You might not think that a heartbroken Japanese girl and an avenging Chinese boy would have much in common, but a closer look at two films released on DVD earlier this week reveals an unexpected connection.

Nana, directed by Kentaro Otani, features two young women that share the same name but little else. Nana (Aoi Miyazaki) is preternaturally cheerful, a bundle of naive joy. She strikes up a one-sided conversation with a quiet seat mate on a snowbound train headed to Tokyo and is delighted to learn that the other girl (Mika Nakashima) is also named Nana. Cheerful Nana is moving to the big city to be with her boyfriend; the quieter Nana is nursing a prolonged case of heartbreak. The two meet again when each is searching for an apartment and decide to room together on the spur of the moment.

Cheerful Nana has no goal in life other than marrying her boyfriend. Quieter Nana is a singer and musician who rediscovers her goal of making her rock group, The Black Stones, successful. The two 20-year-old women develop a strong friendship, which helps each of them deal with romantic adversity. Based on a popular manga series, Nana rides the emotional turmoil of their lives like an expert surfer, embracing a few cliches while eschewing many others, keeping the appealing melodrama pleasantly off-balance.
categories Features, Cinematical