Episode 6 of Girl From Nowhere Season 2 begins with a brief outline of rules and obedience – hallmarks of Pantana Wiyyaya School. It’s then fronted with a promise – Nanno is going to make sure everything changes. As the colour bleeds away from the scene, we’re left with a very stylish black and white episode.
Nanno makes her way into class where she meets a student called Mie. She drops a pen – a solitary red that starkly stands out against our black and white film. Anyway, the headmaster arrives and immediately does a bag search. She makes her presence felt, emptying Nanno’s bag on the floor without breaking eye contact. When she leaves emptyhanded, Nanno brandishes a lipstick and shades her lips red.
Mie warns her to be careful, and points out two previous students called New and Jelly were reprimanded by the teachers for their disobedience.
Nanno’s lipstick stands out like a sore thumb , and she’s eventually forced out into the playing field. Once there though, she burns the book of rules before everyone. This eventually sees Nanno taken away to the Repentant room. With blinding lights around her, Nanno is forced to listen to all 427 rules repeatedly. Only, she turns up the next day with ribbons in her hair. This leads Teacher A to plant cigarettes in her bag, ousting her for breaking the rules.
This game continues as Nanno breaks as many rules as she possibly can. Just as things look like they’re reaching breaking point, Yuri shows up and decides to offer her support as an enforcement officer. To prove her worth, she hands over a phone with evidence of a group chat between different students.
Nanno and Yuri inevitably come to blows again, with both trying to outwit the other. Yuri gets the upper-hand though – partly thanks to Nanno being impaled on a flagpole – and finds out the teachers aren’t exactly clean.
In fact, the school has been given a number of donations from the ministry. But yet, the school hasn’t exactly changed or improved in that time. With documents to prove as much, Yuri knocks these off the ledge and forwards a message on to the students, incriminating the teachers further. The kids demand change and storm into the building.
There’s a barrage of classical music that ensues here, including Flight of the Valkyries and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The contrast between these songs and the teachers being grabbed by the students is beautifully juxtaposed. It’s then finished off with Yuri laughing while walking away from the school.
Of course, within this ensuing carnage, Nanno is still impaled and dripping blood, allowing Yuri free reign. She goes way too far though, forcing the teachers to write a written confession but doing so in the roughest way possible. New has the teacher in a stranglehold and eventually dies by his hands.
With the students mutinous and desperate for justice, the Principal arrives with a stark red suit and a gun. He gives them one final chance to comply, which sees them all drop their makeshift weapons. Mie is the only one who remains defiant.
A bloodstained Nanno then inexplicably returns, alongside several other versions of herself. They surround the Principal who holds a gun up to them. However, the students all have weapons of their own – shining a the recorded lights on their phone onto the Principal who waves a gun around maniacally.
With the Principal defeated, Nanno has Yuri tied up and left to the mercy of those in the school. As Nanno leaves, she passes over a key to Mie and tells her that they’re in charge of what happens next.
Opening the doors, Nanno watches as Mie and the others walk away. “Are we really one to judge in this greyscale world?” Nanno’s thoughtful narration chimes in , explaining why this episode has been shot in predominant black and white shades.
Bloodied and beaten, Yuri escapes from her prison and prepares to strike back.
The Episode Review
What a brilliant episode. On the surface, this black and white stylish episode depicts the usual Nanno and Yuri routine, trying to instill change from the inside out. The teachers VS student dynamic is well worked and for the most part the episode beautifully captures thin slivers of colour to show the hiccups of rebellion on the fringes of this oppressive school.
Diving a little deeper, Girl From Nowhere feels like it depicts a much larger story echoing the ongoing societal problems facing Thailand. Now, I’m by no means an expert so please do correct me in the comments if I’m wrong here.
The title “Liberation” feels like a longing to be free; a reflection of the state’s oppressive regime and a desire to push back. This black and white works incredibly well to highlight this, with the different coloured items a deliberate choice to show the pockets of rebellion.
This episode perfectly captures this mood and the artistic juxtapositions like playing classical music over moments of physical abuse and the student uprising, works really well to feed into those earlier ideas.
This is easily the best episode of the season, especially when you view it through the above lens. It also helps, of course, that we get some teasing tidbits about Nanno and her mysterious origins. Could it be that she has a number of clones? We’ll have to wait and see of course but the ending certainly leaves the door open for more.