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Nobuna is a fairly young woman with a lean frame. She has a heart-shaped face with big brown eyes. Her hair is blonde, and quite long, however she usually has it tied up, in a messy fashion with a red ribbon.
She has what many might consider to be a flamboyant fashion sense. She wears a tiger skin wrapped around her waist, over a black hakama with yellow trim at the bottom, and white tabi with zōri. She also wears green-blue colured haori which she wears over only one shoulder.
Nobuna is very ambitious, and dedicated. She not only wants to conquer and unite Japan, but she is even showing interest in the rest of the world, and starts to respect Sagara more when he demonstrates his knowledge of Europe. She seems to be particularly fascinated with European customs, and she has Sagara swear his loyalty to her in a European knight style, and says it's "cooler" and "more elegant" (as translated in English). She also seems to have an interest in Matchlocks.
She usually quite friendly and approachable. For a feudal lord in Japan, she usually seems rather easygoing. However, in some cases, she can be very impatient, such as when she steps on Sagara's face, out of annoyance, because he took to long to introduce himself; and can also be very violent.
Often times, she is very emotional, and starts crying when someone she cares about is in danger, such as Yoshiharu Sagara and Saitou Dousan. She values her companions, and will go through great lengths to protect them. During her father's dying days, she and the rest of the clan brought in a number of monks to help cure him with their prayers and methods, when he later died, she killed the monks. This experience left her hating liars and hypocrites, as well as being the most likely the cause of her disbelief in gods and buddha. When he later died, she made a scene at his funeral because it was nothing more than an event for the living to help cope with the death, and none of her people were even thinking of her father since they were so busy scheming against her.
At first being something of a Tsundere, she eventually acknowledges her feelings for Yoshiharu and accepts his own, this event is marked by him saving her from Asakura Yoshikage and later unfortunately by the illness-induced death of Saito Dousan. After comforting her and sharing a kiss during this time, Yoshiharu won Nobuna over. Her feelings since then are acted upon when the opportunity strikes, but the two acknowledge their social standings are different and try to conceal their relationship. Unfortunately for them the rumors spread quickly, even to other Daimyō such as Asakura Yoshikage, who still targets Nobuna personally. Similarly, she is also aware of Jūbei's feelings towards Yoshiharu, which has led to a rivalry between them, on top of some occasional teaming up to punish his lecherous side. After accepting her own feelings, her reaction to the girls around Yoshiharu who also have feelings for her has become even more obvious. She would go so far as to burn a temple down if he refuses to return to her side and continues to play around with the harem he managed to build on the inside, ironically he himself did actually want to return at this time.
She is quite arrogant about her looks and fairly self absorbed, as she has called herself the most beautiful girl in Owari, then believed Yoshiharu meant her when he said he wanted the most beautiful girl in all of Japan itself, and seems to overall believe she is the undisputed most beautiful girl in the world.
Interestingly, her mindset when she is acting as the "6th Demon King", which strongly reflects Nobunaga's historic personality, is referred to almost as a separate state of mind for her. Whenever she has to go through something particularly heartbreaking, such as executing her brother or letting someone she cares about die due to circumstances, she will close her heart. Later on, due to her feelings for Yoshiharu, this manifests far worse, which let leads to indifference and becomes outright aggression. Should Yoshiharu die or betray her trust (usually not on purpose), she will become cold, cruel, vengeful and hostile, enough to literally burn a temple, or several, to the ground with little provocation. Other warlords, some dangerous in their own right, who have seen her in a vengeful mood genuinely cannot bring themselves to recognize her as the same person, except for Shingen Takeda, who is rather similar in that respect since she plays the role of Katsuichiyo in her normal life.
She is surprisingly naive and gullible for her intelligence, and was easily deceived by the likes of Menmi Senchiyo. Whenever it involves Yoshiharu she is far too quick to be deceived and snap, as when she was told she'd betrayed him in her sleep by Menmi she not only believed it but nearly broke because of it. Oddly, this becomes a bigger problem the deeper she seems to take her relationship with Yoshiharu, as she refused to be deceived by Juubei accusing Yoshiharu of attacking her when he told her his side of it, but later completely disregards his words when Juubei implies they slept together(referring to the time she warmed his dying body with her own).
