In the year 2XXX, Shiro Kamiya is the only charity student attending the prestigious St. Kleio Acacemy. It may be the future, but it is still high school: cliques are formed, crushes are had, pranks are played. The catch? The school is populated entirely with clones of famous politicians, artists, and scientists.
Recently, Marie Curie has been allowed to leave the school. She had confided to Shiro her unhappiness with the path laid before her. She would rather play music than learn science. Shiro spoke with his father and Marie Curie has not been seen since. Some of the other clones are taking hope from this. Maybe being a clone does not have to be the sum total of your existence. Others are not so sure, and when Clone John F. Kennedy is assassinated, the doubts grow. Where did Marie Curie go after-all? Why has no one heard from her?
This first book sets the stage for the mystery that is St. Kleio academy. It takes a clever premise and runs with it. Suekane creates a compelling future with the conflict based both on the mysteries of who started the school and who wants to kill the clones, as well as the more existential question of who we are, our genes or our upbringing.
Suekane’s art is very expressive even without using chibis very often (she draws a manga called Afterschool Charichuma populated by the chibi versions of the characters). Her panels flow well from one to the other making it easy to follow the action. For Americans who might not be used to reading from right to left, this is appreciated.
I’m rating this Teen for suspense, death, and full-frontal drawings of topless girls.
Afterschool Charisma – vol. 1
by Kumiko Suekane
ISBN: ISBN: 978-142
Viz Media, 2009
Publisher Age Rating: T+ (16 and older)