review by Neo

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Hot, cute and inspirational!
Neo isn’t a big fan of Japanese drama/comedy movies, but once in a while there will be one that catches my attention. Last year, with the advice of fellow review, Paul, I endured through an extremely cute and fun flick named Cutie Honey. While that wasn’t cinematic classic it was a perfect little cute movie with a cute chick. This year, I was romping around the DVD store and I found the cover of a movie named Nana, extremely attractive. The girls on the cover seemed pretty hot and the moment I inserted it into the DVD player, the movie is far better than I expected and far more important than I thought. Nana, live action movie based on a manga that soared to new heights in Japanese history in the past year and with a sequel already in the mix, Nana is what Neo would call – a bit inspiring, a bit romantic, a bit touching and a bit realistic type of movie that really works.

The story goes like this: First up, there's Osaki Nana (Nakashima Mika), a calm, cool, and collected punk rock singer who struts into Tokyo's underground punk scene looking to hit the big time. While Nana's got some ex-boyfriend issues that she's eager to put behind her, she won't allow that personal drama to interfere with her big dream. In fact, Nana's not going to stop until she's conquered Japan as the nation's top rock star! The other "Nana" of the title is Komatsu Nana (TV actress Miyazaki Aoi), who is alternatively called Hachi. Cute and cheerful, Hachi led a somewhat sheltered life and has a bad habit of falling in love too quickly. She had some relationship problems in the past, but when she falls for her high school pal Junko, she decides to follow him to Tokyo when he gets admitted to an art design school. By moving to the big city, she hopes to find love and happiness in this new locale. By pure chance, Nana and Hachi end up meeting on a train, and thanks to a chain of coincidences involving the number seven, the two of them end up sharing the same apartment…

Mika who plays the "punk" Nana. Yeah she is hot!

Aoi who plays the gentle Nana.

There are moments in Nana that makes the film a memorable one, especially the subplot about Takumi cheating on Hachi. Takumi and Saeko make a cute couple and the way Saeko reacts toward Takumi warms Neo’s heart with her charms and cuteness. The scene involving Nana looking on stage into the eyes of her ex-boyfriend playing the guitar in front of a wave of audience is yet another touching sequence. There are more, but for those who never read the manga, may want to discover about the world of Nana by witnessing it themselves.

Saeko who is extremely cute in the movie.

Nakashima Mika plays the title role is a damn hot girl and it was the main reason why Neo even watched this movie in the first place. She is hot and she can sing and judging from this performance of seemingly independence on the outlook with a cute inside, she definitely has strong potentials. With her sexy, hot outlook, Neo can only predict a bright future ahead for Mika. While Aoi plays the other “Nana” with flair, I personally do not find her pretty at all, maybe cute at times, but it was not until near the end that she redeems herself with a perfect expression of shock. This is a good performance overall by a young TV star, but not attractive enough in my honest opinion. As mentioned before, Saeko is damn cute and a brave little figure that made her part more memorable than it deserves. She is cute, and attractive and the way she and Aoi’s boyfriend flirts conveys a nature chemistry. She is young, at only 19; it will be a pity if her part in Nana ends here, as Neo wants her to be there again in Nana 2.

Yuna Ito in a cameo performance!

Overall, Nana isn’t a perfect cinema, but rarely does Neo have so much fun watching a movie. It is cute, it is fun, it is romantic, it is cool and perhaps these are the exact reasons that Neo like the movie. Nana works well, not because of a perfect story line or a touching score, but rather the capturing of ordinary people with a hint of inspiration and burning flame. Mika is hot, Saeko is damn cute, and while Aoi isn’t exactly Neo’s favourite, there are many that adore her too. All in all, Nana is a movie that I thoroughly enjoyed, and in saying that Neo liked it very much. Bring on Nana 2! For more hotness, check out Yuna Ito in a cameo singing role!

I rate it 9/10

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Genre: Romance/Anime/Drama
Director: Director: Kentarou Ootani
Cast: Nakashima Mika | Miyazaki Aoi | Matsuda Ryuhei
Reviewed by Andrew (Neo), May 2006