Yaya is a shy, introverted sixteen year old girl, who, having
lost her mother at a young age, lives with her over protective
and emotionally invalidating father. School isn't much better
as Yaya is the butt of her so-called friend's jokes. Although
very aware of this Yaya is too timid to fight back. Only on
the weekend, when she dresses in emulation of her favourite
band Juliet and hangs around with similar people, does she
get respite from the horror that is her week. All this is
about to change when Nana hits town, self assured and unafraid
she watches Yaya's back and rights the wrongs done to her.
They should be the best of friend, if only they could meet.
The problem with that is that, via a child's magic compact,
it is Yaya who, unbeknownst to her, transforms into Nana...
is a more mature work compared to Satomi Ikezawa's previous
work Guru Guru Pon-Chan, though it does share similar
themes of transformation and unrequited love. To be honest
it is a much better work and Ikezawa seems to be maturing
as a writer as Othello introduces many more complex
themes, including an exploration of teenage identity and the
pressures which this section of society finds itself under.
up the story with Yaya being manipulated by the new girl Hano,
though because Yaya's personality is so submissive she is
unable to resist. Moriyama, her friend and the only one who
knows that Yaya turns into Nana, does what he can to protect
her, but there are forces at work which even he cannot stop.
thirteen, Hidden Power, and Hano is determined to find
out who Nana is, having lost her first run in with Nana, her
narcissistic personality will not let her acknowledge defeat.
She gets Yaya to break into the Principle's office to steal
the roster of all the student, though this is to little avail
as she is unaware that Nana is Yaya and is hidden in plain
sight. Although she does not discover Yaya's secret the two
chapter fourteen, The Unknown Relationship, the story
starts to take on a much darker hue. Shohei warns Nana to
stay away from Hano, though does not say why. With the search
for Nana going nowhere, Hano persuades the girls to sign up
for a talent school with the promise of meeting famous men,
but the fictitious school is just a front for school girl
prostitution. When Yaya is sent to meet a man Nana takes care
fifteen, A Woman and Her Body. Although Yaya has made
it out with her virtue intact, Hano blackmails her for the
money that she supposedly owes. Unable to find a way out she
transforms into Nana and gets a job with a construction crew.
Unfortunately although she obtains the money she also unknowingly
exposes her secret to Hano.
sixteen and the last in the book, The Confrontation,
and Hano tries to force Yaya's hand by humiliating her.
story just gets better and better, not because of any action
sequences, but because the author obviously knows a thing
or two about teenage angst. At the end of the day this is
an interesting and evocative book that deserves a greater
exposure than it has previously gained.