Manga Recommendation of the Week – Nana

By Okami

March 26, 2022

Stumbled on to this manga completely by accident. I am a man but I find this manga very relatable despite it being very far away from my situation. I don’t usually pick up shoujo manga/anime because they are rather cheesy for my tastes. This week though, I found some good shoujo manga and anime; that are not cheesy and are rather relatable. We are talking about Nana this week.

So welcome back to another edition of our weekly manga recommendation series. This week we are talking about Nana. This manga is definitely not for everybody; especially the younger audience. If you like a realistic and relatable story, you will enjoy Nana. With that said, let’s get into more details.

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Introduction

Nana is written and illustrated by Yazawa Ai. It started serialization on 27th May 2000 and has been on hiatus since 26th May 2009. Why the long hiatus you ask? It is because the author got really ill at some point. I don’t know the updates regarding his condition but I really wish for her to recover and finish this awesome work.

That aside, Nana has 21 volumes or 84 chapters right now. It was also adapted into a 47 episode anime by Madhouse in Sping 2006; so you can check that out too if you are interested. Do not let the “Shoujo” demographic fool you though because if both the main characters were to be replaced by males, it’d qualify for a seinen series. Let’s get into further details.

Anime Moment on Twitter: "Nana Osaki #NANA #manga https://t.co/UeiwmSAkEw"  / Twitter

Plot

Nana revolves around 2 girls who are both named Nana. The first meet on a train to Tokyo, heading to the big city with different objectives in mind. And as fate would have it, both also end up sharing a room together. One seeking love and another seeking success in her musical career, both of them form a supportive bond soon.

I understand the plot may sound bland at first but Nana has one of the best plots of all the slice-of-life manga I have read. Yes, it is simple but it has great pacing and plenty of twists to keep readers hooked. Most of all though, if you are around a certain age; the plot will feel very personal. That is one of the biggest selling points of Nana.

Manga Bookshelf | Why you should read NANA | Nana manga, Nana osaki, Nana

Characters

Booth of Nanas are really well written. Their character development, their relationship and dynamic with each other, and all are so so well done. It is paced around very naturally too, nothing feels rushed. Aside from them, the side characters are really good too. Everyone’s motivation and personalities are really well brought out. Great characters all in all for sure.

Art

This is one place Nana falls off a little in. The art style itself is not that bad but it’s not that good either. Sometimes the background feels completely different from the rest of the panel. It is kind of inconsistent and you know that doesn’t look good. It’s not awful though, it is mid-tier. Don’t let that stop you from experiencing this awesome story though.

A Tale of Two Nanas: The fuzzy line between homoromantic subtext and  queerbaiting in Nana - Anime Feminist

Why should you check out Nana?

Quick pointers on why you should check out this anime.

  • Great plot
  • Good pacing
  • Good character development
  • Really relatable

Conclusion

That is all for now. Let me know what you think in the comments. I am finally done with my tests and I will go back to watching some more anime and playing some more games for now. With that said though, I will take my leave here. I have an appointment with Godfrey, The First Elden Lord. See ya!!

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