Drama

A Rant on Girl from Nowhere: Was it Worth The Hype? (Part 1)

Warning: This article contains major SPOILERS.

Sawasdee kha, MDL readers!  So, obviously, I’m a little late to the party. I only recently decided to watch Girl From Nowhere. I was about to give up, but my curiosity kept me going. Curiosity got the best of me, and I ended up finishing both seasons. But each episode has left me wondering, “Wait, what? That’s it?!?” Not because I wanted more but each episode had so many plotholes with unclear messages. Maybe I was too shallow-minded but let me explain my point of view.


The series revolves around Nanno, an enigmatic girl who transfers to various Thai private schools and exposes the students and faculty’s stories of lies, secrets, and hypocrisy. (Source: Wikipedia)

Kitty Chicha Amatayakul as NANNO

Nanno is a young adolescent girl who disguises herself as a student and transfers to various schools. She has the ability to expose everyone’s various hypocritical stories. Although it is unknown where Nanno comes from or what she is, she is not human and uses her special abilities to expose and punish people. (Nanno is the devil’s child, according to the actress.) [1]
Nanno will be paired with another character in each episode, either as a friend, classmate, lover, or love rival, and they will be Nanno’s next target. Both of them will be the main characters in that episode.

I am only going to review the first season for now, otherwise, it’ll be super lengthy. Although it is said that Nanno will purposely provoke characters in the series to reveal their true self once and for all, there are a lot of episodes where I do not understand why she has to do so. Here are some examples.

1. Apologies, S01E02

[2]

This episode is about Nanno revealing how terrifying humans can be and how far we will go, even if it means delving deeper into wrongdoing. The entire plot revolves around Nanno, a new girl at a school who has captured the attention of all the boys. One of the boys is her new female friend, Taew‘s (O’Neill Thitinan Khlangphet) crush. Initially, when the boys planned to invite her to drink in order to take advantage of her, both of her female friends declined. It wasn’t until Nanno fat-shamed one of the friends, I-Tim (Pan Pajaree Nantarat), and stole the attention of the other friend’s crush that things got serious. Long story short, both of the female friends assisted the boys in getting Nanno into bed to rape her, but in the process accidentally killed Nanno. They eventually try to make amends by burying Nanno.

So here’s what I’m not sure about: Jealousy is pretty normal in real life, and honestly, if Nanno doesn’t provoke Taew, none of the subsequent events will occur. Is it really necessary to provoke a girl who is in love? High school crushes are memories that we will laugh about in the future. And it’s not uncommon for high school crushes to go unfulfilled. That’s because you can’t force love onto someone. Because Taew did not confess her feelings for one of the boys, it is natural for the boy to look at any pretty girl he likes, even if she is Nanno. Taew also didn’t tell Nanno she had a crush on one of the boys. Sure, Nanno was such a bad friend that the girls were tempted to despise her, but how in the hell was the logical conclusion to this trying to get her drunk so that the boys would rape her?! Aren’t they terrified of those boys raping them as well?! How about simply unfriending Nanno?

The method of provoking the girls felt a bit wrong. Will they decide to help the boys if Nanno did not provoke Taew and fat-shamed I-Tim for no reason? Shouldn’t Nanno just be really good friends with both of them and see if they will still help the boys if she wants to reveal the ugly side of the two girls?

As for the boys, they deserve all kinds of punishment but the episode ended with a cliffhanger: Nanno continues to torment them, but we don’t know how. What exactly was the punishment in this episode? Nanno just kept returning after they killed her. Wouldn’t it be more satisfying to see what kind of punishment the boys will receive after raping and then killing if the girls were left out of this episode?

2. Social Love, S01E05

[3]

This is an episode in which I question whether it is necessary to involve the girl. This episode begins as a love triangle but quickly transforms into something far more sinister. Nanno, as usual, is the new girl at school. The entire school starts romantically linking Nanno with the most popular boy at school, Hann (Tanthai Tatchapol Thitiapichai), and champions their romance with the fandom name “Hanno”. Hann has a girlfriend, Yui (Cha Chanicha Boonpanuvichit), that no one knows about at school, and she is having doubts about her relationship with him. Hann reassures her that it has nothing to do with love and that he is only acting to make everyone happy at school. This episode focuses on modern fandom and the ‘stan’ culture that exists around the world today. It demonstrates how fandom is willing to go to great lengths to protect the integrity of its idols.

