Alice in the Country of Hearts Volume 1-2* by Hoshino Soumei (February 2nd and March 2nd 2010—respectfully—Tokyopop)
Grade: 2 stars out of 5
Summary: “The girly but bloody otome game re-imagining of Lewis Carroll's classic fantasy novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with bishōnen characters and added romance.
In this story, Alice is not all what she seems. She is practical, strong, yet an cynical person. Instead of the tradition story, Alice is kidnapped unwillingly by a mysterious (yet somewhat bishie-looking**) man with bunny ears into a place call Heartland. Stuck in Heartland due to a trick by the mysterious bunny eared man, she meets the residents of this world. Along the way, Alice meets Blood, handsome mafia leader; Ace, the psycho yet charming knight and more…What should Alice do in such a world!?”
Review: I'm going to switch things up a bit. I'm going to alternate from Monday Mystery and Manga Monday. I read Alice in the Country of Hearts in between The Looking Glass War and Seeing Redd. This was during my Alice in Wonderland frenzy. (I’ve also just read a new manga that has similar attributes from Alice in Wonderland as well; I mean the main character is named Alice!)
Based off the first few volumes I've read I won't be picking it up anytime soon again. Readers who venture past the first couple will find themselves with a much darker tone than the original premise make it out to be (from what I gathered after skimming the next several chapters). It plays with the idea of ‘who am I?’ and all that psychological good stuff. I, unfortunately, had a hard time passing the second volume in this series.
The plotline when first introduced is very, very, extremely simple. *spoilers* find as many people as you can in this world to be able to get back home *end spoilers*. The characters are cliché. Alice is of course charming, innocent, brave, sweet, kind and the savior of the entire other-world dimension and typically have two moods. Peter and the rest of the cast are affected by Alice though I have no idea why! Alice in the Country of Hearts garners so many concerns that even the pretty pictures won’t distract me.
-cover of volume 2 as well-
* this was adapted from a game…I did not know that hmmm. Might make sense now with the overly simple plot.
**Short for bishounen, translated roughly meaning "pretty boy." Used for attractive male anime characters, and sometimes real life. Generally they are sort of girlish looking.