Nowadays, whenever someone makes a Talentless Nana reference, you can bet that they’re going to turn it into some kind of Among Us reference, like, “Pink sus!” or something similar.
Well, I think a much more suitable way of describing it (as well as not having been referenced to death) would be to say that, “Talentless Nana is what you would get if your merged Death Note and My Hero Academia into a single story.”
Before I get into what this entails though, I would like to warn some who may have not seen the first episode of Talentless Nana to go and watch it before reading this review.
Trust me, you don’t want the entire surprise premise of this show to be spoiled for you by a review.
Ok, so based off the manga by Looseboy, and directed by Shinji Ishihira, the story takes place on an isolated island, where children with super powers known as Talents are taken to be trained to fight the vaguely named “Enemies of Humanity.”
Our main character is supposedly Nanao Nakajima (Hiro Shimono), a one note, Deku clone, who I found it very hard to relate to because of how many times I’ve seen his character done before.
Enter Nana Hiiragi, a new student who supposedly has the ability to read minds and pushes Nanao to be more confident and eventually become the class leader.
Notice how I used the word “supposedly” when talking about how Nanao was the main character and that Nana could read minds?
Well, the surprise twist of the episode is that Nanao is actually not the main character because Nana murders him, after revealing that she actually can’t read minds but is just really good at reading people.
Turns out that the Talented are actually the true “Enemies of Humanity”, and Nana has been sent by a shady government organization to covertly murder every single one of them on the island to protect humanity.
Before the twist, Talentless Nana looked like a generic, cliched, rip off of My Hero Academia.
Now though, it had taken a Death Note twist, becoming a murder mystery where we see the perspective of the murderer.
And, if Nana is this series’ Light, then Kyoya Onodera (Yuichi Nakamura) is definitely its L, as the antisocial, wannabe detective who begins to suspect Nana right from the get-go.
Their game of cat and mouse is entertaining to watch, and just as good is the slowly growing friendship between Nana and the insanely good natured Michiru Inukai (Mai Nakahara), an akward turn of events for Nana because she is supposed to kill Michiru eventually.
The character development Nana gains from interacting with these two, while still trying to kill them and every other student, is just great and delivers many fun episodes, like the two part “Necromancer”, “Survival of the Fittest”, and “Revival”.
As for Nana herself, I have to give major props to her voice actress, Rumi Okubo, who is able to portray the fake, outward persona Nana shows and her true self perfectly.
Along with this, the show’s OP, “Broken Sky”, by Miyu Tomita, and ED, “Bakemono to Yobarete”, by Chiai Fujikawa, are also complete bangers.
However, there are a few issues with Talentless Nana that do hold it back a bit.
The first of these is the direction, which is, overall, nothing special for the most part, not that there’s anything wrong with this.
One thing I definitely had an issue with, though, was the cliffhangers, or rather, the way they were constructed.
More often than not, an episode would end with some big cliffhanger, where the audience would wonder if Nana was about to get caught, only for the first few minutes of the next episode to resolve this cliffhanger with absolutely no lasting consequences.
This did get quite frustrating after a while and it made it hard for me to get excited for next week because I was sure that whatever cliffhanger we were on would instantly be solved in the following episode.
Also, the show had a bit of a problem introducing characters because it’s clear that the writer came up with them as they went along, with characters, who we have never seen before, showing up, only for the other characters to act as though they’d been there the whole time.
Still, this did not ruin my experience of these episodes and there really are some great scenes and twists throughout that had me eager to see what would happen next.
In its entirety, Talentless Nana is a really good anime, with some fun moments and great character development, for its main characters at least.
Unfortunately, I’ve heard that the sales for the show haven’t been doing too well, so it seems unlikely that we will be getting a season two, which is a shame because the manga is also a blast.
You can expect a review for the Talentless Nana manga in the coming weeks.