Aruto is obsessed with the Alice's Adventures in Wonderland novels, and wishes he could read the rumored third book – The Eternal Alice. One night, he looks through the window and sees a strangely-dressed girl jumping from rooftop to rooftop. Convinced that she is Alice, Aruto decides to follow her. The girl he saw is actually named Arisu Arisugawa, and she and several other girls known as 'Seekers of Alice' have parts of the story locked away in their hearts. Their goal is to defeat the other Seekers in combat, eventually completing the legendary book - but those who lose the fights are forced to give up their stories. With Aruto's help, will Arisu be able to complete the book without taking the stories of other Seekers?
Eternal Alice is an anime series that is largely overlooked, even by other fans of magical girl animes. After seeing that this anime is not only a magical girl anime but also is inspired by one of my favorite fairy tales, Alice in Wonderland, I decided to give it a shot. The ratings certainly weren't ideal but I decided to overlook them as I typically do. However, after watching this series, I've come to the conclusion that it truly isn't the greatest anime out there. Story: Eternal Alice follows the story of Aruto, a middle school boy who loves Alice in Wonderland so much he basically decided to make a fanfic for it. As someone suffering from so-called "Alice Mania," his days surrounded finishing the story that the original author here, Alternate Takion, was unable to finish due to his death. While writing one day, he sees a strange girl in a strange outfit in the distance jumping across rooftops. This girl is later revealed to be Arisu, a magical girl fighting for one reason only: to collect all the pages of the "Eternal Alice" story, a book Alternate Takion had been writing before he died but never published. Turns out Arisu went to Aruto's school. The two become close and Aruto, who has the unique ability to copy down the stories of other magical girls - or "Alice Seekers" as they're called here - who had lost in a fight against Arisu. The weapons all have keys or are keys, which can "unlock the story in one's heart." Magical girl battles usually end with these keys jabbed in various other Alice Seekers' chests. It's best comparable to a diary with a lock on it; the keys can turn people's memories into stories written on paper. With the help of various other characters, Aruto and Arisu learn more and more about "Alice," Takion himself, and the story behind the books they love so dearly. Truthfully, the story is actually pretty good. I more-so have a problem with how it was executed. The story seems rushed at times, and there's often random plot reveals tossed at the viewer. Foreshadowing doesn't happen much here. Aruto is meant to copy down the stories of the Alice Seekers so they don't have to kill them for good, but he only ends up doing this a few times. For some reason Aruto and Arisu start to have a romance plot, but it's hard to really care when you rarely see moments between the two of them alone. There's a subplot of Kiraha (Aruto's younger sister) and Kisa (her creepy friend, I'll talk more about her in the character section) as well, but it's also just as bad and rushed. I found myself annoyed by their plot on many occasions. Also, in case you still want to watch this story regardless: you don't need to watch episode 13. In episode 12 they have a decent ending that wraps up the story well, but for some reason they made an entire other extra episode with no plot significance. It's a bad isekai episode that is probably made for the fans, but as a fan, it was annoying and boring. Animation: It's an old anime... for it's time, the animation was decent I guess. Sound: Decent as well. Characters: The characters may be the worst part of this entire anime. Alright, Aruto isn't a bad character; he's a little generic, sure, but his story is interesting and it's fun to follow him learning the truth behind the story he loved so dearly. However, I will admit that he is somewhat weird sometimes. He's the male protagonist... of course he ends up being written in weird fanservice scenes. Arisu is a good character, too. She honestly deserved better... her "backstory" should've been foreshadowed from the very start of the series, but she's basically just a blank slate until episode 6 or 7. I really like how she isn't a generic "doormat" female protagonist; when people make selfish requests for her to follow, she'll stand her ground and not step aside. She's an interesting character who follows her own rules and ideals. Meanwhile, we have the other female protagonist - Kiraha. Now, it's a trend in old magical girl anime for the male protagonist to have an extremely annoying little sister with a brother complex... that's Kiraha. Something she says often is "I love Aruto, not as my brother but as a man." What? She was annoying for the first few episodes. Her entire personality revolved around being Aruto's little sister with a brother complex - that's literally it. However, when she finally quits pursuing him in one of the final episodes, I really began to appreciate her more. She became someone who pushed Aruto to stop being a coward. She actually has a pretty decent character arc, although I'd argue it should've accelerated at a much quicker pace. Her and Aruto's backstories aren't even spoken about much. Maybe if there was some reason for her to be so attatched to him, it wouldn't have been so irritating to see her huffing and puffing about Aruto getting close with Arisu. Kirika is a character mainly around for fan service. I swear, every time she's on screen there's a "look at big tiddy anime girl" shot. She, too, deserved way better than she got. Her story is actually super interesting, yet there's never really a conclusion for it that makes her even more mysterious. Now, we get to the worst, most annoying character I mentioned prior: Kisa. This character's ENTIRE purpose is that she's annoying and obsessed with Kiraha. She's creepy, perverted, and stalks her classmate. This girl even pulls aside Arisu someday just to say "Stop hanging out with Aruto, it makes Kiraha sad." Excuse me? She even has an entire collection of Kiraha's trash, items, underwear, and even swimsuit... and it's never addressed. Her entire character is a giant joke like "haha look at the obsessive girl obsessed with another girl." Kisa has no personality or story of her own, everything about her surrounds Kiraha. If Kiraha has a brother complex, Kisa has a... friend complex? To an extreme level. Oh, and she also has big boobs, so you can BET she's used for fan service a lot too. Not as much as Kirika, but still. The enemies are... actually good. Their stories are foreshadowed early on, the plot twist is great, and they play good roles. Other "Alice Seekers" usually just show up and have little to no stories or backstories. We'll see some really sad scene of their past and never see these characters again. Really?
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