Follow TV Tropes


Manga / Arisa

Go To
Arisa and Tsubasa.

"I know everything about Arisa. She's her class representative, she has good grades, and she has a lot of friends. She's a very gentle girl who's liked by everyone. But... I didn't know anything about the real Arisa."
Tsubasa Uehara

Arisa is a shoujo manga written and illustrated by Natsumi Ando, illustrator of Kitchen Princess. The manga was serialized in Nakayoshi from 2009 to 2012 and compiled into 12 volumes.

Tsubasa Uehara and Arisa Sonoda are twin sisters who haven't seen each other for three years due to their parents' divorce. They'd communicated through letters, but finally decide to meet each other again.

Tsubasa and Arisa are really different. Arisa is her class' rep, has the best grades and a lot of friends. She is really good natured and everybody likes her. Tsubasa is known as the "Demon Princess" of her school, because she is a Delinquent who always gets into fights, and her only friends are boys because the girls are dead scared of her. Also, she's got really bad grades.

So when Tsubasa says that she's envious of her, Arisa suggests they change places for one day. However, there are things about Arisa and her school that she hasn't mentioned to Tsubasa — dangerous things. And when Arisa tries to kill herself in front of Tsubasa and falls into a coma, Tsubasa decides that she must know the truth about Arisa in order to save her.

And then she learns of the King...

Tropes in Arisa include:

