Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gakuen Alice manga review

Gakuen Alice (Alice Academy) is a fantasy/shojo manga by Higuchi Tachibana published in Hana no Yume bi-weekly. It is ongoing as of now. It has been made into an anime with twenty five episodes.

I watched this series as an anime first and liked it a lot. But since the anime was so short and there were so many unanswered questions, I started reading the manga.

It is basically, about a young girl called Mikan who lives with her grandfather. What happened to her parents is a mystery. Her best friend is Hotaru who is quiet and cunning (I really don't know how they became friends). Hotaru is also an inventor who invents many things beyond the grasp of a normal twelve year old.

One day, she is taken away to an Academy called Alice Academy. Weeks pass and Hotaru never writes to Mikan or returns. Determined to find what happened to Hotaru, Mikan goes to Alice Academy. There she meets a man called Narumi who takes her in and tells her that that Academy is for special people with abnormal talents or powers called 'Alices'.

It seems that Mikan has teh Alice of nullyfying other people's powers. She is admitted into Alice Academy and meets Natsume- a firey guy who is rude, ill-mannered and always trying to run away from the school. Oh, I forgot to mention that no one is allowed to leave the academy until graduation because they might be kidnapped by outsiders for they talents.

When Mikan first enters class, she immediately befriends the class president Yue and Hotaru is in her class too. Her other classmates, however, play pranks on her and tease her. Natsume doesn't like her much too.

Gradually, Mikan starts enjoying high school life, a love develops between Natsume and her and she tries to master her powers.

In teh midst of all this, a mysterious thief turns up and this sets off a chain of events in motion. Mikan and friends realize that the school is not all what it seems. They realize that teh school's past is filled with blood, murder and the school's principal is a man who wants to control all teh kids with powerful Alices and use them for his own good.

Mikan discovers her past and meets her mother. Then, she tries to escape from teh Academy too. All her friends and the characters whom she has encountered throughout the novel help her.

As of now, the manga is at the point where Mikan is trying to escape.

This is a wonderful manga. The depth of the plot will leave you both astonished and deeply satisfied. I had never predicted that such a sunny and cheerful story was
going to turn into such a gripping thriller. Every page is a cliffhanger. A manga that is truly worth reading. I highly recommend it.


Art- 4.1

Strong female lead
Unexpected plot twists
Deep and skillfully plotted
Interesting idea

Mikan's character is very two-dimensional at first. Only gradually does it change.
The fact that it is just bi-weekly (can't it be weekly?)

I will highly recommend this manga.

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