Ayumu Shiiba is studying for the all-important high school entrance exams. She is struggling to get by, but thankfully has help from her best friend Shii-chan, who is at the top of their class. Test results come back and their friendship falls apart when Ayumu surpasses Shii-chan's scores and gets into her high school of choice while Shii-chan doesn't! Losing Shii-chan is so painful for Ayumu that she starts cutting her wrists for comfort. Hoping for a fresh start, Ayumu arrives at her new high school and finally opens up to a new friend, Manami. But will Manami prove to be the friend that Ayumu truly needs or send her further in a downward spiral?
Life won the Kodansha Manga Award in the Shoujo cetegory in 2006.
Tokyopop published the first nine volumes in English from April 1, 2006 to June 10, 2008 before becoming defunct. The series was also published in Spanish by Norma Editorial from April 2009 to April 11, 2016.
This Manga really touched me. I can't express enough gratitude to the Mangaka.
This story contains so many mixed vibes, but i mean that in a good way. There is Bulling,suicide,friendship,true friends,cutting,self harm,sexual assault, and so much more. *may contain mild spoiler* We find Ayumu our main protagonist making a new friend at her new high school named Manami, she is seemingly nice and ayumu is really starting to think things are going very good. Manami's boyfriend breaks up with her, she trys to commit suicide by jumping infront of a train. Ayumu saves her and manami makes her help her get katsumi(bf) back because of a promise they had made. Things go wrong and everyone starts miss interpreting what ayumu was doing and then Manami thinks Ayumu has betrayed her. She thus becomes the victim of an on-slot of bullying, lead by manami.
Can you say beautiful art that you tremble over? Thats how good the art is. I mean i seriously felt every corresponding emotion i saw in the manga. Such as Ayumus sad; crying face i felt it in my own heart. When you saw smiles they made me feel like the sun had come out from behind the clouds. Scared faces really showed fear, blank stares held no emotion, determination really made you hope she would win. The eyes are one the most beautiful aspects of this mangas art.
I felt that the characters were dramatic but were portrayed wonderfully.
Ayumu: weak at first, cared to much of what others thought, Cutt her self to relieve her own pain.
Manami: Your basic popular person, she is like the cheerleader in this type of manga, she had the perfect boy friend, stood out in the class, a big liar, and hated when other people seemed more popular then her.
Miki: The Strong lone wolf, she doesn't care what others say and just does her own thing; providing strength for ayumu when she needed it.
Katsumi: Seemingly the Nice jock type guy. But a sadism loving bastard. He liked tieing girls up/ In other words bondage. He was bound to manami because of both of their fathers businesses.
I Really enjoyed This manga to my hearts content. I read each volume as fast as i had could get my hands on it. I enjoyed it so much that when i found out that its publishing company that was translating it into english was stopping at 9...i was so hurt...i had to finish it. I ordered the next 3 in Japanese from ebay and slowly ordered all of them and i learned how to read Japanese because of that. ^__^
If i coud give this Manga a high grade i would. It was so epically amazing, beautiful and heart warming. I even after ordering the remaining volumes in japanese i also got 1-9 in japanese as well so now i have 1-20 In Japanese and 1-9 in English.
I recommend this to anyone who needs there heart to be touched. The story is filled with heart crushing disasters but heart warming happiness as well. read more
I literally ran into this manga while searching for something...interesting. I can honestly say this manga creeped me out a little bit and made me angry an awful lot all while keeping me interested.
The main thing it was about was learning how to deal with your sadness and anger. All of life's curve balls. It gives you a look at what a person feels and what drives someone to hurt themselves. What they're willing to do in order to ease their pain, even if it's for a little while.
Getting into high school is important for best friends Ayumu and Shii. Getting into Nishidate High School is Shii's dream. Ayumu wants to be by her best friends side and decides to enroll in the same school. Only problem is Ayumu is not known for her brains, but that doesn't stop them from making a promise to study their best in order to pass the entrance exam. She cuts herself to stay awake, it "helps" she heard. Life had other plans, only one girl gets in, Ayumu. Shii hates her for getting in and their friendship shatters. Ayumu is all alone. Her chance is to start fresh in high school.
Manami's life is great, perfect boyfriend, popular and super nice, she befriends Ayumu in a second. Manami is perfect, right? It all started with one cut, but know bleeding is the only thing that brings her comfort..
The Characters- [MILS SPOILERS]
That is this manga magic. I haven't read a manga before that had so many hateful and perverse people.
Ayumu is a victim, of everyone. Her only fault is that she's not strong enough and cuts herself to deal with the pain. The pain of her best friend hating her, her family ignoring her, her friends bullying her... She's gullible and sweet. Weaknesses in the world of this manga.
Manami was very good at her role of being the evil bitch. She played the good girl like no ones business but when the cat got out of the bag, there was no going back. She betrays and bullies and has no scruples. she is the lowest person you will ever imagine. She is evil personified. And I won't lie, all throughout my reading I was hoping she died, painfully.
Miki Hatori is the breath of fresh air. Though she is portrayed at first as a delinquent, that proves to be false. Her character, to me, was the worlds redeeming quality for Ayumu. To believe that people were good, some of them anyway.
I don't want to spoil anything by having to dissect the characters/story (which is what I truly want/need) but I will tell you this, LIFE's characters give the story that extra push to Great. They show hatred, selfishness, jealousy, betrayal and deceitfulness like no one's business, all at once to the same person. They are that "good." The make you want to scream and get angry, and you don't even feel bad when karma meets them around the corner. And it always does.
Though not always realistic, I mean where are the grownups/teachers?? The teachers that are there are illustrated originally in their inability to help. Not to offend but some of them wanted to help but they just made things worse. It might as well have been real LIFE.
The Art- I started reading this in the dead of the night and at the beginning the art scared me. Not anything gory or anything, just the characters expressions. You could see their evilness. But it's an ordinary style art. Nothing beautiful or memorable in it.
The really sad part was that while I was reading I kept asking myself why I was still reading. But I couldn't stop. It was like watching a train wreck.
The drama isn't too exaggerated so it protrays what a high school girl would be likely to go through in her time. Making friends, getting stabbed in the back, exiled and tortured. The main character is mentally weak till she meets a true friend that lifts her up out of the she's in. She helps the main character believe in herself and enables the main character to stand up to the bullies. It sends a message that all you really need is ONE good friend to get you through the bad times rather than a whole bunch of fair weather friends. It's an excellent read. Every time I finish a new volume im left craving more!read more
I bought the manga for Life Volume 2, it was the typical bullying and blackmail thing in a manga I could read, but something urged me to buy or at least read the first volume so as to understand the main point, or from where everything started.
The store didn't have the first volume, so I had to read it online.
Then it suddenly hit me, after Volume 1, I went to Volume 6, and so on and so forth. It was beautiful.
The friendship between Hatori and Ayumu touched me. How they risked their lives for each other. I actually even felt the " Yuri Sense " in the story, but I must have imagined it because the mangaka would not go far to ruin the story.
Anzai was just plain crazy. I didn't even know what hit her to turn psycho. I always believed that she would be the plain girl/ bestfriend to Ayumu, but no!!! She was actually the Villain! --- ( sorry for spoiler )
This manga just doesn't depict bullying, it also depicts how teacbers and foundation are weak towards money and power. I hated the teachers in this story except Masako, who stood firm in her belief of justice.
I especially liked the end of the story how everything worked out.
I really love this manga. I suck at reviewing but when I like a certain something, I try to review it at all cost.
I hope you really give this manga a try, It may not seem popular but I promise it is entertaining and somewhat mind-boggling.