Alice 19th Vol. #04 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, July 01, 2004
Release Date: Thursday, April 01, 2004
Translated by:JN Productions
What They Say
Jealousy makes the heart grow darker and Mayura's envy of Alice and Kyo's developing relationship makes her vulnerable to being devoured by Darva, dark mistress of the Maram words. Neo Lotis Masters, Alice and Kyo are the only ones who have even a chance against Darva, but are they strong enough to go up against this most formidable of enemies?
Packaging: The cover returns to a lighter feel, with light greys and dark blues surrounding a picture of Frey, who is eating what looks like grapes. The greys look rather dull to me, especially after the vibrant covers we had for the first three volumes. A quick peek at the volume five sitting on my desk reveals the same shade of grey being used as the primary color. The logo, once again, reflects the color scheme in Frey's picture. The back cover is black, with the summmary inside a white box and a smaller picture of Frey that is the same used on the front cover.
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. The reproduction is solid, with good, crisp blacks and attention paid to detail.
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. The addition here that is really nice is a guide to the Lotis Words. There are so many being tossed around that they are starting to become confusing. So, with Nyozeka as our guide, she begins to teach us what the Lotis Words are and what they're used for. This is a VERY valuable resource.
Content: (May contain spoilers)
This volume picks up where the last left off, with Alice struggling with Kyo's declaration and the curse that Mayura placed on him. The majority of the book centers around Alice and Kyo dancing around their feelings for each other. Kyo persistently tells Alice that he loves her while she does her best to express her feelings back without actually telling him.
Surrounding all of this is Mayura, whose jealousy for Kyo and Alice causes her to take action. She attacks her sister while they're bathing, then proceeds to take over Tokyo's Metropolian Tower with Darva possessing her. This causes Kyo and Alice to fully accept their duties as Lotis Masters and vow to defeat the Maram while saving Mayura in the process. They immediately do battle with Mayura at the tower, but Alice is hurt during the fight. This is when they meet up with a young Lotis Master, Chris from England, who takes them to the new headquarters in Tokyo. That's when he informs Kyo, Alice and Frey that they will all be living together.
Alice goes home to tell her family after Frey makes a declaration of his own to her, and Kyo goes home to tell his uncle - only to find out that Mayura's been at work again...
This was a pretty eventful volume if you put it in context, but in reality, nothing was actually done. It pretty much formalizes what was set up in the first three volumes - that Kyo and Alice love each other, that Mayura is completely taken over by Darva, Frey has feelings for Alice and Kyo and Alice formally become Lotis Masters.
For those reasons, everything seemed to come to a stanstill. The exchange between Alice and Frey reminded me of the one between Aya and Yuhi in Ceres: Celestial Legend, when he also declares his feelings. Alice and Kyo themselves seem to morph into Miaka and Tamahome from Fushigi Yugi, every time he declares his love and she pushes him away. Seeing those scenes and those plots basically be reused from some of Watase's older works causes Alice and Kyo to lose their uniqueness. Even Mayura is reminding me of Yui from Fushigi Yugi.
There are some things I really like about the volume. The introduction of the new Lotis Master, Chris, was interesting - as well as learning about some of the different powers of the Lotis Masters and Maram Masters. My favorite part of the book was the exchange between Alice and her mother at the end. Alice comes home to find that Mayura has destroyed her room and Mayura exposes Alice's relationship with Kyo to her parents. While Alice's father immediately leaves the scene, Alice's mother goes up to her and says that Alice must be hurting as much as Mayura. She is very calm and does her best to not take sides with this. I really like this, because it shows that the parents have grown because of the ordeal their daughters are going through.
Alice 19th is still a good series, and having volume 5 in hand, I know that it quickly rises back to the original vitality that it has. But, this volume is bogged down by conventions that Yu Watase uses in her other works and causes the story to lose its uniqueness. But, it is still a good read and a good volume to pick up to get the finer details and to see Alice and Kyo in battle mode. Oh, and the Lotis guide at the back of the book is a must.
Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: A+
Packaging Rating: A-
Text/Translatin Rating: A
Age Rating: All
Released By: Viz Media
Size: Tall B6
Orientation: Right to Left