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Alice in the Country of Hearts (ハートの国のアリス ~Wonderful Wonder World~ Heart no Kuni no Alice ~Wonderful Wonder World~?) is a Japanese manga comic based off a series of dating-Sim games female-oriented romance

Name Alice in the Country of Hearts
Kanji ハートの国のアリス
Volumes 6 (35 chapters)
Author QuinRose
Illustrator Hoshino Soumei
Publisher

Mag Garden (Japanese)

TokyoPop (English)

Original Run July 2008 - (2010/2011)

adventure game developed by QuinRose under the same title, [[| ja_romaji = Heart no Kuni no Alice ~Wonderful Wonder World~|Alice in the Country of Hearts game]] . The story is a re-imagining of Lewis Carroll's classic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The manga series is illustrated by Hoshino Soumei and published by Mag Garden. An original video animation adaptation was announced for release in November 2008, but was later delayed. The manga has been licensed in Taiwan by Tong Li Publishing, and in English by Tokyopop.


Plot summary

Alice Liddell is an insecure girl who is jealous of her sister's beauty and grace. During one of their outings, Alice's sister goes to get a deck of cards for a game while Alice falls asleep. When a white rabbit comes and encourages her to chase him, Alice assumes she is dreaming and tries to go back to napping until the rabbit turns into a man with white rabbit ears and carries her off. Peter White (the rabbit-man) throws Alice into a hole that appears in her yard and jumps in after her. When they land in a strange, open area, Alice is frightened and Peter starts confessing his love for her. He tells her to drink some a potion and when she refuses, he simply pours the liquid into his mouth and kisses her, forcing her to drink it. He then announces that she has become a part of a "game". It is later revealed that this liquid is some kind of way to prevent her from going home. Alice learns that she is in Wonderland and the only way she might be able to return to her world is to interact and spend time with the strange people in Wonderland, which slowly refills the medicine vial. However, Wonderland is going through violent times - everyone is reckless and uncaring as to who lives or dies, and with a civil war going on, they care even less.

Characters

Most characters in Alice in the Country of Hearts are very loosely based on Lewis Carroll's originals, though there are also a few invented by QuinRose.

REAL WORLD characters are the few people in the story who exist or are from the real world.

ROLE PLAYERS are the characters that have a some specific role to play in Wonderland. They can be distinguished by the fact that they have full faces. It is learned from Vivaldi that faceless servant characters can gain a face once they have a role, as seen when Vivaldi herself was a faceless character until she was picked to play the role of the queen.

FACELESS SERVANT characters are those who have no faces (essentially no eyes and no unique features). They often exist as either a servant of one of the territories or a nameless citizen.

CHServants

Servants at the Castle of Hearts

APServants

Servants at the Amusement Park

  • Soldiers at the Castle of Hearts
  • Servants of Hatter Mansion
  • Employees of the Amusement Park
  • Citizens

Peter White

Other than having a pair of white rabbit ears, wearing a watch, and wearing a suit coat he has little in common with the White Rabbit upon which he is based. He is the first to meet Alice and claims to be desperately in love with her. Alice mentions hating him on several instances, but he is persistent in gaining her love. Peter is able to turn into an actual rabbit and works for the Queen of Hearts in Heart Castle. He is often caught rhyming as he speaks in the manga (though this trait was added by TokyoPop).

Blood Dupre

Leader of the Hatters, the charming and flirtatious Blood is nothing like the Mad Hatter, the character he represents. He rules the Hatter's Mansion area and is Mary Gowland's worst enemy. Alice notices right away that he looks exactly like her ex-boyfriend. He has no intention of loving Alice, and discusses trying to kill her. Vivaldi is his older sister, as revealed in the Joker no Kuni no Alice game.

Elliot March

Other than having a pair of brown hare ears, Elliot shares no likeness to the March Hare, upon which he is based. Elliot is dedicated to serving Blood, due to the fact that Blood helped Elliot escape prison. Elliot had destroyed his friend's clock (the people of Wonderland have clocks instead of hearts, and when repaired the clocks become a new person), as his friend had wished. Because Wonderland needs replacements, he was thrown in jail. Elliot constantly states that his ears are just big and that he isn't a rabbit.

Dee and Dum

Twins based on the characters Tweedledum and Tweedledee that besides being twins and finishing each others' sentences on occasion, they look and act nothing like their counterparts. Dee and Dum are the young gatekeepers to the Hatter Mansion. Due to their young age, they often slack off. They have a violent tendency and actually tried to kill Alice upon first meeting her, thinking that slitting her throat would be a fun game. They don't think life is important, thinking Alice will have a replacement.