So why was Yui involved anyway? She was clearly the victim throughout the entire episode. She had to bear the brunt of Hann’s attention-seeking behavior. Who in the world would put up with such a boyfriend? She should have simply dumped his butt. She was beaten up and subjected to a barrage of criticism from the creepy as hell mask-wearing students. Like, where are the teachers when the school requires discipline? Do they simply allow the entire school to sell merchandise and wear a creepy mask? Hann would do anything for attention, so Nanno could have just punished him. By killing Nanno when there were so many other possibilities and being unable to break up with her due to the pressure his supporters put on him? It is totally normal for Yui to rage! Nanno should’ve asked her to join the force and punish Hann together. 

After all of this, his punishment was to stay with Nanno indefinitely?! At this point, Nanno was in a vegetative state. I mean, he could just walk out of the hospital. It’s not like he’s confined to the hospital. Also, what’s with the doctor’s request saying one of the students needs to take responsibility? Yui does not deserve any of that hate whereas Hann should have received a harsher punishment for his actions.

3. Trap, S01E09

[4]

Nanno’s arrival at her new school coincides with the appearance of an escaped prisoner who murders his way around campus dressing like a student in this episode. As word spreads, a teacher, his daughter, and some of his students find themselves trapped in a classroom, unable to leave until it is safe to do so. Nanno is among the students, and she manipulates everyone who is trapped with her, bringing out the worst in their personalities.

What I dislike about this episode: To begin with, despite the fact that they are in a critical position, there are far too many disagreements. Honestly, if I were one of the students trapped in the room knowing there was a serial killer lurking outside, I would not push anyone out, no matter how much I disliked them. Like, what makes the other students push Koh (Ud Awat Ratanapintha) out of the classroom simply because he is misbehaving? Shouldn’t everyone in such a dire situation just try to keep each other alive? Imagine everyone has been killed, leaving you alone. Yes, Nanno was manipulating everyone in the room, making everyone suspicious of each other, but still. I don’t like how the students believe the teacher, Teacher Tor (Anuchit Sapunpohng), only cares about his daughter. This is simply a father’s instinct to protect his only daughter. Also, I believe that the fact that he does not allow others in when someone is banging on the door for help makes sense. Sometimes sacrifices must be made in order to protect others. But, on the other hand, I’m not sure why they don’t just peek out the window to see who’s outside. I’m pretty sure there are certain windows or angles where they can peek out without being seen. 

Even though I’m on Teacher Tor’s side, I’m curious why he isn’t the first one out of the classroom. As Koh stated, he is the adult among the others, as well as their teacher. Even though his daughter is present, he is responsible for protecting his student. I can’t call him selfish because he leaves the classroom after only a few students have left, leaving his daughter behind. So, what was it that was holding him back from the start? There would’ve been fewer arguments. 

In addition, the student who banged on the door early on stated that she simply had an asthma attack and fainted. Ok. Cool. How about knocking on the door again and informing the rest of the students that the school was under police lockdown when you woke up? She banged on the door because she knew there was someone inside; even if she didn’t, their screams gave it away. So, just why did she just walk away and randomly appeared after everyone is out of the classroom. 

It was an open ending but Who Killed Koh? I strongly believe it was Suer, one of the students in the classroom, the boyfriend of Koh’s ex-lover, out of jealousy. In this episode, I don’t see any message or lesson being delivered. Nanno didn’t do much either. It was really a wtf episode.

3. Thank You, Teacher, S01E10

[5]

What is this episode even?!? In this episode, we follow Ms. Aum (Claudia Chakrabandhu Na Ayudya), an overly strict teacher with a rigid view of how teaching should be conducted. She is completely focused on her work as a teacher, but she is envious of Ms. Pim. Ms. Pim is adored by all of her students and is consistently awarded the Most Popular Teacher Award. Aside from her intransigence, she also had some problems of her own: she had a son and a husband. Until one day, when her husband abandoned her for another lady. When she is alone with her child, she is unduly harsh on him. It all comes to a head when her son confesses he misses his father. This child is clearly afraid of his mother. We learned afterwards that she murdered her son because he expressed a desire to live with his father. To top it all off, her ex-husband was found guilty of having a student pregnant, and she lost her cool. She believes that the entire school is destroying the educational system, so she murdered them all in the name of justice. She is quite certain she did the right thing. She ends up murdering herself in the final minutes.

What was Nanno helping anyway? Ms. Aum clearly requires assistance, but not from Nanno. Because she is so mentally unstable, she needs a psychiatrist. She’s also obsessed with how she’s always correct and everyone else is wrong. Furthermore, how is she not in jail? She literally murdered her son. Once again, what was Nanno attempting to accomplish in this episode? Despite the fact that the issue of a compromised education teaching system was highlighted, nothing was truly fixed. Is it possible that murdering the students would reset the educational system? I felt horrible for all of the students because they died so innocently. She simply murdered them because they despised her. This episode abruptly devolved into her intentions for vengeance. Her family is in shambles, so she wanted everything down.

