Melinda Beasi, Danielle Leigh, and I have completed our penultimate (for now!) edition of the NANA Project over at Comics Should Be Good. You can find that post here.
Volumes seventeen and eighteen are full of drama, most notably when a tabloid prints a story about Nana’s long-lost mother and when Shin, lost after the end of his relationship with Reira, makes a real mess of things and derails Blast’s first big tour. Nana accepts the agency’s suggestion to go solo, pledging to bring in even more fans so that Blast won’t go bust, but even as she embarks on this path, buoyed by dreams, it’s becoming clear that whatever happens to send her running away to England will be happening very soon.
And yet, I didn’t find these volumes as depressing as I have others in the series. I suspect this is because Hachi is by Nana’s side. She attempts to prevent the publication of the story about Nana’s mother, and when she fails, rushes to Nana’s place and stays with her over the New Year’s holiday. The relatively new character of Miu, Yasu’s new girlfriend, also grew on me in these volumes with her ability to see the truth about people. She instantly, for example, realizes that it’s Hachi who’s really the strong one.
In the future (or present) timeline, Hachi receives a mysterious package with clues to Nana’s whereabouts. It seems Hachi’s faith in her is the only thing keeping Nana alive, and that she needs to be found, pronto. The series goes on hiatus after volume 21, so I’m hoping that happens within the next three volumes!
Review copy for volume seventeen provided by the publisher.