  • Abusive Parents:
  • The Ace: Tsubasa sees Arisa as this, and highly respects her. But soon she discovers...
    • Broken Ace: ...that Arisa is not like she imagined at all.
  • Action Girl: Tsubasa is introduced as this, though she starts falling into Faux Action Girl territory later into the series. Justified, however, as the series conflicts requires using lots of mental brainwork to outrun the Big Bad, so her more physically inclined skills are not of much use.
  • Accomplice by Inaction: Manabe calls the rest of 2-B by pointing this out after the truth about Midori is revealed, for all that they claim to never be at fault, they are all complacent and let the King rule the whole class freely as they pleased.
  • Adults Are Useless:
    • You'd think that when two girls in the same class try to kill themselves in the same year and one of them is the Class Representative the faculty or administration might be looking into it or launching some sort of investigation. Instead class 2-B continues to participate in King Time every Friday without any adults coming in to check on them or ever getting suspicious of the drawn curtains and closed doors or that fire or the dead body or the missing student.
    • Midori learned this early in life when his mother abandoned him and his twin to die while also telling them that the world outside was full of monsters. When Midori finally dared to leave the apartment every adult he met pushed away or ignored him, forcing him to return alone. They were found a few days later, but by then his twin had already passed away.
  • Ambiguous Gender: The title of the King can refer to a girl, due to the Japanese term for it not having a gender pronoun.
  • Ax-Crazy: Midori, the true King, in spades.
  • Batter Up!: Tsubasa's hit by a cricket bat in volume 1.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Played with. Most of the people are overlooking the obvious with rationalizations of "it could never happen to me" until it actually does, making selfish and arbitrary wishes without considering the side-effects. That is, rather than being about wish corruption, it's about the corruption by wishes (having your desires constantly fulfilled).
  • Big Bad: The King. More specifically, Midori.
    • Though since he also has help from Kuudo at one point, this could count as a Big Bad Duumvirate.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Mariko. Also, the true King.
  • Broken Bird: Shizuka (both figuratively and literally), though arguably this goes for a LOT of the characters in Arisa.
  • Broken Pedestal: Tsubasa tries to inflict this status on the King, but the class just hates her for interfering with his wish granting. This is, however, played straight near the end when the class learns the full truth at how much Midori had been using them.
  • Broken Smile: Midori shows a lot of these even without the King's Slasher Smiles.
  • Calling the Classroom Out: Manabe tells the class off after Midori was revealed.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: The King, seen in shadows, often has these. So do Kudou and Midori, both of whom play the part of the King.
    • Mariko's prone to them too.
  • The Chessmaster: The King is one.
  • The Chosen One: The King chooses 5 members of the class as his representatives. He himself is among them.
  • Class Representative: Arisa.
  • Classroom with a Dark Secret
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Mariko for Arisa; she's jealous whenever she hangs out with others. This is part of why she realizes "Arisa" isn't herself when Tsubasa ignores her to hang with Midori.
  • Creepy Child: A lot of them, notably Midori. When he went to the foster home shortly after being abandoned by his mother and seeing his twin die the kindly matron thought that he'd lost his soul.
  • Creepy Cleanliness: Midori, the result of being left alone in a filthy apartment for most of his early life by his mother
  • Creepy Doll: The King's messenger doll in chapter 7 is both a clown AND a Creepy Doll that speaks its threatening message and then laughs maniacally. Then it explodes. He later uses them to attempt to murder Tsubasa, Kudou, and Arisa's mother.
  • Cult of Personality: One has developed around the King, who the class worships as a god and obeys without question.
  • Cute and Psycho: Midori can somehow maintain an extremely charming appearance while at the same time plotting ruin for most of the main cast.
  • Darker and Edgier: The manga's a good deal heavier than some of Ando's previous titles and is quite dark for the shojo genre in general.
  • Disney Villain Death: Seems to be the preferred form of suicide in class 2B, though overall it seems to be oddly ineffective. That or the school just had very low buildings...
  • Dissonant Serenity: Mariko has this when talking about the King.
  • Driven to Suicide: Anyone ostracized by the King.
    • When Kudou is first introduced, he brings "Arisa" to the roof with him and nearly throws himself off. Tsubasa talks him out of it.
  • Driving Question: Who is the King? It's Midori, Arisa's really, really devoted boyfriend.
    • Also, why did Arisa try to kill herself? When Tsubasa went to Arisa's she (Tsubasa) felt homesick and Arisa overreacted because she was afraid she (Arisa) would be separated from her mother.
  • Drowning Pit: Tsubasa's pushed into a pool in volume 2; what makes this a Death Trap is that she had been drugged and was unable to move.
  • Easily Forgiven: Mariko is very easily forgiven after trying to drown Tsubasa. This continues into the final arc, where Midori is forgiven for all he's done because Arisa truly loves him.
  • Evil Twin: Heavily implied with Arisa, but not proven. Considering his twin is dead, Midori is this by default.
  • Evil All Along: Midori.
  • Evil Cripple: Shizuka has this effect. Then again, given her backstory, she can easily be read as a Wheelchair Woobie.
  • Eye Scream: The King inflicts this on a girl who judged people by their looks.
  • Faking Amnesia: Tsubasa does this while posing as Arisa.
    • Arisa does this on waking up from her coma.
  • Faking the Dead: The criminal the class murdered was actually faking. The police caught him just as he was about to leave the country.
