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Nana Komatsu is a helpless, naïve 20-year-old who easily falls in love and becomes dependent and clingy to those around her. Even though she nurses ambitious dreams of removing herself from her provincial roots and finding her true calling, she ends up traveling to Tokyo with the humble reason of chasing her current boyfriend Shouji Endo. Nana Osaki, on the other hand, is a proud, enigmatic punk rock vocalist from a similarly rural background, who nurtures the desire to become a professional singer. Putting her career with a fairly popular band (and her passionate romance with one of its former members) firmly behind her, she boards the same train to Tokyo as Nana Komatsu. Through a fateful encounter in their journey toward the metropolis, the young women with the same given name are brought together, sparking a chain of events which eventually result in them sharing an apartment. As their friendship deepens, the two attempt to support each other through thick and thin, their deeply intertwined lives filled with romance, music, challenges, and heartbreaks that will ultimately test their seemingly unbreakable bond. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

Ranking 358

User Count28645
Favorites Count831
Start Date5th Apr 2006
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank358
Rating Rank258
Age RatingR
Age Rating GuideMild Nudity


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Based on Ai Yazawa's classic josei manga, the anime version of Nana could not possibly be any better of an adaptation than it is. The characters are so realistic and life-like. They all have their motivations, and they are completely fleshed out. By the end of the series, you rejoice with their triumphs and weep for their sorrows. The cast of characters in this show is one of the best you will encounter in the josei genre, and their stories are not to be missed. However, it would be remiss to talk about this series and not mention the amazing work done by Madhouse. Animation is fluid, and the concert scenes really shine. There is also a lovely scene where Nana Osaki sings a haunting ballad in her bathtub that is one of the most poignant scenes I have ever seen in anime, and Madhouse does an excellent job of bringing it to life. The steam curls around the bathtub, and the fog blows across the river outside her apartment. It is quite a sight to behold. Additionally, the songs performed by Anna Tsuchiya and Olivia Lufkin really bring Nana Osaki and Reira to life. I cannot, and would not, want to imagine this show without them. They infuse it with life, and the soundtrack to this show is not to be missed. I cannot recommend this show enough. The characters latch onto your heart, and every time I think about this show, I experience the sweetest feeling of both melancholy and joy. I've never felt this way about another show. I doubt I ever will.

