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Manga: Private Actress

Private Actress is a manga by Michiyo Akaishi, author of Towa Kamo Shirenai, among other titles.

Shiho Kobayakawa is the most popular girl at her school. She's pretty, polite, softspoken, booksmart... almost the spitting image of the Yamato Nadeshiko aka ideal Japanese woman. What they don't know, however, is that Shiho has a very uncommon part-time job: a private actress, meaning an actor and stand-in who is hired for personal purposes rather than fame. For example, if a young man needs someone to pretend to be his girlfriend so their family will stop nagging him about lack of commitment to relationships, he can go to Shiho's agency and hire her to pose as his girl for some time, which she will do for as long as it's needed and the requester can pay up.

The manga itself dwells on Shiho's life and work, showing us the reasons why people would hire an actor for such purposes. It also slowly shows us Shiho's real life, and the reasons why a girl like her would rather pose as a PA than going into stardom despite having both looks and talent to do so. . .

You can read it here.

Private Actress has the following tropes

  • Becoming the Mask: Several of Shiho's works involve her all but believing she's truly the person she pretends to be.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: A certain actress who works with Shiho at some point, Ruriko Daichi, who is famed for being sweet on stage and a total bitch to her co-workers, especially her personal attendants. Ruriko turns out to be more of a Tsundere than this.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Many of Shiho's classmates are seriously wet for her.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: The reason why Shiho's mother isn't an actress anymore.
  • Ill Girl: Subverted: Shiho is not sickly, but pretends to be so people won't suspect her when she takes time off school to work.
  • Josei
  • Lady Drunk: Ruriko Daichi
  • The Masquerade: In a sense. Shiho's work is to help people keep some of these in their real lives.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Shiho.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Shiho and her mom, Sayuri, before Sayuri's scarring. Lampshaded when Ruriko sees Shiho's face clearly while drunk:
    Ruriko: SAYURI?! Did you turn young again?!
  • Tragic Keepsake: A poetry book that Sendou left for Shiho, with a small note in which he reveals that he knew who she was... but thanks her for helping him in his last days.
  • White-Dwarf Starlet: Shiho's mother Sayuri. She actually relied more on her acting talent than her looks, but once she was scarred, it still was very hard for her to keep up. At the same time, her old rival, Ruriko Daichi, is absolutely terrified by the prospect of becoming one of these, which is what makes her become a Lady Drunk.

PietaJoseiPrivate Prince

alternative title(s): Private Actress
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