Alice & Zoroku
Episode 10

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 10 of
Alice & Zoroku ?

Alice & Zoroku moves its current story arc forward as Sana undergoes a bit of character growth. Unlike the conclusion of the show's first major storyline, this one appears to be heading in a far less action-heavy direction, which is better suited to the series' overall tone. Despite being only half of the top bill, Sana—and by extension, her personal journey—is the show's primary focus, so it makes sense to close out the cour on a story that puts her through her emotional paces.

After the kidnapped Ayumu convinces Sana that Hatori isn't a bad person and informs her of friend's whereabouts, Sana lures the little recluse into Wonderland via a specially-placed dimensional door. However, when Hatori attempts to use her power to get answers from Sana, the girls' Alices cancel each other out and create an anomaly, resulting in the rapid expansion of Wonderland into the real world and the emergence of many new Dreams of Alice. Bereft of their powers, Sana and Hatori find themselves trapped in Wonderland with no one to rely on but one another.

Sana's emotional maturity is still nascent, and it's amusing to watch her try to squeeze an interdimensional abduction into her everyday activities. At present, her worldview is still very black-and-white, which is somewhat understandable given what she's been through in recent memory. In light of the Minne C. incident, it's almost hard to blame her for adopting a “shoot first and ask questions later” approach to seemingly dangerous new superpowered individuals. Oddly enough, though, there is some wiggle room in her thinking, as evidenced by Ayumu eventually winning her trust. It practically goes without saying that Sana and Hatori will patch things up before curtain call, but the journey is sure to prove more compelling than the destination.

It feels like the other half of the titular duo has been getting the shaft lately, but at least Zoroku is determined to help get Sana out of her current predicament. Although Zoroku is unlikely to offer much assistance in a practical sense, he's undoubtedly going to prove crucial to calming Sana down and helping her deal with that “frazzled” feeling she hates so much. Since the conclusion of the first big arc, Sana's relationships with other people have received a lot more focus than her relationship with Zoroku—and that's kind of a shame, as their chemistry is largely what made the series stand out among similar shows.

What is a Dream of Alice without his or her powers? This question is particularly important for Sana, because unlike the other Dreams, she doesn't have a past that predates the awakening of her abilities. Because she now has to deal with the loss of her powers in addition to feeling more “frazzled” than ever, the current storyline seems like a great end cap for the season, if not the series.

Rating: A-

Alice & Zoroku is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Amy is an author who has loved anime for over two decades.

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