In the world that consists of a single giant continent called Dokkanon, most people have some kind of special ability. Those who have a high-ranking ability, such as the ability to control water, are respected and granted much power. Those with low-ranking abilities, such as Nana, who controls bananas, and her best friend Ringo, who has super-powerful legs, have very little power in society. When Nana and Ringo were kids, they were awed by stories from Ringo's adventurer father about a land called Oz, where a god lived who could make any wish come true. Nana and Ringo swore that they would go adventuring together when they were adults. But as time went by, Ringo's father vanished while adventuring, and Ringo became much more aware of the social stigma associated with adventurers. Will the two of them find the strength and courage to follow through with their promise?
Nana of Banana is a manga series which probably got greenlit too soon, and as a result ended prematurely as well. Allow me to explain. Story My main pet peeve in this series is that Nana of Banana's premise is entirely built around the idea of "banana powers might be funny to see in action". Sure, you have the - rather generic - fantasy world in which people have superpowers, and where there is some mythical land called Oz. But that's really about all you can say about the setting, which makes it rather forgettable. And not disappearance of Ringo's father, nor the social stigma on adventurers, nor the "country of maids" manage to create a more memorable series. The first part where this lack of thought that was put into this series shows, is the drawback and selection of superpowers. As for the drawback, this is done like in Darker than Black: people who use their powers need to repay the gods by doing weird things. We're told that stronger powers have stronger drawbacks, but we only see that once: later on we see some hilariously overpowered people who have no problems and seemingly don't repay the gods at all. Which is stupid, both because it makes no sense and because those penalties are an easy way of having a character do something funny. As for the selection of superpowers, there's nothing original apart from the banana-powers. For example, there's the second main character next to banana-power girl: Ringo, who's power is... having strong legs. This extremely unoriginal power (you see kick-fighters in almost every battle manga) is also paired with the lame drawback that she has to "wear short skirts at all times". Cheap panty-shots are a go, people! In short, the entire first volume is carried by the weird banana-powers. By the second volume, the novelty factor wears off making it less fun and more annoying. Especially when the author introduces the "ultimate power-up" (triggered by the power of friendship...) at the start of that volume already. After some boring chapters it got axed, which leaves us with a rushed and stupid ending (including a timeskip of several years, in which probably many unseen adventures took place), with many plot threads not addressed at all. Not even the yuri elements could fix this series (seriously, that ending is weirdly lewd) Story - 4.5/10 by sheer virtue of having funny banana powers and some yuri Characters Character-wise this series is absolute genericness. The protagonists are all females (actually there's a lot of important females in this series) but don't expect them to be written any differently than every shounen protagonist ever - meaning there written so they're likeable, but they're absolutely forgettable (you'll only remember Nana for her banana-powers, not for her character). The side characters... I remember none of them, except for that one maid. Meh Characters - 3/10 Art The artwork is good, I guess. Not all that special, but it looks nice and the fights are good. Art - 7/10 Overall A few creative or funny elements don't make a manga worth reading. Nana of Banana falls painfully short and ends up not really worth reading. - 4.5/10
Story The story is about two girls named Nana and Ringo who go on an adventure to search for the land of Oz. Nana has the bizzare ability to manipulate bananas while Ringo has strong legs. As their journey progresses they meet various characters and fight several battles. Basically, this is your typical shounen adventure story, but with some interesting twists (such as Nana's banana power, the hero group being all female, and the shoujo-ai). Unfortunately, while the story starts off pretty good (and has some great moments), it goes downhill during the last few chapters. In fact, it feels like the manga suddenly got axed and the mangaka had to wrap it up in two chapters (and I wouldn't be surprised if this was actually what happened). The last two chapters feel very rushed due to them introducing a bunch of new characters that we don't get to know, leaving several plot points unresolved, and having several plot twists come out of nowhere. That said, despite it's many problems, the ending is still somewhat epic. Art The artwork is really well done and just overall nice looking. It's easily the best thing about this manga. Characters Nana and Ringo are pretty fun characters. The maid girl they eventually meet is also a really good character (maybe the best character in the series). However, there are a huge amount of other characters (including some introduced in the last two chapters). While some of these characters do have potential, the manga is just too short for their potential to be realized. Overall Ultimately, this is a fun, silly manga that sadly ended too early. I have a feeling that if this series had been longer than two volumes, it would've been much better. That said, if you are looking for something fun and somewhat short (and you are willing to forgive the flawed/rushed ending) then there is some enjoyment to be found.
Updated on 25-3-12 'What the hell have I just read...? Did i really just read a manga about a girl who fight using bananas?' Those WERE my innitial thoughts about Banana no Nana, not much changed there though. Story: So, a story about 2 girls that do on an adventure, one having strong legs, the other having the power to manipulate bananas, right. And on their way people to stop them. Awesome! (and banana scented) A story about friendship througout everything, even with chances of death. Love it! It even has it wierd moments like this pic. Art: Just look back to that pic, and start to love the art. Well drawn, especialy the fighting parts. Everything was kept clear and you could see every attack. +forced panty-shots :p (thank you Nana!) Characters: Well you have Nana, Banana user (still lame so you think at first) who turns bananas into swords and shields, whos only dream is to go on an advenrue with her best friend. Too bad there isn't much charater development. Overall: More people should read this. Too bad it got discontinued and we are stuck with those 2 volumes. And even worse, Only one got scanslated... If somebody ever reads this: Please make us at least able to read the second volume! To Conclusion: Have Fun With Your Life, Your Animanga And Your Friends!
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