Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Review: AFTER HOURS Volume 3


MANGAKA: Yuhta Nishio
LETTERS: Sabrina Heep
EDITOR: Pancha Diaz
ISBN: 978-1-9747-0071-4; paperback (December 2018); Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
288pp, B&W, $9.99 U.S., $12.99 CAN, £6.99 UK

After Hours is a yuri manga from creator Yuhta Nishio.  “Yuri,” also known “girls' love,” is a genre that depicts romantic situations between female characters.  After Hours is the story of Emi Ashina, a 24-year-old, unemployed young woman who does not know what to do with her life.  At a club, Emi meets another young woman, Keiko “Kei” Yoinoma, a DJ and who becomes first, Emi's friend, and later... much more.

As After Hours, Vol. 3 (Chapters 11 to 16 to Final Chapter), Emi, Kei, and Kei's crew put the finishing touches to their long-planned rave.  Kei will DJ, and Emi will VJ, but an act of petty crime may put a crimp in their plans.  Later,  Kei disappears and Emi begins a frantic search for her.  Will Emi's new-found confidence, determination, and focus falter now that her mentor and lover is gone?

[This volume includes bonus manga, “Chapter 1 (reprised).”]

The After Hours manga is my first experience with girls' love manga.  This is a sweet, almost PG-rated-like romantic drama that is a gentle introduction to the girls' love genre.

After Hours Graphic Novel Volume 3 is the final volume of the series.  This volume is 128 pages longer than either of the two earlier volumes.  This allows Yuhta Noshio to depict the rave – both on stage and behind the scenes – in detail.  Those extra pages are also really good for detailing the story behind Kei's disappearance.

I like that After Hours Vol. 3 does not play it safe or predictable, especially after two relatively tame volumes that really were not intense.  This final volume makes an argument that there should be more After Hours.  In the meantime, the three volumes of After Hours that we have offer a nice story of young love... after hours in Tokyo.  Plus, the bonus manga offers a nice reprise of this romance's love-at-first-sight.

7.5 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

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