Scratching the Surface With Mavrs: “Talentless Nana” Full of Talent (Anime, Season One Impressions)
Consider the word “protagonist.” I doubt that what comes to mind is someone like Jeffrey Dahmer. Unless you’re one of his eccentric groupies, any sane person would never think to themselves “That’s someone to look up to.”
A fictional character to look up to and idolize would be someone like Captain America, Superman, or even Pepe Le Pew – if an overly sexual French skunk is your thing. Munou na Nana, or for the American folk out there, Talentless Nana, is one of those weird anime shows where the protagonist is someone on par with Dexter, but the series doesn’t start that way. This may be why the show received such a lackluster response from its premiere, which resulted in drastically low reviews.
Talentless Nana is one of those hidden gems with a premiere unlike any other show I’ve ever seen. When a show is scripted, the general idea is for the very first couple of minutes to lay out the “hook.” If you don’t have the hook, viewers can get bored and end up playing stick ball outside the moment commercials start rolling.
A little spoiler warning, but in this case, the spoiler is worth it. The very first episode follows a typical outsider character who’s basically the person with whom audiences are supposed to identify. In other words, the audience is playing the role of a generic person just trying to make it through high school intact. Before the first episode ends, that character is murdered and the perspective suddenly switches to that of the murderer.
To my knowledge, this has never been done before. The only drawback to this, however, is that this new character was remarkably bland and generic. If you’re an avid anime watcher like I am – your first thought was, “This better get better.” It seemed that barely an hour after the premiere of the first episode, Talentless Nana was receiving really low ratings across the board. It set itself up as another generic show trying to ride the coattails of My Hero Academia and Demon Slayer.
As the season progressed, however, Talentless Nana became something else, and generic isn’t the word I would use to describe it. From the get-go, the story involves an overarching mystery of an approaching, ominous entity intent on destroying the world. I would describe this entity to be on par with Star Trek’s Jem’Hadar: crazy strong and everyone knows to avoid them, but nobody even knows what they look like.
The mystery aspect of Talentless Nana is the real hook of it the show. Sure, viewers get to follow the protagonist around and get their point of view for most of the show, but every now and then, you encounter a shock to the system. You find out something new and crazy about an ordinarily unremarkable character, whether it is their backstory or how their superpowers actually work, then the answer to a mystery is suddenly revealed, only for another mystery to take its place. Right when the show starts to drag, some new hook is provided just like clockwork. Talentless Nana’s first season ended on a cliffhanger that left me hungry for more.
Overall, Talentless Nana is one crazy ride. You’ll end up rooting for someone that goes around doing serial killer-level stuff, and you’ll end up thirsty to solve the mystery that plagues every character’s predicament. Talentless Nana really is a hidden gem that needs to be given a chance beyond the first episode for the viewer to grab the scope of what the show is actually about.
If you’re looking for something to pass the time, give Talentless Nana a shot. You might get a little enjoyment from it. Still not convinced? I’ll leave a little bread crumb to entice those curiosity juices to pump… The season one cliffhanger gave me some SCP Foundation and Wolfram and Hart Buffy vibes.
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