Arisa by Natsumi Ando is currently an ongoing shoujo series published in Nakayoshi magazine in Japan. It was licensed for North America by Del Rey in 2009. After the first volume release and dissolve of Del Rey, the publishing was then taken over in 2010 by Kodansha Comics. Arisa is a mystery / suspense story that is a darker look at the teen clique and the mental issues that social outcasts suffer. It’s a way different take from the syrupy-sweet Kitchen Princess, which was the last series we received drawn by Natsumi Ando.
The Gist: Twins Tsubasa and Arisa have been separated for four years by their parents’ divorce. Maintaining communications by letter, Tsubasa has no expectation of Arisa’s actions when the twins plan a sudden reunion. Ostracized by her classmates, Arisa jumps out her bedroom window as Tsubasa watches her twin plummet below. With Arisa in a coma, Tsubasa decides to role play as Arisa at her school to find out what events led to her sister’s drastic actions. Tsubasa uncovers a game known as “King Time” that grants the wish of any student in Arisa’s class – no matter how dangerous or lethal the wish may be. Despite putting her own life at risk, Tsubasa begins to unravel the mystery of the class “King” and Arisa’s role in the dangerous game that continues to wreak havoc in the lives of class 2B.
Wish I could have highly recommended this series, but the art was an issue for me. If you can make the images jive for you, then it’s a great shoujo suspense story that you will want to devour in one sitting, thanks to the page-turning plot. Check it out!