Doki Doki: Anime & Manga Helped Me Get Over A Heartbreak

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Last year, I was going through some up and downs. Some of the downs had to do with love. I stayed home a lot because I was in a crappy mood and didn’t want to be crappy around my friends. Also, I just wanted to be alone a lot. Being a bum in my house was literally on my schedule. So what did I do? I turned to anime. Lots and lots of anime.

Nana_manga_anime7Anime was doing a great job distracting me from being sad. Despite being a fan of many geeky mediums, anime is what I turn to when I’m sad and need some cheering up. Then Nana came along and messed everything up. I thought it was going to be a cute, harmless little shōjo/josei anime, but by the time I got to episode 5 I felt like I was looking in a mirror. So much for a distraction, right? I became completely consumed with Nana after I started reading the manga. I began playing that, “Just one more chapter!” game, and before I realized, it was 3am.

Interestingly enough, I continued to obsess about Nana even though reading it made me sad. I turned to anime for temporary happiness, but I clung to the one that did just the opposite. I saw Nana and Hachi go through the same experiences I’ve been through, and because of that, I couldn’t look away. I hoped that in the end, they would live happily ever after, which would mean I would live happily ever after. But the manga is incomplete. The author, Ai Yazawa, became sick and wasn’t able to finish the story… my story. But I think in the end that was the point. Nana_manga_anime6

What I got out of my Nana experience was that regardless of how different everyone’s experience is with relationships, love and heartbreak, there are universal themes and truths we all go through. The manga forced me face my feelings of sadness in a space I normally associated with happiness. Nana was unfinished, but I imagined a happy ending for the characters… Because that’s what I deserve.

20 Comments

  1. Nana has been a massive influence on me, creatively and also personally. I love the fact I’ve found someone who can connect on the same personal level as me with the story, and it is a beautiful one at that.

    Really liking your blog, btw, so definitely getting a follow from me!

    Reply

  2. Nana was such an important manga to me for the exact same happy ending reason. I started reading it in 2005, and I was out of school and looking for direction.

    I love Ai Yazawa’s characters (check out Paradise Kiss if you haven’t read it yet, it’s wonderful).
    I try to get everyone to read this story.

    It’s nice to see someone else loved it too.

    Reply

  3. I’m really just starting to get into manga again after a longggg hiatus, but I’m so afraid to get back into it, because I can get lost in the world…and I’m trying to focus, you know…get my ish together. *sigh* Slowly but surely, I’m finding new collections that I haven’t heard of and before you know it, I’ll be swept off my feet once again.

    Reply

  4. […] Why I Love It: Why don’t I love it is the real question. This is my all time favorite josei and probably in my top 3 favorite manga period. The friendship between Nana and Hachi is so strong and dynamic. All of the characters have depth are and really interesting. I stayed up ‘till the early hours of the morning reading Nana. I was so obsessed. The only bad thing is that sadly Ai Yazawa got sick and wasn’t able to complete Nana. Now she’s all better (yay!), but she hasn’t announced any plans on finishing it. For more about Nana, check out my blog post ‘Doki Doki: Anime & Manga Helped Me Get Over A Heartbreak’. […]

    Reply

  5. wow this was a nice read.I was consumed with nana when i read it.It was just so relatable and realistic.I would be all in my feelings wHen reading that manga .I found myself pondering my own life to an extent(i know this sounds ridiculous).This manga was really moving.

    Reply

    1. Wow, thank you so much, Dani! It doesn’t sound ridiculous at all. The manga was full of feels, I’m sure most of the readers felt the same way. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. :)

      Reply

  6. Like you, I also thought Nana would be some harmless thing. Light and fluffy. Boy were we wrong huh? And now it has forever changed our life in some big or little way.
    I’ve finished the anime and live actions but I find myself struggling with the manga… I guess because I don’t want to be more heart broken than I am now?
    Loving your blog.
    XOXO

    Reply

    1. Because I wanted more Nana on the go, I started reading the manga and never finished the anime. Which I guess made it work because I was heartbroken by the story and the fact that it isn’t finished!

      Reply

  7. I stumbled across you blog yesterday and I adore it already! :)
    Since I fell in love with manga and anime a few months back, I’ve been hearing so much about Nana. But I always had a kind of weird picture of this story in my mind, so I was wandering if I would like it. But after reading this post yesterday I searched for the anime and immediately fell into “just one more episode” mode… until it was very (!) late in the night. Wow, what a great series! So emotional, honest and bitter-sweet. Strange how especially manga and anime can make you feel and think about yourself this strongly. “Real” movies and series have never made me cry or laugh as much as animes do. This genre is so underestimated…
    Anyway: Thank you so much for making me watch Nana; even if I’m in for a serious series-heartbreak I definitely will continue. Absolutely amazing!
    Ylva

    Reply

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