First Impression: Talentless Nana

An elite academy exists on a remote island, where children with superpowers are trained to fight “the enemies of humanity,” unspecified monsters which could have Lovecraftian and alien-like form, or human form. Among them, a leader is to be chosen. Meet our protagonist, Nanao Nakajima, a seemingly talentless student who is bullied by the rest, especially a fire-powered guy, and treated with disdain by the ice-powered class prince. Two new students transfer into the class: the kind, lively Nana Hiiragi, who can read minds and quickly befriends Nakajima, and a mysterious white-haired boy who keeps his own power a secret, because of the danger that the enemies of humanity may have infiltrated the very academy. Or that may have been all misdirection, dear readers. Maybe the show is about something else entirely…

Well, talk about a turning point. This one felt like a short story with a twist ending: The misdirection was very well-done. My main complaint at the beginning was that there were just too much elements of Boku no Hero Academia without the sincerity and complex worldbuilding that make that series so wholesome. The characters didn’t seem all that interesting, either. Now it looks more like a Cold War story in an Evangelion setting mixed with the ethos of an elite boarding school. The choice to take a different route saved which would have been a formulaic story, and turned it into something else. It was a first episode worth watching. Now, the question is if it can outlive the trick. I’ll be watching the next episode to see.

Talentless Nana is available for streaming on Funimation. Read our thoughts on all the new fall anime series, in additional comments from our other writers, on our fall 2020 anime first impression master post.

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