pilot/performer to control the element the Regalia represents. Takeda Shingen has a Fire Regalia and Nobunaga in episode 3 receives a Thunder Regalia from Himiko.
Feudal Future: There's actually a planet with Western feudalism and another with Eastern feudalism.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: Midway through Episode 21, a still Machiavelli is seen with blood from her mouth, under a Modesty Bedsheet, while Borgia receives a report in his dressing gown, implying that he strangled her to death during sex.
Heroic BSOD: Nobunaga has one early in the first episode. Watching a castle you just tried to save get burned to the ground by enemy mecha will do that to you.
He get into a huge one when his dad was killed by Caesarand another one when Himiko nearly died Taking the Bullet for him while Nobukatsu was dead in the same day.
In-Series Nickname: Nobunaga and Hideyoshi are respectively called "The Fool" and "Monkey"...which was what they were called in real-life, and Jeanne is "The Demon Possessed".
Jeanne d'Archétype: The show opens up with the actual Joan of Arc being burnt at the stake and having a vision of Oda Nobunaga, and with him seeing her in his most loyal servant. Then we meet the Joan of the "two stars" world, who has strange visions as well, but is taken seriously enough by some very powerful people to embark on a journey to the eastern star as her visions told her to.
Large Ham: Da Vinci. His introduction has him yelling his greetings into a horn to Jeanne.
The characters' nicknames follow their real-life counterparts.
King Arthur's war council is named The Round Table.
Lord Shingen's Giant War Armor is named Fuurin Kazan, Takeda Shingen's conquest motto.
When Jeanne (as Ranmaru) is trapped in the fire in episode 3, she prays, "Oh Lord, let me hear your voice...".
Nobunaga arrived inappropriately dressed at his father's funeral and threw incense at the altar.
Hideyoshi made a plan in which a castle was constructed in only one night.
Jeanne's regalia has the power to called out a banner that defend the user while reflecting attacks. The real Joan of Arc often carried a banner on the battlefield instead of a sword.
Once an Episode: A character (usually Jeanne, but not always) is feeling troubled, and is approached by Leonardo da Vinci. He offers his Tarot deck, they draw the card named in the episode's title, and he explains its meaning and significance to the issue at hand.
Plot Twist: Neither Arthur or Nobunaga was the Savior-King. It was Mitsuhide.
Psychic Dreams for Everyone: In the opening of the first episode, Jeanne and Nobunaga have dreams of their real life counterparts, as well as of each other.
Reincarnation: All the historical figures are suggested to be this; Jeanne and Nobunaga certainly are, interestingly enough, Jeanne is both reincarnation of the historical Jeanne D'Arch AND Mori Ranmaru, Oda Nobunaga's manservant.
Tarot Motifs: Episode titles are from Tarot (ie The Star, the Lovers), and there is a lot of tarot imagery in the episodes themselves. Namely Da Vinci giving out the actual tarot cards.
These also extend to the characters. Jeanne is "The Star" to represent her messianic visions. Nobunaga is, predictably, "The Fool" to show how most people dismiss his potential due to his eccentricities.
Title Drop: Nobunaga names his mecha "The Fool", resulting in a lot of this.