Nostalgia time: Nana

I’ve been mainly writing my 30 days anime challenge posts for the past week, and I thought it was getting kind of boring. So, in order for that not to happen, I’m also gonna post some other stuff such as reviews, impressions and miscellaneous stuff in between. Yes.

Nana

Nana is one of my all time favourite series. Period. A few days ago, writing my day 4 anime challenge I remembered about Nana Osaki and her influence upon my everyday life. Yes, this show had such influence upon me.

Now, how should I put this? You can say it’s a drama. You can say it’s a romance. You can say it’s a slice of life. And it is. And it’s also much more.

You can tell at a first glance that it was written by Ai Yazawa. I love that woman, I love her style, I love her manga. Her style is so distinctive that you can not possibly mistake her works.

Well, first of all, Nana is one of those awesome modern romances. It leaves behind the idea of an idealized relationship with pure feelings and untouched bodies. With a love lasting to the infinity and beyond. No. It’s a realistic romance. The characters fall in love, get depressed, cheat, are cheated on, have sex and make choices. And this is where the magic happens.nana-zona-manga-jpg

Second, Nana is a slice of life. First, I thought it was all going to be about Nana Komatsu’s journey to growing up. But, while the focus is on the two Nanas, you can also observe the other characters developing and choosing a path. Nobu, Shin, Layla – they’re all constantly changing and developing.

While the visuals are not something out of the ordinary (keep in mind that it started airing in 2006) the characters are what makes this series impressive.  They are all layered, balanced, believable and have so much depth that it’s extremely easy to relate to any of them. Once again, not only the main characters stand out. Nana Komatsu and Nana Osaki portray the difference between the dependence of the traditional woman and the independence of the modern one. While Hachi is basically the death of feminism and is sure to become the housewife she always wanted to be, Nana Osaki tries her best to avoid being forever linked to someone else, just like a lone wolf. The other characters are not there just to help those two get on their feet, but also have a story of their own and they develop side to side. Shin gets from the rebelious teenager to a well put adult, Nobu grows up mostly after dealing with his romance. Well, Takumi stays the bitch he has been since the beginning.

One of the best things about this series is the fact that, even though it is a romance, it ends up focusing on the friendship between Hachi and Nana. It’s rare to see this in anime, and it’s even rarer to see it in romance series. There’s them – their apartment, their life together, their strawberry glasses, their friends, their feelings, their life. And they manage to love each other despite their major differences – I like to think of Hachi and Nana as Yin and Yang.

Osaki.Nana.full.491334The soundtrack was also a big plus. Which seems just normal, given the fact that music has a big role to play in the anime. No matter how much I hate Engrish and pop-rock, I can’t deny that I have been listening to that soundtrack for quite a while. It probably has to do with the overall atmosphere of the series, but, hey – it does the trick, right?

As for Nana’s influence upon me…well, we still share the same hairstyle. And it was mostly because of her that I learned how to apply make-up properly. Even though it was just because I wanted to look like her. BECAUSE SHE LOOKS FUCKING AWESOME. I don’t have to mention how I got a copy of her signature ring (couldn’t afford the Vivienne Westwood one, that shit’s expensive as fuck) and how I got to own a ridiculous amount of red shades of lipstick. I was amazed not only by her looks, but also by her carving for independence. She chose not to go after Ren. She chose to make it on her own and follow her dreams. She knew what she wanted and she had the patience to wait for the best moment.

But Nana is not all that spice and everything nice. And I’m gonna start with the downside of the series with Nana Osaki.

No matter how much I praised Osaki, there’s also a part of her that I didn’t like in the end.nana-walking Just like Hachi, she ended up making the worst choices by the “end” of the series. Her independence became nothing more than hurting over her lover and needing company. She also could have done nothing without Yasu, who has been by her side, ready to pick her up whenever something bad happened. And she chose to rely on him for everything.

After Ren’s departure and their premature breakup, she remained emotionally incapacitated. She couldn’t and didn’t want to move on. She got stuck on the idea of her supreme love, which is something the characters in this series should not do. By the “end” of the manga, too, she takes a decision that proves this trait of her once again. I don’t want to spoil anything, but if you read the manga, you know what I’m talking about.

The second unpleasant thing about the series was the unnecessary amount of drama. Thankfully, the humourous side made it somehow bearable. Pay attention, I’m not saying there was overwhelmingly much drama, but just…a bit over the top for what I wanted the series to be.

Lastly, and this is the main reason I never recommend this series, is the fact that it didn’t get a proper ending. No, not a proper ending. IT HAS NO FUCKING ENDING FOR FUCK’S SAKE. Why?! The manga hiatus has been announced after Yazawa has to be hospitalized. Did you know when that happened? In fucking 2008! So we got…7 years of hiatus. Guess what? She’s out of the hospital. Alive and well. Safe and sound. And I think she even drew some Junko’s Room at the beginning of the year. But that’s all. No further story. And she didn’t even make a statement or something. I mean, come on. Fucking say something about your work that everyone’s expecting to continue. ffs.

Anywayz, I bet it was a long-ass read and I hope you didn’t get too bored. I know my writing style needs huge improvement as I don’t always follow the idea and tend to repeat myself too much, but I’m trying and I promise to get better. Bear with me. ^__^

What did you think about Nana? Any fans around?

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About Ruki

Pissed off blogger
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3 Responses to Nostalgia time: Nana

  1. It always sucks when a series is left unfinished, but it’s understandable if the author is ill. Without knowing what she is suffering from it is hard to demand more volumes for a series that may no longer be popular after such a lengthy hiatus. Look at Nintendo’s former CEO. He said he was sick, but no one knew how ill he was until it was reported that he passed away.

    Like

    • Ruki says:

      I know what you’re saying and I feel kinda bad for being so demanding. I mean, no matter how much I hate celebrities’ lives being put on display all the time, sometimes I wish Japanese people would share more with their fans. :/

      Liked by 1 person

  2. HappyBerryGirl says:

    Every time I find a new NANA article, I always hafta preface it with about a 10sec sigh to prepare my body for the sadness that’s about to invade. I started it back in 04 or 05 I don’t remember, but like you, it became everything *o* and I was in the drama land called high school and was pretty much taking my advice on WHAT NOT TO DO from a manga. I could write pages and pages of stream of consciousness bullshit on NANA but I won’t do that to you. Fucking hiatus. ;~; FFS Ai Yazawa, just write us the ending and release it before you die! We won’t even mind if you don’t draw it out at this point!!! Stick figure that shit!! T^T Anyway, loved your nostalgia trip and nice to find someone else who has a hard time recommending this even though it’s the effin shit! :] -off to be all melancholic n shit for a few hours- lol

    Liked by 1 person

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