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 friends 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...
at last we come to the last book of Othello, Volume
7, by Satomi Ikezawa and the final wrapping up of the
stories threads. The story picks up from where Volume
6 left off. Both Yaya and Nana (though they
are the same person) get the opportunity to sing in a rock
festival; however it soon becomes obvious that each girl on
her own is not enough. Nana rocks hard yet does not have the
sweet naivety which Yaya can bring to songs. It would seem
that only if the two halves of Yaya's personality unite will
the performance be a success.
idea of ying and yang, and the duality of personality, is
a theme which is returned to time and time again in Othello;
the basic premise that no matter what we would wish, we cannot
live at the two extreme poles of forceful aggression - though
this would have its temptations in allowing us to get what
we want - or saccharine sweet sentimentality. The question
then is, do Nana and Yaya find a way to coexist? I'm pretty
sure you can guess the answer, but I'll not spoil the bittersweet
ending for you, except to say that the final resolution is
I have been very impressed with this series. Okay, so not
all of the events added to the greater whole, and some of
the stuff in the middle books seems, in retrospect, a little
more like padding. However, the themes and subjects were a
brave choice for a mainstream manga - definitely a step up
previous work and she almost completely pulls it off. I suspect
that the story is mostly aimed at young girls and this is
a shame as its story of teenage alienation would be just as
relevant to boys.
the quality of the artwork was maintained throughout the seven
book run, Ikezawa has a clean style which is able to portray
both the quite intimate moments as well as the dynamism of
a rock concert. I look forward to reading her next manga.