6 In Others / General

A slice of reality in the fictional world

I’m still reeling from the whirpool of emotions that has not yet settle down. Maybe it’s mixed with a twinge of regret, and perhaps a sense of betrayal that is rather irrational in retrospect.

I love my dramas and the fictional world. There is some comfort to dive deep into a story that you feel attached to and yet detached from. It’s an easy watch knowing how the plot is likely to move or fun trying to guess what is going go happen next.

But when the fictional world comes so close to making you feel as lost as would in reality, where you cant seem to see beyond the present and when all your choices sometimes lead you further and further away from ‘what should have been’ and you can’t even tell right from wrong anymore, it feels kinda fascinating but yet scary. It’s like reality augmented through fiction – does that make sense?

Just finished watching NANA (the anime) and well I feel like I’m dangling off the cliff.



Great. You are still with me?

Sigh. Next time i watch an anime i better make sure it’s completed, or at least the manga is completed, or at least the author is still writing it. Indefinite hiatus sucks.

There are many fiction works that is based on reality and the characters relatable. But NANA is one of the rare shows that’s completely raw reality. I love how each character is so flawed, complicated and real. A lot of people seem to complain that many of them, especially hachi is selfish. But aren’t we all? We wish for people we love to have all the good things in life. Yet we get scared that we will get left behind. We try to feel happy for them, but the twinge of sadness that they are getting further from us is real too. Everything comes to an end at some point but yet we clinge on to the hope that things will never change or that they can go back to the same at some indefinite point in the future.  Conflicting feelings but genuine all the same.

I love how the NANAs need for each other is mutual but yet they ended up pushing each other away in hope that they are doing the best for each other. Sigh im no good with words but somehow that struck a chord with me.

Hachi and the choices she makes in life feels so real to me. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with her choices and its hard even for a viewer to judge what is good or not, something that is almost a given in dramas. You get the feeling that she’s falling deeper and deeper sometimes and that she could have done better for herself in many circumstances. But yet you just can’t say that it’s wrong. Which is how i feel about life at the moment.

What we are now is the accumulation of our choices, and some of these choices are not rational decisions. We all know we can do better, but yet we choose to be what we are like now.

I love how you cannot predict how the story goes. Hachi came to Tokyo, expecting to be reunited with her boyfriend and her life to be revolving around her two other friends. Yet when she chose to share an apartment with nana, that decision lead to her being swept into a new circle of friends and a new world that she would have thought she can be part of. Takami was supposed to be an idol she admired and somehow she got to know him. While it probably wasn’t her intention, she ended up with him and it was unpredictable circumstances that got them together for more than a night.

That really mirrors how we cannot control what happens in life and sometimes our decisions is led on more by circumstances rather than our own will. Its not to blame ‘external’ factors, but that our choices is often complex and saying “you could have done differently, the choice LIES WITH YOU” is perhaps a little too simplistic. Perhaps our choices are already being shaped and restricted in the first place.

And i thought shut up flower boy band was gritty and raw and portrayed the story of an underdog band struggling to make it big beautifully. NANA made shut up looked more like a polished feel-good teenage drama.

It hurts to see that while chasing your dreams, sometimes you end up getting something that is totally not what you expect. When that happens, do you go through with it or make the decision to stop and pursue what you feel is more worthwhile at that point in time? Is it weak to settle for something less? Nana and ren could have had a happy life together, but while pursuing their dreams they ended up further from each other and perhaps they did not even find what they have achieved that important anymore. Maybe they both felt a bit of regret, but there’s always the sticky point that if they had not done it, they may feel another sense of regret. So in the end is it about timing and coming to terms with the present?

The anime ended on such an abrupt note and when I first started watching the anime, i would have never thought that it will end like this. And so is life.

Read some of the spoilers from the manga and it looks like things got even more unpredictable and this is the first time ive seen a fiction story go downhill. Funny that i don’t think the story sucks and i even want to applaud it for being reflective of life. There is no happy ending, no neatly tied storylines and no climax or buildup like a normal fiction story. Instead it remains unpredictable and volatile throughout, peppered with up and downs.

I was actually quite shock to read that Ren will die, Shin will cause the band to disband, Nana will disappear and that Hachi doesn’t even end up with a happy or wholesome family. None of them would have known this will happen, who is able to predict?

It’s all about trying our best to live without regrets and knowing that we did all we can where possible and to accept that we did make mistakes now and then.

NANA is a great show, especially for girls (:

P.s. I spent almost the whole day in bed (literally) cos I’m down with backache. Told my mum that its like na jeong (reply 1994) and she rolled her eyes and told me that’s a drama and to stop laughing. x.x

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  • Reply
    23 November, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    I’m waiting for the second season too. i’m not really a manga person lol.

    you should add more warnings for people who’ve seen the SHOW but not read the manga beyond where th eshow covered btw.

    • Reply
      26 November, 2013 at 7:13 PM

      hahaha oops maybe it’s too late ^^;

  • Reply
    Hana S
    25 November, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    OMG~ You talked about NANA so beautifully and described it like I wanted to!! Shanna you have a way with words… in any language I think .>< But can't remember the rest

    • Reply
      26 November, 2013 at 7:13 PM

      aww thanks!

  • Reply
    25 November, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Woah, so glad you reviewed this and pleasantly surprised. You really captured beautifully what makes this one of my all time favorite shows. Yazawa’s humor really gets me though ㅋㅋㅋ

    • Reply
      26 November, 2013 at 7:12 PM

      aww thanks! yeahh love the humor too! 😀

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