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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

Algis Budrys
To Say Nothing of the Dog: Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last
Connie Willis, Recorded Books LLC, Steven Crossley
The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality
Julie Sondra Decker
The Mystic Marriage
Heather Rose Jones
Progress: 302/426 pages
Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Kazuto Tatsuta
Progress: 448/553 pages
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages

Are You Alice? (vol. 1) by Ikumi Katagiri, original story by Ai Ninomiya, translated by Alexis Eckerman

Are You Alice?, Vol. 1 - Ai Ninomiya, Ikumi Katagiri

A guy with no past ends up in Wonderland and is referred to as “Alice” by the Cheshire Cat. The Mad Hatter takes him to the Queen of Hearts, where he learns the rules: he is the 89th “Alice.” He can become the true Alice if he kills the White Rabbit, a game the White Rabbit devised for unknown reasons. Alice agrees to do this, on the condition that he gets to stay in Wonderland afterward – he has been searching for a place where he can belong. However, he soon learns that this world is even darker than he imagined, as he meets the Duchess, a little girl who is required to suffer as the substitute Alice.

I added this series to my vacation reading list because I was on a bit of a Alice in Wonderland kick. As mediocre as some of the Alice in the Country of routes sometimes were, they were almost always better and more interesting than this. Are You Alice? is what you might get if you took Alice in the Country of Hearts, turned the heroine into a guy but made sure all the character designs still counted as eye candy, and sucked out all the fun, humor, and romance while keeping the edge of danger, mystery, and violence.

I have no idea what this series is aiming for. It has a very stark and serious feel, which it tries to liven up with some unfunny humor. The oh-so-mysterious setup is boring because the stakes are so unclear. Readers aren't given even the tiniest hint of who Alice really is or what his past was like before he arrived in Wonderland. I'm not sure if Wonderland is even real, or if it's some kind of dream or hallucination. And I'm not sure who I'm supposed to be rooting for. Alice can't protect anyone or even defend himself – literally all the rules allow him to do is meet people and kill the White Rabbit.

I decided to read at least one more volume, just to see if things improved any.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)