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Nana Volume 1: 07/12/08
Nana Volume 1 by Ai Yazawa is a Shojo manga and quite a departure for me from my usual manga choices. I saw this volume reviewed on my of favorite book blogs but it was months ago and I can't remember where. Anyway, the cover art appealed to me as did the title and I was looking for a change.
There are actually two young women named Nana: Nana Komatsu, who is introduced on pages 3-104, and Nana Osaki who is introduced on pages 105-176. The first volume comes to a close with a coda dedicated to a character named Junko but her role here is more as a source of "coming attractions" than anything else. Both Nanas are drawn to Tokyo but the paths they take are very different.
Nana K. is an emotionally scarred girl who is looking for love in all the wrong places, including having an affair with an older married man. She goes to Tokyo to follow a pair of men: the married one and a young artist who has transferred to a university there. Her time in Tokyo will probably be a rough one; she's unprepared for the big city and lacks the confidence to make the move work.
On the other hand, Nana O., a member of rock band, goes to Tokyo to follow her lover when he is offered a better gig. Although she is hurt by the break up she is strong enough and stubborn enough to charge into Tokyo and claim her piece of it.
The two Nanas will obviously meet in the future but in this volume they lead separate lives. There are enough similarities in their lives and in how they look that it is easy sometimes to accidentally confuse one for the other. In this regard, their parallel lives reminds me of a wonderful French/Polish film: La Double vie de Veronique / Dvojnaja zhizn Veroniki (1991).
I just recollected the whole series (not sure what happened to the copies I used to own) and was staring at them the other day thinking I needed to give them another read through! GREAT memories of this series as I was growing up. Fun, fun!"
I've been checking them out from my local library but I may break down some day and buy the entire set."
I've had this book sitting on the shelf for quite some time now. I wonder why I never read it when I was young. Someday I will correct that. Soon, I hope."
Read it a chapter a night; that's what I did. Happy reading."