  • Freudian Excuse: Midori and his twin brother Akari were neglected and abandoned by their mother to the point that Akari fell ill. When Midori tried to get help for his ailing brother, he was ignored and rejected by everyone he turned to, causing him to see everyone as a monster. His brother died soon after. This, combined with a bit of Love Makes You Crazy, is what motivates his despicable actions; he wants revenge, but he also wants to help the one person whom he felt something besides hatred for, Arisa.
    • Kuudo could also count, as it was his parents' abandonment of him due to his heart condition that caused him to resent the world. Ultimately, he also wanted to help Arisa, who was the only person that treated him with kindness.
  • Friendless Background: Mariko.
  • Genki Girl: Mariko is perky and very energetic.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The status of the King and his power over everyone.
  • Hall of Mirrors: The King escapes through one of these in Volume 3.
  • Happily Adopted: Inverted, with Shizuka's borderline abusive foster-mom.
  • Heartwarming Orphan: Also inverted with Shizuka.
  • Hidden Villain: The King.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: It appears that King Midori's abuse of his "subjects" has finally come around to stab him in the back.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Class 2B seems to show some remorse and guilt after they assist in murdering a criminal, but their complaints are selfish, and soon after they join in beating up Tsubasa.
  • Informed Attribute: Tsubasa's "tough girl" personality. This is justified by how much of the story's conflicts involve psychological warfare, leaving Tsubasa's physically inclined abilities to have little use and Tsubasa spent much of her time in the manga disguising herself as Arisa in order to learn the truth of her twin sister's life.
  • Ironic Hell: Some of the King's granted wishes.
  • Japanese Delinquents: Manabe seems to qualify as one of these. He skips classes, gets into fights, and has light hair (which a teacher presumed was dyed, to his dismay).
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Manabe qualifies, though he might be equally classifiable as Tsundere as well.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: This trope is at the crux of the story.
  • Kick the Dog: When Midori tears the wings off a butterfly.
  • Like a God to Me: Members of Class 2B see the King as this, particularly Mariko.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Arisa is one for Kudou.
  • MacGuffin: The King's cell phones.
  • Mad Bomber: Midori with the King's exploding clown dolls.
  • Manipulative Bastard: The King, able to control a whole classroom via cell phone.
    • Kudou, who turns a whole classroom into a vigilante mob and use them to get away with arson and possibly murder.
    • Arisa's boyfriend Midori, who is manipulating them all.
  • Meaningful Name: "Tsubasa" means "wings".
  • Monster Clown: The King's messenger doll.
  • More than Mind Control: Part of the King's power is that the class and his minions want to do what he tells them, no matter how extreme.
  • Mouth To Mouth Force Feeding: Towards the climax, The King Midori pretends to reciprocate Tsubasa's affections, then drugs her with a pill when they kiss.
  • Never Bare Headed: Mariko always wears ribbons in her hair, emphasizing her childishness.
  • Never My Fault: When the students of Class 2-B are confronted with the truth about what Midori did, and what they were involved with, they immediately justify their actions as because of the King's manipulation, despite the fact that all of them were willing to sit by while their classmates were abused and people were hurt. That's ignoring the fact that it was their idolizing the King which gave Midori his power in the first place. Manabe rightly calls them out on this. While it wasn't able to change much in the end, the class's reaction towards his words showed that his words affect them more than they let on.
  • Nice Guy: Midori-kun. Or is he?
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Zig-zagged trope. This is wholly averted with Arisa who is canonically dating Midori and Kudo has a crush on her. For Tsubasa, this is played fully straight as the story ends with little romance on her part and while she did get kissed by Midori, it was more of Midori's ploy to manipulate her and expose her disguise. The closest to a Ship Tease Tsubasa had with anyone is with Manabe due to Manabe becoming her greatest ally in solving the mystery but it ultimately went nowhere by the epilogue.
  • One of the Boys: Tsubasa. She's not happy about that.
    Tsubasa: "How come only the guys befriend me?!"
  • Only Sane Man: Tsubasa, Takeru, Manabe, and Midori, the only people not being manipulated/hypnotized by the King. Subverted with Midori, who turns out to be the true King and completely Ax-Crazy.
  • Parental Neglect: Shizuka's foster mom.
    • Arisa and Tsubasa's mother (mostly towards Tsubasa, but she's a fairly distant parent in general) when Tsubasa crashes the class's ceremony her mother's so embarrassed she pretends not to know her. Since Midori's mother is dead he'll settle for the next best thing.
    • Kudou's parents have effectively left him to die alone (or that's what he says). At least they left him to die in a Big Fancy House.
    • Seems to be a theme: Worst example is Midori and his twin's mother, who actually abandoned them in the middle of the winter in a tiny, filthy apartment without food and heat, which lead to Akari dying. She did name Midori as her insurance beneficiary but that just makes the hatred worse.
  • Polar Opposite Twins / Sibling Yin-Yang: Arisa and Tsubasa. So, so much.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Arisa tried to kill herself because she overheard Tsubasa telling her father how homesick she was and she was afraid this would get her taken away from her mother.
    • The King just didn't get Arisa's wish: She didn't want to punish her mother or Tsubasa, she wanted to be with Midori forever because she loved him.
  • Psycho Supporter: Arisa has two: Her boyfriend wants to punish Tsubasa for "so casually stealing Arisa's boyfriend"; Kudou proclaims that he will always be her ally because she was the one who gave him the will to live.
