Skip to main content

After School Nightmare, Volume 1

Review

After School Nightmare, Volume 1

In AFTER SCHOOL NIGHTMARE, Setona Mizushiro (creator of X-DAY) has produced an irresistible mix of real-life drama and fantasy laced with horror. Ichijo Mashiro has clung to the illusion that he's a normal freshman, going to a normal school, until the day he gets his first period. Now, he must come to terms with his dual nature half man, half woman. Desperate to be a boy, Mashiro blames his feminine side for everything he can't do. Being found out seems like his worst nightmare, but that's about to change.

In a secret classroom under the school, Mashiro learns that he's been chosen to take a class unlike any other. This course takes place in dreams, where students' true forms are revealed. Mizushiro's nightmare world is visually and emotionally compelling, full of arresting images: a girl with gaping wounds where her face and heart should be, a classmate who's nothing but a tangle of grasping arms. Even more terrifying are the classmates Mashiro recognizes from the real world and who recognize him. Handsome but cold-hearted Sou is dangerously obsessed with Mashiro's femininity. Kureha, who seems bubbly and sweet, is twisted by her inner demons. For these three students, their shared nightmare creates a bond that will either strengthen them or destroy them. 

AFTER SCHOOL NIGHTMARE takes manga clichés like the emotionally-distant hot guy and the wide-eyed, innocent golden boy and uses them in a fresh way. Volume 1 hints at a romance between the two, but like everything else in the manga, it's twisted. Everyone has flaws, and, refreshingly, complex female characters abound. Mizushiro's art is elegant and delicate, and she's a master at using manga's cinematic style to create atmosphere: the halls of high school are just as eerie as the nightmare world in their own way. This promises to be a standout series.

Reviewed by Jennifer Webb on October 25, 2006

After School Nightmare, Volume 1
by Setona Mizushiro

  • Publication Date: October 25, 2006
  • Genres: Graphic Novel
  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Go! Media Entertainment
  • ISBN-10: 1933617160
  • ISBN-13: 9781933617169