The animated stories
of Nana Komatsu and Nana Osaki come to a conclusion in Nana Set Four from
Viz. The series takes a few interesting
turns as Blast gets closer to the release of their debut album, a media
erupts, and the two Nanas have somewhat of a falling out.
Unfortunately the show doesn't end on a
satisfying note, with the last episode raising more questions than it
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
"Hachi" because she's friendly, obedient, but needs a lot
of attention, just like a puppy. The tough and independent Nana
starts to rub off on Hachi though, and opens up a bit in the process
Pretty soon these two people who really have very little in common are
Nana K has found herself in a difficult position. She's
pregnant, and she's not sure who the
father is. Takumi, the bassist and
leader of the hit rock group Trapnest, offers to marry Nana and take
her and the baby, and he certainly has the means for it.
The other possible father, Nana's current
boyfriend and guitarist for the Black Stones Nobou, doesn't have a dime. So Hachi tearfully breaks it off with him and
chooses security and comfort with a guy who doesn't really love her.
This causes a lot of strain between the members of the two
bands. Just about everybody has an
opinion about what Nana should do, but it's really her decision in the
end. Soon after Nana moves in with
Takumi, Nana O is photographed with Trapnest's bassist and her old love
and the tabloids have a field day with the story. Video
of a Blast performance is leaked to the
media and suddenly Nana and her band are in the spotlight, but not for
reasons that they wanted. The record
company decides to capitalize on the media coverage, though a good
it is negative, and finally schedules Blast's first release: the same day that Trapnest is releasing their
The members of Blast find themselves in the middle of a
grueling publicity campaign, with interviews and photo shoots day and
night. They eat and sleep in the van while
driven to events and have little time for themselves, much less their
friends. The two Nanas haven't talked
since it was discovered that Hachi was pregnant, and Nana O worries
that her naïve
and somewhat clueless friend has started to hate her.
But that's the price of fame, something that
Nana O always wanted.
While I have really, really, enjoyed this series, the abrupt
ending to the show left a bad taste in my mouth. The
last episode was a terrible let down,
jumping ahead several years into the future but not answering any of
questions that have been on viewer's minds.
One of the really cool aspects of the show that pulled me in
from the beginning
was the spoken intros to each show. One
of the Nanas, from a perspective of years in the future, would relate
was thinking or feeling at the time the events in the episode were
often with ominous foreshadowing. When
they started the final show in the future, I was expecting that they'd
what happened to everyone, as the intros imply that the characters know
own fates, but this wasn't to be. The
bulk of the show was a flashback that takes up where the previous
off, and the rest is just small talk among the group of friends. Not only do they skip wrapping up some of the
biggest questions of the series (Does Blast make it big?
Does Nana marry Takumi?) they bring up
several more mysteries (including one especially aggravating one) that
show on a sour note. I really hate it
when anime series drop the ball in the last episode or two (I'm looking
at you Neon Genesis) and it's unfortunate that
the creators couldn't just give fans one more solid episode at the end.
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 series
of VIZ previews, and a Blast music video.
I was a huge fan of this show up until the last episode.
For some reason Japanese creators have a lot
of trouble with the final installment of a series, and that's
case here. While it's clear that they
were hoping for a second season (there's more than enough material in
from what I understand) the show's conclusion could have been handled
better. Even so, it's definitely worth
checking out this final set. Just be
prepared to cry "That's it!?!" at the end.