Rhaynebow's avatar

Rhaynebow

  • Joined Dec 5, 2012
  • ? / F

There's a trick to adapting dating sims into ANY form of media; choosing which storyline for the protagonist to follow. This will inevitably lead to some displeased fans who may have preferred a different story, but they would have to accept that it would be the most popular storyline with the token suitor of the series that would be adapted. Alice in the Country of Hearts, while otome games aren't nearly as adapted as the typical sims, has no excuse to ignore this staple of adaption. Yet it does, and it leads to an unpredictable mess of a manga with characters that just HAPPEN to be named after Alice in Wonderland characters.

STORY: Once Alice arrives in Wonderland, it completely departs from the Wonderland story and simply focuses on her encounters with the various men (+ 1 woman) who will all inevitably fall in love with her in SOME shape or form.  Each chapter will most likely involve Alice getting abused in some certain fashion and her responding in mostly unrealistic ways. Case-in-point, when Ace pushes Alice down to hear her heartbeat, her ONLY reaction is 'Oh God, his face is hitting my chest-!'..no crap, Sherlock now push the pervert off you like a REAL person! And did we mention that EVERY person is in love with her? There's little actual LOVE in this manga as all the characters show their feelings for Alice in aggressive ways.

Perhaps the BIGGEST offender in Hearts' story is the amount of whiplash you will get while reading this. Aggressive "Romantic" scenes from the moment they start can become comedic or heartfelt with the flip of a page. ANY type of action the series attempts to have are quickly extinguished by Alice either yelling at the offenders for being idiots or crying about their lack of values for life (no joke, this ALWAYS happens!).

ART: Though I personally dislike shojo art, I tried to be as unbiased as I could here. At SOME angles the characters look pretty attractive. As the characters get older, they EASILY get more beautiful. (Compare the Dum twins to Julius~) At other angles, though, they look a tad chunky and have huge noses. Wide-eyed characters are also subject to becoming very serious in a short amount of time (there's that whiplash again.) The actual setting of Wonderland rarely gets any drawings unfortunately since this is a character-driven "story". It's a bit of a shame really.

CHARACTERS: FACT:REFERENCES TO ALICE IN WONDERLAND ARE BY NAME ONLY. Aside from that and few similar designs, the characters and setting of Hearts possess little in common with the characters they're named after. Peter White, for example, is the white rabbit. Besides bringing Alice to Wonderland, he has no obsession with time and isn't late for anything.

The characters themselves are all a mystery to Alice. Their methods of showing her affection are limited to aggression or ignoring her. Perhaps the only NICE people here are the two rabbits Elliot and Peter, who also get pretty low amounts of lovely-dovey time with her, compared to everyone else who literally can't keep their hands off her.

There are also these faceless folks in Wonderland, and rather than just letting them be unimportant people with no reason to be named, the main characters address them as "Those without Duties". Seriously, they're just unimportant people. No need to rub salt in the wounds.

There's also this semi-relevant plot point that all the people in Wonderland have clocks instead of hearts beating inside them and that when they die, the clocks are sent to a clock maker to be repaired and they're reborn, just without their memories. This is used to explain why Wonderlanders care so little about their lives, but it seems more like a reason for the characters to fight each other so Alice can cry and yell at them.

OVERALL: In regards to the staple of adaptation, what Alice in the Country of Hearts does wrong is that there is no CENTRAL storyline that's being followed. Every character we meet shows affection for Alice in some way so it's impossible to tell which character's storyline we're following. Alice's lack of development makes it even more challenging to figure out who she loves back. The "finale" of the series seems like a name was just drawn out of hat. Not only did this character show little feelings for Alice in the first place, but they played a big part in Alice's real life that she hated with a burning passion.

Overall, this whole series was a mismatched pile of Fanfiction fodder. The story was impossible to follow, the characters were bipolar, and the actual ROMANCE this series was meant to be was delivered via forms of cliche physical/psychological abuse. All wrapped up in an Alice in Wonderland bow. Why they believe Otome gamers love this kind of stuff is beyond me.

4/10 story
6/10 art
4/10 characters
4/10 overall

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