Boris Airay

Boris is the counterpart of the Cheshire Cat. He has functional cat ears and a tail, several piercings and tattoos, and dresses in short, exposing outfits with a pink boa and a collar with a chain. Boris works in the Amusement Park District for Mary Gowland. He is a sly, devious character with a childish personality. He is friends with Dee and Dum, despite the fact that they work for opposing groups. Boris even goes to Hatter Mansion to have tea parties and interact with Elliot and Blood. Boris is trying to change for Alice from his careless and ruthless ways. When Ace threatens to kill Alice, Boris only shoots at his feet saying, "I can't kill you because it would make Alice sad."

Vivaldi

Vivaldi is based upon The Queen of Hearts. Like the character in Carroll's book, she regularly orders the beheading of servants for the smallest of mishaps. She tends to use the majestic plural and is demanding and dangerous. Despite her lack of emotion, she does expose her feelings towards Blood when Peter and Ace inform her of his interest and advances to Alice. She loves cute things and has a secret room full of stuffed animals. She is Blood's older sister.

Julius Monrey

Julius is a new character, though many think he represents Time (who has an argument with The Mad Hatter), from the original Alice in Wonderland book. He is in charge of the only neutral district, the Clock Tower Plaza and is the fixer of clocks. Julius is currently the closest to Alice. She trusts him and lives in his Clock Tower with him. Though, seemingly apathetic and anti-social, several characters mention how much he must like Alice because of his eagerness to help her get home and to give her a room to stay in. Later on, Julius shows jealousy towards the other men in Alice's life and tells her to leave, saying that she can go where ever she chooses as he thinks she feels obligated to stay. Alice refuses to leave and Julius admits that he doesn't find her annoying.

Mary Gowland

Boss of the Amusement Park, Gowland is possible a parody of The Duchess as he is a marquis and semi owner of Cheshire Cat. He is an older man with mood swings, but is generally a cheery and very social person. He has the power to pull out his violin, which turns into a kind of gun or rifle at his will, in various sizes, though he has no talent playing it. He invites Alice to come to the park any time she likes and visits her at the clock tower. Gowland is the archenemy of Blood Dupre, who told everyone Gowland's first name is Mary, making his name 'Mary Gowland', like the term merry-go-round. Dupre seems eager to pick fights with Mary, making fun of him and his name, throwing Gowland into a violent rage.

Nightmare

Nightmare is based on The Caterpillar in the original Alice in Wonderland, but is only ever seen when Alice is sleeping. He is the one who allowed Peter to bring Alice into Wonderland. He calls himself a 'Dream Demon', claiming he is the embodiment of bad dreams. He interacts mostly with Alice, though it seems he interacts with Peter as well. He is sickly in the books and is seen coughing up blood on Alice when she shakes him. He wears an eyepatch and seems to not have any weapon.

Others

Most of the people of Wonderland are servants and guards. They are men and women who all look the same besides the uniforms they wear that represent their district location. They have no eyes and look and dress the same as the other servants in their district. Citizens of Wonderland think these people are unimportant and identical, but Alice is able to recognize their individual differences. Though they are not given names, Alice still thinks of them as people and becomes angered when others do not consider them as such. In the game, it's discovered that Alice can give them faces so she could remember each one of them.
Besides servants, there are also normal citizens that have no roles in the 'game' of Wonderland. People without roles have no eyes and little to differentiate between them. Vivaldi, the Queen of Hearts, was once a girl without roles. Among the citizens there are some rebels, who try to destroy their friends' clocks so they can't be replaced.

Territories

Wonderland seems to exist outside of normal time and space. There are no clear set days, and nighttime
Wonderland