"Epic" - a word used describe the grand and the majestic... not a word you generally associate with romance.But if there ever was an anime in which the romantic element can be justifiably described as "epic", then "Nana" would be it. Achingly beautiful and searing in its emotional insights, "Nana" takes the romance genre to dizzying heights while still maintaining a strong sense of realism and empathy with the viewer in spite of all its glamour and polish."Nana" is a tale of two Nanas, Komatsu Nana (aka Hachi) and Osaki Nana (aka, uh, Nana). (I can't be bothered with their full names, so I'll just refer to them as Hachi and Nana, which is what most of the characters in the anime do anyway.) A chance meeting between Hachi and Nana on a train to Tokyo marks the beginning of a special friendship. Hachi is on her way to join up with her boyfriend who is studying in Tokyo, while Nana is heading for the big city in order to take her career as a musician to the next level. The lives of the two Nanas soon entwine, and the story gets complicated, juggling friendship, romance, career aspirations and many other things simultaneously. I had high expectations for "Nana" before I started it, but I have to admit that I didn't get into it straight off the bat. There is one big reason for this - Hachi. Hachi is a fickle, self centred airhead whose number of past boyfriends probably rivals other girls in terms of the number of pairs of shoes they own. While she's not annoying in an excessive and unrealistic way a la Asuka from "Neon Genesis Evangelion" or Menma from AnoHana, I really didn't feel interested in a story centred on this kind of character. In fact I stalled for several months after watching episode 3, where the show laid bare the worst of her clinggy character.Thankfully, the series' attention shifted away from Hachi onto Nana soon after that, and, with two stunning episodes 4 and 5, showed me just what it is capable of. Nana is an intruiging character: controversial, pretentious and fiercely proud, her compelling portrayal gave me the motivation I needed to continue with the show.While "Nana" does eventually meet my lofty expectations, it doesn't truly take off till about a third of the way through. After those two terrific episodes early on, the show went back to focusing mostly on Hachi. In spite of this, I didn't find them as hard to get through as the first few episodes. This is partly because Nana is now also in the picture to provide some relief, and partly because Hachi isn't quite as annoying once you get to know her a bit more. Though the first third of the show is far from being the series' best, they do throw up some spine tinglingly great moments. It could have been a lot more, however, if it wasn't for the excessive use of comedy. I feel that some of material dealing with emotional turmoil should have been given a more serious treatment, especially seeing how well "Nana" does that kind of thing. Instead, the series' often opted for a more comic portrayal, which undermined the mood at times.Luckily, that criticism is only valid for that first part of the series. Everything changes once the members of Trapnest comes into the story. This is when "Nana" started producing episode after episode of drama of the highest caliber. These episodes are not only remarkable in their quality, but also in their consistency to stay at that remarkable level. At the heart its whirlwind drama, the show exposes, dissects, and examines in minute detail the emotions of the characters. The sensation of being dazzled by someone shining more brightly than yourself, the tug of war between pride and love, the feeling of not only needing someone, but more paradoxically, of needing to BE needed by someone... virtually everything explored in "Nana" feels startlingly real and relevant.For all its romantic elements, the centrepiece of "Nana" is the relationship between the two Nanas themselves. Despite the two of them being so different in personality, they share a bond that seems to transcend normal friendship, and yet at the same time is as fragile as a glass figurine, and just as beautiful. The mutual envy and emotional support, the honesty and the dishonesty, the similarity and contrast between the personalities all contribute towards a fascinating and contradicting relationship.Initially, the story is narrated from Hachi's point of view. You get to experience the full range of her whimsical nature and her helpless, almost piteous attraction towards the glamourous, bright star in her life that is Nana. Hachi was never gonna be my favourite character, but she did grow on me quite a bit. Nana is still the more intriguing character though, so when the narration, after an astonishingly long run of excellent episodes, switched to her point of view at around the 30 episode mark, I was hopeful that the show would get even better. These expectation does get filled to a certain capacity. The change allowed a deeper insight into Nana's complex character, insight that threw up some quite shocking revelations and served to make some things a lot clearer. Even though the show had already strongly hinted at Nana's fragility and pretentiousness, the extent of these traits only starts to surface at this point. I still wasn't completely sold by her feelings with regards to Hachi though... perhaps an narrative that interlaced the two perspectives all the way through would have made it more convincing than being dumped into the revelation all at once.But anyway, the switch in perspective unexpectedly marks the point where the series starts to go down hill. Not by much, mind you. The problem isn't to do with the actual switch itself; it's to do with the romantic plots and subplots. You can only juggle so many relationships for so long a time before things start to feel ridiculous. When the monstrous webs of love triangles ends up involving nearly all the significant members of the cast, the show starts to buckle under the weight of their sheer number and complexity. While this isn't quite a show stopper for "Nana", especially considering its great execution, it's the worst kind of problem for this kind of series to pick up - it makes it feel too much like a soap opera. This causes the drama aspect of "Nana" seem a little too sensationalist, a little less believable. I find the characterisation of Takumi from Trapnest to be particularly problematic - while I liked the professionalism in his character, his constant changes in attitude sometimes makes him feel more like a plot device than a believable rock star, and in fact the whole of Trapnest feels altogether too down to earth."Nana" more than made up for this slight lapse in quality eventually though, finishing the series with another strong run of episodes that are at least as good as any of the ones previously. While it remained a little over-convoluted, it's hard to take too much notice when the blossoming romances and the intensifying drama is so sublimely good. "Nana" ends on a hanging, bittersweet note that just begs for a continuation. Continuation seems unlikely though. This first season ended as the makers wanted to avoid fillers, and the intention is that a second season will be made once the manga is finished. Though this decision to avoid fillers should be applauded, the manga has stalled and the anime can no longer be considered as a recent one. With interest in the show cooling, that second season seems increasingly unlikely.It would be a crime to review "Nana" without mentioning the music in it. In addition to the romance and relationships, "Nana" is about two bands, BLAST (Nana's own band) and Trapnest (band of Nana's lover Ren). A couple of Japanese artists, Anna Tsuchiya and Olivia Lufkin, were drafted in to perform the songs by the fictional bands. The songs are used heavily throughout the series, and in fact all the opening and ending themes are made up of them. There are several noteworthy things about these songs. The first is how they're impressively written to suit the story and the characteristics of the bands that perform them. Trapnest, a band that's hit mainstream popularity in "Nana", has songs with quite mainstream melodies. In contrast, BLAST have an edgier, more punk influenced sound, but one that isn't completely devoid of mainstream appeal, as one of the characters once commented. Anna Tsuchiya, who provides the singing voice of Nana, has a rasping voice that's so similar in quality to the Nana's talking voice that for a while I wondered whether it was the same person. Most of all though, I \*loved\* Olivia as the singing voice of Reira, the lead singer of Trapnest. The pure, ethereal beauty of her soaring vocals is exactly how I would imagine Reira's vocals to be. No wonder Ai Yazawa (author of the "Nana" manga), upon coming across her songs while helping to select the right singer for Reira, apparently exclaimed "It can only be her!" (A bit of trivia: Olivia, like Reira, is also half American!)It's not just about the songs though, it's about the atmosphere too. The scene where Hachi being overwhelmed by the experience of going to her first concert has such a dense, authentic atmosphere that it reminded me of my own first time at a concert. The background music is also very good for setting the mood, but I think it could have done with more variety. A lot of tracks are just variations on the same melodies and themes. I also thought some of the elegant, classical instrumental tracks doesn't quite fit in with the style of "Nana", especially considering the nature of the bands the show feature, with their often heavy instrumentals and rebellious punk influences.I don't normally mention the voice actors, but the ones in "Nana" deserves a special mention for having so many stars in their midst. Even ignoring Romi Park (Ed from "Full Metal Alchemist; Teresa from "Claymore") as Nana, there's a host of heavyweights such as Aya Hirano (Misa from "Death Note"; Haruhi from "The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi") and Tomokazu Seki (Sousuke from "Full Metal Panic!"; Chiaki from "Nodame Cantabile") to be found in support... it's like the "Ocean's Eleven" of anime. The big surprise though, is that amongst this glittery line up, Hachi is voiced by a relative unknown KAORI (don't ask me why her name's all in capitals, I'm just writing it how I've seen it elsewhere). But what's perhaps more surprising is that, despite her lack of star credentials, her near flawless portrayal of the whimsical Hachi is one of, if not THE most ear catching performance of the series; even short phrases such as the often used "hey, Nana" line are injected full of nostalgic feelings. It's to her and the show's greatest credit that Hachi eventually went from a character I disliked to a character I could not only tolerate, but like and even respect to a degree.It's interesting to compare this to "Beck", a show that overlaps on many of the same themes of music, romance and life, but is a far more humble take on them. The difference is like the bands they feature - "Nana" is like the chart topping band while "Beck" is the indie band that's looking to make it big. And while the production power and glitzy glamour of "Nana" does help make it the better show (in my opinion), the two are ultimately very different, each with its own unique charms. It's just a shame that while "Nana" often transcends the romance genre with its powerful introspective insights on love and life, it ultimately doesn't completely break free of its trappings.

