Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 5, 2006 to Mar 28, 2007
Duration: 23 min. per episode
Rating: R+ - Mild NudityL represents licensing company
Score: 8.651 (scored by 40928 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagsdrama music romance shoujo
Jan 24, 2010
These words are the introduction of the beautiful world of "Nana". Ai Yazawa is probably the most convincing shoujo manga writer ever. With colourful, realistic characters, breathtaking events and just a pinch of music she creates a world in witch every girl can forget about reality and fall into the embrace of romantic fantasies.
One of the best things about "Nana" are the characters - we can actually see the reflection of ourselves in some of them and believe, that someone like that can really exist. This is proof that you can make a good anime without the conventional tsundere, moe or annoying childhood friend.
One thing I didn't like though is Hachi's personality. Her behaviour at times is despicable. Mainly because she has no ideals or dreams (except getting married witch is pretty boring compared to the rest of the characters).
The story is also one of Nana's strong points. Ai Yazawa worked really hard on it, and did her best to create a realistic world so that the reader can almost become part of it and experience it emotionaly.
Even though the plot is a typical shoujo tearjerker (with a bit of music) it has that magical something that makes you cheer unconsciously for some characters and experience emotionally some events almost as strongly as the characters themselves. Another good thing about the story is that it exposes the hard, cruel reality, which has no happy endings and pure loves. Yazawa-sensei gives her characters a big imagination (especially Hachi) But the world they live in is just like ours.
As for the art, it wasn't that impressive. It annoys me how all the characters are so thin and tall. Other that that I think the art matched the story pretty well. There were lots of details regarding shadows and highlights. That's in order to underline the mood of certain moments, mainly in room 707.
Nana has one of the best soundtracks I've ever heard. The openings and endings were songs by the 2 fictional bands in the show, witch was a brilliant idea imo. Olivia Lufkin and Anna Tsuchiya fit the characters perfectly. Nothing much to add here: the music in Nana is brilliant. Period.
Overall, Nana is a must-see position for shoujo-fans. It tells us a lot about life, it's hardships and also teaches us an important lesson about the mistakes, that we shouldn't make.
This is my first review, so please don't be hard on me ;) read more
Sep 5, 2007
For those of you who have watched your share of anime about love/relationships, I bet you could identify somehow with “Bokura ga Ita”, “Kimi ga Nozomu Eien” or “Kare Kano”. Or at least you felt connected with its characters. I have watched them all and know what I’m talking about.
Recently, I finally sat down and watched “Paradise Kiss”. It’s a short (12 episodes) anime that, to make it short, is about relationships and growing up. I was impressed by its maturity. The art style took a while to get used to, but afterwards I loved it. After watching it, I decided to watch “Nana”, which is by the same author and deals with similar issues.
“On board the train to Tokyo to meet her boyfriend Shoji, Nana Komatsu ("Hachi") happened to sit beside Nana Osaki who was traveling to Tokyo to fulfill her dreams of becoming a musician. The vocalist for her punk band "Blast", Nana aims for a major debut for "Blast" in Tokyo where her boyfriend, Ren, is the guitarist for a popular band "Trapnest". Sharing the same name "Nana", both girls quickly form a bond of friendship. Their paths cross again when they encounter each other while searching for accommodation in Tokyo. Eventually they decide to live together in the same unit and this further strengthens their bond as the two "Nana(s)" go through their love lives and career.” – AnimeNewsNetwork
I almost have no words to express how it made me feel. It’s amazing. Incredibly realistic and moving. I started watching it without knowing a thing about it (not even synopsis), though the title “Nana” sounded familiar as something popular among anime fans. The anime was broadcasted in 2006, lasting 47 episodes, but the manga first came out in Japan in 2000 and is still ongoing.
The concept itself isn’t anything too extraordinary. People living together, people falling in and out of love, people trying to make it in showbiz and other stuff. You could say it blends many overused ideas, then twists them around and reinvents them, transforming itself into a completely original and brilliant idea. And it contains romance, drama and comedy, but the transition between them is really well done, so it doesn’t feel weird.
What really makes “Nana” shine is the incredible character development. The evolution of each character’s personality and relationships with other characters. The things we watch them go through seem so real, like we’d probably make the same mistakes and choices as they did. No one is perfect – that’s a fact. We often think to ourselves “If I was [him], I wouldn’t have made that choice”, but the truth is we are lying to ourselves. We are insecure, emotional beings, that often ignore rational thought and make reckless decisions. “Nana” is so realistic that it’ll blow your mind away.
This is a long series, but it’s not hard to watch. In the first episodes, the action often switches between the actual time and many flashbacks, but they really are important to understand a character’s background. At some point you might get the feeling that they’re repeating the flashbacks, but don’t worry. This isn’t a filler-filled series.
In the end I felt that the story was really well told. But they leave you in a sort of cliffhanger… because the manga isn’t finished yet. But they made it more than obvious that at some point there’ll be a second season of Nana, so don’t worry. In fact, I loved watching this and the way it ended wasn’t too frustrating because I’d just experienced an awesome series.
The way the characters look might be a little hard to get used to (at least imo), but I really like the art style. I don’t think there’s anything too impressive or revolutionary about the visuals here… which is a good thing. I think the plot alone would be enough to hold the audience and maybe if they’d done something too extravagant visually (*cough* Air *cough*) the viewer would get sidetracked from the story itself. I think the animation was very fitting for the anime.
The animation studio is Madhouse, which was also responsible for “Beck”, “CardCaptor Sakura”, “Paradise Kiss”, “Death Note” and a bunch of others.
I watched the episodes with the original Japanese voice actors and English subtitles. As for the actors, I think they were perfect for their roles. KAORI gave her voice to Nana “Hachi”, which suited the character perfectly with the childish and girlish tone (but thankfully not an annoying high-pitched voice). For the tough rock singer Nana Osaki we have Romi Paku, who also voiced Edward Elric in Full Metal Alchemist. They knew that “Nana” would be an instant success, so they gave it a cast of famous actors and spared no expense.
At first this seems like an anime about music, but it doesn’t play that much of a part here. I mean, we hear lots of songs, but the story isn’t focused on showing us the making of the songs in detail. Compared to “Gravitation” or “Full Moon wo Sagashite”, music wasn’t as important here.
I loved the songs. The fictional bands’ songs are used as openings and endings. OLIVIA is the singing voice of Reira, and we hear many songs from her. My favourite was “A little pain”. It was the first Ending, and since each episode ended on a relatively sad tone, the song fit perfectly. When I heard the first words of the lyrics (“Travel to the moon…”) it almost made me want to cry.
As I’ve mentioned, the characters are the best thing about the anime. We get the chance to know a bit about each character’s history, motivations, thoughts and desires. They are so realistic that we just can’t help but being sucked in by them.
As the anime progresses, the characters gradually grow. This is a very “slice of life” genre of anime, so we watch them growing up. I love how they all interact and deal with their decisions. I love how they aren’t perfect… but as flawed as humans should be.
