It’s not peculiar in Japan to make a movie from a popular manga (Japanese comic book) as it at least guarantees audiences to be those fans of the manga. "NANA" the movie is based on the manga with the same name written by Ai Yazawa. It’s a story of two girls with the same name called "NANA" who met each other by chance on the train to Tokyo. Even though they share the same name and have the same age of 20, their personalities are so different that it could be said to be on the other sides of the spectrum. One is a punk singer with short black hair and cool tattoo on her arm who usually dresses in black punk outfits, while the other is a sweet and cute girl with long black hair who usually dresses in white fluffy style. Chances play trick on them as both end up sharing the same room (number 707) on the 7th floor of the apartment with the rent of 70,000 yen per month. Well, you may wonder why I put on so many details regarding the number. If you know Japanese language, you might get the catch here that "NANA," the name of two main characters of this story, means "seven" and it’s after all their magical number which brought them together. The story in the movie follows exactly from the original manga as we could see through the lives of both "NANA" their dreams, happiness, despair and above all their friendship.
The movie is well edited and well paced that you could understand the story smoothly even though you haven’t read the manga before. Flashbacks and voiceovers play an important role in the story development. As the leading characters of the movie, Mika Nakashima and Aoi Miyazaki perfectly portray the role of the punk "NANA" and the sweet "NANA," respectively. The other ensemble of the cast also fit rightly in the movie. The script and setting in the movie seem to come out directly from the manga. The music, which couldn’t be presented in the manga version, comes to live in the movie and it rocks! Being a veteran singer, Mika Nakashima represents the punk "NANA" and sings the song that suits the movie perfectly.
For the note, the movie ends at the point where the manga ends at volume 5. Fans of manga expect the movie to have a sequel as the story hasn’t yet ended in the manga. To date, there are 13 volumes of manga released in Japan and volume 14 is set to come out in January 2006.
5 stars out of 5 – recommend to not only manga lovers but also general audiences who expect to share a dream with "NANA."
For more information, please visit the official movie website at http://www.nana-movie.com/