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Old 13-08-2010, 06:22 PM   #1   [permalink]
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Wink Interview with the Two Nanas

The anime series Nana has been gaining an international following. American anime fans are slowly discovering the series which is currently being aired on cable via On-Demand, with the complete series DVD also available with an English dub. The seriesí two stars, Nana Komatsu and Nana Osaki, are currently in the US as part of a world promotional tour. We caught up with them for a few words.

Question: So how have you two been lately?

Nana O: Mostly tired.

Nana K: Weíve been on this international promotional tour. Itís pretty exhausting. We appeared at anime conventions in Italy and France, were the series has a following. We attended the international animation festival in Jerusalem. That was interesting. It wasnít an anime convention, though anime was featured. We got to see what is being done with animation in countries all over the world. Now we are on a seven city tour of the United States and Canada promoting the series and DVD sales.

Nana O: We hope that a network picks it up. Apparently, weíve gotten very little exposure in the US and Canada. Being picked up by a network would be great. More royalties and all.

Question: So what exactly is the appeal of the series Nana?

Nana K: I think its that our characters represent the ďEverywoman.Ē Young women who are seeking their place in the world see the series and identify with us.

Nana O: Although we also have a male following. But I agree. The series is a bit melodramatic, but it is also realistic. Maybe some of our experiences in the show are exaggerated for dramatic purposes, but our characters go through much the same ordeals as young women do in real life.

Question: Such as?

Nana K: Well, in real life, while we were doing the series, I was struggling with a relationship just as I did in much of the series. I had a high school sweetheart who I had little time for while I was working and he was in school. I only got to see him on the weekend, and even then it would have to be cut short as Sundays were spent studying the script for Monday.

Question: So how did the relationship hold up?

Nana K: It survived the series, but we broke up a year later. Iím with someone else now. Heís a writer. I moved in with him about a year ago.

Nana O: And before you ask about my love life, I am engaged. To a writer. A different writer. He popped the question before we left Japan.

Question: You both are involved with writers.

Nana O: Kind of funny since in the show we have so much in common. Mine writes for television and is trying to break into the theater. Nanaís writes anime scripts.

Question: And did your love life in the series mirror your love life in reality?

Nana O: Oh, not at all. While I was working on the series, I had no love life. I had no time for it. I donít know how Nana did it all that time.

Question: How do you find American anime fans?

Nana O: Usually at the conventions. Just kidding.

Nana K: We heard that anime fans in this country are few in number, but they make up for it with their enthusiasm. There is certainly more cosplay at American conventions.

Nana O: I even saw someone cosplaying me.

Question: Is there any part of you that you put into your characters? In other words, is there anything you have in common with your characters?

Nana K: I am an optimist by nature. So is my character.

Nana O: Personality wise, Iím not too sure. Itís easier to talk about the differences. In real life, I donít smoke. I have more of a sense of humor. Oh, one thing I do have in common with my character -- I actually did once sing with a band.

Question: How did that go?

Nana O: Well, I became an actress. That should tell you something.

Question: How are you different from your character?

Nana K: Me? Well, I think my character is more of an innocent. Not sexually innocent, obviously. But innocent as to the ways of the world or how romance really works. I think my character has a fairy tale idea of how love works. Iím more of a realist. An optimistic realist.

Question: Is there anything in the show that you dislike or disliked doing or a plot twist you did not like?

Nana K: Ooo. That might cross the line into spoiler territory.

Nana O: Right. Lots of people did not see the entire series yet. So donít cross that line.

Nana K: I will tell you something about the very first episode. It was one of the first scenes I shot. It was a bedroom scene. I was lying naked on a bed with this actor I did not know on top of me. That was a bit unnerving. I donít mind the nudity, but having that guy on top of me took some getting used to.

Nana O: Along those lines, Iíll tell you what I didnít like. The bathtub scenes. I donít mind the nudity either. It was the water. It was damn cold.

Nana K: It was luke warm at first. They canít have it hot as it steams up the camera lens. But even under the lights, it goes cold pretty fast. And weíre usually wearing bikini bottoms.

Question: Just the bottoms?

Nana O: Yeah, weíre topless even when under water. They donít want to chance any bra showing.

Nana K: But the bottoms get cold and damp and stick to your butt. It feels very ucky.

Nana O: It feels so uncomfortable, that I just told them, ďScrew the bottoms.Ē After the first time, I just went totally naked. It gave them a chance to film my butt for the male viewers. But thatís OK. Iím cool with that. It lends a sense of reality and the fan boys like it.

Question: It has been about five years since you worked on Nana. What have you done since then?

Nana K: Itís hard in this business to follow up a hit. Few anime actors survive typecasting. Iíve had a few bit parts in films and other series. I did do some stage work. I had some leads in a few plays -- what in Japan would be the equivalent to your off-off-Broadway.

Nana O: Iíve done a few plays. Worked in small roles in other animes. I was the spokesperson for an organic food company for about two years and did a few commercials for them. Then they got brought out. I do a lot of personal appearances for fans back in Japan. Oh, we both did pose for that fashion magazine. Fans of the series probably donít believe that about me, but it was a pretty good shoot. It was during the seriesí second run in Japan. We had fun and got to keep the clothes.

Nana K: We did turn down that offer from that magazine.

Nana O: You mean the one that wanted us to pose naked together? {Laughs}

Nana K: Like we said, neither one of us has a problem with nudity, but that was crossing the line.

Nana O: Crossing a few lines.

Question: Are you proud of your work on Nana?

Nana O: Very proud because it meant so much to so many people.

Nana K: Right. When we hear from girls in their early 20ís saying how much the series helped them to define themselves. . . .

Nana O: Because that is what the series is all about. Two young women trying to find themselves and their place in the world.

Nana K: And when they tell us that the series helped them and inspired them to claim a place for themselves. . . . Well, obviously it makes us feel proud.
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