June 7, 2008

When I read that NANA was one of the must-see animes of 2006, my conscious once again told me that there was no harm in trying. So okay, I have to admit that though this anime won’t be part of my all-time or current top 10 list, but it doesn’t disappoint either. First thing when I saw this series is that the drawing and art reminded me so much of the anime Paradise Kiss. That’s because this series was also the brainchild of Ai Yazawa, who did both Paradise Kiss and NANA mangas, in which both has been adapted into animes as well.
Unlike Paradise Kiss, NANA has more episodes and spans 47 episodes and somehow I find this more interesting than my previous rendezvous with Paradise Kiss. However, I can’t totally say that I loved each and every bit of the series because at points I caught myself yawning at some boring parts. Don’t get me wrong here. This series is mainly drama driven with strong character development. Because of so, I kinda feel that this series was targeted for young teenage girls. Uh huh. A drama show for teenage girls.
Unfortunately, perhaps not just for any ordinary teenage girls. That’s because sex is partly a theme here too. I mean, you won’t get to see any hardcore stuffs but with all those suggestive moves and camera views and shots, any viewers like me can tell it’s so obvious that they’re… you know. So I also feel that this series is for mature audiences. Parents alike, an advice not to watch it with your kids.
Comedy is an important factor for me when I pick animes to watch and you can expect to see the series’ own kind of brand comedy in each episode, whereby most of them are kinda statements which are to state the obvious or contradict the other. Also, you can tell so when the characters raise their voice or the drawing becomes simple and chibi-like.
Thus the basic storyline is about 2 ladies of the same name and age and their coincidental meeting (or some would call it fate) that would forever change their lives and those around them. One of the 2 main protagonists is Nana Komatsu (Nana K) who is a naive and always-depending-on-other-people kinda gal. She’s the kind of girl who needs a man’s love to live so much so even she herself admits that she’s a ‘Master Of Falling In Love At First Sight’. Very true. She has countless boyfriends in her 20 years of existence (okay, maybe not that much because I wasn’t keeping count) which even includes a married man! Will she ever learn? Don’t think so. Whenever she has a fallout or break-up with one, another one will come along and fill that void in her heart. I must admit that Nana K is quite a pretty girl but I wouldn’t want to have such gal as my girlfriend too. No offence. Yeah, when things don’t really go her way, she’ll blame it on the Demon Lord and thinks it’s his doing. Did any reflection lately? The other protagonist is Nana Osaki (Nana O), who is an orphan (abandoned by her mom when young and never knew who her real dad is, is a more appropriate description) and acts like a tomboy. Well, she does have her feminine side, though. Not the kind of sweet lovely girl, that is. More like dark queen emperor ;P. So forgive her if she sounds crude or acts the way a woman shouldn’t.
In the 1st episode, we see the girls meet on a train which has stopped dead on its track due to a heavy snow storm. Nana K wants to go to Tokyo because she wants to be with her current boyfriend, Shouji Endo, who’s studying in a university. On the other hand, Nana O is a struggling rock band vocalist and is trying to make it big in the big city of Tokyo. Partly another reason is that, her ex-boyfriend, Ren Hojou, who was the bassist of her band Black Stones (Blast for short) back then, left the band to join a more popular group called Trapnest as their guitarist. So I suppose she just can’t leave it all there and wants to meet up with him too.
After the train journey resumes and finally reaching their destination, they thought it would be the last they’ll see of each other but that’s just the start. Obviously, Nana K could stay at her Shouji’s place but I thinks she wants to try and be independent and find a place to live on her own. Since living in urban Tokyo would be expensive (plus it wouldn’t be good for a naive country girl like her), her journey takes her to find an apartment at the outskirts. Though the building seems old and the rent is cheap, the overview of the river and the city lights in the background is breathtaking. The number 7 must be the number of the series (yeah, ‘nana’ could mean 7 in Japanese) as the landlord takes Nana K to see the potential room that she’ll be renting. It’s room number 707 on the seventh floor. However, there seems to be someone else in the room and looking around. Why, it’s Nana O! She played a cruel joke by not remembering who Nana K is at first. Anyway, they both had a little argument who should get the room as both ladies wanted it so badly. Not until the kind old landlord suggest that they could both rent it together (not to mention it’ll be cheaper since they’ll both share paying the rent) and could even get their own keys for their own room if they want. Thus, another chapter begins in with this unusual friendship of theirs.
