Hi everyone~ This is review number four, this time with an anime entitled “Nanaka 6/17”. The genres are Comedy/Romance/Drama/School Life/Slice of Life/Shounen.
I was looking through some old drawings of mine and found an old one of Nanaka, so I hunted this one up and watched it in a single sitting (´◠ω◠`)
The anime is produced by J.C Staff. The anime has a total runtime of ~25 minutes per episode. It’s about a 17-year-old girl named Nanaka who gets brain damage and her mental age regresses to that of a six-year-old. With the help of her friend Nenji, she tries to live a normal life while going through the struggles of high school and growing up all over again. It’s a cute and enjoyable show but not without it’s flaws. Let’s read on, shall we?
Seventeen-year-old Nanaka Kirisato is a high school student serious about her studies and goals in life. She frequently criticizes her best friend, Nenji Nagihara, for being a childish delinquent who spends his time fighting other boys. Then one day, after a heated argument with Nenji, she falls off a flight of stairs and suffers a brain injury, resulting in her mind reverting to that of a six-year-old. With this in mind, Nanaka’s father and Nenji must keep her injury a secret as she struggles to live a normal life and grow up all over again.
The “bumps head and gets amnesia” premise isn’t anything new and has been done plenty of times before. So Nanaka bumps her head and loses her memories, simple enough, right? That’s true. The story itself is simple. Nothing too extravagant or flashy, with no supernatural or magical elements (don’t let that wand Nanaka is holding fool you).
Despite the simplicity of the story, the anime does put a unique twist to it. For one, the characters do their best to hide what happened to Nanaka and try to help her live a normal high school life (which, clearly, is impossible for a six-year-old). Watching the characters adapt to Nanaka’s regression was pretty entertaining, and quite realistic. I feel that if the same happened to someone I know, I’d react the same way Nenji did. Watching Nanaka adapt to highschool life is interesting, too. I’d have to give kudos to the writers for the original twist they put into the show halfway through the series, but I won’t elaborate on that ’cause that’d be spoilers =P The show has enough elements to keep it from becoming bland, and the execution of the themes it had was well done.
Of course, the anime has some flaws. One of the weak points which really hurt the anime are the characters (I’ll elaborate on that in a later section). Another would be the predictability of most of the gags. There is also a vignette near the end of each episode about “Magical Domiko” a show-within-a-show. Magical Domiko is six-year-old Nanaka’s favourite anime. While I myself liked these bits, I can see why others might find it intrusive or irrelevant. Near the ending of the series, though, this show actually plays a big part. And the biggest disappointment of all was the ending. It wasn’t bad, per se, but I feel like there’s something missing, as if the resolution was too abrupt compared to the steady pacing of the other episodes.
One of the things I like most about this anime is how I could identify with the bittersweet messages on growing up. I myself am also worried about the future, how to cope with problems as well as losing the things that made comforted and entertained me throughout my childhood. I also like the involvement of the “Magical Domiko” anime. At first, it seems like nothing but a child’s show and a form of entertainment for Nanaka, but it actually greatly influences her life. After all, aren’t we the same in real life? That one cartoon we watched while eating cereal on 8 A.M before going to school, that familiar song our elementary classmate used to sing, that video game you waited all year to get from your parents. Little things that shape our way of thinking and living.
The characters in Nanaka 6/17 are a bit of a mixed issue. I wouldn’t say they’re one dimensional – in fact, quite the opposite. They start out as generic characters (we have the straight-laced and studious one paired with the delinquent who doesn’t care much about school), but as the story progresses and they try to adapt to Nanaka’s situation, they all grow and we learn more about the characters.
The main problem about them is that they’re annoying. It’s not an ‘every-moment’ kind of thing, but it’s noticeable enough.
First of all, we have 17-year-old Nanaka, who is cold and distant and is even mean to others, not caring if they get upset. Though the reasons for her awful personality are revealed as you progress, she can still be such a thorn. Six-year-old Nanaka is cute and cheerful, but she might start to bug you as you go through the series (let’s admit it, though, most toddlers can be annoying).
Nenji is one of the characters who went through the most changes in the series in order to reconcile with Nanaka, and I like how much his character has developed, but he can be a bit of a douchebag at times. He sometimes says insensitive things, or forget to consider how other characters feel since he thinks so much about Nanaka’s problem. He always depends on another character, Amemiya, to help him take care of Nanaka, without even thinking once that Amemiya’s tired of hearing Nenji go Nanaka this Nanaka that blah blah.
Amemiya is probably the most likeable of the bunch. She’s the pink haired girl with a crush on Nenji.Unlike love interest rivals in most other animes, Amemiya doesn’t try to ruin Nenji and Nanaka’s friendship in order to have Nenji all for herself. And instead of just giving up, she continues to pursue Nenji all the while maintaining her friendship with the rest of the cast.
There are also a bunch of interesting side characters. While you might not like them at first, you’ll grow to like them eventually!
The character designs are simple and kind of bland, but they’re aesthetically pleasing. The characters are all varied from each other though, so that’s a plus. I also really like Nanaka’s tied up hair and Amemiya’s bob cut.
The animation and art style are also average. The anime’s art has a childish quality to it, and often transitions to a slightly chibi style during gags, which improves the mood of the anime.
The opening theme is entitled “Sunao na Mama” while the ending theme is “Taisetsu no Negai”. Both of them are cute and happy-feely songs, but it’s nothing remarkable. The sequences for both are just the characters going through their daily life.
Nanaka 6/17 is such an overlooked anime. Despite its flaws, the series was able to deliver a solid story along with good characters. I seriously wish the ending could have been better though. I’d have to say that this was a really worthwhile watch.
tl;dr An underrated gem with a good balance of comedy, romance and drama. Though not mindblowingly spectacular, Nanaka 6/17 would still be a good addition to anyone’s watch list.