"Hey Nana, do you remember...?"
Nana "Hachi" Komatsu is a 20-year-old Genki Girl
from the countryside with a bad habit of falling in love at first sight. 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
The manga Nana
is technically shoujo
, but according to The Other Wiki
, it's often been confused for josei
, 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, Ai Yazawa
, recovering from an illness. In 2013, 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
- All Men Are Perverts: Every guy in Japan knows who porn star Yuri is.
- Am I Just a Toy to You?: Hachi and Reira both ask this. Of the same guy, no less.
- Ascended Fanboy: Misato is hired as one of BLAST's managers/assistants.
- Babies Ever After: Or rather, a Deconstruction of it.
- Bait-and-Switch Lesbians: The hinted infatuation between the two Nanas is practically thrown overboard as the series progresses.
- Bastard Boyfriend: Takumi to Hachi. Takumi attempts to manipulate and control Nana, and rapes her on two occasions
- Bathtub Bonding : Nana K and Nana O are seen bathing and discussing life. This also happens with Nana and Takumi, as well.
- The Beautiful Elite: The members of Trapnest, such as Reira, and Ren are considered beauties, and the boys in BLAST are considered attractive as well.
- Beta Couple: Junko and Kyosuke
- Bittersweet Ending: At least for the anime; the manga is on hiatus.
- Blunt Metaphors Trauma: Shin, particularly in early chapters. Though, there's a reason for this. He didn't live in Japan until his teens and was apparently brought up by a bilingual flight attendant.
- Camp Straight: Nana originally thought Shin was gay, but it turns out he was always part of Camp Straight.
- The Casanova: Takumi, who always seems to be juggling two or three girls at the same time.
- Casting Couch: In a variation, Misato may be sleeping with the agency president for Blast's benefit. The series went on hiatus before it was confirmed.
- Clingy Jealous Girl:
- Yuri isn't exactly amused by Mrs. Takumi Ichinose staying at the same dorm as Nobu and makes her feelings very clear.
Yuri: Nice to meet you, ex-girlfriend. I'm the new girlfriend.
- Nana O. has some of this with regard to Hachi early in the series.
- Conspicuous CG
- Country Mouse: Hachi comes from a small town. So does the other Nana, but she is not as "mousy" about it.
- Dead Guy Junior: Little Ren.
- Death by Irony: Ren. You'd think death by overdose (since he's a total druggie by the later chapters), but it is in fact a car crash that does him in.
- Debut Queue: The manga begins with A Day in the Limelight origin stories for both Nana and Hachi.
- Distant Finale: It is pointed that there is one six years later, at the least. For the anime, the manga being on hiatus.
- Dysfunction Junction: The majority of the characters. For example, Nana O was abandoned by her mother, and Takumi had an alcoholic father.
- Elegant Gothic Lolita: Misato.
- Empathic Environment: There is rain and snow for fear and despair, sad clouded days, melancholic sun... almost everything to represent the characters feelings at the moment.
- Even the Girls Want Her: Nana O's fans are mostly girls, and they go all lovestruck all over her. Nana K loves her too, and Misato.
- Ren is one to Sid Vicious - whom he cites as an influence for himself. And Nana's appearance - at least in the Movie version - was stated by her actress to be based off of J-Rocker Shiina Ringo.
- Most of the characters' designs seem to be either borrowed or updated versions of ones from Yazawa's older works. Ren looks quite similar to Takeshi from Gokinjo Monogatari, save for Takeshi's red hair and eyebrow piercing, and also plays the guitar in a band. Takumi's design is particularly prevalent, though, having not only looking◊ like an older version Tomoki from Kagen No Tsuki (and who also cheated on his girlfriend) but also Yuusuke from Gokinjo Monogatari and to a lesser degree, Akira (with his hair down) from Tenshi Nanka Ja Nai.
- Face Fault
- Fangirl: Misato, who has binders of Blast trivia
- The Fashionista: Both Nanas, although their tastes couldn't be more different.
- Genki Girl: Nana K. is considered by her roommate to be like a puppy for her energy and desire to please so she's nicknamed Hachi, as in Hachiko.
- 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.
- Horrible Hollywood: Well, horrible music world. Full of Yakuza who pick up runaways and get them into porn, and music company presidents who get guitarists into heroin.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Considering most of the male cast is near six feet or above... But mostly present in Shouji/Sachiko.
- Humble Goal: Misato states that her purpose in life is being a BLAST groupie.
- I'm a Man, I Can't Help It: Takumi's excuse for his constant philandering.
- Instant Bandages
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: A tragic double case of this.
- 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.
- Jerk Ass: Takumi. He tends to flip between this and Jerk with a Heart of Gold. But mostly when it comes to Hachi's pregnancy. ... Most of the time, anyway.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Nana O. can be kinda bitchy sometimes, but she does have her heart in the right place. An example is when she hits Nobu with the reason of her shipping Hachi with him is just "to keep her in my backyard". Any way you read it, this comes off in part as if she's being manipulative, and in part like "I Just Want to Have Friends".