I loved this anime and it will definitely become one of my favorite series of all time. I feel like watching it again and again, but since it is 47 episodes long and makes me very emotional, maybe it’ll have to wait until I have more time.
I don’t feel like reading the manga for the sole reason that it is too damn long. If it weren’t for that, I would have already ordered all the volumes. But I gained new respect for the mangaka Ai Yazawa.
There are 2 live-action movies for “Nana”. I haven’t watched them yet, but will soon. I’m curious as to how they squeezed all that plot into 2 movies (I’d say they have enough material to make a whole 11 episode drama or maybe something even longer).
The anime will have a second season… I’m sure of that. But for that to happen, we’ll have to wait until the manga is finished. Hurry up!
Apr 22, 2013
The plot was indeed interesting, even though how the story revolves confused me.There were times that Nana Komatsu is narrating the story that it seems Nana Osaki was in her death bed, that was my initial thought while watching the first episodes. The twist of events was also very unexpected, something not typical. It's not a "fairy-tale like" romance, telling every relationship will be full of roses instead of thorns. It depicts reality that no matter how ideal we want something to be, there's always the possibility that it'll fail. But, we should never lose the drive ang keep on fighting while we continue to hold something that we really want before it's too late. The last 5 episodes seemed to be oblivious though, it's like, they're just trying to make the story longer that I almost lost my interest.
Very unique, almost doll like. What I've noticed initially was the huge forehead of Nana Komatsu and Nana Osaki. The art wasn't your typical anime style in which the characters wear long choppy fringes, hence, it's almost like a fashion anime, every detail had been done smoothly, the clothes, the hair (especially Nana Komatsu's hairstyle, it was always different), every character seemed to be stylish, the background details is also quite good.
The opening song had lingered in my ears and it keeps on playing even when I'm not watching the anime, meaning it's that catchy. I really am not into punk music but I enjoyed how they inserted songs throughout the series.
You'll never expect how each character developed. They're not your static character and you wouldn't even imagine that they'll end up like that, especially Nana Komatsu
These would be one of the animes that I did a marathon watch for 3 days straight just to finish it. Since every time you finish one episode, you'll wonder what will happen with the next.
It's something deep, something different and definitely worth watching. I just wished they'll have a season 2 of this since the ending seemed to be left hanging, I was still full of questions while the closing creds of the last episode rolled. read more
Jun 8, 2011
These words are the introduction of the beautiful world of "Nana". Nana tells a story of two girls who are of the same age and shares the same name, but are completely different; One is a naive dater, who always hooks up with the worst kind of guys, while the other is a bitter musician with a violent temper and a lonely past. Nana Osaki and Nana Komatsu, (later nicknamed Hachi) meet on a train, after moving from their small-town homes, to Tokyo to chase their dreams of love, music, and self-discovery. Nana leaves her band 'BLAST, to become a professional musician, while Hachi moves to Tokyo to be with her boyfriend, Shouji. Once they reached Tokyo, they parted ways. But with in a couple of days, both Nana and Hachi encounter each other again while looking at the same apartment 707, and despite them being completely different, they agree to live together just so they can split the rent and have a cheap apartment. But their fateful encounter changes their lives in ways they never imagined possible ... to the point where life becomes unlivable without the other.
You can say that this anime is under the category of 'slice of life', drama, and romance. Since both Nana and Hachi are completely different, and they are living together, you can expect there would be a lot of drama between the two. Well, to tell the truth, there's isn't a lot of drama between them. Both Nana and Hachi connect so well, they become best of friends. But, the drama actually kicks in when it comes to Hachi and her relationship problems, and Nana and her rivalry with the band Trapnest. NANA is a fairly realistic anime. We can relate to what the character goes through from our real life experiences. This is why the anime is under the genre 'Slice of life" And if you can't relate to what the characters goes through, don't worry. The creator of NANA, Ai Yazawa, did an amazing job with the characters that you become so attach to them, that whatever may happen to them, you can feel their pain, happiness, sorrows, and loneliness.
And speaking of characters, this leads me to my next topic. The Characters and their development.
This is where the show really shines. As I stated before, Ai Yazawa did an amazing job with the characters. The characters are very unique, whether it be a significant past story or an underlying secret, each character has a special trait that separated them from each other. The characters are generally very likable throughout, there were all kind of characters that perhaps people may find themselves easy to relate to, since NANA has that a realistic element to it.
Another reason of how Ai Yazawa did an amazing job with the characters is that she gave each character a strong background history. The first 6 episodes of NANA is actually a flash back. The reason why the first 6 episodes is a flash back is so that you can get an idea of what the characters are like, which is helpful, because as the story progresses you can actually see the changes and growth of each character through their attitudes and personalities, each one developing in their own way through influences of the people around them.
For anime series revolving around music, I tend to judge the music a little harshly. But surprisingly, the music in NANA doesn't disappoint me. The songs that are presented in NANA gives it that magical feeling, and it matches with the dialog so well, that it might send chills down your back. Also, the songs that are presented from both Blast and Trapnest are incredible, I can see why Nana wants to compete with Trapnest, they're good.. I loved all the songs from both Blast and Trapnest, but to be honest, I love Trapnests music over Blast, Sorry Nana.
The voice acting was alright. The Japanese audio, Hachi's voice was really annoying, but you eventually get use to it. The rest of the characters voice acting was fine. But compare to the Japanese audio, the English dub was spot on. It matches the characters personalities, and to even put a plus side for the English dub, Hachi's voice isn't as annoying.
If you're watching this anime for the first time, you might thing the art style of this anime is dull and boring, if you're use to watching anime that are bright and colorful. Or maybe that's just me. But, like I said before, you get use to it. Once you're use to the art style, you realize that the characters are drawn very stylishly, each with their own unique appearances. The landscape is drawn almost as well as the characters and everything is very distinguishable and pleasant to look at. If you’ve seen Ai Yazawa’s previous work, Paradise Kiss, it is very similar to that.
There isn't a lot of negatives to this anime. The only complaints that I have is that Hachi voice, in the Japanese version, is very annoying. And after getting use to the art style of NANA, and liking it, the only complaint that I have in that category is that the characters are drawn way to skinny.
If you're not into slice of life, drama, or romantic anime, then I don't think NANA is right for you, but it still something to look into. But other than that, I think this anime is very worth checking. It has 47 episodes, So it's not too short, nor too long, I think it's the right amount. And once the anime ends, you can pick up NANA right where the anime left off with the manga after chapter 42. The story continues on in the Manga.Oh and a heed of warning, this anime is rated mature for mild nudity and drug use. and if that doesn't bother you, then go right a head and watch NANA
If I were to grade this anime, I would give this anime is a 96% A read more
Jul 23, 2007
NANA is even better than Paradise Kiss for me. I love all the elements that make up the plot – Music, fashion, a little (a lot) of drama which goes hand in hand with some comedy and finally, Girl Power! It’s almost as if Ai Yazawa knew what I like to see in an anime series.
