Nanana’s Buried Treasure-Review

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By:Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)

I think, at some point in time, we’ve all fantasized about what it would be like to be an adventurer, searching for ancient cities or treasures. Would it be like Indiana Jones with traps and guardians? Maybe a little more like Tomb Raider? Or how about the game series, Uncharted? While all of those are fun and entertaining thoughts, real life treasure hunting is probably far less glamorous and much more tedious (as well as less dangerous). But what if treasure was hidden around us, and the treasure gave the finder certain abilities or powers? Enter Nanana’s Buried Treasure, the latest from A-1 Studio.

Yama Juugo is a recent transfer student to a high school on the island Nanejima. He’s all alone on this island so is forced to find the cheapest rent possible that is relatively near the school. He finds a low-rent apartment that appears too good to be true. He signs up for the apartment only to find out that there’s a girl who lives in the room. However, she’s not an ordinary girl; she’s a ghost. Her name is Nanana and she was murdered in that room ten years prior. Now her spirit is bound to the room, unable to move on, and she spends her days playing video games and eating pudding. He learns Nanana was a part of an adventure club that found many treasures. She hid the treasures around, providing clues to their location. But the treasures are guarded by traps and puzzles, as the treasure grants special abilities and powers. Juugo takes an interest in the club, hoping to gather the treasure and find out who killed Nanana in the process.

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While the ghost-living-in-a-room story has been done before, the execution and overall plot of Nanana’s Buried Treasure gives it a new depth and freshness not found previously. From the beginning, we become invested in the characters. Not that these characters have tremendous amounts of depth, per se, but rather they are interesting in their own ways, each holding something darker under the exterior that we must discover. What happened to the all of the previous members of the adventure club? Why hasn’t Nanana been able to move on? And why hasn’t anyone ever determined who killed Nanana in the first place? Is it pure greed that people search out these treasures or do people whole heartedly wish to help Nanana find her murderer? So many questions are posed throughout each episode with the story unfolding in distinct layers like an onion, minus the crying. But with only 11 episodes in the first season, it’s hard to fully flesh out enough.

The animation itself isn’t anything groundbreaking, nor are the character designs. But when everything works together, the individual elements don’t necessarily have to be on an epic level for the show to be successful. The characters are what keep us coming back. The determination of Juugo and his interactions with Nanana, especially when he forgets to bring her pudding, the calm confidence found in the “master detective” Tensei, or Shiki Maboro, the current landlady of the apartments who was Nanana’s best friend when she was alive, often going with her to hunt treasure. Seeing how much she cares for Nanana, but keeping that care locked inside and hiding her pains with alcohol is sad and relatable to how so many bury their demons and emotions through substances. Nanana’s Buried Treasure brings everything together for us with a fun adventure filled with relatable characters.

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Despite only being 11 episodes in length and a few flaws here and there, Nanana’s Buried Treasure was more than enjoyable. It brings back that feeling we first had when we watched Indiana Jones, played Tomb Raider and dreamt about what it would be to find ancient artifacts. Will Nanana’s Buried Treasure go down as an all-time great anime? Probably not, but it’s so much better than a lot of stories that are out there.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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