By bluemist on April 19th, 2006

Nana (movie)
Nana 2 (movie)
Nana (anime)
Nana (manga)

No matter how many bishoujos you see in this blog, this fact remains. Shoujo is my all-time favorite genre in anime, manga, and everything else. Shoujo characters, despite some not being as beautifully drawn as their counterparts in other genres of Japanese fiction, are the most colorful when it comes to attitudes and characterization. More importantly though, their stories are some of the very best in mirroring the entire array of human life and emotion. With this, I introduce Nana, one of the biggest hit series in Japan today. It is a #1 manga, a #1 movie, and now an anime series as well. The author must be very happy right now.

It tells the story of two friends, Nana, and Nana. Yup, they have the same name, and same age, but with very different personalities. Nana (I’ll call her White Nana) is the more lighthearted and funny girl. Nana (Black Nana) is the moody and dark girl who is a musician. These two live different lives and have different problems, but they share a special bond of friendship, and they support each other along the way. It’s a rather fascinating story of life, love, and music. Not sure about the statistics, but it may well be the highest-selling shoujo manga so far.

I already caught up to the latest chapters available, and I was so engrossed by “Nana fever” again! It is so engaging, that I’m now lamenting because I will only read Nana monthly from now on.

I recently watched the movie, and it was very nice. Starring Aoi Miyazaki as White Nana and Mika Nakashima as Black Nana, Nana the movie (all the Nanas getting redundant already) has a hefty 2-hour running time that never gets boring. The pace of the movie was so nice, music and theme songs outstanding, and the actors act great (although admittedly Mika Nakashima is too ‘cold’ rather than ‘cool’ in her Black Nana role). The music is great too. Mika Nakashima has a number of likable jrock-type songs in this movie, including the flagship single Glamorous Sky… but I don’t understand her Engrish sometimes. Yuna Ito, another jpop artist, also appears in the movie, and she has a song too. Endless Story is actually a Japanese rendition of a Dawn Ann Thomas original, If I’m Not in Love with You. The movie created quite a stir in Japan, being one of the top high grossers of 2005.

This is a direct sequel to the first movie… but unfortunately, all the cast changes are pulling it down. Along with a couple of actors, Aoi Miyazaki was replaced by Yui Ichikawa for the Hachi (White Nana) part. All the rumors and negative buzz surrounding the production gave the movie a much weaker box office than the original, which is really a huge blockbuster if I ever saw one, a really hard act to follow. Too bad, because despite all the faults the story remained superb as expected because of the manga material, and little nitpicks like having no Reira X Shin connection is just that, little nitpicks. Particularly, Mika Nakashima’s portrayal as Black Nana has matured a lot, she isn’t bland anymore, I like her performance! The ending deviates from the manga a bit, but it seems to be the best open-ended point for yet another sequel. Sadly, I don’t think they’ll be doing any more. About the music though, I didn’t like Mika Nakashima’s song, but I definitely LOVED Yuna Ito’s “Truth”. My vote for song of the year… err… even if it didn’t become as popular as the last one.

The Nana anime starts, and it looks quite nifty. It is reported to be getting high ratings despite it having quite a obscure late-night timeslot. The story seems to be faithful to the manga original, and the animation is exactly what I had expected from it. Definitely a frontrunner for this season. Also, this may be slated for a longer run than what I expected… 50 episodes! An entire year of Nana! Awesome!

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Posted By: Os On: April 20, 2006 At: 9:49 am

“Shoujo is my all-time favorite genre in anime, manga, and everything else”

*applauds* Bravo. A man of similar and respectable tastes… and I too have been suckered into the whole Nana scene. I tried it partly because of ParaKiss and partly because of all the hype. I bought the first volume when it came out without reading any summary or recaps about it. It was essentially a blind buy… but a good one which I do not regret.

Posted By: Love*less On: March 12, 2007 At: 7:04 am

Love*less here,
when is the NANA moive is coming to Canada…>.

Posted By: Max On: June 26, 2007 At: 2:02 pm

My wife is a hard core Nana fan and got me into it. She even cosplayed as Nana at ACEN 2007. Anyway I’m looking forward to seeing the second movie. They’re up to like episode 45 of the fan subbed anime. Great show.

Posted By: anon On: July 29, 2007 At: 10:55 pm

hoho you would be surprised. i got to watch till episode 47. hehe.

Posted By: lala On: August 28, 2007 At: 9:23 am

i love this movie and ANIME the movie was so nice, music and theme songs outstanding

Posted By: Zaty On: October 07, 2007 At: 5:03 am

Heya! I stumbled upon your blog while looking for manga pics from google.

I LOVED Nana the movie and was bitterly disappointed by Nana 2 =T I really couldnt get over the the non-Ai Miyazaki ‘Hachi’… but the plot was awesome and indeed, Mika Nakashima simply rocked in there!

I think the OSTs for the 2nd movie are bland.. I loved the first one’s – all were good, IMHO. I dunno, maybe I had too high expectations, so I’m a bit too critical? But anyhow, Ren in the 2nd movie seemed more fitting if compared to the previous guy. Tho he talks even less in Nana 2. Heheh.

I just watched Nana 2 a couple of days ago so it’s still fresh in my head. =T I watched Nana well over 6 times and it never got boring, but I’m not sure if I can do the same for Nana 2 =(

Posted By: Movie Japanese Animation On: February 18, 2008 At: 10:22 pm

“Japanese Fans Vote Top 10 Anime Of All Time!”…

For the 10th anniversary of the Japan Media Arts Festival, fans were asked to vote on the top ten best of all time. Over 80,000 votes were received in the anime category, and just under 79,000 in the manga category. People were allowed to vote for up t…