Alice to Zouroku – 02-03

Piggy Ex Nihilo!

This little piggy was conjured from thin air, he might have went to market. This little piggy was also conjured from thin air, I don’t exactly know where his home is, but still, many pigs were also conjured and they were all taken away for testing in the end. I suppose many of them were going Wee Wee Wee. All in all, Stranger Things are afoot in…

The Dreams of Alice


Show ▼

So we pick up pretty much where we left of last time. Sana was finally able to catch some much needed zeees, meaning that she had found some badly needed security since running away from that wretched test facility. Zouroku, pretty much sticking to that oldster style of thought, thinks that if the kid’s asleep, you can just lock the door and leave; what could happen!? Besides, his granddaughter is coming soon, she’ll take care of things. That’s what you do, take care of things, no matter how out of sorts they are. This is the first big clue that Sanae is a lot more mature than her young years let on, that her grandfather could have that trust. Not only does the appearance of a stranger sleeping in her home not perturb her, she plays along and adjusts accordingly. It’s almost as if this is something she’s been wanting for quite some time – at least that’s the vibe I’m getting. She’s so chill that Sanae, a perfect companion to a strange, lonely little girl than can conjure pigs out of nothing! This is also an excellent performance by what should surely be a Japanese national treasure, Aki Toyosaki.

Don’t you wish you had this power?

Show ▼

I have to admire a show like this, switching as easy as it does from flying witch style iyashikei and then over to the Frankenstein or experiment gone wrong tale in mere moments, and then back again without hardly any of the seams showing. That’s some good scripting, and it really sells the point of our main character Sana being more than just the sum or her anime trope parts. I’m pretty sure this was achieved by keeping most of the scenes confined to Zouroku’s very lovely traditional style two-story house. Goodness, I love that place! This gave it a very homey atmosphere, and provided us with a sense of normality. Besides watching Sanae play mother and make delicious pancakes, I marveled at how Sana enjoyed herself making the stairs squeak, just like the new childhood discover it very much was; the kicker was having Sana and Sanae play the “is it ready yet? No, not yet” game for second pancakes. In that respect, Sanae is a great seamstress.

…life has a pattern…

Show ▼

There was also a great pivot in there, when Sana conjures pancakes from nothing, and then collapses from the weight of her own power. She’s not ready to deal with what has to be a tremendous deal of emotional – and biological? –  baggage the research facility put her under. She’s deflecting, and she’s remembering the good parts, recalling the twins are her friends, of course, but she’s also blurring the lines in how inhuman her past must have made her feel. She uses that word exactly, and she conjures the crown in her mind’s eye right in concert with the horror she remembers that they unleashed. There is a part of her that knows she’s a monster, and a part of her that denies it. There’s also a part of her power that isn’t ready yet either; or else why all the false starts? Did you notice how her tone shifted when relating her experiences? It sounded more mature and distant. Did you notice that moment when Sanae was so caught in that, but the concern over the second pancakes shook her out? Just good writing, right there. So when Sanae says the two of them are alike, she’s alluding to her own missing childhood, her own missing parents. A memory that Sana conjured up while asleep; maybe it’s close to the surface?

Been all over…..from the comfortable and familiar

Show ▼

Trumps or Minnie C. Tachibana

How to be right and wrong at the same time x 2

So before the second episode played out we were introduced to two more characters, Naitou Ryuu (the Dragon!) and Ichijou Shizuku. Zouroku has called in his old acquaintance, Naitou for a favor as he used to do policing, and is now part of a private firm. He brings Shizoku along as his junior partner. It seems, that along with  K & C Pharmaceuticals, there are other folks interested in having crazy Wonderland powers at their beck and call? One of them looks to be the lady whom I called Van-chan during the FI;  Yamada Noriko, she’s the tech. But they also cart away the pigs that Sana and Sanae brought with them the last jump; a great deal of this has upset Sana, as her experiences don’t take into account upsetting someone like Zouroku, who pretty much just starts a negative feedback loop with her. Kids will cry for a reason, but if it goes on too long, the younger ones will cry…simply they’re upset and crying. I wonder if her finishing her apology will come back next episode? I thought they captured this sort of behavior very well. Sana mentioned Zouroku being a good cook,so maybe that will finally patch things up? Naitou has something else in mind when asking that Sana become part of his old friend’s family. Seeing as how Shizuku also has a Dream of Alice, then both sides of the well go pretty deep.

“Isn’t smiling all the time the same thing as never smiling?”

But we’ve got much more plot beyond Sana and company boiling up. We have Minnie C. Tachibana, or just Minnie C as she asks to be called. She’s a recent war veteran. She suffers from PTSD, brought on by losing her husband, and being to near a bomb that went off. But when she imagined her husband’s arms embracing her, he symptoms subsided and it was soon discovered she was a Dream of Alice, or a Trump, as Kouichi uses the nomenclature. She’s very efficient our Minnie C, and let’s just say that Noriko Moto is good at playing driven characters such as her. To that end she’s become K & C’s enforcer/hunter. But that’s not a light she’s held in by all, as our magic drawing kid, Kureo, seems to mistrust her considerably, finding her scary. Something tells me this is one of those stories that should have been listening to the kids all along, but we’ll see. But with a great deal of ruthlessness she tracks down and captures Sana. Not even the Dragon’s people are able to offer much up in terms of defense, the tracking device was planned for in Minnie C’s plans.

Crossing the line from relatable antagonist to villain…

Those plans are understandable on one level but terrifying on another. Both Kouichi and Minnie C don’t seem to care what they’ve found and are using when it comes to Wonderland. If they’re demons, then that’s fine, we’ll put them to our uses, and because we can command them, our uses are perfectly fine. That seems to be unbridled avarice on Kouichi’s part, but very specific on Minni C’s. To use Sana’s powers to bring back her dead husband. This is a hoary old trope to be sure when it comes to the supernatural, or science-fiction, but that keeps it very close to it’s Frankenstein roots; using power to exceed human limitations..what gods and monsters it brings! It seems that everyone is feeling justified in the use of this power on the K & C side. So with that in mind, did anyone notice how people are missing memories this episode? How some things seem familiar but aren’t to some characters, or how people they’ve already met are totally forgotten? Oh my…

More Trumps and Bumps

Playing with the Red Queen

Show ▼

Well, as usual, I’ve rambled on for quite some time, so I’ll keep my final thoughts on the short side. I’m glad to have picked this series up, as it it tremendous food for thought. Carl Jr’s? Keep me in mind, I’ll see if Kyo can rent the space out! Anime Like You Mean It! Am I right? But how do you think the next episode will proceed? Does the Dragon have a hidden power, or does Shizuku, or both? Will they be able to beat Minnie C? Or will the mystery character from the first episode come back and save the day? Will Sana ever trust people after this? Tune in for the…

Special thanks to DDY


All around nerd that enjoys just about any anime genre. I love history, politics, public policy, the sciences, literature, arts...pretty much anything can make me geeky...except sports. Follow me @theskylion
Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

Leave a Reply