The story revolves around Nana Komatsu (Hachi) and Nana Oosaki – how they live their lives and accomplish their goals, how they interact with the various men in their lives and the friendship between the both of them. They go through all of this with a lot of tears and thankfully, a lot of laughs as well. The other characters are great too, especially the members of the Black Stones. Yasu is a bad-ass but altruistic lawyer/drummer, Shin is the adorable, childish bassist and Nobu, the all around boy next door guitarist. I like the members of Trapnest too, but my favorite has to be Naoki. He’s really funny.
There were a lot of times when I almost cried, especially when it comes to Ren and Nana O’s relationship. It’s almost like they’re a rock n’ roll Romeo and Juliet. There’s also Hachi’s MANY relationships, I don’t want to give out spoilers but let me say Shoji sucks and Nobu rocks! ;)
Ai Yazawa and Madhouse is the perfect anime team I can think of. The animation was of course, very well done (although there were a lot of repeated scenes – laziness!). The character designs were sleek and modern. The color coordination is something to be lauded as well. The colors represent the clash of Hachi (bright and luminous) and Nana O’s (Dark and Strong) personalities – Even though they differ they go well with each other.
I really like the voice acting too. A lot of familiar names are found in NANA’s cast list, such as Romi Paku as Nana Oosaki and Aya Hirano as Reira Serizawa. There’s also one of my favorite male seiyus, Tomokazu Seki as Nobu Terashima, who happens to be one of my favorite characters from the anime. I also like KAORI, Hachi’s seiyu. Her voice really matched Hachi’s personality, in fact, every seiyu did a good job in portraying their respective characters.
The music rocked, of course. NANA’s music made me a huge fan of Anna Tsuchiya. I like how varied the tracks are. “Rose” is a little bit dark and gloomy, while “Kuroi Namida” is sad and weepy, then there’s “Lucy”, my favorite because it’s really upbeat and energetic. The insert song “Zero” is another favorite. OLIVIA’s equally just as good. I still can’t get over “A Little Pain”. The emotions embedded in the song really touch me. “Wish” and “Starless Night” were also nicely done.
My only complaint would be the abundance of recaps. I don’t understand why there are so many recaps. Maybe they wanted more screen time for Junko and Kyosuke? This one isn’t really a complaint, but I have to note the excessive amount of nudity (including frontal nudity) throughout the series. Since the anime depicts a more accurate account of mature relationships, I recommend NANA to mature audiences only.
It was almost painful for me that the show had to end and with such a sad conclusion too (at least for me). Thank goodness the manga is still ongoing and there are hints of a second season. read more
Oct 3, 2009
NANA is possibly one of the most complicated romances I have ever come across; this complexity is what makes it so amazing, outstanding and fascinating. It is because NANA is not a typical shoujo which makes it suitable for a wider audience; it's far from your average school-life-love-triangle romance. This anime will make anyone laugh, cry and feel a connection with the protagonists by the end of 47 episodes.
Story - 10/10
Can anyone have any more drama in their life than the characters from NANA? In my opinion, the summary above doesn't really do the anime justice. What’s so special about this anime is that it makes you think deeply. You come to realise how small the world really is, two girls roughly the same age, with the same name, heading towards the same place but both aiming for different goals. Initially, it may seem like the anime focuses on the two Nanas’ lives running parallel with one another, day to day life just like that, but further into the anime, it makes people realise that even though the two Nanas have a lot in common and almost become as close as sisters, they are still extremely different to each other in person and opinions, thus creating conflicting situations. The anime revolves around how these situations are resolved for the better good of someone close to them, selflessness and selfishness. Drama is primarily dominant in this anime, as it continuously escalates, I can assure you that not one single episode is a disappointment.
Art - 9/10
The art style in NANA is very unique; it differs from the conventional anime art style you may see in other anime. The characters are drawn very stylishly, each with their own unique appearance, the landscape is drawn almost as well as the characters and everything is very distinguishable and pleasant to look at. If you’ve seen Ai Yazawa’s previous work of Paradise Kiss, it is very similar to that. Only complaint I would have is that there is the occasional blurriness, but seeing as this is a 2006/2007 anime, it’s forgivable.
Sound - 9/10
The voice actors were perfect in their roles, I saw nothing weird or out of place with how the voice actors matched with the character’s personality of which they were voicing. I really enjoyed the OST of NANA, the OPs and EDs were fitting in every way, I found myself looking forward to the next OP/ED each time. Anna Tsuchiya’s vocals really brought out the punk-like character of Nana Osaki and Olivia Lufkin managed to convey the gentleness of Reira. An excellent OST as expected from a music based anime.
Characters - 9/10
The characters were very unique, whether it be a significant past story or an underlying secret, each character had a special trait that separated them from each other. The characters were generally very likable throughout, they were all characters that perhaps people may find them easy to relate to since NANA has quite a realistic element to it. As the story progressed there was noticeable change in the characters’ attitudes and personalities, each one developing in their own way through influences of the people around them. In my opinion, Ai Yazawa’s characters are always well thought out and interesting which makes them so hard to hate.
Enjoyment & Overall - 10/10
I gave this anime a 10 without hesitation. Overall, I really and thoroughly enjoyed this anime; each episode has something waiting for you and will never leave you disappointed. I watched this anime twice over and I ended up loving it even more by the second time. It is definitely the best romance anime I have seen by far and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a not-too-long but not-too-short romance that will leave you content and thinking about whether events in everyday life are merely a coincidence or down to fate itself.
Jun 12, 2008
The story itself focuses on two young ladies named Nana and how they came to know each other and connected through the similar experiences they share in life. The first couple episodes introduces the main characters involved and spends an equal amount of time giving us some background on each Nana, then showing how they became acquainted. Then the main story kicks in, which actually feels more like 2 separate stories connected only through the strong bond of friendship between the both of them. Nana Komatsu’s (Hachi) story is about her living her life to attain true love, whereas Nana Osaki’s story is more about her dream to become a professional vocalist in a band. Even with all the heavy drama and real life dilemmas, there’s still plenty of light humour to take your mind of things. Yet with this being a shoujo romance, it may be hard to determine whether this will have a happy ending or not.
This series is full of some very appealing characters that pretty much orbit around the two Nanas. Nana Komatsu (Hachiko) is an energetic, love struck young lady who’s at the receiving end of many jokes and also many romantic hardships. Nana Osaki is more of a mysteriously dark and serious young lady who tries her best to support her friends through their hardships whilst dealing with her own. They each have their own circle of friends that do well as supporting characters, but still have some perplexing issues of their own and what makes it more interesting is seeing how these diverse people interact with each other, be it friends, lovers or rivals.
The animation for this series is near-perfect and that is thanks to the expertise of Madhouse, as the art style matches Ai Yazawa’s vision perfectly. The character designs are elegant and very attractive (both guys & girls), with stylish outfits to suit their varying personalities. Shame there was a fair bit of scene recycling going on.
