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Nana More at IMDbPro »

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22 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely Excellent, a true lesson to Hollywood of how to convert a comic/book to the big screen.

Author: willuknight from New Zealand
13 March 2006

You can rest assured that this is one of the best media adaptations I've seen, and it's the best Manga <> Live Action Movie conversion i have ever witnessed.

All of the main cast looks as if they have come to life direct from the manga, and they feel real and vibrantly true. About the only negative i could say is that Shin doesn't look young enough (mainly because he's too tall, his style however is perfect and natural). About the only character that didn't jive with me was Nobu, but apart from that everything is perfect - from Yasu to the members of Trapnest, to Sachiko to Juu-chan, all perfect, living as naturally as real life.

Full credit has to go to the stylists and costume designers, who took NANA's unique and wild style of clothing and made it a living breathing stunning showcase you want to reach out and touch.

With regard to the story, i have nothing but praise for the authentic adaptation and brilliant pacing of the story. The movie basically covers from where Nana (Hachi) got on the train to go to Tokyo and it ends just after the concert, when Trapnest came over to Nanaes's (plural possessive of Nana) apartment. The ending is one that feels right, and wraps up nicely the threads throughout the movie. It leaves open the possibility of a sequel and most importantly, doesn't change the source material.

For all of you out there who have never read Nana you'll be pleased that for the movie, NO PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OF NANA IS NECESSARY. So you can go and watch it right now.

I've already mentioned how closely the movie follows the source material, and it is a joy to behold the manga come to life and acted out for this 2 hour movie. I have a very short attention span but for NANA i was on the edge of my seat.

With the NANA manga featuring detailed themes of music and bands, a question is how well real life was able to bring to life the exultation of the songs. I wasn't that wowed by the first BLAST track, but the ending was definitely nice to listen too. In particular Trapnest sounded awesome.

I could write on and on singing my praises for this movie,So what are you waiting for, watch it!!!!!!

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14 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Exactly what it should be

Author: thorsaeng from Thailand
17 November 2005

I am one of NANA comic books' fans, so that's why i really love this movie! It contained all details i wanted it to have. The actors were so real, especially Kyosuke, it was like he jumped out of the comic books! The soundtracks went along with the scenes very well. And they did all the emotional scenes pretty touching. I could laugh and cry along with Nana and Hachi. Both the comic books and the movie perfectly complete each other. When I read the comic books, I have to imagine the characters' voices but in the movie I hear their voices and I deeply get into their feelings. Mika Nakashima was so good at expressing her voice. Aoi Miyazaki was the perfect Hachi, she was cute and innocent. Yuna Ito wasn't so much like Reira but loved her voice though. I really wish they will make NANA II!!!

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12 out of 18 people found the following review useful:


Author: YetAnotherOpinion
6 February 2006

I saw this on an AA flight back from Japan and have to say it was a pretty enjoyable flick, so much so that I'll request netflix to carry it if/when it comes out on DVD so I can watch it with my wife.

It behooves me to add a bit of context, unlike quite a few of the people here, I've never read the manga, so for me this was a standalone movie with no preconceptions of what the characters should look/act like. I thought they were reasonably developed, interesting characters with good amount of depth.

My only real issue (as is frequently the case) is the manner in which they subtitled this movie. It's hard for me to ignore the subtitles if they're there, and worse, when they are poorly done then I spend an irritating amount of time interrupting myself mentally, thinking "Wait a second, that is not at all what (s)he said". This may just be my problem but it's definitely irritating. At the same time, they were not so drastically different that they significantly changed the feeling of the whole movie, which is frequently a complaint heard about English language movies with Japanese subtitles.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly mainstream, ultimately a feel-good movie

Author: Harry T. Yung ( from Hong Kong
5 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Those who have watched "Kamikaze Girls" and expected "Nana" to be much of the same are in for a big surprise. In "Nana", they will find neither avant garde characters nor black humour, but instead a very mainstream story, told in a traditional way, and wonderfully told, I hasten to add.

Two girls have a chance encounter on a train, and later more chance encounters, are both called Nana (one is actually the pronunciation of a Japanese name). At the first encounter, one is dressed completely in black, the other completely in white. Nana-W, "cute and fluffy", on her way to be with her boyfriend in Tokyo, is also the voice over narrator. Nana-B, a rock vocalist as cool as you can get, has her story told in simple flashbacks. Nana-B comes with a broken heart; Nana-W is going to get one.

Without getting too much into the plot, it suffices to say that Nana-B (in flashbacks) initially did not follow her guitar-player boyfriend Ren to Tokyo because she wanted to prove herself rather than live in his shadows. Three years later, now ready, she heads for Tokyo herself, encounters Nana-W on the train and winds up sharing an apartment with her. Nana-W on the other hand ends up losing her boyfriend but helps Nana-B to regain hers.

