I’m always happy to read a new volume of Afterschool Charisma. This series about teenage clones of historic figures, their vaguely menacing high school, and the seemingly normal boy trapped with them just has a certain kind of pulpy appeal that I find enjoyable. The cover model for this volume is the uncharacteristically tall teenage Napoleon Bonaparte. At the end of the previous volume non-clone Shiro got a nasty shock when an older version of himself showed up with a pint-sized resurrected Marie Curie, nicknamed Pandora. Mozart yells “Welcome to the clone world, Shiro!” Freud points out that other than the fact that there’s someone that looks a lot like Shiro, they don’t have any confirmation that Shiro actually is a clone. Shiro wants to find his dad so he can ask him about what’s going on. Mozart goes around acting unhinged, and Joan of Arc is preparing to reenact her predecessor’s fiery death.
School director Rockwell reveals a maniacal side underneath his seemingly breezy personality. The shadowy group of people orchestrating the Dolly the Sheep religion finally make themselves known as the school festival draws a variety of visitors who wish to observe the clone’s special talents. One disappointing thing about this volume for me was that we didn’t see much of Clone Freud being awesome. He’s mostly just taking in everything about Shiro, wondering who he actually is, and observing the reactions of those around him. I’m expecting something dramatic from Clone Freud in the future. The pacing for this manga is very good if sometimes a little frustrating. There’s always a dramatic cliffhanger at the end of each volume which leaves me wondering what will happen next.
Review copy provided by the publisher.