Nanako Shouji is a manga-character that only appears in the 2011 January Special, which takes place after the finale chapters.
Nanako is the free-spirited only daughter of the owner of Shouji General, one of Japan’s leading oil companies. The company only rose to prominence in the last generation, so her father wants her to marry into a more established family.
She first comes to Spain on vacation at age ten and falls in love with the country’s unique heritage. She currently resides in Spain, studying abroad at the University of Madrid towards a major in cultural anthropology.
While studying abroad with the Hosts in America, Kyoya’s father summons him over the three-day Thanksgiving weekend to escort Nanako in Barcelona while she awaits her marriage interview with his older brother, Akito Ootori. She converses with Kyoya about Spain and discovers that he has only visited the city once. She excuses herself to the bathroom, where she runs into Haruhi Fujioka before making a daring jump from the second-story window. Her self-satisfaction with her escape is cut short when she is cornered by Kyoya’s three bodyguards.
The other Hosts watch from the sidelines as the atmosphere between she and Kyoya grows tense. Nanako admits that she has run away from three marriage interviews already because marriage would interfere with her dreams of traveling the world to study other cultures. She has never gotten the chance to fully explain herself to her father as every time she brings it up, they only yell at each other. Tamaki urges Kyoya to rethink why his father summoned him to pointlessly escort this girl. Kyoya realizes that her marriage to Akito would benefit the Shoujis greatly, but not the Ootoris.
During her meeting with Akito the next day, the boys burst forth in suits of armor. During the commotion, Haruhi whisks Nanako away and tells her a car is waiting to help her escape. Kyoya then appears and tells Nanako that she can either keep running away or confront her father to achieve her dream properly. Nanako tells Haruhi to send the car away. Later, Nanako brings gifts for the Hosts, explaining that her father has agreed to delay her marriage for five years so that she may travel.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ootori praises Kyoya for managing a solution where the Ootoris can maintain a prosperous business relationship with the Shoujis without needlessly bartering Akito.
Nanako is shown to be of average height. She has long dark hair that is slightly curly. She is described by the twins as "exotic"-looking and compared to the seductive gypsy Carmen. She is of a normal demeanor, if not somewhat rebellious for a girl of her standing. She dresses mostly in skirts and dresses and is proud of her legs. Her clothing and demeanor are described as somewhat "professional."
Nanako does not wish to bring shame to her family but, at the same time, knows she must follow her heart. She is deeply frustrated that her dreams of travel conflict with her duties as the Shoujis’ eldest daughter. This conflict has created an explosive relationship between her and her father. Nanako says that he has always had a “child of the Edo” (Edokko) spirit but has lately become obsessed with work and is shamelessly attempting to marry her off for business motives. With the hosts’ help, however, they manage to reach a compromise.
After her failed escape, Nanako and Kyoya maintain a tense relationship. They are very passive-aggressive, as they continually make rude remarks to each other, thinly veiled by their extraordinary social etiquette. Kyoya views Nanako’s efforts to forsake her duties to her family as unforgivable, while Nanako thinks Kyoya is a coward for allowing his family to hold him back. After the hosts help Nanako reach a compromise with her father, she and Kyoya come to a mutual understanding of each other and their “strength of purpose”; however, their interactions continue to be peppered with insults.
The twins gush that she is pretty and “exotic.” Nanako and the twins hit it off well as they have much in common, including their biting sarcasm, thrill-seeking personalities, incredible passion for Spanish modernismo architecture, and a tendency to bully Tamaki. Kaoru remarks that her good humor would be “wasted” on Akito. They call her “Carmen-san” because of her similarity to the evil seductress Carmen from the tragic French novella/opera of the same name.
- Nanako describes her father as a "child of the Edo." Edokko, or people born and raised in Tokyo, are thought to be conservative, self-involved, and street smart, among other things.
- Nanako is compared to two famous literary characters: Don Quixote for her free spirit and idealism, and Carmen for her beauty, strength of purpose, and her frowned-upon desires.
- Don Quixote is a character from a 1600's Spanish novel. He lives in a delusional world where he is a knight whose purpose is to right all the world's wrongs.
- Carmen is an 1800's French opera about a passionate gypsy woman. She seduces a soldier to escape jailtime. He throws his life away for her and when she leaves him for another, he kills her in a fit of rage.
- Her interest in different cultures contrasts her family problems; although she has little interest in old-fashioned traditions of marriage and lineage, she acknowledges that the "old and weathered" traditions and heritage of Spain are what shaped the country into something beautiful.