Because writing the long line known as ‘Twelve Plus Days of Anime’ in the title is inefficient, like all long titles that I would probably be using again… and again, I turn it into an acronym. For Twelve Plus Days of Anime, it’s TPDA.
To kick off this segment, I used Python to generate a random integer to compare the number generated to the anime ‘conveniently’ situated at that number on my anime list. And to jump off, I’ll be talking about Nana.
Nana is centered around the tale of two girls who share the same name— cute and klutzy Komatsu Nana & aspiring rocker Oosaki Nana. The two meet on a train heading for Tokyo. Komatsu Nana (also known as Hachi), with no place to sit, meets Oosaki Nana who used to other seat for her guitar. Komatsu Nana asks if she could sit there with Oosaki Nana agreeing. Because of the winter weather, there was a delay in the arrival of the train— an event Komatsu Nana didn’t plan. She tries to text her boyfriend, but to no avail, that’s where Komatsu Nana and Oosaki Nana hit off. To make use of their time, they decided to talk to each other and share experiences. Now that isn’t simply the story because once in Tokyo, they thought they would never see each other after. Yet both of them stumble upon the same two-bedroom apartment. Having no relations and simply that meeting on the train, the two of them decide to share the apartment and that’s where the story begins.
Now Nana could be easily classified to the genre Slice of Life. In truth, it fits the genre well as it’s a story about life, but rather than showing the happy-go-lucky side of it, it takes the blunt course by showing the negative aspects of it. These negative aspects start to transform it into a drama— a heavily mature one. The anime cannot compare to the manga in terms of maturity, but both are able to depict the trials and stress when it comes to love and dreams. These two significant aspects are represented by the two Nana’s— Komatsu Nana and Oosaki Nana respectively. It’s this side that made me love the anime.
Honestly, I was never a fan of Slice of Life series unless they involved supernatural phenomenon or comedy. I stray away from it like a plague especially those harem-based ones or those that are conveniently set at the country side. However, Nana caught me through its music and ultimately, its plot. Never in my life did I imagine such a series to change a part of my life— how I think of things exactly. Nana taught me lessons about love and dreams— never to give up on either of them exactly. Moreover, it taught me the harmful effects of absorbing one’s self into love and dreams.
Never in my life have I come across any plot that depicts achieving dreams as a negative thing. The plot of Nana simply shows that always looking to achieve one’s dreams blinds us from other things— like our health and our relationships with others. In such a fast-moving world, time is of the essence and people want results fast— exactly why people wouldn’t mind stubbing toes and stabbing backs. This portion of life is shown by Oosaki Nana. Initially, her reasons for creating a band is to prove to Honjo Ren, her guitarist ex-boyfriend, that she can survive in the music industry without him. However, this reason is shattered by Komatsu Nana who believe in her (Oosaki) skills, so Oosaki Nana starts to play for Komatsu Nana. This change in outlook has allowed Oosaki Nana’s band, Black Stones, to slowly rise— because the power behind the will to do better isn’t love but friendship. This may sound positive, because it is— the negative portion of dreams is depicted by Trapnest, the band rivaling Black Stones— who coincidentally has Honjo Ren as its guitarist.
Honjo Ren has never stopped loving Oosaki Nana, but at the same time, he can’t break away from his love of playing the guitar. Unable to balance such loves, he gets himself into vices like cocaine, smoking which led to depression. Why? Because he decided to concentrate more to keep the dream he has already attained. He found comfort in doing such vices that slowly, it destroyed his system and ultimately, the dream he had obtained. That’s how Nana depicts the negative aspect of getting into dreams too deeply. Sure, it may drive a person to positive heights, but at the same time, it can drive a person to negative lows.
But a recurring theme in Nana is the trap of love— depicted skillfully by the character Komatsu Nana. Over the course of the series, she has fallen in and out of love with three guys. She has fallen into the trap that she needed a man to survive. She thought of herself as weak and powerless without a guy to support her. That’s the problem of falling in and out of love too quickly and with different guys. That is where the problem of Komatsu Nana is rooted from— lack of time to move on.
Love may be sweet and kind, but it can be a real bitch at certain times. It’s love that blinds us to do actions we never though of doing ourselves— actions that we would regret later on. That’s how Komatsu Nana went through her life in the series— with regret. In order to remove this regret, she finds herself another guy and the cycle continues on. Love is a vicious cycle especially if one believes in it too much to actually fall prey to it. It’s a cycle Komatsu Nana fell in to. This is what Nana has shown me within its 47 episodes.
Actually, Nana is basically a series about the love and dreams in life. It’s filled with so many lessons that are depicted by the ‘what not to do’s’ in the series that it’s hard not to remember it. If you can’t remember the plot, just listen to the songs used in the series and everything will summarize the trials and hardships each character went through.