After School Nightmare (Vol. 09) – Setona Mizushiro
Published by GoComi
Yet again Setona Mizushiro manages to pull a fast one on readers with some big surprises that contradict the few supposed facts of the series up until now. Admittedly I found it was the very assuredness certain characters had for certain situations that gave me cause to rethink people’s true identities long before now. This unfortunately meant for me that the big ‘surprise!’ moment in this volume didn’t have as much impact as it may’ve otherwise. That said, while one of the revelations may not have held much shock-factor, the following exposition and clearing up just whose-who in the alternate reality dream world was nothing short of ‘whoa!’.
The bulk of the story focuses on Sou and his sister so those who’ve been waiting for the present-day confrontations and past histories explored will be thrilled to finally have this volume in their hands. I found Sou to be the most interesting character in this series which has several uniquely layered characters to choose from. This volume only solidified my reasoning with some deep-rooted psychosis that made for an engaging read. Readers will get a chance to see the world through Sou’s eyes and it’s both eerie and compelling to realize where for him reality ends and fantasy begins.
As a lead character, Mashiro continues to do little for me on any remaining levels of interest for their gender issues. Still, I’m happy to see that they’ve come to accept themselves well enough that by now they’re finally ready to put the whining aside and really give a good look at the people around them. Panel flashbacks to previous volumes made for neat visual comparisons to how Mashiro’s design has changed over these past nine volumes, going from a distinctly male to more feminine in appearance.
Some powerful decisive moments in this ninth volume really kept up this series’ history of being a real page-turner. There’s now only one volume left until the story’s conclusion I can’t wait to read volume ten to see where After School Nightmare ends up after such a winding road.