Normally my tastes are more manly than chick flicks, like playing football and showering naked together with other men in the locker rooms…okay, maybe that was a bit of a lie, but I feel it needs to be emphasized that you don’t have to be some scrawny, girly wuss to enjoy the NANA movies. If you like JRock or most any kind of modern japanese pop culture medias you will likely enjoy these movies just as much as I did. The music is really great, the characters and their interactions are very believable and the writing is quite interesting. Basically NANA is a chronicle of the struggles a small rock band endures after being torn apart by the seperation of their bassist and their adventures as they attempt to rise up again and take the music scene by storm.
The movie begins following Nana, the singer of a rock band called Blast that faded away when Ren, their former bassist and Nana’s love interest, left to join a major band called Trapnest. While riding on a train to Tokyo she coincidentally encounters another girl who is also named Nana, is the same age as her and is going to the same place at the same time. They sit next to each other for the ride and talk a bit, but aside from the various coincidental similarities, the two couldn’t be more different. This Nana is well brought-up and polite while the other is somewhat more rebellious and, at times, insecure. After the train arrives at it’s destination the two part ways and the new Nana goes to live with her boyfriend–or so she thinks. The guy she moves in with doesn’t really seem to be as interested in her as she is in him and he asks her to move out and find her own place somewhere. While on her hunt for accommodations she finds a nicely priced place at only 70,000 yen, the Japanese word for 7 being nana, not so coincidentally. She immediately decides to preview the place and when she arrives there coincidentally runs into the other Nana once again. Despite being polar opposites of personality they decide to rent the apartment together because it would be much cheaper that way. They quickly become good friends and the proper Nana helps punk Nana to regain her confidence reform Blast and reclaim her glory as a Rock singer. In between all this, good Nana is being cheated on by the guy she still thinks is her boyfriend and punk Nana helps to comfort her and push her to keep going. Good Nana wins some free, front row tickets to a Trapnest concert and, not knowing punk Nana’s prior involvement with Ren, invites her to come along. She however declines without really supplying much reason aside from being ‘busy’. She later discovers Nana and Ren used to be close and that she probably still has feeling for him and despite this, or possibly even because of this, she decides to try asking her again. This time she’s a little less resistant and decides to tag along. After the show, punk Nana happens to meets up with Ren and have an emotional moment, albeit a bittersweet one because they know that even though they want to be together they want even more to play their music and that will keep them apart from each other.
The second movie focuses more on Good Nana and her important part in the revival of Blast, despite not being an actual band member. Good Nana has long had a crush, as most innocent girls such as her do, on Takumi, the long-haired bassist of Trapnest whom she happened to actually get to meet at the end of the first movie. At the beginning of NANA2 he basically asks her out for a drink and she of course willing goes along. Punk Nana warns her not to get involved however; as he’s known to be a bit of a player. Her girlish obsession is too strong though and she falls into a relationship with him. Nobu, the guitarist of Blast has secretly liked good Nana since they first met when she and punk Nana moved into their apartment together. While at an after-party for one of Trapnest’s recent concerts he hears of this relationship and almost gets into a fight with Takumi, but storms out of the place first. After awhile of not hearing anything from Takumi, good Nana starts to feel that maybe punk Nana was right and when Nobu suddenly confesses to her she decides she’ll dump Takumi and go out with Nobu. This of course makes Nobu really excited and they enjoy a close and happy relationship. All seems to be going well and one day punk Nana shows up at the apartment with some really good news; Blast is being considered for a record label. Unfortunately good Nana has some bad news to counter it; she’s pregnant and doesn’t know who is the father; Nobu or Takumi. Word spreads and Takumi finds out about the coming bundle of joy (and messy diapers) and decides that if it is his he wants her to raise the child and live with him. She decides to go along with this, much to Nobu’s dismay and the rest of the band is quite shaken by the loss of their good friend to a different life. As they say though; the show must go on–and it does. When word gets out that their former bassist is Trapnest’s current guitarist the media is suddenly all over them and they quickly leap into the spotlight where they dazzle the crowd with some awesome tunes. Good Nana, despite living a new and different life, is still accepted to spend some time with her friend from the band and enjoy some fireworks. Then the movie ends…I want a sequel! >.<
Well…that was quite a bit of talking…and to think I left some of the details out to keep the train of thought a little more on one track! I really enjoyed these two movies and highly recommend them to anyone that may be interested. NANA and NANA2 are definitely worth watching, even if they are a little girly. NANA also has an anime and manga that I have yet to see that I may talk about in a future post after checking them out.
Get NANA2 now at Play-Asia!