Alice to Zouroku

Title:Alice to Zouroku
Alice and Zouroku
Keywords: , , ,
Notables: Animation - JC Staff
A group of young girls possess a mysterious power known as "Alice's Dream," which gives them the ability to turn their thoughts into reality. Detained and experimented upon, these youths are locked away in secret until one of them manages to escape. Her name is Sana—a girl with the power to ignore the very laws of physics. When this willful powerhouse crosses paths with a stubborn old man named Zouroku, his carefully-ordered life will never be the same again.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

Premiered on April 2, 2017.
Animated by JC Staff.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 8 7 7 7 8 9 Ggultra2764 [series:3325#1552]
Alice and Zouroku focuses on the developing chemistry between our titular duo as Sana, a girl with the power to bend the laws of reality via a mysterious power called Alice's Dream, has escaped from a testing facility keeping her captive and Zouroku becomes her guardian as he teaches her how to live life normally while learning more about her origins and the mysterious facility attempting to keep her existence a secret to the public at large.

The series is actually divided into two arcs, the first dealing with the mentioned testing facility and another focused on Sana's interactions with a girl her age having the power to control the minds of others. The first arc serves to introduce our two lead characters and explore Sana's origins, leading to some interesting focus on whether or not she can be considered human in light of her powers and unique origins. The second arc serves to show the growth of Sana's character while living under Zouroku, while also learning to interact with another girl abusing her Alice's Dream. The series offers up a solid balance of comedy and drama with exploring Sana's chemistry with Zouroku and others, as well as learning how to comprehend her growing humanity in light of her inhuman origins.

Visually, the series is somewhat of a mixed bag. On the one hand, Alice and Zouroku offers some solid battle choreography thanks to the varying Alice's Dreams that Sana and others of similar abilities utilize against others and each other, as well as sporting gorgeous and creative scenery during the title's second half when the series is whisked into a fantastical land. On the other hand, character designs are on the plan side in terms of quality and the scenery of more mundane areas like the city serving as the anime's main setting are not as pleasing on the eyes.

In spite of its mixed presentation quality though, Alice and Zouroku still made for one of the better titles I seen of 2017 thus far thanks to its great balance of comedy and drama in exploring the developing bond between our main pairing. A definite recommendation.

Last updated Sunday, June 25 2017. Created Sunday, June 25 2017.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:3325#628]
(Half of one episode watched):

As I racked my brains to think of the best way to explain to others why this show left me feeling the way it did, it occurred to me that what I should do was ask a question: what was unique and original about this show? And the answer, as far as I could tell, was nothing. Magic seems to play a major part, but anime with magic are dime-a-dozen. It might be unique in the real world, but not in anime. Magic is often an excuse for things not making sense and nobody even trying to make them sensible. Another problem was that we never really get to know the female protagonist, so we are never really persuaded why we should root for her. Just the fact that she is a little girl who is being manipulated by a big, shady organization is supposed to convince us to like her, apparently. Likewise, the fact that the old man male protagonist stands up (sort of) to the yakuza is apparently supposed to convince us that he's a good guy who we should support. The message seems to be that the girl and the old man are good because they defy people who are bad; do the people who made this show really think our opinions can be shaped as easily as that? Another thing which annoyed me was that the old man hardly seemed to be fazed by mind-blowing things like people disappearing into thin air. AtZ will employ magic, but won't take the trouble to have the characters react to it in a realistic manner. This show never grabbed my attention and I was soon feeling bored with it. It felt like a halfhearted attempt to tell a story. I resolved to struggle through one episode, but when it became clear that this episode was going to be more than 23 minutes long, I quit.

Last updated Tuesday, April 04 2017. Created Tuesday, April 04 2017.

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