Writer/Artist: Shiro Ihara
Translator: Christine Schilling
Adapted By: Christine Schilling
What They Say:
Alice's trouble seems to know no bounds when she has to deal with a shinigami worse than Lapan. (Is that even possible?) Then she has a run-in with the king of the shinigami. Some days it doesn't pay to be a girl trapped in the body of a skeleton...
What We Say:
It's summer! So time for all of the girls to run down the to beach and frolic in their swimsuits! Never mind that this has absolutely nothing to do with finding the Mad Hatter, this is all about fanservice. Hell, there aren't even any shibito at the beach, there's just a bunch of sea weed and a shark. Enough about that, though, what better way is there to relax after the beach than going to an onsen? That's right, it's a one-two punch of requisite anime locations that are typically heavy on fanservice and low on content. Unsurprisingly, this volume does not push the boundaries in any way what so ever and these first two chapters remain as senseless as possible. Things do take a turn towards the substantive, however, with the sudden appearance of a new villain who kidnaps Alice. No, it doesn't really matter that they didn't actually resolve anything with the Mad Hatter yet.
As stupid as it is that Ihara is introducing another main villain only one volume after they introduced the previous main villain - and did nothing with him - and only one volume away from the end of the series, it turns out that this new villain is the best thing that has happened to this title by a long shot. Heavens no, do not think that his inclusion can, in any way, make this a manga that even remotely boarders on quality. It just so happens that this character is a diamond in the fetid, bilious rough that is the rest of the book. Unlike the Mad Hatter, the new villain isn't a complete joke, he is actually evil and he evidences this by doing terrible things. He puts people in terrible situations, kills others, then smirks at flaccid protagonists. It's stupid that I should get excited about all this because these actions are the sort of things that villains are supposed to do, it's just that in a book like this one, when something is done in a legitimately entertaining way, it's a damn revelation.
Even though going through the motions of trying to rescue Alice and capture the new villain takes up more than half the book, this volume is just as bad as the two before it and is a complete waste of time. See, Alice on Deadlines is one of those reviewer goldmine books; it's a title that is so bad that it awakens reviewer blood lust with a free ticket to mercilessly demolish. It's fun to write and it's fun to read. Even though he is the best thing about the book, I hate that this new villain is in here because that means that I actually have to say something good about him. So, him aside, let's finish this up.
Alice on Deadlines is an experiment in non-invasive lobotomy sciences. Something this bad can only be a coordinated attempt by mad scientists and Square Enix to liquefy brain cells through reading and make you more susceptible to other mediums – JRPGs, perhaps? Just as with the last two volumes, this third one does nothing more than invent ways to put the main characters in fetishized costumes and situations. The plot continues to be vapid at best, incomprehensible at worst. Character relationships change at the drop of a hat, and the overall of what the characters are doing seems to change from volume to volume. The further into this series that I read, the more it becomes blatantly obvious that there isn't actually a story in here, it's just a loose collection of ideas punctuated by Lapan doing or saying something perverted. It's as if someone commissioned an illustrated version of an epileptic jamboree for all the annoying things that have ever happened in manga and anime, past, present, and future. Because of that, this is easily one of the worst manga available.