Afterschool Nightmare Vol. #04 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Go! Comi
  • MSRP: 10.99
  • Pages: 190
  • ISBN: 978-1-933617-33-6
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Afterschool Nightmare

Afterschool Nightmare Vol. #04

By Gary Thompson     December 18, 2007
Release Date: July 31, 2007

Afterschool Nightmare Vol.#04
© Go! Comi

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Setona Mizushiro
Translated by:Christine Schilling
Adapted by:Mallory Reaves

What They Say
As the dreams and nightmares continue, Mashiro finds himself more conflicted than ever. Sou remains a mystery even as they grow closer, while Kureha seems to be slipping away from him. Tensions grow as friends fight, enemies form uneasy alliances, and a new dreamer brings heartache as the mysterious key appears once again...

The Review
Shinbashi catches a glimpse of Sou and Ichijo's stolen kiss and right away all of Ichijo's relationships are in peril. Ichijo's confusion mounts as Sou relentlessly pursues him, and Ichijo finds himself scarcely able to turn him away. Shinbashi, too, is torn, as these indiscretions between Sou and Ichijo that he happens upon put him in a sensitive position between his best friend, and his best friend's girlfriend that he, too, is in love with.

Not all of the tension that has been built up over these past two volumes gets released, but, when the hammer does drop in this volume, it hits hard. That's not to say that there isn't a lot that still needs to get resolved here. One of the best virtues of this series is its tension, and the adroit psychodrama that lets what little action that actually occurs in these volumes seem potent and with significant consequence. This book in particular does a fantastic job of driving home the fundamental conflicts that move this story along. The revved up tension, which touched the melodramatic before, has served to bring the series to a new height this time around. The protests and capitulations that Ichijo experiences and puts himself through potently reek of authenticity, of the struggles of a burgeoning sexual being whose lack of fundamental identity is literally ripping him apart.

After School Nightmare gets better with each passing volume. It is hard to describe the quality of something that relies so heavily on subtlety and nuance, so you should really read it for yourself. This is an intense character drama, and those are far scarcer than they should be. This series certainly has its roots: a very shoujo advancement of emotion, rather than plot, and a horror-style escalation of suspense. However, this series is proving time and again that it is a unique beast that takes only the wheat and eschews the chaff.


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