Wednesday, May 04, 2005

ikezawa's othello (vol. 2)

What makes this manga -- that focuses on the life and loves of a cute high school girl --different from other teen manga sagas is how quickly the story becomes weird. Ikezawa’s tale of 16-year-old meek Yaya Higuchi is anything but ordinary. In this second volume of the series, Yaya must avoid her backstabbing “friends,” Seri and Moe. It turns out that an accident to her head has caused her alter ego, Nana, to come out and exact justice upon the girls and everyone who has tormented Yaya. As if that weren’t all, Yaya is also involved with a group of cosplay enthusiasts who dress up like their favorite band, Juliet; this allows Yaya to express a more assertive personality. That persona springs to life whenever Yaya bumps her head or looks into a mirror. Yaya develops a crush on Moriyama, the lead singer of a local band. Since Yaya is too shy to deal with her feelings for Moriyama herself, her alter ego, Nana, takes over. Yaya and Moriyama become friends, although Moriyama more than once questions the weird-goings on with Yaya. Nana takes the stage at one of Moriyama’s concerts and Moriyama begins to understand that Yaya has multiple personalities. At the end of the volume, Moriyama’s mysterious adult friend, Shôhei, sets his sights on Nana. He is rumored to have close ties to the music industry, but no one knows what’s really going on in that head of his. Readers are left wondering what Shôhei is going to do, but one thing is for sure -- you can bet that Nana will make sure that no one takes advantage of Yaya! Although the artwork in the manga doesn’t stand out, Ikezawa manages to capture universal teen angst in a very likeable character.


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