It has taken me SO LONG to get to this review just cause I was really focused on photography features during the holidays and then the winter anime season came out in the New Year, but I’ve finally found time to rant about this great little book from the Quinrose worlds.
As you girls know, I LOVE my Quinrose characters and stories, msot notable of which is Alice in the Country of Hearts, so Alice Love Fables was a lovely surprise in the book store when I found it next to the usual Alice books. Due to my immense bias for anything Quinrose, the perfect 5/5 rating is really due to my own enjoyment of the book and I hope you otome fans will like it as well.
Alice Love Fables is actually an anthology, encompassing stories from three different game worlds – Arabians Lost, Crimson Empire, Alice in the Country of Hearts and Alice in Country of Clover. It is so hard to review anthologies because all the stories are scattered and really encompass the best moments from couple pairings that don’t warrant a full volume story or snippets of moments between couples that are popularly paired together. It opens with three fully coloured pages from the Alice world and they make the extra few dollars in the price worth it. The art is done by one of my favourite artists, Mamenosuke Fujimaru. Gosh, the collage on the cover is so gorgeous that I would love to have a blown up poster size copy of the cover art.
In Arabians Lost, Aileen Olazabal and Roberto Cromwell are first paired up, then Curtis Nile and Aileen then Stuart Sink and Aileen. I have to say, despite Curtis’ seemingly cold and heartless manner towards Sheila in Crimson Empire, he can be pretty sweet to Princess Aileen. Afterwards, you get a few short moments between Alice and the Tweedle Twins in the Country of Hearts, a quick snippet with Julius Monrey of the Clock Tower and then a short but sweet ending to Alice’s pairing with Elliot March. In the Country of Clover chapter, we actually see some sparks between Alice and Gray Ringmarc, Nightmare’s assistant. LOL the most amusing part is when Nightmare can read both Alice and Gray’s minds and subsequently, their true feelings towards each other XD but by far the weirdest story is Alice’s pairing with Peter, the White Rabbit because she utterly detests him in the main storyline of Alice in the Country of Hearts as well as all other routes. He’s somewhat of an antagonist that way. Concluding the end of Alice’s adventures is a short story with Blood Dupre of the Hatter Mansion, detailing a special little event after they’ve gotten together as a couple and it’s SO CUTE. But then again, I’m a Blood X Alice fan all the way so I’m definitely biased. The Crimson Empire section presents to us three different suitors for Sheila – Prince Edvard, his older brother Prince Justin, and the demon Michael Faust. Overall, I liked the dynamics of the different relationships and seeing Sheila’s perspective vary depending on which route I was reading on. Also, at the end of the volume there’s a bonus introductory chapter to Alice in the Country of Clover- Cheshire Cat Waltz, the series chronicling Alice’s route with Boris, the Cheshire cat.
If I only had to bring one volume of manga on a vacation trip with me, it would definitely be Alice Love Fables Toy Box just because it packs a bit of everything from my favourite Quinrose worlds into one nifty little volume. As always, Seven Seas Entertainment publishes the English editions in trade paperback sizes which are a bit bigger than regular manga but if you have a good sized purse or backpack, it should fit right in. For an anthology, it’s pretty lightweight as well which makes for easy handling.
I strongly recommend the purchase of Alice Love Fables if you’re a really big Quinrose fan like I am. I really hope they make more of these because they’re just so fantastic for pairings that might not get its own book series or volume even though you’re curious to see how their book route will pan out. As well, it gives us extra sugary sweet moments on couples that are already paired together as well as insight into characters who cross from one heroine’s world into the other (e.g. Curtis Nile). I hope Quinrose and Seven Seas continues to license and translate manga over here.
What are you pondering today?