Title: Alice in the Country of Clover: The March Hare Revolution
Author: Quin Rose
Illustrator: Ryo Kazuki
It has been a while but I bring you yet another Alice story. Since my last binge I think I have covered all Alice books but the latest releases which I am at the mercy of my library to eventually get in at this point. Of course, knowing that I am a massive March Hare/Eliot fan, I have been chomping at the bit and salivating for this manga. Then when you toss in the title and the content of past Eliot centric books I was certain that this book was going to be about Eliot’s past and how he broke the rules and shouldn’t be around but Blood rescued him. (A lot of this is covered in country of Joker and in other Eliot centric stories.) Yet, this story was not what I expected it to be, not to say that it is bad thing.
The first thing that jumped out at me in this story was the fact that there is a lizard and a spider on Eliot’s scarf when it comes to the art work something that has been very subtle in the past if it has always been there. It threw me off a bit but at the same time not enough to break the story for me to say the least. What did throw me though was the art work, it was different than what I am used do. Of course the characters are recognizable as always and of course I expect the art work to be different considering that it wasn’t Mamenosuke Fujimaru’s work as most of the books are. However, there are artists who manage to come close to drawing similar to Mamenosuke while other’s fall short, such as Job who draws thinks long and lean. Ryo Kazuki is another artists who does things differently but instead of long and lean Ryo goes more for a soft bubble look. The hair instead of sharp angles as most manga I’m used to is, has a softer more curved look to it. It threw me off for the first few pages. Eventually however I got lost in the story and the art became second nature. I do know that I did appreciate how clear emotions were on the faces of the characters giving the story added life instead of constantly having sound effects notate emotion, or ambiguous drawings that left me guessing at times (the latter of which Job is occasionally guilty of).
Anyway the story is of the developing romance between Alice and Eliot. There isn’t a lot of action, such as an epic plot to pull Alice away from her love or massively put her life in danger. The focus of the story as on Alice and Eliot, as they spend time together and Alice realizes that there is more to her and Eliot than just friendship. The twist and pull of the story that helps give things momentum is the fact that Alice is having dreams of her sister and is wavering on whether to stay or to go back home. She is also frightened by the kind of dangerous life she would have if she stays with Eliot as he is the second in command of a mafia and they were attacked during one of their outings. (Honestly I loved that bit as Eliot was so amazingly protective that it made me a little bit giddy.)
In the end the story was sufficiently cute though not overly heavy or dramatic in regards to romance, very light and airy. Yet it was still rather good and sweet and I found myself giving out a sigh as I closed the book and content that only a very small portion was devoted to a preview of another story rather than a 1/3 of the story being devoted to a preview. Over all I think I would give this book a 3 out of 5 pages. While there are several Eliot centric books that are on my ‘wish to own’ list (read as most – if not all) this one will not be making the list.