This is a coming of age story set around two 20-year-old women living in Tokyo, trying to find themselves in a world of possiblities and all the while learning about love and their own limitations. I must say that after watching this film on a long journey home from a year abroad, I found the story very relatable and poignant.
I read one of the reviews and I have to set the record straight and divulge my own opinion because I do not agree in the slightest to the accusation that women are portrayed as submissive, and if you watch this film I am sure you will agree it is quite the opposite! For people who have not already seen this movie and are planning to, there might be some spoilers ahead (but what I have to say might just sway you into wanting to pick up a copy).
First off, Osaki Nana (played be Mika) is incredibly strong! She copes silently with the pain of having let go of the love of her life in order to pursue her own life goals, and in that way is courageous. She is never demonized for her decision, and in fact is respected for her talent, tenacity, confidence, and strong will to succeed through writing her own music (rather than riding the coat-tails of her successful boyfriend who sold-out to a pop band!)
By nature, the other Nana played by Aoi is more naive about the ways of life and through inexperience, believes that a woman should sacrifice for her beau, only to discover through later heartbreak that she would like to make her own mark on the world and admires the other Nana for having found her true calling. I highly recommend seeing NANA for yourself and if you visit the fansite, you can view trailers and clips.
In addition, I find the cinematography and time-sequencing of shots effectively communicates a story of innocence with an adult edge.
I believe that the first reviewer may have misinterpreted the message being given by this film, for it truly packs a punch of girl power (and I can honestly say my male friends have loved it as well!)
In my view, it is impossible not to notice the urgings of one Nana to another to stand on her own feet and create her OWN destiny in order to find true happiness; love falls into place only after you have paid attention to your dreams.
*On a side note (SPOILER), despite the view of Junko that Nana (Aoi) was partially at fault for a sticky break-up, her former lover Shoji is STILL given blame for his betrayal in the relationship! Watch it again reviewer number one!