Manga / Life

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.
    • Even after 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.
  • Alpha Bitch/ Rich Bitch: Manami.
  • 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.
    • And later Manami.
  • 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.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending
  • Extreme Doormat: Ayumu, though she gets better.
  • For the Evulz: Later in the story, 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."
  • Gender-Blender Name: Ayumu's name is masculinenote , and she doesn't think it fits her.
  • Heel Realization: After one of them hear Manami talk about how she had Katsumi beaten up to get sympathy points, Manami's Girl Posse realize how unstable she is.
  • Important Haircut: Ayumu has one twice.
  • Intimate Healing: Ayumu gives Hatori water this way when she is unconscious from smoke inhalation.
  • 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. This too Brrrr.
  • 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 Ayumu 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 Ayumu 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!
    • It actually starts back in chapter 56 when everyone thinks that she tried to frame Hatori for cheating.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Despite kickstarting the events of the entire series, Ayumu's ex-best friend Shi-chan is never seen again after the first chapter.
  • Yandere: Manami.