Rummanah Aasi
  Manga Mondays is a meme hosted by Alison at Alison Can Read where bloggers can share their passion for reading mangas. It's a great place to get new manga titles to try and to meet new bloggers. The last volume of Afterschool Charisma left me with a cliffhanger of sorts. A huge event happened and ended in the fourth volume with a promise of an explanation in volume five. My problem? Volume five was constantly checked out since last May and by that time volume six was also published. So, I guess it's a mixed bag that since I got a  hold of both volumes and read them. Unlike the Nana manga series that is filled with drama with a capital "D", the Afterschool Charisma manga series gives me a brain cramp filled constant flurries of "What if?"s floating in  my head as I turn the pages.

Description: In the aftermath of the disastrous school expo at St. Kleio Academy, an exclusive school of famous historical clones, where some of the clones were killed (most noteably Joan of Arc who was burned the stake), a returning clone known only as “Kai” who bears a disturbing resemblance to Shirou tells a story about the previous generation of clones and what could have turned him and others into “terrorists” working against the school.

Review: I really wished the publishers and the authors would work harder in recapping the story thus far before continuing the story arc. It's a good thing that I reviewed my older review posts as well as checked out some other reviewers before diving into this latest volume. Volume 5 promised some answers, but like the nature of this entire manga series it provides more questions than answers.
  Volume 5 centers around the main questions of why clones, regardless if they are famous historical figures, are made? What is the purpose of St. Kleio Academy? Are the lives of clones entitled to make their own mark or are they predestined to follow their footsteps of their predecessor?
  The mysterious "Kai", who is an ordinary person that was cloned, is our peek inside St. Kleio Academy. Though set up like a school, the academy is a breeding farm that herds clones like cattle and sell them off to auctions. The clones are forced to follow their predecessor's footsteps (i.e. have the same accomplishments, skills, and even behavior/personality). If the clone is seen to be out of place, they are aborted and created anew. Kai is an interesting character, who makes you feel torn between feeling sorry for him and making you wonder what plans he has up his sleeves. As the main figure who catalyzed the clone rebellion (or is the rebellion just for the amusement of the Academy director?), he provides information to the current class of clones. Now whether this information is true or just another form of propaganda, that yet to be determined.
  In addition to Kai, we are given different scenarios of what clones can accomplish in this volume. The most striking clone for me in this series has been the young Hitler. Like his care-free personality, his youthful and innocent physical appears is very striking. There are two clone Hitlers explored. The first Hitler is a very talented young artist who has no political ambitions whatsoever. Once discovered this clone suddenly disappears and a new Hitler clone appears. The second Hitler clone is aware and appalled by his original's actions. He gives his whole life up to a religious institution and atones for his original's sins and dies a noble death. With these two versions of what could have been, we can't help but wonder if the old saying "history will repeat itself?" rings true.
  I really enjoy how the moral ambiguities of cloning as it lends itself to discussion and it's really what draws me to this series. I really want to know about what society needs these clones of historical figures for that they are producing them and auctioning them off like a meat market. What societal pressure is causing this? What exactly are they expected to do out there?

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some crude sexual humor, a brief scene of nudity, and violence. Recommended for older teens and adults only.

If you like this book then try: Afterschool Charisma Vol. 6 by Unwind by Neal Shusterman, Hetalia: Axis Powers by 
6 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Cloning is such a fascinating subject I think, it just raises all sorts of questions and anytime I read anything that features it in some form, I find myself thinking about it for days after. Aside from the lack of recap, this sounds like a strong volume!


  2. Sometimes I love recapping and sometimes I don't like it. I guess it is in all how it is done. At least you had your last review to look at!

    I think it is an interesting concept with 2 Hitlers. Not sure if that is my cup of tea, but I appreciate the creativity.


  3. Katie Says:

    Wow this sounds like an interesting manga! I'll have to check it out(:


  4. Bo Says:

    This one does not really sound like my thing, but I have been seeing it around. I generally stick to Shojo or fantasy titles. It's a good review, though, and I do like to see what other people think of the titles out there. Thanks!
    Tammy @ http://bosbooknook.blogspot.com


  5. I've only read the first book in this series. I'd like to read more. I hate when manga series don't do a good job recapping the prior volumes. It can get very confusing.


  6. Gellie Says:

    I've never heard of this manga since I am naturally inclined to sweet shoujo fluff for mangas since I leave all the complex stuff to novels. But! Clones? Joan of Arc? Sounds interesting! Thanks for sharing.

    Gellie@ <a href="http://discombobulatedballadry.blogspot.com>A Discombobulated Balladry</a>


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