Aug 11, 2020
Nanako SOS is an episodic show with a a solid comedy duo and interesting hijinks, that is brought down by one note villains who are too similar to each other.
Story: There is no overarching character or story development, despite the fact that the possibility of learning about Nanako's past is teased. Even though this is the case, changes that happen aren't ignored (ie when they adopt dogs those dogs are around for the rest of the show). The ending is very abrupt, and I don't even think that this was the best episode to end it on if I had to choose. Most of the
episodes at first were unique but as the show progressed similar scenarios were reused. For example, as the show approached its end every episode made a big deal out of ALL the villains showing up, which was special at first, but got increasingly boring the second time and beyond.
Characters: The main cast of characters is definitely the best part of the show. Nanako, Yotsuya, and Idabashi have great synergy and the comedic duo of the straight man Idabashi and outlandish Yotsuya is especially fun to watch. There is also some good self-aware humor after their traits were established which suited the tone of the series well. Yotsuya's antics kept me wanting to watch more.
The villains, on the other hand, were not so enjoyable. At first they seemed to have some differences in their goals, but after only a few appearances each they all boiled down to 'wants to be with Nanako in a possessive way'. This pining attitude got boring and made the episodes less distinct from each other. Sometimes the villains lusting after Nanako, in my opinion, was pretty questionable with the villains tricking/emotional manipulating Nanako to spend time with them or give them sexual favors. While the power dynamic is always in Nanako's favor since her powers make her nigh invincible, it just felt creepy watching some of these interactions, especially considering that this is a kids show. This only happened a couple times but I thought it was worth mentioning and is probably emblematic of sexist attitudes towards women that although they persist to the present were much worse in the 80s.
Art: I thought the animation was decent (although my frame of reference for average TV shows of the time is still somewhat lacking). The character designs of the main cast and villains were unique and stood out from each other, although the designs were somewhat 'stubby' in their appendages, although this didn't bother me.
Sound: I liked the opening and ending. The OST was solid and had some funny insert songs a couple of times. Nanako's voice can be a little annoying since she mostly repeats simple childish phrases but this is not really the fault of the voice actor so much as the script.
Enjoyment: Despite the story complaints and lackluster villains, my enjoyment was pretty high throughout most of the show. I really liked the main comedy duo, especially Yotsuya, and many of the scenarios and self-aware humor were quite funny.
I would recommend Nanako SOS if you are looking for a lighthearted comedy and can go without an overarching story or interesting villains.
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