Kodansha USA Licenses Keiko Suenobu’s Life & Life 2: Giver/Taker Shoujo Manga for Digital Release

keiko suenobu life 2 manga volume one feature image
© Keiko Suenobu, Kodansha

Kodansha USA has announced that it has acquired the digital manga license of Keiko Suenobu’s Life and Life 2: Giver/Taker manga series. Both titles will be released in March 2023 and will be available across a variety of digital platforms. 

The shoujo manga series Life is described as an emotionally complex coming-of-age story, while Life 2: Giver/Taker is a tempestuous crime thriller sequel to the series. 

Here are the full details for each new digital manga release: 


keiko suenobu life manga volume one cover
© Keiko Suenobu, Kodansha

Release Date: March 7, 2023

Suenobu’s Life manga series ran in Kodansha’s Bessatsu Friend magazine from 2002 to 2009 and released 20 tankoubon volumes in total. It was awarded the Kodansha Manga Award in the shoujo category in 2006. Tokyopop previously published nine volumes of the series before closing its North American publishing division in 2011. 

The manga also inspired an 11-episode live-action television series that aired on Fuji Television from June 30, 2007 to September 15, 2007. 

Kodansha USA describes the synopsis as: 

All Ayumu dreams of is making it into the same high school as her best friend. But when she gets in and her friend doesn’t, their friendship crumbles—sending Ayumu spiraling into depression. She finds relief in cutting herself, but soon realizes that her scars may interfere with her budding high school life. Can she trust her new friend, Manami, who seems too good to be true? Or will Ayumu’s apparent lack of compassion and understanding get her tossed aside like she was before? And is there anyone else out there who could possibly love her for who she is? 

Life 2: Giver/Taker

keiko suenobu life 2 manga volume one cover
© Keiko Suenobu, Kodansha

Release Date: March 14, 2023

Life 2: Giver/Taker was serialized in Kodansha’s Afternoon magazine from June 2016 to October 2018. Six tankoubon volumes of the manga series have been released in total. 

The manga has also inspired a live-action television drama series that was first announced in 2022. The adaptation aired in January 2023 on WOWOW and WOWOW Prime. 

Kodansha USA describes the story as: 

When the charming young boy who moves next door turns out to be a psychopath who murders her little sister, Itsuki vows to fight the injustice that allowed him a second chance at life while her sister lies dead. Blaming herself for what happened, she becomes a stone-cold cop who fears nothing to prevent others from living through a similar tragedy. But six years later, on the very same day the killer is finally set free, she finds a chilling letter in her mailbox threatening to once again steal what’s most important to her. And though she wants nothing more than to make him pay for her sister’s life that he stole, she’ll have to watch her back now that there’s a killer on the loose.

Source: press release 

William Moo is a freelance writer who has previously written for OTAQUEST and MANGA.TOKYO. He enjoys watching lots of anime every season and reading from time to time. You can follow him on Twitter @thewriterSITB.
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