Translation/Adaptation: Gretchen Kern / Ailen Lujo
What They Say
Aruto Kirihara is a student who spends his free time reading the book about ALICE, and is even writing his own sequel. After meeting a girl who bears a striking resemblance to his heroine, he is pulled into a world where girls with strange powers and bunny ears battle to recover the true sequel, which has been lost for generations. What Aruto learns is that he has creative powers of his own, and he must use them to recover the lost book.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
This story revolves around the Alice in Wonderland story by Lewis Carroll, which is just called ‘Alice’ and written by a fictitious author. In Key Princess Story, the ‘Alice’ story consists of two books, and the protagonist Aruto is trying to write a continuation or book three if you will. Aruto has been fascinated with ‘Alice’ for years and often imagines what Alice must look like and how there can’t be any woman in the world more suited for him than her.
One night, while working on his story, he looks out the window to see a beautiful girl that looks like the Alice in his imagination flying over the nearby rooftops. This really captures his imagination and goads him into writing even more. While at school the next morning, Aruto catches a glimpse of a girl across campus who looks like the girl from the night before. He eventually catches up to her in a library and he’s so nervous he just blurts out a love confession. The girl explains she is not Alice, but Arisu, but she also loves the ‘Alice’ stories. Then all hell breaks loose when Aruto’s classmate, Hisa, appears wearing a crazy outfit and wielding a sword shaped like a key. Arisu suddenly transforms herself and wielding her own sword key begins to fight with Hisa. Before Aruto can figure out what’s going on, Arisu stabs Hisa through the heart. It doesn’t kill her, but it does open her heart and release her personal story in book format.
It turns out, there is a lost third volume of the ‘Alice’ story called ‘Never-ending Alice’ and it is contained within the hearts of the girls suffering from the Alice Syndrome which grants the girls the power to fight each other with magical keys. The last girl standing will possess all the stories and the entire ‘Never-ending Alice’ book. This first encounter for Aruto proves that he has a special gift, otherwise, he shouldn’t be able to see the Alice fighters. Aruto wants to read the missing book with Arisu, but he doesn’t like taking the chapters away from other girls. To remedy the situation, when Arisu wins Aruto quickly copies the story and then returns it to the fallen combatant. Writing a person’s life story in book format is Aruto’s special ability.
From here, Aruto eventually learns his clingy little sister is also an Alice warrior. She begrudgingly teams up with Aruto and Arisu and they begin to search for other girls to fight. But there is more going on in the background than Aruto is aware of. There is someone going around killing Alice warriors and burning their bodies, a mysterious person at the magical library, and the super hot Kagarigi sempai who is fascinated with Aruto’s abilities. Will Aruto be able to collect and write all the ‘Never-ending Alice’ story? Will he have to confront the person killing the Alice warriors? With Kagarigi and Aruto’s little sister always making advances on him, will he ever be able to convince Arisu that he loves her?
Key Princess Story is rather jumbled in this first volume. The author does a poor job of explaining the story world and tries to throw around too much story in too short a span of time. With those problems aside, I did enjoy the rocky relationship between Aruto and Arisu and the comedy involved. Every time Arisu thinks she might like Aruto, he either screws something up or his sister does something creepy, but funny. I also appreciated Arisu’s flaws. She may be beautiful and Aruto’s obvious love interest, but she is downright dirty when she fights. Arisu’s underhandedness goes to the point of stabbing her opponents in the back. She’s willing to do anything it takes to collect all the parts of the ‘Never-ending Alice’ story and at this point, I don’t think she would even let Aruto stand in her way.
I also enjoyed the blatant acts of violence near the end of this volume. A girl gets stabbed to death and a creepy loli character tries to burn Arisu to death. So, even though the story is rather silly maybe there is an opportunity for some character development and some more death and carnage. If magical girls is your thing you may want to check out this title. If nothing else this book has great packaging.
Content Grade: C+
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: B+
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: DrMaster
Release Date: October 2006