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Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin Episode 11 Review
Nanana’s Buried Treasure Episode 11 Review
Back when I did the spring preview, I guessed that this show wouldn’t be any good. For some reason, it just had a generic vibe going by what I saw of the premise and the previews. After hearing some people talk about it, I decided to give it a shot, and thankfully, my previous assumptions were completely wrong. This show isn’t generic at all. In fact, it’s the complete opposite.
Note: This will be more of a overall review than a review on this single episode.
Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin Episode 11 Impressions
In the recent past, we had shows like Uchouten Kazoku and Kyousougiga air that were unique in their own ways. For Uchouten Kazoku, it was the premise, setting, plot-points, and relationships between the enigmatic characters, and for Kyousougiga, it was also unique in those ways (in different ways of course) but its art style truly differentiated it from the crowd as it emphasized the fantastical nature of the show incredibly well. For Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin… it’s not really the premise, setting, or its art style that makes it as peculiar as it is; the characters do. If you have followed a moderate amount of anime week to week (10+), and season by season for at least a year, then you’ve probably been through the times when you dropped shows after the first few episodes due to their generic and uninspired nature. Out of the near hundred shows every year, a fraction become good enough for avid watchers to recommend others to watch. And through all of those generic shows I never ended up completing, a major commonality between each of them, and sometimes even between shows that are “good,” are how typical and weak the characters are. Now, I’m not going to say anything absurd like how Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin shakes up the foundations of character development or anything like that. What I will discuss¬†is how this anime steps outside generic characterizations in interesting ways that differentiates this show from the plethora of other anime.
Probably the most important aspect to the characters that lead me to feel this way is how unstraightforward they are. In many shows, we more or less understand the personality of a certain character, his or her motivations, what he or she will most likely do under circumstances presented by the story, and so on not too many episodes into the anime. Archetypal characters, and common tropes rule the scene as we see tsunderes, yanderes, and the like over and over again. Certainly, it’s not as if adhering to a¬†common personality is a horrible thing to do. After all, there’s a reason why they’re “common.” No character¬†can be so radically different from every single¬†subset of character tropes that he or she is completely original. But there are times when shows create vital characters to their story that are so straight in their beliefs, and opinions that they stick to just a few tropes, or sometimes a single one throughout the whole story. Why is this problematic? Because human beings are complex creatures, and when I’m watching shows that try to develop characters, many seem to ignore that fact. Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin is one of those shows that step outside of this and actually has characters that are at least a bit more intricate than the average character you’d see in anime.
This all started back in the third episode where Yuiga Isshin stole The Wizard’s Cane. As he smiled, I thought he was just the type that lusts for power and has finally gotten what he needed, but it wasn’t quite so simple. When he walked out of the room and his hands shook as he gripped the cane, you could tell that he felt guilt. He was conflicted¬†with what he did, and even though he started spouting his grand goals next episode,¬†he still didn’t get rid of Juugo and Tensai even though he had a perfect opportunity to when he picked up the cane. He knew that they’d go against him, but he couldn’t take that extra step because he’s not just a heartless “bad guy” like many other antagonists. Now, Ikusaba Hiiyo has taken over the antagonist role, and he too, gives off this feeling that there’s much more to him than we currently know of. In this episode, Ikusaba actually called Yuiga, “Yuiga” instead of “four-eyes” for the first time showing that he’s acknowledged his resolve. As he said in episode nine, “[This competition surrounding Nanana’s collection] demands but one thing of you: The willingness to throw away all that you have in order to make your wishes come true.” From this, how Ikusaba questioned Yuiga’s goals, and how he accepts Yuiga now, we know that he’s doing all of this¬†for a reason that probably just isn’t obtaining power because he wants to be powerful.
It’s not just these two characters that have more depth than meets the eye. Yama Juugo, Ikkyuu Tensai, Ryuugajou Nanana, and even Maporo Shiki and Fugi Yukihime are characters that have this aura of mystery surrounding them. From Nanana’s feelings about collecting all her treasures to how she wants to find her killer to Ikkyuuu Tensai’s genius to Yama Juugo’s disposition, the characters have a lot to them that makes me feel that they’ve barely been explored. I don’t want you to take this as me saying that the show didn’t develop the characters well. It did. It’s actually a huge positive for it to portray that there’s a lot to these characters that could very well betray your preconceived ideas of who they are. This anime does a fantastic job of shaking things up, and delivering unexpected parts here and there that I didn’t expect. Yama Juugo, for example, isn’t just the typical “good guy protagonist.” He has his sneaky side even though he may have that stupid grin when he sees a girl in a maid outfit. (Let’s be honest though, we’d all have that same stupid grin.) And sometimes, he doesn’t say, do, or think the things I think he would because I’m just so used to the typical male protagonists who say, do, and think the “right” things. Heck, it’s just nice to see a male protagonist that’s not completely useless, and a bit different for once.
This show makes me wonder, “Is what this character saying and doing really what they mean to say and do?” It’s great to actually suspect the motives of the characters and actually doubt them like we do to real people. They aren’t stupid, and you can’t read them like a book. You can never be absolutely certain what their next move is, it takes time to get to know who they really are, and under certain circumstances, they can greatly change their attitudes. Wow, they’re just like real people! It’s actually a bit saddening that I would be pleasantly surprised by something like this when it should be far more common. Furthermore, the collection of the treasures actually help greatly in characterization as it is a source of great power, and with this great power comes the test of intrinsic nature in which we see the desires of the individuals competing, and how they feel internally. It would have been far more difficult to portray Yuiga’s desires in episode four if it weren’t for Nanana’s collection. Moreover, even the relationship¬†between Nanana and Juugo isn’t one where the girl is all hot for the guy’s D and… yeah… They actually get to know each other better, wrestle a little bit here and there, and build their respect for each other gradually. Nanana’s feelings toward being a ghost also changes by the end to a happier one which is an interesting form of development for a character that’s not directly involved in gathering the treasures.
Just remember that even though I’m praising this show quite a bit that it isn’t spectacular by any means and has its own share of problems. The way the twist was done in episode three and four was not smooth at all, some of the dialogue feels strangely cliche at times, and so on, but overall, this show surprised me quite a bit. Its characterization is by no means groundbreaking, but it’s approach is different enough that I feel that I must mention why its a nice change of pace from the typical characterization I see season to season. The depth to these characters is definitely something I strongly hope to see more of in the future, so hopefully there’ll be a season two in a few years or some writers will look towards this anime, and the light novel, as sources of inspiration. Will I do a more detailed review or analysis of this anime? Perhaps. It definitely piqued my interest in a way I never expected going into it. There’s a lot more to this topic of characterization that I will almost¬†certainly discuss sometime in the future, and while I could talk much more about the characterization in this anime as this post is just a short discussion to get you pondering, the general topic of characterization will encompass far more than this title alone. If this anime made me realize one thing its that characterization is an art that¬†has much room to grow and evolve. Even if two characters may be similar, put them in different settings and circumstances with good writing and you’ll end up having two very different characters by the end. What better way to explore ourselves than to explore the characters that we can create? Looking through the mind of a brilliant character could be a phenomenal platform for all kinds of thematic ideas. And maybe, it could even change who we are in real life, or marginally alter our perspectives on certain topics, however slight that change may be.