20010 TV Series (episodes 23-34). Director: Morio Asaka. 308 minutes. DVD, bilingual, $59.90. Distributor: Viz Media.
The anime adaptation of Ai Yazawa’s manga continues to pluck the dramatic notes of love, youth, and the J-Pop rock scene in Tokyo. However, the two girls that previously met on a Tokyo-bound train, both called Nana, have moved beyond the newfangled thrills of electric Shinjuku, wired Akihabara, and the beats of Roppongi. For better or worse, relationships and the gravity of time begin to weigh on our girls having fun in the city. Nana K. has miraculously landed a “thing” with dreamy Takumi, the genius behind the music of the influential band Trapnest. And Nana O. has rekindled her “thing” with Trapnest’s legendary guitarist Ren. Yes, things seem perfect. Fantasies are coming true. But when Nana O’s band Blast nabs a record deal, and her guitarist Nobu makes a play for Nana K., the exhilaration of youth collides with the ancient wall of biology and culture. No matter how cutting edge you think you are, bands of gold and accidental diapers unravel your “unique” life.
Once again, I’m a big, masculine chick in the feminine aisle that is Nana!
I should be out surfing, tracking an Elk with my father, or watching the latest MMA bout in the ubiquitous TAPOUT shirt. But no, I’m stuck on Nana like I was General Hospital during a summer break in the 80’s – thank you, my dear babysitter! Indeed, stop and think about that. That’s how bewitching this anime can be.
As the saying could goes, “It’s the characters, stupid.”
Nana may be a simple tale of two girls in the city trying to find their way, one that has to indulge in a little cliché. But, as I’ve said before, the writing and trajectory of this dramatic tale are its saving grace. The desperate bond between these two unlikely friends comes across strong. And the cast of musicians, fans, managers, and friends around them are not simple background fodder, but entities that shape and affect the maturation of Nana K. and Nana O.
You can’t help but get attached. You want to know if Nana O and Ren can really make it. You’re concerned about Nana K.’s future, since she’s more of a homemaker than artist or musician. Simply put, you're involved.
Clearly, this is the realm of teenage girls. As for the rest of us, it’s a guilty pleasure.
The exhilaration of youth. Nana get’s it right!