Honestly it's hard to find words to describe this manga, except that it's truly a work of art. The art is amazing and really helps tell the story without words, but the dialogue is on point as well. It's not a psychological story in the typical sense, but it's more like an abstract piece of art, where even the seemingly simple scenes could be full of deeper meanings.
I honestly respect how the author was able to make it clear what everything meant to the characters in their world, while leaving the symbolism and hidden meanings vague enough for debate. Growing up religious, I initially saw it as a bit of religious symbolism (the serpent, the number of the devil, avoiding temptation and despair, etc), but then I thought perhaps it was about the dangers of war, namely nuclear war, or things that are perfect really are not, and looks are decieving, or even that knowledge itself is dangerous. You'll know what I mean if you read it, but there's a lot going on in a few chapters, and it's charming enough to be enjoyed for what it is on the surface, but the deeper themes make it a much more complex and scary story.
Pure, unbridled talent on full display. I cant even begin to describe how amazing the art is.
The plot is very unique, set in a world inside a book. Don't let this fool you, because each and every page is its own unique world - and guest. A space of endless imagination where everything and anything that you want can come true. Alluring, one might say. Our main character, Alice is a go-happy young girl (or what it appears to be...) that so happens to stumble upon this book. It follows a similar premise as the OG 'Alice in Wonderland', young child enters a strange world, crazy shit ensues, etc. This is what you can exactly expect from Biblomania as well.
I'll drop it here since I think the best way to enjoy this manga is to go in blind. You will definitely not be disapointed with all the twist and turns it goes through.
Also, the title has more meaning than you might think.
Iseriously recommend this manga to everyone. I have never seen anything like it. The art is amazing and every chapter forces you to continue reading
My 1,800th Review!
I've read through this story twice now, and both times were quite enjoyable. It's a condensed story with little to no fluff and a very smooth unfolding of the narrative. There are essentially two phases to the story.
The first phase (ch. 1-6) is the worldbuilding explanation of how the rooms work within the "manor" (as the synopsis calls it) as well as some examples of the various ways the rooms function as escapist fantasies for their occupants. During this phase, Alice's singleminded drive to get back to the real world comes across like a condemnation of escapism in general and an almost heroic act of self-sacrifice for the sake of what's right and good. That said, Alice's personality during this phase is nebulous at best and feir motives and values are only ever vaguely alluded to. Partially based on feir childish appearance and unperturbed mannerisms, Alice can initially come across as innocent. And even as I started to notice some signs of antisocial disregard for other people and cruelty (such as in chapter 6), which created a sense of dissonance with that "innocent" label, I wasn't sure exactly how to interpret it and largely just let it flow over me. Perhaps this was just the rot affecting Alice somehow.
Speaking of the rot, the rotting flesh and warped physique are absolutely gorgeous. There is quite a bit of body horror imagery and gore throughout, and it's all great. In addition to that stuff and the monstrosities, the artist also does a pretty commendable job of portraying abstract concepts and emotions (like insecurity or fear) visually through the artwork. The art is probably the most impressive and greatest aspect of this manga.
The second phase (ch. 7-8) starts out with one of the most intense and beautiful panel sequences I've ever seen (in chapter seven). I don't want to go into too many details within my analysis of this phase since it basically amounts to a plot twist, so I'll just say that the first few chapters of this phase reveal a mystery and the last few chapters provide an explanation for the mystery, and the explanation was very satisfying. Throughout the first phase, there are brief little flashback-like snippets that serve as foreshadowing to this second phase. It's very well put together and I love it. The overarching theme of this manga could be said to be "happiness" and the story ends with us finally learning why Alice's happiness couldn't occur from the wish-granting provided for the occupants of the rooms.
It is quite good. Art is creepy but good so is the story.