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Manga / Philosophia

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Ai and Tomo

Philosophia is a Yuri Genre Slice of Life manga by Shuninta Amano. It follows the story of Ai, a beautiful, diligent, but antisocial college student, who finds herself bonding with a fellow student named Tomo—a strange young woman who doesn't seem to be interested in anything but smoking, reading books, and maintaining the status quo in her life.

Readers beware that Philosophia is, by a wide margin, Shuninta Amano's darkest and moodiest work to date. You Have Been Warned.


The manga contains examples of following tropes:

  • Blowing Smoke Rings: Tomo can do this, Ai cannot, despite her best efforts. After Tomo's death, Ai finally learns this trick, among other things she carries on for Tomo's sake.
  • Bury Your Gays: Tomo's death is officially declared an accident but it is strongly implied to have been a suicide.
  • Bus Crash/Dropped a Bridge on Him: Tomo boards a plane for the States and the next thing we know, she is dead.
  • Downer Ending: It looks like the situation can be saved until the last moment... and then Tomo leaves and never comes back, leaving Ai unable to love anyone else ever again. Depending on how you look at it, The Stinger makes it slightly better... or a lot creepier.
  • Forgets to Eat: One time, Ai finds Tomo collapsed in her home and has to take her to the hospital for malnutrition and sleep deprivation. Tomo explains that she was so caught up in her books that she forgot to eat and sleep. Much later, it is revealed that she actually got too caught up in her "side business".
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  • Hair-Contrast Duo: Ai has long blonde hair and is a diligent and driven student, while Tomo's hair is short and dark, and she is a perfect slacker drifting through life with no particular aspirations.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Upon learning Ai's name, Tomo blurts out a rather lame joke about how their kanji make up a prefecture name together, and is immediately embarrassed by it.
  • Indirect Kiss: Tomo and Ai share one early on, when Tomo lights her cigarette off Ai's.
  • Last Kiss: Tomo shares her first and last kiss with Ai in the last chapter, then leaves, and the next time we hear of her is her death report.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Tomo is perfectly aware how much like her sleazebag of a father she is, and is not thrilled by it.
  • The Mourning After: Ai continues loving Tomo and living only for her sake long after her death, never falling in love with anyone else for at least twenty years (until The Stinger, which leaves her future more ambiguous).
  • Must Have Nicotine: Tomo and Ai are both chain smokers, and in fact, their common vice helps them bond at the early stages. Smoking in general is a prominent motif in the manga.
  • Never Found the Body: Tomo's body is never found after her "accident"-slash-suicide.
  • Not Good with People: Ai sees most people as too boring or too fickle to interact with. Tomo is pretty much the first person she has ever been interested in.
  • The Oldest Profession: Tomo eventually reveals that in order to earn enough cash to leave the country, she pimped out young women she knew to her father's old and rich friends, occasionally joining them for threesomes if they so desired. She draws a clear line when it comes to Ai, however.
  • Parental Incest/Not Blood Related: After her father remarried, Tomo had a brief affair with his young wife—her new stepmother—during his frequent business trips. It ended when Tomo's half-brother was born.
  • Posthumous Sibling: The Stinger is reveals that Tomo's parents had a daughter after her death who looks and behaves just like her.
  • Sempai/Kōhai: Tomo tries to enforce this in her relationship with Ai but quickly lets it go.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Ai's natural beauty is an endless source of frustration for her, since she is not interested in becoming anyone's trophy wife, like everyone assumes she would, given her looks. In the end, she grows to accept it, however, and even considers it a boon, since it would fetch a good price for Tomo, if she pimps her out—even though this mere suggestion freaks Tomo out immensely.
  • The Stinger: Years into the future, Ai has not been able to love anyone as much as she loved Tomo, but the very end shows Tomo's step-sister walking up to Ai, and she looks almost exactly like Tomo. The end implies some sort of romance might ensue.
  • Stoic Spectacles: Tomo wears them, complement to her cool and distant personality. After the Time Skip, Ai starts wearing them too, as part of her efforts to live on for Tomo's sake.
  • Tragic Keepsake: It's never said explicitly, but the lighter Tomo gives to Ai in the last chapter is strongly implied to become this for her. It is the same lighter that Ai gave to Tomo when they first met—Tomo kept it all those years as a lucky charm and never used it; in fact, she didn't even need it in the first place, she just used it as an excuse to strike up a conversation with Ai.
  • Trophy Wife: Tomo strongly suspects that her father's second wife was picked mainly for her good looks and her ability to keep the house without complaining during his frequent business trips.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: In The Stinger, Ai meets Tomo's little sister who looks and behaves just like her.
  • What Is This Feeling?: Having never experienced love or even just strong affection for another human being, Ai takes a long time to realize what her feelings for Tomo are, exactly.