Nana is the story of two girls, both named Nana, both heading to Tokyo, and both born on the same day. Despite all these commonalities, they could not be any more different. What lies ahead of them is adventure, excitement, and the spirit of music in this city of dreams where anything is possible.
Adapted from the similarly titled award-winning manga by Ai Yazawa, Nana follows two girls named Nana. Nana Osaki, lead singer for her punk band the Black Stones (BLAST) heads to Tokyo to further her music career. Her former band mate and boyfriend left to join the band Trapnest and become a music sensation, driving Osaki to prove that she doesn’t need him to be successful.
Nana Komatsu is the polar opposite of her punk rocker counterpart. Coming from a large family, Komatsu has been pampered most of her life. However, because of her childish nature, she usually falls in love at first sight with older men at her various jobs. Eventually she meets Shoji Endo and they begin dating, but when Shoji moves to Tokyo for college, Nana is left behind to wait until she can move to Tokyo to be with him.
More Than a Feeling
Much like other series within the musical genre such as Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad and K-On!, the music produced in Nana is not only catchy, but conveys the mood of the series. In K-On!, the light-heartedness of the show’s motif comes out in their equally light-hearted songs, while in Nana, the spirit of rebellion and angst comes alive through the punk rock created by BLAST.
Throughout the course of the series, songs from the Black Stones and Trapnest are used in the opening and ending sequences. The first and third openings along with the third ending are songs by the Black Stones, sung by Anna Tsuchiya as Nana Osaki, while the second opening and the first and second ending themes are songs from Trapnest, sung by Olivia Lufkin as Trapnest’s vocalist, Reira Serizawa. These songs resonate with the very drama of this series in a way that keeps the viewer hoping for more.
Sex, Drugs & Rock & Roll
This series shows the more realistic side of the spotlight, touching on things like intimate character relationships involving sex, constant drug use and addiction, and what stardom is really like. Not only that, but the characters make decisions based on their own emotions and not always what is logical. This makes them feel very real and like reflections of the viewer.
The drama that surrounds Nana Osaki and Nana Komatsu deeply impacts the other characters and brings the viewer into their world. This anime is definitely one to watch if you love drama and music. Unfortunately, the manga has been on hiatus since Yazawa fell ill in 2009. She returned from the hospital in 2010, although she has not revealed plans to continue the series. Nana can be viewed in its entirety on Netflix and Hulu in both English and Japanese.