Viz has released
the second set of Nana episodes,
and this collection is just as good as the
first. I'm usually not a fan of dramedy
series, especially when there's a good dose of romance included, but
manages to avoid all of the pitfalls that other shows fall into. The show is never sappy or maudlin, and the
situations the characters find themselves in are rooted in reality and
relate to. Most of all, the show is
populated with enjoyable characters that really drag you into their
Nana Komatsu is a 20-year-old woman from an
upper middle class background. She's flighty, narcissistic, and
really know what she wants to do with her life. As the show
finally saved up the money to move to Tokyo
to be with her boyfriend who's attending art school there. On a
train bound for the big city, Nana finds the last free seat and sits
next to an
intimidating punk rocker, another 20-year-old who happens to be named
Though the two women are the same age and have the same
name, they couldn't be more different. Nana Osaki is driven and
determined to make it as a singer on her own. Instead of
boyfriend Ren, she purposefully didn't go to Tokyo when he got the offer to play
up and coming band. Now Ren is lead guitar in Trapnest, one of
hottest groups in Japan,
but Osaki is going to make it without calling in any favors from her
After the train ride they go their own ways, but not for
long. When these two disparate girls both start looking for
they bump into each other at a reasonably priced two bedroom
both want it and start to argue until a realtor suggests that they
place. Living together turns out to be the best thing for both of
them. The needy Nana Komatsu quickly picks up the nick-name
"Hachi"1 because she's friendly,
obedient, but needs a lot of attention, just like a puppy. The
independent Nana Osaki starts to rub off on Hachi though, and opens up
a bit in
the process too. Pretty soon these two people who really have
in common are the best of friends.
Hachi is having a difficult time. Not only
did she lose her job, but she's
unsure about the relationship with her boyfriend Shoji.
He seems more distant since she moved to
Toyko to be with him, and her constant desire to spend all of her free
with him is a bit suffocating to say the least.
When an attractive girl at work starts showing an interest in
has a difficult choice to make. Hachi's
clinging doesn't help at all, but eventually the young girl finds out
there is another woman and that devastates her.
Meanwhile things are looking good for the other Nana.
Her new group, Blast, gets their first gig
filling in for a band that had to cancel.
Getting up on stage and playing in front of people gets them,
excited and their determination to make it becomes more firm.
While this is happening, Hachi discovers that Nana had a relationship
with Ren from Trapnest. Just having
broken up herself, her heart goes out to her roommate and she starts to
plan to bring the two lovers together once again, though that might not
best thing for either of them.
This collection is just as enjoyable and entertaining as the
first. The thing I enjoy about it the
most is the way they slowly fill out the characters personalities and
backgrounds. In this set we find out
more about Nana O. and her earlier relation with Ren.
It's a touching story and the choices she
made, though difficult, illustrate what a strong person she is.
This set also has a few amusing bits, especially the clip
show that appears near the end of the collection. Usually
I skip over these recap episodes
since it's usually only been hours since I've seen the episodes they
about. Nana was able to
come up with a framing device, while it didn't
advance the plot, was very entertaining.
Don't skip that episode, it's worth watching.
This disc comes with the original Japanese audio and an
English dub, both in stereo. I mainly
viewed the show with the Japanese track but I screened a couple of
with the dub track and that was fine.
The Englsih voice actors do a good job and don't overact of put
accents. Both tracks sounded clean and
clear and there were no defects worth mentioning. I
was a little disappointed that there wasn't
at least an English 5.1 track, but I can live without it.
The anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1) image looks very
good. The lines were tight and there was a lot of detail.
blacks were solid and the colors were bright and strong too. On
digital side there wasn't much to complain about either, the only flaw
bit of aliasing. This is a show that is
very easy on the eyes.
The series is a little light on the extras. There's
a clean opening and closing, a 'music
scene selection' the plays a song from the show, and a series of VIZ
Though I rarely sing the praises of romantic dramedies, this one really
the grade. With engaging characters that
are well developed and situations that are easy to relate to, it's hard
get drawn into this show. If you enjoyed
the first collection, you should run out and buy this one ASAP. Highly