The opening scenes of Alice & Zouroku involve poorly-done computer generated cars, a dramatic escape, and a Tokyo Tower scene that is eerily reminiscent of Sakura Kinomoto in Cardcaptor Sakura.
In fact, many things in the opening scene of Alice & Zouroku reminded me of other anime series — echoes of Cardcaptor Sakura, Madoka Magica, and Elfen Lied.
Yet what I latched onto was the nickname given to our titular Alice (Sana Kashimura): “The Red Queen.” Subsequent references to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There reminded me of another first episode experience — one that is near and dear to my heart — Kyousougiga.
-A poem from “Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There,” by Lewis Carroll
From the moment she barges in by force, in search of a rabbit, Koto is the standout character – our presumed Alice – in the wonderland of the Mirror Capital. She is loud, winsome, and charming, allowing us to discover the mysteries of the Mirror Capital alongside her. Koto is confused, attempting to grasp at any sort of explanation for her mother’s disappearance, and so are we as we attempt to digest the imagery and references that Kyousogiga throws our way.
Somewhere, in the organized clutter of a half-furnished attic, between a box of musty orange life preservers, musical instruments, and yellowed paperbacks, there is a bureau that my parents have with a drawer for each of their children: one for me, and one for my younger brother. Along with our respective awards and achievements, there are various pieces of artwork, photographs, journals, and homemade knick-knacks of little to no consequence – our hand-colored paper Mighty Ducks Monopoly game, for example – and among these are a series of felt badges (similar to what one would find on a Boy Scout uniform or Girl Scout sash) with the name “Braves” on them.
Braves was a club that my brother had the dubious honor of founding – the only two members being myself and him – which was designed to test our strength and willpower.
Basically, we would punch each other until one of us cried. The person who cried first lost.