Nobuna is noted to have grown up despised and misunderstood by most of her retainers and even her own mother, only an unnamed missionary, her father, Saitou Dousan and Yoshiharu, have ever truly been able to understand the scope of her vision. However, both her father and the missionary later died, which ultimately caused her to become withdrawn, short tempered and impatient with her retainers. Her relationship with her mother seems particularly bad as a result of it she perceives her friends and retainers as family rather than servants and hates to see them quarrel.
She has been friends with Inuchiyo since they were young, valuing her somewhat like a sister.
When her father's health declined her clansmen brought in a number of monks to use rituals and prayers to save him. Naturally the monks knew this wouldn't work and were just trying to get money from them, this enraged Nobuna, who locked them all away and burned their cell down. As a result of this, she hates liars and hypocrites. Though she was prevented from actually killing the monks, it was immediately apparent from then on that she was perceived as a fool who would even oppose the monks of buddha.
During her father's funeral she noticed that the retainers were plotting against her and citing her brother to be a more fit ruler rather than morning for her father. She ultimately lost her temper and threw her father's ashes on the buddha statue rather than following tradition, which furthered their opinions.
She has on at least two occasions suppressed her brother's rebellions and spared him due to their mother's wishes, however she eventually noted that she would execute him for good if he rebels against her again and would not be concerned no matter how her mother begged and pleaded.
Arrival in the Sengoku Period ArcEdit
Invasion of Mino ArcEdit
Retreat at Kanegasaki ArcEdit
Being the main female character of the series Nobuna has formed a number of relationships with several characters throughout the story. Below is a list of the most significant of her relationships.
Nobuna's opinion towards Yoshiharu was originally very blunt, when he saved her life from an enemy's spear she repaid him by sparing his life from Katsuie and after he managed to empty a lake she ordered him to empty in order to prove there wasn't a dragon god in it she accepted him as a footsoldier. Finally, it was only after watching him predict Saitou Dōsan's thoughts that she believed he might be from the future as he claimed and began to truly warm up to him. Over time Yoshiharu became an increasingly more significant person in her eyes due to his ability to understand her ambition, a trait shared with but three other men in her life, namely Saitou Dōsan, her father and an unnamed missionary, all of whom are presently deceased. Eventually she accepted Yoshiharu's value and ability and made a vow with him, having him swear his loyalty to her in a manner akin to a knight swearing loyalty to a princess.
From there her feelings continued to develop into a romantic form, or arguably even before then, as she seems to immediately assume he's talking about her whenever he talks about the most beautiful girl in Owari, Japan, and finally the whole world. She is also extremely protective of him, having mobilized her entire army to save him and Dōsan despite the risks of being attacked herself, and banished him so she wouldn't have to punish him, granted in the latter case he didn't leave afterwards. Finally, she is extremely jealous, whenever he even remotely approaches other girls, so much so that it's very possible that she might accidentally kill him on a few of these occasions. She made Nene his sister partially to have her keep him far away from other girls and repeatedly attacks him or impulsively blames him when he's near another girl or doing something perverted; Ironically this is actually usually the girls own doing or some form of an accident. She has repeatedly found ways to deny him his reward of "the no.1 bishoujo in the world" because she absolutely believes he means her.
She is hilariously prone to delusions during the first few volumes before she can accept her feelings for him, delusions ranging from him using her vow to grant his wish to make her his, to dreaming of marrying him, to something else entirely when she invited him to get his reward(a kiss) from her after the Kanegasaki Retreat. Interestingly, in her dreams, she seems to believe that Hanbei is her rival for Yoshiharu's affections, as when she dreamed she and Yoshiharu were getting married she also envisioned Hanbei crying about how she could only be the mistress. She also didn't seem entirely convinced that even if she was his wife his pursuit of women would end there, as her vision of him stared at Louise and her vision of Goemon noted how he's so perverted he might even make her his wife too. This same dream concluded with Yoshiharu running off with Mitsuhide as well, which, to be fair, is not totally impossible(but very unlikely), for the womanizer he's become.
