I am beginning to see the disadvantage of watching so much anime at a time or just having to watched anime in general. You forgot some of them. It’s possible to forget the amazing, the great, the good, the average, and the terrible. Especially since most seasonal anime go in and out of our minds with a few good or bad stragglers that stay around for a while. Nana is one of those shows that I forgot about until I watched a video about it on youtube and I am beginning to want to watch it again. The sad part is it isn’t available anywhere legally, not licensed by anybody, and I am in now am ever going to watch it on an illegal streaming site. I would like it to appear on Netflix again though. Nana was another one of those anime series that changed how I watch anime and what I look for. Nana is unfair toward a large variety of anime I am watching now and will probably watch in the future.
So what is Nana you might ask? Well, that’s the easy part. Nana is a series about two girls named Nana who met on a train by chance and eventually lived together. These two both graduated high school and left their homes for Tokyo for their own reasons and dreams. One of the Nanas, who actually goes by the name Nana in the show, dresses up as a goth punk and wants to pursue her dream of having her own band hit the mainstream. The other Nana, who goes by Hachi, only heads toward Tokyo in favor of chasing after crush that started going to school in Tokyo. This may not sound like much, but you would be surprised. Especially when other characters come into play.
This show is also a great example of what kind of slice of life series I usually favor to watch. Why? Because it’s something unique, has a direction, and not just characters seeing around a classroom doing things. Nana is unique, has a direction, and is just grown up. It’s a series about characters fighting for their dreams and each one of them finding road blocks along their way. Realistic road blocks that every person faces. Rock Nana wants to start a band, but has to face the challenges of funding, finding an audience, recording deals, and band member issues. The other Nana chased a boy to Tokyo. What would happen if that boy didn’t want her anymore? What would she do then? Nana seeks to answer both of these problems along with some of the problems surrounding the many interesting and well-developed side characters. I mean, this is a forty something episode series. Nana has enough time to develop a whole bunch of characters. I should also mention that there are strong sexual themes in this story too. It’s all handled in a mature kind of way that not many anime series know how to do.
Nana is the reason why I can’t call Key story adaptions like Clannad great or amazing in any sort of way. You know, the kind of series that have sharp emotional ups and downs. The amusement angles through jokes and other kinds of humor immediately followed by tragedy. I’m sorry, I can’t fall for that kind of story. It needs to be something as powerful as Nana. Why is that you might ask? Because Nana feels natural. The emotional ups and downs aren’t sharp. Everything has a natural flow and not for a contrived reason or for shock value like some of those key adaptions do. But because everything was given enough time for all of these characters to through tragedy or have good times. Either way, all of these feels complex and realistic. I do realize that Key adaptions and Nana are trying to do something different, but one works for me and gets me incredibly close to crying while the other is just kind of annoying. Skip Beat was the only show that got close to feeling like Nana.
From what I remember, I wouldn’t call Nana perfect either. Yes, it is a Madhouse Production, but it lacks a lot of spectacle. I mean you could call of that ok considering that this a grounded drama series that doesn’t require a lot of spectacle. But then there are all of those music scenes. Rock Nana and her band play music, it’s the same song most of the time and there aren’t any music upscales in animation that sells all the music scenes. Not that much of a big deal though. Then there are other problems that stray from the realistic nature of Nana’s character designs. Especially when it comes to using overly expressive faces. If you are going to do that in an anime, don’t do it like Nana. Either don’t use overly expressive faces or go all the way. Don’t go in between. Also, there is a non-ending to this show. Of course, that’s the manga’s fault. Nana’s manga never truly ended, so an anime original one was made in its place.
I feel like Nana appeared in my life at the right time. I saw Nana on Netflix a while ago and it’s gone now, but it hit me at the right time. I was having trouble going through my own mental struggles which I still am facing now, and it was nice to see that I wasn’t alone in what I was going through. Even if those characters weren’t real they felt real enough. It was nice to see a few struggles I was going with being shown on screen. I don’t know if that all makes sense, but that’s how it affects me. I want to watch Nana again, because I feel like I have a few things that I want to get through and reflect on by watching it. It’s also great too, so that’s another reason. Please, please let this show go on Netflix again or at least get some company to license it on disc again. Please, I beg you funimation, crunchyroll, sentai filmworks, Netflix, or what other companies out their that can get the licenses or streaming rights. I just want to watch Nana again.
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