Anime Spotlight: Nanana’s Buried Treasure

Nanana’s Buried Treasure is an anime based on the light novel series written by Kazuma Otorino and illustrated by Akaringo. The anime is produced by A-1 Pictures, and is directed by Kanta Kamei. The series aired on Japanese television from April 10-June 19, 2014.

As of this writing, Crunchyroll holds the North American streaming license for Nanana’s Buried Treasure, while Aniplex of America holds the North American home video rights.

Juugo Yama arrives at Nanae Island, a manmade island in the Pacific Ocean that’s also known as the Special Student Zone. He comes to the island because his father kicked him out of the house.

Juugo rents a low-rent apartment at the Happy House. As per the agreement, he has to pay a year’s rent up front, and there’s no refund if he moves out before the year is up. When he goes into his room, he sees a girl in there, watching television and eating pudding. He learns from Shiki Maboro, the owner and manager of Happy House, that the girl is the ghost of Nanana Ryugajo, a girl who was murdered in the apartment 10 years earlier.

While in the bathroom, Juugo finds the “Nanana Manual,” which was written by someone named Kasumi Konjou. By reading this manual, he starts getting a better idea of how to interact with Nanana. Later, he does some research and discovers some interesting information not only about Nanana, but about Shiki as well. From talking to Shiki, he learns more about Nanana’s Collection, which is referenced in the Nanana Manual.

The amount of characters grow over the course of the series. Next to be introduced are Ikkyuu and Hoshino; Ikkyuu is a master detective, and Hoshino is her assistant. She encounters Juugo while she’s investigating a mystery.

When Juugo joins the school’s Adventure Club, he meets president Isshin Yuiga and vice president Yuu Ibara; Ikkyuu and Hoshino also join the club. The club’s goal is to find the various treasures from Nanana’s Collection. We are later introduced to another member named Kagetora Tsurezure.

While searching for one of the treasures, Yukihime and Shuu are introduced; they are members of a group called Matsuri, which is a phantom thief troupe. It turns out Juugo’s father is the head of Matsuri and that Juugo was kicked out by his father because Juugo refused to succeed his father in the organization.

Later, the characters of Tetsunoshin Tsujimi and Saki Yoshino are introduced. Saki plays an important role later in the series, but I still haven’t figured out why Tetsunoshin is there. Outside of being someone who is protective of Saki, he really doesn’t do much of anything in the series.

The last character to be introduced is Hiiyo Ikusaba, and he serves as the main antagonist for the final two episodes of the series. He was a member of the first generation of the Adventure Club, and is a jerk who’s out to try to get treasures from Nanana’s Collection for himself.

After watching the first episode, I thought that the concept of Nanana’s Collection was an intriguing one, and the interactions between Juugo and Nanana also kept me interested in continuing to watch the series. I enjoyed the first three episodes or so, but then things started to get a little confusing.

Near the end, it was starting to get interesting with the final confrontation between Hiiyo and the Adventure Club in Episode 10. That episode ended on a cliffhanger, and I expected the final episode to be action-packed and focus on the confrontation. Unfortunately, that confrontation ended up being anticlimactic and boring in Episode 11; this is primarily due to the fact that so much time was spent on characters talking to each other and not having much going on in the way of action.

And the very end of the final episode didn’t truly resolve anything, and some footage seen both during the ending credits and right after raised more questions than answers. To me, this was an unsatisfying end to the series, and I started to feel as if I’d wasted my time over the past 11 weeks watching this show.

At the end of the series, I didn’t see the promise that I had seen early on manifest itself like I had hoped. As the series went on, it seemed to lose its focus as various characters and concepts were added to the series. While the characters from Matsuri and their organization seemed to be important early on, those characters and the organization basically disappeared by the end. The last time we saw Yukihime and her partner was a brief shot of them in Episode 11 when they were in the mall at the same time as Juugo. Like I said earlier, I had never truly understood why Tetsunoshin was introduced, since in the long run, he just kind of seemed to “be there.”

Also, Juugo declares early on in the series that he’ll help Nanana locate her killer. Unfortunately, this part of the story is hardly ever touched on, and is not resolved at the end of the final episode.

I wouldn’t say that Nanana’s Buried Treasure was the worst anime series that I watched during the Spring 2014 series, but I also can’t say it’s among the best, either. For me, it was ultimately a series that had a lot of potential that was never realized due to decisions that were made in regards to the storytelling. And I have to say that if it turns out that Nanana’s Buried Treasure ends up getting a second season, I would have no desire to watch it due to the various issues I had with the storytelling of this series.

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