By Leroy Douresseaux
Dec 30, 2009 - 7:07
|Nana Volume 20 cover image is courtesy of barnesandnoble.com.|
Rated “M” for “Mature”
Nana “Hachi” Komatsu was moving to Tokyo in order to leave her capricious love life behind her. Nana Osaki saw Tokyo as the place to make it big in the world of rock ’n roll. The two Nanas first met on a train, and in spite of their different personalities and backgrounds, eventually became roommates and best friends. Together, they navigate the world of fashion, gossip, rock and roll, sex, and all-night parties.
As Nana, Vol. 20 begins, Ren Honjo’s drug use threatens to destroy Trapnest, the band in which he is the guitarist. Takumi Ichinose, leader and bassist of Trapnest (and Hachi’s husband), and Layla “Reira” Serizawa, Trapnest’s singer and lyricist, struggle to hold the band together. They aren’t willing to let Ren quit, but they’re willing to give him the time he needs to get his act together. Ren’s strained relationship with his lover Nana makes it hard to turn to her for help, but he believes that he cannot work out his addictions alone. Meanwhile, the tabloids continue to dig into the past of Nana’s birth mother.
THE LOWDOWN: Although this is one of the shorter volumes of Nana, the emotional resonance of the drama still packs a wallop. Reading a volume of Nana (or even a chapter) is like watching a daytime soap opera because practically every few pages the narrative presents some scandal, cliffhanger, and/or surprising reveal. Love is always in a state of flux – beginning, ending, growing, falling apart, but what is love without some complications? It’s just another way creator Ai Yazawa holds the readers prisoners to this enthralling story.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Fans of josei manga (comics for adult women) soap opera will want Nana on their reading list.