I have simplified the stories, which are rich with supporting characters, well played by an ensemble cast that have taken their roles to a perfect length, leaving a firm impression without getting too much into the spotlight. And there is no villain in this movie. Even Nana-W's boyfriend Shoji who falls in love with another girl, and the girl he falls in love with, deserve considerable sympathy. Shoji, by the way, is played by Yuta Hiaroka who is just adorable in "Swing Girls". Ren, Nana-B's guitar-player boyfriend, is played by the Japanese star who many consider to have the most beautiful face, Ryuhei Matsuda and if you have seen "Gohatto", you'll understand why.

In "Nana" we also see a very popular reverse in roles as in "Kamakaze girls". Nana-W starts out as sweet but woolly-headed, helpless cute damsel but ends up not only being able to get over her heartbreak, but also instrumental to Nana-B's mending a broken relationship. Nana-B, so cool and tough, actually has a weak spot in her heart. But in the end, it's the friendship and comradeship between the two girls that gives this movie an uplifting, feel-good ending.

Visually, we are treated with some stunningly melancholic snow scenes, as well as a mesmerising surreal frame from the laced window of the girls' apartment.The sound is equally captivating, particularly Mika Nakashima's rock numbers.

But that's not all. "Nana" has a more subtle sub-text, surrounding the rock musicians' strive for success. Ren's heading for Tokyo is no different from someone leaving everything behind in the home town to seek fame and fortune in The Big Apple. When we see him a few years later, he seems to have got to where he wanted to be, but has he really? He is with a top band, but is obviously not as popular as the other guitarist. He later intimates that he got there by sheer hard work, not talent. That is all very educational but isn't talent what it's all about with music? Seeing Ren's "success" would almost be a disillusion to Nana-B, who firmly believes that SHE has talents. Maybe there is no answer and perhaps asking the question is already taking the movie beyond what it intends to be.

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10 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

A Young Film that starts off well but gets boring

Author: Chrysanthepop from Fraggle Rock
7 January 2008

I liked the freshness in the first half of 'Nana'. The two girls Nana (Nakashima) and Nana (Miyazaki) meet and are reunited by 'coincidence'. Then they decide to move in together and we are shown glimpses of their worklife and lovelife. However, in the second half, as the film shifts to Nakashima's Nana's lovelife, it gets painfully slow and boring. The film was slow to begin with but the first half managed to stay enjoyable. The 'reunion' in the end looks rushed.

The instrumental pieces in the background score add to the freshness and winter season. However the songs are quite bad. Cinematography's quite adequate. From the two Nana's, Miyazaki is the better actress. Even though she frequently shows her toothy smile, she brings out Nana's naivety, vulnerability and cheerfulness with tremendous ease and makes her character very likable. Conversely, Nakashima is mostly wooden. She pretty much has one expression on her face throughout the whole film. The supporting cast ranges from adequate to wooden.

So to speak, 'Nana' could have been very enjoyable had the second part received more consideration. This film may appeal more to the younger generation.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Nutshell Review: (DVD) NANA (2005)

Author: DICK STEEL from Singapore
8 October 2006

My curiosity was piqued when I saw many of the DVDs on sale at various shops recently, so was actually wondering what the movie's all about, until I chanced upon a copy (Special Edition too) at the Esplanade Library. In giving it a shot, I'm pleasantly surprised, at the story it told, as well as the eye-candy available of course.

It contains an extremely strong story of friendship, of love and the falling out of, adapted from a popular Japanese manga of the same name, by Ai Yazawa. You might liken it to Feel 100%, as it touches on life, romantic love, and friends. This is the story with a theme primarily centered on Fate, of how two strangers sharing the same name Nana, be the same age, come to meet one night on a train to Tokyo for their own personal reasons, and how they grow to be best friends. The two girls can be so different from each other, one being a kawaii (cute) bimbo, while the other is a rock chick (which I thought was in the mould of Garbage's Shirley Manson) with her own rock band called Black Stones.

While the narrative is forward moving for Nana Komatsu (Aoi Miyazaki), in following her objective to be in Tokyo with her boyfriend Shoji (Yuuta Hiraoka), Nana Osaki (Mika Nakashima, a real life singer) is in the city to try and achieve her big break for the band. However, flashbacks and the slow revelation of Osaki's backstory too revealed a romantic tangle she had with an ex-band member Ren Honjou (Ryuhei Matsuda), who now plays for a successful outfit called TRAPNEST.

It's an account of the two Nana's romantic relationships with the guys in their lives, and how they encourage and support each other through turbulent times during the relationships. While Nana Osaki may be kawaii, her clingy puppy dog attitude may put some guys off, who might prefer the more confident Nana Osaki. But pride too is an obstacle, as I know from personal experience how two very ambitious persons can stumble unwittingly, and perhaps reluctantly sacrifice love for personal career.

