Apr 17, 2017
Nana (Manga) add (All reviews)
citycat (All reviews)
Warning: NANA has been on hiatus since 2009. Although faithful fans continue to hope for the end of this series, there's no real indication that our dreams will become realized.

However, even with such an unnerving warning, I still strongly recommend this manga to anyone who enjoys a multilayered story with human characters and beautiful art.

There was news last year that Ai Yazawa was going to return from her leave to continue the series, or at least, she had the intentions/desires to. So, I decided to reread the entire manga series from Volume 1 all over again. Even though I'm frustrated that there still remains any signs of a new chapter, I couldn't help but fall in love all over again.

The art is incredible. Every character is beautiful and their clothing and accessories an aesthetic bonus. Attention to detail... Tribute to Vivienne Westwood... There were so many artistically appealing qualities to NANA that I can't put all of the praise to words. Looks alone, I'm pretty sure I swooned for everyone.

The story is the most intricate that I've encountered in manga (or anime). As in life, there are many gray areas and many layers and perspectives to every situation. Because Ai Yazawa has crafted such a multifaceted plot, it's hard to speculate the ending. Although many fans have produced interesting and plausible theories to fill in the plot (and time) gaps, who knows what the Queen (that is Ai Yazawa) has in store for us. She's just THAT good.

Naturally, the characters have to be outstanding in order for the story to be. And they are. It's hard to hate anyone because they are so human (and with humanity, comes human error and flaws). I think I fell in love with every single one of the characters. Each one has their own story that is unique and gives readers a better understanding of how their faults came to be. However, that's not to say that some of them won't do things to completely upset you. I'm sure everyone who reads this series ends up liking some characters more than others. Regardless of your own story, I'm pretty confident that you'll find relatable aspects among the cast of NANA. Personally, I was a lot younger when I first read NANA and now rereading it almost a decade later, I found myself empathizing more, having gone through similar experiences in my young adulthood. Thus, I do truly agree that this is best categorized under josei. Even though younger female readers would enjoy this series, I think the enjoyment and appreciation is different (and deeper) for a more mature audience.

Finally, I couldn't give this manga a solid 10 because in spite of how amazing it is, it's still unfinished. Not that I think Ai Yazawa could really botch NANA at this point, no matter how she decides (if ever) to conclude the story, but to be fair, enjoyment and story wise, it's not really ideal to have an open ending with so many questions left unanswered.

Last Warning: This manga pulls hard at heartstrings. Don't read if you can't handle drama, angst and heartache.