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News Archive >> NANA Cafe & Comic Party

NANA Cafe & Comic PartyNANA Special Events
NANA Cafe & Comic Party
From "Shojo Beat" Magazine

"Shojo Beat" is a new manga compilation magazine being released in the United States. Canada receives this magazine as well. "NANA" is a featured title in the magazine and in the issue of August 2005 was a special article on "Comic Party" and "NANA Cafe." I thought it was a really good article with really nice pictures too. =) Enjoy the article and buy the magazine. Its really worth it! Plus, in the next issue of "Shojo Beat" September 2005, there will be prize drawings for "NANA" merchandise.

"NANA" Comes To Life
Hit Series Infiltrates Tokyo's Trendy Shibuya Area - By Frances Wall

What makes NANA so fabulous? According to megafan Maiko Fujiwara, it's not only the great fashions, but also Ai Yazawa's skill in telling genuine, effective stories about human relationships. "The world of NANA is so REAL," she added. Maiko and her friend Tomoko Imazeki, both in their 20s, first bonded over their love of NANA at a L'Arc~n~Ciel concert. These young women are just two of thousands of NANA fans who flocked to special NANA-related events in Tokyo earliar this year.

For about a month last spring, the small, unassuming Udagawa Sweets Shop, tucked down an alley in the happening Shibuya district of Tokyo, was transformed into the NANA Cafe. On the first floor, customers could gaze at the delicious dessert offerings (each one listed on the menu as a preferred selection of a different NANA character) and place their orders. Then they could head upstairs to relax and chat at a collection of cozy tables.

Just a few blocks away, another special event called Comic Party was in full swing. Comic Party occupied all three floors of the special exhibition space at the Parco department store -- on the ground level, all kinds of shojo manga souvenirs were available for purchase, and the second story displayed fashions from a comic called Hachimitsu to Clover (Honey & Clover) and a mock-up of Lisa's bedroom from the manga Lovely Complex (Lovecom for short). But if you meandered down the stairs to the dimly lit basement, you'd find the piece de resistance -- Nana Oosaki's dressing room!

The ambience in Nana's dressing room was strikingly authentic -- almost spookily real. Surrounded by walls and loud, thumping rock music, it was easy to believe that you were really backstage at a club where her band was performing, and that Nana had just left the room to get on the stage and deliver a killer show. Boots lay on the furray gray rug as if they'd just been carelessly kicked off. Vivienne Westwood shopping bags and a guitar were piled on the couch; a cell phone and sunglasses, casually tossed on the coffee table, waited to be reclaimed; bottles of water were scattered around the room, ready to soothe parched throats.

Visitors couldn't actually sit on Nana's couch, try on her closet of clothes, or play with her Anna Sui make-up, but the experience wasn't completely noninteractive: Fans were welcome to leave their mark in Nana's world by contributing graffiti to the walls of the room! As Maiko said, it's Ai Yazawa's writing that makes the world of her manga seem so vibrant and authentic. But it was a thrill to (almost) be able to step into Nana Oosaki's rocker boots and to feel, just for a moment, that the world of NANA and the real world were one and the same.

[ ShojoBeat.com ] -- WIN -- Just 'cause you weren't in Tokyo doesn't mean you can't share in the swag! Next issue, enter to win T-shirts, cards, pins, and tons of other cool stuff from these events!

[ Note From Lisa ] Hello! For those of you who have not subscribed to Shojo Beat, I'd recommend for you to go to your local bookstore and check out an issue. In my perspective, it really isn't a bad magazine. Aside from six different manga titles (NANA, Kaze Hikaru, Godchild, Crimson Hero, Baby & Me, Absolute Boyfriend), there are a lot of fun articles that the editors in the magazine slipped in. There is even a "Get This Look!" section which teaches you to find similar clothing to what Hachi and Nana wears. There are contests, surveys, and even photos from the latest fashions on the streets of Tokyo. The magazine made it a goal to teach it's readers a new Japanese slang every month, along with the coolest trends and horoscopes!

Of course, there is always space for the magazine to improve. Since the magazine is just starting, I'd recommend for it's subscribers and readers to PLEASE email them to let them know what you like and don't like. And while you're at it, tell them that you want to see an article on "NANA the Movie" too (*hint hint wink wink* ^.~). Believe me: Since the magazine is so new, they're DYING for your opinions.

Email: [ Letters@shojobeat.com ]

Shojo Beat Magazine
P.O. Box 77064
San Francisco, CA. 94107