Spoilers of the first episode.
2020 was a year of chaos, to put it lightly. But even with all that had happened three games took the world by storm. Gatcha game Genshin Impact, the extremely aggravating Fall Guys, and lastly the one that implemented trust issues even among the closest of friends, Among Us. For those who don’t know Among Us has a pretty simple plot, there is a crew of people working in space, two of them, however, has the goal is to kill the rest of the crew without them finding out. This leads up to Fall anime Talentless Nana, or more simply put, Among Us the anime.
Talentless Nana follows cheery main Nana Hiiragi. A pink hair twined tailed bundle of joy who can read minds and is full of nothing but compassion and innocence. She attends a special school on an island full of other ‘talented’ teens, individuals who have special abilities ranging from simply healing, to controlling different elements.
But not everything is as it seems.
Charming Nano Nakajima on her first day in class, Nana gets close to the seeming talentless boy, reeling him in like a black widow reading his mind to help him better understand his feelings all the way to the point that Nano goes out of his way to be with her. Then she chucks him off a cliff ending his life.
What follows is a rather silly game of wits, murder, and chaos as Nana’s true feelings and responsibilities come to light. Having an extreme sense of observing it turns out Nana cannot read minds at all, that she has no talent, but has trained her whole life for one goal, killing every other student at the school.
The major point of tension comes early on as Nana catches the attention of Kyouya Onodera, a strange fella in class that is standoffish and cold. Wanting to try to make new friends he decides to hit up the popular Nana, though the clear intention is obvious. After the second disappearance of another student, Kyouya has a feeling Nana is up to something and decides to get close to her to prove it. It plays out somewhat like L and Light in Death Note, but in Talentless Nana it is like playing normal chess while Death Note was a bit more, complex.
One of the biggest takeaways I took from Talentless Nana is the narrative it tries to paint. What starts out as a girl with no power trying to figure out how to kill students with powers quickly shifts to something else entirely. Around episode 6 the narrative seems to change, not so much being about Nana killing but more about Nana opening up and befriend classmate Michiru Inukai. Though her job ultimately is to kill her along with the rest of the student’s Nana slowly but surely opens up to her, becoming vulnerable and even sloppy with respect to her killing.
It was a strange shift in the show that left me slightly confused about what the ultimate angel was going to be. Added with a self-evaluation from Nana and the additive of other obstacles that pop up along the way Talentless Nana had way too much substance for the 13 episodes it got. Even the ending of 13 left A LOT unanswered, virtually overriding a good half of the show in one go.
All and all I think Talentless Nana had a good premise, had interesting characters, and flow for the first half of the series. Hell, I even like Nana even though she is painted in a way that the viewer should see her as the villain. But as her story developed and the more that is revealed about her I actually felt sorrow, seeing that her past played a lot in the role she has now as she even starts to question her own motives.
Talentless Nana does have a manga that is licensed through Crunchyroll and at the time of this is at chapter 46 over 6 volumes and the anime covers roughly the first 4 volumes completely. Meaning that there is quite a bit of source material that the show wasn’t even able to remotely touch and that is without a doubt the weakest part of the series.
Talentless Nana is a mix of simple man’s Death Note and Among Us that I think in long-form would have the time to flesh out a worthwhile story. But the show falls flat to me in almost every angel, a victim of too much material and not enough time, leaving an impression in me of a 4/10. I do plan on reading the manga however, curious where the narrative will go and what exactly the show was trying to convey even if it doesn’t get a second season.
And once that is done, surely you will see my post about it here, but until then, thank you for reading!