Volume 6

Author: Satomi Ikezawa
Artist: Satomi Ikezawa
RRP: £6.99, US $10.95
ISBN: 978 0 009 50682 9
Ages: 16+
Available 04 October 2007

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...

The penultimate volume of Othello by Satomi Ikezawa is upon us and strangely, with only one volume to go, rather than start to wind down the storylines Ikezawa has chosen to add in another character and more romantic complications for Moriyama and Yaya. When we left book five, Shuko turns up just in time to interrupt Moriyama's protestations of love to Yaya by throwing her arms around him, initially it looks like a character too many until you realise that she is introduced as the catalyst for change.

So, on with another four chapters. In chapter twenty-one, Man and Woman, things are starting to come to a head. Shuko, has apparently returned to declare her love for her ex-boyfriend Moriyama. When she discovers that he is seeing Yaya, she is less than pleased and determines to follow her. Ok, so we all know where this is going, someone has to break the news to Yaya, about her split personality and who better than a competitive ex-girlfriend? When Yaya is tracked down by the street gang, that Nana had already beaten up, Shuko is there to capture the transformation on her phone.

Chapter twenty-two, When She Knows the Secret, and well boys will be boys, so when the street gang can't win against Nana they do the next best thing and beat the bejesus out of Moriyama. Meanwhile Shuko confronts Yaya with the truth about her split personality, which drives Yaya into a catatonic state, leaving only Nana.

Chapter twenty-three, Yaya's Breakdown, and Yaya tries to come to terms with what is happening to her, but when she cannot Nana tries to imitate Yaya to keep the secret.

Chapter twenty-four, Nana's Rampage and things have gone from bad to worse. Not only would it seem that there is only Nana now, but also the thugs have broken Moriyama's arm, so who will save the bands big gig? Ok, anyone can see where this chapter was going and the second half is a protracted concert.

So, no great story surprises this time, which is to be expected, with only a single volume left, its time to be wrapping up this manga.

Charles Packer

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