Nana Suzuki is heading toward her final year of middle school. She has eyes for fellow student Yuichi Kamichika, but can’t even muster up enough courage to walk up to him. Valentine’s Day in Japan is a day for a girl to give chocolate to the boy she likes. For average Nana Suzuki, this requires working up the courage to give her homemade chocolate cake to Yuichi, a top student and scenic photographer. While Nana’s best friend Hitomi provides Nana with encouragement, a trio of bullies pester Nana, causing her cake to fall into a river.
Back at Nana’s house, Nana and Hitomi prepare to bake another cake, only to find Nana’s inventor grandfather had taken the microwave oven to use in an experiment. When Nana tries to reclaim the microwave, a crystal inside splits into seven colors, splitting Nana into seven selves with it. Now there’s Nana and six more, each representing one of Nana’s emotions outright.
In one year’s time, the seven Nanas will become one again. The new Nanas decide the only way for the original Nana to find future happiness with Yuichi is for her to go to the same high school as he chooses, even though Yuichi is a top student and Nana is at the lower end of the ladder. With a happy Nana, a crybaby Nana, a smart Nana, an aggressive Nana, a slowpoke Nana, and a Nana who’s a bit weird, Nana’s study habits and love life get out of control!
With seven Nanas in Seven of Seven, there’s already a decent-sized cast. Add in Nana’s family, her best friend, and a few bullies, and the cast sizes doubles from there.
A distinct personality is established for each character, and the series gives each important character an episode of their own. Outside of these individual showcase episodes, characters don’t show much growth, other than the original Nana herself, but they do receive little moments scattered throughout the series to let the viewer know more about who they are.
Character design is the typical Japanese “big eyes, small mouth” animation style. Depending on the location, some backgrounds are nicely painted, and others are very basic. There’s nothing outstanding visually, nor does it feel lacking.
Much of the background music is comprised of the works of Scott Joplin, including opening with his Maple Leaf Rag. You can’t go wrong with something like that, and Seven of Seven seamlessly fits the music into the series.
The voice acting in the English dub is well done, on a level comparable with the original Japanese. Veronica Taylor did an outstanding job voicing distinct and proper voices for each of the seven Nana’s (whereas the Japanese version uses seven different voice actresses).
I have found only a few minor failings in the English version. At at least one point, the English version’s dialogue was changed from the original Japanese in a way which rendered it inaccurate for what was intended to be said, leading to it being contradicted later in the series. Other changes were introduced whenever there was English dialogue in the Japanese version. Such scenes are hard to translate into English, and I commend the dubbers for the job they did. Then there was episode six, which during a classroom scene almost halfway into the episode, it sounds as if the voice actors stood across the room, their voices distant and slightly echoing. This is unacceptable to me, and if it’s on all copies of the DVD, it should have been fixed before releasing the complete series DVD pack.
There is no unacceptable content for viewing by children in Seven of Seven, with the exception of outside of minor drinking by a couple of adults well over forty years old. On the other hand, the lessons learned about life and studying could surely rub off well on a child who’s in middle or high school, and will eventually face mid-terms and final tests. Seven of Seven won’t be a cure-all for a studying student, but it makes for something to watch while breaking from the books. Note that there is a “bonus episode” included, which does contain objectionable visual content for viewers under age 14. The series may be fully watched without viewing this mostly-nonsense dream episode, which has no impact on the storyline.
Seven of Seven (so named because “Nana” in Japanese means “Seven”, and there are seven of Nana) spans 25 episodes (and one bonus episode). The plot holds throughout, but much of the story’s focus on the characters. Each episode teaches valuable lessons, which the Nana’s themselves take to heart to improve who they are.
While Nana struggles with her feelings for Yuichi, there’s no over-sappy love drama overtaking each episode. In time, Nana’s don “Nana Ranger” super hero costumes, and gain marvelous abilities from prisms which split into seven with Nana, but there are no grand battles going on for episode after episode. There may be strong emotions, there may be a couple of fights, but in the end it’s all about the development and growth of the characters, especially Nana and her studying.
Episodes on the first DVD may be a bit slow to grab a viewer’s attention, but stick with it, and by the second DVD you’ll find the development of the characters and plot are well paced. With this steady pacing throughout the series, Seven of Seven leads up to two emotional climaxes in the plot: one mid-way through the series, and the other at the series end.
With emotion-provoking twists and turns in the plot, and a large cast of interesting and lovable characters, Seven of Seven stands out as a series for viewers looking for a character-based romantic comedy, no matter their age, and the bright colors and cheerful settings should hold the attention of the kids as well. I was initially unsure about the series, a little reluctant about purchasing it, but I’m glad I bought it. Seven of Seven is more than welcome as an addition to my video collection, and is certainly a five-star series.