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Nana, Volume 1 (v. 1) Comic – December 6, 2005

17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.)
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About the Author

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. Cumulative sales from the first 12 graphic novels have sold more than 22 million copies and the series even garnered a Shogakukan Manga Award in the Girls' category in 2003. A live-action Nana movie hit Japanese theaters in the fall of 2005.

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Product Details

  • Comic: 192 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC; Shojo Beat Manga Ed edition (December 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781421501086
  • ISBN-13: 978-1421501086
  • ASIN: 1421501082
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Nichole Beaulieu on December 9, 2005
Format: Comic
I simply adore this manga.

Huge in Japan, NANA recently made the swim across the Pacific to US markets, and horray for that! 20-something Nana Komatsu is your average charming 'hopeless good girl,' an aimless graduate trying to find direction, survive self-doubt, and a string of never-ending boyfriends. Nana Osaki is nearly the opposite: a cool, confident, focused lead singer of her own punk band and dealing with internal longing for success and the only man she loves. This first volume fills in the details of their lives and how it is that they later came to be on the same train to Tokyo, where despite their obvious differences, they soon become roommates and the best of friends in one of the most charming and endearing storylines ever.

This is not necessarily what American audiences think of when they think of manga (Japanese comics). It's not rockets or robots shooting up the old west, or cowboys in deep space. Instead NANA is a more down-to-earth read about growing up, aspirations, relationships and a more intimate side of two contemporary heroines. The title falls under the term 'shojo' and it's like 'chick-lit' manga - except for a slightly mature audience. This particular series is not for young kids as it has an amount of sex and adult socializing, but NANA is a really good read!!

Forget feeling silly, or feeling like you're 'too grown up' to read comic books! Artist Ai Yazawa has created a story and artwork that is both delicate and nicely stylized. It's a pleasure to read, doesn't force unrealistic circumstances down your throat, but rather engages and endears. Most of all, it's just as enjoyable the second time around... and there aren't many 'chick-lit' or even manga books that can claim that.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Karusichan on April 21, 2006
Format: Comic
Nana Komatsu has had a string of bad luck when it comes to men. One right after another she falls into desperate love with them and ends up heartbroken and alone. So when her most recent relationship with Takashi Asano (age 29) ends in his moving to Tokyo she doesn't know what to do. Having applied at an art college with her friend Jun she bobs her hair and sets out for a new life and a new attitude. Of course the first thing that happens when she enters class is she falls in love with Shoji Endo, an amenable fellow who knows Jun from Junior High. He introduces the two too Kyosuke Takakura, his friend, and everything seems to be going ok. Jun points out Nana's attraction and accounts it to be the reason why Nana has no male friends, which Nana resolves to change. From then on she refuses to see men as object and vows to befriend them. This puts a cramp in Shoji's plans, who actually is attracted to Nana. Things become even more complicated when Jun surrenders to her mutual attraction to Kyosuke. Nana thinks this is betrayal, but actually does feel as if she is growing from her male friendships.

When the group decides to apply to art colleges in Tokyo Nana is the only one who is rejected. She goes on a scouting trip anyways where she has a fight with Shoji and then ends up running into Takashi and making amends all around. Things with Shoji end up so intense that they manage to maintain a long distance relationship while she works and is determined to reapply to the Tokyo schools the following year.

Enter an entirely different Nana. Nana Osaki lives with her boyfriend and band mate Ren Honjo. Fronting a punk band has her feeling good about her past, a childhood where she grew up apart from her parents, alone and unwanted.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Polina Voylokov on November 15, 2005
Format: Comic
Nana is a story of two girls who meet on a train to Tokyo and become fast friends. The first volume in this 21+ volume series (currently on hiatus) introduces us to the girls (both are named Nana, which means seven in Japanese) to their friends, and the loves of their lives.
Nana is by the same manga-ka who did Paradise Kiss, and it is a manga more concerned with day to day lives of the characters and their interactions. The art style is very unique and very beautiful. Yazawa carefully constructs three dimensional characters that one comes to care about.
Nana Komatsu is a boy-crazy artist wannabe who follows her boyfriend to Tokyo. She is a bit airheaded, but not stupid. She is aware that her sometimes foolish ways can get her into trouble and she's quite superstitious, citing that the Demon King is out to punish her for her deeds.
Nana Osaki is a singer in a rock group. She goes to Tokyo to pursue a singing career. She is more levelheaded and serious.
When these two girls meet, they hit it off immediately and by coincidence become roommates. The story chronicles their friendships, hardships and so forth.
This type of manga is usually classified as Shojo, because it generally appeals to females. The rating will probably be older teen because this series deals frankly with issues like sex, though it is never gratuitous.
Nana will probably appeal to those who like Paradise Kiss or any of Ai Yazawa's other work.
Here's hoping that Nana being translated means that Yazawa's other work like Gokinjo make it over here as well.
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