Settling down together won’t be easy at first and it seems that they’ll drive each other up the wall. But as the series progresses, you’ll find that their presence is essential to each other. Because Nana O finds it annoying to have 2 people with the same name living under 1 roof, she decides to nickname and call Nana K, Hachi (meaning 8 in Japanese. I guess it also means to show that Nana O wants to be more superior) or Hachiko. It’s like calling yourself, right? Soon most of the other characters will start calling Nana K by her nickname and she doesn’t mind it as well. But for me, I will still refer to her as Nana K as I think it’s more appropriate and Hachi a little derogatory. Even if she’s okay with it and at times portray herself as a puppy wagging its tail.
Before the series progresses from there, we are shown a flashback of the 2 Nanas of their lives before they came to Tokyo. Nana K has a best friend, Junko Saotome, who’s always on the look out for her. Junko is more responsible, mature, giving advice at times and without her, I wonder how Nana K will end up. So back when they’re studying, Junko introduced Nana K to Shouji, and it’s love at first sight (again) for her. So after graduation, Shouji along with Junko and Kyousuke Takakura (a mature guy and soon to be Junko’s boyfriend) decides to go to Tokyo to study arts. Poor Nana K, being left all alone, got into some twisted affair before finally deciding to head to Tokyo. Another thing amusing about Nana K is that due to her insecurities, she creates an imaginary hot looking bimbo named Sachiko and blames anything on her or Shouji if she has doubts on what Shouji’s doing. Like when Shouji’s working for a part time waiter job to help pay for his studies, Nana K thinks he spend all his money on this Sachiko instead on her, when actually Shouji saved enough to buy a new pc for his studies. Yeah, "Who’s Sachiko?". It’s like that everytime.
As for Nana O, her Blast rock group was quite popular back at their hometown (Nana O had a hardcore fan called Misato who even follow and attend performances she’ll do in Tokyo) but had to be disbanded when Ren left. The other members in this 4 member band include guitarist Nobuo Terashima AKA Nobu, who is the son of a rich family and a heir of some family business (but prefers to see his future career as a punk rock artiste), and bald drummer Yasushi Takagi AKA Yasu, who is the most calm, cool-headed, mature thinking member. I believe I’ve never seen this cigarette smoking guy without his shades off. Yasu seems to be interested in pursuing a career in law thinking that there is no future in rock music. At times, I feel that Yasu is like the baby-sitter of the group and takes care of Nana O especially in times of need. But when Nana O left for the big city, I think those 2 too couldn’t sit around doing nothing and soon after goes to Tokyo as well. Well, their friendship runs deep. I think Yasu too feel that he can’t totally leave behind this rock music thing. "There are many law firms in Tokyo too" seems like an excuse to stay. But of course, Nana O in a way is happy that her pals came.
So back to present time, since Nana K is living on her own, she has to take up a part time job and manages to find 1 as an assistant of a furniture shop. Yeah, the bespectacled owner seems kind and hot… Thinking of falling head over heels? Also, Nana O is trying to reform her Blast group but with Ren’s departure means they have to look for a bassist to fill in that vacancy. Nana K decides to help out by putting up some poorly drawn job ad at the store she works. Soon, a young handsome guy by the name of Shin (don’t mind his weird hairstyle and facial piercings) appears and decides to try this one. After holding a short private screening and audition, Shin’s playing style reminded Nana O very much of Ren. She accepts him into the band and tells him to better than Ren. Now the group is a whole once more. They rent a studio for their practice (Nana K often comes to watch and support them) and at times perform little gigs which will soon move their name up in the music world. I also kinda notice that Nana K likes to patron a bar called Jackson Hole (Jackson Burger is their specialty) with Junko, Kyousuke and Shouji, and chat.
