“Say, Nana… Do you remember the first time we met?”
These are the introduction to beautiful anime Nana by Ai Yawaza Nana. This anime left me head over heels for it within a matter of episodes. It took me over a month to watch all 47 episodes simply because I wanted to savour every moment and did not want it to end at all. Nana is your typical Shojou anime but there is something so unique, so stunning about it that it left me feeling empty when I completed it.
The characters within Nana are truly a stand out point. It amazed me how quickly I got attached to them. Of course we have out two main characters both named Nana. Nana Komatsu Nana is a caring yet somewhat naive girl who wants a stable life for herself in Tokyo but also to find love on the way. However, Osaki Nana is a punk singer who sets off to Tokyo to make it big in the music industry for herself. Both characters are incredibly likable in there own ways but with there own flaws as well which makes the anime realistic at the same time. For example Komatsu Nana is bright and quirky but she also jumps far too quickly into things compared to Osaki Nana who comes across as someone with a cool persona but surprisingly she is a fragile young woman who struggles to feel accepted and loved.
This isn’t just with our main characters I felt that with every character in this anime had more to them than what meets the eye Shin was secretive about his past and parents, Reira goes through her own struggle of loneliness and even Ren’s own battle with drugs addiction which is hinted at. This is why I think if you watch Nana a second time round (which I plan to) you’ll pay even more attention to other characters getting to know them on another level.
The story is yet another strong points to Nana it’s realistic and certainly has a lot of twists and turns too. The story is well paced out and we follow the journey that Blackstones plus Nana go on during there time in Tokyo. The narration also had a huge part to the story as clearly Komatsu Nana is looking back on there time together. Every episode opens and ends with narration which was something I loved because it really set the atmosphere for the episode and left me wanting to watch more. I was desperate to find out what exactly happened between Komatsu Nana and Osaki Nana.
Although there are many comedic moment in Nana it also doesn’t shy away from heavy topics. The group of young people that this story follows all come from different backgrounds and some which are filled with trauma. There are themes such as drugs, sex work and effects of being abandoned.
The Focus On Relationships:
The heart of the story though is definitely the relationship between Nana Osaki and Nana Komatsu (aka Hachi). This friendship is the baseline to the plot but also affects other side stories and relationships in the anime. Apartment 707, shared by the two girls becomes a significant meeting place that brings all the characters together and some of the most pivotal story moments take place there. As the audience we watch both Nanas go from strangers who met on a train, to roommates and then full fledged friends giving us a real sense of connection to these characters. We share the excitement of Blast getting closer to there debut and the heart-breaking moments on the girls relationships making us the viewers feel part of the gang.
I have to say I’ve never paid much attention to anime intros or outros. But I fell head over heels for the majority of the music incorporated into Nana especially Rose. I wouldn’t even skip the intro like I usually would and when I liked a song it would immediately go onto my playlist. So its safe to say I will be listening closely to anime intro’s now!
It took me two months to complete Nana because I really wanted to take my time with it and just enjoy it. So when I got to the last episode I stared into space and then thought ‘BUT THIS DOESN’T ANSWER ANY OF MY QUESTIONS?’ Nana ends on more questions than answers. This why you may have to venture out and pick up the manga which I now have despite the fact I’ve been told its on hiatus I’m just not ready to part with Nana just yet.
Nana is an absolutely stunning anime that Ai Yazawa as crafted carefully to perfection I don’t think I have ever come across characters as realistic and authentic as the ones in this anime. The story keeps you hooked, makes you cry and maybe laugh a little too! I cannot wait to read the manga because there so much more to Nana’s story that is left to be discovered (although I’ll probably left on the biggest cliff hanger ever so I’ve been told).