Nana Komatsu is a young woman who's endured an unending string of boyfriend problems. Moving to Tokyo, she's hoping to take control of her life and put all those messy misadventures behind her. She's looking for love and she's hoping to find it in the big city.
Nana Osaki, on the other hand, is cool, confident and focused. She swaggers into town and proceeds to kick down the doors to Tokyo's underground punk scene. She's got a dream and won't give up until she becomes Japan's No. 1 rock'n'roll superstar.
This is the story of two 20-year-old women who share the same name. Even though they come from completely different backgrounds, they somehow meet and become best friends. The world of Nana is a world exploding with sex, music, fashion, gossip and all-night parties.
NANA is definitely one of the best mangas that I've ever read. There's something about it that makes it very different from other ones, so I personally think it's a must-read. Anyways, my review may contain some spoilers, but I'll try my best not to reveal too much.
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of NANA is how incredibly realistic it is compared to many other mangas. It starts out very normal like any other shoujo/josei manga; introducing the two main characters who both happen to have the name Nana. It pretty much follows the life of these two girls as
they meet on a train to Tokyo, and then later decide to share an apartment. It may sound a bit dull and boring, but the story always draws you in and makes you wonder what would happen next. Personally what I think is best about the story is the realistic aspect of it, since I've always loved serious and realistic mangas/animes. After reading so many silly mangas with unrealistic story plots, I found it very refreshing to read something completely different. In fact, it's so realistic to the point that I find myself wishing that it wouldn't be so realistic, since NANA definitely isn't your happily ever after story.
Well, I hate to say this but the art of NANA isn't the best. It's not that the mangaka is a bad artist or anything, but the style of NANA just doesn't appeal to me very much. I also don't really like how some of the backgrounds seem as if they are a completely different style of art. Sometimes it looks as if the characters are standing in front of some wallpaper rather than in the actual place so that kinda bothers me. On the other hand, I love how much detail the mangaka puts in the characters and their clothes.
I'm not giving this section a 10 because I think all the characters are perfect and love them all to death, but rather because there is at least one thing I don't like about almost all the characters. That may sound weird, but the reason why I like it is because of how realistic it makes them and how it makes you able to relate to them very easily. I can easily imagine all the characters being real people, and almost all of them are very well developed. Another thing I like about the manga NANA is how the mangaka isn't afraid to put in traits like selfishness and possessiveness and have the characters realize those traits in themselves. I don't think I've ever read another manga that had that, so I was pretty impressed when I first read those parts.
I really don't have much to say here...all I have to say is that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.
Okay, I'll just be repeating myself here if I say how much I enjoyed it, so I'll just add a few things here that I didn't put up here. So another thing I like about NANA is how it makes you think a bit about life in general. The things that the characters say sometimes made me realize some stuff, and now because of NANA I think I can understand people a bit better. :3
I recommend this manga to people who like realistic plots that have a bit of humor in it. But if you're someone that likes fairy tail plots, happily ever afters, perfect princes/princesses, or couples that have no problems then this definitely isn't the manga for you. And it's also for an older audience so please don't read it if you're really young. o3o
The longer we live, the more weight we carry in our hearts.
A sentence that truly summarizes and embodies the manga of Nana. The tale follows the lives of two very different girls who share the same name of Nana, and not much else. After a fateful meeting on a train bound to Tokyo, they manage to become friends and their lives weave closely together from that moment forwards. Written most nostalgically by one of the Nana’s from sometime years in the future, the story is a remembrance of the friendship between two girls and all the people who surrounded them who all rushed into life
with the vigor, innocence and optimism of youth; and returned so tragic, weary and worn by circumstance and choice.
While wrongly categorized as a Shoujo series, Nana is very much a Josei in its explicit content, realistic storytelling, and maturity, so it is far better to be read by an audience who can handle such things.
★ Story (9) – Like longing letters written to the past, Nana unfolds in remembrance and nostalgia from the point of view of one of the Nana’s many years into the future. A simple meeting between two girls of the same age and bearing the same name quickly evolves into a tangled web of many lives with romance and betrayal; long distance relationships and unhealthy romances; cheating scandals and underage prostitutes; unplanned pregnancies and family secrets; obsession and desire; sex and rock n’ roll…All of which is set against the backdrop of a very modern, very fashionable, very young Tokyo where debauchery and youth go hand in hand reigning supreme, and friendship deeper than anything remains the unbreakable link between people lost in the modern world, and in themselves.
