Keywords: , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Madhouse
Original Concept - YAZAWA Ai
R1 License - Viz Media (Shopro)
One wintry evening, Komatsu Nana happens to sit next to Osaki Nana on a train bound for Tokyo. Komatsu Nana goes to seek out her boyfriend and a new life in the city, while Osaki Nana goes to pursue a career in music. They soon become friends after finding out they have the same names and through getting to know one another. Coincidentally, during their search for an apartment, they meet again and agree to live together. The two girls are polar opposites of each other; while Komatsu Nana has a gentle, innocent nature, Osaki Nana keeps a calm, cool attitude. The story of NANA chronicles their trials and triumphs in their developing friendship. (Synopsis courtesy of AnimeNfo)

Anime adaptation of a popular josei manga series by YAZAWA Ai, who also authored the popular Paradise Kiss and Gokinjo Monogatari manga stories and anime adapations.

[TV series, 2006-2007, 47 episodes, 23 min]
1:20min Series Opening 1 - YouTube Video
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 9 8 9 9 9 8 Dreamer [series:1388#2279]
An excellent series with a great cast of characters. Far far better than I had expected.

Art, Animation & Character Designs
Artwork reminded me of XXXholic in that they were quite lanky and skinny, though it wasn't as extreme. After a few episodes you get use to it. Aside from that, artwork itself and the animation was pretty good. Character designs were equally as good with great character uniqueness.... as in appearance that is.

This is where this series shines, and I mean REALLY shines. The music is far, far better than most anime out there... IMHO. The OP was a really kick-ass rock piece with female vocals. Excellent piece. The OP was even better... which also happens to be one of my favorite songs that I frequently listen to even before I've ever heard of this series. The soundtrack throughout the whole series was outstanding with great riffs and powerful cords... especially brought out in episode 18 at the concert scenes. Awesome!! There are several different songs used for the OP and ED, all of which are good.

Series and Episode Story
Being nearly 50 episodes.... just shy by 3, almost every episode was worth it. There wasn't any fillers, no real recaps (except for 1) and each episode helped to progress the plot. The plot is excellent. From beginning to end we have some awesome story telling and character developments. Throughout the series, we get to see, explore and love both Nanas and the other supporting characters. All the characters really brings the series to life. The character interactions, developments, dynamics, are the better parts of this anime. Yasu was probably my favorite character...... cool, collected and basically the father or big-brother figure for most of the characters.

One thing that really shines is how this series realistically portrays the lives of our characters.. mainly our two Nanas. We get to experience real-world dilemmas, situations and resolutions much as one would expect in real life.

The only real grip I have, and a minor one, was the end. By the end, some things weren't explored or explained or given a resolution. Some things left you guessing at what could have or might have happened. I really wanted to know more of Yasu and the paths he took or choices he made by the end.

Overall, this was a great series from beginning to end. The characters really bring life to the series and the plot is just top-notch.

Last updated Thursday, August 26 2010. Created Thursday, August 26 2010.

Buy 10 9 9 10 10 9 Ggultra2764 [series:1388#1552]
The Pros: Nana is an anime that explores the realistic struggles of two young women trying to accomplish their dreams in Tokyo. This is an anime that explores the natural development of character relationships and the lives of various different characters who became the way they were based on past hardships. All the characters of Nana each have their own different upbringings which shaped how they would become the person that were now and the series brilliantly explores how the hardships of society affect these people and their personalities. While there are brief signs of happiness given to these characters, one of life's hardships will come crashing in to make said characters realize that not everything within their lives will be happy. If a character makes a foolish choice for themselves, it affects the character's thoughts of how they are living and what they wanted to do with their lives. Case in point, Nana Osaki's strong-willed and prideful personality in being a successful punk singer for her band, the Black Stones and her increasingly possessive attitude in her friendship with Hachi (Nana Komatsu) are tested throughout the series. This makes her realize sides to her personality that she never thought she possessed. The series explores plenty of realistic themes in the struggles of the characters such as child abandonment, the sexual tension in relationships, public image from the paparazzi, and even birth control. This helps give Nana a realistic amount of detail and characterization to deal with, while throwing in some humor with occasional jumps into SD.

In terms of animation, Nana features detailed and vibrant artwork and character designs that help create a natural, everyday setting for the characters. The artwork shows plenty of scenery to take in with outside settings, especially when seeing landscapes or if one of the characters is out on the streets of Tokyo. The character designs are as detailed and colorful as the characters found in Ai Yazawa's previous work, Paradise Kiss.

A major highlight to the series is the music. The various opening and closing sequences feature powerful and intense rock music pieces that flow well with the mood of the series. The soundtrack for the series is one of the best that I've heard since listening to the music of .hack//SIGN. All the musical tracks match up perfectly to the specific events which take place throughout the series.

The Cons: My only issue with Nana would have to be its choice of ending. There were several developing plot elements brought up towards the end of the series that were left unresolved and the choice of ending lacked believability compared to all the events that led up to that point in the series making it feel bittersweet at best.

Facts on the Series:

-Based on Ai Yazawa's popular ongoing shoujo manga series. Both the anime and manga are now licensed in America by Viz Media with the manga published in Viz's Shojo Beat monthly manga publication.

-The popularity of the manga series helped led to the creation of two live-action movies based on the manga and promote the popularity of singers Olivia and Anna Tsuchiya.

Last updated Sunday, January 27 2008. Created Sunday, January 27 2008.
Unevaluated 6 7 8 8 Devil Doll [series:1388#752]
[through 3 episodes; might be a "Rent"]
I would have never started to watch this series had I only known the "non-kawaii" Art including the excessive SD elements. I happened to stumble over this series due to the German fansub being recommended to me, and it being one of the few decent fansubs in terms of translation/language is significant for the fun I'm having so far. Liking the Music of both songs (hard rock for OP, melodic rock for ED) made it easier to get into this series, and now it looks like I'll watch at least a few more (then again, 47 episodes!?)

Episode 1 was mildly interesting; episode 2 (starting to tell the story why Komatsu Nana became who she is now, and how she got to know her latest boyfriend) was really funny (this coming from someone who almost hates "funny" animes but laughed a lot here), with Nana making a fool out of herself without acting too embarrassingly. Then again, she has her flaws and they indeed feel believable as Stretch already pointed out - maybe that's why I consider this an interesting story. Episode 3 shows more of Nana being a bimbo as silly as they come (so at least she as a lot of potential for improvement ;-)... much to my relief the people around here are considerate and level-headed so that the girl doesn't completely lose the ground beneath her feet.

But after 3 episodes I gave up on this series. It is just not my type of anime. It has nothing I like (art, music, characters, story subject) except for the promise of a realistic story which by itself doesn't suffice to keep me watching 47 episodes.

Last updated Thursday, August 26 2010. Created Thursday, May 10 2007.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:1388#628]
(3 episodes watched)

Having enjoyed Paradise Kiss, I decided to take a look at Nana, another anime based on manga by Ai Yazawa. Nana seems to be all the rage in Japan, is widely regarded as Yazawa's best work to date, and has already spun off a live-action movie, PSP games, and a plethora of other merchandise. As for me, the characters immediately grabbed my attention as fun, interesting, believable persons (that occasionally go superdeformed, as in ParaKiss). So far, so good; more later...

...actually, after several more episodes I concluded that this show was a little too realistic for my taste, what with all the heartbreak it depicts and all. I'm sure drama fans will love it, but I'm a comedy guy and consequently have shelved Nana for the time being.

Last updated Friday, March 07 2008. Created Thursday, June 22 2006.

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