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Arisa
Arisa
Arisa
Manga Review

Growing up, and going to school are normal things, bullying and ostracized are really not what anyone would want happened, though it happens. An undisclosed number of children commit suicide in Japan, due to the factor of unable to cope with bullying at school. Japan is well known for being a cohesive group, and has the issue of not being individual enough. How then should a society or family/friends cope with the shortcomings of a group mentality then? For the bullied victims, wouldnít there be a desire to have a strong supportive reason or person to assist them?

ArisaIn a physical family structure, siblings share half your genes, and what about if you are an identical twin, then isnít that even more special, and genetically homogenous? Twin siblings Tsubasa and Arisa are separated by their parentís divorce, though they stay in touch with letters.

Through this correspondent, Tsubasa believes that her sister has the picture perfect life. But that image is shattered, and questions arise when Arisa tries to commit suicide. Tsubasa decides to go undercover at Arisaís school to try and find out the reason for her sisterís breakdown. As Arisa, she discovers something dark and definitely sinister happening at the school. The plot premise is whether or not this secret will drag her into the same issue as well.

ArisaThis volume begins a dark tale of exploring teenage issues of trying to cope; it explores the aspects of being in the popular crowd as well as being ignored by a larger group. This is a more serious topic that is quite different from the authorís other lighter products, Wild @ Heart, and Kitchen Princess.

For other similar read-alikes, on the darker side of school bullying, Life by Keiko Suenobu is an appropriate read. For reading about a picture perfect reality, that covers the truth, then The Gentlemen's Alliance Cross is a similar read.

Reviewed by Linda Yau, March 2011

Below: Two spreads from the Arisa manga, to view at full size just click on each image.

Arisa

Arisa

Below: Panels from the Arisa manga.

Arisa

Arisa

Arisa

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Arisa

Arisa Website Links:


Arisa review at Baka-Updates Manga

Arisa entry at Wikipedia

The Official Website for Natsumi Ando (Japanese)

The Natsumi Ando entry at Wikipedia (Japanese)


Below: Panels from the Arisa manga.

Arisa manga

Arisa manga

Arisa manga

Arisa manga

Arisa manga





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