After her best friend breaks off their friendship, Ayumu Shiiba begins to seek comfort through cutting her wrists. As she begins high school she hopes for a fresh start, and even makes friends with a girl named Manami Anzai. As she goes through high school however, she finds herself spiraling into more trouble.

''Life'' is a {{Shoujo}} manga written by Keiko Suenobu that deals with harsh issues such as bullying, manipulation, and suicide. It's had a {{Dorama}} adaptation that ran in 2007, ran for 20 volumes, and has won a Kodansha Manga Award.

The publishers of the manga discontinued their license with Tokyopop at volume 9, but [[{{Scanlation}} scanlators]] have began to try and finish it.

!!This series contains examples of:

* ZeroPercentApprovalRating: By the end of the manga, [[spoiler:Manami has alienated everyone and become a social pariah throughout the school.]]
%% AbusiveParents: [[spoiler:Katsumi's]], mostly his dad.
* AdultFear:
** ''Life'' is just full of this. The manga centers around bullying and self-harm. After her friend betrays her in a jealous rage, Ayumu begins to cut herself. Once she enters high school, she meets a girl who acts like her friend but turns out to be a bully in disguise. None of her family members know about her turmoils. To make matters worse, the teachers try their best to downplay the bullying and make it seem like nothing is wrong.
** Even after [[spoiler: the whole school attempted to make her apologise to Ayumu, even after she tried to kill herself... your daughter Manami still says horrible things like "I bully who I want" and looks like a downright psychopath.]]
%% AlphaBitch: Manami.
* AmbiguouslyBi: Ayumu's interactions with some of her female friends can be taken this way, but she has a crush on a boy.
* ArtEvolution: The art style starts off being somewhat rough but smooths out later.
%% AttemptedRape: Two of them, the second one was going to be very nasty.
%% AxeCrazy: Katsumi, and much later [[spoiler:Manami.]]
%% {{Bifauxnen}}: Ayumu.
* BitchInSheepsClothing:
** '''Katsumi'''. There's one scene with him smiling with the most innocent smile ever, and there are others when he looks downright ObviouslyEvil.
** Manami. She starts off treating Ayumu like her best friend, but then later begins bullying her when she thinks Ayumu is trying to steal Katsumi.
%% TheBully: Several characters, [[spoiler:later including Manami]], in a rather twisted but [[TruthInTelevision realistic]] way.
* CompressedAdaptation: Many changes were made for the Drama adaptation, including changing Ayumu's SelfHarm habits to something less graphic and focusing more on the bullying.
* DrivenToSuicide: Attempts are made by various characters, leading to both {{Interrupted Suicide}}s and {{Bungled Suicide}}s.
%% EarnYourHappyEnding
%% ExtremeDoormat: Ayumu, though she gets better.
* ForTheEvulz: Later in the story, [[spoiler:Manami]] outright admits that the reason why she tortures and bullies people is not because of any particular reason or because she's acting out; rather, she does it because it's '''fun'''. She even says that making people suffer is "ten thousand times better than sex."
* GenderBlenderName: Ayumu's name is masculine[[note]]the feminine form of the same name would be ''Ayumi''[[/note]], and she doesn't think it fits her.
* HeelRealization: After one of them hear Manami talk about how she had Katsumi beaten up to get sympathy points, Manami's GirlPosse realize how unstable she is.
%% ImportantHaircut: Ayumu has one twice.
* IntimateHealing: Ayumu gives Hatori water this way when she is unconscious from smoke inhalation.
%% JapaneseDelinquents: Miki Hatori, though she's actually quite nice.
%% LiveActionAdaptation
%% MindRape: Katsumi does this to Ayumu. Manami does this to everyone.
* RichBitch: Manami's father is the CEO of a large corporation, so she's spoiled rotten and is able to manipulate her father into making anything go her way. The teachers comply with anything he says, mostly because they're too afraid of what the media would think otherwise.
* RomanticTwoGirlFriendship: Ayumu and Hatori have a ''very'' deep friendship.
* SelfHarm: The series revolves around this. In the LiveActionAdaptation, Ayumu cuts her hair; in the manga, she cuts her arms and legs.
%% ShoujoDemographic
* SpiritualSuccessor: It's this to an earlier manga by the mangaka, "Vitamin". Both focus on a sensitive girl who gets bullied, a BastardBoyfriend who forces himself onto girls, teachers who don't want to acknowledge the issues, parents who don't get their child's problems due to them not talking about it, suicide attempts, [[spoiler:{{Important Haircut}}s]]. The main difference is how both protagonists react to their bullying for most of the manga, and the fact that ''Vitamin'' takes place in junior high.
* TeensAreMonsters:
** Ayumu's best friend, Shi-chan, telling her in a jealous rage that Ayumu was a burden to her and saying, "I wish you were dead!" And this is what ''starts'' the plot.
** Manami. She's manipulative, bullies anyone who doesn't fit into her GirlPosse, and is the ringleader of all of the bullying against Ayumu, Hatori, and just about anyone who doesn't comply with her. [[spoiler:She later begins trying to ''kill'' people, and even after Ayumu [[InterruptedSuicide saves her life]], Manami says that she bullies people ''because it's fun''.]]
** Katsumi. [[spoiler:He traps Ayumu in his house, ties her up, and takes photographs of her bound up and nude - which he constantly threatens to reveal to others, alongside her self-harm scars - and when Ayumu throws his cell phone into a puddle, he convinces the onlooking students that it's because she's jealous of Manami's and his relationship. And Ayumu is far from being the first girl he's photographed like that!]]
** Pretty much the ''entire student body''. Most students are quick to engage in bullying others, [[spoiler:doing things like wrapping Ayumu up in a photography blanket and rolling her into the wall several times, trying to force her to swallow needles, and even throwing her desk out the window. And then when it's revealed that ''Manami'' is the real bully, they're just as quick to turn on her, showing no remorse for the students they victimize.]]
* ThirdPersonPerson: Manami refers to herself as "Manami" or "Mana" a lot.
* ThisIsForEmphasisBitch: One of the translations has [[spoiler:Ayumu saying "It's {{karma}}, bitch", at Manami.]]
%% TraumaCongaLine
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Despite kickstarting the events of the entire series, Ayumu's ex-best friend Shi-chan is never seen again after the first chapter. Subverted in the j-drama as she is [[DeathByAdaptation killed off]].
* {{Yandere}}: Manami. [[spoiler:After she finds out that Katsumi never loved her and cheated on her throughout their entire relationship, she tries to kill him.]]