Reviews: Nana

Mixed feelings

I am quite torn about this one. The series has its heart in the right place, but something went terribly wrong in its execution. The two main characters are generally nice enough, but it all gets overshadowed by a huge sense of missed opportunity.

The series has an interesting start, bringing two young women together who couldn't be more different, but still feel an immense attraction from the moment they meet. The author goes out of her way to insert heavy romantic overtones between them, which could have led to an intriguing tale of two vastly differing personalities coming ever closer.

Alas, throughout the series both women desperately cling to their boyfriends, with whom they don't even have a trace amount of the chemistry they have with each other. This is especially egregious in the case of Nana Osaki, who follows her old flame Ren to Tokyo after being dumped horribly by him. After re-instating their relationship, she then spends most of the series groveling before him, no matter how much like an asshole he behaves, even endangering her own career in the process. Hey, Osaki, weren't you supposed to be a tough and independent punk rock chick? Why do you put up with the crap from that guy? Kick that moron in the gonads and get yourself someone else, preferably someone sweet, cheery, caring and who loves you back. Hint: that person is around and happens to share your first name.

Still, as annoying as Ren is, he is not even the worst of the male cast. Most of the guys are downright idiots, and their obnoxiousness goes beyond the impossible as the series progresses—especially Takumi's. The only okay guys are perhaps Yasu and Kyosuke. But only just.

The account of Nana Osaki's music career might have been interesting, if only the members of the two fake bands hadn't been such aggravatingly boring whiners. I often found myself totally uninterested in their stories, which felt more like padding overall. But even worse is the plight of the other Nana, whose painfully bad decisions make one wonder how she manages to cross the street without being run over a dozen times.

It's clear that the author didn't want Nana to turn into a yuri series, but with that I feel she missed the opportunity for a great story.