If I had to choose my least favourite aspect of this series then it would have to be the music but that may have been because I had high expectations of it. Personally I found the BGM to be pretty bland, which was compiled of a bunch of uninspiring melodies. The main redeeming factor came in the form of the invoking OP and ED themes, which were also used as insert songs throughout.
Overall NANA is an incredible shoujo anime series that I will always remember for its realistic portrayal of different forms of romance and the emotional baggage that comes with it. The music subplot was incorporated well, as it gave me some insight into how things go on however it would have been better if it had more songs by Olivia. Surprisingly this series constantly gave the urge to see the next episode, due to all the major developments and cliff-hanger endings and it’s a shame things had to come to an end, but at least I was left feeling satisfied.
Aug 19, 2008
What really struck me about the story was how the two parts of the story are weaved together. The two main characters' lives and personalities are so strikingly different that when they meld, it is truly something beautiful. The span of the story really helps one feel like they go somewhere, accomplish something, while watching this show. Once they intertwine and effect each other, that's when the story becomes something special. The drama, at times, feels like it is just taking soap opera cliches from the book, but for a change, I don't mind. The way it is written gives the show a feeling of reality, and the trials they face are compelling and moving.
I love this art style. It isn't anything you would see normally, and it never gives you the feeling that they had a low budget or were ever lazy. The detail and color is enough not to be too distracting, but enough eye candy to hold you to it. All of the characters are visually appealing, and even though some may say its hard to get used to, I love it, and had no problems at all.
Its a show about music, right? So the audio must be pretty impressive, and it doesn't disappoint. Anna Tsuchiya and her gritty voice sang perfectly as NANA Osaki. I always enjoyed listening to the opening and ending themes. My personal favorite was "Kuroi Namida," more of a melancholy song, but the gritty love song, "Rose," was another one of my favorites. OLIVIA was a nice contrast to ANNA. Her voice was a bit more smooth and feminine, soft, but still strong. The first ending song, "A Little Pain," was my personal favorite of hers, because of its beauty and the sadness it bares. I always looked forward to it at the end, hearing the opening riff within the last couple lines of dialogue.
I also really enjoyed the voice acting. I never at one point thought that the voices were annoying or wrong for the characters. The darker characters, like Nana Osaki and Ren, had voices that could carry that impression, while the cuter sweeter characters, like Hachiko, also had appropriate voices.
This is where the show really shines. Without so many understandable and meaningful characters, this show wouldn't be nearly as good. The story itself is meant to contrast the two women, and it does that amazingly. The growth of these individuals is clearly evident, and does the 47 episode length justice. At times, the choices they made made me angry, but it is then that you realize how nicely human flaws are present here. Everyone makes mistakes, and this slice of life should be no different.
All in all, this is a really enjoyable show. I tore right through it, and despite the length, was left wanting more. With rumors of a season two, I can't wait to see where this show may take us next. With such personable characters, emotional music, nontraditional and beautiful animation, and the evolving story, I could definitely watch this one a next time around, and am dying to know where these characters go. read more
Jun 5, 2008
The story is amazing in that is is so realistic. The most realistic anime i have ever seen. It shows the harshness of reality and this allows people to empathize with the characters as well as keep you glued to the screen because you don't know what will happen next,(life is unpredictable). The romance is also very realistic and not so much idealistic so i find it more worth while to watch, though it can be quite harsh to some who are used to the more "easily" acheived lovelife.This is also where a lot of drama is inculcated into the anime so if your a drama-romance fan you will defnitely like it.
The art is good, not like your typical animes, it has a more unique style and is particularly good in the illustration of the characters.Nothing bad about it at all.
The songs are fantastic! I loved every single one of the songs sun g by both bands(the opening and closing songs are performed by the bands as well).The songs are punk-rock mostly but there is one or two more light-hearted songs, but i still like them all even though im not much of a punk rock fan.
The characters are the anime's winning factor. The characters are all so vivid, all the chraracters are expressed well being able to see all their pasts, it gives you a better understanding of the story and the reason for their dreams. The character development is also astounding, one of the best i've seen, they mature a lot from the beginning to the end. Back to my previous point that most of the characters have a significant role to play which makes it quite realistic in that you are not focusing on only the main characters but the supporting chracters have a big role to play and this makes the story complex and entertaining.
I enjoyed the anime a lo, from the songs to the characters to the story, it was all very good. There is a fair bit of comic relief in the anime and you really get swept away with it, i was like shouting at the screen at point at the main characters decisions,it was very engaging. But i must warn people that the ending can be said to be quite open ended which bothers me a bit as well.But its the same for the manga as well, and it is quite a surprise too(go watch and youll see, the last episode is a big surprise) it leaves you with a ton of questioons if you only watch the anime. But i suspect there will be a second season because of the ending and it was quite clear that the company will show the rest after the manga finishes. So i really look foward to it. It is definitely worth watching though it is adviced for a slightly more mature audience because it is really about REAL LIFE, not your idealistic bullshit. read more
Sep 30, 2008
The plot is rich with heart wrenching and heart-tugging moments. Girls, get a box of tissues ready. This is not to say that NANA can only be appreciated by girls. True, there is romance but it explores the psyche of two women in a way that men will still derive some value in watching it because if ever they do decide to sit down and watch this, it will give them a better insight on women. Oh and did I mention this is a mature anime?
I am crossing my fingers for the continuation of the anime. Although I read the manga, I don't want to miss the music. The songs and the seiyuu are excellent, especially coupled with the music...ahh the music. These elements really brought the manga to life. read more
Aug 11, 2011
Have you ever met love that's hardly maintained even though everything seems just right and yet so deep? In a matter of time you might shatter it. Little by little, things appear to fall apart. NANA simply deals with issues what love brings in the most beautiful way.
To put it simple the story focuses on two charming individuals who happen to share the same name.. Nana. They meet in a train for the very first time and after that, by some rare chance, happen to move in the same apartment. But these girls are still very different from each other and have different lifestyles. Despite these facts they become close friends and complete one another almost as lovers would do.
Nana Komatsu comes from affectionate family and moves in Tokyo to look for a dream. Her flaws are shallowness, childish behavior, inefficient methods and she always cries over little things. She's also amazingly cheerful, cute and super sensitive (that's why she causes many melodramatic scenes). During the series her character grows immensely.
Nana Osaki, loud bad-ass rocker chick, has the key to sing and deliver her feelings through songs she performs. Her true nature isn't so tough and cold as it seems. Actually under that heavy makeup and fierce appearance lies emotional, genial and hurt girl. She wishes to become a big name as the lead vocalist of Blast and tries her hardest to make the band successful.
Art in this anime is outstanding, flawless. Colors are lively and the artistic side builds a serene environment which makes all the characters stand out. Still all the little details are cutely executed. What comes to character design?.. It truly shows that Ai Yazawa has a perfect eye for style and fashion. Characters are animated so well that you don't need words to understand what's going through their heads which is a major plus.
