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For years the rash tomboyish Tsubasa had communicated with her twin through letters. She had formed the idea that the gentle Arisa led a joyful school life. But upon Arisa's sudden suicide attempt, Tsubasa vows to find the reason behind her twin's actions by taking her place at school. But will this supposed joyful life be too much for Tsubasa to handle? What does it have to do with the people disappearing from Arisa's school...
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Not bad if you're into shoujo but don't need all the mushy stuff
This is better than much of the shoujo out there, if only because it doesn't rely entirely on romantic drama. It's a shoujo-style young girl's mystery and suspense with a fairly intelligent, strong, and somewhat hot-headed female lead. There's actually not much romance at all, as Tsubasa never ever seems to get close to the two possible love interests and doesn't have truly romantic "doki-doki" moments.
The series depends entirely on plot twists. You will get your chain yanked over and over thinking, "Are they close to catching him? Is THIS character the king?" You'll also see some fairly dark moments in the manga: attempted suicide, attempted murder, a bomb, serious injuries, painful revelations, a death. Judging by Andou-sensei's other works, it'll probably have a bittersweet ending. Some dark themes dealt with, shoujo-style.
Here's some of the big flaws: - Characters appear and disappear, including Tsubasa's delinquent (?) friend from school Takeru, Manabe the reformed delinquent, his childhood friend Shizuka (who becomes an important character and disappears), and Arisa's 'best' friend Mariko. They're forgotten about for chapters at a time before coming back. - Tsubasa sometimes does things you'll think are pretty dumb. But she's not colossally shoujo-clutzy and dumb, just a hot-headed middle school girl. Not too bad on this account. - They all live in the world of no responsibility. Parents and teachers, school rules, laws, etc. may as well not exist. The main character stops going to her own school to attend her sister's... and her dad just lets it go? Then she returns (much later) and it's not that big of a deal, either. The issue of parents does come in later, though, and the parent-child relationship becomes crucial to character backstories. - The class cult thing feels really undeveloped and stupid. The entire class is just an easily manipulated bunch of middle schoolers who just turn creepy every once in a while. But the characters and events are interesting enough to me to balance this out. - You get a lot of false leads, bad hints, and misleading foreshadowing. But you may actually like red herrings, if you're into mysteries. - The titular character Arisa has been in a coma since chapter 2. You know absolutely nothing about her thoughts and motivations... which actually makes it interesting. Again, not a problem but perhaps a gripe for some people.
If you persist, the events and two big plot twists from volume 8 made it all really worth reading to me. Judging from the latest chapter (42) it should be ending pretty soon... possibly with a tragedy tag, seeing what happened in the last volumes of Kitchen Princess. The drama/potential tragedy part of the plot really accelerates starting in the mid-20's or so...
I don't think I've ever read such a frustratingly convoluted pass-the-Idiot-Ball-around manga in my life. As another reviewer pointed out, the world is apparently run by high school students. Yes, it's an adult-free dystopia in the world of Arisa! There are no teachers, the police are useless, confidentiality means nothing, and it seems like everyone's hopped up on some hip new designer drug half the time the way they get on. All the adults in this manga suck, and so it's up to a couple of delinquent kids to set everything straight so that they can stop the string of disappearances, accidents, and even murders that are all connected to their school and that have been mysteriously overlooked by anyone of consequence. Yeah, it's that kind of manga.
Still, it kept me reading the whole way through. I'm not sure I can exactly explain how, but I can certainly point to a few factors that helped. The art is clean and sparkly, reminiscent of Arina Tanemura's trademark style that I've always been a sucker for. Unlike Tanemura's works, however, Andou's manga is much darker in tone and content in spite of the fluffy, eye-candy artwork. Yeah, you read that right. This manga is downright dark, especially for a shoujo title (and especially especially for something out of Nakayoshi). In fact, the aspect of the story that really did keep me hooked was the building mystery. Sure, there were way too many "Kings" to really be plausible, but the escalation of 2-B's crimes and the urgency of Tsubasa and Manabe to find the culprit really added that dark layer of suspense and intrigue that this kind of story needs. Speaking of Tsubasa and Manabe, I found them both to be particularly gripping characters, even though the latter seemed to drop off the radar for a good portion of the final volumes. One of my pet peeves in any work of fiction is when a character is introduced as tough but is shown to be exactly the opposite. Tsubasa really does earn the right to be called tough throughout the manga. She is both incredibly feminine (her looks, her aspirations, her emotions) and yet at the same time, she takes a very active role within the story and doesn't play second in command to the male lead (thank God). Overall, I found her to be a well-rounded character who never got overtly distracted by romance (as shoujo heroines tend to do) or gradually reduced to cheerleader. She starts as the protagonist and ends as the protagonist. Though she has her fair share of Idiot Ball moments, she takes it up no more often than any of the rest of the cast. And, hey, I liked her so much that I was even hoping for a little extra romance between Tsubasa and Manabe. You know, because they actually had some chemistry and weren't mooning over their love lives the entire time (or any of the time, really). But at least they didn't become a romantic plot tumor. As for the titular Arisa, I'm more divided. I feel like if I wanted to go back and trace her motivation throughout the series, it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense in regards to where she ends up. Oh well.
