One, I want to thank everyone who has bought items off the Yuri Wishlist this year with special thanks to Ted, Dan and Eric. I’m usually a little uncomfortable accepting gifts and everyone’s generosity leaves me a bit breathless. But I believe that accepting gifts graciously is the responsibility of the receiver so, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you all, and especially those three gentlemen. Because of you, Okazu keeps rolling along and I can have clothes and food, too. :-)
All orders between now and 12/23 will go out on the 24th. After that, I’m suspending shipping for a few weeks while I am out of the country. This also goes for all third-party orders for alc_pub items through Amazon. Items purchased through Amazon directly other third party vendors are not affected by this, unless they are on backorder and then there’s a whole other set of issues.
That’s it for my announcements. Today’s review is entirely because of something Dan said today in an email – that Okazu allows him to “groom his inner LFB.” ^-^It’s such a great line, I wanted to do something especially servicey for him today. And looking over my pile of things to review, Key Princess Story: Eternal Alice Rondo, Volume 1 certainly seems to fit the bill.
When I originally read this manga as it ran monthly in Dengeki Daioh I was struck by the sensation that Kaishaku was flailing pretty desperately during this series, in both art and story. Month after month, I slogged through the chapters and basically never figured out what the heck was going on (aside from the obvious.) It came as no surprise to me to find that the story makes no more sense in English than it did in Japanese. Eternal Alice Rondo is simply a shitty story. ^_^
The story is basically the same as that of the anime – there are two famous “Alice” books that everyone knows and a third that was never written. The third lives in the hearts of girls who fight each other for fill-in-the-blank-reason. Aruto, a “nice guy” who loves the Alice books and wants to write his own Alice stories, bumbles into the magic world where these girls fight, and finds he has the ability to read and copy the stories in each girls’ heart. He does this to collect the whole of the third, unwritten book.
Of course that’s not what the story is about. The story is really about the unhealthy obsession Aruto’s sister has for him, her attempts to “get closer to him” while he fights off interest in or from every single female in this female-heavy series. Each girl pretty much represents a fetish, something Kaishaku does with regularity. Aruto’s actual love interest, Arisu, is a dead ringer for his idea of what “Alice” looks like. She seems pretty normal, so you just know there’s going to be a catch. (And there is, but it doesn’t happen in this volume.)
The Yuri fetish is represented in Volume 1 by Kisa, Aruto’s sister Kirara’s bestest friend. Kisa is a monomaniac, as all lesbians are, and incapable of expressing her feelings, as all lesbians are. So she seems pretty realistic. Except for the whole magical girl fighting giant key thing. I have yet to see a lesbian do that. :-) Because Kirara is also a monomaniac, she never notices Kisa’s feelings and because they are both girls Kisa gets away with a lot, without giving anything away. But the relationship is destined to go nowhere. I predict a single farewell kiss as Kisa dies in a future volume. Because we likes our Yuri characters hopeless, crazy and/or dead, yes we do. ;-)
I’m not really torn about Eternal Alice Rondo – I always thought the story sucked. Sucked when I read it the first time, it sucked as an anime and isn’t any better in English. ^_^
Art – Aruto’s hair was criminal – 4 at its best
Story – …seriously? – 4 at best
Characters – Other than Kirara – 5 Kirara – 2
Yuri – 3
Service – your pick, but the incestophiles win – 9
Overall – 4