Are You Alice? Volume 1 Manga Review

While I’m not the biggest manga reader, I was kind of looking forward to this one having read some fairly positive reviews. How does this gender bending tale of Alice in Wonderland go?

Review:

There’s nothing overly original about reworking the classic Alice in Wonderland. Even Ouran High School Host Club had an Alice episode thrown in. However, my issue with Wonderland inspired tales remains the same; too many of them rely on people just accepting weird things happen in Wonderland and don’t really consider how they might make that setting believable other than telling us it is Wonderland.

Alice2.jpg

Are You Alice? very much fell into this camp of stories that introduces characters that are given names connecting them to the original tale, but little is done outside of that to establish their character, background or motive. It is like the write feels you can short-cut all the things that would help the audience connect with a character simply because they are the Hatter or whoever and of course we should know their nature. However, that leaves us with a shallow impression of characters. They wear a facade similar to something we know but they undeniably are acting in different ways in a narrative that actually is interesting, but we’re not given the time to establish anything in its own right as they want to jump into people doing things without providing context.

And maybe that works for some people. They’ll happily just nod and accept the setting as Wonderland and the base starting point for all characters is the established trope that we’re all familiar with.

For me though, it was an ongoing issue while reading this. The Alice but not Alice vibe permeates everything and while I actually like the idea that accepting a name is the same as accepting a role and the journey the ‘Not-Alice’ is on, I never really clicked with anything happening in this volume.

It’s also visually pretty ugly. Not the character designs. They are quite nice and clearly some time and attention went into them. But backgrounds, especially the streets which we spend a long time walking up and down, are all kind of basic ruled lines and while the characters are suitably zany given the setting, Wonderland itself is not portrayed in anyway as being ‘wonderful’.

So this series is going to get a pass from me as I don’t really intend to continue on. I am really curious about how the rules work and about the Alice’s that have come before, and even the White Rabbit, but there were too many things that didn’t work for me in this series to consider reading on.

If you’ve read it, I’d love to know your thoughts.

 


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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9 thoughts on “Are You Alice? Volume 1 Manga Review

  1. It’s a shame that you will not continue it cause while the setting is “Alice in Wonderland” the story doesn’t develop around the original story, but for that you need to read more than one volume at least until you know who Hatter really is and to know why White Rabbit is doing that.
    Yes accepting the name play a big part in the series, but the one who give the name too. If the character is not name by the White Rabbit himself, it doesn’t count, unless you are the new Alice you if in the beginning he is not quite sure about what he want, he will change is idea and claim the name as his.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha it’s okay everyone interesse and point of view need to be different, if it wasn’t the world would be pretty boring and it’s not like it was the most amazing series either, the fact that most of the info are hinted around the volume 5 probably doesn’t help.
        Without saying to much with the exception of the new Alice and (probably) the White Rabbit all the character had a real life before that, White Rabbit goal is to rewrite/finish the story for the real Alice whose name is not Alice.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel like even though you have knowledge of the original Alice I want to get to know this Alice when it comes to all these new Alice tales, if that makes sense. Even if it means retelling some of the story I rather have that than the creator just assume that I know who all the characters already are. Not everyone has read or seen Alice in Wonderland. I haven’t read this particular manga though but I was curious about it but by your review it sounds like a pass. Thank you for this post.

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    1. I was a bit disappointed in it at the end. What bothers me more is I am curious about how the story unfolds but I’m not willing to sit through how this is being executed to read any further.

      Liked by 1 person

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