Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin (Nanana’s Buried Treasure) is a 11-episode anime that aired in the Spring of 2014 and opens with the titular Nanana and her band of friends exploring ruins and avoiding traps Indiana Jones-style as she narrates on how she feels that adventure and thrills are what make life worth living, and how she yearns to make a place like that for kids, filled with laughter and puzzles to solve. Skip forward several years later and we see our main protagonist, Juugo Yama, arriving on that very island created by Nanana and her friends. Having broken away from his family for reasons, he moves into the cheapest apartment that he can afford only to find that the room is actually haunted… by Nanana’s ghost.
From that point on, he becomes a member of the Adventure Club, who takes it upon themselves to explore the island and find the hidden treasures that Nanana and her friends collected from all over the world, and searches for one of these items that can hopefully help her pass on or find her killer. However, he is not the only one seeking these treasures and some of his family issues just so have happened to have followed him to the island, meaning he’s got his hands full.
The premise of the story is basically Juugo’s life as he adjust to living on Nanae Island, being a member of the Adventure Club, and how he interacts with these characters who have made themselves a staple in his life. It’s not a bad foundation to build on as far as stories go, but it does face one little problem: there aren’t enough episodes.
You see, the anime is based off a Light Novel and you know how those go. They’re basically glorified commercials for a series that isn’t even being translated or sold overseas. And in this case there’s only 11 episodes, meaning that it’s even shorter than the average one by an episode or two and has a stopping point that doesn’t really give you much closure beyond showing everyone plans on continuing to do what they were doing.
It is, however, a fun ride the entire way because of the blend of comedy, slice-of-life, and action. On the comedy side, we get to see Juugo as he tries to either eke out a living running dangerous jobs or get to know a girl better, only for it to end up naturally going wrong. On the slice-of-life side, we see him bonding with Nanana, bribing her with pudding, and trying to one-up the master detective who watches his every move. On the action side, we have him trying to navigate the various puzzles, with a couple of fights against rivals to claim the treasures in hopes that they can be of use with Nanana.
The setting is modern, set in a city of adventure filled with students and hidden secrets. It reminds me of Academy City from A Certain Magical Index, where the city is mostly inhabited by students and there are surprises around every corner. The genre is a blend of adventure, slice-of-life, and comedy that you’d expect, but a hint of supernatural due to the magical effects of Nanana’s Collection that makes for interesting encounters.
I enjoyed it well enough and it is a reprieve from heavy shows that put the weight of the world on the characters shoulders. It’s refreshing and I found myself liking it.
The characters of the story are… well, I won’t call them bland, but most of them do have rather commonplace archetypes:
- Juugo Yama is a perverted teenager willing to dislocate his shoulder for the sake of copping a feel on Nanana, but also a nice guy seeking to break from his shady family, while having a certain set of skills that make him liable to be a badass when the time comes.
- Tensai is the young master detective who is looking to solve the puzzles as a challenge to her intellect and finds Juugo interesting as a foil to her, the Moriarty to her Sherlock.
- Daruku is the guy-dressed-as-a-girl so convincingly that even the men who know this find themselves questioning if they are willing to make an exception to their sexual preferences.
- Isshin is the ambitious leader of the group who tries to betray them for the sake of his plans, but comes to find that he can do much better by being on their side.
- Etc, etc. You get where I’m going here.
The characters are nothing new, but they are still fun to watch. I mean, how often do you see a ghost putting a guy in a submission hold only for him to willingly have his shoulder dislocated for a millisecond feel of her chest. That’s dedication.
And, at the end of the day, these characters are solid. They don’t contradict themselves, they don’t pretend to be something they aren’t, and their quirks aren’t intolerable. If the anime had more episodes, we could have seen a lot of character growth, but we got what we got.
Animation & Sound
Not much to really write home here about. It’s an 11-episode Light Novel-based anime. The art isn’t badly done most times, in fact its actually pretty sharp-looking, but it’s nothing that rivals the brilliance of some anime I’ve seen. Though I will admit I love Nanana’s character design as a whole.
Same goes for the sound, it’s nothing really special to me. No tracks that I’m going to remember down the line.
Overall, the anime does what its supposed to. It gives you a look at the sort of happenings in the source materials that I cannot obtain, but I can’t say I regret watching it. I do, however, wish that it had more episodes to flesh things out, but that’s not happening and I’ve accepted it.
If you’ve got a couple of free hours and want a laugh, a story set in a city of students and filled with hidden labyrinths and puzzles, mixed with some decent action, I recommend it.