Nana anime started a generation: What turned it into a cult?

Nana Anime

In the year 2000, Ai Yazawa created Nana which is one of the best depictions of womanhood weaved in a world of music and fashion. The author probably didn’t have the slightest idea that her manga would turn into a cult classic decades after its release. Not just as an anime-manga series but also as a treasury for the lovers of Y2K fashion. Despite the prolonged hiatus, the fandom continues to celebrate Nana relentlessly. 

What led to this sudden comeback of Nana anime and manga in the past few years? How did the story of two women living their lives in Tokyo turn into a cult classic? It’s time to fetch your magnifying glass as we’re about to dive deeper into the world of Nana anime and understand the reason behind its stronghold on the fandom. 

Resurgence of Nana Anime and Manga

Nana Osaki
Nana Osaki in Nana anime | Image Courtesy of Studio Madhouse

Without a doubt, the story in itself is more than enough to bring in fans, but there are a lot of other factors that led to the revival of the ani-manga series. 

  • The anime became available on Netflix and Hulu right after the pandemic, which was the time when the consumption of anime was at an all-time high. It was also the time when Gen Z started to bring back Y2K fashion as it was aesthetic and vintage in their eyes. 
  • Those who are familiar with Nana would know how Nana is the perfect source of inspiration for an enthusiast of the early 2000s fashion
  • All these pieces were put together with the help of TikTok. The social media platform greatly contributed to boosting the popularity of the anime. 
  • The demise of Vivienne Westwood also brought the focus back to the anime. The main characters are seen wearing pieces of jewelry and clothes inspired by the renowned designer. 

The resurgence can be accredited to all these factors but at the same time, they shouldn’t take away from where it all started, the manga! 

What turned Nana into a Cult Classic?

Nana and Hachi
A still from Nana anime featuring Nana and Hachi | Image Courtesy of Studio Madhouse

Nana is a story of two females in their early twenties with opposite personalities but similar names. Their coincidental meeting turns into a beautiful friendship. Seemingly a simple storyline is adorned with well-written characters, a generous sprinkle of realism, and good music. 

  • Starting with the main characters, we see two extremely different women share heartfelt compassion. It is one of the most realistic and beautiful portrayals of female friendships. They are so full of love, care, joy, and so many little things. The graph takes some bitter turns as well but it’s hard to pick sides when every character is written with so much depth. 
  • This holds for other characters besides the leading ladies as well. No wonder Takumi gets hated while Yasu gets loved in unison by the fandom. Every character comes with their baggage and tries to navigate their way through life. 


Another important aspect of what turned Nana into a cult classic is how every episode and every chapter maintains a tight grip on its themes, with hardly any straying. The themes of romance, drama, music, and fashion are omnipresent in Nana. These act as constant reminders of what attracted you to Nana in the first place.

Similar to how the Spiel Anime Newsletter is a reminder of how the world of anime far outreaches beyond what you see. It comes out twice every week and presents different topics and news of the anime world paired with cool designs. 


Nana anime
Nana and Hachi out on a shopping date | Image Courtesy of Studio Madhouse

With the help of its poignantly beautiful storytelling, Nana has influenced a lot of fans all over the world. While the hopes of a potential return of the manga or the anime are sort of forever lost, the same can’t be said about the love fans have to offer to Nana. 


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