Nana – episodes 17 and 18

August 22, 2006 on 10:09 pm | In Nana | 6 Comments

The good thing about getting another dose of Nana is that you remember how much you love it. I’ll admit that it’s not a series I think about when I’m not watching it or writing about it, but if I had the time to think about every series I was watching all the time, my head would probably explode from data overload.

In these two episodes we get more great Nana stuff. While Hachi is the more open character, Nana is the one who has the more interesting back story. Hachi is a good narrative tool for blasting thedoor to that world wide open.


Hachi finds out that Nana does not remember her parents and has not had a family since she was 15. Nana assures Hachi that she will answer any question, so Hachi asks the most obvious question of them all …
… then, at the Trapnest concert, more than one person is sent into emotional turmoil.

When Nana met Hachi’s family, it was exactly the sort of scene that a more stereotypical character would have reacted to with disgusted snobbery. Hachi acted with the right sort of embarrassment, but Nana proved once again that a woman can wear black and be a little tough without being a super bitch. Looking at Hachi’s family, one can see that they really are “a little bit country”: Natsuko is a traditional bold and brassy mother figure; Nao is growing to become more like Natsuko every time Hachi visits; and Hachi’s father likes to drink when he gets home from work. The only “stand out” member is Nami, notable for her ganguro appearance. It actually looks really bad, but that’s entirely the point of the ganguro look. Nami does not belong in this family, and she is the trouble maker, but that’s not to say that they don’t love her.

So Nana never experienced any of this. She’s not judgemental, though, and when she realises the motives of Hachi’s actions she’s actually touched rather than angered. Through several flashbacks we see that she was always distant from the other members of BLAST (back when it was called Bluto, which is indeed an homage to Popeye) and she couldn’t have fun just for the sake of others. It was strange, but sensical, to realise that Yasu has always been the leader of BLAST; I had it in my mind that Ren was the leader. That assumption makes little sense when I put my mind to it.

In the second of these episodes, a brief glimpse is offered of the backside of Trapnest: it’s funny to note that the leader, Takumi, doesn’t appreciate the foolishness of his band members and wants them to refrain entirely from speaking on stage. They must preserve their image! Yet Takumi is not the important thing, nor is Hirano Aya’s Reira.

No; the important party, you will find, is Ren. The quality of Nana is spoken for because we can see scenes of Ren’s reactions to events without having them related to us through the girls. Lots of series take one focus but, when necessary, Nana has not been afraid to shift to vital, interesting things happening behind the scenes. If we had not seen that Ren was going through a dilemma, I doubt that anyone would have cared. It’s simple, but essential; I would definitely have missed it were it not there.

Where are Nana and Ren going? I don’t know, but I want to. That, in addition to all of the others, is the vital ingredient for Nana‘s success.

Extra secret rant after images

I need to mention this somewhere, before the thought evaporates for all time: Reira is voiced by Hirano Aya. I am really not sure if I like Hirano Aya at all outside of her role as Suzumiya Haruhi. I think her singing voice sounds too weird, that it sold on the strength of it being a case of “Suzumiya sings!”. She has a “strange” voice, and I’m not saying that as one who loves moe. If anyone accuses me of that, I will slap them.
Interestingly enough, the next episode preview provides a “third” voice for Hirano Aya: her promo voice, which, I suppose, is ostensibly her “real” voice. In promo mode, Hirano Aya takes on the high, sickly sweet tone reserved for your lower class of idol and even goes so far as to say something as nonsensical as “pyon!”
So I don’t know what I think of her. Did KyoAni make her, or will she survive beyond the one show that wreaked havoc on the world?


  1. “Reira is voiced by Hirano Aya”

    … you know. This blew my mind. Seriously, I fell out of my chair. Now I have to go redownload and watch that scene again.

    Comment by Os — August 24, 2006 #

  2. You couldn’t tell? She’s got her unique voice going for her.

    Comment by Alex — August 24, 2006 #

  3. Nana does that to you, doesn’t it? There are odd moments when I wonder “Why am I watching these awkwardly drawn characters lurch around the screen like a bunch of Balinese silhouette puppets?” And the answer is because I’ve swallowed the hook and it’s way, way down there in something vital. Coming back to the story after a week or two away is like another yank on the hook.
    Thanks for that ganguro explanation. Wikipedia helped too – much is now clear about Nami!

    Comment by ojisan — August 26, 2006 #

  4. The artwork here is pretty original. and if u r tired of seeing the same old big-eyd animes and mangas, take a trip to reality with NANA. At first i was caught off gaurd by the artwork, and NANA wasn’t very appealing to me. But it grew on me. alot. and real fast, i became obbssesed!! I fing this kind of anime and manga gorgeous, and it reaches that deeper feeling of life like no other i’v seen, so far so good!!
    p.s.-NANA 4 ETERNITY and BEYOND!!( especially u Nana O., thanks for being so cool)
    p.s.s-I still love u big-eyd animes and mangas

    Comment by NANAFANGIRL4ETERNITY — May 28, 2007 #

  5. I have to admit, ganguro is creepy…….but it works on some.

    Comment by NANAFANGIRL4ETERNITY — May 28, 2007 #

  6. Finalmente nana apre il suo cuore ad Hachi…questa puntata è davvero bellissimisima…..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    e poi nana si riconcilia con Ren…anche se il loro rapporto è molto tormentato…

    Comment by Hachico — July 4, 2007 #

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress with Pool theme design by Borja Fernandez.
Entries and comments feeds. Valid XHTML and CSS. ^Top^