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Alice in Anime Wonderland


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Sahmbahdeh



Joined: 05 May 2015
Posts: 713
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:30 am Reply with quote
Man, there's a lot of Alice. Japan's relationship with Alice in Wonderland approaches their level of obsession with Oda Nobunaga, it seems. Anyway, in addition to a lot of the ones mentioned here, I tend to think of the Code Geass OVA Nunnally in Wonderland, when I think of shoehorned-in Alice tropes.
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SaharaFrost



Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Posts: 95
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:42 am Reply with quote
Here's a few more:

Serial Experiments Lain
Deadman Wonderland
Kyousogiga

I think both Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro could also be said to have underlying themes inspired by Alice in Wonderland.

Also, back in the 90s, it seemed that every anime had at least one Wonderland-inspired episode. Anything by CLAMP especially. But even shows like Slayers would have a random Alice in Wonderland "filler" episode.
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CorneredAngel



Joined: 17 Jun 2002
Posts: 854
Location: New York, NY
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:32 am Reply with quote
Amanda Kennell (University of Southern California) is actually working on her dissertation on basically this specific topic - how Japan has been adapting the Alice novels from the 1980's to now. Hopefully, she'll have it done next year, and published as a book soon after!
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Suena



Joined: 27 May 2012
Posts: 289
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:57 pm Reply with quote
I became a big "Alice" nerd as a kid after someone gave me a huge footnoted edition. So of course I love anything with references!

I think Pandora Hearts is my favorite, just for the sheer number of references (even though the plot has nothing to do with it). It also slips in little quotes that you'd probably only recognize if you were fairly familiar with the original books (especially as they weren't translated exactly the same into English; I don't know if it's because they were re-worded in Japanese, or the translator didn't know the reference).
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:16 pm Reply with quote
I liked the recent Alice adaptation for Queen's Blade Grimoire.
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EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 4016
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:45 pm Reply with quote
Suena wrote:
I became a big "Alice" nerd as a kid after someone gave me a huge footnoted edition. So of course I love anything with references!.


Reading Alice from the original Carroll is like the way we just didn't get Monty Python when it first hit the US in the early British-Comedy-Invasion 70's--It was funny, but the English social satire of why they were talking about dead birds or Parliament ministers were walking funny just flew miles over our heads, and we thought, "huhuh, wonder what those guys are on".
Later, we realized there was a sarcastic point to all the jokes, and it was funnier.

After the recent spawn of the '10 Tim Burton movie, it reminds us what can happen when a screenwriter Doesn't Get the Jokes in the Alice books--Either he tries to make up his own and makes an obnoxious fool of himself (or herself, in the case of Linda Woolverton), or play it straight, don't quite understand it themselves, and shrug "Hey, she's dreaming or crazy, it's SUPPOSED to be weird!"
In the Caterpillar scene, people who don't get the reason why Alice recites a very wrong version of "You are old, Father William" (Carroll didn't have any other place to put pointedly silly Victorian-poetry parodies), just look at the setting and say "Huhuh, shroooooms...Hey, how's that pipe-smoke, Caterpillar?.... Razz "

(And while Disney's '51 animated version, despite all their liberties, at least got many of the jokes as they were intended, I just now on Amazon found a gray-market color-restored widescreen disk of that gorgeous-looking 1971 British version that was 99% text-faithful to the book: https://www.amazon.com/Alices-Adventures-Wonderland-1972-version/dp/B01A64DV6O/
The other versions of the '71 movie, including the ones streaming on Amazon Prime, tend to be very, very, very public-domain.)

Justin wrote:
presumably a reference to how Alice herself has the ability to do things that most ordinary people wouldn't or couldn't, such as talk to flowers, shrink and grow, and face off against a wicked queen.


That seems to be the two main misinterpretations Japanese have:
A), they see a girl having civilized English tea in a ploofy Victorian dress and hair-ribbon, and it either represents the Foreign Western Elegance they model their Victorian coffeehouses around, or it's the "good little girl" model for Loli-Goth fashion to deconstruct, or
B ), they think she has some power to do all the magical things herself, which makes it an easy trope for the Magical Girl, while still keeping the myth of Western fashion.

Basically, Alice isn't doing all the magic things "herself"--She's running into all the magically-booby-trapped aspects of Wonderland, and a constant confusion of magical things are happening TO her. She's supposed to be the normal one.

