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Afterschool Charisma Vol. #04 Manga Review

4 min read

Shiro and the other students try to come to terms with the aftermath of the attack on the school. Group hug everyone.

Creative Staff
Story/Art: Kumiko Suekane
Translation/Adaptation: Camellia Nieh

What They Say
Florence Nightingale
British nurse who made tremendous contributions to the modern nursing system. Received her nursing education in Germany before serving as chief nurse in a London hospital. Drafted into military service during the Crimean War, Nightingale strove to improve sanitation amid the wretched conditions of the military field hospital she managed. Also recognized as a pioneering statistician for her tireless compilation of statistical materials. During her military service, her beneficence and dedication to her hospital rounds at night earned her the nicknames “the Lady with the Lamp” and “the Angel of the Crimea.”

Content (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The bloody and vicious attack on St. Kleio Academy that began in the previous volume comes to a violent close to open this volume of Afterschool Charisma. Some of the students that we’ve followed through previous volumes meet their demise, but the terrorists loose most of their forces and their motivation remains a mystery to the current students.

Following the attack are questions that no one has the answer for. Shiro is let out of confinement just in time to watch one of his friends meet their end in a horrible way. He’s left shocked, angry, and grief stricken along with the rest of the students. There are a few new faces that pop up in the aftermath of the the attack, a few students that we haven’t seen before. There’s no way to know if they’ll become key players later, but it does show that there are more students out there wondering about what’s been going on. The losses take their toll and leave all of the teenagers doing a great deal of soul-searching for the rest of the volume.

There are several great scenes in this volume where different characters comfort each other. Freud meets with Shiro on the steps to the school, sits next to him and leans into him in a triangle hug that left me teary eyed. These few scenes do more to show who these characters are and what sets them apart as individuals more than anything else going on previously. It provides a stark contrast to the views of the Director, who’s still a creepy bastard, and getting nastier volume by volume. He can’t seem to understand that the clones are human beings, nothing more and nothing less.

That’s a lesson that some of the students still can’t seem to understand themselves. They continue to wonder why they were here or why those that came before them resent them. The conflicting ideas on the nature of destiny and fate come to a head at the end of the volume when the students, Shiro, Kai, and Rockwells all meet in the lounge. It’s then that Kai decides to tell Shiro and his friends about his own past, which should shed some light on Shiro’s existence as well.

To make up for all of the emotionally draining things happening in this volume, the author’s extra for this time around is a lecture by Freud about, what else, sex. Hey, you knew it had to happen at some point.

In Summary:
The campus of St. Kleio Academy is left in shambles after the terrorist attack. All of the humor and melodrama has been momentarily toned down, allowing for several touching scenes which feel far more realistic than anything that has lead up to this volume of Afterschool Charisma. A few new faces arrive, while others depart. It’s hard to say if the departed players will return, especially since having a double is a given for the students. The quiet following the storm on the school just hides the conflict and uncertainty that is stirring beneath the surface. There are still more questions than answers in this volume. Shiro’s mysterious origins are starting to become apparent, but we’ll have to wait till the next volume to find out the details.

Content Grade: A
Art Grade: B +
Packaging Grade: A –
Text/Translation Grade: B

Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Viz Media
Released Date: October 18th, 2011
MSRP: $12.99

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