Amari Nobunaga is first introduced when his pet monkey Hiyoshimaru steals Kagome Higurashi's clothes while she is swimming in a lake, though Nobunaga had really sent his pet monkey out to find food. Nobunaga shows his clumsiness when he walks straight off of a shallow cliff, smashing into the ground below. Based on his clumsiness, Kagome initially thought Nobunaga was the famous warlord Oda Nobunaga (one of the three great unifiers of Japan), who was known in his younger years as "the big fool of Owari". Nobunaga was offended, both by her reference to his clumsiness and by her mistaking him for a member of the Oda Clan (he served the Takeda Clan, who were one of the Oda Clan's greatest rivals)
They enter the castle where Tsuyu is being held, and it is plainly obvious from the beginning that Nobunaga is in love with Tsuyu. When they find the princess in the castle, Nobunaga is overjoyed to find out that Tsuyu still remembers him, since they had known each other since they were children.
It is soon revealed that Tsuyu's lord husband has been possessed by a toad demon and this demon has been capturing many other princesses to devour their souls. Inuyasha moves to kill the toad demon but Nobunaga stops him because Tsuyu's husband is still alive inside of it. When Nobunaga's back is turned, the toad attacks him yet again, taking advantage of Nobunaga's honor and kindness.
Soon enough, they are able to defeat the toad demon when Kagome draws it out of the lord's body using a combination of hairspray and fire. After the lord has been saved, Nobunaga moves to embrace Tsuyu, and she seems to do the same, only to embrace her husband instead, much to Nobunaga's chagrin.
Afterwards, Nobunaga bids Kagome and Inuyasha farewell, stating that he is the world's biggest idiot and fool, before walking on the same shallow cliff as before, confirming this statement.
Nobunaga had a great deal of honor and selflessness. He hated killing and bloodshed of any kind, which was an uncommon belief in the feudal era; Nobunaga begged Inuyasha not to kill the toad demon because it still had the soul of Princess Tsuyu's husband alive within it, his primary romantic rival, which surprised Inuyasha. Nobunaga seemed to be something of a hopeless romantic, as he was in love with Tsuyu who did not feel the same way; Nobunaga was surprised that she even remembered who he was. Nobunaga was also extremely clumsy and absent-minded, as he unknowingly walked off of the same shallow cliff twice.
Nobunaga wears a purple kosode with a blue-patterned hitatare over it and matching hakama. He carries a katana tucked into the waist ties of his hakama. He wears zōri on his feet. He seems to be average height, with black hair in a ponytail and unremarkable features.
Hiyoshimaru was Nobunaga's pet monkey, and traveling companion. They seemed to have a very close relationship based on trust and friendship as Nobunaga would have Hiyoshimaru carry out different tasks for him, such as gathering food when the two were hungry.
Nobunaga was in love with Princess Tsuyu, though she did not seem to reciprocate these feelings. Tsuyu and Nobunaga have apparently known each other since they were kids as well.
Manga vs. Anime
- His surname is not revealed in the manga.
- On the DVD subtitle for episode 8: "The Toad Who Would Be Prince", Nobunaga is spelled "Omari Nobunaga".
- Nobunaga has many similarities with Akitoki Hōjō, both in character design and personality. They both wear the same kind of kimono, have the same hair style (though it's not the same color) and are both rather naïve, but idealistic and honorable. They can each become swept up in their emotions at inappropriate times, especially when it comes to the unrequited love they have for a woman. Both are also considered to be bumbling dolts who cause other characters to wonder how it is they can survive in such turbulent times and they both are related to real clans of feudal Japan: The Hōjō and the Takeda.
- As members of the Takeda clan, both Nobunaga and Princess Tsuyu are connected to Kuranosuke Takeda of Takeda castle, though Amari Nobunaga is merely a vassal of the Takeda clan, whereas Tsuyu is a blood relative of the family.
- Despite attempting to conceal his identity to avoid being accosted by enemies of the Takeda clan, Nobunaga's kimono is prominently decorated with the Takeda clan's mon (emblem): four horizontal diamonds grouped together to form a larger diamond. This is perhaps a further indication of Nobunaga's well-meaning but clumsy personality.
- His seiyū, Akira Ishida, voiced Yutaro Yudono from Rumiko Takahashi's previous series Ranma ½. Ishida also voiced several characters from Takahashi's anthology series Rumic Theater, and later provided the voice for Kurosu from Takahashi's newest series Rin-ne.