Alice 19th Vol. #03 -

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Mania Grade: A+

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  • Art Rating: A+
  • Packaging Rating: A+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.95
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 1-59116-230-0
  • Size: Tall B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Alice 19th Vol. #03

By Megan Lavey     April 28, 2004
Release Date: March 01, 2004

Alice 19th Vol.#03
© Viz Media

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

What They Say
Jealous of Alice and Kyo's feelings for each other, Mayura embraces the forces of the dark nether world she is trapped in and ventures to use the negative power of the Maram Words. Sibling rivalry reaches new heights when the Seno sisters are pitted against each other armed with the power of words!

The Review
There are a lot of twists and turns that take place in this volume. Even though they are typical to Yu Watase's work, they never fail to cause your jaw to sag.

Packaging: The cover takes a dark, sinster tone with Mayura dressed in black lace taking center stage here. The dark crimsons and greys really fit the way Mayura's character has become. A pair of arms with sigils branded into them are reaching around Mayura, drawing her in as she gives the reader a dark look. It's pretty creepy.

Artwork: Once again, it?s up to Watase standards, which features lush, detailed scenery and characters. If you?ve seen one of her works, you?ve seen them all.

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. A solid translation overall.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

With Alice's mother in the hospital and her father missing, Frey and Kyo decide to temporairly move in and watch over Alice. While this is accompanied by the typical walking in on a naked member of the opposite sex scene, they also discover what caused Alice's mother to fall ill in the first place and what happened to her father.

They manage to head into Alice's father's heart, where they discover that Mayura was the one who had taken him into the darkness. The experience causes both Alice and Kyo to realize their feelings for each other and for Alice to confront Mayura about them. But as she does so, she discovers that both her and Kyo are what are termed "special lotus master." And there is a darker force at work, who's playing Mayura like a puppet. Even though Alice's father and Mayura both come home, things aren't resolved and they wind up taking a tragic turn for Alice and Kyo...

This book can be quite confusing. With the tossing around of all the new Lotis words and the origins behind them, but it's extremely hard to put down once you start reading. There are some twists thrown in here that you don't quite expect to happen, but you're not surprised when they do either. And it doesn't make them any less shocking. This is one of those series where you really need to read each volume twice, once to see what happens and again to absorb the events.

This book really advances the relationship between Alice and Kyo, and it also advances the relationship Alice and Mayura and Alice and her parents. The final one is resolved to a point where I'm satisfied. The Seno parents aren't completely enlightened about what's going on, but they understand that they helped cause it.

Meanwhile, things between Alice and Mayura take a downward spiral, but Alice sees what is really going on in Mayura's mind at times. Alice again shows how fast she's maturing by finding the strength to be honest with her feelings. That's not easy for her. But those familiar with the Miaka/Yui friendship from Fushigi Yugi can see the similarities with Alice/Mayura and at times, Mayura's actions reminded me a lot of Yui. But the difference to me is that I feel I care more about Alice and I can identify with Alice a whole lot better than I could with Miaka.

There are several times in this volume that I'm reminded of previous Yu Watase works (particularly Fushigi Yugi) and other series such as Cardcaptor Sakura. But what keeps me hooked are the character-driven relationships. These relationships cause the larger quest for the Lotis Words to take a back seat, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. One of the problems with Fushigi Yugi was that it tried to do the same thing, but it had such a large cast and it was hard to give the same focus without having some of the characters suffer. With Alice 19th, there are four core characters and a supporting cast that's roughly the same size for now. It's easier to really delve into the characters and make you care about them. And with the cliffhanger this volume ended on, I can't wait for the next to come out. Highly recommended.


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