Nana vol. 2 – Story and Art by Ai Yazawa (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

February 7, 2006 by  


If you are a manga fan who wants a series that is more realistic in nature, stylish, quirky but also has quite a bit of Japanese pop culture intertwined with the overall story, “Nana” vol. 2 and the series is highly recommended!

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

MANGA TITLE: Nana Vol. 2

STORY AND ART BY: Story and Art by Ai Yazawa


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

RATED: T for Older Teen

Available on February 7, 2006

Anxious to get into a Tokyo groove, both women are on the prowl for a cheap place to live. But inexpensive apartments in Tokyo are hard to find. How can they even think about getting a place if they don’t have jobs? Thank goodness each of them has a clique of cool friends willing to help out. Too bad these friends are a little wiggy!

For both Nana Komatsu and Nana Osaki, both young women  have worked hard to save up to move to Tokyo and coincidentally, both women finally meet during their move to Tokyo and sure enough, both end up becoming roommates.

How well will these two individuals, who are so different from each other, live with each other and will their friends be as accepting?

Find out in vol. 2 of “Nana”!

What is “Nana”?

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?

With the second volume of “Nana”, the story becomes quite interesting as the first volume presented Nana Komatsu and Nana Osaki as two individuals from two different worlds.  Two different storylines about two women who vow to move to Tokyo to be closer to the guy they love but also to forge a new direction in their lives in a bigger city.

And sure enough, with volume 2, both women have saved up enough money to make the move to Tokyo and are not looking back.  And coincidentally, both end up riding on the same train next to each other and also end up looking at the same (cheap) loft and becoming roommates.

Of course, both will need to learn to live with each other and their friends will get to know each other.  But as both Nana’s are accepting of each other, Nana Komatsu’s friends are not so sure about Nana’s decision to move-in with a stranger.

How well will these two Nana’s do as roommates?

So far, volume two was very fun to read.  Nana Osaki is starting to learn how quirky Nana Komatsu is, but also the look on her face when she finds out that Nana Komatsu is a big fan of Trapnest.  As for Nana Komatsu and her feeling about Nana Osaki, she can tell there is something dark but also sad about her and she tries to use her sweet outlook to make her happy.

But will it work?  I suppose, we’ll find out in upcoming volumes but I will say that I’m definitely hooked on Ai Yazawa’s manga series!

Her artwork is beautiful to look at and for the most part, I can see why this series has become a hit in Japan.  Character designs are very stylish, the writing is very intricate and it’s a volume that features quite a bit of dialogue that you can’t help but feel that you are getting your money’s worth because there is so much in each chapter.  I love the fact that Ai Yazawa really puts in a lot in realistic actions and situations for each character and I’m really digging this manga series because of it!

If you are a manga fan who wants a series that is more realistic in nature, stylish, quirky but also has quite a bit of Japanese pop culture intertwined with the overall story, “Nana” vol. 2 and the series is highly recommended!

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