Whilst Nana hasn’t officially ended, after being on hiatus for nearly a decade it is probably time to call time of death on this one. To be able to run a manga series for 9 years is no mean feat in and of itself, it’s just that how would you come back to this after so long?
Anyway, I’m straying from the point which is that I really enjoyed reading Nana. As with most things there came a point where I had to stop binge reading it and take a break, which for me was Volume 17, so I am not able to comment on how Ai Yazawa left it before she put the manga on hiatus. Still, I think this leaves me in a decent enough position to comment.
At the beginning, Nana is a manga about the relationship between two young woman who move to Tokyo and share the name Nana. It’s one of those ‘odd couple’ style storylines where one of them is punky and outwardly more self-assured, whilst the other likes cute things and is fairly needy. There were times where I found myself laughing out loud and so really began to fall for the characrers… then the manga began to change.
I get that a long-running manga needs to change things around to keep things fresh, but I began to tire a bit at the end when the character roster got so large that you didn’t have a lot of time with the original Nanas. Similarly, you could go volumes of issues without the two Nanas interacting with each other, which is what sold me on this manga in the first place. The move also between a comedy drama about friends to a more dramatic manga about the trials and tribulations of being a band, whilst a refreshing change to begin with, just made me feel like Nana had been written into a corner that it couldn’t find its way out of.
This will not be my last time with Nana as the anime adaptation currently features on another one of my lists. I am actually looking forward to watching this as the cut-off point will be way before the time I stopped reading – meaning that the vast majority will be the comedy-drama that I came to love.