Insomniacs After School, vol. 1 | Review
Insomniacs After School, vol. 1
Story & art by Makoto Ojiro
Viz Media, to be published 3/21/23
When a tragedy prevents the use of the school’s observatory building, students (and our titular insomniacs) Nakami and Magari decide it is the perfect place to get much needed rest. It becomes their perfect sanctuary and the two grow closer due to their similar circumstances.
Insomniacs After School is a cute, slice-of-life story about two students who suffer from a sleep disorder. When they discover an observatory at their school that has been unused due to the suicide of a student, they find it to be a safe place where they can get their much needed sleep. As the two continue to bond, we learn that the lack of sleep is just one of their problems. Nakami lives with his alcoholic father which causes him to feel lonely. In addition his lack of sleep causes him to lash out at times which in turn makes him unpopular among his peers. Nakami and Magari’s friendship grows as they transform the observatory into a haven for the both of them. However, when their haven is discovered by a teacher who understands their struggle, the three decide to re-establish the school’s Astronomy Club in order for the students to keep their sanctuary.
While we don’t know Magari’s background as of yet, there are subtle hints that she has dreams and secrets of her own. There is a scene where Magari is stargazing and mentions that she wants to go to the moon. Her gaze is beautifully drawn and conveys a sense of longing. While Magari is outgoing and Nakami is withdrawn, both are seeking connections that are absent in their lives. When the teens are exploring the city at night when others are sound asleep, their friendship grows and the reader sees how Nakami and Magari view their environment without others around. We sense Nakami’s loneliness as does Magari due to their insomnia. Now they have a new astronomy club that helps them hide their disorders, which is a secret known only by their teacher. I look forward to seeing how Nakami and Magari’s friendship progresses throughout the story.
*Note: an anime adaptation of Insomniacs After School will be released in April 2023, along with a live-action film set to premiere in June 2023.
Filed under: Graphic Novels, Manga, Reviews, Young Adult
About Renee Scott
Renee Scott is a young adult librarian based in NYC, as well as a dedicated otaku and gamer. She is a lifelong fan of comics, anime, and manga. She can be found on Twitter at @libraryladynyc, and on her review blog, The Library Lady of NYC Reviews.
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