Before you dismiss this as a chick flick, I'd like to say I would think otherwise. It may look like one, but it's tremendously well made, with a well paced narrative. Perhaps having the manga serve as a source provided for richer characterization of the leads. The two actresses who play both Nanas too couldn't contrast each other perfectly, and all in all, it's a very pleasing, despite the down moments in the story, movie to watch.

By the way, the sequel has already been filmed, and is pending a year end release. I don't suppose we'll get the opportunity to see it in the theatres here, so will have to cross my fingers for a quick DVD release.

This Code 3 DVD Special Edition by Panorama Entertainment comes with 2 discs. The first contains the movie and a full length commentary by director Kentaro Otami as well as the two lead actresses Mika Nakashima and Aio Miyazaki. Listening to them during the commentary, they revealed which shots were kept close to the manga source, and which had to be changed for reasons ranging from aesthetics to form. No worries though, as the commentary comes with subtitles as well, in both English (though there were some grammar/tense issues with "shotted") and Chinese. Audio comes in a Dolby Digital 5.1, which allows for a truly rock-concert like atmosphere during scenes when the bands perform.

The second disc is the feature disc, consisting of

- Making of NANA,(33mins 25s), follows the production from the 15-16 Jan 05 when filming began, including the director and cast interviews, as well as deleted scenes (filmed but not used in the movie) - Premiere Screening in Japan, 7 July (for obvious reasons) 2005 (3mins 10s), in Rippongi, with the director and major casts sharing their thoughts on the movie and of the characters they play. - Stage Appearance in Japan, 3 Sep 2005, (3mins 55s) with the director and major casts sharing their thoughts of the movie again. - Asia Premiere in Hong Kong, on 2 Oct 2005 (4mins), with a press conference attended by director Kentaro Otani, Mika Nakashima and Ryuhei Matsuda, and the attendance at the premiere screening complete with a cosplay contest. - Four theatrical trailers, without subtitles (Runtimes of 1min 48s, 30s, 20s, 34s) - Four TV Spots, without subtitles (Runtimes of 17s, 17s, 30s, 17s)

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Marvelous, touching, please learn from Nana and go for your dream.

Author: SIUMAR` from Hong Kong
12 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In my opinion,

NANA is a touching Japanese film. You have to be really concentrated and understand the main characters' feeling. Indeed, this film made me cried for twice :*)

Both main characters are called NANA. They met each other for once and again when they were deciding to rent a flat. Since both of them like the flat so much, then they decided to rent it together and live together. They started to know about each other and also secrets... OK I'll stop telling you and let you to watch it yourself :) - It seems to be a boring movie at first, but surely it turned out to be not. There's no doubt that the story frame is quite boring. If you had paid attention and understand the main characters' feeling, you could feel that it's interesting and touching.


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Nana (2005)

Author: SnakesOnAnAfricanPlain from United Kingdom
17 January 2012

Nana may suffer from being a condensed version of an expansive Manga universe, but it also knows exactly how much time to spend on individual plots strands. Nana is a coming of age, female friendship film that handles immature and young emotions with absolute maturity. The most impressive aspect was creating a relationship between one of the protagonists boyfriends and another girl. It easily could have made him a villain, but instead took an unbiased look at how the relationship came to be. Luckily, for a film focused on bands, the music is relatively good. Nakashima and Miyazaki both inhabit their roles well and build up a believable friendship. Highly enjoyable, even if it doesn't quite feel complete.

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Nice adaptation of the popular story.

Author: lewiskendell from United States
12 August 2011

Two very different 20 year old women meet on a train to Tokyo. Other than the fact they're both named Nana, they have very different pasts and personalities. Despite this, they're destined to become very big parts of each other's lives. 

Based on the very popular anime and manga of the same name, this is a fun adaption. The musical aspects of the story are kept, and are as nearly as important to the story as the relationship between the two Nana's. Speaking of, the actresses chosen to play the two title characters are great, and the story is as interesting for guys as it is the girls who are the original audience.

NANA was a good movie, I liked it. Obviously it's more recommended for people who are already familiar with the source material, but even NANA newbies should enjoy this.

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Otani Kentaro's "Nana" is the near perfect mass-appeal date movie that both guys and gals will love.

Author: jmaruyama from Honolulu, HI
20 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Based on writer/artist Yazawa Ai's best selling "Shojo" (girl's) manga series which ran in the Japanese publication "Cookie" (Ribon), "Nana" had all the makings and elements of a hit movie - A young and attractive cast (check), a cool music soundtrack (check), trendy fashion (check) and an overly romantic "chick" friendly storyline (check and check). It's the type of movie Hollywood producers dream of and I wouldn't be surprised if someday, it gets remade by Disney with "High School Musical" alumni like Vanessa Anne Hudgens or Ashley Tisdale.

