Anime Expectations: Alice to Zouroku

Originally a manga written and illustrated by Tetsuya Imai, Alice to Zouroku will be a supernatural fantasy anime targeted towards a seinen (adult male) audience, airing April 2017. The manga was first released in February, 2012. It was serialized in the magazine Monthly Comic Ryu with a total of seven volumes, and won the 2013 New Face Award from Japan Media Arts Festival. The anime is animated by studio J.C. Staff and directed by Katsushi Sakurabi.

Alice’s Dream,” a power possessed by a group of young girls in captivity, allows the owner to turn her thoughts and dreams into reality. The girls are experimented on while the rest of the world is unaware of their existence. One day, a girl named Sana escapes. Sana has the ability to turn anything she wants into reality, regardless of whether or not it is physically possible. After escaping, she meets an old man by the name of Zouroku, who dislikes having extraordinary changes to his life.

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The manga for Alice to Zouroku is not available currently even in the format of a fan translation, so it wasn’t possible for us to read the manga prior to writing this. However, Seven Seas has already licensed the manga for North American release even before the anime adaption has been aired. This shows that Seven Seas expects this anime to be popular and they want to sell the manga as quickly as possible!

As for my personal opinion, I believe that this anime has the potential to be a touching story with very emotional elements. The quality looks to be based more heavily on how it’s written rather than relying on a very unique and action-driven plot to garner interest. I really get the feeling that people who enjoy sweet story-telling and drama will enjoy this title, and it certainly does have the means to become a popular anime in this upcoming season.

I am a little worried about Katsushi Sakurabi’s directing, however. While Sakurabi is not known for directing any big, successful titles, what he is known for is directing the anime adaption for the popular visual novel Tsukihime. The case of the Tsukihime anime was unfortunate for fans of the original visual novel, in that the story was changed drastically and some favourite characters were reduced to the background. However, that was several years ago. Sakurabi has since worked as the director to Kami-sama no Memo-chou, also known as Heaven’s Memo Pad. While the anime was lacklustre for Heaven’s Memo Pad, it followed the light novel accurately. One of Sakurabi’s latest works include the anime Flying Witch.

The manga for Alice to Zouroku won the 2013 New Face Award from Japan Media Arts Festival, and this award could generate a large amount of viewers for the anime, also increasing the number of fans. As long as the anime remains true to the manga, it should go over well, I think. At the very least, Alice to Zouroku is one anime this spring season that should definitely be checked out!

Alice to Zouroku has only one released teaser trailer so far, as well as a TV commercial which is a condensed version of the teaser.

The original manga had a very different art style than that of the anime. Here is what the first volume of the manga looks like in comparison to the anime.

Quite different, wouldn’t you say? It must be quite a shock for fans of the original manga to see the PV for the anime! A good shock, I’m sure, as the new artwork is quite beautiful.

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