However, luck isn’t on Nana K’s side as the owner of the store has an urgent thing to say. No, it’s not confessing his love lah! Perasan betul! He’s thinking of closing his store down soon as he’s going back to his hometown. Which means Nana K will be out of a job. She had several job interviews and finally gets one as an assistant in some magazine company (I think). I think that she got the job because she was pretty and Nana K herself seems to be more concerned of Shouji rather than focusing on her job, earning the wrath of an elderly lady staff. But that is just the least of her troubles. You know, that Sachiko person is actually real. Uh huh. She is a coursemate of Shouji and also works part time as a waitress along with him. What an interesting twist of fate! Soon, Shouji falls for Sachiko but is still unable to let go of Nana K. Typical love dilemma. Without Nana K knowing all this, Shouji continues to date Sachiko even if his conscious tells him that it’s wrong. But I suppose Sachiko too can’t help it even when she’s trying not to get between him and Nana K as she too is in a dilemma.
So all this is found out when Nana K brings Nana O to meet with Shouji at the restaurant he works. Shouji is panicking and doesn’t want Nana K and Sachiko to meet. Unfortunately they do and Sachiko herself panics. But Nana K didn’t suspect anything. It is until later that night in which Nana K decides to wait outside for Shouji to finish his job and go home with him. Shouji didn’t see this coming so he leaves with Sachiko and the inevitable happened. Nana O asks who is this person and Shouji replied that she is his girlfriend. Gasp! Oh great. So he has 2 girlfriends, huh? Nana O wants to teach this ungrateful bastard a lesson and punch him but Sachiko interrupted. She tells her to hit her instead since it’s her fault. Well, Nana O has no qualms about it either. Anyway, heartbroken Nana K just tells her it’s okay and leaves. So in a way, you could say that this is the end of their relationship and from now on, Shouji and Sachiko will be reduced to just side characters of the series, though Shouji and Sachiko will still be going out with each other. Even Junko and Kyousuke can’t help him now. He dug his own grave. By the way, I kinda notice an uncanny resemblance between Sachiko and Misato. Perhaps that’s why Nana K got a little jealous when Misato came and stayed over at their place or when she got too close with Nana O. But Nana K soon realize her mistake and gets along with Misato.
Nana O tries to comfort Nana K and it was pretty hilarious to see at 1 point whereby Nana O heard Nana K screaming and thinks she has slit her wrists or what and comes running out of the toilet! Actually Nana K is happy to receive 2 front row tickets for a Trapnest concert back in her hometown. You see, Nana K is a big fan of Trapnest and is an avid admirer of the band’s bassist and leader, Takumi Ichinose. The other band members of Trapnest include drummer Naoki Fujieda (always being referred to as ‘the other guy’ and gets excited and loudmouth whenever he sees or hears things which interests him) and vocalist Reira Serizawa (this half American and half Japanese beauty may seem elegant and graceful upfront but she’s quite childish, throwing tantrums and sticking out her tongue when she talks among her bandmates). Nana K also didn’t realize that Nana O and Ren were once lovers until later. Slow. So the girls leave for Nana K’s hometown and well, Nana K’s family is just as weird. Why, she has a sister, Nami, who is so tanned, that you might think that she’s of African heritage! They manage to attend the concert and it was fabulous. Though it was part of Nana K’s plan to make Nana O get together with Ren, Nana O has a surprise for her later.
