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Webcomic / Duty After School

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"Maybe... this really is the end...."
-Young Jo, Episode 2.
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Duty After School is a Korean Webtoon created by Ha Il-Kwon. In this story, strange, blobbish life forms referred to as "cells" have suddenly appeared on earth, and they are so widespread and so dangerous that even high-schoolers are being conscripted to fight them. We follow Chi Kim and his senior high class as they struggle with their training, their orders, the stress of being at war, their own relationships, and their schoolmates dying like animals all around them.

Duty After School can be read here on LINE Webtoon (or on the app).

Ha Il-Kwon also created the highly praised webtoons Annarasumanara and God of Bath.


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This series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Academy of Adventure: Their high school was changed into a training ground for fighting cells, but this turns out to not be nearly as fun as it sounds....
  • The Ace: Nara.
  • Alien Invasion: If the cells really are aliens.
  • Alpha Bitch: Bora. She gets better.
  • Always on Duty: One boy and one girl from each class stay awake and watch over the rest as they sleep. When a medium-sized cell lands on the school grounds, two people are assigned to guard that as well, in case it multiplies.
  • Apocalypse How: New life forms appear and start exploding. A majority of humanity hides in shelters. The rest are trained to fight.
    • Luckily, there haven't been any government collapses (that we've seen). In recent chapters, the United Nations developed a special new gun for destroying the tough medium- and large-sized cells, and distributed it to military forces across the globe.
  • Anyone Can Die: Oh yes.
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  • Art Evolution
  • Asshole Victim: Hoon Jang.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Nara, the most isolated and quiet person in the class, is the most skilled shooter.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: The cells are exploding blobs that are comprised of a cell membrane and a nucleus. The large ones float in the air, the medium ones just chill on the ground, but the small ones can sprout tentacles for moving and fighting. There is no way to kill them except shooting them in their nucleus, otherwise they explode or attack. And to make matters even worse, they seem to be evolving more physiological properties, and even a higher intelligence.
  • Black Comedy: Think high school Slice of Life meets War Is Hell. The result is twisted, but hilarious.
  • Boarding School: The students have to stay at school for their own protection.
  • Break the Cutie: Downplayed. While there are definitely some students who suffer from major psychological degeneration from the war, a majority of the main teenagers are resilient enough to still care about their clothes, their hair, having a boyfriend or girlfriend, etc.
  • Camp Straight: Rock.
  • Child Soldiers: If teenagers still count as children. They certainly think like children.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Taku, while his mind is always only on one thing, never does anything directly disrespectful to any of the girls.
  • Class Representative: Eugene.
  • Combat Tentacles: The cells can grow spiky tentacles out of their membranes to help them walk, or to stab anyone close enough....
  • Crapsack World: On the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism, this series falls squarely under cynical. Brief moments of happiness are almost always followed by huge tragedies.
  • Crush Blush: Chi sports this every single time Nara is within the vicinity.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Honors threatens on multiple occasions to kill one of the boys who picked on him.
  • Driven to Suicide: Two minor characters commit suicide in close proximity to each other. The former Ate His Gun and the latter hung herself.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: Nara appears to be this, as her parents still live in Poland.
  • Foreshadowing: In Episode 4, several students eating lunch together wonder how the cells move and attack you besides floating and exploding. One of the guys jokes that slimy tentacles might come out of them. Guess how the medium cell kills Hoon at the end of the episode.
  • Girl Posse: Bora is a member of one of these. Their hobbies include finding reasons why every girl except them is a bitch or a weirdo.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Chi and Taku.
  • Kids Are Cruel
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: An entire classroom's worth and then some, but their numbers are slowly dwindling....
  • Love Confession: Soo thinks it's a good time to confess to Nara the day before they're sent to the front lines. She turns him down.
  • Made of Explodium: The cells.
  • Meaningful Name: The only student who still seems dedicated to his school life is named Honors Lee. He'd do anything to get bonus credit so he could get into a good university after the war. And I do mean anything.
  • Military School: Many high schools across South Korea become this.
  • Morality Pet: Suri seems to be becoming this for Bora.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Honors.
  • Punny Name: Chi Kim. Justified by the fact that it's not his real name; it's actually Changnam.
  • School Uniforms Are the New Black: Taken to the ridiculous extreme of having everyone still wearing their school uniforms even on the battlefield. They are never seen in anything else.
  • Shrinking Violet: Suri. Chi has shades of this, especially around Nara.
    • Eugene has shades of this in the beginning, but she steadily outgrows it.
  • The Stoic: Nara. She talks so infrequently, it was a common rumor that she could only speak Polish.
  • Team Mom: Eugene. She doesn't enjoy it.
  • Training from Hell: Imagine being an ordinary high school student who suddenly has to go through military training. Real military training.
  • Token White: Nara, who's Polish.
  • United Nations Is a Superpower: Apparently, the UN can just develop weapons, mass-produce them, and then pass them out to whomever they like....
  • War Is Hell: This series doesn't let you doubt it for a second.
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