Worth Watching – NANA, a tale of two

NANA - Two Nanas

If I were to make a list of shows in desperate need of a license rescue, the classic NANA would definitely be on it.  If it was available, there’s a whole bunch of people (including your humble author) who would be constantly talking it up.  In the meantime, it’s story has inspired a number of AMV’s that are very much worth watching.

Hit the jump, and let’s explore!

Nana Komatsu is on her way to Tokyo; now she can finally be with her boyfriend after a year of dating long-distance! On the train there, Nana Komatsu meets Nana Osaki – a girl who shares her name but seems to be everything Nana Komatsu is not; cool, street-wise, and a punk rocker. The two hit it off and spend the entire journey getting to know each other, but when they get to Tokyo, circumstance separates them seemingly forever. However, fate is not finished with these two. Whilst hunting for a place to live the two Nanas again cross paths. They decide to share a flat and become best friends in no time. Nana K. must learn to be independent and mature, while Nana O. works on becoming famous with her band; but together, they will learn about love and loss, and the growth that comes with it.

Anime Planet

“Love and loss” doesn’t even begin to cover it…  Nor does “become best friends”.  Nana O. and Nana K. are so much more than friends, yet less than lovers. (?)  But in a way they are…  Sometimes, I hate the English language because it does such a poor job of conveying the finer shades of emotional connections.

Our memories, well, they can be inviting
But some are altogether mighty frightening
As we die, both you and I
With my head in my hands, I sit and cry

Don’t Speak – No Doubt

And that brings us to the first AMV…  Which nicely hints at the connections between the two leads, and the associated joy which leads to pain.  It also hints at the other connections in the series which are the source of much of that pain.

Nobody can save me
God, I have one request
Stop tearing apart my love

Rose – Anna Tsuchiya inspi’ NANA

Told mostly from Nana O.’s point of view, I love how the creator has used the show’s OP to frame their telling of the tale…

Speaking of the OP, I have always loved this video of “Broken Rose”…  Anna Tsuchiya provided Nana O.’s singing voice, and here she also cosplays her.

It’s just me and my puppy
Together we’re so very happy
And the bitter world won’t bring us down
No, I’m looking on the bright side of things

Bright Side – Lissie

From the previous AMV’s, you might get a bit of a lopsided impression, that’s there’s nothing in NANA but pain and loss.  Not true at all, there’s also sweetness and happiness to balance the darkness.  (Otherwise the story would be even bleaker than it is already.)  This creator uses a very lighthearted tune to take a look at that side of the story.

The opening lyrics (quoted above) are especially poignant.  Early on in the anime Nana O. gives Nana K. the nickname “Hachi”…  Because her enthusiasm reminds her of a puppy and her almost unshakable friendship reminds her of the faithful Hachiko.

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And there you have it, some excellent AMVs inspired by NANA!  I hope you enjoyed, and please drop a comment with your thoughts!

10 thoughts on “Worth Watching – NANA, a tale of two”

  1. I really liked the realistic complexity of Nana… I mean, Nana Oosaki even talks about birth control, for Pete’s sake. It’s a great story and unbelievably annoying that the art is so poor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s one of it’s best aspects… There’s never a simple solution, choices and actions have actual consequences.

      The anime is pretty faithful to the manga’s styling, and that dates back twenty years… So I don’t really hold it against it. It’s kinda hard to watch at points, but the story pulls it through. (Same with Fruits Basket, which dates from roughly the same era.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. One of the aspects I really liked about the show is when the two Nana’s very different social circles mingle. I wish I could remember the show better.

    I didn’t remember the nickname being a reference to Hachiko. All this time I thought it’s a rather simple joke, because Hachi (8) comes after Nana (7)…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not actually suprised I don’t remember this. Back when I watched Nana, I wouldn’t have gotten the reference and thus not understood the line properly.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t remember the nickname being a reference to Hachiko. All this time I thought it’s a rather simple joke, because Hachi (8) comes after Nana (7)…

      It wouldn’t surprise me if it were that too. The Japanese are fond of subtle wordplay.

      Like

  3. Derek I think your the only one who covers AMV on a blog and does a format like this. i love IT !!! OH nana I own it but cant bring myself to rewatch still, the ending still irks me but I wont part with it because it’s one of the better adult romances.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s fun to search them out.! Sometimes a bit hard though as I don’t know more current music all that well.

      The ending, yeah. It sucks when a story just kinda… stops.

      Like

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