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"Amazing Nurse Nanako"… Not Amazing, Spectacular, or Astonishing

by on January 29, 2005

The Vatican and the Pentagon are working together. Their goal? Bio-engineering. The Pentagon wants an alien super weapon, while the Vatican wants to clone the star of The Passion of The Christ (and I’m not talking about the guy from Frequency). To achieve their goals, they need the scientific mind of Dr. Kyoji Ogami, the world’s foremost surgeon and biologist. But will all their plans, including the good doctor’s, be destroyed by his absent-minded aide, Nanako? Is this nurse really amazing, or is Kyoji right to be constantly berating her?

Episodes Included in These Volumes (The Complete Series)
Volume 1: Memories of You
Episode 1: “The First Spiral”
Episode 2: “Memories of You”

Volume 2: Fire-Crackers
Episode 3: “The Psycho Patient”
Episode 4: “Fire-Crackers”

Volume 3: The Last Spiral
Episode 5: “The Last Spiral (Former Part)”
Episode 6: “The Last Spiral (Latter Part)”

I’ve wanted to see Amazing Nurse Nanako ever since I saw the advertisements in Wizard. But the bad price plan (I remember it being a good $25 at least for each volume) kept putting me off. When Deep Discount DVD did their November sale, I managed to get each disc for roughly one-fourth of what they would have cost initially.

I’m glad I spent less than $10 per volume, that’s for sure.

Nanako Sichigusa is Dr. Kyoji Ogami’s aide, but she might as well be his slave. Stuck in his employment due to her parents’ debts, she is put through various physical tests by Dr. Ogami. He’s training her for something, but Nanako (and the viewer) get the vibe that he’s just mean-spirited and enjoys torturing her–that, or he just loves the ensuing fan service and panty-shots. On occasion, Kyoji will pull off something that shows he cares for the girl, but these moments are such rarities that they leave you suspecting that he’s just trying to keep the NLRB off his back.

There’s an overarching story extending throughout the three volumes, but the first two discs include mostly stand-alone episodes. The Ogami Clinic gets different patients every day: an alien life-form with triple-helix DNA and a mutating patient with multiple personality disorder are par for the course. Not all action takes place in the Clinic, with the Doctor, Nurse, and their gang of sidekicks going to a weapons show (with Nanako unwittingly showing off their latest battle armor) and a training exercise held in the woods (exeunt Nanako, pursued by a bear). The final, two-part episode, “The Last Spiral,” wraps up the series by neatly tying everything together. Events from previous episodes make more sense, the entire history of Nanako is cleared up (like why Kyoji has a shot of himself as a kid with an adult Nanako), and even random monasteries get accidentally bombed.

Amazing Nurse Nanako attempts to be more than the sum of its parts, but what parts are there are very weak. The constant beating down of Nanako isn’t funny, even when it doesn’t just come off as cruel. Likewise, given the title and box art, you’d think there’d be more fanservice of the missile-chested Nanako, but there’s really not too much there. The mystery is well-played, but I would have rather seen it revealed over a wider course than “all in the last volume.”

Extras are light. Given that there are only two episodes per disc, this is really bad. You get some design galleries, a Nanakotronic video (most fan service thrown together in a music video), a Nanako Timeline, a non-credit ending, and a special trailer along with the Japanese TV spots. All is bookended by bouncing menus.

The show is decent, but it’s not epic fun either. There’s no reason all six episodes couldn’t have been put onto one disc, with even more special features, but maybe this is just a sign of the age; it’s nearly five years old. If you can find it for a rental or at an incredibly cheap price (look it up at Deep Discount DVD), you might find it worth checking out, but do not purchase a full price.

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