CWR WEEKEND BLOG EXTRA
Welcome back to the Blog Extra! This weekend, a step away from the floppies and into the manga arena! Our contestant comes to you from the fine folks at DrMaster Books.
ETERNAL ALICE RONDO VOL.3 is written and drawn by Kaishaku, and translated by Gretchen Kern. In the first two volumes, we met a young boy named Aruto and discovered his fascination and obsession with the works of Lewis Carroll. We also discovered that he is not alone in that pursuit; there is an entire subculture of young girls involved in the pursuit of Alice-related powers and dreams as well. Each character has the hope of finding and/or creating the ultimate next tale in the Alice saga, and that desire has awoken great power in many of those involved. Power, that is, that allows for the alteration of reality itself in the pursuit of eternal Alice. Now Aruto and his friends find themselves in the middle of a battle between Alice-powered girls and must face their fears and the possible loss of their imagination and creativity, as well as the innocence that holds them together.
Reading what I just wrote, I freely admit that it makes very little sense on the surface. And honestly, in many ways, it makes even less sense on the page. Kaishaku’s gift doesn’t lie in clarity of storytelling. Some chapters in this volume are completely impenetrable. But when the book slows down and brings the tale down to an intimate and personal level, this book sizzles. One girl must deal with her guilt over a prank that killed her best friend when the friend arrives as part of the competition. Aruto must face the loss of his innocence and creativity when he is seduced by an older woman with nefarious purposes. These stories hit the reader on an emotional level and they keep the volume moving along at a brisk pace.
So while I find this to be a frustrating series in many ways, it has also kept me captivated as a reader. I’d like to see a bit more dedication to clear plotting from Kaishaku, of course, but we’ll have to see where the next volume leads.
That’s it for this weekend! Be back here throughout the week for main site updates, and come back next weekend for an all-new Blog Extra!