- "Surrounded by mountains my home town is neither big nor little. It isn't a big city or a tiny village way out in the country. There was nothing that really sold the town for tourism. I was the middle of three daughters. Left to my own devices by parents who were neither rich nor poor I grew up quickly. I was just about to graduate from an average, local all-girl high school."
- —Nana's description about her upbringing.[src]
Nana Ichinose (一ノ瀬 奈々 Ichinose Nana) (née Komatsu) (小松), also known as Hachi, is a Tokyo resident with personal connections to the Black Stones and Trapnest. She is the wife of Takumi Ichinose (the Trapnest's bassist) and the mother of Ren Ichinose and Satsuki Ichinose.
Komatsu grew up in a small mountain town with her parents, and sisters. She was having an affair with a married man named Takashi Asano, up until her graduation in March 1999. Nana began attending Naruse Art School with her best friend, Junko Saotome in April and started dating Shoji Endo in November.
Komatsu is a slender and beautiful young woman who is often described as a very cute and innocent looking person with shoulder-length auburn hair with bangs that usually hangs over her face and brown eyes. She wears one piercing in each ear and pink lipstick with clear gloss she also wears pink eye shadow mainly in the manga. Her nails are reasonably long, mostly painted light pink.
Personality and Traits
At the beginning of the series, Komatsu seems to be a nice, cheerful, naive, childish and innocent young woman who has matured and becomes less self-centered as the series goes on.
She has a habit of falling in love at first sight all the time and depending on other people to help her. When her friends (and then her boyfriend) leave for Tokyo, she decides to join them a year later after having saved enough money at the age of 20.
She begun attending an all-girl school in April 1996. There she met her best friend, Junko Saotome and her first crush, Mr. Okamoto. They joined the art club together, and Nana gained an interest in art. She confessed her feelings to her next crush, the video store clerk Nakamura, who coldly rejected her. Nothing came of her next two crushes, Mr. Kawasaki and Yoshida.
During the summer of her third year, Nana met Takashi Asano at a movie theater. Nana had nearly passed out from not eating for a diet, and Takashi helped her stand. She instantly attracted to him and told him where she worked. Two weeks later, Takashi was waiting for her outside her workplace. They began an affair together, which lasted a few months.
Takashi ended the relationship after he receives his job transfer to Tokyo. Nana was devastated by the break-up, having truly believed that they were in love. She graduated from high school shortly after in March 1999.
Komatsu came to Tokyo, looking to find her boyfriend. Unlike Osaki, Komatsu came from a large and happy household, though her childish outlook prevented her from living on her own initially. Her chance encounter with Osaki began a friendship which changes Komatsu's life forever. She is introduced to Osaki's band, Black Stones, and their members (initially Nobuo Terashima and Yasushi Takagi). She later even helps "Blast" to find their bassist by drawing a poster to advertise the vacancy and posting it at the Jackson Hole. Much to her surprise, she also discovers that the members of Blast were friends with the members of Trapnest, a popular rock band of which she's a very big fan. After learning of Osaki's breakup with Ren Honjo, Komatsu helps the two to reconnect after realizing that they were still very much in love with each other.
In the early stages of the manga, Nana fell in love with many men at first sight. Her affair with Takashi Asano, an older and married man from Tokyo was a mere fling, but she believed it was her first love.
Nana's first serious relationship was with Shoji Endo, whom she met at the art school through her high school friend Junko. Shoji's acceptance into art university was Nana's reason for moving to Tokyo, since her life before was centered on happiness through love. Shoji and Nana dated until he found her demands tiring and he cheated on her with Sachiko Kawamura, a restaurant co-worker. After the confrontation of his infidelity, he chooses to stay with Sachiko because she stood up for him when Osaki threaten to beat him up for his unfaithfulness to Nana K.. Although they may have lingering feelings for each other (as hinted from their meeting at Jackson Hole after Nana's engagement with Takumi Ichinose), Nana and Shoji are already in serious relationships and promise not to see one another again, since they must move forward from their past.
Komatsu found herself caught between two men: Takumi Ichinose, the leader and bassist of Trapnest and Nobuo Terashima, the guitarist of Blast (Osaki's band). Nana had always been a Trapnest fan and admired Takumi from afar. Through Osaki's connection with Ren, she was able to meet Takumi in person. From their initial sexual encounter, Nana began an unstable relationship with Takumi to fill her loneliness. She is fully aware as well that someone like her could never seriously date Takumi, but she is content in knowing that she is one of many lovers. She sees Takumi fairly little, and he does not call or text while he is on tour, but she remained hopeful that they still would maintain a secret relationship.
Meanwhile, Nobu has fallen in love with Nana K., but is unable to "compete" with Takumi. When Nobu makes his feelings known, she decides she wants to be with him and rather impulsively breaks off her relationship with Takumi over the phone. Nana overcomes some selfishness and realizes that Nobuo is the first man she would like to spoil with love. Nobu and Nana are compatible because they have similar pure and innocent personalities and are quite loyal friends.