So anyway, don't take this one too seriously because if you do, you'll find yourself smashing your head repeatedly against the keyboard by the multitude of inane and unrealistic developments the story takes. But if you're bored one day or are just looking for a good, darker shoujo mystery that's not as tight as it could be, I recommend you give this one a shot. While it's certainly not the best manga out there, it's far from the worst.
I'll give it a 7 out of 10. It entertained me, and I definitely feel like I got something good out of reading it.
... Last updated on February 22nd, 2013, 12:20am
End it now please...
It started GREAT. the first 3 vols were amazing. Not the typical shoujo i must say, and for that got my attention. the heroine is also very strong. But after vol.4 started to become repetitive and senseless. this could have been rated by me with a 9 if this kept being like the beggining, but instead ill give it a 7 now, that is, if the author stops dragging the story and end it already... jeez, so much potential to waste.
WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!!
This is an AMAZING story. I didn't have high hopes for it in the beginning. I figured it'd be some cutesy story about twins reuniting. Boy, was I WRONG. The end of the first chapter left me with CHILLS. This is the only manga I've ever read (and I read a LOT) that has ever hit me quite like this. I'm sitting on the edge of my chair after EVERY chapter (and it's not an obvious plot either-it really keeps you guessing and wanting more). I can't WAIT for the next chapter!! And I'll definitely buy it when Del Rey releases it. Woo Del Rey!~
Very VERY interesting so far
The manga does start off like any other shoujo manga but then the bomb is dropped at the end of the first chapter and you truly fall in love with it <3
amazing so far~ can't wait for more~!
When I saw the cover I thought it was going to be a typical shoujo manga...but when you finish reading the first chapter... Nevermind that, it's just good so far~
... Last updated on February 22nd, 2009, 9:57pm
Better than I expected
At first I thought this was going to be an extremely cliche shojo story about a girl switching places with her sister to see what her life was like and boy was I wrong!
Tsubasa, the main character, switches places with her sister after her sister attempts suicide. Upon walking in her sisters shoes she discovers that the whole class worships a being called the 'king' and on regular basis they ask the king to grant their wishes, and each time the king grants exactly one wish. After Tsubasa discovers the wishes really come true, she decides to find out who the king really is! I liked the mystery and the drama and can't wait untill I read more!
Don't judge a book by its cover
This manga is surprisingly better than I expected. At first glance, my initial thoughts were those typical shoujo mangas where the same/similar kind of plot is used. However the twists and build-up of suspense gives a better story-line compared to other shoujo mangas. Definitely doesn't contain those "overly romantic , lovey dovey" scenes where the main couples are involved. Definitely a recommend!
It really good, i originally started it because it had twins and was worried when i started because i thought it was going to be some cutesy story about switching places. But as soon as Arisa fell out the window, i knew i was wrong. People complain about the story being predicable, but i disagree. i think those people haven't read all the scanlated chapters because they are wrong. The king and the Arisa's connects is still not clear and you wonder if Arisa is the one who started handing out traitor cards. I love this manga and the mystery and psychological issues of all those in the class. I also enjoy the relationship between Tsubasa and Manabe
Why are so many tagged as when there's not romance. Just because a character in a story has a crush on another character, this doesn't automatically qualify the story as romance. To me, romance is when one character actually admits their feelings to another which in turn leads to a romantic moment. When your girlfriend tells you she wants to have a romantic evening, it doesn't mean she wants to go out and solve a mystery together. It means she wants to spend time just the two of you while showing your affection for each other. The manga publishing industry needs to re-examine what it classifies as romance. They need a new classification for stories about members of the opposite sex that fall short of romance. Call it almost romance or something like that.