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"I know everything about Arisa. She's her class representative, she has good grades, and she has a lot of friends. She's a very gentle girl who's liked by everyone. But... I didn't know anything about the real Arisa."—Tsubasa Uehara
Arisa is a shojo manga written by Natsumi Ando, illustrator of Kitchen Princess.
Tsubasa Uehara and Arisa Sonoda are twin sisters who haven't seen each other for three years due to their parents' divorce. They'd communicated through letters, but finally decide to meet each other again.
Tsubasa is known as the "Demon Princess" of her school, because she is a Delinquent who always gets into fights, and her only friends are boys because the girls are dead scared of her. Also, she's got really bad grades.
So, when Tsubasa says that she's envious of her, Arisa suggests they change places for one day.
However, there are things about Arisa and her school that she hasn't mentioned to Tsubasa -- dangerous things. And when Arisa tries to kill herself in front of Tsubasa and falls into a coma, Tsubasa decides that she must know the truth about Arisa in order to save her.
And then she learns of the King...
Tropes in Arisa include:
- The Ace: Tsubasa seems Arisa as this, and highly respects her. But soon she discovers...
- Broken Ace: ...that Arisa is not like she imagined at all.
- Action Girl: Tsubasa is introduced as this.
- Adults Are Useless: You'd think that when two girls in the same class try to off themselves in the same year and one of them is the Class Rep. the faculty/administration/clergy might be looking into it or launching some sort of investigation...instead class 2-B continues to participate in King Time every Friday without any adults coming in to check on them or ever getting suspicious of the drawn curtains and closed doors or that fire or the dead body or the missing student.
- Ambiguous Gender: The title of the King can refer to a girl, due to the Japanese term for it not having a gender pronoun.
- Batter Up: Tsubasa's hit by a cricket bat in volume 1.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Played with. Most of the people are overlooking the obvious with rationalizations of "it could never happen to me" until it actually does, making selfish and arbitrary wishes without considering the side-effects. That is, rather than being about wish corruption, it's about the corruption by wishes (having your desires constantly fulfilled).
- Big Bad: The King.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Mariko. Also, the true King.
- Blonde Guys Are Evil: Kudou. Manabe appears to be this, but he wants to take the King down.
- Broken Bird: Shizuka (both figuratively and literally), though arguably this goes for a LOT of the characters in Arisa.
- Broken Pedestal: Tsubasa tries to inflict this status on the King, but the class just hates her for interfering with his wish granting.
- Cheshire Cat Grin: The King, seen in shadows, often has these. So does Kudou.
- Mariko's prone to them too.
- The Chosen One: The King chooses 5 members of the class as his representatives. He himself is among them.
- Class Representative: Arisa.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Mariko for Arisa; she's jealous whenever she hangs out with others. This is part of why she realizes "Arisa" isn't herself when Tsubasa ignores her to hang with Midori.
- Creepy Doll: The King's messenger doll in chapter 7 is both a clown AND a Creepy Doll that speaks its threatening message and then laughs maniacally. Then it explodes.
- Disney Villain Death: Seems to be the preferred form of suicide in class 2B, though overall it seems to be oddly ineffective. That or the school just had very low buildings...
- Dissonant Serenity: Mariko has this when talking about the King.
- Driving Question: Who is the King?
- Also, why did Arisa try to kill herself?
- Drowning Pit: Tsubasa's pushed into a pool in volume 2; what makes this a Death Trap is that she had been drugged and was unable to move.
- Easily Forgiven: Mariko.
- Evil Twin: Heavily implied with Arisa, but not proven.
- Eye Scream: The King inflicts this on a girl who judged people by their looks.
- Friendless Background: Mariko.
- Genki Girl: Mariko.
- Gone Horribly Right: The status of the King and his power over everyone.
- Hair Decorations: Mariko.
- Hall of Mirrors: The King escapes through one of these in Volume 3.
- Happily Adopted: Inverted, with Shizuka's borderline abusive foster-mom.
- Heartwarming Orphan: Also inverted with Shizuka.
- Hidden Villain: The King.