It's extremely difficult to determine how one should define something great.It gets harder and harder as time goes on, more and more material fall into their buckets of expectancy, and too much ideas are wasted on spotty, subpar execution.People will eventually be forced to compromise, and with such hands off thinking, it get's even harder to discover those timeless, amazingly portrayed, freshly made endeavors.Nevertheless, they do exist. And not always where we'd think they'd be. Sometimes the greatest of the great become that way, not because they aim for the heavens, become the #1 fighter, or to find true love.They become that way because they take a few seconds to look around and think. Because they ask a few more questions than others would. Because they decide to make the most out of everything and do their best at it.NANA is this.If one was to prove that stories of life are some of the best in existence. There just isn't a better example than this.On the surface, the show places two people with no prior relation to each other and simply lets them be with their innate personality.We see their backgrounds, their reasons for being as they are, and what brought them to where they met.A proper introduction is the easiest way to discern this from others, because it's taking the time to demonstrate to us it's first claim: That people are more than what they first appear to be. Much, much more.The series plants this first before it works it's real magic. The first 4th of the series carefully(but not slowly) sets up everything that we need to know about our NANA's before doing one of the most daring things anime has seen for a long time:Let life play out. As realistically as possible.People clash, pasts lurk, romance becomes warped, friends change, yesterday's fantasy becomes today's quick reality.The perfection of it all.... is it's swift, naturalism. Nothing remains the same for long, let alone having a single moment take command for several episodes.But that's not all!Our main heroes have a gracious, human, universal bond that fuels their desire for each other, and as life courses them towards and away from each other, they always remember what's happened since their first meeting, and they always reflect on what/who they are/will be.The namesake NANA characters are the instruments for all that happens. How the events change, how the story is told, and for why we're able to see them as people rather than just 2D characters on TV.One might find a ditzy, attention desiring, love driven girl, and a distant, aloof, ambitious, woman to be rather limiting, they show growth in, and with each other.If we don't already feel connected to their struggles, we most certainly will.For one to call this anime one of the most accurate portrayals of life, one would still miss the point.NANA doesn't just set out to chronicle two girls' ups and downs as maturely as possible, it sets out to carefully examine why people do what they do, how life goes from A to B when the means seemingly don't add up, and why reality is always more fascinating than fiction.Courtesy of Madhouse, who are the masters of heavy tones and moody atmospheres, we have a world that's more beautiful than is necessary for an anime, and character designs that are as detached from the anime norm as they are effective of housing their respective human souls.Ai Yazawa's characters have angular faces, gorgeous hair styles, a real fashion sense, and are completely devoid of the typical sexiness we see in regular anime.The backgrounds aren't just full of vast detail, they have delicate and observant lighting, excellent water effects, Madhouse-style shading and there's nary a drop of quality throughout.This isn't a show, however that sports action, so animation is limited primarily to simple character illustration and some music band motion.The only complaints one might have would have to be occasional brooding nature some events create.I, myself, consider this further proof of it's affecting power, but it can potentially damage a marathon session.One of the primary themes of NANA is how music is the core manner in which our heroes'(and villains') vent their feelings.The results are quite spectacular.Every OP and END are tasteful, reflective, different, and, most important, a "BLAST".The staff prioritizes using these songs to support the already outstanding presentation.With how meaty everything proceeds, nothing caps off the episode's end better than a juicy, dark, enigmatic closer... NANA's director, Morio Asaka, has taken his exp. from his CLAMP adaptions and has proved one thing: He's a master of twists and turns, and he's equally masterful at making them ultra-cool.The thing is, the series' BGM is too thin. Not necessarily weak, but it isn't emotionally sapping.These aren't characters! We know these guys from somewhere... Even if you forgot where, you can say firmly that NANA has people coursing through the Tokyo streets.While I've stated how crucial the central NANA's are, I've still yet to tell what makes them so special.In short, there is nothing special about them. This in turn means that every character here is just as fleshed-out, independent, and personable as they are.With as perfect a cast as this, I can only compare this ensemble with space opera epic Legend of the Galactic Heroes.Both feature the following:1. People that don't blindly follow a simple schedule. They have their OWN schedule!2. If and when they don't get what they want, they don't just sit there... they react!3. Natures and motives for people can change as quickly as a SINGLE episode! Such is life...The scariest thing about NANA's characters are their alarming depositions. Many are good people... but they can't be good people. Others are excellent role models as what we'd like to be in life... but the same can't be said about their views.Thus, NANA's cast clearly shows that people are fundamentally flawed, eternally imperfect shells, of infinite desires and agendas.If Galactic Heroes applies that theory to a war of ideologies, NANA applies it to to a war of struggling through life.The biggest weakness with these multi-achieving wonders, is that they often focus too much on themselves to the point they forget that it's a TV show that's supposed to entertain.That might've happened if the director wasn't Morio Asaka. While I haven't seen Cardcaptor Sakura, the show did run for 70 eps, and had 2 movies, and is considered a modern classic. Must've done something right.But I have seen Chobits, and I can say that the depth was cleverly mixed with fun light-heartedness.As abundantly deep as the characters are, that doesn't stop them from being goofy, silly, teases, and jokesters.Let's not forget that this is a shojo/josei title, and while there's no melodrama, the addictiveness of it remains. The narrative proceeds so smoothly, one might recall their times with Death Note/Code Geass/Clannad/etc.If you've never seen a shojo/josei title before, don't be fooled! This may be targeted for females, but it's powers of fun can please all!When watching, many many elements immediately impressed me. Both as pieces and complete.But, it didn't achieve what all classics share: To make everything count.And after a while, it finally took that bold step and did just that. I still remember myself smiling...NANA is special in the simplest and complex ways. In the same way Gunbuster and NGE became more than mecha fights to save the world. In the same way Millennium Actress and Only Yesterday became more than past reflections.NANA builds and builds and builds. Like most good shonen, it gets better as it goes on and one, but it does end.But it will leave you with more than any mere shonen. A real mature outlook on real life from anime might be asking for the world, but NANA proves it to be possible.Don't be surprised if you want your anime different after finishing it!Letter Grading Time(LGT)Story: A+Art: ASound: B+Animation: A-Characters: A+Enjoyment: A-Overall: A++ Unflinching, relentless, mature take on life and all that entails. More entertaining than you'd think. Characters are people! Songs are powerful and supportive. The art completely matches the show's bold difference.- Not Naruto! Far removed from both it's demographic and it's medium. Mild BGM.

