First Impressions: Nanana's Buried Treasure


How does a ghost eat pudding?

This show probably sounds like a really good idea on paper. It's filled with cool concepts like treasure hunting and classrooms that attack you until you solve puzzles, but it's also filled with multiple girls in maid outfits and tons of stale harem humor that kills the momentum early on. It's like two different kinds of shows were crammed together: one of them is a show about a group of students embarking on an exciting treasure hunt on a mysterious man-made island, and the other one is a harem show about a pervy dude who has a beautiful magical girlfriend floating around his apartment. Two episodes in, I don't feel like these two concepts have given any indication of working together.


Nanana is a ghost who lives in high-schooler Tama Juugo's new apartment. She can eat pudding, play online games and even wrestle, strangely enough, but she cannot leave the apartment. However, Nanana is not just any ghost who can't move on; in life, she was an important person who helped establish everything on the experimental, student-focused island where the story takes place. In addition to being some kind of super-genius, she also loved treasure hunting and apparently buried all sorts of mythological "treasure" all over the island, and students from her former school have made a club out of hunting for it. Juugo gets involved in the hunt, figuring he might as well try to solve the mystery of who killed Nanana in the first place while he's at it.

There's no reason why this set-up couldn't work, except the show doesn't seem to know what to focus on. So much time in these two episodes is wasted on typical rom-com humor, and lame humor at that, plus I just don't buy Nanana as this great treasure hunter. The Nanana we see is a typical gamer type who stays up all night playing MMO's and flips out over pudding; I feel like I have no reason to believe that she was ever this great treasure hunter, except for the show telling me so. Granted, she's a ghost, which tends to dampen one's spirit of adventure, but I just don't feel Nanana the ghost and Nanana the exalted, Lara Croft-like adventurer are in any sense the same person. It feels like a "hot ghost girl in my room" story was tacked on to a pre-written narrative about someone else.


The other characters aren't helping much. Juugo is an affable dude who likes seeing girls in maid costumes, but nothing makes him stand out from typical romcom protagonists. We meet a detective-obsessed loli, a character type that seems to be growing in popularity, and a transgender character who gets to be the butt of some jokes because she's transgendered -- my, how classy. I'm not that easily offended, but I do find the inclusion of this particular character incredibly mercenary -- like "Have we checked off 'cute girl who is a boy' on the list yet? No? Get us one of those, and put her in a maid costume, stat!" Outside of the hilarious (NOT REALLY) reveal that she's trans, she serves zero purpose in the story.

At least it looks nice; there's no shortage of pretty colors on display, and the character designs are quite attractive, especially Nanana herself. If you just shut off your brain and look at the pretty people on screen, I guess you could find this show pretty enjoyable. There's also something very lush about the visuals-- this feels like a spring anime, somehow. Still, I really wish the creators had streamlined the concept and made an honest-to-goodness treasure hunting show, instead of whatever the heck this weird harem/romcom/magical girlfriend mystery stew is. This title is a whole bunch of stuff thrown together without much apparent thought, all stitched together like some kind of terrifying moe Frankenstein, and I can't watch it without being distracted by all the seams that are showing.

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Karen Mead
Karen MeadContributor   gamer profile

Hi, I'm a former newspaper journalist who got tired of having a front row seat to the death of print. There probably could be some interesting story there about a disenchanted reporter moving on ... more + disclosures



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