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After her best friend breaks off their friendship, Ayumu Shiiba begins to seek comfort through cutting her wrists. As she begins high school she hopes for a fresh start, and even makes friends with a girl named Manami Anzai. As she goes through high school however, she finds herself spiraling into more trouble.
Life is a Shoujo manga written by Keiko Suenobu that deals with harsh issues such as bullying, manipulation, and suicide. It's had a Dorama adaptation that ran in 2007, ran for 20 volumes , and has won a Kodansha Manga Award.
This series contains examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Katsumi's, mostly his dad.
- Art Evolution: The art style starts off being somewhat rough but smooths out later.
- Alpha Bitch: MANAMI.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Katsumi and Manami.
- Compressed Adaptation: Many changes were made for the Drama adaptation, including changing what Ayumu's Self -Harm habits to something less graphic and focusing more on the bullying.
- Driven to Suicide: Attempts are made by various characters, leading to both Interrupted Suicide's and Bungled Suicide's.
- Extreme Doormat: Ayumu, though she gets better.
- Gender Blender Name: Ayumu's name is masculine, and she doesn't think it fits her.
- Hime Cut: Hirose.
- Important Haircut: Ayumu has one twice.
- Japanese Delinquents: Miki Hatori, though she's actually quite nice.
- Live Action Adaptation
- Mind Rape: Katsumi does this to Ayumu. Manami does this to everyone.
- Nightmare Face: Manami breathes this trope.
- Reality Ensues: When karma finally gets to Manami, it slaps her HARD
- Rich Bitch: Manami is the daughter of a high-ranked politician, and that's why she gets away with near everything she pulls: the school authorities are terrified of the terrible rep they'd get.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Ayumu and Hatori have a very deep friendship.
- Self -Harm: The series revolves around this. In the Live Action Adaptation Ayumu cuts her hair, in the manga she cuts her arms and legs.
- Shoujo Demographic
- Spiritual Successor: It's this to an earlier manga by the mangaka, "Vitamin". Both focus on a sensitive girl who gets bullied, a Bastard Boyfriend who forces himself onto girls, teachers who don't want to acknowledge the issues, parents who don't get their child's problems due to them not talking about it, suicide attempts, Important Haircuts. The main difference is how both protagonists react to their bullying for most of the manga, and the fact that Vitamin takes place in junior high.
- Stock Shoujo Bullying Tactics: Manami applies them to a frightening degree.
- Tall Dark and Bishojo: Hatori.
- Teens Are Monsters
- The Bully: Several characters, and especially Manami, in a rather twisted but realistic way.
- Third Person Person: Manami.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch: One of the translations has Ayumi saying "It's Karma, bitch", at Manami.
- Yandere: Manami.
- or actually the Japanese publishers of the manga discontinued its license with Tokyopop