Nardio anime review
Is Nanbaka Worth Your Time?
Not really unless you are looking for some awesome cosplay ideas.
What Should I Watch It On?
The only place it is currently available to legally watch is Crunchyroll.
What Did we Think Without Spoiling It?
Nanbaka is based on manga series of the same name that tells the story of four prison inmates who are notorious for escaping every prison they have ever been in. They are now residents at the most inescapable prison ever: Nanba. The inmates are zany and the guards are over the top. Everyone seems to have some interesting backstory and reason for being at or staying at Nanba. Some are explained a bit and others continue to be a mystery.
This mostly a gag anime, but there are serious moments, action and mystery. It even goes a tiny bit dark. The show is kind of all over the place and that’s it’s biggest weakness. So far the first “season” was 13 episodes, but the “final” episode felt like just another episode. No feeling of progress, no big cliff hanger. Nothing special. To be honest, it “ended” with as a fizzled forgettable meh..
Nanbaka season one feels like either a bad anime adaption to a manga that tried to squeeze to much in and failed or just a very incoherent story that falls flat. Nanbaka doesn’t seem to know what kind of anime it wants to be or even what story it is telling. It starts off great, then loses itself, finds itself and then fizzles.
This isn’t a horrible show, just not a good one. For me Nanabaka season one was a good time waster with moments of brilliance sprinkled in enough to keep me from ignoring it completely.
It does at least have a lot of cosplay potential since the character designs are awesome yet doable. If you are looking for some fun cosplay ideas that go from easy, yet awesome to insane detail Nanbaka is a goldmine.
Why it Fails:
We got drawn in because of the bright art and great gag anime moments early on but then the series went in to many directions and mostly failed at all of them.
Nanbaka biggest problem is it thinks it’s a gag anime and introduces itself as such. Unfortunately as the show goes on it’s inundated with angst and darkness. So much so that whenever some gags happened afterward they just felt stupid and out of place, not funny.
This makes me sad because you can see early on that Nanbaka had tons of potential. It could have just stayed a gag anime and been great. If it wanted to go dark and angtsy, then it just started off all wrong. At the very least it could have used some better directing to ease the transition and then not had so many silly slap stick moments later on and in between it’s repetitive angst. Instead it does all of the above and then goes even more nuts.
The show also wastes time on side characters whose stories aren’t even interesting. Then Nanbaka fleshes out the guards a bit and some how makes them more interesting than the main cast. The final problem comes when the main cast doesn’t even seem to matter as the show focuses solely on one of them and then drags his story out painfully slow, all the while still pulling itself in the previous directions.
It’s a frustrating mess.
Lets hope season two brings everything together because I really want to love this show. I really want to be proud of my cosplay when I dress up like the characters next year.
The characters are awesome looking. I totally want to cosplay a few of these and hope to see some amazing group cosplays. It’s a shame the show is so bad because Nanbaka seriously wastes some great art.
- 13 episodes
- Stream on Crunchyroll