Alice 19th by Yuu Watase Volume 1 Review

Review by: dancingonrain.

Alice Seno has always been overshadowed by her older sister Mayura, who seems to get everything she wants whether it’s from their parents or her classmates.  Alice, on the other hand, is an outcast who also happens to be in love with a boy named Kyo.  But so is her sister.

In order for Mayura to be happy, Alice lets her date him instead by telling her she doesn’t have feelings for him even though she does.  Mayura, knowing her sister likes Kyo too, takes advantage of her meekness.

After meeting a strange rabbit, Nyozeka, Alice discovers that certain words have a special magic to them and when she has finally gotten tired of Mayura taking advantage of her, she says something that would come to be her biggest regret.  Her sister disappears and then Alice is introduced to an entire new world.

When this series was first recommended to me by a friend years ago, I was skeptical.  I have never been a huge fan of the romance genre, but this is my favorite magna series.  The fact that it’s more than just a romance series does help.  It’s also about a shy girl who is introduced to an alternate world and through this experience fighting against something called Mara, which resides in everyone’s inner heart, she gains confidence in herself that she never knew she had.

What I liked the most about this volume was the characterization.  We see that Alice is a shy, meek girl and she knows it.  She even tells us why she is.  While she may not realize it, a lot of the time she’s a push over because she cares about the person in discussion and doesn’t want to hurt him/her, unfortunately, some people realize that and then take advantage of it.

I also liked how Watase wrote Kyo.  In magnas most of the stoic guys are emotionless to make them seem cool, but to me that just makes them bland, boring, and unrelatable.  The character Kyo was stoic-like, but it wasn’t everything he was.  We see he’s not afraid to show he cares for other people whereas the typical stoic guys generally act indifferent because they see that vulnerability as a weakness, which, of course, is ridiculous, and not relatable.  If I can’t relate to a character even a little bit, I won’t care about him or her or what s/he goes through.  Everyone cares to an extent.  Kyo is more on the soft spoken side, but he also steps up when he needs to, which is very similar to Alice’s personality even if the characters themselves don’t realize it.

There was this one scene where Kyo woke up in the same alternate universe Alice did, but she’s nowhere to be seen.  When he woke up for the first time in this other world, he looked around the area, and then his facial expression by itself told the reader that he was so confused and probably thinking something along the lines of: what the hell?   I actually laughed out loud because I think that would be most people’s reaction to the circumstances too.

To be honest, I’m actually surprised this magna hasn’t been made into an anime.  I think it’s definitely better than some of the ones out there, but I’m also not complaining if it’s never made into a television show.

There’re only seven volumes, but they’re all well done.  Because there are only seven volumes, it would be very easy to finish the whole series in a few hours.  I first read this series when I was in high school eleven or twelve years ago and now, twenty-six years old, I still enjoy it.  I would definitely recommended it to anyone.  Happy reading and remember: words have power.