Yuri Manga: Eternal Alice Rondo, Volume 2 (English)

March 3rd, 2008

Long-time readers of Okazu (all of whom are clearly intelligent, discriminating people) will certainly have looked at the title of today’s review and asked “Why, Erica, why? Why do you continue to torture both us and yourself by continuing to review this and other Kaishaku series?”

The answer is three-fold: 1) Because their work has Yuri; 2) Because it amuses me to do so and mostly importantly; 3) I don’t know, I can’t stop myself. ^_^;

In any case, today we are looking at Eternal Alice Rondo Key Princess Story Volume 2, rendered for the English-speaking audience by the brave women and men at DrMaster.

Volume 1 set up the story in which obsessed Lewis Carrol otaku Aruto finds himself able to enter marvielleux space and observe and affect “Alice” fights between a host of girls who represent a host of fetishes. Aruto finds himself the subject of a rivalry between his obsessively adoring little sister Kiraha and Arisu, who is the very picture of Aruto’s idea of what an “Alice” should be.

Volume 2 starts in the middle of a fight with Akane, a mentally disturbed pryomaniac, segueing bizarrely (I was going to write “smoothly” there, but realized that the sarcasm would probably go unnoticed,) into a chapter about Kiraha and her obsessively adoring best friend Kisa making cookies. *Magic* cookies. Cookies that will make the person who eats them fall in love with you. Kisa wants Kiraha to fall in love with her, Kiraha wants Aruto to fall in love with her, and in the end the cookies make the person who makes them fall in love with the person who they made them for. In other words, nothing changes.

This is followed by the shocking revelation that the author of the Alice books is still alive – oh wait, not, he’s a descendant that looks, acts, sounds and dresses exactly the same. Of course. He offers Aruto a chance to be play a part in the creation of the third, unwritten Alice book. Clearly he is holding something back. Like his insanity.

Another smooth segue into a ghost story, followed by a pool episode. Kisa spends the entire time thinking about, fantasizing about and focusing on Kiraha, who only has eyes for Aruto. Who, if he wasn’t such a loser, would only have eyes for Alice.

Suddenly, we are wallowing around in the most painful memories of our various Alices, set off by an unnamed enemy, who uses those painful thoughts to defeat her opponents. Haha on her, Arisu has no memories, so she wins that round.

But Suwa has no intention of giving up, so she releases crazy Akane, and immediately regrets it, because she can’t keep her under any kind of control. Suwa manages to get a hold of Kirika and forces her to be her slave.

We’re introduced to a handful of other Alices, all of whom realize that they are actually in the series Rozen Maiden. A battle royale is about to begin, presided over by the Alice Master who, in another shocking revelation, turns out to be not a descendant of Alternate L. Takion, the author of the Alice books, but the man himself.

Suwa meets up with Arisu and decides that one slave isn’t enough.

We close the book with a sigh of relief.

DrMaster does as good a job as one can do with this series. The translation is as coherent as it can possibly be within the context of an incoherent storyline, and it is not the reproduction’s fault that it’s hard to see what’s going on in the action scenes.

If you are a fan of any of the various fetishes represented in the series, especially incest, which is the predominant meme, and plot, character and internal consistency don’t mean much to you, this series is certainly worth a look. For fans of previous Kaishaku works who watched or read for the Yuri storylines, I’d recommend sticking with Kannazuki and Kyoshiro both of which have much more satisfying Yuri couples than Kisa’s unrequited – and rather tedious- love for Kiraha.

Ratings:

Art – 5 sometimes I could even make out what was going on…
Story – 5 – this volume started to make sense, which worried me
Characters – Averaging out at 5, but I liked Akane for being completely bugfucked
Yuri – 4
Service – 8
Overall – 5

I almost feel like reviewing something else tonight, just to get this out of my brain…. ^_^

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