When the girls get back to their 707 apartment, Nana K gets the biggest shock and surprise of her life. Takumi is at their place! Tears of joy. Ren and the other Blast members are there too and they had a feast. I guess it’s a dream for every girl to be this close to the idols they love. So this is just more than just admiring kind of love. Soon, it’ll be the kind of lovers. Takumi soon brings Nana K to a luxurious hotel and looks like it’s the first time she’s been to such a grand place. You can pretty much guess that the duo made love. On the other hand, Nobu too is growing fond of Nana K but you know, he doesn’t want to intrude on their happiness. When Nobu and Shin found out that woman-player Takumi had slept with Nana K, they were disgusted and their respect for him went down (yeah, Shin splashed a glass of water in his face!). Because of this, Nana K is in a dilemma too. Either Takumi or Nobu. Though I think deep down she has feelings for Nobu (heck, they even made love too! But I’m trying not to think of her as a slut), but circumstances has it that she has to go back to Takumi. At certain points, Takumi may seem cold and selfish, but in a way, he’s right too. Partly, Nana K can’t seem to get out of this never ending spiral. She’s like stuck with him. But this relationship can’t be publicised or else it won’t bring any good for the band’s future.
Over the series, I kinda find that the members of Blast and Trapnest know each other and their relationships intertwining. Yeah, they even know each other way back during their schooling years. It’s really a small world after all. So like Reira likes Takumi but the latter sees and treats her more like a brother-sister relationship. Also, Shin is like a high class male prostitute and goes round to his ‘clients’ whenever they need him. Why, not he’s good looking and young but he doesn’t come cheap. He’s really in high demand. Later, Reira and Shin will have a secret tryst which will turn into a secret relationship. Of course Nana O and Ren’s relationship continues but secretly too because I think all those female fans of Ren will probably kill Nana O if they ever find out that their loved one likes a girl from a rival and upcoming band. Also there are times which may hint that Yasu likes Nana O but the former was more of being a good friend to Ren and taking care of that little princess.
Then a shocking news came to light. Nana K may be pregnant! Confirm, she is. But who’s child is it? Nobu or Takumi? High chances of it would be Takumi’s because Nobu did mention that he used a condom. Anyway this fact pisses off Nana O very much because Nana K would be separated and going further away from her. I’m not sure, but Nana O is thinking of keeping Nana K as her ‘dog’ in her ‘mansion’ and with Nobu as her companion or boyfriend or husband, she’s just like allowing her ‘dog’ to run around a little in her ‘garden’. Seems like Nana O is using Nobu for her own achievements on Nana K. Though Nana K is confused and shocked by the recent development of events, she decides to keep the baby no matter what. Because of that, Takumi tells her that whether the baby is his child or not, he will still provide child support for her. Nana K has to go live with Takumi in his apartment but their relationship is still kept a secret from the public. But that Takumi jerk at 1 point must’ve had sex on his mind and does it with Nana K even if she tells him that by doing so might harm the baby. "You don’t have to worry but making me happy…". Huh? Meanwhile Nana O really wanted to do something about it but can’t and eventually goes to live at Ren’s place (this guy’s a pervert too). A lot of drama, tension and spacing out. As the series takes a series twist and turn, this will be the last time (not really) that we’ll see the 707 apartment. At least it’ll be a long while. Plus, the 2 Nanas won’t be together as they always did and Nana O feels the pain of being separated from a friend. Especially when Nana O accidentally broke the strawberry glass which Nana K bought when they first moved in as the latter treasures it very much.
From this point on, the main focus now is on Blast as they have written a new song and are trying to make their debut. They managed to sign a contract with Gaia Records when a scouting staff, the understanding Takafumi Kawano, who is also the company’s recording producer, spots them during one of their gigs. Ironically though he doesn’t know much about punk rock music, he sees some future in them. Of course signing a contract doesn’t guarantee them an easy life as they will still face lots of obstacles and prejudices as newbies in the industry. One of them includes an editor guy from some ‘paparazzi-like’ magazine who seems to hold a deep grudge against Trapnest and Blast. I’m not sure what his problem is or had with the band but he intends to expose Ren and Nana O’s relationship and wants to make it as though Nana O is using Ren as a stepping stone to launch her career. Though Ren and Nana O had got several advices of trying not to be seen together by their bandmates, I guess there’s always 1 time where they’ll let their guard down. A photographer who has been secretly following them must’ve cherished this moment very much. He takes a photo of them leaving Ren’s place together. A crisis and scandal to hit a new up and rising band at such a time? No doubt that Blast’s debut was a hit but this could mean trouble.
