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Mega Manga Challenge (3): Arisa, vol. 1 by Natsumi Ando

>>Friday, August 5, 2011

Title: Arisa
Author: Natsumi Ando
Series: Arisa vol. 1
Demographic: Shojo
Format: Manga
Pages: 208
Genre: School Life, Mystery
Publication Date: October 26th, 2011
Publisher: Del Rey
Rating: B+



Summary:
From Goodreads: Tsubasa thinks that her pretty and popular twin sister, Arisa, has the perfect life. Everyone at school loves Arisa—unlike the hot-tempered Tsubasa, whose nickname is “the Demon Princess.” But when Arisa attempts suicide, Tsubasa learns that her seemingly perfect sister has been keeping some dark secrets. Now Tsubasa is going undercover at school—disguised as Arisa—in search of the truth. But will Arisa’s secrets shatter Tsubasa’s life, too?

Why did I read this book? I thought the art look really good and I wanted a school life/shojo manga to read! Shojo isn't my favorite demographic but I definitely like to get a small fix. :)

My Review

I discovered this manga some time ago before the release date and locked it in my brain because I had a long time to wait until the release date. Then I remembered it a few weeks ago while I was at the bookstore and they happened to have volume 1 (bookstores never have volume 1s)! I snatched it up for my Mega Manga Challenge.

What drew me to this story is the wonderful artwork, but also the "switch" story. Tsubasa trades places with her twin sister Arisa after reuniting with her and finding out her life isn't as perfect as it seems. Arisa has everything: friends, great home life, great grades, popularity, but something is missing after Arisa tries to kill herself. We (and Tsubasa) don't know what the deal with everything is, so she goes undercover as Arisa to her school to find out. I think this concept is actually really fun and different. We have the comedy aspect of Tsubasa trying to get by as Arisa but also the mystery of what is going on at this school.

Some of the mystery is revealed in the later chapters, but I don't want to spoil that. Let's just say the story gets even more mysterious and really left me wanting to read the next volumes to find out what is going on in this high school.

Included in this volume are some great extras. At the beginning there is a article explaining Japanese honorifics (such as using -chan, -sama, etc) and I found that very helpful! I also enjoyed the writer/artist extras at the end. They were very cute and I think these are important in manga, it really allows you to get to know the artist.

Rating: B+
I really liked Arisa. I didn't expect it to be a mystery (I was thinking more just comedy and romance) but there's a certain weight to the plot when students are acting out of character and possibly trying to hurt themselves. I will definitely be reading the next volume to find out what happens. I hope anyone interested in shojo manga with good comedy and a mysterious plot will give this a try!

4 comments:

  1. Shojo isn't my favorite kind of manga, either, but this series sounds so intriguing! The art also looks beautiful.

    It's true: they never have volume 1 at the bookstores! My sister and I search every store we come across for the 16th volume of Fullmetal Alchemist... it's become something of a bizarre inside joke, because the 16th volume is never in stock. The store will have volumes 14,15,...17,18. It's really too weird!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Strangely enough I'm pretty much addicted to shojo type manga.
    I'm really glad that you reviewed Arisa because I had seen it around and was thing about looking into getting the first volume. I think it sounds pretty good, especially after your review. =)

    Orchid
    The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

    ReplyDelete
  3. Haha that sounds like my trips to the manga section, Kat! They never have the volume you need!

    Hope you get to read it too, Orchid!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Arisa sounds like a very pleasant read! And the cover art looks gorgeous. I'll have to check it out some time! :D

    ReplyDelete

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