Nanana’s Buried Treasure (complete series) [2014; DVD 2016]

Nanana’s Buried Treasure is an enjoyable and fun Japanese animated series, based on the popular light novel stories by Kazuma Ōtorino with art by Akaringo. This anime collection by A-1 Pictures is released on DVD and BluRay in Australia by Madman Entertainment.

This series is instantly lovable with the strange and exciting setting painted right away as we follow Jugo Yama to Nanaejima – a specially created island for students who want to learn away from regular society – and find a new mystery around every corner. The first and best of these is finding out he has a ghost for a roommate!

The ghost in question is Nanana Ryugajo, the founder of the island who loved treasure hunts so much that she hid many scientific and ‘mystic’ items created on her island so that other treasure hunters could feel her enjoyment too. However, she was murdered 10 years ago and her restless soul cannot leave her apartment, so it is up to Jugo to learn to live with her and work with other students to find her lost treasures.

But that is only the tip of the iceberg, and there are so many plot and character twists and revelations that it is almost farcical. Do not mistake this for an insult, however, as it is one of the most fantastic and enjoyable parts of this series. You never know what will come next, and the characters keep you wanting more as their relationships develop.

The characters have all been cast perfectly which really helps these larger-than-life characters ‘pop’ off the screen. The animation is great with A-1 inventively creating and filming all of the bizarre traps and mazes that litter the locations as our heroes search for Nanana’s treasures.

The hardest thing about watching this series is the fact that it is only 11 episodes and is just the beginning of the tale, really. This was probably all that was available at the time of the series being produced, and it is something of a let-down to know you will not be able to watch any further for a resolution. I would love to hear of more episodes being made based on further novellas, but it does not seem likely at this point.

Despite this, I would gladly watch these 11 episodes over again as they are well-made and thoroughly enjoyable. There is a great sense of ‘fun’ to the whole series which epitomises the essence of Nanana’s character. It is enough to make me want to hunt down the novellas (which may mean that I need to go back to studying Japanese, unless translations are available) as I’m desperate for more.

Being a short series there are no real extras on these ‘lite’ DVD sets but for the usual ‘textless’ opening and closing credit animations and trailers. That said, I feel the series itself is reward enough, only hindered by the production’s ‘incomplete’ story.

3.5 out of 5 cats.


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