Sound changes from joyful to desperate and melancholic theme. It's always atmospheric, well timed, haunting, perfect.. Even songs that bands play in the actual anime. (However pronunciation isn't so near perfection but we can all overlook that part)
Characters possess tons of personality from their style to voice acting. All the characters have so much depth which makes them much more intriguing. Their thoughts and way of being are unique. You wish to meet these type of people in reality as well just because they're just bloody cool and surprisingly realistic. Also the character development is sensational.
I enjoyed this anime more than I can ever explain. I experienced something that no one can't take away from me; heartfelt moments, sadness and pieces of joy. All I can say is.. If you're looking for a real spectacular experience NANA truly is the one and only. read more
Jun 7, 2011
Story (C) - First of all, let me just say that NANA can be pretty ridiculous. Everyone in the show throws around the word love like it means nothing, and everyone has sex with eachother without thinking twice about it. Like I said before, the content of the show is your typical teen drama. NANA is very stylistic though, and can cover up all of these flaws with the way everything is presented. So what I'm really trying to say is that Nana is all flash and no substance. It's a stylized, glossy, teen soap opera. It's a basic girly slice of life story, so I don't think too many guys will be interested in it. I liked the first half of the show a lot better than the second half. In the beginning we get introduced to Nana Komatsu and Nana Osaki. They're both 20 years old and coincidentally meet eachother on a train while moving to Tokyo. Their personalities are immensely different, which is something I liked. They end up renting an apartment together and become friends. The show starts out by explaining Nana Komatsu's (later nicknamed Hachiko, or Hachi for short) background and establishes that she's somewhat easy with guys and falls in love at first sight all the time. She moves to Tokyo to be with her boyfriend, Shouji. We also see Nana Osaki's past and we discover that she has never met her father before and that her mother abandoned her when she was four. She decides to move to Tokyo to achieve her dream of becoming a singer. She's much different with guys and has only had one love so far in her life. This is the basic story for the show. Simple, but interesting. The first few episodes present the story in a way that kept me engaged and anticipating the next episode. I liked how it seemed as if Hachiko's life and Nana's life were two completely different, parallel stories that just happened to collide. Hachiko has her friends and her boyfriend, while Nana has her band (called the Black Stones, or BLAST for short). Nana and Hachi's friendship is what ties these two world's together. Later in the show, their relationship isn't as strong. The story starts focusing on their love lives way more than their friendship. I mean I'm a girl, and I like romance like any other girl, but there's only so much I can take. It would be different if what was happening in their love lives was actually realisitc, but a lot of the situations they get in are really stupid and can be easily solved if they just talked it out. The story also starts focusing on the love lives of Nana's band members which I really didn't care about because they were just as annoying. The main flaw in the story is that there was too much romance and not enough friendship. I also don't understand why every summary of the show says that Hachi is looking for love and happiness while Nana is looking for fame and recognition. Nana's band doesn't even become famous until like 30 episodes into the show, and they don't even show her singing that much (which is supposed to be her "passion" in life). Most of the time she's just moping about her boyfriend who left her to join another band called Trapnest. When they do reconcile, their romance isn't very....romantic. All they do is have sex all the time. I realized that NANA started out with an interesting story that turned into nothing more than a bunch of people having sex and "falling in and out of love" with eachother.
Art (A-) - I liked the art in NANA because it went with the style of the story. The creators of the show really knew what they were doing when creating the atmosphere and tone of the show. Sometimes the facial expressions can look a little weird though, like when their supposed to be angry it actually looks like they're smiling. I'm not sure if that was for comedic effect, but it just looked weird sometimes. Another thing I didn't like was how big everyone's foreheads were, but I guess that's just the style that the author of the manga wanted. The shading can also look a little bit awkward, but other than that I didn't have any problems with the animation.
Sound (A-) - Overall, the music in NANA went well with everything that was happening. The OPs and EDs were pretty catchy. A lot of the music used throughout the show is also featured as songs that BLAST or Trapnest sings during concerts. I thought that was pretty cool. The way the music was integrated into the show also helped create emotional moments and make moments that seemed pretty stupid and unbelievable work better. The music in the show was good, but ultimately another reason why the show is more style than substance.
Characters (C+) - The characters in NANA are a problem. Hachi and Nana are both likeable characters, and I liked them a lot, but I just didn't understand why they were so stupid sometimes! In the beginning they kind of reminded me of how people would act in real life.Those were the times when the show succeeded. Later they did things that were so lame that I started not to like them anymore.
Hachi - She's a very bubbly and friendly girl who's a little self absorbed and immature. She's always looking for someone she can fall in love with. I sympathized with her because I know how girls are, and I know that she really did just want to find someone who would love her and take care of her. I liked her in the beginning (even though her personality can be...irritating) because I know a lot of girls who act like her, and she seemed somewhat realistic. She sleeps with 3 guys during the course of the show, but at one point I realized something...why are so many guys even dating her? Before I watched the show I was expecting the characters to actually have lives, but I soon figured out that Hachi doesn't have a job, (besides temporary ones like working as a sales girl, and an assistant at an office) and she can barely take care of herself. She randomly went to art school even though she didn't have talent (is it possible to go to art school without talent?) and I'm guessing she dropped out? I don't really know, but all I know is that she isn't really good at anything except cooking. Later in the show there's a situation where she has to choose between two guys and for some reason she loves both of them even though one of them treats her like trash. In my mind I was thinking "this isn't really a tough decision here..." but of course everything had to be overdramatic and unrealisitc. She "loves" so many people that I just stopped caring.
Nana - At first I really liked Nana because she was independent, and a lot more mature than Hachi. She's cool and focused, and her style is kind of goth-punk. It seemed like Nana's goal in life was to become famous and she wasn't really focused on relationships that much. Then a few episodes later we find out that Nana was living with some guy that left her even though he still loves her and she still loves him. Whenever they're together they're either having sex or talking about how they love eachother and want to grow old together. She's always relying on her band members to be there for her, which I understood because of her situation with her mom. I liked her emotional depth, but it wasn't really explored that much. Instead there was too much time spent on the thing with her boyfriend. She would always talk about how singing was her life, but it didn't seem like it was her life to me. Nana also doesn't have a real job, and even though I liked her the best out of the two, I was really annoyed and tired of her by the end. She started losing that edge that made her cool in the beginning. She also didn't have any other hobbies besides playing with her band.
BLAST Members - All these characters started out as just supporting characters in Nana and Hachi's lives, but eventually they start taking over the show! There was lot of time spent on Shin's romantic life that I didn't care about. Nobu was ok I guess, but I didn't understand how he randomly started "loving" Hachi after a day. I liked Nana and Yasu's romantic tension, but that also didn't go anywhere. Everyone just started to get on my nerves. Trapnest Members - There's Ren, who's Nana's boyfriend, and is always whining about how he loves Nana but I never really got why they were sooo in love. He also didn't have a good childhood growing up so I guess that was something they bonded with, but his relationship with Nana just isn't developed enough. Reira's romance with Shin is tedious and exhausting when it doesn't have to be, and don't even get me started on Takumi and how annoying he was. The other guy in the band doesn't have too much screen time which is good because he wasn't that interesting.