Yet, while Yazawa Ai's "kawaii" characters and melodramatic story does have its universal appeal and won many manga fans, the movie's success is in large part attributable to its magnetic and alluring star, Nakashima Mika.

When she debuted in 2002, her powerful vocals and ethereal songs garnered many adoring fans and sold even more albums. With her lanky "Olive Oyl" figure and striking good looks it was not long before she found herself starring in a movie.

In Otani Kentaro's (Travail, Avec Mon Mari) "Nana", Nakashima's first major film role, she plays it safe by portraying the title character of Ozaki Nana, a "sexy tomboy beanpole" singer who fronts the Japanese punk rock band "BLAST" (AKA The Blackstones), who are less like The Sex Pistols, Clash or The Ramones and more akin to Gwen Stefani and No Doubt than anyone else.

Lead singer Nana and lead guitarist Honjo Ren (Matsuda Ryuhei) were longtime lovers since their garage band days in Hokkaido, up until Ren's fateful decision to leave Hokkaido for bigger opportunities in Tokyo, a move which literally broke Nana's heart.

Two years later, wanting to follow her dreams of becoming a rock star, Nana decides to go to Tokyo as well to make a name for herself. By a chance coincidence she meets up with another young country girl who is also heading to Tokyo.

The hopelessly cute Komatsu Nana (Aoi Miyazaki), with her long boots, girlish pastel colored wardrobe and giddy personality is the complete opposite of the brooding, dark Nana O., yet by uncanny coincidence they share the same first name and age. Nana K. is heading to Tokyo to be with her boyfriend Endo Shoji (Hiraoka Yuta) who is going to art trade school there.

Nana K. and Nana O. part ways when they get to Tokyo but soon find themselves reunited again while out searching for an apartment. The two agree to share a modest, flat which by kismet/serendipity is on the seventh floor (nana kai) and is numbered "707" (Nana Hyaku Nana).

Yet luck is not with Nana K. as she loses her part-time job with a small vintage furniture shop as well as her boyfriend to another girl, the squeaky voiced, Lolita-like Sachiko(Saeko). Nana O. comforts Nana K. and they begin to form a special bond and friendship. Nana O. even gives Nana K. the complementary pet name "Hachi" (eight).

Nana O. also hits some rough spots. She reforms her old garage band from Hokkaido and begins playing at various small gigs. Yet Nana O. still can't forget her former lover Ren, who she discovers has since become a popular guitarist for the pop/rock band "Trapnest" fronted by Japanese- American vocalist Layla/Reira Serizawa (Hawaii local and J-Pop idol Ito Yuna), and it's up to Nana K. to help Nana O. by helping her get back together again with Ren.

This is Nakashima Mika's movie and she seems born to play the part of Yazawa's spunky heroine. Nakashima's confident and natural acting style is fun to watch and she brings a lot of charm and likability to her role. She seems at home with her character's rough n' tough punk persona which is all the more amazing since her real life J-Pop persona is completely different.

Miyazaki Aoi (Gaichu, Su-Ki-Da) is so darn cute in her role as naive Nana K. From her stylish girly clothing, to her all-too-sweet personality, she seems like a anime girl come to life. Yet Aoi makes it work and so the results are less irritating and contrived and more endearing and enchanting. She's the type of fantasy girl "otaku" boys would love to have as a girl friend.

Matsuda Ryuhei (Akumu Tantei, Gohatto, Cutie Honey) is also good in his role as Honjo Ren bringing the necessary coolness factor to his rocker role. His scenes with Nakashima are genuinely romantic and they have the right chemistry. One can't help but want to see their characters hook up.

The soundtrack for the film is awesome particularly the edgy "Glamorous Sky" produced by L'Arc En Ciel's front-man "Hyde" which has become Nakashima's signature song. Ito Yuna's tearful love song/power ballad "Endless Story" is also a definite winner and a personal favorite of mine.

While Otani's "Nana" is no "Purple Rain", it does share a lot in common with Prince's movie and other rise-to-stardom films such as the brilliant film "Once". Nana O's struggle to find fame seems to play a backseat to the romantic elements of the story. At its heart, "Nana" is a fairy tale for the MTV reared generation - a story about beautiful people, falling in love and finding happiness and fame. While the music adds to the film's mood and tone,"Nana" isn't a film about the art of making music or the creative process.

While manga purists may be find the movie's truncated story a bit irritating they can take some comfort at the 2006 anime TV series faithfulness to Yazawa's manga.

I loved "Nana" and it is easy to see why both the manga and film adaptation has found such a loyal fan following not only in Japan but around the world. Its universal appeal is a clear testament about the power of love, music and friendship, which needs no translation.

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