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Manga / Ice Revolution

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For years, Oosawa Masaki hasn't been seen as a girl. Raised along with three brothers in her demanding father's karate dojo, practicing nothing but karate and going to school in her brother's uniform when her own uniform is delivered late, Masaki is basically a tomboy... Only now that she's in middle school she really doesn't want to be a tomboy anymore. What she really wants is for the boys to acknowledge she's a girl, and hopefully be attracted to her. But how is she supposed to accomplish that in a totally macho environment without any maternal guidance?

Then she almost got hit by a truck. This would have ended her suffering... if a handsome boy hadn't saved her. Overcome by shyness she flees without even asking his name but not without noticing the odd-looking bag he was carrying. Later she notices that her classmate Saaya also carries a similar bag so she follows her to... an ice-skating rink. It's a skate bag, and Masaki is soon captivated by the way cold, distant Saaya becomes a lovely vision on the ice. Can the mannish Masaki transform into the sweet, lovely girl she wants to be through figureskating?

A manga written by Aya Tsutsumi and illustrated by Youhei Takemura, Ice Revolution or I-Revo as it was known ran in Jump SQ magazine from 2008 to 2009. The manga was cut short after 13 chapters, which were compiled into 3 volumes.

Ice Revolution provides examples of:

  • Beautiful All Along: After Masaki's first performance, boys in the school start looking her a lot differently.
  • Broken Ace: Kaoru is not a smooth operator...
  • Cosmetic Catastrophe: Masaki's first attempt at makeup.
  • Crippling the Competition: The slashed thigh that nearly ended Saaya's career is implied to have resulted from a skating rivalry gone bad similar to the Real Life Harding/Kerigan affair. Subverted when we meet the so-called perpetrator and learn that it truly was an accident and she's still haunted by guilt.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Saaya, and later one of Saaya's rivals.
  • Determinator: Masaki will let nothing stand in her way of her dreams, if it means defeating ten of her father's best students (his price for allowing her to take skating lessons) or clawing her way up through the ranks in an impossibly short time to qualify for the junior national championship.
  • Diving Save: How Kaoru meets Masaki. Masaki later endangers her chances at qualifying for the championship when she injures her ankle saving a little girl.
  • Gender-Bender Friendship: Masaki can't help exploiting the initial confusion over her true gender to spend time with Kaoru — at least until she realizes reinforcing his image of her as a boy is probably counterproductive.
  • Girliness Upgrade: An interesting variation when karate champion Masaki arranges her own Girliness Upgrade by switching to figure skating, which she views as a prettier, more feminine form of athleticism. She manages to secure her macho father's support only by proving that a "girly" activity like figure skating is a physical sport every bit as demanding as karate (as it is.) Ironically, she scores poorly every time she tries to skate a program that emphasizes femininity instead of athleticism.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Masaki has an identical-looking brother, but he doesn't have anything to do with the plot.
  • Heel Realization: Masaki pulls a What the Hell, Hero? on herself after she tells Saaya in a fit of jealous rage"I wish your leg never healed.". She clearly regrets the words the instant they leave her mouth and she later apologizes profusely after crying her heart out to her mentor over it.
  • Hot-Blooded: Masaki.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: People are apt to get the wrong impression when a middle school girl yells, "Please, make me into a woman!" to a grown man in a crowded plaza.
  • The Ojou: Saaya.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Masaki and Saaya.
  • Samus Is a Girl: It takes nearly three chapters after the coach accepts Masaki as his student for him to realize he hasn't found the next great male figure skater. And most of the other skaters only find out she's a girl when she takes the ice for her first performance.
  • Ship Tease: Masaki and Kaoru, near the end of the manga. Masaki asks Kaoru to put her mother's ring on a necklace for a good luck charm.
    Masaki: If Saaya asked you to do this, would you do the same for her?
    Kaoru: ...You're so thickheaded Masaki. But that's what cute about you.
  • Shout-Out: In chapter 6 some people are dressed as Dragon Ball characters.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Masaki crossed the when she gave a venomous rant to Saaya for being beautiful. Later, we discover that Mika did the same thing because Saaya’s skating style was so beautiful (but she didn’t hurt her on purpose — that was an accident). Saaya’s beauty plays into the insecurities of other girls, even when she is friendly to them. That’s the cause of her becoming an ice queen in the first place.
  • Tomboy: Masaki is an extreme case, thanks to growing up in an all-male environment.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Masaki and Saaya.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Masaki hits upon figure skating as a way to satisfy her long-suppressed and deeply hidden femininity. But she scores poorly every time she tries to skate a routine that emphasizes it over her athleticism.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Saaya's leg injury is implied to be the result of a jealous rival similar to the Harding/Kerrigan affair. But when we finally meet the rival we learn that the "attack" was an accident and she still feels extremely guilty about it. The Artist (Saaya) vs Athlete (Masaki) dynamic is very reminiscent of the Kerigan/Harding rivalry as well.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Averted, Masaki already knows she's made her dad proud as his karate student, and now she wants his permission to do something independent. Her father resists until he recalls that promised her dead mother he'd never forget that Masaki was a girl.