NANA Vol. #04 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A

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  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 8.99
  • Pages: 188
  • ISBN: 1-4215-0480-4
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

NANA Vol. #04

By Eduardo M. Chavez     December 13, 2006
Release Date: October 03, 2006

NANA Vol.#04
© Viz Media

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Yazawa Ai
Translated by:Tomo Kimura
Adapted by:Allison Wolfe

What They Say
Nana K.'s perfect Tokyo life is crumbling around her. She can't keep a job, she can't keep any money, and now it looks like she can't even keep her boyfriend! But luckily, a tasty nugget of gossip about Nana O.'s past love life helps Nana K. keep her mind off her own troubles. If she can play the role of cupid for her best friend, can Nana K. get closer to her own happy ending?

The Review
The Nanas might not seem to have all that much in common but that does not mean that they do not share their moments. What has really made their worlds seem so far apart is how little they actually socialize with each other. Despite being roommates and hanging out a bit for dinner, these two women really do not know much about one another. And this is not just because of Hachiko's self-centered behavoir; the other Nana was rather pre-occupied with protecting herself as well.

In this latest volume, through adversity the Nanas open up to each other slowly. They each have personal problems to overcome. They bark at each other a bit. They let their guard down a lot. And in the end they both try to face their problems head on. They admit to each other that they have been protecting themselves from each other. So even if they do have different lives, they really do need each other now for comfort.

From the very start of this series, NANA was always a tale of contrasts. You had self-centered and naive Nana and you have the level-headed cool one. Readers could always count on Hachiko to end up depressed about something. And with her unique version of tough friendship Punk Nana would make everything better with a song or by patting Hachi's head. But the two have much more in common than Yazawa made us think. The real differences are how each expresses their feelings. Komatsu cannot help but let everything out. She snaps at people. She makes an effort to cut off ties quick and sharp. She cries and pouts but it can help her cope if others are around for support. The other Nana does that in her way. She is reserved. Keeps everything close to her heart. She is feeling as much hurt as her Hachi, but she cannot let it on because of pride and past. This might seem derivative but the execution works here. The pacing is just about right here. Nothing is taken for granted. Nothing comes easy to these two. They struggle with everything from work to friendships. So to see Yazawa take her time presenting their problems, making them real, you can feel for these two more. You can understand the anxiety at the grocery store or the need for a cig at the concert hall. The subtlty is what is really making me appreciate this very visual very loud manga.

Take some time to go back. NANA as a whole is nothing but contrasts. Deep.


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