Print Review: Afterschool Nightmare volumes 1-6
Review After school NightmareWritten by WarpshadowRating Excellent
I have heard that the only real purpose left to critics is to champion the less famous but worthy story. In that case telling you that you should read this manga fulfills my purpose as a manga critic.
Mahiro Ichijo is a young man with a disconnecerting secret, namely that while he thinks of himself as a man the lower half of his body is female. One day Mashiro is called to the basement infirmary fro a special class that needs to be taken in order to graduate. The class is actually a battle that occurs every Thursday in a dreamscape where the participants take a shape that mirrors their psyches. As these battles occur Mashiro becomes entangled in a love triangle between a girl named Kureha and a boy named Sou who are both interested in Mashiro. Mashiro is confused about who he (or she) is, so the question of who Mashiro will end up with is only one question of many.
To put it simply After School Nightmare is a shojo story that makes you think. While there may be several things in the manga that feel like clichés on the surface this manga takes every one of them and puts an interesting twist on them. Perhaps the biggest example of this is the love triangle, as it is more than the main character wavering between boy a and girl b. Each relationship has it’s own implications; for example the relationship between Mashiro and Sou could be looked at as an exploration of Mashiro’s femininity. It could also be taken as a BL relationship that pount out the main conceit of the BL genre being that one half of the relationship (the uke) is not really characterized as a man. Either way After School Nightmare is a manga series that is a step above just about every other manga out there and something that I wholeheartedly recommend.