- 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:
- Loony Fan: Misato is very nice, but also very obsessed. One scene plays it for joking horror: she uses a utility knife to cut out a tabloid article about Nana and adds it to her collection while her TV runs a news story about a stalker taking pictures of someone for years and then murdering her. Misato turns it off and asks her framed photo of Nana about love and self-control.
- Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Nana K. notes that she wants someone who will treasure her, but falls in love at first sight, despite the man's inner character.
- Love Hurts: Both Nana K. and Nana O. suffer from fatally flawed relationships.
- Meaningful Funeral: Averted. tTere 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: The title of the series. It is named Nana because of the protagonists, Nana Komatsu and Nana Ohsaki, who start living together in the same apartment. And it gets down from there.
- "Nana" is also "seven" in Japanese. 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. And their apartment number is 707. Which makes it four sevens in the same place.
- Taking that in consideration, chapter 77 is definitely a bad omen. Ren is killed in an automobile crash accident.
- The Merch: Every volume spends several pages detailing new merchandise and spin-offs of Nana and Yazawa's other works.
- The Mistress: Hachi, surprisingly, during her high school years. See also Takumi's stable of ladies.
- Never Got to Say Goodbye: Nana to Ren.
- 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 Nanas regularly ask the author to hurry up boring scenes, and at one point chastise her for overusing number seven-related symbolism.
- "Junko's Bar", at the end of the volumes, is definitely built with no walls for both the readers, and the characters of the series (and other guests from Yazawa's other works), while serving as a space of promotion as well.
- Noodle People: Almost everyone. More noticeable in the manga.
- Odd Couple: Nana K. is a perky cheerful girl who falls in love at first sight. Nana O. is a quieter and cooler type.
- One Steve Limit: The aversion of this is the idea from where it all kicks off. Nana Komatsu is nicknamed "Hachi" to tell her apart from Nana Ohsaki. Having their given names the same makes their differences more obvious.
- Operation Jealousy: It's heavily implied that this is why Reira started going out with Yasu in high school.
- Opposites Attract
- Production Throwback: The volume extras have characters from Yazawa's older works, like Paradise Kiss and Tenshi Nanka Janai.
- Red String of Fate
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship
- Smoking Is Cool: Everyone smokes, with exception of Hachi, Reira and Nobu.
- Smug Snake: Takumi.
- Secret Relationship: Takumi/Hachi and Shin/Reira
- Seven Is Nana: The whole premise.
- Sex Changes Everything: For pretty much everyone.
- Ship Sinking: While it is open about what could happen with Nobu and Hachi in the "present", especially concerning that she gets divorced from Takumi sometime in the six years period... it is definitely clear that Nana and Ren as a couple gets sunk... when he dies.
- Snow Means Death
- Special Edition Title
- 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". Nana O. is also sometimes seen with cat ears.
- Stalker Shrine: Misato has a framed photo of Nana and bookshelves full of organized Blast material.
- Stepford Smiler: Almost the entire cast, though particularly Hachi, Reira, Shin 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. Chapter 72 of the manga uses the metaphor of, "kidnapping victims learning to love their kidnapper," (the exact phrase in the Viz translation) as a way of describing (metaphorically) several character relationships.
- Sunglasses at Night: Yasu.
- 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".
- Theme Tune Cameo
- Those Two Guys: In-universe, Takumi mentions that most people only know him and Naoki as "The long haired guy and the blond guy".
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Nana Osaki is the tomboy, Nana Komatsu is the girly-girl.
- Took a Level in Badass: Yasu dealing with the paparazzi and the media circus around Nana O and Ren's relationship in episode 39 of the anime. Twice.
"Instead of looking in other people's gardens, make sure your own flowers bloom". (Badass Walk)
- Unlimited Wardrobe: Pretty much everybody, but especially Hachi. Justified, since the author originally went to school for fashion design before becoming a mangaka.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Reira, who unfortunately suffers from a lot of UST because of it.
- Wham Episode:
- When it is revealed that Hachi got pregnant. And that she is unsure who the father is: it was either Nobu or Takumi, and both don't take the news well.
- The flashforward chapters are whole built into this. The first flashforward chapter reveals that Hachi had a cute little girl named Satsuki, but the WHAM happens many chapters later when it is revealed that she has an older brother, named Ren.
- When it is discovered that while Nana's mom abandoned her, she formed a new family, and Misato, her fan number one, is not who she is supposed to be, taking the name of Nana's real half-sister.
- In another flashforward chapter, Hachi finds out that Nana is still alive and well, and her whereabouts are rumoured to be in Europe.
- Ren's death in chapter 77. Partly drugged, followed by paparazzi, he took a wrong turn (by a distraction) and crashes. The real sad thing of this? It happened on Nana O.'s birthday.
- 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.
- Yoko Oh No: This is how the Trapnest fans see Nana O. when it is openly reported that Ren was not only in Black Stones, but also her boyfriend. Especially when BLAST gets known in the music media, the fans thought that Nana was only using Ren as a "ladder" to success. It doesn't end good for neither her career but herself.