The lives of both Nana
Komatsu and Nana Osaki get turned upside down in Nana Set Three from Viz. Just as things start looking up for both of
the young women everything comes crumbling down. This
is the most emotional and heartbreaking
segment of this magnificent story, and it'll leave viewers yearning for
next collection's release date to arrive.
Nana Komatsu is a 20-year-old woman from an upper middle
class background. She's flighty, narcissistic, and doesn't really
what she wants to do with her life. As the show begins, she's
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
because she's friendly, obedient, but needs a lot of attention,
a puppy. The tough and independent Nana Osaki starts to rub off
though, and opens up a bit in the process too. Pretty soon these
people who really have very little in common are the best of friends.
Nana has been secretly hooking up with Takumi, the bassist
and leader of Trapnest. He's something
of a playboy and will ignore Nana for weeks at a time, but the young
attracted to the musician's good looks and charm.
Hachi has always been looking for someone to love her
deeply, and when Nabu, a member of Nana's band Blast declares his
for the flighty young woman, she finally realizes that Takumi see's her
an easy lay and doesn't really love her.
Though he's famous and wealthy, she breaks up with the rock star
throws herself into her relationship with Nabu.
Things are going well for the other Nana and their band
Blast. Their live shows have been
attracting more and more people and even started to sell out. A rep from one of the biggest record
companies in Japan catches their act and likes what he sees. He talks to the band after the show, and
agrees to sign them to a contract!
From there however, things start going downhill. They
only sign a temporary contract until all
the details about their debut album can be worked out, which means that
can't sign with anyone else though they can use the company's studios
practice for free. Things look dicey
however after Shinichi overhears the company rep talking to a producer
doesn't think Blast has a future and won't help with their album.
The big bombshell however has to do with Hachi. [Spoiler Warning] It
turns out that she's pregnant and that
Takumi is most likely the father. Takumi
figures it out for himself and tells Nabu and the other Nana, in a
and calculating manner, but says that he'll support the child even if
his. But will Nana ever really be happy
with Takumi? [End Spoilers]
This is the most dramatic and engrossing chapter of the saga
so far. Creator Ai Yazawa crafts the
story magnificently, gently opening these characters lives to the
making them seem like real people. Just
as you start to really cheer for the two girls, Yazawa pulls the rug
under them making their lives come crashing down. In
a less skillful writers hands the story
would turn to melodrama, but this story is not sappy or over the top. More like a good movie than a soap opera, the
ups and downs of the lives of these complex characters is great viewing.
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 and a
series of VIZ previews.
This is a great series that would appeal to people who don't normally
anime. It's a tender and heartfelt story
that just happens to be animated instead of using real actors. (There are two live-action movies based on
the manga, but they don't hold a candle to this anime.)