Subtext

I was re-reading volumes 1-11 of Nana when this page jumped out at me...

Nana v2, p. 161

Nana v2, p. 161

This is a pretty unremarkable page at first glance. There's a slight shift from small, dense panels to larger, emptier panels to accompany the slight change in Nana's mood from panicked to contemplative. There's the moon as a symbol for Nana's happiness and/or maturity. But it's that last panel that blew me away, because it's so subtle. Let's take a look at the focal point of the composition...

Nana v2, p. 161 detail

Nana v2, p. 161 detail

Gee, I wonder what could possibly be missing from the ring finger of her left hand?

That's just wonderfully subtle. It's easy to miss on your first read-through, and it's easy to dismiss as just stock theatrics (staring at your hands being shorthand for being lost in thought). And yet it still leaves an impression on your subconsious, delicately tinting your perceptions of Nana's character and goals.

Or maybe I just missed it on the first read-through 'cause I'm a guy. And also an idiot.

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