Punctuated with ambience throughout, this series is littered with an aching yearning for the past, and a wish to relive life and avoid all the mistakes that brought the story to a vague, but seemingly unhappy future.
★ Art (9) - The artwork of Nana is incredibly distinctive, stylish and highly unique and in so is an absolutely acquired taste. Very artsy and drawn in high style, the characters of Nana are all skin and bones (almost disgustingly so) and always sporting the very latest in fashion. The photographic backgrounds add a touch of realism to the artwork, and yet another sense of style to this very stylish series. Everything is drawn painstakingly well, and in detail from strands of hair to eyelashes. While the style will not be liked by everyone, the art still remains a high scorer for the unique style and the high and consistent quality.
★ Character (10) – This is a series where I really dislike the majority of the cast. So why did I rank the characters so highly? Simple – they are so realistic. Every single character is a three dimensional person unto themselves, with very distinctive personalities and traits unique to them. Not one character can be boxed and labeled as a cliché or a stereotype and indeed, their characterizations are deconstructed time and time again in the course of the story. No matter what choices the character makes or does not make they are given insight and depth throughout. Complex and layered, these characters function and fumble along like real people, constantly shedding and growing new sides to them while remaining themselves in their entirety. While the characters are rather difficult to like on the whole, it is very easy to come to terms with them, and to reach out and understand them on a different level.
They are difficult and contradictory; prickly and sweet; unlikable and loveable – they are completely and utterly human, and in this humanness they are defined.
★ Enjoyment (9) – This is a series for people who want to read about the joy and pain of youth; of the good choices and terrible mistakes which haunt lives years afterward. This is a slice of life story of the most realistic and raw degree with all the twists and turns of life, and the bumps and bruises of stumbling through them.
★ Overall (9) – This beautiful, mature Josei series is a real page turner, and highly recommended for those mature enough to handle it.
This is a series that shows how even the most simple and mundane of choices in our day to day lives can have an effect on those same lives, and can spiral into something much larger in time. It shows us how youth can be the most precious key given in life, with the most painful doors and secrets to unlock.
It shows how life gives us such fond, wonderful memories – but also chokes and tears us apart with those same remembrances. And it shows how friendship is the most wonderful gift to have, and how it is also the heaviest burden to carry.
How very true it is then: that the longer we live, the more weight we carry in our hearts.
Nana was, I must admit, relatively realistic for a Manga.
We meet Nana#1, later nicknamed Hachikō, as the story begins, a dumb-ass of a chick, more like a hopeless case of the human race.
That's either: WAY too horny or must have been high on SOMETHING for most of her life.
Falling in 'love at first sight' seems to be her strongest skill, as well as 'judging a book by its cover' and inevitably, is a pro at being the victim of breakups. Though sometimes she is cute, she can be a major headache for readers and characters alike.
Then we meet Nana#2, nicknamed the Dark Priestess
by Nana#1's bestfriend, and seems to be the trump card of Black Stones, her band, and is generally a wild kind of chick, that at times has a heart made of gold and is a whole lotta fun when she is drunk.
And through circumstances these two Nana's meet and so is born the plot.
The writer has built strong, flexible personalities that flow through their story. More than the actual story, I liked the characters. Everyone of them had their own idiosyncrasies, their own habits, their own style and most importantly, their own life; in other words, realism.
The art was unique to the story and definitely, the artist infused their own style into the art and for that, this Manga is on a different level to most Mangas' and Manhwas' because of its originality. For the illustrator not to follow the mainstream style of art that most stories use is a great feat within itself and keen readers appreciate the effort; a lot.
Overall, the story does get slow but if you suck it up; you'll find that the story is not as over-rated as you thought.
Growing up is often rife with events that end up shaping who you become. Sure, most people's formative years aren't as exciting as how they're portrayed in these Coming-of-Age anime, but check these ones out and you might (momentarily) forget about how much you missed out on! Hooray for anime!
Ai Yazawa is known for her focus on fashion that's as deep as her dramatic characters. While her earlier stories were about fashionable school students, Nana is defined by music, passion and the flash styles of Vivienne Westwood. Let's take a closer look!