By Leroy Douresseaux
January 17, 2012 - 11:07
|Afterschool Charisma Volume 5 cover image is courtesy of barnesandnoble.com.|
Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
St. Kleio Academy counts among its students Napoleon Bonaparte, Sigmund Freud, Adolph Hitler, and Florence Nightingale. The real reason St. Kleio is exclusive is because these famous students are not the original historical figures, but are actually clones. Shiro Kamiya is the only non-clone student at the school, or is he?
Afterschool Charisma, Vol. 5 opens as Kia, who looks just like Shiro, tells the current student body of St. Kleio about a previous generation of student clones. We learn some startling truths about Shiro’s father, Dr. Kamiya, and we also learn something about Shiro. Is he or isn’t he a clone?
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: I have said that it is eerie and creepy, but with this fifth volume, the Afterschool Charisma manga is creepier than usual. The idea that there are multiple generations of Hitler clones is enough to press many queasy buttons. Still, I find myself fascinating by this series. Creator Kumiko Suekane deepens the mystery. Every revelation is the father of several more ambiguities and unknown things, and that’s a good way to keep readers returning and perhaps to also make new readers attracted.
THE LOWDOWN: Readers looking for unusual science fiction drama will want to give Afterschool Charisma a try.