In no time, they’re making headlines in every newspaper in town and this causes reporters and journalists to swarm over them to find some answers. Nana O is probably the most affected person as a couple of reporters hound her outside her 707 apartment where she is cowering in fear. I love the part whereby Yasu makes his ‘grand entrance’ to rescue Nana O by telling off those reporters "If you people have time to sit and mess around with other people’s garden, plant your own damn flowers first". Wohoo! That’s right! Tell it straight to their faces. So Nana O got her confidence back and tells Nana K through the camera to watch and see her make it big time. With that, all the Blast members are relocated to 1 of Gaia’s shared housing and facilities building, which also houses other talented individuals, to shield them away from the press while Trapnest members temporarily leave the country for England (partly to do some promo work too). I find it amusing when Takumi was calling Nana K and naughty Reira is making weird faces to him and saying something about Takumi’s ex-love in England, Stella. But it seems Takumi gets to head back to Japan earlier than the rest because he wants to see Nana K and meet her parents (must be real shock to see their daughter engaged to a musician. But Takumi seems to be quite eloquent and graceful in meeting her parents). I guess he’s arranged for their marriage already. Probably Nana K’s heart is easy to satisfy as Takumi bought many gifts for her. There’s a funny part during their conversation whereby Nana K thinks that Takumi may have another lover when he says that Nana K will always be number 2 in his list. Yeah, Nana K brought up that Sachiko name again! But to her surprise, that girl Takumi was referring to was their unborn daughter! Haha. Regret bringing that name up? Well, Takumi seems to be fond of that name. Uh oh. Their child named after that imaginary bimbo and Shouji’s current girlfriend?! Really regretting… Meanwhile, Shin and Reira seems to do long distance relationship and communicates with each other through their handphone SMS.
So the Blast members living in some hostel-like environment and they have an effeminate guy, Ginpei Shiroboshi as their manager. Pondan. This guy and Nana O always seems to be in some sort of argument but things indicate Ginpei may have some soft spot for Yasu as he always listens to him. Uh oh, I smell gay. Anyway the band members get to meet several occupants of the shared housing like porn star Yuri Kousaka (haha, Nana O caught the guys by surprise when they knew and revealed too much about her) and soft-spoken and depressed-self-mutilation tv actress Miu Shinoda. I dunno but it seems Nobu is trying to leave his past with Nana K behind as things suggest that he may be interested in Miu and that Yuri too is interested with him (not sure whether she’s just fooling around). Because of this Nana O isn’t quite happy as she still thinks Nobu is fit for Nana K. An argument ensued before Nana O experiences hyper-ventilation and has a hard time breathing. Thanks to Miu’s advice and fast thinking and action by the rest, Nana O’s condition isn’t life threatening but she can’t exert herself too much. This worries her a little because singing is the only thing she can do in life.