Oh, and Burton generation aside, the ahem, Queen of Hearts (the "Red Queen" was in Looking Glass) wasn't a "wicked queen" for Alice to "defeat"--to bring peace to the kingdom, you were about to say? The Queen is frustrating, tyrannical and silly, but basically ignored. As the Griffin says, "It's all her fancy that, they never executes nobody."
Unlike the Disney animated, Alice wasn't even the one on trial, although she does get into trouble for being too precocious with her sensible little-Victorian-girl mouth.
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nobahn
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:16 pm Reply with quote
I really must read those Annotated Alice books!
So many books, so little time.....
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Tenchi



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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Location: Ottawa... now I'm an ex-Anglo Montrealer.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:16 pm Reply with quote
It's only an ending animation, but Dagashi Kashi's Alice-in-Wonderland-themed ED, "Hey Calorie Queen!" with Saya Endo as Alice lost in Hotaru Shidare's candy Wonderland was superb.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:58 pm Reply with quote
There were some subtle Alice references in episode 10 of Joker Game.

Also a 3 episode OVA of Alice in Borderland, which would probably be in the violent-Alice category. I don't recall many overt references beyond the title and trapped in an alternate world setting though.

I suppose my favorite would have to be the Wonderland OVAs in Black Butler. The characters are really perfect for it.
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Jedi Master Kirito





PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:43 pm Reply with quote
This is a timely article, for I had been wondering why it is that Japan seems so fascinated by Alice. Cardcaptor Sakura, Black Butler, and Code Geass are just a few of the anime I have seen which adapt Alice.
https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/98e970d6c7207b693e84b8a0d1a98c619d39bcea1330ea614bfab5f997c4ec09.png

[Edit]: changed your large image to a link. If you can use a smaller image, by all means change it back. Errinundra.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 14813
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:45 am Reply with quote
I swear, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is the only Western book Japan has ever known.
(They probably have already forgotten even Shakespeare.)
It's like what's Voltron to the West. Laughing
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EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 4016
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:33 am Reply with quote
enurtsol wrote:
I swear, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is the only Western book Japan has ever known.
(They probably have already forgotten even Shakespeare.)


Oh no, Peter Pan and Cinderella are heavily flogged, too--Yeah, maybe a FEW Cinderella refs in anime.

Basically, "Any Western story Disney did a movie of."
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Roger Pepitone



Joined: 27 Apr 2016
Posts: 26
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:04 am Reply with quote
I thought it was Anne of Green Gables.
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Princess_Irene
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Joined: 16 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:13 am Reply with quote
EricJ2 wrote:

Oh, and Burton generation aside, the ahem, Queen of Hearts (the "Red Queen" was in Looking Glass) wasn't a "wicked queen" for Alice to "defeat"--to bring peace to the kingdom, you were about to say? The Queen is frustrating, tyrannical and silly, but basically ignored. As the Griffin says, "It's all her fancy that, they never executes nobody."


This is probably the misconception that annoys me the most, although I restrained myself from putting it in the article, hoping it would come up in the forum. (Thanks, EricJ2!) As far as I can tell, the "wicked queen" issue dates to the Disney film while the tendency to turn the Queen of Hearts and the Red Queen into a single person is more of an "American McGee's Alice"-spawned problem. There may be an earlier instance of this happening, but that's the one that seems to have popularized the misconception.
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WingKing



Joined: 27 Apr 2015
Posts: 617
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:11 am Reply with quote
Roger Pepitone wrote:
I thought it was Anne of Green Gables.


That's another one that turns up in anime sometimes too (as in the World Masterpiece Theater adaptation of the novel, or the recent character of "Lucy" in Bungo Stray Dogs), but it's much less prevalent than Alice references.

Other ones I thought of

the Alice in Borderland OVA and Manga, as Gina mentioned
Shugo Chara (another Peach Pit series) has a splash panel in the manga where Amu's holding an "eat me" cake and a "drink me" bottle while Ikuto's up in a tree
Kiddy Grade (has several characters named after people from literature and mythology, including a pair of twins named Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and they fly a spaceship named the Cheshire Cat)
Love Live (for the performance of Korekara no Someday in S1E6, the girls are wearing costumes inspired by Alice, the Mad Hatter, and the Dormouse)

More broadly, I wonder sometimes whether the entire "transported to an alternate world" genre itself owes some small debt to Alice, since it was one of (if not the) first examples of such a story in literature and remains arguably the most famous worldwide.
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