Make Anime a Part of Your Balanced Diet; Or NANA Ends! Blurring the Line Between Hip and Horrid!

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I know what I was going into when I popped in Nana on the tubes, and I got pretty much what I expected: a trashy shoujo romance story that reflects well with its audience while being glamorous and exciting. When the anime ended it didn’t really make any impact for some reason. I’m not sure why.

Earlier before I finished watching those illicit fansubs I was thinking about my own obsessions. I think it would be fair to say that anime and game takes up a large chunk of my “mindshare”–I think about anime and games often. Perhaps it’s because I do a fair amount of both, but I think it’s more because I’ve structured my life around these two things too much, in a way that’s unhealthy. I guess I believe there’s a thing as “too much anime.”

There’s not much similar between a boring otaku’s life and a slutty rock n’ roll lifestyle. They are thematically similar in that there is some kind of balance that’s at the core of it. Nana is a show with a lot of strong and passionate characters who go a little too far and suffer as a consequence. I guess I have nothing to say about that aside from it’s a fun take for a 21st century Japan’s view on glamor, while trying hard to not stray from the poetic, karmic expectation for Newton’s Second Law.

But are we so strained by this reoccurring force of nature that we cannot enjoy our fantasies outside of this expectation? When you realize you’re spending more time playing games and watching/writing/reading/surfing/talking about anime than the necessary and proper things you ought to be doing, it’s a sign that you’re doing it too much. But when you realize you’re obsessed with someone that you lose sight of what’s best for both of you, is it really okay, in a fantasy, to indulge that even at all? What if Nana wasn’t about friends and lovers, but about spending 14 hours in the office to make big bucks and be a power spender? Would it just be Speed Grapher without the LOL superpower nonsense? Isn’t Lucky Star just Nana with a fangirl?

Maybe I should watch less shows like Nana and do more important things.


9 Responses to “Make Anime a Part of Your Balanced Diet; Or NANA Ends! Blurring the Line Between Hip and Horrid!”

  • lk

    You sound like me with your “more important things.” Other anime bloggers used to make fun of me for it. Then I closed down my site and they can’t comment anymore >:)

  • omo

    Yea, there is actually a second part to this rant that I deleted because it was just me rambling on. I figured making a tongue-in-cheek insult was more fun than to talk about oh why I’m wasting my time doing this or that. Thanks for dropping by you ex blogger you >D

  • Owen S

    Wtf lolikit you left? Shit.

    Omo, I need to know if you’ve read/seen Gokinjyo Monogatari and/or Paradise Kiss before I can make any sense of your comment about Nana being “trashy”, because I have no knowledge of how bad or good it is.

  • omo

    I haven’t read Gokinjo Monogatari but I really like Paradise Kiss (anime and manga). That said I think the first volume of Nana was the best volume of Nana I’ve ever read. It’s all down hill from there.

  • Owen S

    Got it. I thought ParaKiss was upping the corn factor present in Gokinjo actually, what with the cheesy happy ending, “everyone gets a significant other” and all. Only so many ways to skin a cat… that must mean Nana is quite bad.

  • Ivy

    You gotta give the show a little credit. It was very consistent with storytelling and production quality I think. It might have had characters going back and forth but thats what NANA is a soap opera done right. I’m still in my withdrawal stage from episode 47..I mean its sad that nothing hit you because I found NANA as a whole very very profound and powerful. Bring on season 2 Madhouse!

  • omo

    NANA is a high budget anime, so I appreciated that–enough to actually watch the anime from beginning to end. In reality I think the manga would be most people’s choice if they had to experience NANA, though. The voice acting, for me, really helped to stomach this kind of story because I’m much more interested in the acting and characterization rather than its plot (which is, I imagine, the minority position when it comes to long-running shoujo franchises). In that sense NANA was just not what I should be watching as 26 episodes of Aria the NATURAL would’ve done just as well of a job, in much less time. And I would’ve done just that if Aria wasn’t such a moody piece for me during this season.

  • omo

    Re: Gokinjo and ParaKiss, I think if my prior comment didn’t make it clear, I’ll just repeat that I could care less about the corn factor and who pairs up with who at the end. I like ParaKiss mainly for its characterization of Yukari, and the slow revelation of George’s world to her eyes. And I like watching glamorous shoujo-style making out? :) Anyways.

  • DrmChsr0

    Nana died, darn straight. Dan Kim made sure of it.

    Oh wait. Wrong Nana :V

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