It seems there’s gonna be a showdown in the debut of the albums between Blast and Trapnest because the release date is to be the same, on October 31st. So when Trapnest return to Japan, they along with Blast did a lot of promotional gigs for their upcoming album. As far as I can remember, I think this is the first time Nana O meets Reira face to face. Well, seems pretty okay to Nana O since Reira looks forward to be friends with her. So Blast seems to have their hands full with all the scheduled programmes and interviews for them to attend. So your typical no comment answer about Ren and Nana O’s relationship. Then when Blast made their first tv debut performance, it was like an instant hit and they could really rival Trapnest. But even with their hectic schedule, I guess they still have to find some time when Nana K calls Shin to watch some fireworks together. Nana O thinks it’s Nobu’s chance of getting them back together but Nobu is still uncertain. Nana O tells her that they will meet back at their old 707 apartment and will be eagerly waiting for her. But since they’re so famous now, anybody can just identify them. How will they solve this? Well, they have several make-up artists to cover that part and though Ginpei refused to let them go see the fireworks at first but since Yasu did opened his mouth, I guess that guy has no second thoughts of giving the green light. Anyway their disguise is like a complete make-over. I mean, Nana O’s disguise reminds me of Yukari of Paradise Kiss. I can see the similarities between them now. Shin is dressed like a girl (like Misato!), Shin a normal guy and Yasu… he dons an afro?! You really wouldn’t recognize them at first sight.
As they’re waiting at room 707, Nana K is on her way and decides to stop by Jackson Hole and unexpectedly meets Shouji there! It’s been a long time since these 2 met. They had a little chat and probably before they parted, it feels like Shouji was apologizing for what he did and that he has to live with all that. But the final episode starts off with a possible glimpse of the future in Nana K’s life. We see that she has a daughter named Satsuki (thank God, not Sachiko) as she along with Nana O and her Blast members are together at their 707 apartment having a swell time in their traditional Japanese festival attires. So back to present time, Nana K is still indecisive whether or not to go meet the gang as she fears to see Nobu, vice versa. So of course Nana O bluffs her by saying that Nobu didn’t come. But even so, Nana K really took her time so the gang left to see the fireworks. Though Nana K finally arrived at 707, since nobody was in (well, Nobu was but he didn’t open the door) and Shin’s good timing call told her where they were at that time, she left. Finally both Nanas meet chat a little as they watch another round of fireworks. After that, the Blast members are being picked up by Ginpei as they head back.
Well if that doesn’t feel much of an ending that’s because it really hasn’t ended yet. Though the manga is still ongoing, this is actually the 1st season of the anime series. Why, a few episodes before the final episode, the producers put a countdown to the end of the first season. Probably in the near future, the producers will pick this anime up again when the manga has finished some storyline arcs. By the way, I have briefly browsed through a little and it seems the manga will get more complicated with the development of several character’s relationship. Especially between Ren and Nana O, and the postponement of Takumi and Nana K’s wedding. I think a 2nd season is quite likely since the series is quite popular with the manga translated and the anime dubbed into several languages. Fancy reading NANA in French or watching it in Chinese?
At the end of each episode, there’ll be a segment called Nana’s Room, hosted by NANA Navigator, Nana Shizue. In this segment spanning a few minutes, she’ll tell viewers all there is to know about the series such as the release dates of the DVDs, soundtrack and albums, interview with the seiyuus, promotional events and even behind the scenes of the people behind this anime. Quite informative. Besides, I kinda notice that the real-life 707 room which Nana Shizue hosts most of the time is seemingly smaller as compared to the anime one. Yeah, in the show it looks rather spacious but here it looks kinda a little tight.
The character developments of the series is quite good and though it mainly focuses on the 2 Nanas, at times it also gives an insight about the past lives of other members like the mysterious and youthful Shin, whose father isn’t his real genetic father but a foster one who takes him in and even all these years he never feels that lovely father-son feeling. We also see how Nana K has grown from a naive character into a stronger one (like she doesn’t blame things on her Demon Lord anymore), though generally her overall trait is still there. But she is more mature now. And for Nana O who was a loner back during her high school days, comes to appreciate the meaning of friendship especially with Nana K. You’ll cherish something very much when you lose it. Also at the start and end of each episode just before the opening and ending credits, you’ll hear a narration about the metaphors in life and such. The first half is narrated by Nana K and when the series took a serious turn, the second half is then narrated by Nana O.
