Nana – episode 2

April 17, 2006 on 1:59 pm | In Nana | 4 Comments

Nana abandons any sense of plot advancement so that it may tell the origin story of Pink Nana. I’ve consulted one of my friends who is versed in the manga, and she calls Pink Nana “Stupid Nana”; I’m kind of inclined to agree.

While this episode is okay, I would have preferred some time to see Pink and Black Nana together. Unfortunately, the past of Pink Nana is going to be the focus of the next episode as well! There is no escape from this vicious cycle of the past!

Pink Nana relates the story of her many loves as a teenager, including the affair that she had with a 29 year old married man. She meets Shouji, but decides to make him her friend and to reforge her heart through finding love in clubs.

My own prejudices come through in this episode, as I can’t help but thinking that a high school girl having an affair with a 29 year old married man is nothing short of sordid. I was expecting Nana to be a far more naive person, uninitiated in such ways of the world. This is Yazawa Ai’s work, however, so I suppose one cannot be surprised to find some sex hidden within.

I don’t know, I really didn’t enjoy Pink Nana’s past adventures. I think she’s become at least marginally more mature in the modern day story, so seeing an emotionally starved pink bird was a big step back. The episode is saved by its funny animation, including Nana catching a love heart as it escaped from her body, but the complete lack of Black Nana is indeed a black mark on the record.

I’m not condemning Nana, but I think it has been stopped in its tracks; you don’t have a first episode that ends with the two lead characters sealing a deal symbolising a new beginning then backtrack to high school and bad decisions!


  1. As someone who’s read all NANA volumes so far… I think the pacing in the anime is a perfect idea. Is it that bad to know the past of a character? Meh. I find this Nana’s past to be more interesting anyways. And I find punk Nana to be very boring, unless she’s drunk.

    And if this is the way it’s going, at least you should get your Punk Nana’s past episodes, right?

    Comment by Tess — April 18, 2006 #

  2. I read the first few manga volumes before watching the anime, so perhaps I can clear some things up…

    The “flashbacks” that are happening in episode 2 (and 3, 4, etc.) comprise the first volume of the NANA manga. Originally Yaizawa Ai envisioned NANA as simply a single volume story about two very different women with the same dream – go to Tokyo. If you read the first volume, it works well that way. Episode 1 takes place at the beginning of the second manga volume, which is why you have this weird continuity with things jumping back.

    Personally I would have preferred if they went sequentially, as I like the first volume the best of all the ones I’ve read so far. Pink Nana’s experiences with Takashi are actually quite touching, as it’s her first experience with a semblance of “love.” The way it wraps up is very sweet too, and doesn’t frustrate me or disappoint me the way most of her thought-processes and decisions tend to.

    Overall the anime version of NANA has really disappointed me – for being the most popular manga in Japan, they really didn’t try to do anything special for it. The animation is, at best, sub-par (and, in my opinion, butchers Yaizawa Ai’s beautiful art), and the music has no standout piece to propel it.

    Unlike Karekano, which actually took an interesting approach to presenting the manga, NANA has nothing to distinguish it or make it worth watching. Just read the manga, it’s far more worthwhile than watching the anime.

    Comment by Michael — April 18, 2006 #

  3. I’m really not sure what I would have preferred, because anime is different to manga; I think that the past stories that led to the two of them meeting up would have been better served first, but at the same time it would not have made for a very striking beginning to the series; I, for one, would have been far less entranced.

    Comment by Alex — April 18, 2006 #

  4. I prefer both the anime and manga of NANA because their both so damn good!!!!!! I love NANA(epecially nana Osaki-Punk nana.)
    The first episode of the anime, u see them meeting for the first time on the train. Then later episodes like episode 2 r flashbacks, each telling a story of the 2 Nana’s lives and reasons to move to Tokyo. Then they start over again to the train. It gives u better understanding of their circumstances and how they mold into the Wonderful World of NANA:)

    Comment by NANAFANGIRL4ETERNITY — May 28, 2007 #

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