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Recs for Alice in the Country of Hearts, Alice in the Country of Clovers

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  • Recs for Alice in the Country of Hearts, Alice in the Country of Clovers

    Widgets Magazine
    Is Alice in the Country of Hearts any good? Is it a straightforward adaptation of the Lewis Caroll stories, or an "Alice" story in name only? Either way, the description sounds promising:

    Originally posted by Official Summary
    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?!
    So is this a title worth looking into? Any particular strengths or weaknesses?

    And how does Alice in the Country of Clover fit in? One volume hints at a threesome involving Alice and the Tweedle twins, while another talks about Alice wanting to buy an Uzzi as a gift. Is Clover a spin-off? A sequel? Totally unrelated? And is it any good?
    "The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity too great for the eye of man."

    -William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

  • #2
    Re: Recs for Alice in the Country of Hearts, Alice in the Country of Clovers

    The Alice books are based on the otome game franchise of the same name. (So, more like Alice in Harem Wonderland.) The sequels and spin-offs have to do with other possible Alice pairings, etc. I like the series well enough, not necessarily because it's great manga, but because I think there are some fun takes on the characters and I kind of dig the "dark" story mythology. Don't expect this to be an awful lot like the original literature as it bears little resemblance. You aren't the intended audience; although that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy it, you should at least be aware of the origin of the material.
    Yay! There's debauchery here!
    Moderating: Manga

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    • #3
      Re: Recs for Alice in the Country of Hearts, Alice in the Country of Clovers

      How to describe the Alice in Country of [fill in the blank] manga?

      It's not an adaptation of the Lewis Carroll works. The character role names are the same but the characters have all been humanized. Except for Alice, they are literally people playing roles, some with relish, some with reluctance. Some of the role personalities can be traced to their Carroll origins. And that's about it. Alice is older here, a mid to late teen rather than a pre-teen. (To be honest, I'm not 100% sure how old Alice is. Old enough to be working part-time and thinking about boyfriends is the best I can do.) The multiple manga series is based on a series of otome games. So expect lots of pretty boys in quirky costumes. (Alice, the Queen of Hearts, and Alice's much mentioned but not present sister are the only females of note.)

      Alice in the Country of Hearts is in my opinion the best of the manga series so far. There is a wider variety of situations for Alice to get into and out of. She's still learning her way around the Country of Hearts and discovering its secrets. There's an undercurrent of something darker that haunts Alice. The art is done with a surer hand. (Every manga series has a different artist as far as I know.)

      Alice in the Country of Clover: Bloody Twins is a weaker entry. The Bloody Twins (Tweedledum & Tweedledee) don't have enough uniqueness in their twinness (if that makes sense) for me to ever be certain which twin is twin and why I should care.

      Alice in the Country of Clover: Cheshire Cat Waltz is a stronger entry than Bloody Twins but not as strong as the Alice in the Country of Hearts. But then, I'm partial to Boris, the Cheshire Cat and his quixotic cat personality. The art is stronger here than in Bloody Twins too.

      I haven't read Alice in the Country of Hearts: My Fanatic Rabbit yet although I have it. Based on the cover, I assume it's about Alice and Elliott, the March Hare

      The first big Alice in the Country of Hearts series, the one without a subtitle, is not Alice x Somebody oriented like the other books are. The later books, Bloody Twins, Chershire Cat Waltz, and Fanatic Rabbit are definitely geared to Alice and a specific romantic interest.

      If you're going to get into the Alice saga, you really should start the big Alice in the Country of Hearts 3 omnibus volumes. They establish the world that Alice has been dragged into. You'd be lost if you started with any other books. The other books are follow-ons. Bloody Twins has the best explanation of how Alice and (nearly all of the) company shifted from the Country of Hearts to the Country of Clover. But I found the Cheshire Cat Waltz books to be superior in all other aspects. For one thing, the chapters in Bloody Twins feel like independent little short stories whereas in Cheshire Cat the stories are leading to some sort of conclusion. (This series isn't finished in the US yet.) Plus we get some more information about how this world relates to Alice's real life. I don't know why Fanatic Rabbit is set back in the Country of Hearts, but I'm sure it's intended to be read after the first omnibus volumes, the one with no subtitle.