The Primary Territories of Wonderland

happens randomly throughout the day lasting for various amounts of time. However, it seems that seasons do change as seen during the "April season" when each territory experiences a different season from Summer, Winter, Spring and Fall. The entire landscape is seperated into different territories, and most of the characters tread cautiously between enemy territories. Alice is the only character known to be welcome in all of the different territories
  • The Clock Tower: A tall stone tower on the center of the map and a neutral zone. It is the home of Julius Monrey and his guest Alice Liddell.
  • The Amusement Park: As the name claims it is an actual amusement park run mostly by the faceless servants. The owner of the place is Mary Gowland, who is at war with Blood Dupre and the Queen of Hearts. Boris Airay also lives here and answers to Mary.
  • The Hatter Mansion: A giant mansion that houses the main operations of the Hatter Mafia. Its front gates are guarded by Dee and Dum. The head of the household and the Boss of the Mafia family is Blood Dupree, with his right hand man, Elliot March. The Hatter Mafia is at war with Mary Gowland and the Queen of Hearts.
  • The Land of Hearts: An elaborate castle exists on this land run by the Queen of Hearts, Vivaldi. Among her underlings she commands Peter White and Ace, the Knight of Hearts. There is also a king at the castle that Vivaldi seems to somewhat admire despite her claims to the contrary. There are also numerous faceless soldiers with uniforms that have the images of playing cards imprinted on them. The Queen is at war with Blood Dupre and Mary Gowland.
  • The Land of Clover: Little has been confirmed about the land of clover other than that it is the home of Nightmare and his subordinate Gray Ringmarc. It also has an area of forest where Pierce Villers, a man with mouse ears, resides.
  • The Circus' Forest: A large forest covered with misleading arrows and signs that seem to lead to no where. It is the home of Joker, who claims to be the owner of the forest.

Books

  • Volume 1
Chapter 1 Welcome to Wonderland While visiting her sister Alice Lidell is forcibly carried down a giant rabbit hole in her garden by a handsome young man with white rabbit ears. She awakes in a strange world and is forced to drink a potion through a kiss by her mysterious kidnapper. Alice soon realizes that she has been thrown into a world of blood and magic.
Chapter 2 On the Way Decidedly stuck in Wonderland until she can refill the potion, Alice takes up residence at the Clock Tower with Juluis Monrey. In an attempt to get answers, Alice heads off to The Land of Hearts to confront Peter White. Along the way, she meets a directionally challenged Knight named Ace who unintentionally leads her back to the Hatter Mansion, where a gun fight soon ensues between the Knight and the Hatter's trigger-happy Rabbit, Elliot March.
Chapter 3 Nightmare After having Tea with Vivaldi, the Queen of Hearts, Alice reluctantly decides to stay the night in the Castle of Hearts. In a dream, she meets a new character named Nightmare, who begins to help Alice understand the true nature of Wonderland and how it connects to her subconscious desires. Later, Alice is confronted with a new view of morality and a noncomplacent value placed on life.
Chapter 4 Afterimage Confused by how little the people of Wonderland value life, Alice wanders off on her own. She is coon confronted by a horrific image involving ghostly figures, a dead body and a pocket watch. Alice again is confused by how death is viewed in this world and seeks clarity from Julius Monrey and then Nightmare.
Chapter 5 In the Amusement Park Boris Airay, Dee and Dum wisk Alice away from the Clock Tower and head towards the Amusement Park. There Alice meets Mary Gowland, the owner of the park, and learns to what extent the hatred between the Hatter Mafia and Mary Gowland runs as a gun fight ensues on the grounds of the Amusement Park.
  • Volume 2
Chapter 6 Midnight Tea Party
Chapter 7 Slow Making
Chapter 8 Interesting
Chapter 9 Pure Feeling
Chapter 10 Heart Sound
Chapter 11 Light Weight
  • Volume 3
Chapter 12 Adaptation
Chapter 13 Doubt
Chapter 14 Disjointing Flowers
Chapter 15 Crooked Love
Chapter 16 Sweet Dream Taste
Chapter 17 Declaration
  • Volume 4
Chapter 18 Let's Go Comfortably!
Chapter 19 Wherabouts
Chapter 20 Twilight
Chapter 21 Knight
Chapter 22 Coming Uneasiness
Chapter 23 Desire
Chapter 24 Letter of Invitation
Chapter 24.5 Joker no Kinu no Alice
  • Volume 5
Chapter 25 Dance Lesson
Chapter 26 Raising of the Curtain
Chapter 27 Rondo
Chapter 28 Rabbit's Waltz
Chapter 29 Serenade
Chapter 30 Secret Garden

Major Themes and Motifs

  • Time: Time is a prevailing theme throughout the manga. Many characters are seen carrying watches like Julius Monrey and Peter White. All the characters also have watches in place of their hearts, and can be killed when their "clock stops". Days can not be measured accurately as they often fluctuate between nighttime and daytime, providing some evidence that time is chaotic in Wonderland.
  • Death: For the protagonist Alice, death is an ethical problem she deals with often as the other members of the Wonderland community care little about human life. As an outsider, Alice values life and often scolds the other characters for killing freely. However, if a Wonderland character is killed and their clock-hearts are repairable, the character can be reborn as someone new.
  • Game: Throughout the series, there is a constant reference to games. Both Nightmare and Peter White insinuate that Alice is playing some sort of game, even though she doesn't seem to dwell too much on this idea. Main characters with a role are often referred to as "role players", and the Queen of Hearts Vivaldi talks about people who want to step down from their role. In the real world Alice's sister Lorina also seems fond of games as she initial goes to fetch a set of playing cards at the beginning of the series. Dee and Dum often refer to killing as sort of game, as they "play survival" with the Queen of Hearts' soldiers and even Alice. The Amusement park itself can also be thought of as a sort of game.

