Houkago no Charisma / Afterschool Charisma by Suekane Kumiko

81HnYlO3B9L

The premise of this one is interesting.  There’s an elite high school where all of the attendees are clones of famous people…. except one (or is he?)

SPOILERS

.

.

.

.

charisma kids

As this panel shows, some of the characters include Elizabeth I, Napoleon, Florence Nightingale, and Sigmund Freud….

…and Adolf Hitler, because of course you’d f*cking clone Hitler, that’s a great idea. Also, I am a little disturbed that the mangaka has chosen to show Hitler as weirdly adorable?

As animegrlz96 nicely memed:

d2srx4o-7ee78aaa-6559-49f1-be38-de6eda67eac2

Or manga, as the case may be.

I will say, however, that, even though I only read the first volume of Houkago no Charisma/After School Charisma, I am enjoying what seems to be the underlying angst.  How do you live up to your original? What if, you can’t? Maybe genius is more than a collection of cells and can’t simply be reproduced? And, what about fate? Are you fated to live the kind of life your original did?

There’s another plot that I’m feeling less–apparently there’s a group of baddies interested in assassinating all the clones, possibly simply because they are abominations, or some such. I understand why this overarching plot exists. There needs to be some way to interject drama and danger.

But, I’m honestly more interested in the fact that Marie Curie (version this) really wants to play piano and shows talent for it, while Mozart seems unable to compose….

I happen to be a huge disbeliever in ‘innate talent.’ I also am strongly nurture over nature. So, this whole idea that you can’t just clone genius really appeals to me. I hate the idea that bloodlines matter, so this works for me.

But, enough to keep reading beyond this volume?  Maybe, maybe not.

Part of the problem is Hitler (there is never a good head space for me in which I accept this character easily), the other part is the story is unfolding in an odd way… there’s a whole strange subplot about “The Almighty Dolly,” a cult (that Hitler may have started) that revolves around ‘good luck’ charms made of the first successful mammal clone, Dolly the sheep.

Plus, it’s hard to pick a favorite character when everyone is attached to originals that carry a lot of baggage.  Shiro, our main hero, isn’t all that likable to me, since he seems to spend the majority of his time running to his father (the institute’s founding scientist) to try to “fix” all the problems at school. He doesn’t really ‘protag’ in the traditional sense–at least not so far. It’s interesting to note that the mangaka seems to be a rather prolific doujinshi author and I feel, as someone who also writes a lot of fan fic, that might contribute to the sort of meandering, not-very-tight plot?  I don’t know. Maybe that’s unfair.

On the flipside, her Haikyu!! stuff looks kind of fun. I should see if any of it is available to read. I have never reviewed any doujinshi here before, so maybe I should.

At any rate, you may not have the same problems I did with the plot and, as I said, the concept behind this one could be very fascinating if it’s explored.

2 thoughts on “Houkago no Charisma / Afterschool Charisma by Suekane Kumiko

  1. You know, I started, stopped, and restarted this series at least 6 times. I nearly forgot it existed. While manga Hitler never bothered me as much in high school, retrospectively that’s a pretty damning…. “character” to include. I know it’s finished now so I wonder if it’d be worth dusting off and actually reading…

    Loved seeing your thoughts. Might be worth it to stick with the doujinshi instead lol.

    • Thanks! My library seems to have the whole set of these, so who knows? I might keep going, as well.

      Yeah, what’s weird is I probably would have been better able to roll with Hitler a couple of years ago. These days dictators just aren’t fun….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s