    • Mariko is one for the King, until he betrays her.
  • Put on a Bus: Mariko due to being transferred out early on.
  • Red Herring: There are quite a lot of suspects for the King's identity. Namely, Arisa who in fact was the King, but not the current, corrupt King, Manabe, Mariko, Shizuka, Midori and Kudou. Subverted with some of them.
  • Revenge: Everything the King has done is to avenge his dead twin brother, but since the mother who killed him is dead he'll settle for the next best thing — his girlfriend's mom who makes her miserable will do nicely.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Midori's attitude toward Arisa has shades of this. He sees her as a replacement for Akari.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Those who betray or doubt the King are punished by him and ostracized from the class. This even includes his own followers, such as Mariko.
    • Midori is punishing Tsubasa for replacing Arisa and "stealing" him from her.
  • Secret-Keeper: Only Takeru, Manabe, and the King know Tsubasa's posing as Arisa at first.
    • Class 2B shares the secret of the King, as well.
  • Shrinking Violet: Shiori.
  • Slasher Smile: The King.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Tsubasa's tricked into eating drugged apple cookies, making her too tired to resist being pushed into the pool.
  • Stalker Shrine: Manabe has one to Arisa, though it's not out of love.
  • Stepford Smiler:
    • Midori, so much so.
    • Arisa is also one of these.
  • Stock Shoujo Bullying Tactics: Shiori gets trash dumped on her desk, which is referred to as "the garbage," and Tsubasa is beaten, harassed, and threatened for daring to go against the King. The King himself also engages in such tactics to appease his subjects.
  • Taking You with Me: This appears at first to be Kudou's intention in essentially becoming the dictator of class 2B, since he's going to die of a weak heart and therefore wants to make as many of the students suffer as possible.
    • Subverted when it's revealed that Kudou only wants to make class 2B the best class in the world for Arisa's sake but does so in an extremely dangerous and tyrannical manner. Midori twists that so the class's fame and/or where they're going will get the attention of his mother, but since she's already dead he'll settle for killing Arisa's mother and humiliating Tsubasa.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Might as well be the name of the manga.
  • There Are No Police / Police Are Useless: Save for a few offhand mentions, there is a notable absence of law enforcement officers in this manga, leaving the murderous King of class 2B to run amok without repercussion.
    • Finally averted in chapter 42 (the third to last chapter, mind you) when they show up at the summit meeting and mistakenly detain Tsubasa as a party-crasher and arrest Midori, but don't frisk or cuff him which enables him to stab Arisa and run away. They (and Tsubasa wearing her Arisa-wig) trap him in Arisa's hospital room, but no one saw the other kid with the knife...
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tsubasa is the tomboy, Arisa the girly girl.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Tsubasa, who wants to be girly more than anything.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The police in chapter 42. After apprehending Midori, they don't bother to handcuff or disarm him, which resultantly allows him to escape and stab Arisa with a concealed blade meant for her mother.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Invoked; Tsubasa fakes amnesia while pretending to be Arisa. Arisa wakes up from her coma with amnesia.
  • Tsundere: Manabe, Type A.
  • Twins Are Special: In Volume 8, when Tsubasa is hurt, hospitalized twin sister Arisa flatlines. Tsubasa later lampshades this trope by saying you should not underestimate the bond between twins.
  • Unperson: Class 2B does this to people marked as traitors.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The reason Midori eventually took control of Arisa's King's time forum? It all started because Mariko wanted the king (Arisa at the time) to actually give her the questionnaire of the next test. And Arisa happen to overhear it.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Class 2B in general, and the King's Chosen Ones, especially Kudou, who takes the King's betrayal particularly badly.
  • When It All Began: Shizuka was the first person marked as a traitor by the King.
    • Tsubasa goes to the orphanage/foster home where Midori was raised and learned his tragic backstory.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: King Time started out innocently enough, but when the eponymous figure started to become deified by the students in 2B, Arisa found out the hard way that she could no longer control her creation, especially after Midori took over.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: At least three of the King's pawns had very sad lives which made it easier for the real King to manipulate them: The girl who tried to drug Tsubasa and drown her was shunned and bullied; the girl who pushed Tsubasa off a cliff and beat her own aunt tried to commit suicide and is now paralyzed; Kudou, who burned down a house so that class 2B could save the inhabitants and appear as heroes, has a weak heart and has been effectively abandoned by his parents.
    • Arisa's boyfriend wants to "erase" Tsubasa because she accidentally drove Arisa to suicide, because his own twin brother died when he "abandoned" him (went outside to find help). Falling for him and letting him kiss her wasn't a good idea either. Midori's current plan is to get his class famous so that his mother, who abandoned him and his twin, will notice him (or possibly go to her location). Unfortunately Midori finds out she died some time ago so he settles for Arisa's mother.
  • Yandere:
    • Mariko for Arisa. She gets better.
    • Kudou and Midori for Arisa, the latter dangerously so.
      • Turns out Midori is more yandere for his dead twin brother, Akari, who he has projected onto Arisa.

Tell me your wish... I'll grant it!