Manga Review: Are You Alice? Vol. 8

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland has inspired all sorts of spinoff works, from visual art to movies to manga. However, Ai Ninomiya may have conjured up the most unusual Alice yet.  Are You Alice?, which originally began as a CD series, features a gun-toting male as its Alice! Yen Press has recently released the eighth volume, and you can read on for the review. (If you’re interested in my reviews for previous volumes, click here.)

Back Cover Blurb

After the Alice Fixed Holiday, Alice is ready to return to the task at hand: killing the White Rabbit. But Hatter, determined to break his fealty to the Queen of Hearts and get his time moving again, has other ideas. He leaves Alice in the hands of a courtly armed stranger with a horse-drawn carriage ready to take Alice to the Land Through the Looking-Glass… as its queen?! When Alice and Hatter meet again through the looking-glass not long after, will bodyguard and ward still be on the same page?

The Review

The Alice Fixed Holiday ends, and an intriguing arc begins. With it, we get three new characters and a change of setting. The Land Through the Looking Glass is Alice’s new locale, and the one who guides him there is a handsome gentleman, who is as attentive as the Hatter is indifferent. He doesn’t give his name, but the 88th Alice makes mention of a “White Knight” so perhaps that’s his name? At any rate, the guy wants to make Alice his queen, and it’s fun watching Alice weep from the royal treatment.

As for our other newcomers, they are Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, and they are nothing like the dumpy Disney version. The Tweedles are a pair of bishounen twins, and in this Wonderland story, they are the “Regrets Reissuer” and “New Name Issuer.”

There’s a lot of situational comedy in these chapters as Alice does everything from mangling the Tweedles’ names to freaking out at the Nameless Forest to getting lost in the Land Through the Looking Glass palace. The funny bits are entertaining, but what really makes this arc engaging are the numerous flashbacks to the real Alice and the origins of the White Knight, the Tweedles, and most interestingly, the Cheshire Cat.

On the surface, The Land through the Looking Glass looks like a big detour from the Game to Kill the White Rabbit. However, between the glimpses of the past and revelations from the Tweedles, the story cleverly winds back to the rabbit, and on the way, delivers a stronger sense of the White Rabbit’s intentions and how he’s controlled the Game. While we get more pieces to the puzzle that is the 89th Alice and his “sister,” the truth remains a mystery. The only thing that’s clear is that Wonderland is caught in an endless loop, and it will take something drastic to break the cycle.

Manga extras include closing remarks from the creator and the title page and table of contents printed in color.

In Summary

New characters, new setting, and, best of all, new insights. Through a mix of flashbacks and confessions, we get a glimpse of the myriad motives at play in the Game to Kill the White Rabbit as well a better look into the world of the real Alice. Between these tantalizing revelations and a series of comic interactions, Volume 8 makes a fun and thrilling read.

First published at the Fandom Post.

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