Nana "Hachi" Komatsu is a 20-year-old Genki Girl from the countryside with a bad habit of falling in love at first sight (with any man who glances in her direction). Nana Osaki is a 20-year-old punk rocker from a different small city, who's coming off a bad breakup with her boyfriend (and former bass player of her band). When "Hachi" decides to follow her boyfriend to Tokyo, and the other Nana heads there to start her music career, the two young women meet by chance on a snowbound train. They rent an apartment together several days later. Surprisingly realistic drama and an oddly romantic friendship ensues.The manga Nana is technically shoujo, but according to The Other Wiki, it's often been confused forjosei, and according to that same wiki, by 2005, it was the fourth best selling shoujo manga. The first live action movie was the #2 film in Japan in 2005, behind only the latest film from Studio Ghibli. The anime ran for 47 episodes, and is licensed for distribution in North America.The manga is currently on an indefinite hiatus since 2009 due to the author recovering from an illness. This year, to commemorate the 100th issue of Cookie (the magazine in which Nana is published), created a new bonus chapter.Not to be confused with Shichinin no Nana.
Most of the characters' designs seem to be either borrowed or updated versions of ones from Yazawa's older works. Takumi's design is particularly prevalent, though, having not only Tomoki but also Yuusuke from Gokinjo Monogatari and to a lesser degree, Akira (with his hair down) from Tenshi Nanka Ja Nai.
Gratuitous English: The grammar is good, but the pronunciation varies: In The Movie, Mika Nakashima (Nana) has a very thick accent. The anime series used one bilingual singer and one who isn't fluent in English but has a good accent. On the other hand, bad English would be in-character.
Identical Stranger: Shin's 'guardian' Ryoko looks a fair bit like Reira at first glance, and one of Takumi's many liaisons involves an actress with a passing resemblance to her as well. Hachi herself points this out to him once while watching a popular drama she's on— of course, completely oblivious to the fact that they'd just slept with each other. He understandably gets squicked and flat out denies it.
Karma Houdini: Takumi never gets the smack-down he so much deserves.
Kiss of Life(In the case of Nana's panic attacks — once from Ren and another later from Hachi.)
Lady in Red: In the manga, Shin and Reira have a joint birthday party, bringing together all of the major players, and Hachiko finally sees Nobu with sensual porn-star Yuri and begins to speculate on their relationship.
Hachi: I wonder... who that girl was. You don't see anyone around here wearing a red dress anymore.
Meaningful Funeral: Averted. there are scenes with Ren in his coffin, scenes before the funeral and after the funeral but not really one single scene from the funeral itself.
Meaningful Name: Nana K. (Hachi) has a superstitious obsession with the number seven, believing that it brings bad luck. Two sevens in one place are particularly unlucky. "Nana" is the Japanese word for "seven" and she lives with another girl named Nana.
Also, their apartment number is 707.
The Messiah: Hachi can melt the hearts of even the toughest people.
The Mistress: Hachi, surprisingly, during her high school years.
No Fourth Wall: An entire scene in episode 15 makes heavy references to the production of the show, and has minor cast members discussing when they get time off (during sweeps)... and worrying about the show being canceled if "Hachi" were to kill herself.
The manga is possibly even worse (or better, depending on your point of view) in this respect. The Nana's regularly ask the author to hurry up boring scenes, and at one point castigate her for overusingnumber seven-related symbolism.
Sprouting Ears: Nana K is often shown with dog ears and the dog comparison is discussed among the characters. It's part of the origin behind her nickname Hachi.
Stepford Smiler: Almost the entire cast, though particularly Hachi, Reira, Shin, Yasu and Misato.
Stockholm Syndrome: All but outright stated— once by Hachi, in relation to being Takumi's wife and once by Takumi himself, while referring to his relationship with Reira.
Team Mom: Hachi, who is usually the childish one in most of her relationships, is actually quite motherly towards the members of Blast (with the exception of Yasu, who is this type of character himself), even before she finds out she's pregnant. Afterwards, it only increases especially in regard to her taking care of Nana after Ren's death in the current story arc. Shin even starts refering to her as his mother.
Wham Episode: Episode 30, where Hachi finds out she's pregnant. And then it doesn't let up for a good half-dozen episodes.
Who's Your Daddy?: Hachi's pregnancy in the current storyline— nobody's sure if Little Ren is (biologically) Takumi's or Nobu's, and some fans aren't even sure if his mother is really Hachi. Given the unclear age difference between him and Satsuki, he might even be Reira's.