He is Nobuhide Oda's eldest son and Nobuyuki's lone older brother. He was pressured since his birth to be Nobuhide's rightful successor. Yet Nobunaga was a rebellious youth who was appalled by his stringent teachings. He preferred to dress in outrageous clothing and spend his time teasing his younger brother. In due time, he was shunned for his remorseful disrespect for responsibility and called the "Fool of Owari". His refusal to follow predicted trends and expectations, however, led to his childhood friendship with Toshiie and Ieyasu.
Masahide Hirate, a retainer of his father's, was his nagging caretaker who tried his best to discipline him. The elderly man's scoldings and lecturing had no effect on Nobunaga, but the young lord still enjoyed his company. Six years before the main story, Nobuhide died and Nobunaga was named his heir. As per his usual behavior, the young lord didn't care for decorum at his father's funeral and roughly threw the ceremonial ashes as though it were dirt. He was unaware of the animosity his actions caused with the Oda retainers and the true weight of his new position. To awaken Nobunaga to the truth, Masahide committed honorable suicide.
Nobunaga was shocked yet perceptive enough to realize the message. Taking his responsibilities seriously, the experience taught him to value life and to respect the fallen. He learned to carefully plan his actions to avoid meaningless slaughter, even in his conquests of the land. Assuming his responsibilities post haste, Nobunaga's bold change of character quelled the displeasure with his father's retainers. When they turned on his younger brother, Nobunaga intervened on his behalf to protect him. Nobuyuki was able to survive thanks to his mercy.
As he swiftly pacified the neighboring lords, Nobunaga befriended foreign missionaries and became fascinated with their beliefs. Once he learned that Japan was a mere speck in the world, Nobunaga was amazed by how small their disputes seemed in comparison. He dreams of someday unifying his home country and granting it an entertaining age of peace completely free from military authority, a simple pleasure he feels it long deserves. Nobunaga aspires to someday sail overseas once he feels Japan is safe to fend for itself.
By the time the main story takes place, he has conquered most of the main island. He stations himself within Azuchi Castle as a rare break from his duties and to leisurely oversee the activities of his forces.
Nobunaga lives and breathes the messages found in Atsumori. He believes that life is limited to fifty years; a person who isn't moved to enjoy living for their dreams may as well be dead. Always on the move and never satisfied with waiting, his every decision as clan head is dedicated towards a new land of peace for the people. Idealistic and unorthodox as his actions may seem to traditionalists, Nobunaga's daring leadership and formidable cunning silences their skepticism. He firmly accepts the realities of his ancient war-torn age, realizing that death is an inevitable price for success. Therefore, Nobunaga treasures every drop of blood spilled and willingly accepts any change or sacrifice necessary for the sake of a new land. Since the stories of his belligerent disregard for customs run rampant, rumors of his cruel ruthlessness are commonplace. Aware of the constant intimidation he faces, Nobunaga gladly relishes it as proof of his dream becoming a reality.
Nobunaga is rather whimsical during his leisure. At any time, he may sneak away from the castle grounds to explore the nearby town, challenge his pages to a duel, or order for his men to attend a hunting party with him. Wanting to enjoy his life to the fullest, he desires to do anything which captures his immediate interest and rarely takes no for an answer. He is more than capable of protecting himself from danger during his adventurous outings –despite Ranmaru frequently nagging him to bring more guards– and feels he shouldn't waste time fixating on groundless paranoia. The young lord is undoubtedly sarcastic, arrogant, and blunt, yet his playful teases don't mask the genuine concern he has for his retainers. He ultimately urges them to do what's best for their happiness as a supportive brother figure. Nobunaga extends the same bond of trust and companionship to Nobuyuki, even if the feelings are not returned in a manner he expects.