This Week in Anime
What the Hell is Wacky TV Nanana?

by Michelle Liu & Andy Pfeiffer,

Wacky TV Nanana follows the absurd adventures of three hard-working banana-men trying to save their terrestrial TV channel in a world of VOD and instant streaming. This week, Micchy and Andy unpeel their favorite gags from this mind-boggling comedy on Crunchyroll.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the participants in this chatlog are not the views of Anime News Network. Spoiler Warning for discussion of the series ahead.

@Lossthief @Liuwdere @A_Tasty_Sub @vestenet


Andy
Hey Micchy! We're getting to the end of the season and I know you've been watching this, so real quick question: what the f***?
Micchy
If I were a better person, I'd apologize for making you watch so much Wacky TV Nanana, but that would imply Wacky TV Nanana is anything to be sorry for.
I've now watched all of it in the way a proper millennial should, exhausted and sleep deprived, and I'd be mad if my brain hadn't given up hours ago. I kinda love the entire aesthetic of the show, but I'm also horrified that the bananas have HUMAN TEETH.
Isn't it absolutely horrid? Barely a step up from those '60s cartoons with the human lips superimposed on the characters' faces.
I'm pretty sure this caliber of "slap two things together and pretend it's real" is more like the 1860s.
This is all the Nanana network's fault for canceling Banana Mesh, the world's hottest TV program about bananas in thongs.

Because of this, our three-banana TV crew gets sent on a wild goose chase to South America in search of a mythical half-bird half-cat and what on earth even is this premise.
They have to save their small local broadcasting company, Micchy! And to do that, they need to capture the mythical Keena on film before anyone else! With no budget of course, both for the show and within the show. It's very meta.
I'm fairly sure Nanana's nowhere near that clever, but it is pretty funny in a charmingly janky way. That's kind of Satoshi Fumihara and Studio Crocodile's whole thing. A decade or so ago, they were responsible for this gloriously shitty anime that nobody this side of the Pacific has heard of: The World of GOLDEN EGGS. It featured a talking turkey named Kevin and had a voice cast of like two people.
These are the same folks who took the order to make a Nissan ad and used it to put MS Paint lips on a goat.
I had no idea about any of this, but I am not surprised to learn they have a history of putting horrible
mouths on animals.

I had figured this was another in the long line of barely-animated radio shows we tend to see when we delve into short absurdist anime. Especially when I hit the string of episodes where they call actual legendary wrestler Tatsumi Fujinami for real-time instructions on how to wrestle a bear.
It's absolutely beautiful to watch the animation struggle to follow the dialogue.
 
 
Nanana's absolutely willing to make its limited resources part of the joke. Sometimes that means trying to get a wrestling legend to explain how to suplex a bear so they don't have to show it happening, and sometimes that means going on episode-long musical tangents for no good reason. I highly respect Nanana's dedication to delivering its distinctive form of jankiness.
Jankiness is a tricky artform, but Nanana knows the key to making it work is a healthy heaping of absurdity.
like that time the bananas get rejected as human sacrifices because they suck too much
Or the time they hire a monkey as a new AD after roasting the actual VA for their current one.

TBH, I better look out for my own position considering how well that goes for them.

I mean, so long as new recruits doesn't eat the rest of us, it's probably fine.
Now as much as they roast Tsubuyaki Shiro, I gotta give props to the voice cast for Nanana, him especially. They're primarily comedians, not voice actors, so a large part of the dialogue is just them ad-libbing over each other with all their fumbles left in. It's chaotic and sounds completely unprofessional, but that's what makes it fun. You know that post-credits scene in Spiderverse where the two '60s Spidermen just yell over each other? It's like that.
Their chemistry is totally on point, and leaving in all the fumbles and repeats holds a lot of charm that wouldn't be there otherwise. Sure, someone flubbed a line, but it's because the dumb thing that just made you laugh got them while they were recording too. Nanayama's attempt to maintain normalcy throughout all the insanity around him is wonderful, with great put-upon indignation every time he's unfairly blamed for things. Protect that weird banana boy.
Nanayama is the best, yes. The dude in plaid who just wants to go home speaks to my millennial ass.
As do his problem-solving methods.
Not that I can relate to all his woes.
Why can they be peeled!!!??? It's the worst.

Nanana's not any more absurd than the kind of stuff that airs on Adult Swim, but it's just unsettling enough for me to be like "thanks, I hate it". I mean, peels aside, why is Che Banana a character in this show?
The easy answer is that someone had to be bribed with the callback panties.

You'd think Bananald Trump would be the one to take that bait.
Even though he's also apparently Jeff Bananos.

I think he has too much hair to be a true Jeff Bezos analogue.
Either way, his buyout puts the boys right back into the grinder after their successful mythical creature hunt. I love that they also meet a minotaur and cyclops but refuse to include them, to the point where their final footage has them sloppily censored out.

Just throw so much crap on the screen that you can't see anything anymore, that's how TV works.

It's absurd and stupid, but it's not wrong.
There's a lot of clever relatability to the show's overall plot. I've no idea what the current state of small broadcasters is in a world of giant telecommunication and entertainment corps, but portraying it as a straight-up Fury Road scene resonates with me.

The parodies and pop culture references aren't always inspired, but I will always appreciate the time they covered a Simon and Garfunkel song with the lyrics tweaked to say “shit”.
That's art. The Nanazon streaming service also gives us the series' best episode title: A Fixed Price On Demand

Yet another reason why Nanayama is the best.
 
 
Nanayama's not wrong though, long-running TV can get pretty repetitive. It's probably a good thing that Nanana's episodes are three minutes long, lest it run into the same problem.
Very true, which makes that Gintama image even more appropriate. Even things that trade in nonsense eventually run out of steam. I mean, when it comes to horrible yellow creatures, I'd certainly watch more Wacky TV Nanana than new episodes of the Simpsons or whatever horrible Minions thing surely exists.
Neither the Simpsons nor Minions have anyone as wholesome as Nanayama, so there's really no contest. But even without Nanayama, I'd still admire the director's commitment to his style of weirdness. If you ask me, Fumihara deserves to stand alongside the gdgd Fairies guy Kōtarō Ishidate or the Onara Goro guy Takashi Taniguchi.
Totally agree. He's got a specific style of weirdness that he's dedicated himself to, and I'm glad it's working out. While we often praise directors based on their grand or impressive works, I think a lot more can be said for those who make the most out of nothing.
Most folks won't be into the awful red circle mouths or mumbled dialogue, but there is absolutely an audience for this kind of junk, and are we ever gonna
stop watching?
To make a long story short: It Me
Same.

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