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Nana – 5/6 [Ren’s Dream, Nana O.’s Feelings/Snowing in Tokyo! Nana and NANA] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome all, to another week of Nana! This week we finish up our flashbacks, finally seeing why Ozaki came to Tokyo, as well as get a small reminder of where everyone is before the story kicks off in earnest. Or at least, I hope that’s what episode 6 was, because if not I’m going to have words for next week. Anyways, on with the episodes!

First up we have episode 5, “Ren’s Dream, Nana O.’s Feelings”. This one continues Ozaki’s flashback, ensuring she gets just as much time and attention as Nana, which I appreciate. We get to her struggle with whether or not to follow Ren to Tokyo, whether to settle for being a housewife and supporting him since she would just be following his career or to stay behind and make her own way, eventually meeting up again as equals. We also get to see how they get together in the first place, that this wasn’t just a fling for them but something more. And you know what? It was all really good! I think Nana absolutely nailed it, from Yasu and Nobu’s conversation around music, their careers and Ozaki’s decision to Ozaki and Ren’s relationship. It’s so similar, yet distinctly different, from Nana’s own story with Shouji and I love it.

I mean, just look at them. Both Nana’s are following a man to Tokyo after a year or two long separation from them hoping to reconnect. But where Nana was forced to stay behind because Shoji couldn’t stomach her blindly following him without a plan, something she still hasn’t figured out by the end of the first episode, Ozaki stayed behind of her own free will because of an explicit desire to stand with Ren as equals. She wasn’t content just being a follower, of singing for anyone other than herself, and so she found her purpose before she left for Tokyo while Nana is still searching for hers after arriving in Tokyo. It’s like we’re watching both sides approach the same end point, the same self-actualization, but from two very different directions. Because as much as Ozaki has a desire of her own, she’s still chasing someone else.

As for how Nana got there, again, it was good. Watching Ozaki struggle with this decision, talking it through with Nobu and understanding what she needs to do versus what she wants to do was good. I especially liked the train scene where it looks like she’s going to give in and leave with Ren, but instead it’s one final goodbye kiss before running out as the doors close, staying behind as he chases his dream. And oh man, the way Ren cried as the train left? That proof that this was just as hard for him, that these relationships meant so much to all of them, was great. I love how deeply this group cares for each other, how this isn’t just Ozaki desiring and latching onto someone but a two-way street and a silent promise for the future.

Speaking of Ren, I quite like him and I’m looking forward to seeing him again in the future. Not just because he succeeded and became a hot-shot guitarist, what with appearing on a billboard and all, but because of how chill and respectful he is towards Ozaki. He’s similar to Shoji in a lot of ways, only more mature and worldly. He laid it all out for Ozaki, in detail, making it clear that she was welcome to come with him but that he wanted it to be her choice, and no one elses. As Yasu points out, he respected Nana as a person rather than a pet, she wasn’t someone to leave behind or drag along on a whim, she has to make the decision herself. The use of Nobu to hammer that home for the audience was good too, because he’s young, he did need it explained to him. All around good shit this episode.

That brings us to episode 6, “Snowing in Tokyo! Nana and NANA”, and I have to say, I was disappointed by this one. Episode 5 being so good only made this one feel even worse. What is, effectively, a recap episode? Already? 6 episodes in? Seriously Nana? I understand that the hidden meaning behind a lot of Nana and Ozaki’s interactions is clearer now that we know both their pasts, that the conversation has changed now, but did we really need to rewatch the whole thing? Can you not trust your audience to figure this stuff out for themselves, or maybe leave it as something special to find on a rewatch? As interesting as it is to note Ozaki’s reactions to everything Nana says now, it felt like a waste of an episode.

Especially because there was an easy answer to all of this sitting right in front of you. As the train arrives in Tokyo, rather than following Nana again like we did in episode 1, just… follow Ozaki instead. Turn the camera around and show us what she does her first few days in Tokyo, how she winds up at the apartment complex at the end. Imagine her going to one of Ren’s shows, or seeing a CD in a music store, or busking to make some money, anything really. Just something new while still leading us back to that same moment in the apartment at the end of episode 1 for us to pick up from. Instead we just got more of Nana with Shoji, which like… Sure, some small new scenes, but nothing substantial. It’s just a lot of wasted potential sadly.

So yeah, all in all a mixed week for Nana. Episode 5 was fantastic, the best yet really, while episode 6 was easily the worst simply due to it being mostly a recap. Hopefully this was just a one-off thing for Nana to reset us back at the apartment complex just like we were in episode 1, at least then it would make sense. If we end up having a recap episode of some kind every 3 weeks or so though… Well let’s not dwell on that, I choose to live in a happy world where this was just an unfortunate consequence of front-loading a bunch of flashbacks. So long as next week gets into the story proper I expect Nana to pick itself back up and not let this little bump hold it back.

The post Nana – 5/6 [Ren’s Dream, Nana O.’s Feelings/Snowing in Tokyo! Nana and NANA] – Throwback Thursday appeared first on Star Crossed Anime.

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