NANA – 15
Hachi remembers that back then, she wasn’t able to love someone correctly and she helplessly wanted to be loved by someone. After having had her talk with Hachi, Junko joins Kyousuke in going to the Jackson Hole. Kyousuke scolds Junko for being so blunt with Hachi, but Junko insists that it was for Hachi’s sake. Inside, the two spot Shouji, who didn’t want to be noticed. Shouji was thinking about going to apologize to Hachi, but his two friends advise against it. Kyousuke knows that Shouji doesn’t want to apologize out of kindness; he just wants to clear his conscious. After Shouji leaves, the bartender explains that it’s Sachiko’s birthday, and Shouji wanted to be the first to celebrate with her when the clock strikes midnight. With Shouji’s new love going well, Junko and Kyousuke are more worried about Hachi’s well being.
However, they realize that these worries are unfounded because Hachi seems to be quite happy on the way to Nana’s concert. Of course, the reason is because she scored the front row Trapnest concert tickets. She wants Junko to go with her if Nana decides not to go, but Junko refuses because the concert is back in their hometown. Kyousuke suggests that she find a boyfriend to go with her, which would be killing two birds with one stone. But Hachi has decided that she doesn’t want a boyfriend, nor does she want to fall in love. Hachi feels that she won’t be lonely if she has Nana – as two girls, there won’t be any strange feelings or jealousy. Compared to that, love is tiring and it hurts – Hachi’s fed up with it. She doesn’t want a boyfriend, she wants a knight to protect her even though she knows that in reality there’s not such a man.
The three arrive at the noisy and packed live house, and Hachi is unable to make it through the crowd to the front of the room. She doesn’t accomplish this until the current band finishes playing and the crowd quickly disperses. But now there’s virtually no audience now for the next band, Blast. Hachi tries to stir something up by talking to the girl next to her about Blast. Little does Hachi know, the girl next to her is a huge Blast fan and knows all about the band. Their conversation succeeds at attracting everyone’s attention and word soon spreads through the live house. First out are Shin, Nobu, and Yasu, who appear with a style that impresses the crowd. When Nana walks out, she immediately notices the girl Hachi was talking to earlier, and that girl offers Nana a rose and a ribbon. Nana ties it to the microphone and then starts the concert. Hachi becomes moved to tears by the music and hopes that Nana doesn’t go far away.
Afterwards, everyone returns to the apartment, including the band, Junko, Kyousuke, Hachi, and even the girl from the concert. That girl’s name is Misato, and Nana seems to know her very well. Hachi becomes angry that Nana is treating Misato so well, but then realizes that she’s jealous. It doesn’t help that Nana invites Misato to sleep over, which causes Hachi to start imagining those two having relations. Before her delusions can go too far, Hachi quickly comes to the realization that both her body and her heart are frustrated, meaning that she needs a kind man to love her. She then becomes reminded of her past relationships, including Asano and Shouji. Hachi tries to block out thoughts of Shouji by thinking instead about her job and how she’s unhappy about it. She doesn’t feel that that office suits her, and she wonders if there is a place in the world suitable for her. As she falls asleep, she thinks that she envies Nana.
The next morning, Hachi discovers a note from Nana saying that she went with Misato to an amusement park. An angry Hachi goes out shopping, but can’t buy anything because she doesn’t have any money. By evening, she’s thinking of going to the Jackson Hole, but she’s also worried about seeing Shouji there. She decides instead to go to the supermarket to buy food to cook. But when she gets there, she spots Sachiko also buying groceries. Thinking about Sachiko going to Shouji’s place and cooking for him in that kitchen, Hachi starts crying and runs home. Misato and Nana are already back, having happily returned from the amusement park. Remembering how Sachiko took Shouji away from her, Hachi doesn’t want anyone to take away her things anymore. She snaps out, asking if Misato is going to be living her. Hachi then declares that this is her home too and that Nana shouldn’t do whatever she wants.
In retrospect, Hachi thinks that at time, she had thought that Nana would surely lose her temper. But instead, Nana’s face looked like that of a child who had been scolded. Whenever Hachi thinks back on that time, her heart becomes pained. She wonders what would have happened if she had been more of an adult, if she had realized Nana’s weakness. Would the future be different from now?
Awww, no Minnie Mouse ears. It’s a shame they probably didn’t have the rights to show those ears because they would have matched Misato’s dress too. They didn’t go to Disneyland either, just a generic amusement park. This isn’t really a complaint though, just wishful thinking. The animation quality for this episode was a little lacking during the end, though I loved how they synced the song with the actions of everyone on screen during the concert scene.
I think this episode shows that without a man in her life, Hachi defaults to Nana. Perhaps defaults isn’t the right word, since the two have such a deep relationship. But Hachi’s assessment about the relationship between two girls (no jealousy) is proven wrong when Hachi clearly develops those exact jealous feelings when Misato comes around. And it certainly didn’t help that seeing Sachiko reminded Hachi of the people being taken away from her. All of this just reinforces how immature and needy Hachi can be sometimes.
The last line of the episode is one of those ominous hints that you’ll see dropped throughout the series. What happens in the future is a mystery, though it’s implied that it’s not a happy time. I always wonder if Yazawa Ai knew how she was going to end NANA from the very beginning. But anyway, it’s still too early to be talking about all that since the parts of the manga which reveal more about the future won’t be animated for a long long time.