Then there's Hachi's friends, Jun and Kyosuke, who aren't shown that much. At first I kinda liked them, but later on in the show they didn't really serve a purpose. Jun started out being the one with sense in the friendship between her and Hachi, but the things that she would say later in the show just didn't make any sense to me. If I knew someone was cheating on my friend I'm pretty sure I would tell them.
Enjoyment (C-) - NANA starts out being very enjoyable despite the fact that most, if not all of the characters have no idea what love is, or what it means to be in love. NANA is enjoyable in the same way that every other sappy teen show is enjoyable. Not because it's realistic but because it's drama. Annoying, over the top, mushy drama. Everything that happens is blown out of proportion so much, and simple things that happen are transformed into emotional moments. I gotta say, I was sucked in. But after awhile it really does start to get old. Without any real content to fall back on, NANA turns into a typical show about relationships. It's even more dissapointing because there was a lot to work with. Maybe if the author didn't have so much of this beating around the bush stuff. A lot of things could have been resolved if the characters weren't so annoying. I guess in some ways it is realistic because people do act like that sometimes, but NANA was a little too over the top. There were some genuine emotional moments that hit home, but overall, the only reason why this show would be worth watching is for the presentation. All the flaws are covered so well with the stylized scenes and dramatic speeches and narrations from the characters that it kept me wanting more...for awhile...until it started to become so tedious that I couldn't wait for it to end. I can understand why girls like this anime a lot, but it's probably because they couldn't see past the appearance and production of the show, which definitely was impressive.
Overall (C+) - If you're a fan of any kind of teen drama/romance show out there then you'll LOVE this show. Trust me. It's not that I didn't like it. As I already said, I enjoyed a lot of it (mostly in the beginning) and there was a nice blend of comedy, drama, and romance, but there was definitely too much emphasis on the relationships...and sex. The good parts about the show, Nana and Hachi's contrasting personalities, their friendships, their backgrounds, were really good but there just wasn't enough of that. Even if we forget the fact that everyone in this show falls in love after a day, there still would be too many shortcomings in the story to give it a high recommendation. NANA is definitely rated too high on this site, and although I enjoyed this show I only enjoyed it for what it is - which is a superficial, relationship-heavy, melodramatic, teen soap opera. read more
Oct 25, 2008
Now, let's discuss this, shall we.
We have a decent story. It's any little emo poser punk artsy girl's dream--go out to the big city, make rock music with your band, soak up the fame, fortune, drama.
Now, I like the characters. There are two Nanas: one is a whore, but she's a sweet girl, and is called 'Hachi', and then we have the second, Nana, who is normal, not a whore, but exudes cool. Then we have ten billion good-looking male characters who either have sex with or dump or play instruments with the Nanas.
The music is good, but I honestly thought the songs sucked. Sorry. The art is unique and has a great style.
NANA was nice. It didn't need to drag on for that long. It may even be revolutionary. Girls being sexy without being tramps (well, we can't really count Hachi...), what a stretch. What a change!
It was good, but not worth the hype. Especially after 20-something episodes, it started to drag on for me. Unfabulous. read more
Jan 2, 2010
- Story 8.5/10
Like I said, it's a slice of a life anime. You can expect it to go about normal life issues, ups and downs, about struggles, hopelessness, and happiness, like the realistic life. It's a pretty deep anime, and the story was bringed out very well Imo.
- Where the story is about
It goes about two young women who are both share the name ''Nana'' (Means 7 in japanese) and age (20 years old) who met each other in a train and began sharing their lives. One of them is a vocalist of a band(''Black Stones''). In the beginning it's more about the other Nana (''Hachi'') not part of the band, later in the anime it goes more about her roommate's life too. It goes about their work, friends, and relationships, which are connected to another band as well (''Trapnest''). Those members of the two bands are involved too, they play a big role in the story.
- Art 9/10
The artwork and animation are awesome. I think it's a pretty unique artwork, since I haven't seen anything like this so far. It's very detailed, they did a great job.
- Sound 10/10
The voices and the background sounds ect. were very good. The voices didn't sound exaggerated at all, which I hear sometimes in anime.. and they fitted the characters perfectly Imo. I also like the music very much, but what else do you expect from an anime about music?
- Characters 8.5/10
I like the characters from NANA, they all have their own, unique not completely perfect personality. It feels for me they introduced them also well, they show you history about almost all of them. You emperize in their live, thoughts, feelings and grow with them. You really can get attached to them.
- ''Enjoyment'' 8/10
Everyone experiences it in a different way. Everyone has different tastes and preferences. There were parts for me I loved, but also parts I found a bit boring, but in overall I'd give it an 8. It was definitely worth spending my time on.
I recommed you to watch it, at least try it. I didn't love it right away when I started watching it either.
Enjoy! ^^ read more
Jan 22, 2008
It was the greatest anime I've ever watched and is THE number 1 in my list.
Very appealing to women specifically as it has a lot of Drama, Romance, Slice of Life, Shojou...
Has very good music as well and all the characters are HOT.
I recommend everyone to try watching at least two episodes before judging whether you'd like to continue watching or not.
This anime competes with Hana Yori Dango [drama] if anyone has seen.
Jun 30, 2009
The story was fascinating, the string of events were possible. It had everything passion, love, lust, heart breaks, friendships, unbreakable bonds... I loved how everything would was like different pieces of puzzles but when you put them together, they fit and the picture was beautiful. The relationships between the characters were somewhat predictable, enough for you to make a guess based on fact but still have some major doubts.
The backgrounds were always amazing, as for the characters; Yasu's (Baldie) glasses were always kinda weird looking - all the girls had huge foreheads and really small bangs and the shins were always so pointy. But the shading and the expressions were always amazingly demonstrated.
Nana's character is one that is very very strong and self-confident. I love the fact that during the anime, they would tell us what she was thinking because that proved that no one can always be 100% about everything.
Hachiko was a girl who, let's face it, is a portrait of the girls these days; fall in love with all good looking people until someone shatters the illusion that because you're handsome, doesn't mean you're a good guy. Throughout the anime, she grows more and more mature but not in a hasty way. All her actions were always justified.
Yasu was a bald man who was very responsible, a little too responsible. He always carried everyone's burdens while trying to fix his own problems. Without him, there's no way that this anime would've been a success.
A TOTAL MUST SEE FOR ANY GIRL. [Boys, be warned you may like it if you have a thing for love stories which i think is wayy awesome] read more
Oct 24, 2008
What is the story about?
(Warning: the following review contains some spoilers, because that’s really the only way you can review something like this.)
