Talentless Nana was originally a manga published under Square Enix’s Shonen Ganga serialization in May 2016 and was written by Pen name writer Looseboy and illustrated by Iori Furuya. Though the series strongly suggests a shoujo magical girl-esque setting, it is anything but that with its strong affinity with the implementation of gore and immorality.
What is Talentless Nana about?
Talentless Nana acts as a weird mix between the likes of “My Hero Academia” and “Future Diary”, but it never opts to fully pursue either facet of the types of narratives that it borrows from. Though the feedback that such a unique stance on storytelling can create is primarily subjective, we would still like to express our disappointment with the show’s narrative structure.
The story is set in Talented Academy, a school located on a remote island that harbors the talented as its students. The talented are a set of individuals in the population who gain superpowers that come with their own unique sets of abilities and weaknesses. The work of the Talented Academy is to train future generations of talented to against the “Enemies of Humanity” as our last line of defense.
Coincidentally a new student by the name of Nana joined the school recently and claims to have the power to read minds, which she amply demonstrates without fail. Nana also befriends fellow classmate Nanao and helps him rise to the social ranks among his classmates. But as soon as Nanao is left vulnerable in the moment, a very shocking twist takes precedence as Nana pushes him off a cliff and just as ruthlessly drops her facade and declares her crusade against the talented.
The reason for this is that Nana is under the orders of the Government, who reveal that it is in fact the talented who are the real “Enemies of Humanity”, and to avoid a war, the government has been discreetly conducting special ops using student agents to stealthily cull the number of talented children in order to keep the population of the talented contained.
Why the plot does not work
There are many reasons as to why the narrative of Talentless Nana does not work, especially for the modern anime audience. A few of them are as follows: –
- Dues Ex Machina – The series borrows heavily from the likes of “Future Diary” in this aspect but both fail to properly utilize this trope to naturally progress their respective stories. The conflicts in Talentless Nana feel inadequate and non-threatening, most prominently due to the show’s artificial progression, which intentionally sabotages the intellect of most cast members in order to give Nana the edge in most situations regardless of if it is a plausible scenario.
- Writing – The writing for the many cast members is unapologetically horrendous for how incompetent it is, the characters serve no purpose other than to just be the series’ obtuse efforts at world-building. The few prominent main characters fluctuate consistently from decent to absolutely airheaded logic, they lack believable emotions and rationale which are absolutely indispensable for a good Mind-game narrative and their actions lack any sense of personal progression.
- Plot Holes – The series is riddled with plot holes which are the result of the story arcs being rushed throughout its 13-episode runtime. Not only that but the series also lacks any proper closures to its arcs and always abruptly progresses onwards to the next conflict which makes any built-up narrative tension just abruptly dissipate or just outright get ignored for the sake of continuing on with the story.
Considering the current standards we have with world-building, characters, and narratives, it’s absolutely disheartening to see a show of such low quality as Talentless Nana. Its interesting setting is quickly taken over by pure frustration towards the incompetency of its writing, which fails to deliver on all accounts from characters to even the mind-game conflicts that it insists upon itself.