Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Alice in The Country of Hearts vol. 1 Impression

Alice in The Country of Hearts volume 1
With another Alice story getting all the attention Tokyopop has quietly released their own versioning of Wonderland full of gangsters, murder, mayhem and pretty boys. Yes, Alice in the Country of Hearts volume 1 is a very unique take on Alice’s trip down the rabbit hole and while it shares much in common with the source material it does so much to set itself apart and become a unique and enjoyable tale.

Alice Liddell seems pretty normal; just another young girl with a pretty older sister whom she spends time with on a lazy Sunday afternoon discussing interesting dreams, clothes and a story of wonderland. As their conversation finishes Alice decides to take a nap, one which will lead her into a very unique and dangerous land. Soon she is swept up in the arms of Peter White, a man with white rabbit ears, who sweeps her down a large hole in her yard to Wonderland and before she knows it, through a kiss, she consumes a vial of liquid which begins a game. The game is never fully explained, nor is Wonderland as Alice is left on her own and soon confronted by two young gatekeepers, another man with rabbit ears and a very familiar looking man named Blood. All are armed to the teeth and only by chance is Alice saved. Soon Alice finds someone who can explain things in Julius Monrey, the owner of the Clock Tower. She learns she is indeed in a new land, one at war, divided into the Heart Castle, the Amusement Part and the Hatters Mansion. This strange game sees Alice meet more interesting people, some with duties (and faces) others without. What is this game and why does everyone seem to have a crush on Alice? Not only must Alice deal wit the moody Julius and the leaders of each territory but while she sleeps she interacts with a demon called Nightmare … who seems fairly under the weather. How is Alice going to adapt in a world where life is treated with utter disregard and gunfights are the norm? The game it seems has just begun.

More story points than I usually chat about but the fact is I’ve not even touched on any of her interactions beyond Blood and that is skimmed. Not knowing is part of the fun as a reader as is seeing how this classic tale has been modeled to fit a world of very pretty manga boys. That’s the next interesting story point, almost every character is male, some have animal characteristics (ears) and grow close to Alice … like a twisted dating sim. Such an interesting way to tell this story and so unique at that. With as strong as Quinrose’s story is the art of Soumei Hoshino is amazing. The fine level of detail, unique characters and settings, emotions, humor and plain beauty in design make this one of my favorite art styles in any manga. It’s truly beautiful and not in the typical ‘dreamy’ shojo way but a solid manga way. It’s manga 101 to the highest degree and really fun to read.

Overall with top notch art and an interesting, mystery filled take on a well known story I have to urge fans of Alice and/or fantasy manga in general to give Alice in The Country of Hearts a try. Pick it off a store shelf or read preview online, you won’t be sad.


  1. i agree 100% This manga is one of the best, and it is so original its hardly like the dull, original, Alice In Wonderland.

  2. Are you stupid? The original Alice in Wonderland is NOT dull. Maybe it was a little too difficult for you to understand, hmm?

    Anyway, I do love these books! I would have never seen Wonderland in the perspective that this series does....dang, The Mad Hatter is a mafia leader. O.O

  3. i love..Blood :D yayy
    but this series is great i read the first 2 books like months ago in the summer and havnt seen this review i was looking around to see if they made it into an anime yet
    and well i showed this manga to my friends and they went crazy over it! one of them bought the 3rd book so like 2 months later i was able to read the 3rd book (which was the other day) manga is so expensive these days ._.
    anyways im so excited cant wait to read the rest if anyone EVER heres auditions for voices if funimation turns this into an anime someone tell me!!! :D