Ai Yazawa is the creator of many popular manga titles, including Tenshi Nanka Janai (I'm No Angel) and Gokinjo Monogatari (Neighborhood Story). Another series, Kagen no Tsuki (Last Quarter), was made into a live-action movie and released in late 2004. American readers were introduced to Yazawa's stylish and sexy storytelling in 2002 when her title Paradise Kiss was translated into English. Nana has become the all-time best selling shojo title from Japanese publishing giant, Shueisha. Cumulative sales from the first 12 graphic novels have sold more than 22 million copies and the series even garnered a Shogakukan Manga Award in the Girls' category in 2003. A live-action Nana movie hit Japanese theaters in the fall of 2005.
Nana, Japan's most popular shojo (girl's) manga, is appearing in English for the first time. Nana Komatsu is a flaky young woman who's just emerged from an emotionally devastating affair with an older, married man. She dreams of a perfect romantic love, like in the movies, but her best friend, Junko, counsels her that it might be time to try being friends with a guy instead of just falling in love with him. So when she meets Shoji, Nana is determined to be completely platonic, despite Shoji's interest. Meanwhile, Nana Osaki, a high school dropout, is rocking onstage as lead singer of a punk band and offstage with the band's guitarist, Ren. When Ren alone is offered a recording contract, Nana decides not to go to Tokyo with him. She wants to prove to herself that she can be a star without Ren. Both Nanas find their way to Tokyo, where this first issue sets them up, leaving later volumes to unfold the complexities of their entwined destinies. Despite the soap opera surface, Yazawa's art is graceful and naturalistic, portraying all of the characters, both main and supporting, with such depth and care that you cannot help being drawn in. (Dec.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.