I had high hopes for A School Froze in Time when I saw it appear in rightstuf.
Ok so on a whim a few months ago I decided to just buy a bunch of volume 1 manga that I didn’t know anything about and figured if I found something I liked I would continue it. This has backfired horribly. Not only did I like most of the series I started but I absolutely loved receiving a box in the mail full of manga to discover and going through them one at a time in the evenings. It was like a different adventure every day!
And then, I did it again… This is not a cheap hobby by any means! I should just read digital versions. I really really should. And to kind of slightly justify it in my mind, I want to at least share my experience with you guys! And like I said, I was really excited about A School Frozen in Time.
Why I Picked up A School Froze in Time
I thought that title was amazing. I still do. And the cover intrigued me. It wasn’t the usual action pose in the middle of the page or fanservice shot. The protagonist looked a bit like the mc from Persona 4 and the laying down sideways framing made it stand out. At least enough to read the first line of the description and then I was sold.
A School Frozen in Time manga volume 1 features story and art by Mizuki Tsujimura, the author of Your Lie in April, and Naoshi Arakawa, the author of Anime Supremacy!
On a snowy school day like any other, classmates and childhood friends Hiroshi and Mizuki arrive at school to find the campus eerily empty. Before long, they find themselves trapped inside with six other friends, and even stranger, all the clocks have stopped at a very specific moment—the exact time when a former classmate jumped off the school roof to their death three months earlier.
It turns out that this departed friend is their way out of their current predicament and may even be among their group…but no one can remember who it was that took their life on that sad day.
The students must face themselves and their past memories to piece together the identity of this suicide victim or risk a similar fate—with their lives lost and forgotten inside these frigid school walls.
My First Impression
Oh, this is Another.
What I liked
A School Frozen in Time is a bit of an oddity for me. You see, on paper, I like pretty much everything. Well, the art isn’t really my jam but it’s not awful. The rest is good.
It’s an ensemble cast and all the characters have well-defined individual personalities. They remain a bit superficial in volume 1 but that’s to be expected. The eery happenings are genuinely creepy and the mystery gripped me well, in that I wanted to know what was happening. At first.
A School Frozen in Time is an atmospheric horror tale. Much like Another in fact. The first volume is nice and thick, noticeably larger than a lot of my manga, and nothing bad happens until maybe the last 5th. Most of the time is spent on the characters just trying to figure out what’s happening while walking around an empty school. And that works well for me. It fills me with an indeterminate dread that kept me turning pages even as I apprehended it.
How can I explain this? It might be an issue of something getting lost in translation but something in the dialogue just didn’t work for me. It was almost like watching a movie where the actors aren’t very good. I never realized how much of performance is tied into the dialogue. It was like watching a B movie with an ambitious premise. Not a super original one but ambitious.
Once we get more details on what is actually happening, the plot becomes kind of generic. At least to me, it started to sound like something I had seen so many times. It’s not bad per see but it wasn’t interesting enough for me to want to pay more money for the remaining volumes. Although I would consider continuing the story in the digital version if it’s on one of the platforms I have.
My bottom line, A School Frozen in Time volume 1 is ok.