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From Viz: Nana "Hachi" Komatsu hopes that moving to Tokyo will help her make a clean start and leave her capricious love life behind her. Nana Osaki, who arrives in the city at the same time, has plans to score big in the world of rock 'n' roll. Although these two young women come from different backgrounds, they quickly become best friends in a whirlwind world of sex, music, fashion, gossip, and all-night parties!
In 2003 Nana won the Shogakukan Manga Award for shōjo.
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Bittersweet and beautiful. :)
I can sort of understand why many people don't like this story. I didn't either when I first read it but I soon realized that I was too young to understand some of the important themes of the story. This isn't a happy, romantic fairytale shoujo manga. It's definitely more josei than shojo and addresses important, current themes which everyone goes through at some point of time.
You can't hate any of the characters but at the same time you can't adore them either. When I first read it I thought Nana Osaki was the coolest woman on the planet and wanted to be like her while Hachi was a disgrace to all women. But it isn't like that all. Both Nanas are very flawed characters. Hachi is a tragically realistic character. She makes mistake after mistake and is very immature in the beginning. But her character really transforms and she becomes a source of strength for Blast. Nana Osaki is also not as cool as she looks. She's extremely possessive and breaks down if something important is taken away from her. Her determination is very admirable though.
This isn't a romantic manga. Take out all the affairs,drugs,scandals, infidelity and it all comes down to the incredible bond between the two Nanas. It's more of friendship and coming of age while using romance as the platform. Even this romance isn't the usual "I'll love you forever" stuff you see in normal shojo. It actually addresses the situation of what would happen when feelings simply aren't there anymore and when you have to be mature enough to make your choices that decide someone else's life.
I don't feel happy when I read this. But at the same time I'm not crying either. I'll always love this manga and everyone in it. Everyone has flaws and everyone makes mistakes that are understandable. I don't know if the ending will be "happy" or not but I'd pefer something similar to Parakiss. A bittersweet but stable ending. Things in the manga right now are really sad and tragic and it hasn't been updated in years. I really hope Yazawa Ai finishes it because I really want some stability in both the nana's lives. I don't know if I'd recommend it but I suggest you try it. If you're not hooked leave it but come back when you're older.
... Last updated on May 19th, 2012, 2:50am
Great story with REALISTIC characters
The people who are under me complaining about how much of a slut Hachi is and how you hate the fact that the characters aren't PERFECT and can't fight and be happy all the time and shoujo-heroine-y... please. This is a realistic manga intended for a more mature audience. The characters are well-rounded, they all have flaws, and they all make mistakes -- ESPECIALLY Hachi. She's an emotional young adult who doesn't know where she stands in life and I think she's very realistic. Yes, she sleeps with a number of men. Does that make her a slut? That depends on you, I guess, but I don't think she is. She's just a confused girl who doesn't know what she wants.
I love the way the story is and how realistic it is with the character development. Nothing says "SHOOT ME" more than a manga dedicated to the puppy crush between a girl and a guy before they even start dating. This delves into actual RELATIONSHIPS, into tangled emotions and crap with a nice, spunky, punk music vibe to it as well.
I recommend this to an older or at least more mature audience who understands or have experience with how relationships generally work in the real world.
brilliant shoujo/josei manga
Although it is marketed as "shoujo", Nana surpasses all the superficialities and constraints of this genre, and offers a layered perspective about the nature of love, gender roles and expectations. I love how Ai Yazawa manages to combine romance, friendship, music, celebrity life and punk culture into a manga which is both lightly humourous and deeply emotional at the same time.
What I love most about Nana is its ability to smash the reader's initial impressions and make us see the characters as humans instead of stereotypical constructions. The characters are never static, and they grow along with different situations and experience. This manga also made me realise how I've blindly idealised certain characters, like Osaki Nana, because I was too caught up with her 'cool' appearance of independence and devil-may-care attitude. But actually, Nana has her own flaws, insecurities and hang-ups. Although the two title characters may seem very different in terms of appearance and aspirations, both have a void in them which may never be filled.
To call Nana a "whirlwind world of sex, music, fashion, gossip and all-night parties (according to Viz's description)" would be demeaning and not do justice to this series at all. Nana is a manga which will make the reader look beyond the surface, unlike most shoujo mangas, and is a must-read for all fans of the romance genre!
