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Arisa 1 Paperback – December 15, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: Arisa (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha Comics (December 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612623352
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612623351
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Kindle Edition
<i>Arisa</i> is the first volume in a manga series that is an unusually deep psychological thriller for a <i>shojo</i> series. It has some plot holes, but is mostly very well plotted in this first volume, and presents a psychological story with the complexity expected of the adult, not younger reader, demographics.

The basic story is of two twin sisters, Tsubasa and Arisa, who were separated after their parents' divorce many years before. They have kept in touch through letters, but have not seen each other face to face, until one day, Arisa decides to visit her sister out of the blue. Tsubasa is thrilled to see her beloved twin, and even happier when Arisa requests that she go to school in her place for a day. Tsubasa is a little uncertain, but decides to pretend to be her sister for a day.

Tsubasa is known as the "demon princess" of her school for her hot-blooded personality, foul mouth, tendency to get into fights, so on. She admires, and is secretly jealous of, Arisa's popularity and ability to make friends, and wishes she could do the same. When she goes to her sister's school for a day, the students are so nice to her (thinking she is Arisa) that she goes to her sister and tells her how awesome her life is. Arisa responds by apologizing and trying to kill herself.

Fortunately, she survives, but her sister finds information that indicates something weird and bad was going on in Arisa's class. Tsubasa realizes that Arisa was desperately reaching out to her for help when she had Tsubasa imitate here. Some bullying or other horrible things are going on in Arisa's class, and Tsubasa is determined to find out what they are.
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Format: Paperback
Tsubasa, the delinquent "Demon Princess" of her high school, hasn't seen her twin sister Arisa for years but stays close via private letters. Arisa's life is everything hers isn't - good grades, lots of friends and a boyfriend to boot. But Arisa has secrets, and her sudden attempted suicide shatters Tsubasa's illusions and convinces the demon princess to find out what's plaguing her beloved sister... even if she has to become Arisa to find out.

Arisa is a manga that I decided to try out solely based on the intriguing premise. I'm very pleased with the exploration of it in this first volume and the huge potential the series has going forward. There's several solid mystery threads driving the plot and already a well rounded cast of diverse characters. I won't get into further plot details to avoid spoilers, but the story is very engaging so far. It's a little overly dramatic during some of the twists and turns, but the stakes are high and the situation dangerous, so it 's not too out of place. It also never loses it's appropriately dark, ominous tone.

Tsubasa is a terrific, strong lead character. She carries extreme worry about her sister, the weight of pretending to be someone else and the knowledge of how dangerous a situation she's getting into. But at the same time she's determined to help someone she loves and find out what drove that person to hopelessness despite the risk and fear.

The art is stunning, largely due to great facial expressions and innovative use of shading to convey atmosphere and emotion. Some standard shoujo elements are exaggerated (eyes get SO big in some panels) but it really works here.

A fantastic start. I'm rooting for Tsubasa and can't wait to read more.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kelly-ann nichols on August 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not in original manga format. Also, second kodansha book that I've downloaded where half the page sometimes is missing ..... one star till fixed. Such a shame too. Was looking forward to reading this...... :/
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