Finally, after he saved her from Asakura Yoshikage, she heard him loudly declaring her "his woman" and understood his feelings, and her own. the subsequent death of Saitou Dousan and realisation of her own feelings left Yoshiharu as the only man left in her life who truly understands her and they ended up secretly entering a relationship, unfortunately somehow the whole country found out overnight though. They are aware of their difference in status, regardless, Yoshiharu has more than once considered giving up his dream of a harem solely to be with her, once he actually did in fact, and she has on one occasion even thought about quitting her own dream, faking her death, and becoming just "a nameless wife of Yoshiharu" as Azai Nagamasa did to be with her brother Nobukatsu. It's worth noting that while she can be extremely jealous she called herself "A" nameless wife of Yoshiharu, instead of "the", meaning that she is somewhat aware that Yoshiharu will probably continue to pursue a harem after getting her and perhaps might secretly be growing to accept it. If ever Yoshiharu were to actually die, betray her or be taken away from her, she would immediately become the demon king in personality and would go so far as to burn a temple to the ground(Nearly did it twice in fact) in revenge.
Nobuna quite clearly values Inuchiyo like a younger sister and was unwilling to execute her despite Nobukatsu's insistence that she must do so. She is shown to actually play with Inuchiyo by feeding her, which Yoshiharu thinks means she thinks of Inuchiyo like a dog, although he himself later played similar games with Inuchiyo so it has more to do with her own personality.
Nobuna gets along with Saitou Dōsan very well, due to the fact that he is one of the few men in the world who could ever comprehend her ambition and understand her, however, she also finds him annoying when he acts like a lecher the first time they met. Saitou Dousan has enough faith in Nobuna to continue on his dream of conquering the country that he adopted her as his stepdaughter and also sent his biological daughter to her as a form of alliance. Nobuna cared enough about him to be conflicted over the chances of his death occurring, when his son rebelled against him and her own inability to actually help him, adding Yoshiharu's life into the equation was what finally swayed her into saving him. Dōsan also understands Nobuna's need to be understood and how only he and Yoshiharu can fill it, thus he is determined that Yoshiharu should not have risked his life to save him. When Saitou Dousan later died in the novels Nobuna was left with only one crutch left, Yoshiharu, who Dōsan himself entrusted with taking care of her after he passed.
Katsuie is basically an admirer of Nobuna, which has occasionally been hinted to border on romantic feelings. She ultimately does anything in her power, rather ineffectually, to keep Nobuna safe from the clutches of "saru" and inadvertently either causes friction between them or fails miserably, most of the time even if she does cause some friction it actually makes their relationship that much stronger when they make up later. Katsuie may herself be developing feelings for Yoshiharu, in which case she is suffering a severe and total denial, and it is no longer fully clear just how much she hates him, if she really does deep down under her outbursts. Nobuna also has no problem swindling Katsuie, once giving her a dirt quality tea set and claiming it to be worth all of Mino, and Katsuie has absolutely no problem believing it.
Initially she and her younger brother got along very well, but as Nobukatsu's retainers encouraged him to rebel he eventually became more of a problem for Nobuna, enough for her to consider executing him if he kept openly instigating full out rebellions against her. After Katsuie stopped the rebellions and Yoshiharu prevented her from executing her brother, the two have made up, with Nobukatsu becoming wholly loyal to his sister(and Yoshiharu, who he seems to look up to and feels indebted to for saving him.) Ultimately however she can be a bit cruel towards him, once placing him at the front lines of an army when they knew it was a trap, granted she did this because it was the logical choice and was indeed worried he might get hurt, and later forcing him to dress up as a girl to marry Nagamasa, lucky for the both of them Nagamasa turned out to be a girl dressed as a man. She also tended to look his way whenever planning a mission so dangerous it was considered suicidal by her more necessary retainers. All in all, Nobuna seems to very much love teasing her brother, if you can count putting him in life threatening situations as teasing, but she very much cares for him.
