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Tessa
June 11, 2010, 01:47 PM
Title: Life
Genres: Drama || Mature || Psychological || Romance || School Life || Shoujo || Slice of Life || Tragedy
Author: SUENOBU Keiko
Artist: SUENOBU Keiko
Publication: Betsufure (Kodansha)
Start Date: 2002
End Date: 2009
Number of chapters at review: 27
Number of chapters read by reviewer: 27

General Overview: Ayumu Shiiba is trying to get to the same high school as her best friend. Even thought she is not as smart as her she tries to do her best. In the end Ayumu enters the high school while her friend fails. This leads to a dramatic braking up and now Ayumu is unable to make new friends. Manami, a new classmate from the new school, approaches her and asks for her friendship, but things are not the way they seem...

Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)

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Art: 10/10
I really like the mangaka's drawing style. Beautiful eyes and beautiful charachters. She has no unnecessary details. Clean and simple are the works that describe the art best.

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Plot: 9/10
Some parts are a bit unrealistic. For exampel: Manami is almost ready to kill herself after she is dumped, but when her best friend "theoretically" betrays her she is determinate to destroy her. And about the part when she is dumped, in the end we see that she can actually control her boyfriend very well. She didn't have to go through all that drama for it. Ayumu is not weak, she just needs somebody that's all. You can see that she changes completely after she becomes Miki Hatori's friend. It's hart to fight only for yourself. But when you fight for someone you love [for example a friend] you become unstoppable.
Even if at the beginning the character is pretty much alone, people around her start to notice that she is not week and that the girls in her class are really exaggerating.
So even if at the beginning this story looks sadist, you'll see that it has a much deeper meaning. It's about going down, so hard to the button that it becomes unbearable, but also about the things you need to go up again.

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Characters: 9
Very extreme characters.
Minami is the perfect bitch: she is selfish, a liar and thinks that nobody besides her deserves to be happy [enlist not happier]. In the end we discover that she is mentally unstable, just like her boyfriend.
Hatori: is the strong willed girl. She hides her pain and decides to live her life to the fullest. She is kind and determinate. I find her to be extreme because in a way she is too perfect. Still, I loved her character
Ayumu: our main character is the shy quiet type that doesn't want to fight with anybody. Life is not so good with her because, except for Hatori, she discovers to be surrounded by mean, egoistic people. Because she doesn't want to be the same she is cast aside and in the end tormented till the point of no returning back. After she discovers her first true friend she becomes stronger.

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Theme:10
The title said it all: it's about life. it's about struggling to get past every day trying to find a meaning, trying to make others understand you and trying to understand others.

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Originality:9
It's really similar to another manga by the same author: vitamin, just that this one is more detailed, but still, compared to other mangas out there this one is really original.

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Overall: 10
I've felt every feeling that Ayumu had. I've hated Minami to the point of wanting to kill the mangaka that made her, I've loved Hatori. I even cried when she saved Ayumu and gaved her confidence. She was so wise. This manga made me cry, made me laugh, scream... everything. I find it very complex and very catchy.
I don't have enough words to describe this series, maybe because I can't tell the exact feeling that it sends you. You'll find yourself taped between the characters feelings. You'll love them and hate them. I personally enjoyed every chapter of it.

Note: I'll upload some scans later, right now I don't have any on my computer.

jamespearl
January 25, 2011, 02:14 PM
I do not know how I feel this episode. It was fun, unfair and strange all at the same time. There's a guy who likes to draw manga. Apparently, in use, even change the face of people who are upset and paste it into a swimsuit calendar.