Ai Yazawa is the creator of many popular manga titles, including
Tenshi Nanka Janai (I'm No Angel) and Gokinjo
Monogatari (Neighborhood Story). Another series, Kagen no
Tsuki (Last Quarter), was made into a live-action movie and
released in late 2004. American readers were introduced to Yazawa's
stylish and sexy storytelling in 2002 when her title Paradise
Kiss was translated into English.
Nana has become the all-time best selling shojo title from Japanese publishing giant Shueisha, and the series even garnered a Shogakukan Manga Award in the girls category in 2003. A live-action Nana movie was released in Japan in 2006.
Nana meets Nana when a bubbly bundle of insecurities teams up with a tough but vulnerable rocker chick. Sharing first names and Tokyo newbie status, the two decide to share an apartment while they search for Love and Meaning. Charming, self-centered Nana Komatsu has followed her rebound crush to the Big City but can't commit to him or settle into a job; while Nana Osaki, rebounded from her great love with a rock bassist, hopes to make it big singing with a rival band. By Vol. 5, Nana O. has reunited with her beloved ex, Ren, and Nana K. has begun an affair with Ren's bandmate Takumi, object of her fangirl obsession. This is Japanese twentysomething chick lit at its best, bursting with relationship drama, parties, good humor, cute fashions, romantic-sexual entanglements, and beautifully expressive art. Beneath the drama run serious messages about loyalty, friendship, and maturity in a complicated world with changing rules. Nana is still coming out in Japan, where it is the best-selling shojo title, winner of the Shogakukan Manga Award, and inspiration for an anime and a live-action film. With discreetly portrayed sex, it's best for ages 18+. Highly recommended for young women now grown past "teen shojo" titles.-M.C. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Nana, Japan's most popular shojo (girl's) manga, is appearing in English for the first time. Nana Komatsu is a flaky young woman who's just emerged from an emotionally devastating affair with an older, married man. She dreams of a perfect romantic love, like in the movies, but her best friend, Junko, counsels her that it might be time to try being friends with a guy instead of just falling in love with him. So when she meets Shoji, Nana is determined to be completely platonic, despite Shoji's interest. Meanwhile, Nana Osaki, a high school dropout, is rocking onstage as lead singer of a punk band and offstage with the band's guitarist, Ren. When Ren alone is offered a recording contract, Nana decides not to go to Tokyo with him. She wants to prove to herself that she can be a star without Ren. Both Nanas find their way to Tokyo, where this first issue sets them up, leaving later volumes to unfold the complexities of their entwined destinies. Despite the soap opera surface, Yazawa's art is graceful and naturalistic, portraying all of the characters, both main and supporting, with such depth and care that you cannot help being drawn in. (Dec.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.