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After School Nightmare

Posted 12-15-2008 at 06:43 PM by Ascherit
Updated 12-15-2008 at 06:53 PM by Ascherit

After School Nightmare (Houkago Hokenshitsu)
Author: Setona Mizushiro
Genre: Drama, Gender Bender, Psychological, Supernatural, Romance
Status: 10 Volumes (Completed)
Like most teenagers, Mashiro Ichijo has a secret. But Mashiro's secret is that he's neither fully male nor female! So far, Mashiro's been able to live his life as a boy, but all this changes when he's informed of a new class he must take in order to graduate from his elite prep school. To pass, he must find the Key and the only way to find it is to enter into a nightmare world where his body and soul are put at the mercy of the worst kind of enemies: his classmates!

Manga Traders - After School Nightmare or read online @ mangafox

I was drawn to this manga solely by its 'gender bender' label. I love reading gender bender manga, and it's never a bad time for more. This manga won my interest so much, that I actually spent 15 minutes of my life searching for its last 4 volumes on Google. I don't normally do that with all the interesting manga I read. (Kuroshitsuji is an exception ). The plot was pretty confusing at first, but then I gradually began to understand what was going on as the manga continued on. However, after picking up on the RAWs and relying solely on summaries and spoilers from 3rd party blog sites, my perception of who was with who and what was doing to what started to skew a bit. So, instead of reviewing volumes 7-10 that were entirely in Japanese, I'll just review the volumes that I read in English. (1-6).

*may contain spoilers!*

The romance genre of this manga is sitting between a fine line of shounen-ai and shoujo-ai. First, you have the SouxMashiro couple, which is the straight couple from a technical point of view. However, since Mashiro's upper body is male, you can't help but think that him and Sou are doing kissing each other as males, making it sort of shounen-ai. HOWEVER, the MashiroxKureha couple is completely opposite. On the outside, they're seen as the popular straight couple, but on a personal level, they're actually girls making out and stuff. I mean, wow, how confusing can that get. Despite all of this relationship triangle business, my inner yaoi fangirl squeals everytime Mashiro gets jumped by Sou. It's pretty damn hot when they do it.

Now, onto the storyline review. I like the concept of a battle royale in dreams in order to attain their freedom, or 'graduation', as the manga calls it. I like seeing these innocent classmates of Mashiro manifesting themselves into extreme (and sometimes grotesque) forms within his dream, and trying to find their 'key' to 'graduation'. Mashiro is the only member (before volume 7) who is able to appear as himself in the dream, and not as a distorted figure of his personality. The only qualms I have about this manga are about Mashiro's prince-in-shining-armor complex. He knows that he's a girl, yet he tries to calm Kureha down by saying stuff like "I'll protect you because I'm your man" and "I'll always be by yourself because I love you" (although he really doesn't; at least, not as much as he loves Sou). Kureha herself did not like this attitude, and in short, Mashiro was dumped and left alone and confused. I also hate the loli goth girl in the dreams, who happens to be Sou's older (I think?) sister. There's an incest relationship going on between them, and she's one of the main antagonists who tries to steal her brother back from Mashiro by forcing Mashiro to 'graduate' and 'disappear' from Sou's memories. (when a member of the dream graduates, their classmates lose all memories about that member)

Although I didn't do a very good job reviewing this manga, all in all, it was worth skipping 4 hours of study time for my major tests, which I'll probably fail anyways regardless of how much I study. /o/

Review Grade: 9.5/10

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Total Comments 3


  1. Chesters's Avatar

    do ur histury work >:
    Posted 12-15-2008 at 08:49 PM by Chesters Chesters is offline
  2. Ascherit's Avatar
    NEVAR D8<

    Posted 12-15-2008 at 09:49 PM by Ascherit Ascherit is offline
  3. JoyDivision's Avatar

    moar procrastinators x.x
    Posted 12-15-2008 at 11:46 PM by JoyDivision JoyDivision is offline
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