Afterschool Nightmare Vol. #05 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Release Date: Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Translated by:Christine Schilling
Adapted by:Mallory Reaves
What They Say
Things are heating up in both worlds! Determined to prove himself, Mashiro puts all his effort into his relationship with Kureha. But will this newfound chivalry withstand his shock when the identity of the knight is finally revealed...?
Now that Shinbashi is gone and forgotten, Mashiro has to take the reigns of his own life. Shinbashi was Mashiro's liaison to not only Kureha, but to the truest essence of Mashiro himself. But now that Shinbashi has graduated, Mashiro stands naked and exposed to all the truths that he has been subtly shielded from for the entirety of the series. It is now time for Mashiro Ichijo to prove to himself that he can be a man.
This volume starts out with Mashiro nearly over-compensating for his new independence and he stands up for himself against Sou, definitively aligning his affections with Kureha. For this Sou starts to belittle Mashiro and tries to rape him. Again. Mashiro manages to stop this and Sou walks out in a huff. These repeated attempts at ownership through sexual dominance has, for me, consistently labeled Sou an unforgivable villain. However, things have never been, nor will they ever be, that clear in a title like After School Nightmare, not when there is a psychological angle to explore. Immediately after his attempt at ownership, Sou returns to his dorm to be met by his sister. It is here that we see, not for the first time, but to the best extent so far, the fragility of Sou and how he, himself is being completely manipulated by his sister, Ai, who speaks through duplicity and sexual parasitism. Sou's actions, then, though still not forgivable, are symptoms of a piece of his tessellated character: a true expression of his desire by the only means of communication that he is familiar with. When this is rebuked, there is no room for gray, Sou attempts to erase Mashiro from his life.
In many ways Mashiro really does “man-up” in this volume, in that he is standing up for himself and changing his ways to be more in charge of himself instead of putting it off on others. Clearly, though, this takes a toll on him. Towards the end of the volume he is acting more the way he thinks people want him to act, rather than the way he wants to: he looks and acts like a person who is uncomfortable in his own skin. In the final chapters Mashiro does two things that are brazen and totally unlike the Mashiro that has been known up to this point, but neither are necessarily out of character, they are simply indicative of the masculinity that he is trying to tout. But his feminine side reels and punishes him for it. Mashiro's body, now, like his identity, is in chaos, and just like every volume before this one, you are left with he feeling that things are just going to keep getting worse.
Mania Grade: A
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translatin Rating: A-
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: Go! Comi
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Afterschool Nightmare