Munou na Nana – 01

「無能力」 (Munouryoku)
“Talentless”

Every anime season is usually endowed with a surprise or three, and here to help meet that trend is Munou na Nana. With a fairly major twist out the door and crazy personalities to boot, this one is certainly making a play for dark horse of the season, although whether it can successfully reach those lofty heights remains to be seen.

Per the omnipresent RC Preview, Munou na Nana is on the surface your paint by numbers superpower story. Take a bunch of kids, give them an array of ubiquitous abilities (fire, ice, mind reading? Yeah, you don’t get more derivative than that), and throw them into a school located smack dab in the middle of nowhere under the auspices of training to protect humanity from so-called Enemies of Humanity. Or in other words, what Boku no Hero Academia probably would’ve looked like if it tried going Assassination Classroom. It may not be exactly what we’ve seen before, but at face value the show doesn’t try hard to differentiate itself.

Well, at least that’s the case for the first part of this episode. Once generic setting and cookie cutter characters are out the way, Munou na Nana wastes little time in inducing a sense of dread and suspense. The appearance of moody Onodera Kyouya (Nakamura Yuuichi) for example quietly throws a wrench into the straightforward proceedings thanks to his attitude, while the titular bubbly and naïve Hiiragi Nana (Ookubo Rumi) starts ratcheting up tensions thanks her mind reading ability and eager willingness to make friends with loner classmate (and supposedly ability-less) Nakajima Nanao (Shimono Hiro). Something is clearly “wrong” with how things are playing out (especially given how the so-called enemy of this series hasn’t even shown up), but until Nanao reveals his power to nullify other individuals’ powers we have no good idea what. Because Nana then proves why pink hair never lies and brains always beat brawn. Expectations? Right out the window. Curiosity? Firmly acquired. So much for twists largely being mid-season affairs.

The interest following such a start though will be how Munou na Nana builds off of it. With Nana apparently being the actual MC and Nanao nothing more than victim numero uno of a likely pre-planned killing spree, there’s a lot of base narrative blanks needing filling in, and only so much time to do so before attention starts drifting elsewhere. As with all shock and awe it’s all about maintaining momentum, however if Munou na Nana’s follow-up can match what we got this opener (and I’m really curious to see if it does), this will definitely be one show worthy of a bit of attention to this season.

OP Sequence

OP: 「Broken Sky」by Miyu Tomita

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