After a short hiatus, the NANA Project is back! This time around, we look at volumes 15 and 16, focusing especially on (in Danielle’s words), “Yazawa’s view of popular art, Nana and Ren’s disintegrating relationship, and loving Nana in the past, present and future.”
For my part, I go on quite a bit over the virtues of “blind love:”
“MJ: I think this is absolutely true, and maybe makes it clear that *understanding* is not necessarily the key to… well, anything. I’m reminded of one of the stories from Kino no Tabi, “Land of Visible Pain.” In the story, Kino encounters a country of technologically-advanced people who had, at some point, come to the conclusion that if only they could truly understand each other’s pain, they’d be able to live together in perfect harmony. With this in mind, their scientists develop a way for them to all be able to hear each other’s thoughts. What happens ultimately, of course, is that they soon discover that understanding each other’s pain actually makes it *harder* for them to live together, and they eventually all end up isolated in their own homes, unable to stand being even within sight of one another.
I think to a great extent, Ren’s understanding of Nana’s deepest desires may actually make it more difficult for them to stay together. If anything, it may just make it easier for them to hurt each other, as I think he hurts Nana with his stunningly accurate assessment of her ugliest thoughts and feelings. I’m not suggesting that love is best maintained through rose-colored glasses, but I’m not sure that this level of brutal understanding is always a good thing. We all need someone in our lives who is biased in our favor, and this is most often the role of a romantic partner. I think it’s okay, and even *desirable*, for love to be just a little bit blind.”
Disagree? Tell me so in comments! :D
What a pleasure it is to be back, discussing this series with such wonderful women. Speaking for myself, I’d have to say that I probably enjoy The NANA Project more than nearly anything else I do as a manga blogger. It’s a bit heartbreaking to think about how near we are to the end of the series’ available volumes.
On a lighter note, Danielle asks at the end of the roundtable for suggestions from readers on what title the three of us should tackle next! Visit this month’s roundtable to weigh in!
For those just arriving, you can find the entire NANA Project archive at CBR’s Comics Should Be Good!