Author/Artist: Kumiko Suekane
Distributor: Viz Signature (Viz Sig)
American Release Date: April 8, 2014
Genre: Science Fiction, Drama
Publisher Age Rating: T+
Overall Personal Rating: B+
The Earth needs those special people who made an impact on humanity. Should we save the genetics of those geniuses from around the world for the next generation?
Clone Hitler is continuing to publicly wage a campaign against the school. His charismatic personality is causing trouble for St. Kleio Academy. Kuroe tells Kamiya more about the things that happened at the school in the past and how he came to be.
Kuroe went to live at the academy after his mother died. His father was Dr. X who was involved in the cloning. He wasn’t pleased that Kuroe was there. Dr. X favored clones , especially of himself and kept telling Kuroe how worthless he was, yet they won’t let him leave because he has seen their secrets. The other students, who are all clones, dislike him because he is only a mere humane. Kamiya is his only friend.
Another non-clone, who appears to be a really rich kid, joins the school. He seems smarter than everyone else there. His parents paid well to leave him there. The student clones treat him badly. But there is more to him and some strange things happen.
Kamiya seems to be on the verge of either a break through, or cracking up. He is questioning whether all clones are equal, does it really matter if there is one less? He doesn’t even have the capacity to seek an individual identity.
This is a very interesting manga. There is a lot going on, in layers, plus what the reader brings to it depending on their point of view. It is easy to get drawn into what is going on. Volume 9 really delves into questioning what being a clone means as existing in the world. Are the clones different from the host whose cells they come from, do they share the same destinies, will the personalities be the same? Are they individuals?
Of course, the people doing the cloning see nothing wrong with what they are doing. Depending on who is cloned, there is a sense of obtaining power or control. Or even destiny. In the case of the students, there appears to be a desire to create pure talent. The great people who have been able to influence the world on a large scale now have the potential to fulfill their destinies or continue on their paths to change the world. That’s the idea, but, really, can the clone think the same way. Are the thoughts determined by DNA? Abilities and aptitudes maybe. Now the student clones are raised and taught that they are superior and have destinies, this can guide their direction but only so far.
Other questions include, is a clone a more perfect being or a more perfect offspring? Are all clones equal and therefore replaceable? Does individuality matter?
Most of this volume is spent in the past, filling in some of the history, and how some of the characters are connected. This back story is just as compelling as what is happening now, but it ends before we see what Kamiya’s response to all of this. There is some pretty heavy stuff and really opens up the story.
After School Chrisma has the quality that Viz Sig is known for. The materials, the art work and the story all really stand out. This was actually my first volume. I read the background then jumped straight in. I was quite happy how easy this was to do. Clarity in art and story are very important to me, and this series does both well.
Overall Grade: B+