Manga Mondays is a meme hosted by Alison at Alison Can Read where bloggers can share their passion for reading mangas. It's a great place to get new manga titles to try and to meet new bloggers. At the moment, I've got sucked into the world of Nana where music is the back drop and fuels the characters' passions and love and heart break go hand in hand. I'm coming close to where the series is at a stand still and I'm nervous that the series will end in a cliffhanger of sorts.
Description: Blast is at the top of the charts, and the band is making all kinds of P.R. appearances. Nana just wants to sing though, and all the marketing is starting to wear on her. A party planned for the loyal fans might be just what she needs to cheer her up. But there are secrets about her past lurking in Osaka, and the magazine Search Weekly is determined to bring them to light!
Review: In Volume 16 of Nana, we take a nice break from the melodrama surrounding the various romantic relationships in the book. Normally, I don't mind the drama as it makes the reading quicker, but I get so frustrated because I want to see all the characters (well, except for evil Takumi) to be happy! Happiness in the world of Nana is fleeting, which gives the series a melancholy touch.
As this volume unfolds, the plot focuses on the tabloids crazy obsession to find more dirt on Nana O. especially as her band Blast's popularity surges and sits comfortably at the top of the charts. Since they were unable to publish the rumored "Ren's having an affair!" headline thanks to Taukmi's smart diversion, the tabloids are now hunting any snippet of information regarding Nana's past, particularly about her family history.
Even though we are into 16 volumes of this series, we are left much in the dark about Nana's past. We do know that she was abandoned by her mother at a very young age and was raised by her grandmother. In this volume, we discover that Nana's mother is still alive, has been remarried, and now has two children. There has been no communication between Nana and her mother, who she presumed was dead. Nana has not even visited her hometown nor shows any desire to do so. So when Misato, Blast's biggest fan now turned Assistant Manager, and Nana K. catch wind about Nana's mother they try to keep the news away from Nana O. in fear of making her sad and angry. What Misato and Nana K. don't know is that Nana's half sister is actually at the party that Blast held for its biggest fans. Nana's half sister, also named Misato, is adorable. She really looks uncannily like Nana O. with the same hair style and physical features. The two girls meet but only as singer and fan.
While I understand Nana K. and Assistant Manager Misato's attention of wanting to keep this information from Nana, I do think they are being a bit too presumptuous and cuddling Nana. Unlike Nana K. who falls apart with any hint of sadness that touches her life, Nana O. has endured pain and made stronger of it. Of course, Nana O. will be devastated to find out the news about her mother and siblings, but I think that continuous hole she feels inside of her might just close.
Hanging over this possibility is the cloud of doom that scares me most, as we are given a cruel sneak peek at the future where Nana O. has disappeared and feared dead. How's that for an attention grabber?
Rating: 4 stars
Words of Caution: Language, sexual situations, and crude humor. Recommended for mature teens and adults only.
If you like this book try: Nana Vol 17 by Ai Yazawa, Honey and Clover by Chica Umino, Tramps Like Us by Yayoi Ogawa