**Nana** is a romantic josei anime which is adaptation of the manga by Yazawa Ai who also wrote the manga of Paradise Kiss. It has music and comedy with a dramatic and tragic storyline. The way the comedy doesn't completely ruin the drama in the anime is just wonderful. It was produced by Madhouse Studios. It was also directed by Asaka Morio who also directed Chobits and Chiyahafuru. **Story:** The story is centered around two girls, both twenty, named Nana Osaki, who is going to Tokyo to become a musician, and Nana Komatsu (Hachi) who is going to Tokyo to meet with her boyfriend. However, things change as they get there, both Nana and Hachi finding difficulties in their lives and their friendship helps them cope. Although at the start, it may be a bit boring just go through with it and don't be intimidated by the 47 episodes as the series gets better and better. **Characters:** The characters are well developed through the series and there is a nice balance of back story and the suspension. The variety of characters we see give the anime more of a dimension and can grip and make us understand the anime more on an emotional basis. &gt;&gt; I'm going to ramble on a bit here so skip it if you <em>really </em>don't want to know more. *Why I really like Nana and Hachi, the two protagonists in the anime:* * \- the two different characters can let you relate to them easily * \- The two story lines that kind of interlink make it very enjoyable to watch; we also get a nice balance of backstory and what-going-to-happen-next with most of the characters. * \- And even if you find Hachi annoying sometimes, Nana, the beautiful and collected, can steal the spotlight and make the show better although I liked Hachi better at the end. *Other characters:* * \- The supporting characters all have something interesting about them and contribute to the story line and we get to understand them better. * \- We also get to see how the supporting characters go on with their lives even after they aren't really involved with Hachi, Nana and the main story of the anime which is nice because it gives it more depth and makes it so that it doesn't just revolve around Hachi and Nana. **Sound:** As Nana goes to Tokyo to be a musician, you can expect that the sound track will be better. And it is really good. Most of the music is punk and also you may go 'ugh', the songs are actually really good and really fit into the mood of the anime. Although I really like the first few OPs and EDs, I really just skipped the last few because I though they weren't as good. Also a bit of trivia, the singers for Nana and Reira (the singer for an opposing band) are also similar to them. **Animation:** The animation of Nana is really good, being similar to how it is drawn in the manga. The character designs are really good, suiting to what the character is actually like. The backgrounds are really nice as well. <strong>Overall, </strong>I really enjoyed Nana, really empathized and felt for the characters and really liked it.

