Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Alice in the Country of Hearts: a manga review

By QuinRose
Art by Soumei Hoshino

A review in 10 words or less: Alice in Wonderland as only manga can portray.

Kidnapped by a handsome man with rabbit ears, Alice Liddell finds herself abandoned in an odd place called Wonderland and thrust into a "game," the rules of which she has yet to learn. Alice, ever the plucky tomboy, sets off to explore and get the lay of this strange land, intent on finding her rude kidnapper and giving him a piece of her mind (and her fist). But little does she know that she's wandered right into the middle of a dangerous power struggle involving just about all of Wonderland's attractive, weapon-happy denizens. And the only way for Alice to return home is to get acquainted with the lot of them?! How in the world will she manage that and still manage to stay alive?!
~Amazon Description~
Volume 1: Much like the original, Alice Liddell is a dreamer, and one lazy, sunny afternoon, she is whisked away to Wonderland by a fluffy white rabbit.  And also like the original, the fluffy white rabbit is a little manic.  This particular rabbit is actually a man with rabbit ears who is madly in love with Alice.  Upon her arrival in Wonderland, Alice discovers she is playing a game.  In order to return home, she must interact with the inhabitants of Wonderland, and little does she know that there is a whole lot of crazy coming her way.  The land is experiencing a very rocky piece, and three independent kingdoms each want Alice for their own.
Volume 2:  Alice is learning to live in Wonderland.  She has befriended the mafia boss Blood Dupre and his gatekeepers Eliot March, Dee, and Dum.  She has nurtured Boris, the leader of the Amusement Park's henchman, and she has had tea with the Queen of Hearts.  She has also learned that life and death are not matters of serious thought in Wonderland.  With hearts as clocks, death only means a new beginning.
Volume 3: Peter White is as desperate as ever to have the love of his dear Alice.  But she will have none of it.  She's too busy trying to help the Clockworker and discover why Ace, a Knight of hearts, always shows up covered in blood.

Volume 4: Alice decides to spend a carefree day in the Amusement Park with Boris (who kind of represents the Cheshire Cat).  After, Boris confronts Ace for scaring Alice.  Alice is going all crazy and threatens to kill Alice which sets Boris into a fury.  Then something really strange starts to happen with the seasons and I got really confused.

Volume 5:  The finale...sort of.  Alice is invited to the Queen of Hearts ball.  There, she confronts Blood Dupre and comes to a hesitant truce with the mafia boss.

So the "game" isn't over.  Alice is still stuck in Wonderland.  And things are stranger than ever.  But there are no more volumes which is curious...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again...I love all things Wonderland.  I actually checked out Alice in the Country of Clover first, and quickly realized that I needed to know a little bit more about the world before preceding, thus the diving in to Alice in the Country of Hearts.  The series is a lot of fun.  It's a bit weird, and it takes some getting used to, but generally a lot of fun.

If you like quirky; if you like chaotic; if you like a little deranged; check out Alice in the Country of Hearts.

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