Alice Love Fables: Toy Box

November 28, 2015

QuinRose / Mamenosuke Fujimaru – Seven Seas Entertainment – 2013 – 1 volume

Hmm… I’m gonna put this in the Hearts category, because there are less stories in that one, but this has both Hearts and Clover shorts in it.  Along with Crimson Empire and Arabians Lost.

Arabians Lost was first, and was rather interesting, since we haven’t seen anything from this setting before.  But that’s kind of where the novelty stopped.  It’s like reading the Crimson Empire shorts, except worse, because at least I’ve read enough of those to have some sense of the characters.  These Arabians Lost stories are like walking into the middle of a love story that you know nothing about.  I did kinda like the characters, though.  Weirdly, it has some characters in common with Crimson Empire, which I did not expect.  The three stories focus on different love interests: a thief, a stubborn ally (possibly a diplomat?), and the guy that trained Sheila in Crimson Empire.

The Alice stories in both settings were a little… eh.  They’re pretty short (some only a handful of pages long), and are more reflections of Alice’s thoughts on the focus character than anything else.  Hearts has stories about Julius (an unusually emotional, spicy Julius story), Elliot, and the Bloody Twins (possibly the only Hearts story that features them, since they… uh, can’t turn into adults in Hearts).  Clover has Gray (the only Mamenosuke Fujimaru story I’ve seen that features him), the rare Peter White story, and a Blood story that does the best job I’ve seen of explaining how their relationship could possibly work, since Blood is an asshole.

Crimson Empire is three stories, the usual prince story, one featuring his older brother, and an unusual one that features the demon.  I need to read more of this series, I’m actually starting to like these.

Admittedly, I couldn’t really sink my teeth into this volume since the stories are so short, but the Alice ones were pretty unique.  I wouldn’t recommend it as a place to start, or even for someone who’s trying to go deeper into the series.  But, you know, I’ve read almost all the spin-offs at this point, and I don’t regret picking it up.  It’s a nice read for the end of my Alice journey.

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