Alice 19th Vol. #01 -

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  • Art Rating: A+
  • Packaging Rating: A+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 1-59116-215-7
  • Size: Tall B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Alice 19th Vol. #01

By Megan Lavey     April 03, 2004
Release Date: October 01, 2003

Alice 19th Vol.#01
© Viz Media

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Yuu Watase
Translated by:JN Productions
Adapted by:

What They Say
Alice Seno is a seemingly shy and meek girl who always seems to be outshined by her older sister Mayura. One day, Alice has an encounter with a mysterious and magical rabbit girl, and her life is turned upside down. Alice discovers that certain words have power, and that she has the potential to be the master of a set of sublimely powerful words called the Lotis Words. But power always comes with a price, and the price may turn out to be Alice's sister Mayura.

The Review
Packaging: The book reminds me of the Cardcaptor Sakura: Master of the Clow covers. Alice, dressed in costume, is in front of a soft gray, purple and pink symbol that is absolutely stunning. Pink bars line the top and bottom of the book with the author and volume information at the bottom.

Now it's time for Megsie-chan's logo check!

The logo really works for the series. Using a fluid cursive script, the font is big and beautiful and is colored with a pink gradient derived from the picture. Absolutely beautiful!

The back of the book is black with a white rounded square with the summary, logo and a smaller version of the picture of Alice that was used on the front. Very neat and clean.

Artwork: It's Yu Watase, which means that there is some absolutely stunning artwork here. When I first saw the book, I thought, "Sakura-chan!" I my mind, Alice could pass for an older version of Sakura Kinomoto from Cardcaptor Sakura. The costume she was wearing and the fact that at first glance, Nyozeka resembles a chibi-Tomoyo didn't help either! Either way, Alice is a very cute heroine and comes across as a bit wiser and mature than Miaka or Aya from Watase's previous works brought over here.

Kyo, established as the male lead, looks like Toya from Ceres: Celestial Legend. The typical Watase bishouen. The supporting cast are also typical Watase-style, but exquisitely drawn.

Orientation/SFX: Unflipped and mostly untranslated. A glossary is provided in the back for sound effects that were not translated, although there are plenty of panels with translated stuff sprinkled through the book.

Text: Nothing really leaped out at me here. It was a very smooth read and a good translation.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The story kicks off with Alice doing e-mail via her cell phone. We don't know who she's writing, but she's asked if there's someone special in their life. There is?an upperclassman in her high school named Kyo. However, her older sister Mayura also has a crush on him.

This takes us down a journey where Alice and Mayura are pitted against each other. Mayura is the very pretty older sister and life pretty much revolves around her. However, Mayura doesn't come across as stuck up and at one point you can tell that in a way she doesn't think it's fair that her parents constantly doting on her prevents Alice from getting what she wants.

Alice, on the other hand, isn't like Miaka or Aya from Watase's previous works. She's shy and quiet and is willing to do anything to please people including submerge her feelings for Kyo in order to allow Mayura a chance for happiness and to go out with a boy her sister sets her up with who tries to force himself on her.

But what changes in the middle of all of this is that Alice comes across a rabbit out in the middle of traffic. After saving the rabbit, Kyo winds up saving her from the traffic. The rabbit leaves, but then Kyo becomes obsessed with finding the animal. What the rabbit has left behind was a bracelet. Shortly thereafter, Alice encounters the rabbit again, who transforms into an extremely cute rabbit girl and calls herself Nyozuka. She said that the symbol on Alice's bracelet is for the word "courage," the 19th of the sacred Lotis Words.

According to Nyozuka, "Words can save people?or they can hurt people." When Alice's true feelings come rushing out her in a verbal attack on her sister, they have the power to make Mayura disappear. Now it's up to Alice to learn the Lotis Words and gain their power in order to find her sister and bring her back.

This manga is in a way Yu Watase's reaction to the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Her author notes are very revealing about the origin of the series and how the power of words and communications drive events rather than violence. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of this series and seeing how this concept develops. As the youngest sister myself, I find Alice very easy to identify with and found Mayura and Kyo to be very endearing themselves. Like Alice, I've found myself in situations where I've said something I wish I could take back. I think many people have and that's where many people will be able to connect with this series. Highly recommended.


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