      Would I recommend the Alice series? Well, I'm pretty hooked. You have to have a high bishounen tolerance. It helps if you like otome games with all their conventions. You don't have to have played the game to appreciate the manga series. I haven't. But you should know that that's what you're getting yourself into.
      Avatar: Ahiru and Fakir of Princess Tutu | My manga list | My anime DVD list

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      • #4
        Re: Recs for Alice in the Country of Hearts, Alice in the Country of Clovers

        Hmm . . . so what kind of title is it, actually? The summaries place a lot of emphasis on blood, violence, and weaponry. But you're making it sound more like speed dating with a Wonderland theme. So what kind of title is it?

        It also sounds like it might be a bit like Fruits Basket . . . or maybe a gender-swapped version of the original Tenchi Muyo. Is either a fair comparison?
        "The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity too great for the eye of man."

        -William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

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        • #5
          Re: Recs for Alice in the Country of Hearts, Alice in the Country of Clovers

          Originally posted by One Vorlon View Post
          Hmm . . . so what kind of title is it, actually? The summaries place a lot of emphasis on blood, violence, and weaponry. But you're making it sound more like speed dating with a Wonderland theme. So what kind of title is it?
          It's speed dating with where the potential love interests are completely insane and are constantly trying to kill each other.

          It also sounds like it might be a bit like Fruits Basket . . . or maybe a gender-swapped version of the original Tenchi Muyo. Is either a fair comparison?
          It's about as manic as Tenchi, and some of the boys have animalistic qualities like Fruits Basket.

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          • #6
            Re: Recs for Alice in the Country of Hearts, Alice in the Country of Clovers

            Originally posted by Sonicbug View Post
            Originally posted by One Vorlon View Post
            Hmm . . . so what kind of title is it, actually? The summaries place a lot of emphasis on blood, violence, and weaponry. But you're making it sound more like speed dating with a Wonderland theme. So what kind of title is it?
            It's speed dating with where the potential love interests are completely insane and are constantly trying to kill each other. . .
            Interesting . . . so is there a plot beyond Alice wandering around Wonderland, bumping into cute guys? Is it a reverse harem, for example, looking to take down the Queen of Hearts? Or is Hearts more a collection of one shots, loosely tied together by Alice and the Wonderland theme? Something else entirely? What should I be comparing it to?

            And what is the violence level? Are people actually getting shot, beheaded, and so on? Or is it more cheesey action flick level, where entire crates of ammo are used, and yet miraculously, no one actually gets shot?

            Most importantly, since it does seem to revolve around Alice's love life, is she a sympathetic/plausible love interest? Or just another character who gets a harem just because?
            "The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity too great for the eye of man."

            -William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Recs for Alice in the Country of Hearts, Alice in the Country of Clovers

              Originally posted by One Vorlon View Post
              Interesting . . . so is there a plot beyond Alice wandering around Wonderland, bumping into cute guys? Is it a reverse harem, for example, looking to take down the Queen of Hearts? Or is Hearts more a collection of one shots, loosely tied together by Alice and the Wonderland theme? Something else entirely? What should I be comparing it to?
              There is a plot. Don't try to compare it to anything.

              Are people actually getting shot, beheaded, and so on?
              Er, yes..... but it's not intense or gruesome and

              Spoiler ->none of the main characters are *really* killed in that way.

              The killing has more to do with *unspecified mystery backdrop.* It's really just kind of weapons-happy characters who hate each other like crazy, spending time engaged in a sort of rival gang warfare or fighting over Alice's attentions.

              Most importantly, since it does seem to revolve around Alice's love life, is she a sympathetic/plausible love interest? Or just another character who gets a harem just because?
              .....I feel like this is an oxymoron. Honestly, the answer to your first question is going to be a matter of opinion, though I think she's given reasonable characterizing and development for the material. But seriously....this is an otome game. It's not classic literature. Just run with it.

              Maybe you should see if your local library has the omnibus volumes. I think the ending was rushed, but it was an entertaining read all the same.

              FYI, I really wouldn't compare this to Fruits Basket. Similarities are superficial at best - the occasional ears & tail and the hint of a darker mystery underneath.
              Yay! There's debauchery here!
              Moderating: Manga

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