I had to ask myself what this anime was about several times per episode. I had to try to find some ultimate conclusion, because this was such a good anime, but it never seemed to want to give me an answer.
And finally, on the last episode, when the final song played, I realized what this was all about: hopelessness. In every sense of the world, the story of Nana and Nana is a tragedy. There is no happy ending for anyone, not really. There’s nothing to feel good about in the slightest. Every single character save for one (Yasu) ends up being a terrible person, full of personality flaws and the impressive ability to make only bad decisions. If you want the basic premise of the story, read the other reviews, because what I want to say is that these characters all end up basically unhappy or on the precipice of unhappiness, hanging by a thread and miring in a mud pit of depression and lost hope. The best example of this is Hachi (Valley girl Nana who was given that nickname for practicality) – her story is pretty much the most depressing story ever. She’s a selfish, pathetic excuse for a woman who cares about nothing in the world except herself. I had to ask myself why the other characters even liked her. She was just annoying and by the end of the anime, you’ll find yourself open-mouthed and completely aghast because you just can’t believe her story actually ends the way it does. I won’t say more, but it’s completely pathetic.
But, you know what? That was the intention. That’s who Hachi is and the anime doesn’t try to make excuses for her. This wasn’t supposed to be a happy story. Unfortunately, through the first 20 episodes, you find so much hope and great things, that it’s kind of a let-down afterwards, because it sinks into the hole of depression that it never digs itself out from. But the original intention of this was to tell the shabby story of these two women and what happened to them. In a sense, it was supposed to display realism at its ugliest – a godless, soulless world and the creators of this anime accomplished what they set out to do. Friendships are chance, marriage is always a mistake and love is an illusion – people are only out to serve themselves, but every now and then, you need someone to support the burden you carry in life, and that is what people call relationships. They serve no other purpose.
Now, I’m not a believer in this ideology personally, but still, what they set out to do, they finished with style. Nana has a unique fashion and voice all its own and it leads to several powerful episodes that would have been hard to pull off otherwise. The voice acting and music is second to none, full of emotion and while the crying scenes aren’t exactly few and far between, they’re well done and you usually can connect with them on some level.
So, what did I get from Nana in the end? Well, I had to analyze my own interpretation of love and romance and test it to see if it’s what I believed. When an anime can make you really think and care at the same time, it’s truly something special. Nana is definitely special and I would recommend it to anyone. I didn’t enjoy the ending and the first 23 episodes are better than the last 24 by far, but what can you do? Also, I have to warn anyone who watches this that the two main characters don’t actually talk to each other for the last fourth of the series, which was a huge letdown. I mean, how can you do that? Plus Hachi’s story completely loses steam while Punk Rock Nana’s story takes center stage. For the first 3 fourths of the story, their stories intertwine, but it just falls flat in the end to where Hachi become completely irrelevant, which is too bad. The ending was a failure on most levels as a result, I’m sorry to report. It left a seriously bad cliffhanger with obvious intentions of a second season that was hardly a representation of the whole of the series. It was like 46 plus 1. As close to epic fail as you can get.
I still thoroughly enjoyed this anime though, if only to satisfy my dark side and need to plunge into darkness now and again. (On a personal note, I hate Takumi and I constantly hoped he would die. *Sigh* unfortunately, he does not.) But I will definitely need a fresh dose of something uplifting like Nodame Cantabile to bring me back from the depths. In the end, I just thought it was too bad that this anime just refused to allow for some hope.
I prefer a world where hope exists.
Jun 18, 2008
I loves the music in every aspect, both bands featured in the show had unique and interesting sounds. The art for Nana blew me away. The detail in every work is incredible and is a testament to the skill of the artist.
The characters where so dynamic, developed and well introduced it made me feel like they really could be actual people just fashioned into a anime.
Overall i have to give Nana a 10 because it blew me away on so many levels.
I recommend this anime to anybody over the age of 13, only because the story is very realistic in a sense that nothing seems to be watered down from they way it would actually play out in real life (example: People dating DO sleep together)
Pure enjoyment :) read more
Jun 2, 2008
This anime really deserves spending hours and hours of sitting in front of your computer screen.
Nana is the story of two girls by the name of Nana. Nana Osaka and Nana Komatsu are both very different yet very similar in personalities. Nana Osaka is a musician who has an undying passion for music. Yet, for love and friendship, she would sacrifice her talents just to be close to the ones she cares about most. Nana Komatsu is also an all for love kind of girl. She believes in "love above all".
Through out this wonderful anime, both Nana's go through many hardships brought by interests of both respects. They become best friends who cling onto each other for support through the darkest nights.
We can learn many life lessons from the story of both girls and understand the importance of friendship. This inspirational anime is a sensational hit and well deserves it's crowned title as one of anime's greatest inventions. Well spun story with a dramatically developed plot. read more
Dec 1, 2011
But if there ever was an anime in which the romantic element can be justifiably described as "epic", then "Nana" would be it. Achingly beautiful and searing in its emotional insights, "Nana" takes the romance genre to dizzying heights while still maintaining a strong sense of realism and empathy with the viewer in spite of all its glamour and polish.
"Nana" is a tale of two Nanas, Komatsu Nana (aka Hachi) and Osaki Nana (aka, uh, Nana). (I can't be bothered with their full names, so I'll just refer to them as Hachi and Nana, which is what most of the characters in the anime do anyway.) A chance meeting between Hachi and Nana on a train to Tokyo marks the beginning of a special friendship. Hachi is on her way to join up with her boyfriend who is studying in Tokyo, while Nana is heading for the big city in order to take her career as a musician to the next level. The lives of the two Nanas soon entwine, and the story gets complicated, juggling friendship, romance, career aspirations and many other things simultaneously.
I had high expectations for "Nana" before I started it, but I have to admit that I didn't get into it straight off the bat. There is one big reason for this - Hachi. Hachi is a fickle, self centred airhead whose number of past boyfriends probably rivals other girls in terms of the number of pairs of shoes they own. While she's not annoying in an excessive and unrealistic way a la Asuka from "Neon Genesis Evangelion" or Menma from AnoHana, I really didn't feel interested in a story centred on this kind of character. In fact I stalled for several months after watching episode 3, where the show laid bare the worst of her clinggy character.
Thankfully, the series' attention shifted away from Hachi onto Nana soon after that, and, with two stunning episodes 4 and 5, showed me just what it is capable of. Nana is an intruiging character: controversial, pretentious and fiercely proud, her compelling portrayal gave me the motivation I needed to continue with the show.
While "Nana" does eventually meet my lofty expectations, it doesn't truly take off till about a third of the way through. After those two terrific episodes early on, the show went back to focusing mostly on Hachi. In spite of this, I didn't find them as hard to get through as the first few episodes. This is partly because Nana is now also in the picture to provide some relief, and partly because Hachi isn't quite as annoying once you get to know her a bit more. Though the first third of the show is far from being the series' best, they do throw up some spine tinglingly great moments. It could have been a lot more, however, if it wasn't for the excessive use of comedy. I feel that some of material dealing with emotional turmoil should have been given a more serious treatment, especially seeing how well "Nana" does that kind of thing. Instead, the series' often opted for a more comic portrayal, which undermined the mood at times.
