“Nana”: melodrama with a rock and roll beat


(C) Yazawa Manga Seisakusho / Shueisha (C) NTV / VAP / SHUEISHA / Madhouse )

On Sept. 8, VIZ Media will be releasing a box set of the anime “Nana” which contains 12 uncut episodes. Price is $59.90 for the 3-disc set and includes a “Nana” guitar pick.

The anime is based on the manga by Ai Yazawa, which has sold over 43 million copies in Japan and is published in North America by VIZ Media under its SHOJO BEAT imprint. Yazawa also created the manga “Paradise Kiss.”

“Nana” follows the lives and loves of two young women who share the same first name.

Nana “Hachi” Komatsu goes to Tokyo to follow her boyfriend and find a fresh start while Nana Osaki hopes to make it big in the world of rock and roll. They meet in the train and end up renting an apartment together.

This is not a show for kids so there is a reason for the advisory warning on the boxed set. I would put this series in the older teen category. It has a mature rating so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I’m not a big fan of “Nana” since I don’t like the animation style used. Looking at elongated skinny people with huge heads and eyes makes me want to treat them all to a meal.

Although I like shoujo, I got weary of the drama in “Nana” and found the Nana nicknamed “Hachi” to be a whiny, weak and annoying character. I want to smack her with the other Nana’s guitar.

But I’m in the minority since “Nana” has been a hit in its manga, anime and movie incarnations.

I do like the first ending song sung by Olivia.

But as to the other songs? For example, part of the opening song’s lyrics are in “Engrish”. So if you’re a stickler for grammar, you would be reduced to gnashing your teeth by the end of the song. It has a nice beat though to be fair.