Throwback Thursday – NANA

Published by Joseph Neal on

Anime Review: NANA • AVO Magazine - One click closer to JapanNANA REVIEW 

Nana is one of those anime series that once you watch it, there is no way back. Yes, I have avoided rewatching it in its entirety knowing that even the manga is still unconcluded, but some nostalgia for this anime started to resurface quite strongly in me thanks to the internet. So, when I had a 28-hour flight ahead I decided it was the perfect time to revisit the series that struck me 10 years ago and changed my view of what to expect from a shojo anime.  


“A toast to two girls who are of the same age, who happen to be going to Tokyo at the same time, stuck on the same train! Quite a coincidence, right? And there is one more thing… a toast to the fact that both of us are called Nana” 

That is how the series introduces us to the main plot of the story, two girls that are so similar at the same time that they are absolute polar opposites who end up sharing a little apartment in Tokyo.  

Nana Komatsu (also known as Hachi, Nana Ozaki gives her that nickname because she is a girl who looks like a puppy, she is very faithful, she goes after people, and well, needs lots of attention) is a helpless, naïve 20-year-old who easily falls in love and becomes dependent and clingy to those around her. Her life is mainly driven by her fantasies and her desire to marry her true love. Thus, 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. Her lover, Ren, was the guitarist of this group, but he receives a chance to replace a guitarist of a very famous group in Tokyo and accepts, having to leave them behind moving to Tokyo. Thus Nana, who had had a very tough childhood, loses her pillar. Resentful, she determines that she is also going to go to Tokyo to make a career as a singer by herself. Without the help of anyone, she wants to accomplish her dream of being a singer and well, surpass the group to which Ren belongs. 

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. 


Our Nanas may be protagonists but still at no time is the construction and evolution of the other characters left aside. Thus, the successes and failures of those around them are often at the same level of importance to the plot as theirs. Something that I love because yes, they are protagonists but not everything revolves around them. 

Its like every character, as it happens in real life, becomes a little part of each other. So, when something happens to ant of them, we notice how this connections work like chain reactions in different plotlines.  


The NANA soundtrack is wonderful and there is no song that loses steam, falls short of the rest, or doesn’t fit in with the anime itself. The two stars of this anime are Anna Tsuchiya and Olivia Lufkin, who provided the voices of Nana Osaki and Reira Serizawa respectively for the songs performed by the two punk bands. What cannot be denied is that the first opening, Rose by Anna Tsuchiya, is the song that has always attracted the most attention, perhaps because it appears on so many occasions or in very special moments of the anime. However, the opening that marked me the most was Wish by Olivia Lufkin. None of the themes have any waste because they are all great and I think they were very well used within the anime. 


Revisit Nana made confirmed to me that up this day I continue with the same desire to know how their story ends as 10 years ago. It won’t have the best animation or stunning fight scenes but it gets reaches one on a different level. I felt empathy for the characters and the story more and more as time went by and that is for me (personally) more important than if it has action scenes. 

Anyway, what this anime transmits to me I don’t think is something capable of explaining precisely with words. But I can tell you that it is a series that I highly recommend watching if you have not already done so.  

It is an anime that in short makes you feel and with that I say it all. You will not regret seeing one of the jewels of 2000´s anime. 


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