Alice in the Country of Hearts: Ace of Hearts
November 26, 2015
QuinRose / Mamenosuke Fujimaru – Seven Seas Entertainment – 2013 – 1 volume
UGH. Why is Ace so creepy?! This is one of the last spin-off volumes for me, and I’ve been putting it off because I just don’t like Ace. He doesn’t try hard here. He forces himself on Alice (although she doesn’t stop him, and it’s okay because “she loves him”), basically picks fights with everyone and gets really aggressive when she admits to liking him, and later, begins to strangle her for liking Julius, and she’s okay with him killing her.
So, yeah. Ace is hard to like. Interestingly, this is one of the naughtier books. There is an unambiguous sex scene that cuts before and after, but can’t be anything else. I enjoy this series’ fondness for cursing, or perhaps just Peter’s lewdness. Here, he has a line that goes “No! My greatest fear! That OOOOing Knight has OOOO my dear!” (censors not mine) which I enjoyed immensely, not only because it rhymed, but also because I rarely see sensical cursing in a manga. The back cover has a “promise it won’t hurt” joke on its 4-panel gag strip.
There’s not really a plot, other than Ace being a creep and everyone warning Alice away. Gray plays a larger role than normal, and is implied to be a competing romantic interest, but that doesn’t go anywhere. So this is just Ace and Alice wandering around together, going through the Clover world transition, missing Julius, going to convention, and being awkward.
There is a pair of Crimson Empire short stories in the back. I SWEAR I’ve read “Pregnancy Panic” before, but I don’t have it noted in my other reviews and I don’t have my volumes here with me right now. I’ll have to check on that. Anyway, that’s the rare Byron/Sheila story. The other Crimson Empire story is the usual Edvard/Sheila story, called “Yes, Your Highness.” I like Edvard best, so if we do get stuck with Crimson Empire stories, I’m glad they focus on him. There was also an amusing gag comic at the end about a character getting “love gifts” (basically relationship boost items in the game), but getting ignored otherwise. He feels strangely attracted to Sheila, but also unfulfilled. It made me laugh.
So, yeah. Ace isn’t my flavor, but this is one of the more “mature” volumes, if you’re into that.