I'd recently watched the live-action and anime versions of Kakegurui, a Japanese story about a school run by a gambling-obsessed student council that imposes a strict hierarchy based on one's gambling status. In that story, a mysterious girl arrives, and upsets the corrupt establishment one by one, dismantling their various scams and working her way up the hierarchy as she does so. It's a classic stranger-comes-to-town plot, the only slight twist being that Jabami is herself a compulsive gambler. If we had to pick a Clint Eastwood film to represent its type, it would be A Fistful of Dollars.
At first, Girl from Nowhere seems to be the same type of story. Each episode, so the blurb tells us, the mysterious Nanno arrives at a different school, where she exposes the misdeeds of staff and pupils alike. And the first episode seems to live up to that. One of the teachers has a habit of sexually assaulting (and in one case impregnating) the female pupils, despite having a squeaky-clean reputation, and a devoted wife and daughter.
Of course, he tries it on with Nanno was well, and of courses she foils him and exposes him. That much was obviously going to happen - but I didn't foresee that her plan would result in the daughter dying in a pool of her own blood, or that Nanno would remain unfazed by that.
Of course, the punishment of fathers sometimes involves the deaths of their daughters: think Midas, for example. But that's a different kind of story - isn't it?
And how are we meant to feel about Nanno after that? It's a moral question, but also a genre question. Is this a story about a hustler, an agent of justice, or a vengeful ghost? Three episodes in (I won't spoil further), I'm still not sure. It looks a lot more like High Plains Drifter than A Fistful of Dollars, but that's as much as I can say. I'm also wondering how much my disorientation has to do with my ignorance of Thai narrative traditions, moral sensibilities, etc. and how much it's just a clever mindfuck.