Luckily, that criticism is only valid for that first part of the series. Everything changes once the members of Trapnest comes into the story. This is when "Nana" started producing episode after episode of drama of the highest caliber. These episodes are not only remarkable in their quality, but also in their consistency to stay at that remarkable level. At the heart its whirlwind drama, the show exposes, dissects, and examines in minute detail the emotions of the characters. The sensation of being dazzled by someone shining more brightly than yourself, the tug of war between pride and love, the feeling of not only needing someone, but more paradoxically, of needing to BE needed by someone... virtually everything explored in "Nana" feels startlingly real and relevant.
For all its romantic elements, the centrepiece of "Nana" is the relationship between the two Nanas themselves. Despite the two of them being so different in personality, they share a bond that seems to transcend normal friendship, and yet at the same time is as fragile as a glass figurine, and just as beautiful. The mutual envy and emotional support, the honesty and the dishonesty, the similarity and contrast between the personalities all contribute towards a fascinating and contradicting relationship.
Initially, the story is narrated from Hachi's point of view. You get to experience the full range of her whimsical nature and her helpless, almost piteous attraction towards the glamourous, bright star in her life that is Nana. Hachi was never gonna be my favourite character, but she did grow on me quite a bit. Nana is still the more intriguing character though, so when the narration, after an astonishingly long run of excellent episodes, switched to her point of view at around the 30 episode mark, I was hopeful that the show would get even better.
These expectation does get filled to a certain capacity. The change allowed a deeper insight into Nana's complex character, insight that threw up some quite shocking revelations and served to make some things a lot clearer. Even though the show had already strongly hinted at Nana's fragility and pretentiousness, the extent of these traits only starts to surface at this point. I still wasn't completely sold by her feelings with regards to Hachi though... perhaps an narrative that interlaced the two perspectives all the way through would have made it more convincing than being dumped into the revelation all at once.
But anyway, the switch in perspective unexpectedly marks the point where the series starts to go down hill. Not by much, mind you. The problem isn't to do with the actual switch itself; it's to do with the romantic plots and subplots. You can only juggle so many relationships for so long a time before things start to feel ridiculous. When the monstrous webs of love triangles ends up involving nearly all the significant members of the cast, the show starts to buckle under the weight of their sheer number and complexity. While this isn't quite a show stopper for "Nana", especially considering its great execution, it's the worst kind of problem for this kind of series to pick up - it makes it feel too much like a soap opera. This causes the drama aspect of "Nana" seem a little too sensationalist, a little less believable. I find the characterisation of Takumi from Trapnest to be particularly problematic - while I liked the professionalism in his character, his constant changes in attitude sometimes makes him feel more like a plot device than a believable rock star, and in fact the whole of Trapnest feels altogether too down to earth.
"Nana" more than made up for this slight lapse in quality eventually though, finishing the series with another strong run of episodes that are at least as good as any of the ones previously. While it remained a little over-convoluted, it's hard to take too much notice when the blossoming romances and the intensifying drama is so sublimely good. "Nana" ends on a hanging, bittersweet note that just begs for a continuation. Continuation seems unlikely though. This first season ended as the makers wanted to avoid fillers, and the intention is that a second season will be made once the manga is finished. Though this decision to avoid fillers should be applauded, the manga has stalled and the anime can no longer be considered as a recent one. With interest in the show cooling, that second season seems increasingly unlikely.
It would be a crime to review "Nana" without mentioning the music in it. In addition to the romance and relationships, "Nana" is about two bands, BLAST (Nana's own band) and Trapnest (band of Nana's lover Ren). A couple of Japanese artists, Anna Tsuchiya and Olivia Lufkin, were drafted in to perform the songs by the fictional bands. The songs are used heavily throughout the series, and in fact all the opening and ending themes are made up of them. There are several noteworthy things about these songs. The first is how they're impressively written to suit the story and the characteristics of the bands that perform them. Trapnest, a band that's hit mainstream popularity in "Nana", has songs with quite mainstream melodies. In contrast, BLAST have an edgier, more punk influenced sound, but one that isn't completely devoid of mainstream appeal, as one of the characters once commented. Anna Tsuchiya, who provides the singing voice of Nana, has a rasping voice that's so similar in quality to the Nana's talking voice that for a while I wondered whether it was the same person.
Most of all though, I *loved* Olivia as the singing voice of Reira, the lead singer of Trapnest. The pure, ethereal beauty of her soaring vocals is exactly how I would imagine Reira's vocals to be. No wonder Ai Yazawa (author of the "Nana" manga), upon coming across her songs while helping to select the right singer for Reira, apparently exclaimed "It can only be her!" (A bit of trivia: Olivia, like Reira, is also half American!)
It's not just about the songs though, it's about the atmosphere too. The scene where Hachi being overwhelmed by the experience of going to her first concert has such a dense, authentic atmosphere that it reminded me of my own first time at a concert. The background music is also very good for setting the mood, but I think it could have done with more variety. A lot of tracks are just variations on the same melodies and themes. I also thought some of the elegant, classical instrumental tracks doesn't quite fit in with the style of "Nana", especially considering the nature of the bands the show feature, with their often heavy instrumentals and rebellious punk influences.
I don't normally mention the voice actors, but the ones in "Nana" deserves a special mention for having so many stars in their midst. Even ignoring Romi Park (Ed from "Full Metal Alchemist; Teresa from "Claymore") as Nana, there's a host of heavyweights such as Aya Hirano (Misa from "Death Note"; Haruhi from "The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi") and Tomokazu Seki (Sousuke from "Full Metal Panic!"; Chiaki from "Nodame Cantabile") to be found in support... it's like the "Ocean's Eleven" of anime. The big surprise though, is that amongst this glittery line up, Hachi is voiced by a relative unknown KAORI (don't ask me why her name's all in capitals, I'm just writing it how I've seen it elsewhere). But what's perhaps more surprising is that, despite her lack of star credentials, her near flawless portrayal of the whimsical Hachi is one of, if not THE most ear catching performance of the series; even short phrases such as the often used "hey, Nana" line are injected full of nostalgic feelings. It's to her and the show's greatest credit that Hachi eventually went from a character I disliked to a character I could not only tolerate, but like and even respect to a degree.
It's interesting to compare this to "Beck", a show that overlaps on many of the same themes of music, romance and life, but is a far more humble take on them. The difference is like the bands they feature - "Nana" is like the chart topping band while "Beck" is the indie band that's looking to make it big. And while the production power and glitzy glamour of "Nana" does help make it the better show (in my opinion), the two are ultimately very different, each with its own unique charms. It's just a shame that while "Nana" often transcends the romance genre with its powerful introspective insights on love and life, it ultimately doesn't completely break free of its trappings. read more