Thursday, May 2, 2013

Favorite Fictional Characters (1): Midori Okui from After School Nightmare

After School Nightmare by Setona Mizushiro is a manga about a special subject in a high school. This subject is required for graduation. It occurs in a dream class. In order to graduate, one must find a key located inside each classmate. Yes, you must fight them, and cut them open.

In the dream, however, students take on surreal forms which are symbols of their 'true nature'. The most memorable was this student's dream form:

Midori Okui acted like the good and responsible student, always trying to please teachers and classmates. But, this was what she was thinking: "This isn't the real me! I don't want to do this! I'm just playing the part of the model student! If you can deceive everyone, you should. You have to do whatever is necessary to get recommendations - to become winners..." All that because she wanted to enter a university. In the end, she didn't get accepted because even if her grades were good, they weren't good enough and the teacher's recommendations turned out to be useless.
midori okui, after school nightmare manga, peer pressure, smiling girl, pigtails, teachers, plastic, pretending to be happy

Once her whole class gave her a tribute, simple scribbled messages on a piece of paper, thanking her for being so good and so kind... when it was all an act and she had deceived everyone. She thought, This isn't me. I don't know this person. Who do they see?

After that, she can't keep up with the act anymore. The "I love school life!" attitude changed to apathy and withdrawal. After pretending to be someone else, maybe she had no real identity or feelings left from trying to impress other people -- thus being 'faceless' and 'heartless'.

There's a happy ending for her, finally having her face and heart back just before graduation. 


  1. wow, what a wonderful character. I think we can all relate to her in one way or another. Many of us are a bit at odds at who we think we are and who other people think we are. I love the analogy of the key here. It reminds me of the movie, "Millennium Actress." The symbol of a key is so powerful and universal.

  2. Yes, After School Nightmare is a beautiful manga. She's actually just a minor character, as one review said they are so "flawlessly flawed". The main character's struggle is a very good concept -- He has a male body but has female genitals, and once she starts menstruating the struggle of gender identity is just so affecting.

    I heard of that movie. I guess I should check it out. :)