Talentless Nana

Talentless Nana

Talentless Nana anime series cover art
Talentless Nana

Series Overview

Talentless Nana (Munou na Nana / 無能なナナ) is a supernatural, psychological thriller. You can basically think of it like if My Hero Academia was a murder mystery series. So if you’re into shounen battle series and psychological thrillers, I recommend checking it out.

If you’re not into some of the more standard shounen battle series, the art style of Talentless Nana may be a bit off-putting. The art style is much more “generic” than you would normally expect from a psychological thriller. And I could definitely see that pushing some people away before they give it a chance.

So, what’s Talentless Nana about? Basically, sometime in the future, there’s a small percentage of people who are born with supernatural abilities called talents. Three talents we’re introduced to in the very first episode are fire manipulation, ice manipulation, and mind-reading, just to give some examples.

Children with talents are sent to a special training school on a remote island where they learn to fight against the “enemies of humanity” (they don’t have a name beyond that). But, since this is a psychological thriller, obviously something has to go wrong.

This is a minor spoiler, but I can’t really explain the series without it: Students begin to mysteriously go missing. It’s up to those left to figure out what happened to their classmates while simultaneously protecting themselves from the same fate.

Another interesting aspect of the series has to do with how those with talents often don’t share what their talents are with others. If someone else knows your talent, they can probably figure out your weakness. So while the students are working together to figure out the mystery, they’re also suspicious of each other.

Main Characters

For this section on the main characters, I’m going to stick to information we get from the first episode. The next section is where I’ll fill in some of the gaps with spoilers. So if you don’t want to be spoiled, this section is safe.

Nanao Nakajima, despite attending the school for talented, is talentless. Because of this he gets picked on by the other students in his class and doesn’t really have any friends. Basically, your classic protagonist.

Nana Hiiragi is a new transfer student who befriends Nanao almost immediately once she learns that he’s considered an outcast. She’s very outgoing, but her talent for reading minds sometimes gets in the way. As it turns out, people don’t really like having their minds read.

Nana Hiiragi and Nanao Nakajima from the anime series Talentless Nana
Nana Hiiragi and Nanao Nakajima

Kyouya Onodera is another new addition to the class. He’s basically the opposite of Nana as the other students view him as unapproachable and unfriendly. Kyouya has a talent, but we don’t know what it is.

Moguo Iijima is one of the two known strongest students in the class. He has the ability to summon and control fire and doesn’t shy away from letting everyone know because he wants them to think he’s cool. Generic elemental abilities are often among the strongest in battle shounen series simply because they’re so versatile.

Seiya Kori is the opposite of Moguo in a lot of ways, but also very similar. He’s the other strongest known student, with the ability to summon and control ice. Like Moguo, he doesn’t hide this. But his reason for not hiding it is because he wants everyone to think of his talent as eloquent and high-class.

There are other important characters, but those are the five we’re introduced to within the first episode. The class has around 20 students in total.

Early Series Spoilers

I don’t know exactly how early all of these spoilers are, but I’m not going to spoil any of the major mysteries of the series here at any rate. So, at the end of the first episode, we learn that Nana isn’t who she says she is. She kills Nanao and it’s revealed at some point early on that she’s actually the talentless one.

Despite the fact that the series is literally called Talentless Nana, this was a pretty good twist, in my opinion. The first episode did a great job at setting up the idea that Nana really did have a talent while Nanao was the talentless one.

And, once it’s revealed that Nana, a talentless human, is trying to eliminate all of the talented students on the island, things get interesting. I really enjoyed seeing how Nana would maneuver around all the various situations she finds herself in.

Nana Hiiragi and Kyouya Onodera from the anime series Talentless Nana
Nana Hiiragi and Kyouya Onodera

Not only does Nana have to keep up the ruse that she has a mind-reading talent, but she also has to figure out what everyone else’s talents are and come up with plans to defeat them without being caught. And that final part is where Kyouya comes in.

The cat and mouse game between Nana and Kyouya is done very well. If you’re a fan of Light vs. L in Death Note, then you’ll probably like Nana vs. Kyouya. I think Nana vs. Kyouya might even be better because unlike in Death Note, Talentless Nana doesn’t require you to suspend your disbelief for the sake of plot progression.

Unfortunately, the series doesn’t conclude within the 13 episodes of this season. And because this is anime, there’s no guarantee that a second season will ever happen. I kind of have a feeling it won’t.

Conclusion

For me, Talentless Nana is a 7/10. It’s a good anime and I had fun trying to figure out all the mysteries within it. However, I wouldn’t say that it’s anything special. It’s worth watching if you like psychological thrillers. But you shouldn’t go into it expecting it to be the next Monster.

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