there was a time in my life where i was going through some heavy issues and i must say this got me through it all. the music.... everything ! i loved this anime so much  all my close friends started calling me hachiko  

If you want something diferent of the standar anime maybe you need see this for first and star my review we need talk about of the charcters Nana and Nana this are the perfect complement to each other, the comedy sentencies that make this are very funny. you don´t need to want a the joke be complete by the history this a been complete at the time. Now the plot, the drama in the story his amazing, when the anime need be mature does. drama and comedy don't overlap each other, althought sometimes the drama scenes are broken by a joke. In a moment of the story you star to ask you, why? the "why?" on the half onwards are the base of the drama, why if hurts you, you continue?, this is the question that you make to yourself from the beginning of the story, and in the half of the story the questions only increases, why you make this? why are you like? why? why? why? The arcs, are originals?, maybe if you don't are a frecuently consumer of romantic dramas, but this are a little cliche. the OST, come on, if you like the classic music and the punk you don't need ask you if you can enjoy the sound. Chacters, I don't see any deretype, most of the personalities are originals. the only bad thing is that the story is incomplete even after almost 50 episodies

Once in a while you stumble upon hidden gems in a magical world that is anime. It was during those moments when I felt adrift. Feeling betrayed by the reality that is life, I went on a sojourn to something that I can relate to. Such is the world of insights and epiphanies that the anime Nana opened for me. Being a slice of life anime, this series takes a realistic approach on its story line as well as each character's own predispositions and psychological underpinnings. This anime is so close to reality that it even underscores issues usually talked about in whispers in our society, from unconventional and frowned upon relationships to implied drug addiction. This series mirrors the many facets of love too. From unrequited love, to a complicated and tangled love affair to relationships with no closures at all. The characters will stay with you and this anime will leave an aftertaste on you even long after you're done watching the entirety of its episodes. 

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