Mangaka: Ai Yazawa
Volumes: 21 (Hiatus)
Licensed: Viz (21 Volumes: Digital/Paperback)
Genre: Drama/Slice of Life
Age Group: Older Teen
Nana Komatsu is a young woman who’s endured an unending string of boyfriend problems. Moving to Tokyo, she’s hoping to take control of her life and put all those messy misadventures behind her. She’s looking for love and she’s hoping to find it in the big city. Nana Osaki, on the other hand, is cool, confident and focused. She swaggers into town and proceeds to kick down the doors to Tokyo’s underground punk scene. She’s got a dream and won’t give up until she becomes Japan’s No. 1 rock’n’roll superstar.
This is the story of two 20-year-old women who share the same name. Even though they come from completely different backgrounds, they somehow meet and become best friends. The world of Nana is a world exploding with sex, music, fashion, gossip and all-night parties.
Graphics Rating: 5/5
Plot Rating: 5/5
Opinion: Nana is so timeless and classic even I’m surprised it took me over ten years of running a review site to review it. Since I knew the series was on Hiatus I wasn’t in a rush to buy it, and I wanted to read it physically. But I finally completed the series, I’ve collected it and read it.
First of all the art is impeccable. This is Ai Yazawa. Her artwork is original and jaw-dropping. The fashion sense alone is God-tier.
I am so glad I started this series as an adult, not a teen. This series feels so painfully nostalgic for that really magical time in your life when you are an “adult” but still feel like a teen. Inside every woman is both a Nana Komatsu and a Nana Osaki. A woman who wants to be girly and romantic and lovable, but at the same time a grounded, realistic, guarded, alt girl. Then at the heart of it all is a real deep need for meaningful friendships, and how do even we maintain these friendships?
I’ll be honest even without an ending I found Nana more than a worthwhile read. The slice of life is so honest and raw, life doesn’t really have an ending until we die and it feels the same way for all the characters of Nana. This coming-of-age story is timeless, binge-worthy, and still a must-read.
It would be nice to have an ending some way in the future either in a novel or a drama/anime, but it still has its value just the way it is.
Final Rating: 5/5
Extra: There’s an anime/drama anything you can think of but an ending lol :) Of course if you don’t already know as well, Ai Yazawa also wrote the amazing Paradise Kiss.
*Also available on the Viz Manga subscription app