As mentioned, the drawing and art do have that bishonen and bishoujo feel, so everybody here looks gorgeous. Even when they’re in their comical chibi mode. I also noticed that there are several kanji or hiragana writings onscreen whenever the characters make some punch line or joke, whether it’s contradicting statements or sound effects. But since some of them are too small, I can’t really read them.
True to the nature of the band in the anime. All the opening songs of the series have that punk rock feel and beat while all the endings are more slow rock. The openings and endings are mainly sung by either Olivia or Anna Tsuchiya, both whom are inspired by the series to sing the song as Nana O or Reira. At first it was quite odd to see Blast singing the opening songs as their performance gigs but I guess it’s better than having to write a totally new song just for it. So I’m not sure during the anime when Nana O sings those songs, it’s actually her voice or the real singers themselves. While the 1st opening theme, Broken Rose and 2nd opening theme, Wish sounds like your typical punk rock song, I can’t help notice that the lyrics of the 3rd opening theme, Lucy sound so ‘bad ass’. Uh huh "Yeah yeah, yeah yeah, you’re going down…". Of all the ending themes, my favourite ones are still the 1st ending theme, A Little Pain, and the 3rd ending theme, Kuroi Namida. The others include 2nd ending theme, Starless Night, 4th ending theme, Winter Sleep, and 5th ending theme, Stand By Me (more like a special ending theme). There are various insert songs and background music to suit the theme and mood of the series. So fans of NANA should get the soundtrack as it provides quite some ear candy.
For a drama series, the voice acting is quite good. Nana O is voiced by Romi Paku (Edward of Fullmetal Alchemist) and Nana K by Midori Kawana AKA Kaori (Haruka of Pokemon). The other casts include Hidenobu Kiuchi as Ren (Ryohei in Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn), Toshiyuki Morikawa as Takumi (Mitsuomi in Tenjou Tenge), Aya Hirano as Reira (Suzumiya in Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuustsu), Tomokazu Seki as Nobu (Kyou of Fruits Basket), Akira Ishida as Shin (Saburo of Keroro Gunsou, Narumi of Gakuen Alice), Takako Honda as Junko (Hone Onna of Jigoku Shoujo), Juinichi Suwabe as Kyousuke (Atobe in Prince Of Tennis), and Hiroki Takahashi as Shouji (Eiji in Prince Of Tennis, Harima in School Rumble).
There’s 1 thing bad about the series, which is smoking. You tend to see most of the rock band members (and even the underage Shin!) smoking cigarettes themselves. Why, the name of Black Stones was derived from a cigarette box itself! Though Nana O has that no smoking policy during rehearsal because it’ll ‘threaten’ her vocals, but I kinda noticed that she too herself at times becomes a hypocrite and smoke. Bad influence? What about the sex part? Well, yeah. That depends. Remember, make peace and love, not war.
Just like Paradise Kiss, there is a hint of fashion for the characters in the anime. Since I’m not into fashion, I can’t really comment here. Also, there are some items in the series like handphones, which has been produced in real life. See the intense promotion of the series? No wonder this series is famous in most parts of the world. I also find the episode number for the title screen to be quite fancy and creative. Though, I’m not sure what happened to the title name. Is it somewhere in the opening or ending credits which I usually skip? Dunno. For really hardcore fans of the series who can’t get enough after accumulating all those posters, fan arts and merchandise, there are even 2 real-life movies made and a video game based on it too. I wonder how the game works.
So who says that being a rock group is easy nor is falling in love. But I guess the uncertainties in life is what makes it interesting and hope to look forward to. I’m not sure if I’ll have the same interest to watch if the second season comes out, but it’ll be interesting to know what destiny and fate will have in store for the 2 Nanas. Oh yes, before I forget. I kinda notice that with all the references initially surrounding the Nana name and number, I wonder why they didn’t make one relating to the yellow fruit, banana. Get it? BA-NANA. Hahaha! Just joking.

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