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Manga / Yurara

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"There are two sides to every ghost story..."

Yurara (Yurara no Tsuki, or "Yurara's Moon" in Japanese) is a supernatural shoujo manga by Chika Shiomi. It ran in Bessatsu Hana to Yume from 2003 to 2005, and was compiled into five volumes. Viz Media publishes the English version under its Shojo Beat imprint.

Yurara Tsukinowa has been seeing spirits all her life. What's more, she can sense their thoughts and feelings, and they are often so sad that it makes her cry. So she's always been seen as a strange girl, and has never had many friends.

Until she ends up in the same class as Mei Tendo and Yako Hoshino, the two most popular boys of the school... who can also see spirits. And not just that, they can fight them, too. The hotheaded Mei uses his Demon Fire to burn them, while always-cool Yako can use water to throw up protective barriers. Soon Yurara discovers that she, too, is not entirely defenseless - she's protected by a powerful Guardian Spirit, which allows her to transform into a tall, darkhaired beauty with the power to send spirits on to the afterlife.

Between the three of them they begin to attract more and more dangerous spirits, but that's not the only trouble that's brewing. Mei finds himself falling for Yurara, and as he starts spending more time with her, for some reason Yako becomes even less patient with him than usual...this is a shoujo manga, after all.

There is a sequel called Rasetsu (Rasetsu no Hana in Japanese), also published by Viz.

Contains examples of:

  • Chick Magnet: Mei really enjoys the attention of all the girls in class. Yako has his own fanclub, though they prefer to admire him from a distance.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Surprisingly, Mei. A few years previous, he fell in love with his school teacher, and she seemed to be reciprocating. Then she was dragged off the roof of the building to her death by an evil spirit.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Yako. So much. Mei snarks right back at him, but isn't so deadpan about it.
  • Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest: Rasetsu, the protagonist of the sequel, has a striking resemblance to Yurara's Guardian form, and she eventually becomes Yako's new love interest.
  • Driven to Suicide: Mei, involuntarily, when he becomes possessed by the turned-evil spirit of the teacher he was in love with. She manipulates his body to try and make him kill himself.
  • Elemental Baggage: Played straight with Mei who seems to create his fire out of nowhere (though possibly justified in that it is a spiritual power and regular people don't seem to be able to see it), but averted with Yako who always carries bottles of water with him to use for his water barriers. They also come in handy whenever he needs to smack Mei upside the head.
  • Face Your Fears: When Mei overhears that Yako is afraid of water and realizes this is why Yako avoids the school swimming lessons (he'd previously thought Yako just couldn't swim), he immediately grabs Yako, drags him to the nearest river, and plonks him on a small island in the middle, making fun of him all the way. Then leaves him there. When Yurara finds him, they are beset by evil spirits that overpower even her Guardian form and try to pull her under water, and ultimately Yako has to jump into the (barely waist-high) river to save her. He's still terrified, though.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Yako is rude to nearly everyone, enjoys winding people up (especially Mei) and is at times downright vicious when dealing with spirits.
  • Heroic BSoD: Yako, after Yurara takes back her love confession and he tries to forget about her. He doesn't come to school and sits around the house uselessly staring into space, scaring his family (even more than usual). It seems to be partly played for laughs, though.
  • I Just Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Both boys try this during the course of the story. Neither of them handle it particularly well.
  • Ironic Fear: Water-elemental Yako is afraid of water. Specifically, bodies of water large enough to swim (and drown) in.
  • Love Triangle: Mei, Yako and Yurara. With the extra complication that Mei loves her "regular" form, while Yako finds himself falling for her Guardian form, and in return, "regular" Yurara returns Mei's affection, while her Guardian form can't stand Mei and is in love with Yako instead.
  • Making a Splash: Yako creates spirit barriers using water.
  • Not So Stoic: Apart from his annoyance at Mei, Yako usually doesn't show much emotion. In the last chapter, however, once he's realized he's in love with Yurara's Guardian Spirit, that she loves him back, and that she's leaving, he breaks down in tears and begs her not to go.
  • Oblivious to Love: Yako doesn't understand why he hates Mei more than usual, and it's not until the spirit he "hired" to bully Mei around spells it out for him that he realizes it's because he's in love with Yurara, too. Even his fangirls see it before he does.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Mei suddenly starts openly studying, everyone is appropriately freaked out.
  • Playing with Fire: Mei uses Demon Fire to combat the spirits.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Mei's red to Yako's blue. They're fire and water elementals respectively, to boot.
  • Stepford Smiler: Mei is revealed to be (at least partly) this once we find out his Dark And Troubled Past. Even when he breaks up with Yurara, which hurts him deeply, he keeps up the cheery façade (at school, at least).
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Yako tends mostly towards the Ice half, but when he's alone with Guardian Yurara he suddenly becomes flustered and insecure.
  • Superpowered Alter Ego: When she transforms into her Guardian form, Yurara's personality also changes and she becomes much more forceful, impatient, and rude.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Yako acts rude and cold, but is, together with Mei, one of the most popular guys in school.

Alternative Title(s): Yurara No Tsuki