Nagahide is stated to be like an older sister to Nobuna, and she is both aware of Nobuna's feelings for Yoshiharu from day one and highly supportive of their relationship from then on. One can infer that Nagahide cares more about Nobuna's happiness than the opinions of the nobles, but also that as a strategist she must conform to their views. She is honest and impartial towards Nobuna's strategies and very fair, rarely praising or criticizing them more than necessary. Later on in the series Nagahide considers rushing in to save Yoshiharu during the retreat at Kanegasaki herself, despite knowing the odds are that she would die, all to bring Nobuna out of her nightmares. She is probably the only woman Nobuna doesn't think will try to steal Yoshiharu from her(she might very well be right too), and Nagahide displays no personal interest towards him, rather she goes to lengths to attempt to bring Yoshiharu and Nobuna together, which usually doesn't work.
After hearing Nobuna's dream during her meeting with Dousan, Juubei came to admire, perhaps even obsess over her and wanted to become her right hand, a thing which she initially hated Yoshiharu for taking from her in her absence. When Mitsuhide tried to falsely accusing Yoshiharu of touching her Nobuna didn't believe it wholly without proof and arranged a competition between them alongside her goal to gain money to place Imagawa Yoshimoto as Shogun. However Juubei won this challenge unfairly due to Tsuda Sougyu's interference and proceeded to brag about it. Nobuna was nearly forced to send Yoshiharu away based on her own terms, but was pre-empted by him leaving. Juubei however was only happy to get rid of him and become close to Nobuna in his stead, which infuriated Nobuna and put a standing strain on their initially decent relationship.
Later, as Mitsuhide develops feelings towards Yoshiharu and they become increasingly more obvious, their situation ends up mixing itself around, now, rather than Juubei fighting Yoshiharu to stand at Nobuna's side, she is equally obsessed with becoming Yoshiharu's bride and is now competing with Nobuna herself to that effect. Mitsuhide is immensely sharp at this, realising their feelings quickly after they became and item and interfering with them whenever they're alone. The two of them however get along extremely well when Yoshiharu does anything to incur their wrath, even teaming up to burn and entire temple to the ground specifically because he was in there with a harem.
Yoshiharu fears that the growing conflict between them over his affection will lead to the incident at hannon-ji, in other words, he's scared he might have actually caused the thing he most wanted to prevent.
Nobuna has a poor relationship with her mother to put it mildly. Firstly, her mother is at the top of a long list of people who cannot understand Nobuna's vision. It is directly stated by Imai Soukyu that the key distinction between Nobuna and Mitsuhide is that Mitsuhide's mother was actually enough of a genius herself to realize her daughter's worth, sadly, Nobuna's mother is no such thing. After defeating Imagawa, the then strongest enemy in Japan, Nobuna went to her mother in full armour looking for praise of any kind, but was sent away when her mother saw her dressed in such "foolish attire" for a princess. Nobuna does long for feelings of affection from her mother and in the absence of that she treats her retainers like family members.
Her mother has frequently dotted on her younger brother, and arguably is the cause of both of his previous rebellions and nearly causing Nobuna to have to kill him. Even later, when Nobukatsu has realized the errors of his past and atoned, she still dotes on him and cannot understand why he has suddenly started to listen to her less. Finally, Nobuna faked the death of Nagamasa, Nobukatsu's wife, by turning "her" gold encrusted skull into a cup, her mother was appalled and enraged by this, as well as Nobuna promoting Yoshiharu to Daimyo instead of her own blood brother.
While Nobuna herself holds no ill will towards her mother and even seeks, actually quite desperately, for her affection, the same is far from true the other way around.