Reception

Heart no Kuni no Alice was ranked 27th on the Tohan charts between January 13 and 19, 2009.[1] The third volume of the manga was ranked 25th on the Tohan charts between June 8 and 14, 2009.[2] Japanator's God Len comments on the "lots of kissing and/or yaoi-centric scenes because this one is made for a more female audience."[3]

The first volume of Tokyopop's English translation of Alice in the Country of Hearts was part of the New York Times Manga Best Seller List for a total of 7 weeks before dropping off the charts, but re-entered a few weeks later for another two weeks on the chart; the volume peaked at number 5.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12] The second volume was on the charts for a total of 4 weeks, peaking at number six, before falling out of the rankings.[8][9][10][13] The third volume was eighth place in its first week, rose to seventh in its second week, but fell to tenth place in its third week, where it stayed for its fourth week.[14][15][16][17]

Ed Sizemore enjoyed the "pretty-boy" artwork and enjoyed Alice's characterization, but felt that the rest of the cast's "psychotic" characterisation made it uncomfortable to read.[18] Zack Davisson enjoyed the "suggestion that Alice is creating the fantasy world from her subconscious, and that the rules set are her own", and enjoyed the manga's treatment of the game's story.[19] Carlo Santos thought that the manga could be read as a satire on reverse harems, but felt the first volume lacked plot.[20] Reading the second volume, he felt the plot was still "aimless", but enjoyed the exploration of "non-canon" ideas about Wonderland, such as what happens to a Wonderland character after they die.[21]

References

  1. "Japanese Comic Ranking, January 13–19 (Updated)". Anime News Network. 2009-01-21. Retrieved 5 December 2009. 
  2. "Japanese Comic Ranking, June 8–14 (Updated)". Anime News Network. 2009-06-17. Retrieved 5 December 2009. 
  3. Len, God (December 6, 2008). "Bishies gone wild: Heart no Kuni no Alice ~Wonderful Wonder World~ gets an OVA". Japanator. Retrieved 5 December 2009. 
  4. "New York Times Manga Best Seller List, January 31-February6". Anime News Network. 2010-02-12. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  5. "New York Times Manga Best Seller List, February 7-13". Anime News Network. 2010-02-19. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  6. "New York Times Manga Best Seller List, February 14-20". Anime News Network. 2010-02-26. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  7. "New York Times Manga Best Seller List, February 21-27". Anime News Network. 2010-03-05. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "New York Times Manga Best Seller List, February 27-March 5". Anime News Network. 2010-03-12. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 "New York Times Manga Best Seller List, March 6-12". Anime News Network. 2010-03-13. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 "New York Times Manga Best Seller List, March 14-20". Anime News Network. 2010-03-26. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  11. "New York Times Manga Best Seller List, March 28-April 3". Anime News Network. 2010-04-09. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  12. "New York Times Manga Best Seller List, April 18-24". Anime News Network. 2010-04-30. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  13. "New York Times Manga Best Seller List, March21-27". Anime News Network. 2010-04-02. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  14. "New York Times Manga Best Seller List, May 30-June 5". Anime News Network. 2010-06-11. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  15. "New York Times Manga Best Seller List, June 6-12". Anime News Network. 2010-06-18. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  16. "New York Times Manga Best Seller List, June 13-19". Anime News Network. 2010-06-25. Retrieved 2010-06-25. 
  17. "New York Times Manga Best Seller List, June 20-26". Anime News Network. 2010-07-02. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  18. "Tokyopop Chibis: .hack 4koma, Alice in the Country of Hearts, Red Hot Chili Samurai, Mugen Spiral". Comics Worth Reading. 2010-03-29. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  19. "Alice in the Country Hearts v1 Review". Manga Life. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  20. "Naruto in Wonderland - RIGHT TURN ONLY!!". Anime News Network. 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  21. "Alice in the Country of Hearts GN 2 - Review". Anime News Network. 2010-03-26. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 

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