What was her karma for being self-centered? Instead, it appeared as if the entire school was bearing the brunt of her karma. Maybe I just didn’t get the entire episode; I need explanations.


In terms of the other episodes, I can still find some common sense here and there and understand why Nanno provokes the characters in order for them to disclose their ugliest side and then get their own medicine. Although there are still times when I don’t understand why the main character, for example:

  • Bam (Morakot Liu) from Wonderwall (S1E06-07), doesn’t
    [6]

    think sensibly while acting. I read somewhere that in order for the wall to work, the person writing it must be filled with fury and hatred. Couldn’t Bam just be furious that everyone is using the wall and write, “No one else could use the wall.” or “Everyone but she should forget about the wonder wall.” or even “This wall no longer have effects.”  Anything but wishing everyone you know and love disappears. She could’ve utilized a few more brain cells to compose something that would save her because she does realize her mistakes halfway through. Same as Taew from Apologies (S1E02), is it really necessary to provoke a girl in love? The both of them wasn’t even THAT evil from the start.

  • Mew (Meiko Chonnikan Netjui) from Trophy (S1E03)
    [7]

    could’ve just said she was plagiarising so she wouldn’t have to live with the guilt and lie for the rest of her life. It’s not like Nanno forbade her from saying it. If she admitted it herself, I doubt the school can do much other than removing her from the top students’ list. To me, it seemed like Mew does not want to be part of the top student anymore at the end. Alternatively, she could simply practice till she excels in the arts. Practice makes improvement. She would’ve gotten away from guilt much easier just by practicing.


Despite having so many plotholes, surprisingly, there are actually episodes that I thoroughly enjoyed. Here are the two of them:

1. Lost and Found, S1E08

[8]

Everyone would have predicted it, that’s right, it’s Tk and Nann—whoops, should have been Lost and Found. It’s DEFINITELY not because I stan the couple, but because the plot makes the most sense. (Please sense my sarcasm.) Jokes aside, this episode is nice because it shows that demon child Nanno may possibly have a heart. We may argue that Nanno was on the brink of being humanized. But as we know in S2, Nanno will not recover from her injuries if she ever had human feelings.

Lost and Found centers around TK (Best Ekawat Niratvorapanya), a thieving boy who has been expelled from several schools. Nanno begins school on the same day that Tk begins. Nanno approaches Tk after learning about him, and the two quickly become friends. Nanno suggests that they hold a tournament to determine who can steal the most without being detected. She is allowing Tk to continue his habit in order to teach him a lesson. Tk’s father seems unconcerned about him; even when he enrolls in school, he has his assistant take him. Whenever Tk gets into trouble, it is always the assistant who has to deal with the consequences, never his father. As they got closer, Tk admitted that he misses his father, and Nanno tells him that she can make his father return. For their final stunt, the duo decides to steal money from the school’s director, who has been saving it for himself. Nanno promised Tk that if the two of them were ever caught, he would take the fall per his request. However, things do not proceed as planned. Tk gets arrested after stealing what he came, for Nanno has sold him out. Tk finally met his father after being released from the youth detention center. 

What I admire about this episode is that it was a welcome reprieve after 7 episodes of nonstop tension. It is also the only episode in which Nanno really helps her target rather than destroy their lives. Honestly, Tk seemed so innocent from the start that I was about to abandon the series if Nanno ever screwed him over. Fortunately, it turned out just how I had hoped, if not better. Nanno gradually realizes that Tk is not the type of nasty guy who commits bad things with bad motives. Tk has a good heart and only wants his father to return home. All Tk wanted was some attention and affection, which Nanno was able to supply while they were friends. I believe when Tk tries to stop Nanno from their last theft together because he does not want to bring Nanno into trouble touches Nanno’s heart. Tk’s worry stunned her as she did not expect to find a genuinely good person, or for someone to truly care about her. There, she made the decision to alter their plans in order to fulfill Tk’s wish—to meet his father—by betraying Tk. The fact that Nanno even returned to see Tk after being released from the youth detention center astounded me. It can only indicate one thing: she is concerned about Tk. Tk, on the other hand, understood her betrayal. Tk got the punishment he deserved for stealing, but he also got to see his father. The final scene, in which Tk tries to convince Nanno to stay, crushes my heart, but it also makes me realize that the title “Lost and Found” makes so much more sense now. Tk had lost Nanno, but he had also found his father. This episode did not finish with Nanno’s laugh, but with a sorrowful ending in which Nanno, with tears in her eyes, has suppressed her emotions and walked away from Tk. Even if it isn’t love, this friendship definitely means a lot to Nanno.

