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Nobunagun is a currently running anime that is basically Pacific Rim—only instead of fighting otherworldly monsters with giant robots, they use weapons and other tools created from the souls of some of the most famous people from history and legend.

Oda Nobunaga

The main character of the show, Shio, has the soul of Oda Nobunaga, the man who began the war that would eventually unify Japan. As he had a fondness for Tanegashima matchlock rifles, his soul manifests as an enormous machine gun that can even sprout two more guns should the need arise.



Mahatma Gandhi, Indian revolutionary and peaceful protester, manifests as a helmet with two giant arms on it that can create an impenetrable barrier.

Isaac Newton


The soul of renowned physicist Isaac Newton takes the form of a giant boot covered in abacuses. It has the ability to increase its own gravity at will making it far heavier than it should be.

Robert Capa


The soul of war photographer Robert Capa appears as a camera that can make illusions so real that they can actually hurt you.



Astronomer Galileo Galilei’s soul transforms into a full-body observatory capable of seeing perfectly over great distances—even through obscuring elements like clouds.

Jack the Ripper


The soul of Jack the Ripper, perhaps the most notorious serial killer of all time, becomes a knife that can manifest at will as a single blade or a claw-like hand of blades.

John Hunter


The soul of renowned surgeon John Hunter manifests as claw-like hands capable of giant monster dissection.



The soul of the man who is often regarded as the world’s first private detective, Eugène François Vidocq, appears as a giant microscope-like object that his wielder sits in while solving mysteries.

Dai Zong


Known as “the Magical Traveler” in classic Chinese literature, it’s no surprise that the soul of Dai Zong is a pair of boots that grants his user super speed—so much so that he can run on water.



Famous Apache warrior Geronimo manifests as a giant axe—which I can only assume is supposed to represent a tomahawk.



According to legend, Cyx is the creator of the Mongolian morin khuur instrument. His soul appears as a motorcycle/snow mobile-like vehicle—which makes at least some sense as the legend is all about a boy and his horse.



Transforming into a glove that resembles a magnificent church in Spain known as the Sagrada Família, the soul of famous Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí allows his user to change the shape of any material with a single touch—be that changing the bottom of an airplane’s body to include a giant pair of skis or using the snow on the ground to create a protective wall of ice.

Many additional figures have been mentioned in passing in the anime (or are mentioned/shown in the manga it’s adopted from) such as William Tell, Nostradamus, and Mozart. But the one I really want to see in the anime? The great Bambino himself, Babe Ruth. Please tell me he takes the form of a giant kaiju-smashing bat.


Nobunagun airs on Tokyo MX in Japan. It can be watched for free and with English subtitles in the US on Funimation, Crunchyoll, and Hulu.

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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