Nanana’s Buried Treasure: Episode 01 Review

Streaming allegiance: Crunchyroll
Reconnaissance Report by: David Taranto
Progress: Episode 01

Nanana's Buried TreasureNanana Ryuugajou was a special girl – she and her friends together tracked down some of the world’s most ludicrous treasures. However, one day, in her apartment, Nanana was killed.

Ten years later, Juugo Yama moves to the man-made island Nanana called home and only has enough money to rent her former room…which she still haunts to this day. In the toilet, he discovers more questions about his ghostly roommate, and the answers are going to lead him on a race across the island against thieves bent on stealing Nanana’s treasures for themselves.

The last bit of that summary is more of a personal opinion leap based on some threads presented in this first episode, and I feel comfortable in doing so because the premise is pretty stock at this point. A pervy male teenager, a beer-drinking landlady (Misato Katsuragi from Evangelion, anyone?), a female ghost who lives with him and likes to eat pudding and play video games (a NEETs wet dream, surely)… there’s only so many places this story can go. There’s a dark-haired, bespectacled Class Rep, a diminutive detective, a mysterious silent long-haired woman…there’s nothing here that is truly new. But is it a good use of these tropes?

Yes and no. As long as this story doesn’t try too hard, it can be really entertaining. There’s a moe-Indiana-Jones style scene at the beginning that uses first-person animation to pretty neat results. The hook at the end with Juugo’s tasking to find the treasures juxtaposed with the thieves stealing one already found is an effective way to introduce some urgency and conflict. The animation is admirable, tossing in a couple details that didn’t have to be there but make the scene pop just so, like Juugo taking off his shoes in the entryway and accidentally knocking one of them over as he removes his foot. However, Nanana’s Buried Treasure can (and has already started to) fall into many, many traps.

Characters so far are shallow, but it’s also only the first episode. The fanservice that shows up already is pointless, and there’s already a contradiction with the main character being a pervert and taking issue with being categorized as “scary” by the Class Rep. She’s right, especially as in the scene prior, while Nanana is proving how “badass and capable” she is – putting Juugo in an armbar – all he is concerned about is copping a feel. A feel on a ghost, who it’s already been established can only touch HIM (they make a point of setting up this dynamic), yet he is successful, somehow. Another contradiction.

I’m skeptical about this, but as long as these less-than-savory elements pass quickly, this can be more entertaining and less frustrating. Right now, I’d say it’s pretty darn average.

Score: 6.50/10.00