Alice to Zouroku – Episode 7 [Friends]

This episode does a really excellent job of highlighting how complex Sana is. She’s definitely not an ordinary little girl.

Sana is super smart when it comes to math. Or anything with defined methods and answers, really. So math is easy for her because she just plugs numbers into a formula, or uses a specific method to solve a certain problem, and solves the numbers. Pretty amazing eh? She’s still a kid but she’s doing high school-level math. But Sana says she has a harder time taking care of flowers and plants, and Shizuku says Sana has a harder time with words and emotions.

A major theme in this episode is that Sana feels “frazzled” a lot of the time, but she doesn’t know what this feeling is specifically, nor how she should deal with it. Depending on the situation, we see that this uneasy feeling could sometimes be something like anxiety or anger.

The other problem is that Sana’s Dreams of Alice abilities are “glitching” – they’re switching on by themselves, and Sana’s not always able to control them. So when someone has as many ability cards as Sana does, this has the potential to be very dangerous.

Later in the episode when Sana bumps into the twins from the research facility, Asahi and Yonaga, both of these issues come to a head. Asahi and Yonaga try to run away from Sana using their powers, and Sana gives chase. However when they’re high in the air soaring through skyscrapers, Sana’s ability manifests a massive rock that almost crushes her, Asahi and Yonaga. Thankfully Shizuku had already transformed into her final form and used one of her abilities to destroy the rock and save the girls.

After the incident is over and all of the girls have apologized for the trouble they caused, Zouroku takes everyone out for a meal. The twins are clearly uneasy with Zouroku’s kind gesture, but they manage to eat. Sana is clearly upset, saying again that she feels “frazzled” and has been feeling that way a lot lately. She says she feels like someone else yet still herself at the same time.

Afterwards Zouroku, Shizuku and the girls go for a walk. Shizuku reveals to Zouroku that the twins were abused by their father, and killed him in self-defense. They were sent to the research facility, where they lived until it was recently closed down. Afterwards all of the Dreams of Alice kids were sent to foster homes, and both girls are now doing well.

The twins apologize for Sana for trying to force her to come back to the research facility. They also apologize for keeping her sheltered and not educating her about the outside world. The girls grew up in a human home, but Sana did not, so because she never knew there was a world outside the research facility she never learned things like how to take the subway, and Sana didn’t know what the ocean was. Sana forgives the twins, and the day has a happy ending.

But that night Sana awakens feeling overwhelmed and frazzled again. Sanae hears her new sister crying, so the two girls go downstairs to sit at the kotatsu and talk. Sana explains that things feel unclear, like earlier when she saw the twins. Every time Sana goes out into the world she’s confronted with new things that cause her to experience new things and have new feelings, emotions that she wouldn’t have had cause to feel while trapped in the research facility.

Sanae understand this, and gently tries to explain it to Sana without being too direct. The girls retire back to Sanae’s room for more girl talk.

The next morning, Asahi and Yonaga are excited to see that they’ve received an e-mail from Sana. Sanae has showed Sana how she can e-mail the twins to send them a direct message. Sana’s first e-mail is short but sweet, and it addresses some potential sources for her frazzled feelings (that she felt guilty for leaving the twins at the research facility, for example, or concern that they might not want to be friends with her anymore).


My thoughts:
 Goddamn this is such a cute series. It looks like there might be a new story arc with conflict starting the next episode, but in the meantime I’m enjoying these cutesy episodes that revolve around Sana learning new things about the world and bonding with her new family. I’m still not a fan of the character designs, but everything else about this series is so phenomenal that I just don’t care anymore.

I haven’t read the manga yet, so this theory might be completely off-base, but I wonder if Sana is slowly losing her Dreams of Alice abilities the more she “learns how to be human.”  When Sana is eventually in full in control of her emotions, and healed from her experiences at the research facility, maybe she will just be a normal girl like her peers? That’s my guess anyways.

This might seem like a weird observation, but I really like that we get to see more of what Zouroku does for a living. He’s not just depicted as a guy in a shop selling flowers, no. He actually goes to meet with clients to show off example of his work, and he’s ordering inventory and setting up events. I don’t know if florists in the West do this too, but hey I’m pretty impressed.

 

Nikolita

Just an animanga-loving social worker. I've been watching anime for almost 20 years - ask me about my favourites! I've been to Japan twice and would live there in a heartbeat if I could.

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