What They Say
The darker side of Alice has started revealing itself, making a move on Aruto and his Alice Society. It looks like Aruto’s encounter with these gifted girls isn’t going to be a tea party with bunny ears and a fluffy tail. But not to worry, the maiden’s fantasy is just two shakes of a bunny tail away.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The almost ridiculous number of female characters in this book is making it difficult to read. Arisu and Aruto’s sister Kiraha look too similar, and this volume introduces about eight new girls. The other problem I’m having is that almost all the girl characters have a name starting with ‘A’ or ‘K’, so I wish the author had included a ‘who’s who/the story so far’ section with this volume.
Those complaints aside, there are two new developments that have made this story better, malicious new characters and a little shoujo-ai action. It seems Kisa is very much in love with Kiraha, one-sided of course. This volume begins with these girls making magical love cookies, Kiraha making them for Aruto and Kisa secretly making them for Kiraha. Not surprisingly, the spell doesn’t work. However, Kisa will not be denied. When they later go to the pool together, Kisa successfully sneaks a peek at Kiraha changing. It’s pure fanservice, but funny nonetheless, especially when they trade suits and Kisa’s bigger assets end up bulging all over the place.
Alright, fanservice aside, I love strong female villains, I mean the truly underhanded ones. Enter another Key Princess named Asuka Suwa, number 8 among the elite Princesses. Her secret attack is probably the most demented type of psychological warfare. Suwa has the ability to force her enemy into their worst childhood memories. Then while they’re completely helpless, Suwa walks right in and steals their Alice Story. Suwa is so strong she actually takes down Aruto, Kisa, Kiraha, and Kirika all at the same time. The only thing saving them from losing their Alice stories is Arisu’s counterattack. This means Arisu has no memories for Suwa to take advantage of, which along with the memories of the other girls, leads to a decent jolt of character development.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the arrival of the Alice Master, the grandson of the original author of the first two Alice novels. He plays himself up as a nice guy hoping Aruto and the girls can help him find all the portions of the Alice story. Once that happens the pieces can be combined for people to read. What the Alice Master fails to mention is that his servant happens to be the number 1 elite Key Princess. Not only that, but she can rip the heart right out of any other Princess around. There are definite hints of something much more going on than Aruto and the other girls suspect.
I bumped up the Content grade a little for this volume because of the introduction of multiple sinister characters, and there were more dastardly Suwa deeds than I mentioned above. Along those lines, I’m hoping the next volume, and the series as a whole, continues to go down a darker path. So if you’re still on the fence, wait till I review volume 3 and that should help you.
Content Grade: B-
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: B+
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: DrMaster
Release Date: January 2007