Sunday, June 9, 2013

Manga Review: Gakuen Alice Vol. 1

                                                  Gakuen Alice Vol. 1 Review
The story of Gakeun Alice starts off with Mikan Sakura learning that her best friend Hotaru is leaving to go to Alice Academy a boarding school for gift students. After months of not hearing from Hotaru Mikan receives a very impersonal letter from Hotaru, Mikan decides that she needs to see Hotaru again so she goes to Alice Academy. Mikan is brought into Alice Academy by a teacher named Narumi who saw Mikan as a potential Alice candidate at first Mikan is very happy about getting a chance to see Hotaru but she is somewhat worried by what kind of place Alice Academy is when she see Narumi stop a student by the name of Natsume from escaping the academy.

After entering the academy Mikan is told about what kind of place Alice Academy is which is a school for children who have a supernatural ability that is known as an Alice and Narumi thinks that Alice is one of those people. Mikan as a rather frightening encounter with Natsume after he wakes up where he tries to set her hair on fire but for some reason his Alice doesn't work so he instead is somehow able to steal her underwear although he doesn't keep them. Mikan is of course very upset by this but is cheered up when Narumi tells her she will be staying at Alice Academy for at least a week in a trial period, she'll be able to stay if she can get her classmates to accept her. Mikan is led to class by two of her new classmates one of them is Hotaru who Mikan is very excited to see but Hotaru thinks Mikan is an idiot for coming to place like this and the other is the class president Yuu.

Soon after arriving in class Mikan starts to notice how strange Alice abilities are with seeing that one kid is floating and that another can read minds. Mikan isn't very good at make the class like her either because she says she doesn't think Alices are so great and when she see Natsume is in the class she calls him a pervert which because Natsume is quite popular in the class leads to people disliking her even worse. Eventually since it's pretty clear to everyone that people aren't really going to accept Mikan into the class so Natsume challenges her to go through the northern woods since that area is dangerous enough that someone without an Alice probably wouldn't make it through.

So Mikan along with Hotaru and Yuu goes through the woods. On their journey through the woods they encounter a violent bear which one of Hotaru's inventions is able to defeat and Mikan learns that Hotaru has an invention Alice and later on when the path is blocked by a giant baby chick Yuu uses her Alice which is an illusion Alice to get Luca to come who has an animal pheromone Alice and is Natsume's best friend. In the scenes where Luca interacts with animals he's really adorable and happy which makes Mikan question why he's friend with a jerk like Natsume. Luca tells her not to judge Natsume when she doesn't know anything about him, it's also shown to the reads that Luca and Natsume have a very close friendship with how Luca vowed to not smile until Natsume did.  After Natsume finds out that Mikan used Luca he gets really ticked off and heads to where the group is in the northern woods and starts using his Alice which is fire in order to trap her friends until she revealed her Alice in the end it's discovered that Mikan has a nullification Alice which means she can stop others Alice abilities and Narumi who had been watching all of Mikan's journey in the Northern woods tells her she can stay.

I overall really enjoyed this volume and I think it was a great introduction to the series with both the mystery of what kind of school Alice Academy really is while still keeping the story overall fairly light. I also think it was a god introduction for the characters and the relationships they have. I enjoy the art in this series as well. Please tell me your thoughts on this volume.

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