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.
It was dropped by its licensor Tokyopop at volume 9note
, but scanlators
have began to try and finish it.
This series contains examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Katsumi's, mostly his dad.
- Adult Fear: 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.
- Ambiguously Bi: Ayumu's interactions with some of her female friends can be taken this way, but she has a crush on a boy.
- Art Evolution: The art style starts off being somewhat rough but smooths out later.
- Attempted Rape: Two of them, the second one was going to be very nasty.
- Axe Crazy: Katsumi, and much later Manami.
- Bifauxnen: Ayumu.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Katsumi. There's one scene with him smiling with the most innocent smile ever, and there are others when he looks downright Obviously Evil.
- The Bully: Several characters, later including Manami, in a rather twisted but realistic way.
- Compressed Adaptation: Many changes were made for the Drama adaptation, including changing what Ayumu's Self Harm habits to something less graphic and focusing more on the bullying.
- Driven to Suicide: Attempts are made by various characters, leading to both Interrupted Suicide's and Bungled Suicide's.
- Extreme Doormat: Ayumu, though she gets better.
- Gender-Blender Name: Ayumu's name is masculinenote , and she doesn't think it fits her.
- Hime Cut: Hirose.
- Important Haircut: Ayumu has one twice.
- Japanese Delinquents: Miki Hatori, though she's actually quite nice.
- Live-Action Adaptation
- Mind Rape: Katsumi does this to Ayumu. Manami does this to everyone.
- Nightmare Face: Manami breathes this trope.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Ayumu and Hatori have a very deep friendship.
- Self Harm: The series revolves around this. In the Live-Action Adaptation Ayumu cuts her hair, in the manga she cuts her arms and legs.
- Shoujo Demographic
- Spiritual Successor: It's this to an earlier manga by the mangaka, "Vitamin". Both focus on a sensitive girl who gets bullied, a Bastard Boyfriend 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, Important Haircuts. 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.
- Teens Are Monsters
- Third-Person Person: Manami.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: One of the translations has Ayumi saying "It's karma, bitch", at Manami.
- Trauma Conga Line
- Villainous Breakdown: Manami experiences this, starting in Volume 16, Chapter 62. Everyone finds out that she ejected Miss Hiraoka and Miss Toda, murdered at least one person, and caught her viciously attacking Ayumi and school authorities had to grab her to stop it. They realize that she is the one causing the problems, and turn on her fast and hard. Laser-Guided Karma does not even begin to describe it!
- Yandere: Manami.