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Manga / Othello

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Othello is a manga series created by Satomi Ikezawa. It was serialized in the shojo magazine Bessatsu Friend and compiled in 7 volumes.

It tells about Yaya Higuchi, a girl who's always dreamt of becoming a singer, but due to her shy nature, she's always been bullied. Now in high school, she still feels isolated, even by her "best friends": her only way to escape reality is by dressing up in lolita fashion and talk with fellow fans of her favourite band, Juliet.

However, once even this secret is brought to light and mocked upon, she snaps and develops a Split Personality: Nana, a hot-blooded Action Girl who will turn Yaya's life outside down without her even knowing.

Not to be confused with Othello, a Shakespeare play. The title of the manga is probably inspired by the board game.

Tropes included:

  • Action Girl: Nana is so skilled at fighting and defense she can even jump to a train in motion without getting injured.
  • Alpha Bitch: Seri is usually the one to handle Yaya's bullying.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Yaya manages to overcome her fears and debut as a singer, as well as start dating Moriyama. However, Nana has faded from her mind after her Character Development, but it's implied she still lives somewhere inside her.
  • Catch-Phrase: Nana's "Heavenly punishment!" followed by "Justice is done!"
  • Concert Kiss: During Moriyama's band concert, Nana climbs the stage and kisses him.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Yaya and Nana.
  • The Ditz: Nana's only flaw is being very clumsy, which occasionally is the cause of her turning again into Yaya.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Yaya as her "Mimi" persona.
  • Extreme Doormat: Yaya has tolerated all her life being bullied and being toyed with by her supposed friends, without ever following her own wishes. Her cosplay hobby helped her to escape reality, but once this is discovered, she develops the Nana personality. However, since her original personality isn't aware of Nana's existence, she thinks she's going crazy and losing her memory, making her even more pitiful.
  • False Friend: Seri and Moe at the beginning of the story, Megumi later on the plot. Nana sees through all of them, though.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Shouhei has an alligator called Elizabeth. She's extremely violent, specially around Nana.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Yaya. Everyone she befriends ends up being a bully or mostly ignoring her existence. This doesn't stop her from thinking of them as friends, though.
  • Handsome Lech: Shouhei.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Shouhei is considered to be as beautiful as a prince in-universe.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Yaya is sweet, soft-spoken and wears mostly light coloured dresses. Nana, on the other hand, prefers jeans, tank tops that show her belly and has a much more sexier look in her eyes than Yaya.
  • Missing Mom: Yaya's mother died when she was in elementary school.
  • New Old Flame: Shuuko. She's quickly dealt with, though.
  • Official Couple: Moriyama and Yaya.
  • The Rock Star: Moriyama wants to become this. Shohei is a straight example.
  • Romantic False Lead: One may think Yaya will get romantically involved sometime in the story with her platonic idol crush, or at least develop the plot in a Love Triangle involving them and Moriyama... but once Shohei is revealed to be an older (and rather creepy) man her platonic crush seems to dissapear.
  • Secret Keeper: Moriyama, Shuko, and Shohei.
  • Shrinking Violet: Yaya.
  • Split Personality: Nana to Yaya.
  • Split-Personality Makeover: Yaya has Tareme Eyes and barely noticeable lips. She usually also wears her hair properly tied in a bun or pigtails. Nana, however, has Tsurime Eyes, very flashy lips and likes to loosen her hair, making it look longer than when she's Yaya.
  • Split-Personality Merge: As Yaya overcomes her fears, Nana decides to disappear from her mind. However, sometimes Yaya still acts like Nana.
  • Stock Shoujo Bullying Tactics: Yaya withstands getting pictures of her dressed as a lolita shown to the whole class, being forced to sit in her chair with a tack on it, being forced to beg and then getting a bucket of water thrown of her... Luckily, Nana has got her back.
  • Talking to Themself: Yaya and Nana.
  • Visual Kei: Juliet, Yaya's favourite band, followed this style. She seems to imitate it too when she doesn't dress up as a lolita.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: During the concert where Nana replaces Moriyama, her blouse gets tied with the bass' strings and gets ripped off. She quickly takes it off and replaces it with a nearby piece of cloth.