Is there a chance that Ai Yazawa will ever complete the Nana manga? Enquiring minds want to know!
Nana is probably the finest rock and roll anime ever made. The plot entanced me from the beginning. The middle got a bit slow but then it picked up pace again in the latter third. I blogged about it in A Tale of Two Nanas and in 𝄞 ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫.
Ai Yazawa was hospitalized in June 2009 with a “life-threatening” illness. She didn’t leave the hopsital for an entire year. The manga stopped. The anime, which was being very closely adapted from the manga, was also brought to an abrupt halt with a sudden wrapup of all the various arcs in one episode.
If you watched the show through ep. 47, you’ll note the “Nana’s Room” host was unaware of imminent cancelation. She stated the anime would go through episode 50 for season 1. The screen text even agrees with her. (We all know that a season 2 is never guaranteed. even for the most successful anime.) It was REALLY sudden.
Followers of just the anime concluded that the ending was really rushed because of being canceled in late season but that their favorite characters all had a happily ever after. Readers of the manga saw one of the great tragic love stories. Very important characters die. But the manga wasn’t completed either, so we don’t know Nana’s eventual fate.
To confuse things further, there are two Nana live action movies. I haven’t seen them – yet.
There have been all kind of purported quotes and subtext indicating that the author wanted to complete the manga “someday”. It is over 8 years since she has left the hopsital. The last anyone heard from her was back in 2015. She is now 52 years old. Again I heard rumors that she was working on the manga and planned to release it when it was complete. Nothing solid. Information with all the solidity of hearing from someone (an agent) she spoke too. Agents will say anything to keep the interest in their client high.
I was worried that maybe the illness had been neurological in nature. Or her hand was was physically disabled in some way. Or perhaps it weakened her permanently to where she couldn’t muster the energy.
About a year ago, she was approached to do the art for a music video by Iiwake Juju. At first she demurred. Then she said maybe. And this was the final product. She also did the album art.
Who does this woman remind you of?
It looks like Ai Yazawa is alive and now well. This proves she still has what it takes to produce great art and tell a good story.
I wouldn’t be surprized if the Nana manga came back on line soon (or at least within my short future life expectancy) and the anime soon time after that. (Or she might be tired of it and drop it completely for different horizons.) There is a huge fanbase waiting for it and a newer fanbase yet to acquire. It would be a enormously popular manga and anime with huge tie-ins from new music and marketing gimmicks.