I read somewhere that because Nanno is the daughter of the devil, and we know that Tk’s father was always absent due to work obligations, I imagine being the child of Satan, he’s probably also busy tormenting people in hell or whatever, what if Nanno’s job of punishing and testing human evil is actually trying to get his attention?? As a result, she sympathized with Tk and even assisted him in seeing his father.

Nonetheless, will Tk and Nanno ever meet again? 

2. Hi-So, S1E04

[9]

Hi-So really reflects how society is nowadays, where rich people get all the privileges and can get away with nearly anything as long as they have money. The worst part is how willingly other individuals tolerate this treatment while remaining silent. 

This episode depicts a group of incredibly wealthy and popular kids who will go to any length to obtain their desired outcome. Dino (Best Nathasit Kotimanuswanich), the main character, is known as the wealthiest and most popular student in the school. People are unaware that he is not wealthy; in reality, his family is struggling. Nanno has set up a shop in school where students can go to pay for any assistance they require. When Dino’s friends decide to throw a party at his house, he enlists Nanno to equip him with a mansion complete with servants in order to maintain the appearance that he is filthy rich. To cut to the chase, Nanno hired Dino’s parents to work in the mansion as servants. Dino’s friends decided to do activities that a minor cannot do, such as smoking, drinking, and so on. Dino’s parents couldn’t take it any longer and began lecturing them. Dino’s friends had not known the servant was Dino’s parents, so they simply yelled at them and asked them to stop talking. Things took a turn for the worst when they decided to play Russian roulette after discovering a gun. Dino’s parents intervened once more to put an end to the game. When they intercede, one of the friends starts beating the crap out of them. Dino’s parents were financially compensated for their horrific injuries. Dino goes home to find an uneasy atmosphere between him and his parents, but the twist is that the parents are willing to do it all over again for money.

I really enjoy how realistic this episode is. It was as though it could happen in real life without the presence of Nanno. It exemplifies how rotten our society is. For the money, we’ll do anything. Likewise, with the money, you could do anything. Despite being corrupted, we get to observe how people react when desperate times call for desperate measures. In this episode, the characters made a decision and had to live with the repercussions. Even if, in the case of the parents, it was a necessity. So it goes to show that the decisions we make, especially the poor ones, are not always made on a whim, but for a purpose. Other than that, we got to see parents’ love is really beyond measure. 

In this episode, though, I seriously doubt Nanno’s existence. Dino’s deception causes no harm to others around him. He also treats his parents extremely well. I’m quite dissatisfied that Dino’s friends have received no punishment. More than Dino, they all deserve to be Nanno’s target. Like, make them poor, or anything. I don’t care. No one can be treated the way Dino’s parents were. It’s terrible.


Conclusion

So the question is, was Season 1 worth the hype? To be honest, I’d say so-so. It’s watchable if you’re not a fastidious viewer like me. It is definitely not an introduction to Thai drama because most of them are not like this. 

Recently, Thai dramas have been trying to address a variety of social and political issues in their shows, which I find appealing. However, Girl from Nowhere did it using a unique method in which those who commit harmful consequences would be punished. The methods used to accomplish the punishments are, in fact, a little disturbing. The concept is not new, but a character like Nanno is regarded as fresh. Nanno’s laugh or smirk, for example, help to make her character unique. We also can’t deny that Kitty Chicha Amatayakul’s appearance in the series is iconic and also easily remembered. Even if someone hadn’t seen Girl From Nowhere, they would have recognised her face from someplace on social media. 

I suppose the hype stems from all of Nanno’s punishments, as well as the fact that she can never be killed. We also do not know where she comes from. Each episode feels as though it’s in a new universe because it has nothing to do with what happened in the previous episode. But it’s not like every episode concludes with a perfect cadence; it always leaves some space for viewers to think, or in my case, complain about. I’d say the series was a little overrated. With a character like Nanno, there was a lot of potential, however, they blew it in several episodes. It must have something to do with the fact that there are different directors. But, if you like something that keeps your brain thinking at night, this one’s for you! 


This long article has finally come to end but it is definitely not done yet! I’m continuing my rant on season 2 in part 2. Please behold, hehe. As for now, let me know your thoughts on Girl From Nowhere! Share some theories or explanations. If you managed to stick with me until the end, Thank You So Much!

Bye for now!

P.s. I don’t claim to know a lot about Girl From Nowhere. I basically wrote down my opinions. If I made any mistakes, please don’t come at me, instead educate me. :’)

Thank You For Reading!

Ellie


Edited by: devitto (1st editor)

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