- Ignored Epiphany: Class 2B seems to show some remorse and guilt after they assist in murdering a criminal, but their complaints are selfish, and soon after they join in beating up Tsubasa.
- Informed Attribute: Tsubasa's "tough girl" personality.
- Ironic Hell: Some of the King's granted wishes.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Manabe qualifies, though he might be equally classifiable as Tsundere as well.
- Keeping Secrets Sucks
- Like a God to Me: Members of Class 2B see the King as this, particularly Mariko.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Arisa is one for Kudou.
- MacGuffin: The King's cell phones.
- Manipulative Bastard: The King, able to control a whole classroom via cell phone.
- Kudou, who turns a whole classroom into a vigilante mob and use them to get away with arson and possibly murder.
- Arisa's boyfriend, who is manipulating them all.
- Monster Clown: The King's messenger doll.
- More Than Mind Control: Part of the King's power is that the class and his minions want to do what he tells them, no matter how extreme.
- Nice Guy: Midori-kun. Or is he?
- One of the Boys: Tsubasa. She's not happy about that.
Tsubasa: "How come only the guys befriend me?!"
- Only Sane Man: Tsubasa, Takeru, and Midori, the only people not being manipulated/hypnotized by the King.
- Parental Neglect: Shizuka's foster mom.
- Polar Opposite Twins: Arisa and Tsubasa. So, so much.
- Poor Communication Kills: Arisa tried to kill herself because she overheard Tsubasa telling her father how homesick she was and she was afraid this would get her taken away from her mother.
- Purple Eyes: Tsubasa and Arisa have them.
- Put on a Bus: Mariko.
- Red Herring: There are quite a lot of suspects for the King's identity. Namely, Arisa who in fact was the King, but not the current, corrupt King, Manabe, Mariko, Shizuka, Midori and Kudou. Subverted with some of them.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Those who betray or doubt the King are punished by him and ostracized from the class.
- Same Content Different Rating: The manga was bumped from a teen rating to an older teen rating due to mature and darker themes.
- Secret Keeper: Only Takeru, Manabe, and the King know Tsubasa's posing as Arisa at first.
- Class 2B shares the secret of the King, as well.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Sure seems like it, with Arisa flatlining and Tsubasa seemingly pushed down the stairs/beaten to death after her identity is exposed. They got better, though Arisa got amnesia and Tsubasa still doesn't suspect Arisa's boyfriend of anything.
- Shrinking Violet: Shiori.
- Sibling Yin-Yang
- Slipping a Mickey: Tsubasa's tricked into eating drugged apple cookies, making her too tired to resist being pushed into the pool.
- Stalker Shrine: Manabe has one to Arisa, though it's not out of love.
- Taking You with Me: Possibly what the foreign exchange student is doing with his class: since he's going to die of a weak heart he may as well make everyone else's lives miserable by turning them into a vigilante mob and framing them for arson and murder.
- Teens Are Monsters
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tsubasa is the tomboy, Arisa the girly girl. Subverted though, because Tsubasa wants to be girly.
Tsubasa: "I want to have girl friends and act all cutesy with them, god damn it!"
- Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Invoked; Tsubasa fakes amnesia while pretending to be Arisa. Arisa wakes up from her coma with amnesia.
- Twin Telepathy: Seen in Volume 8. When Tsubasa is hurt, Arisa flatlines in the hospital. Tsubasa even says not to underestimate the bond between twins as she races to help Arisa.
- Unperson: Class 2B does this to people marked as traitors.
- Unwitting Pawn: Class 2B in general, and the King's Chosen Ones.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: At least three of the King's pawns had very sad lives which made it easier for the real King to manipulate them the girl who tried to drug Tsubasa and drown her was shunned and bullied; the girl who pushed Tsubasa off a cliff and beat her own aunt tried to commit suicide and is now paralysed; the guy who tried to burn down a house and apparently stabbed a robber(?) has a weak heart and has been effectively abandoned by his parents.
- Arisa's boyfriend wants to "erase" Tsubasa because she accidentally drove Arisa to suicide.
- Yandere: Mariko for Arisa. She gets better.
Tell me your wish... I'll grant it!