If you are an avid anime fan, there is always a show that interests you because of the short description you might hear. Unfortunately, people don't enjoy shows because of a concept, they do so because of execution. Today, we have Nanana's Buried Treasure, a show that's deceptively simple on a description but tries to be more then what you expect (and fails).
The reason why I was watching Nanana is because of the great characters and the fabulous interactions. The characters and their interactions with each other in Nanana are by far my favorite parts of the show. About those said characters, Nanana herself is just OK with a bubbly attitude and a cute design, but in general she leaves me with more questions than I would like. Yamma Juugo and Tensai Ikkyuu are the stars of the show in Nanana. Juugo's ideals and being the anti-Shirou is something I loved, while Tensai's awesome detective skills and spunky personality could have drove the whole show for me. All the characters were written well, went through nice development and were enjoyable.
The whole point is finding treasures, right? As such, it's almost mandatory to have puzzles, and they have quite a bit of them. The amazing puzzle scenes are always a fun time to see, both the execution, and the thought process. Some people may criticize the show saying that it doesn't give enough time for you to look around the room and solve the puzzles, but that never bothered me.
Every now and then, there will be a battle in Nanana, which usually happens because they found this epic artifact, or are on their way to get said artifact. Each time there is a battle, it's beautifully done with some excellent animation, dialogue, and tactics during the fight, with the whole battles being flat out entertaining.
A-1 Pictures does it again. I don't think they can screw up animation, they do it so well... this show is very pretty. I absolutely love the look on the environment, the puzzle rooms and fight scenes are absolutely gorgeous, and the whole show is easily described as beautiful. I'm a fan of CG when done right, and this show is definitely an example of CG done right. One might call the art style immature and silly, I think it works fine.
The soundtrack in Nanana is bloody fantastic. It doesn't draw itself out too much, but it really is just an excellent soundtrack. It quickly sets the mood, while sounding fantastic in the process. There's a huge variety in the instruments they use in the soundtrack, and the orchestral sound is absolutely fantastic. Whenever you notice the music, it's great. Keigo Hoashi really hit a home run with this soundtrack. I think this also extends to the OP as well, which are so happy and catchy that you can't help but like them. As for the voices, no problems there, and I really liked most of them.
Flip Flopping Tone
The tone of a show is a very important element of a show, something that can make or break a show. Unfortunately, In Nanana, the tone of the story's level of consistency is equivalent to the chances of the Xbox 360 towel trick working for extended periods of time (it's not that high). The show starts off as you would expect, very character driven and slice of life-esque, with some cool puzzle/treasure scenes, with some pretty lighthearted writing. Episode 4 goes Fate/Zero on you, with a dark atmosphere, epic fight scenes, orchestral music, and turns very ideal focused. After Episode 4, it tries to balance itself between each two, and fails. While these can shine separately, put together makes it nowhere as enjoyable as it needs to be. I loved episode 4. Episode 4 is the reason why I am writing this review, but the later episodes continue a trend of flipping back and forth between a dark or lighthearted plot which it kills any momentum this show had. It leaves you wishing for two different things, and you don't get either. A part of me wants to see the main character continuing to reveal his epic past, with awesome dilemmas occurring in the way, while another part of me just wants to see characters having fun and solving puzzles. By themselves, they work excellently, but meshed like this is horrible because you can never expect which tone they will use, and the transition between slice of life and the epic tone just DOES NOT WORK. They get in the way of each other, and they ruin the show. Worse is when they try to do both at the same time and it just becomes boring. To me, a focused story is better than a story that tries to do everything, and that's where Nanana falls flat on it's face.
Stuff Not Explained
There's a lot of stuff never answered in Nanana. Why is Nanana in that room in the first place as a ghost? How did Nanana create all of these puzzle rooms and find all the treasures? How does she remember so much about them? How does Nanana have so many games when she doesn't do anything? What is Juugo's motivations for doing what he does? Who were the other people Nanana knew that helped develop the island? The list goes on and on. Forgetting things you mention is a sign of bad writing, and they are all over the place. Don't get me started on the ending, where they just said fuck it after a random battle and called it a season. That thing they call an ending... is just a joke, and just leaves you absolutely confused because they don't explain like half of the things in the plot.
This show can be a lot of fun, and it can be very epic. You may come out of this show loving every bit of it, or hating it. The fact that it's shooting itself in the face and ruining any interest you might have in the plot is a painful experience to watch, but when done right, it's done very well. If this was two separate shows, it would be the greatest thing since sliced bread. But it's not. As such, I leave you with a warning with this show; you will love it, or hate it. Personally, It left a bitter taste in my mouth.
Overall 6/10; Polarization +2 -2
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This show is available on Crunchyroll for Free & Legal streaming.