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Nana vol. 1 – Story and Art by Ai Yazawa (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

December 6, 2005 by  



nana-1

Vol. 1 of Ai Yazawa’s “Nana” introduces us to two young women named Nana.  Nana Komatsu is a young woman who still hurts after her last relationship, but what happens when the people she cares about makes the move to Tokyo.  For punk vocalist, Nana Osaki, her boyfriend Ren has been offered a chance to become a bass player for the band Trapnest in Tokyo and knowing that their relationship is going to end.  How will both Nana’s respond when the people they care about move to Tokyo?  A deep and involving storyline that is beautifully written and drawn.  Ai Yazawa’s “Nana” is recommended!

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Image courtesy of © 1999 by Yazawa Manga Seisakusho. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Nana Vol. 1

STORY AND ART BY: Story and Art by Ai Yazawa

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shueisha

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Shojo Beat Manga/VIZ Media, LLC

RATED: T for Older Teen

Available on December 6, 2005

Nana Komatsu is a young woman who’s endured an unending string of boyfriend problems. Moving to Tokyo, she’s hoping to take control of her life and put all those messy misadventures behind her. She’s looking for love and she’s hoping to find it in the big city.

Nana Osaki, on the other hand, is cool, confident and focused. She swaggers into town and proceeds to kick down the doors to Tokyo’s underground punk scene. She’s got a dream and won’t give up until she becomes Japan’s No. 1 rock ‘n’ roll superstar.

This is the story of two 20-year-old women who share the same name. Even though they come from completely different backgrounds, they somehow meet and become best friends. The world of Nana is a world exploding with sex, music, fashion, gossip and all-night parties.

In 2000, mangaka Ai Yazawa, known for manga series “Tenshi Nanka a Nai”, “Gokinjo Monogatari” and “Paradise Kiss”, created her latest manga series known as “Nana”.

The popularity of the manga has led to a live film adaptation and now an anime series is slated to air next year on NTV.

And now, “Nana” will be released in the U.S. courtesy of Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in Dec. 2005.

“Nana” is a story of two young women named Nana.

Nana Komatsu is a young woman trying to get over a relationship with a married man.

Often naive and always falling in love at first sight, she often depends on her friend Junko and one day, she meets Shoji Endo and Kyosuke Takakura.  While Junko hooks up with Kyosuke, Shoji really likes Nana but Nana is still hurting from her last relationship.  But Nana knows that life will change as Junko, Kyosuke and also Ryoji are planning to move to Tokyo.

How will Nana deal with it?

Meanwhile, Nana Osaki is the punk vocalist for the band, Black Stones (BLAST) and she is happily in love with Ren, the bass player.  Nana as dependent on Ren but he drops a bombshell on her that he has been offered a chance in Tokyo to be the new bass member of Trapnest, who have been offered a contract with a label.  It’s an opportunity that most musicians want because of the recognition and she knows its best for Ren.

But for the members of Black Stones, they wonder how they will function without Ren.  But Nana knows that she needs to pave the way for her own career along with BLAST and continue and try to make it.  But will she also make the move to Tokyo?

So far, I am enjoying “Nana” because it’s not a supernatural storyline or something you typically read in manga.  From the first volume, these two stories of two different Nana’s are quite realistic in storytelling and for the most part, are coming-of-age storylines about two young women approaching 20-years-old and wanting to make a brand new start and possibly prepare a big move to Tokyo.

The first volume of “Nana” are character developing storylines that establishes both Nana Komatsu and Nana Osaki and their lives before the people they cared about have moved to Tokyo.

What I enjoyed about this series is the focus on dialogue and because the conversations, it’s a manga that is fulfilling because it takes awhile to read and Ai Yazawa definitely explores the mindsets of each character.

Her artwork is beautiful to look at and for the most part, I can see why this series has become a hit in Japan.

Right now, it may seem like a manga about two women named Nana with guy problems but I hope to see how this manga series develops overtime.  It’s definitely refreshing to read a manga with a deep storyline like “Nana” and I’m definitely going to recommend the first volume!

Recommended!

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