Saturday, August 10, 2013

Anime Review No. 62-Amazing Nurse Nanako

"Amazing Failure"

Amazing Nurse Nanako

1999 OVA, 6 episodes

Studio-Radix, Director-Hiroshi Negishi
Writers: Yano Rasputin and Ryo Yoshida

One of the few SFW pics I could find for this...

Note: I bought this from for 50 cents (the 3.99 S&H notwithstanding)
Oh, boy, I'm the Eclectic Dude and this time...well...I got a special kind of show today to talk about. For the past few reviews I have talked about shows that in one way or another, are like well-oiled machines where everything runs smoothly and operates as a coherent whole. However, there's the other side of the quality spectrum, where all aspects of the show don't work at all and therefore does not operate as a coherent, much less cohesive whole. Amazing Nurse Nanako is a perfect example, a show that tries desperately to succeed but fails in every conceivable way in the most spectacular fashion possible.

Amazing Nurse Nanako, or Nanako Kaitai Shinsho, is a 1999 6 episode OVA directed by Hiroshi Negishi (Tenchi Muyo, Burn Up W, KO Beast, Master of Mosquiton) and animation production by Studio Radix. Released on DVD by Pioneer/Geneon in 2003, its obstentily about the story of Nanako, a nurse who works for the mysterious Ogami Hospital, whose head doctor Kyoji is brought in to conduct experiments on 'special' patients that the military bring him in some vaguely explained conspiracy.

At least it would be, but instead of telling a good or compelling story it focuses on fanservice and comedy slapstick. But it fails in these two endeavors. First, the fanservice is not titillating at all, just very stupid and hilarious. No female is this show (only Nanako and one other) don't seem to wear bras at all, with some prominent tent poles abound. The boob physics is probably the most nuts I've seen in ages, and possibly more so then modern ecchi shows. Then again, it doesn't surpasses Eiken levels of fanservice, so at least I'm grateful for that. Second, the comedy slapstick fails due to the subject matter which is abuse and torture of Nanako. It is not funny, despite the efforts of the writing to make it so; it is rather off-putting and awkward. It barely reaches the point of being cringe-worthy, but thankfully doesn't sustain that for too long.

Even when it does focus on the story, which it does for about half the runtime, it is also a glorious mess. It is a patische of military/religious conspiracy and bizarro-science ideas that really don't gel at all. Even at the end, when the serious and compelling story comes into force, it is too little, too late. It seems to me that there is a good story here, but it is muddled by tracks of poor decisions, like the stuff I mentioned above.

That, and the animation, to be blunt, looks like crap. This was made in that halcyon era of early digital paint/animation techniques of the late '90s and early '00s and shows itself here, more so than other series from that time. Obvious CG work and off model shots abound, especially in the ending song. The only good I can say about the animation is that very retro-90s look to it, but's that about it.

Finally, the only thing that salvages this show is the English dub, which takes the bad writing and makes it at least looking like it was done as a deliberate parody. It has some good actors in (Patrick Seitz and some others) who try and make this show works a bit better, despite the poor source material.

Nevertheless, this show needs to be seen to be believed. It is great fun, though for not the same reasons the creators didn't intend for. And it is interesting to see this show as it does serve as a template for future ecchi shows to come, as shades of this show can be seen by the more astute viewer in shows like Sora no Otoshimono and Rosario+Vampire. I recommend it, but only barely.

Next Time: Magic Users' Club OVA

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