Rummanah Aasi
 It's Monday! I'm joining my blogging friend, Alison from Alison Can Read, on her manga meme Manga Mondays where bloggers can discuss manga we've read. I'm very much a newbie when it comes to manga and I like experimenting with different genres and series. I'm taking a small detour from the supernatural and diving into the realm of science fiction. Today I'll be reviewing the volume 1 of Afterschool Charisma.

Description (from Goodreads): History repeats itself... Or does it?
St. Kleio Academy is a very exclusive school: all of the students are clones of famous historical figures such as Beethoven, Queen Elizabeth I, Napoleon, Mozart, and Freud. All of them, that is, except for Shiro Kamiya. As Shiro struggles to adapt to this unusual campus, St. Kleio's first graduate, the clone of John F. Kennedy, is killed. Are the clones doomed to repeat the fate of their genetic progenitors, or can they create their own destinies? And how does a normal boy like Shiro fit in?

Review: I've heard great buzz of the Afterschool Charisma manga series from a few librarians on a listserve. When I saw it at a local library, I was curious to pick it up. If you love historical manga/anime or movies like The Matrix that play with your brain, you'll love this manga series. 
  Afterschool Charisma's story arc revolves around a mysterious, prestigious, private academy that is full of clones of famous historical people, except for our main character, Shiro. Shiro's father is one of the administrators and a revered scientists working at the school. No one knows why the clones were created other than to replicate their original's accomplishments, however, there are thoughts amongst the clones and scientists, that things aren't what they seem. As the clones and Shiro struggle for identity in a world where their entire lives and careers are dictated to them, Shiro and his friends try to find out what's really going on in this mystery of a school.
  I really enjoyed this first volume of Afterschool Charisma. The suspenseful plot, intrigue, and meet the wide spectrum of historical figures were really well done. The characters, even though based upon real people, are not only distinct, but hint at further development as well. I loved the cynical Freud, and was very surprised to see how the clone of Hitler was approachable and dare I say light-hearted and funny, easily making him comic relief. Shiro, Marie Curie are also easy favorites, but the cast is diverse enough to find favorites with everyone.
The art is beautifully done. While we aren't given all the answers right away and do find humor within the pages, there is subtle layer of darkness lurking in the school's hallways. I'll definitely be checking out the rest of this intriguing manga series.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language, scenes of female nudity, and sexual humor. Recommended for Grades 9 and up.

If you like this series try: Afterschool Charisma Vol. 2 by Unwind by Neal Shusterman, Hetalia: Axis Powers by  
5 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    A light-hearted and funny Hitler clone? Now that would be something to read about. Sounds like this series has a fantastic cast of characters, and I love that it incorporates historical figures. Looking forward to seeing what you think of future volumes Rummanah!

  2. Lauren M Says:

    Oh, wow! Afterschool Charisma has such a unique concept! I'm a manga newbie as well, but I might see if my library has a copy (they have a whole section dedicated to manga, so hopefully!). Thanks for the review! :)

  3. Oh this sounds fun a matrix like story with clones of Freud and Hitler amongst them. Sign me up!

  4. I'm not into sci fi but the idea of this book sounds fascinating. I like the tie ins to history like having Freud and Hitler. Plus I love the matrix.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I think Ive told you I don't read Manga.....but I really love that cover....some of the art I really like if the characters don't have those huge eyeballs...(lol)

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