Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes
Title: Nana, Book 1.
Author: Ai Yazawa
Synopsis: (Taken from Amazon.com)
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.
After reading a few “semi-okay” mangas, I wasn’t expecting much from Nana, even though it came highly recommended. Much to my surprise, Nana was quite interesting from the beginning. It has a nice mix of friendship, love, sex, obsession – with a touch of reality.
The story begins with Nana Komatsu and her married lover, who is ending the relationship to move to Tokyo. To ease her broken heart, she quickly “falls in love” with boy after boy who gives her so much as a glance in her direction. Realizing that this method is not getting her what she wants (true love), her best friend recommends that she try to be just friends with a guy and see how that works. Even though she instantly develops lust at first site feelings for Shoji, she puts them aside and is determined to become friends first (even though, unknown to her, he has feelings for her!)
It’s the classic “We must be friends even though we’re hopelessly drawn to each other” scenerio, and I admit – I ate it right up.
In another town there is a completely different girl (also) known by the name of Nana Osaki. Different in every way, she is in a band with her boyfriend, Ren. Life throws Nana Osaki a curve ball and she finds herself headed towards the big city of Tokyo to start new.
Overall, I really enjoyed this first novel in the series, Nana. As the characters are older, I felt I could relate to their issues on a higher level than I could those of high school students in mangas. I encourage manga lovers to give this series a shot if you love a good girly, yet adult story.