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Nana – 3/4 [Nana K. and Shoji, Love’s Whereabouts/Nana K.’s Love, Nana O.’s Dream] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome all, to another (late) week of Throwback Thursday! In this weeks episodes we continue to dive into Nana’s past, seeing how she overcomes her trauma with Asano and eventually gets together with Shoji. We also get a peek into Ozaki’s past as well, a welcome change in my book. There’s a fair amount to talk about so lets jump right into it!

Lets kick things off right away with episode 3, “Nana K. and Shoji, Love’s Whereabouts”. We’re still in the flashback here, which was a tad unexpected to be honest. I’d have thought we would spread this out across the show but it looks like we’re frontloading the exposition. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it frees up a lot of time in future episodes for other stuff. Nana just needs to avoid having even more flashbacks down the line. Getting back to the episode, this one is all about how Shoji and Nana get together, and overall it was… fine? Shoji and Nana finally get to talk candidly and Nana gets to confront her time with Asano directly by happening upon him in Tokyo, there’s plenty to do. But I have one big gripe with the episode: It’s treatment of men.

Simply put, the bedroom scene between Shoji and Nana left me very concerned. The way it portrayed men as unable to control themselves, slaves to their lust, how Shoji backed that up floating the idea that it wasn’t safe for Nana to sleep in the same room as him because he “might not be able to control himself”, was disgusting. If that’s a legitimate concern Shoji then that’s not an issue with men, that’s an issue with you. And if it’s something you’re seriously concerned about, if you don’t honestly think you can control yourself, get help. Now yes, I can understand Nana probably meant this as a joke, some banter since both of them had unresolved feelings for each other and sleeping in the same room would be awkward. But there far far better topics of conversation than whether or not Shoji would rape her.

That concern aside though, the rest of the episode was honestly decent. The entire cast hinting to Nana that they were moving on with their lives and that she should too, that she needs to find her own goal and life outside of other people, was great. I especially liked Shoji finally cracking and telling her straight up that this has been an ongoing problem, that all of them have been pushing her towards this since they met her. And it’s not like they are trying to push her away or stop being friends with her, they clearly care for Nana a great deal. But it’s because they care that they want to make sure she has something outside of them. Because and every one of them has their own dream, and they can’t ignore that to take care of Nana just because she doesn’t.

Nana also runs into Mr. Asano, his real name surprisingly, again this episode, which could have been really weird but actually worked out. I feel like Nana was confirming that he did, on some level, care for her. That it wasn’t just manipulating a highschooler, even if that’s what he ultimately did. He takes her out to dinner talks her through her issues, tries to offer advice and comfort her, all without ever pushing for sex or anything. He seemed legitimately concerned for her. And while I think it’s a bit weird how easily Nana moved on after this meeting, I do appreciate that they met and that he wasn’t some mustache twirling villain looking to use and abuse her. Obviously still not a great guy, what with the sleeping with underage girls, let’s not understate that. Dirtbag. But an empathetic dirtbag. How do you praise a guy like that?

Anyways, this all culminates in Nana and Shoji getting together, with Nana acknowledging that she had put it off and strung him along because she was afraid of getting hurt again. But after meeting up with Asano and clearing that air, in confirming that it wasn’t purely being used, she seems to be ready to try again. That’s good! Shoji wasn’t purely a rebound or a desperation play like I initially thought, there’s some real love here from Nana it feels like, not just infatuation. Hopefully Nana continues to expand on that and their relationship, because I’m coming to really like Shoji as a character. And yeah, this might not be a Lesbian romance like I initially thought according to the comments from last week, but it should still make for some good push and pull between him and Ozaki.

Next up we have episode 4, “Nana K.’s Love, Nana O.’s Dream”. This episode consummates Shoji and Nana’s relationship, literally, as they go to their hotel room and figure out their dynamic. For the most part it was good! Nana is still a bit weird about guys, Shoji basically negging Nana into sex was weird, as was the “Be more like an American” line, but I’m going to choose to charitably interpret that as “Be more confident” rather than the alternative. Anyways, the big thing here was them establishing the Tokyo plan, Nana committing to saving up money to join Shoji after he gets accepted and moves away next year. With that hashed out, we’re basically caught up on Nana’s story, we know how she got here, why she got here, and what pushed her here. So what about the other half of the episode?

This is where the meat of the episode is to me, as we return to Ozaki and get to really peer into her head for the first time in the series. Much like Nana, this is a flashback for her all about how she wound up in Tokyo. From the looks of things she was abandoned by her mother, left with a helicopter parent grandmother who stifled her and later died, and then busted out and went hard on expressing herself the moment she was free. This lead to Ozaki buying a nice bright dress and getting together with the lead guitarist of a local band, which she is now the lead singer for. Not totally unexpected, we knew she was in a band, or had been in one, by her guitar. And the punk aesthetic gave us a pretty clear idea of what lead her there to begin with.

What’s interesting though is just how similar Ozaki is to Nana. The way she latched onto someone romantically once free, the lack of any sort of dream or goal of her own. Just look at her conversation with Ren, the guitarist, and his clear desire to move to Tokyo, to have kids, to raise a family, all things Ozaki either has no interest in or hasn’t really thought about. He even pulls a Shoji and tells Ozaki to find something she wants from life, a pretty on the nose tell that she lacks a purpose, much like Nana. Hopefully her flashback gets another episode or so to flesh things out like Nana, because there’s still a lot we don’t know about her, but it’s to see Nana giving her the same treatment and not leaving her by the wayside after introducing her in the first episode.

As for where all of this goes, that’s up in the air. Last week a commenter pointed out that Nana wasn’t actually a Yuri show like I had been told, it’s a straight romance. But from what I’ve been told, both prior to this watch and having discussed it with friends this past week, it does have a great deal of Yuri undertones. The best way they described was that it was “Gay the same way Rakugo is gay”. Which, for those that don’t know, I don’t view Rakugo as gay. I view it as a platonic sort of love, Philia instead of Eros to use the Greek terms, between men. I won’t be upset if that’s where Nana goes, it could still be very good. But it means I have to throw away a lot of the assumptions I had made prior to watching the show.

And with that we come to the end of this weeks post. The episodes were decent, not as good as the first two I don’t think, as those were very tightly written and did a good job preparing the rest of the show, but still good. Hopefully next week Ozaki gets a bit more time for her flashback and then Nana can dive into the story proper. I like Ozaki, don’t get me wrong, and while her flashback will probably be great, I want to start progressing Nana’s story of discovering her own purpose in life. I want to see her wander around Tokyo figuring herself out, interacting and growing as people with Ozaki. Hopefully next week kicks that off, or at least focuses on Ozaki, because there’s only so much flashback I can take, regardless of how good that flashback actually is, you know?

The post Nana – 3/4 [Nana K. and Shoji, Love’s Whereabouts/Nana K.’s Love, Nana O.’s Dream] – Throwback Thursday appeared first on Star Crossed Anime.

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