Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin is an ongoing light novel and manga series by Otorino Kazuma. Both manga and light novel series began publication in early 2012. In 2014 our old friends at A-1 pictures worked on an eleven episode anime version. I haven’t read the novels or manga, so I won’t be able to tell you how well the anime series follows either of them. I will, however, tell you how well it stands as its own entity. With that in mind, let’s delve into it.
Our protagonist, young Yama Juugo, moves to the man-made Nanae Island after being disowned by his father. Once there he finds a low rent apartment, but there turns out to be a catch. It’s haunted. The ghost is Nanana, that isn’t a lead up to saying ‘Batman’ it’s actually her name, one of the island’s founders. Ten years ago she was murdered in her room and she’s been bound to it since. Juugo is approached by his High School’s Adventure Club. A group dedicated to finding Nanana’s collection, a group of artefacts with magic powers. He joins them, hoping to find something to help him solve Nanana’s murder.
Let’s open with the issues I had with the narrative. The first is that it’s a bit inconsistent. To name a big example, Nanana mentions that she was killed from behind and didn’t see her attacker, but she somehow knows they had a dragon tattoo on their neck. How exactly did she manage to see their neck and nothing else? You’d think she could at least also give a hair colour, description of their back and be able to tell roughly how tall they were. The tone also shifts a bit. Most of it is more light-hearted and kind of goofy, but they also try to throw in some more serious moments and they don’t transition well betwixt the two, resulting in a lack of investment in the serious scenes. I took it more seriously when Q threw the elements of harmony into chaos and that was a program for small children. My final issue was with the ending. I understand that it’s difficult to end a single series when there’s more to the story. You want some closure, but you also want to keep things open enough to get the audience interested in the continuation. In this case, they try to do it with a climactic battle against an antagonist they’ve built up and with Nanana’s murder still unsolved. However, the execution is pretty weak and the battle ends with a total anti-climax.
On the positive side, the premise is an interesting one. The comedic elements are handled decently enough. I also do like that they play Nanana up as a neutral party and not as a being who’s only helpful to the main group. As a consequence, you can’t say that they only clear ruins ahead of other treasure hunters due to supernatural assistance.
The characters in this aren’t badly done, but they also aren’t incredibly complex, compelling or funny. All in all, they’re pretty standard. That being said, I did rather like Tensai. She can be quite fun. What I didn’t like are the relationship dynamics. They’re incredibly stilted. There’s a moment where certain characters betray others, there’s a fight and then everyone goes back to being the bestest of friends. Because that seems like what would happen in that situation.
The art is okay. It’s mostly pretty standard with some nice effects and designs for the ruins. A bit of fan-service, mostly involving an effeminate male character. So, that’s different.
The acting in this is fine. It’s not anything special but it’s competent enough. The music is done by Hoashi Keigo, who also did work on Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu. The music here isn’t as good, but it’s all right.
There’s a little bit. Some of the other boys demonstrate attraction to our fan-servicey effeminate boy. So, there’s that.
And that’s Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin. There are some aspects that are decent, some that are kind of weak but, by and large, it’s just an average series. If you really like the sound of the premise, you may like it and it’s only eleven episodes, so it wouldn’t be a huge time investment to try it. As for me, my rating is going to be a 5/10. Next week I’m looking at Triangle Heart: Sweet Songs Forever.