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REVIEW: Alice in the Country of Hearts GN 2

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:08 am Reply with quote
I think you’re missing the point of what Alice in the Country of Hearts is. It’s not the same “game” as Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland, it’s an entirely new game with a different set of rules. Instead of a game where a young girl is trying to make sense of the rules of an adult world, it’s an older girl with problems of the heart, trying to figure out the rules to her very own Dating Sim. It’s just slightly more open with the blood and death than Carroll would usually keep in morbid, Victorian humor.

And it seems like you’re suggesting Carroll never explored or mentioned death in either of the Alice books, when actually they were a constant theme. Set aside the obvious with the Queen of Hearts demanding everyone’s heads be removed when they aren’t polite enough for her (the characters in Land of Hearts all seem to share the original Queen of Heart’s lack of value in life), but the original Alice always made odd little musings about death, not quite ever getting the concept apparently with her young innocence.

But back to this odd manga. It’s not a retelling of Alice in Wonderland, but a more of a fantasy of someone who read the book Alice In Wonderland. The Alice of Alice in the Land of Hearts is pulled into that world after falling asleep. However before she fell asleep, she was listening to a story her sister read which was Alice in Wonderland. But it’s not Wonderland, it’s the land of Hearts. Alice is having a dream (apparently) where her subconscious takes out elements from the story her sister was reading her and mixes them with her love woes.

Apparently you missed the love woes. That boy of her dreams isn’t really a boy from her dreams. He’s a real boy, in the real world with her sister. But he did show up in flashes with this volume , and more about him was revealed, in particular that Alice apparently did date him, but he fell in love with her sister. Blood Dupree/Hatter apparently is her subconscious playing with that.

The focus for Alice in the Country of Hearts isn’t Victorian satire or explanations on logic, the exploration of wonderland, or to even find out what's up with the ticking hearts. Instead it’s the exploration of what Alice wants for herself in a guy. So since we’re not focusing on the actual country/world we don’t need to see it. Instead the manga is doing what it’s meant to and that’s focus on the pretty boys. It's not wandering around aimlessly from the focus of the story, it's right on track, with full awareness of what that is: bishonen.

I’m surprised in the review that even though you’ve stated everyone is madly in love with Alice, you never really get to what this comic is essentially, and that’s a reverse harem. You touched on it with your review of the first volume in Right Turn Only, but there you called it a satire of the reverse harem. It IS a reverse harem. Everyone in this comic, every character, is throwing themselves at Alice. They’re proclaiming their love (some are slower than others), even the single female character is doing it. The queen even stated in the first volume that it makes sense because Alice is a foreigner, which means everyone will love her. It’s part of the game – to get with Alice. So Alice is finding every stereotypical bishonen thrown at her, along with a lone queen figure who doesn’t care she’s a she.

And all this fighting and killing going on? They were fighting originally over that three way territory fight mentioned in volume 1, but now they’re all just fighting over Alice. Something’s up with the Foreigner. They all want her. None of them have actual hearts, and they’re now believing the Foreigner with a real heart can change them. The real question facing Alice should be how can they actually love her when they don’t have hearts.

The way for Alice to get home is to beat the game, which is to fill up that little container by meeting people in Wonderland. That container of liquid is the heart meter in the dating simulator game that fills up the more time you spend with a character, representing your relationship with them. When it’s filled up, you beat the game. Which is exactly what this is: a manga, based off a dating game for girls, aka otome game, a harem in it's truest form. It's a dating game that goes by the name of Heart no Kuni no Alice, released by Quinrose. Quinrose isn’t a person who wrote the story, Quinrose is the name of the otome videogame company that created the original game this manga is an adaption of.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:50 pm Reply with quote
This review is a mixed bag. It does contain insight on what the manga is about but the Interpretation of what the manga is iffy at best. Sense little green wolf explain the reasons for being iffy, i won't go into detail sense i find it unnecessary to do so.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:03 pm Reply with quote
I almost commented on the review last night but didn't, but I will now.

My problem with the review is that it seems to get hung up on the "the story doesn't go anywhere" aspect. But, really, with almost any manga I've read, there is a pretty standard format of "volume 1: Introduce the main character, a few of the other important characters, and the plot", "volume 2: introduce the rest of the important characters, work on character development", "volume 3: continue the character development, bring the plot back into play."

The review seems to make it out that it's a grievous and unheard of error to put the plot on the back burner and develop characters and their relationships for a volume, but it's rare that I see a series that doesn't do that.

Oh, and btw, Nightmare comes back soon enough. Early vol. 4, IIRC.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:16 pm Reply with quote
Only C+ really? concerning how the review seems positive? Speaking of which, did anyone ever seen carlos santos gives something an A+. Surely he is the type of reviewer who review stuff more to bush than to praise. What's the point in it i wonder.

And Littlegreenwolf, great job!
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