Remembering NANA

It’s been more than a year since NANA the anime ended, I actually didn’t write a review for it.  All I could muster then was say that I was disappointed by the ending.

Looking back now, NANA should have had the makings of a great anime, enough to come close to Honey and Clover.  Or even surpass it.  What was lacking for me?

Main reason:  I couldn’t truly relate to the characters.  It was a little hard for me then to really understand the characters–perhaps I didn’t even try.  I know I said that the characters were flawed, but I never stopped to think why they acted like they did–how their backgrounds/experiences influenced their decisions. I did that because of my expectations–I was expecting to be moved till the end and somehow NANA fell short.

Sometimes I wonder if this is all because my life lacks the drama that these characters ‘experienced’.  Are there things that I wouldn’t understand just because I have never experienced them?  Like Nana not having parents around, or Hachi being betrayed by her boyfriend. It would have been too easy to conclude with that, that it’s just me.  Unfortunately, it’s not a good conclusion.  It’s just one missing piece that occurred to me only recently.

On the opposite end, is Honey and Clover.  I didn’t the read manga; nor did I spoil myself by lurking in the H&C threads in forums.  (Though I did get spoiled about Hagu’s injury in one blog.)  But the thing was, I could totally relate to it.  Perhaps it was because I dabbled in art myself–I did join an art club, albeit it was a half-hearted endeavour.  Even then there are some things in there that I haven’t experienced but I could ‘feel’ something about them.  Does H&C have a better presentation then?  Because with NANA’s subject matter, it should be as talked about as H&C (anime).   Apparently, subject matter doesn’t necessarily spell immediate success.

For some fun, let’s review some of things that I said about NANA (scattered throughout the blog).

NANA – still not much is happening here.

Yeah, boring start.

The Top 5


The better the show gets, the sadder it becomes. I wonder if there will a show that will come up this year to dethrone NANA from the top spot. And what that show might be.

I recognized the potential.  But yes, an unlikely show did dethrone it.

If this series ends in a good way it just might seal the deal as my best anime for 2007. I hope things don’t get screwed up, I’m feeling so bad for the troubles of Blast’s members.

Didn’t end strongly for me.  I know I said ‘feeling bad’, but on a superficial level.  Not as truly ‘moved’ as on the scale of Honey & Clover.

* (#13) NANA

I dread the end, really. I know deep in my heart it’s probably not going to be a happy ending. I have learned a really hard lesson with this show: for some manga adaptations never ever read its forum threads, especially if the manga is still ongoing. I deeply regret what I did now. You know, ignorance is bliss. I don’t want to see the end using the raws, even if I could, because I don’t want to watch something I expect to be depressing twice.

This is funny.  Actually, I can’t remember now what particular detail or info I learned that prompted me to write this.  How could this passage be so cryptic, when I wrote it myself??!!  LOL

This was a show that revolved around music and two girls named Nana out to make something out of their lives in Tokyo. It had drama written all over it, hence my high expectations. I hate to say it, but the series was a little disappointing, especially the ending. If I hadn’t spoiled myself a little by reading the animesuki threads on NANA, I could have been scratching my head till it bled wondering what the hell happened in the ending. The series had resurrected itself after a boring first half, only to give us non-manga readers an uneventful end to a show that subjected us to 50 episodes and a handful of recaps. But music and drama is great for most parts of the show, and this is where it redeems itself. NANA is a must-watch if you like memorable music and characters with flaws that you encounter in real life.

I think those seven sentences written more than a year ago were an apt summary of what I felt about NANA.  So why this extended post?

Actually, in one of my bouts of boredom, I decided to randomly read the latest chapters of NANA that were scanlated.  And, it was…tragic.  It got me thinking about the anime again, so here I am with this post.  I’m thinking, maybe, NANA deserves a second chance.  Maybe, it’ll get better the second time around.  Maybe, I’ll get to appreciate it more the second time around.

I said in my last post, that after Maria-sama ga Miteru ends, there won’t be any anime to look forward to (aside from future Macross F’s).  But now, I think I found a new one.  Gimme NANA season 2!  😀


5 thoughts on “Remembering NANA

  1. Ivy

    I loved Nana from the get go. It had the right approach when it came to the general aesthetic, Madhouse did a great job. As for the story, it was pretty good all-around. I was basically glued to the screen throughout its 47 episode-run. Although I wouldn’t say the ending was bad, it did leave a certain bad after-taste, since things have been going so well(plot coherency-wise). But we have to agree such an open-ending was indeed needed for a story thats got much more to tell. We all know a second season is coming, its just a matter of time. Judging by the success of the franchise and the current volume the manga is on….one more year, I’m honestly crossing my fingers for a summer-autumn premier. We’ll see hehe 🙂

  2. sabka

    I couldn’t get really into the NANA anime, there was something ultimately doomey gloomy about it. Like pending doom for all characters that you didn’t really feel when reading the manga. And there were pockets of development left out, for me. But I think having been through most of the issues the characters face, the story and manga version resonates with me so well that it’s probably my favourite series. The anime seemed a bit slow yet packed which was annoying, if anything. Hopefully there’ll be a continuation which captures the manga’s feel a little better.

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