... Last updated on September 26th, 2008, 1:44pm
I watched the anime and loved so I wanted to know how the story would continue and went after the manga. I really love how this story is written because several elements are a completely surprise. Is much better than the average shoujo. For me it doesn't matter if the author is on an endless hiatus because my fav couple is Takumi/Hachi and the latest chapters already gave the information I wanted to know about them.
... Last updated on October 19th, 2010, 6:16pm
It'll keep you reading up until the small hours of the morning...
NANA has become one of the best-selling shoujos in Japan, a phenomenon that has spawned an anime, a live-action film, and an abundance of merchandise. Sure, there are probably some other manga out there that can also lay claim to that same type of success, but in shoujo, NANA is the gold standard.
NANA is the name shared by the two titular characters. Although they share the same name, both characters are opposites in almost every way. Where one is seemingly fierce and independent (Nana O), the other one comes off as a flaky man-chaser (Hachiko). The story starts out simple enough, giving us a brief glimpse into the lives of both Nanas before they eventually embark on their journey to Tokyo.
It’s a simple premise, but as we all know, it’s not in the what, but the how. While we do get more than our fair share of drama, it’s really the characters that keep you reading. They are fleshed out - and flawed individuals. While you may first get the impression that one Nana's personality may overpower the other, it never really happens. Ai Yazawa strikes a nice balance between both characters that never has one Nana out-shining the other.
What's more, Ai Yazawa never falls prey to the terribly overused clichés that's become rampant in shoujo. If she does happen to use one or two of them, it's executed in a fairly convincing matter.
NANA is about love, hope, friendship, and growth. It’s about a time in one’s life when anything is possible and nothing is out of reach as long as you have drive and passion. And of course, there’s a small dose of humor in there too.
NANA isn’t for everyone, though. Most of the complaints I’ve heard about it is due to the abundance of drama, which can be heavy-handed if you’re not into that type of thing. Yet, if you’ve got some time to kill and you want some romance, why not give it a try anyway?
... Last updated on July 15th, 2012, 9:44pm
Loved the characters
I really liked that the characters were very well developed, i found myself hating some characters at first but then reading more let me understand them so much better and i found myself sympathizing with them. You get so connected with the characters and i liked that this manga was more realistic rather than how some are cute with perfect endings and cute mediocre romances. It was realistic in that no one was perfect, and things didnt always turn out the way you wanted them to. 10 for Nana!!!
at first i thought that it was "wow" than i was a bit annoyed that so many bad things occured and continue to occur, but i thought:"it´ll be ok smehow..the´re gonna solve those problems"..and now...wuaaa....i guess i´m gonna drop it for now and wait for the ending ´cause i cannot stand so much sadness, i think that real life is complicated enough (yeah, i am a pessimist...) and manga with tragedy are killin´ me... but i like the fact that no matter what happens one nana is a great friend to other nana, they never just right away judge one another but always try to be understanding and support each other...it´s a beautiful relationship.
EDIT: Hiatus... Hiatus Now I'm really gonna drop it forever and even if it starts again I'm sure I won't read it.
... Last updated on February 10th, 2010, 5:03am
very close to perfect.......
manga's really don't get much better than this......this is easily top 5 best mangas out right now.....there's no reason why anyone should not be reading this, it's easily the best romance manga i've read....and the best manga targeted towards females also
i really don't need to explain much.....if you haven't read this and you're reading my comment....stop reading my comment and read this manga
... Last updated on August 26th, 2008, 9:27pm
i got addicted to this manga in the first issue of shojo beat. it quickly became my favorite series in the magazine. too bad shojo beat cut it since it was too mature. in fact, i miss shojo beat altogether. the plot is developed nicely as well as the characters. sad and tragic things happen and you really feel for the characters. if you read this manga based on single chapter releases, you might get confused on what's happening. the mangaka likes to skip around, so you might prefer tankobon. i hope yazawa-sensei gets better. this series has been on hiatus for so long.
AI Yazawa's masterpiece
AI Yazawa added so much depth and dimension to the characters that we find it so easy to relate to the series. The story telling is excellent. The narration at the beginning and end, as well as the future flashes adds rich color to the mystery and suspense. For me the most enjoyable aspect was the Takumi x Hachi rrlationship. After that I enjoyed Hachi's personality and the humour she brought to the series. And then Nana and Hachi's friendship is complex and so magical.