However, Komatsu discovers she is pregnant (revealed in chapters 25 and 26), and although she really loves Nobuo, she realizes that Takumi would be in a better position to care for her and her unborn child. She also chooses to be with Takumi because she knows that the only way Nobu would be able to care for it would be to give up playing with Blast and return to his family's inn. She doesn't want him to give up his dream, plus she wants Blast to become famous and popular more than anything. Nana K. clings to Takumi's calm attitude towards her pregnancy, and she is given strength through his kindness at that time.
Because of her pregnancy, she marries Takumi (initially in name only, for Takumi delayed their wedding because of Osaki's engagement to Ren). Throughout the series, her married name has became Nana Ichinose and as the time passes, she realizes that she loves Takumi. Takumi's compliments on her cooking when they first met encourages her to improve her cooking even more and take cooking classes. She makes breakfast for Takumi everyday and draws a funny face on it with ketchup, usually stating her mood to Takumi. They both seem to have a mundane married relationship, with quarrels and making up due to her naive and forgiving nature and Takumi's forgetful nonchalant nature. She hopes that she will be able to live happily, although in the future sequences of NANA she lives in Japan while he lives in London, England.
Her nickname is "Hachi" - a shortened version of Hachikō because she always tries to be kind and faithful to her friends, like the dog from the Hachikō legend. (Hachi means eight in Japanese, and the kanji for seven can be pronounced as 'nana'. This also clears up confusion between the two Nanas.) A running gag in the series is for Hachi to suddenly sprout a pair of dog-like ears and a tail whenever she's very happy.
With the reporters of SEARCH (a paparazzi magazine) snapping photos of Ren and Reira together alone, Takumi decided to do some manipulating by revealing his relationship with Komatsu to SEARCH, who decided to run that news instead and the couple formally married.
However, because of Nana's ties with Nana Osaki, a SEARCH paparazzi was able to manipulate Nana K. to find information on Nana's birth mother by showing her pictures of the woman in Osaka and threatening to print the article. Nana K. travels to Osaka to discover the truth for herself, but is unable to retrieve any information from Nana's mother. SEARCH gives Nana K. a choice between releasing the article about Nana Osaki's mother or a photo of Shin with Ryoko, a Reira lookalike (Nana K. did not know the woman in the photo was not Reira, so she believed they were going to reveal Shin and Reira's relationship to the public). SEARCH releases the article on Osaki's mother because Nana K. wanted to protect Shin.
Nana K. has a maternal relationship with Shinichi Okazaki. Takumi also acts as a foster guardian to Shin because of his marriage with Nana. Nana K. insists that Takumi and her must take care of Shin because Shin lacks parental figures in his life. Presently, Takumi frequently cheats on Nana K. (first with a soap-opera actress and later with Reira). They rarely stay together and Nana senses her husband's infidelity, but dismisses it with excuses such as his work.
Though the paternity of Nana K.'s child seemed uncertain, it can be concluded that it’s Takumi’s since Nobu was always careful and wore a condom to prevent pregnancy while Takumi did not, which could be linked to his desire to make Nana K. his alone. Moreover, when Nana K. first learned about her pregnancy, Takumi’s words of annoyance on the possibility of her getting pregnant ran through her mind which shows her certainty that the child she’s carrying is Takumi’s.
In future sequences, Nana K. is already a mother to a daughter named Satsuki Ichinose and a son named Ren Ichinose. Satsuki is a six-year-old child and Ren is her brother (since she refers to him as "Onii-chan," meaning older brother in Japanese which can also be used for older twin brother). Satsuki is a name Ren Honjo had chosen for Nana K. if the child she has is a girl. If the child ended up being a boy, Nana K. is unsure what to name him, since she desires to name her child after a flower, like Ren (one of the few suitable flower names Nana K. can think of for a boy). However, Ren's death makes it seem likely that her baby was named after Ren in his honor while her second child, a girl this time, got the name as chosen by Ren. Although their family life is undoubtedly unstable and separated (Komatsu and Satsuki in Japan and Takumi and Ren in London), Hachi is still willing to be married and Satsuki wishes her family to be together. Takumi and Naoki also have a conversation about how it must be difficult on their children to have their family separated, and that Ren (who is staying with Takumi in England) should not stay in a foreign country but go back to Japan. Nobu shows concern for Ren's staying with Takumi in England and not attending the fireworks with Satsuki.
Nana and Takumi's relationship is rather complicated: in the future, Junko is shown once trying to convince Nana to ask for divorce (which Nana refuses, stating that there are "many reasons why not to do that"). Nana acknowledges that although Satsuki wishes her family (Takumi, her, Hachiko, and Ren) to live together as a whole family, she will be unable to fulfill that wish as she cannot settle with Takumi unless the missing Osaki Nana returns.
- "I understand what Shoji has to deal with. You're in a way like... a puppy. You're friendly and obedient, but you require a lot of attention"
- — Nana Osaki (Ch. 9 in the anime)[[src]]
Behind the Scenes
- Nana is the heroine of Nana, along with Nana Osaki. She debuts in the first prologue chapter.
- Nana is voiced by Kaori in the anime adaptation and Kelly Sheridan in the English dub.
- Nana is usually represented as a dog in the story and various different media, while Nana Osaki shown as a cat.