Every girl reads the comic book NANA. It is on its peak of popularity right now, published monthly in the magazine Cookie and it is on volume 12 in the comic book. The story consists of friendships, love and relationships, family problems, celebrities, punk rock bands, art students’ lives, and most of all, the lives of the general 20 year olds in Tokyo. It’s a story about a dreamy, addicted-to-love girl named Nana (in kanji) and an independent, punk-rock girl named Nana (in katakana) coming to Tokyo and sharing an apartment by chance. The katakana Nana wants to be a famous rockstar, and somehow as the story goes on, the dreams come true and it gets a bit unrealistic, but it is still enjoyable in a different way. The author Yazawa Ai has been dominating the world of girls’ manga world for over a decade, publishing hits after hits from Tenshi nanka ja nai, Gokinjo monogatari, and Paradise Kiss. Her drawings have gotten modern with time, and in NANA, the pictures are as delicate as ever. Everchanging facial expressions are drawn nicely, the different types of fashion trends (from OL to punk to hiphop) are drawn well, the dialogues are poetic, and you can relate to the characters’ thoughts. It seems like NANA is heading towards the climax. Oftentimes in boys’ comics, the popular stories never end because they want to keep on making money.. NANA had a tribute album made by Japan’s popular musicians and artists, had an exhibition with a Nana-themed cafe, and is going to become a movie. But I really hope it ends when it have to, and I hope it ends nicely.
I did notice the big NANA boom, with ads everywhere, and have been curious about the series itself — and I love the art I’ve seen. I’m curious, to those who have read or watched BECK, how does it compare to that? Is it a bit similar? I absolutely loved BECK, and was really bummed when the anime series ended earlier this year.