Art: Soumei Hoshino
English Adaptation: JuYoun Lee, Lianne Sentar
Translation: Angela Liu, Beni Axia Conrad
What They Say:
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?!
As the volume opens, Julius and Alice make up, and Nightmare and Peter scheme ominously. When Peter starts pestering Alice once more, he seems more desperate than ever before. Alice of course shuns him as always, but he turns the tables by changing into the tiny rabbit that Alice saw before coming to Wonderland. Though she realizes that it’s still Peter inside, she can’t help but cuddle with his cute little body.
Later, when Alice is thinking of her sister, she starts to feel a strong pain in her chest, but Nightmare causes her to forget what she was doing. Alice then goes to Blood’s place in search of new books to read and after a short interlude she finds herself chatting once more with the crime boss himself. Blood’s cruel side rears its ugly head and he calls Alice a seductress. Insulted, Alice snaps back about how she saw him with Vivaldi, causing Blood to nearly kill her. However, when she calls Vivaldi his lover, Blood laughs it off and snaps out of it, allowing Alice to escape.
After Alice learns of Vivaldi’s love of cute things and visits the amusement park, things pick up as Ace wounds Boris and threatens to kill Alice. Thanks to Ace’s terrible sense of direction, Boris is able to warn Alice before Ace gets there, but unfortunately it doesn’t do much good. Things take a turn for the worse when Julius leaves Ace alone with Boris and Alice, completely unaware of what is going on. It turns out that Ace wants the world to change, and he sees Alice’s death as a potential catalyst. After a good bit of discussion, Ace decides he doesn’t want to kill Alice anymore, as if he does he won’t be able to listen to her heartbeat.
As the volume closes, Alice receives an invitation to a ball at the castle. It turns out that it is a neutral event, and as such all of the factions will be attending. Alice is left wondering whether Blood will be there, and thus contemplates as to whether she even wants to go.
A bonus chapter entitled “Alice in the Country of Joker” is also included, in which Wonderland experiences a variety of seasons.
Things still seem to be moving in this volume, but it definitely seems like the series has settled into a pattern, which is a bit of a shame. While the first book contained some real and frequently caught you off guard, there isn’t quite as much of that here. Fortunately, Ace and Blood still manage to pull off a bit of unexpected madness to help keep readers’ attentions. Ace in particular has some rather interesting motivations, and he really does feel like a wildcard for much of the volume. There’s also some rather intriguing foreshadowing relating to Alice and her sister, but it sadly doesn’t amount to much here. Hopefully the final volume will manage to recapture some of the edge that made the first volume so much fun, as the series feels like it’s starting to dull a bit.
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Rating: B+
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: June 26th, 2012