From Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint comes the fourth DVD box set of the anime adaptation of Ai Yazawa’s manga series, Nana, which tells the story of two very different girls with the same first name whose paths cross and their lives are forever changed.
The story of Nana revolves around two young girls, Nana Osaki and Nana Komatsu who not only share the same first name but are also the same age and meet one another on a train heading to Tokyo, where they both have decided to move to on the exact same day. Nana O. is moving to make a name for herself as a singer in a punk band while Nana K. is moving to be reunited with the love of her life at the time.
The two part ways after the train ride and it seems like they will never meet again until they once again cross paths while they are each looking for a new apartment. They both believe they have found the apartment they want, but they are both interested in it and after some convincing the broker talks them into splitting the rent and living with each other. As the two clash due to their very different personalities, Nano O. is a private and more dominant type of person while Nana K. is kind of a ditz and is quick to play the victim, they also grow much closer together, depending on one another much more than either would have expected.
The fourth box set contains episodes 35-47 and picks up the story after the previous episodes events as Nana O.’s band BLAST is on the verge of their big debut and Nana K. dealing with some big news of her own, she is pregnant. Their friendship is really tested when Nana K. keeps it a secret from Nana O. and the members of the band, even her boyfriend Nobuo, BLAST’s guitarist. While Nana K. decides what to do about the baby as well as her feelings for the father, Nana O. is feeling the pressure of finally making it in the industry.
With Nana K. now living with Takumi and Nana O. busy training with the band for their big debut the two grow apart, though they both long to see one another. While Nana K. believes that the band hates her for choosing to be with Takumi Nana O. just wants her back in her life, no matter what it takes. The last episodes of the box set bring an end to some of the lingering questions; even giving Nana K. a chance to speak with Shoji, the reason for her moving to Tokyo in the first place and the one that broke her heart, but the final one definitely creates a few more.
Visually the series look great, the animation is smooth and everything has great detail. The characters especially have some amazing designs, whether it is the punk rock princess Nana O. or Nana K.’s prissy look they all have nice designs and really resemble the type of characters CLAMP usually draws. The English voice cast takes some getting used to but it still sounds good and is worth watching for those that would rather not read subtitles. The Japanese voice cast however is much better than their English counterparts at matching their characters so for those of you that are willing to do a bit of reading or speak Japanese this is the better choice.
The box set is housed in a slip case, with a nice look to it featuring the two Nanas on a purple background, with a fold out case containing three discs. While nothing else is included with the discs the on-disc features include a line art gallery, an animated video for the song “Lucy” and the clean opening and endings. Both the opening and ending themes were good and had a bit more pop sound to them, but the previous themes which had a haunting sound to them seemed to match the series a little bit better.
All-in-all Nana is a great series that offers plenty of soap opera like drama that is sure to draw the viewer in from the beginning episodes to the final ones. While at times the characters attitudes and choices can get a little frustrating the series really does do a great job at getting the viewer more and more interested in what is going to happen next.
Fans of shojo series as well as those of you looking for a new dramatic series to watch this is one that you may want to look into, especially if you are looking for something with plenty of soap opera like twists and turns.
Nana box set 4
Publisher: Viz Media
Runtime: 270 Minutes
Number of Episodes: 13 (47 in total)
Number of Discs: 3
Age Rating: Mature
Release Date: April 13th, 2010
(A review copy of Nana box set 4 was provided by Viz Media.)