VIZ Media has announced today the availability of its shojo animated series NANA on the iTunes Store (www.iTunes.com) in the US and the iTunes Store in Canada (www.itunes.ca). NANA will be exclusive to iTunes until August 31, 2009. Plus, every purchase of a NANA Season 1 pass will include a free, bonus episode download. Find out more at www.itunes.com/tv/nana.
The NANA anime is based on the popular manga by Ai Yazawa, which has sold over 43 million copies in Japan, and is published in North America by VIZ Media under its SHOJO BEAT imprint. It is considered an all-time best selling shojo title from Japanese publishing giant Shueisha, and was the recipient of the Shogakukan Manga Award in the Girls' category. Its tremendous success further inspired two live-action feature films which are available on DVD in North America from VIZ Pictures
NANA follows the adventures of two girls, both named Nana. While they share the same name, they couldn't be more different. Nana "Hachi" Komatsu follows her boyfriend to Tokyo in the hopes of making a new start, while Nana Osaki, who arrives in the city at the same time, is a punk rock beauty who has the ambition of making it big in the world of rock and roll. Although these two young women come from different backgrounds, they quickly become best friends while chasing their happiness and dreams.
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 touched millions of fans in Japan and North America with its realistic portrayal of two young women coming of age in life’s fast lane in modern Tokyo,” says Ken Sasaki, Vice President of Strategy & Business Development, VIZ Media. “The anime series possesses all of the attributes that made the original manga such a smash hit and combines them with a rocking soundtrack and creatively designed characters that audiences can really root for, laugh and even cry with. We invite fans to check out NANA on iTunes and take these girls’ adventures along as they navigate their own busy lives.”
What is Shojo?….In Japan, manga comics and anime have enjoyed widespread popularity among both children and adults, men as well as women. Shojo (which means young girl in Japanese) is widely known and embraced for their characteristic lush designs and tales of love and romance set against action, academic, or fantasy driven plots. Women and young girls in North America quickly discovered that comic books and anime are no longer just for boys and shojo stories appeal to the desires for stories and characters girls and women can relate to. While plots and settings for shojo vary widely (everywhere from outer space to alternate realities to the local middle school), several constants remain the themes of romance, angst and heartbreak, and ultimately finding the one you love despite obstacles and setbacks. And what young girl isn't interested in that? The fact that shojo is largely an entertainment medium developed by women for women with stories women and girls can relate to is also driving the popularity of shojo in North America.
For more information on NANA (rated ‘M’ for mature) please visit the dedicated website at Nana.viz.com or the VIZ Media website at www.viz.com.