After School Nightmare vol. 1-10 by Setona Mizushiro

05 Mar

The After School Nightmare series is the first manga I read and I have to say it has left a lasting impression on me.  Not having any idea what to expect from manga, I thought that if I found one with a subject that interested me, I would be ok.

After School Nightmare focuses on three main characters in high school. Mashiro Ichijo has a secret that he keeps hidden from everyone that knows him. While he presents himself as a boy, he is really half male and half female.  He starts a new “special class” in which the students have to take to graduate. In this dream world each student takes on their true form and for Mashiro, that form is a girl.   Mashiro struggles with who he wants to be and who he really should be. In the mix is Kureha, his sometime girlfriend who hates men due to trauma as a child and Sou, a lady’s man who pursues Mashiro relentlessly while insisting that Mashiro is a girl. 

The series is really about self growth and realization of what it means to be yourself and not worry about what others may think. It touches on the trauma that we all carry inside of us and how we deal with that hurt and hopefully find ways to use it to make you stronger. The characters will captivate, the plot is interesting enough and twisted enough to really make you think long and hard about many things and I can honestly say I am sorry the series has ended. 

Yep, I get it now. Based on the series I have read and from talking to the fans of manga, I have much respect for this maligned arena of reading. I am surprised at the depth of the material covered in a graphical format almost everytime I pick up a series.  This isn’t fluffy, mindless stuff and if you have a teenager or friend who likes manga-you should know that there is much more inside of them for having read manga.  2008. Rated OT, Older teen.

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Posted by on March 5, 2009 in Graphic novels


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