Thursday, March 5, 2009

"Nana 14" Has Arrived!

On my way to work I stopped by my little mailbox and there it was, a slim package from containing the latest volume of Nana. I'd been waiting for almost two weeks and it completely made my day.

Forget All-Star Infinite Crisis of the Secret Invasions... Nana is the hardcore comic book junk you've been jonesing for ever since you first mainlined the weaker stuff straight into your brain via your eyeballs. I'm almost hesitant to recommend it to anyone in the current economy, because you're going to end up skipping the breadlines to read it, spending whatever crinkled, greasy dollar you can wheedle from some other hardluck story with a soft heart on Nana until you and your family starve to death in a coldwater flat somewhere in the Bronx.

It's too late for me. All you can do is pray for my soul. I have my fix now and it's so good. But because the translated version of Nana 14 features a story from late 2005 and the Japanese series is already up to volume 20, with 21 available for pre-order, we English-reading Nana addicts are a bit behind on the latest developments. And this can be a problem when you actually live in Japan.

See, I made the mistake of sharing my newest Nana with a student who's also a Nana fan, and she flipped a few pages, said, "This is so strange. It's so difficult... Can you read this?"

Then she abruptly squealed out a potential spoiler: "OH! ---'S STILL ALIVE!"

Yikes! When you're dealing with Nana, it's already difficult containing the anticipation involved in turning a page. And now I know a major plot point that's several volumes away! And one of the great, agonizing joys of Yazawa Ai's writing is you never know what to expect. Oh, she's foreshadowed this development quite a bit-- much like something similarly tragic was completely predictable in hindsight in my own life-- but still...

I need to be more careful in the future.

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