Alice to Zouroku – Episode 12 [I’m Home] [Final Impression]
It’s the last episode guys… *sniff* ;~;
Ryuu meets with a government official (the Prime Minister?) secretly and gives him an info packet about the Dreams of Alice. It’s implied that Ryuu is giving him the information of his own accord, instead of being directed to do so by someone higher up the chain of command than him. Could Ryuu be a double agent, or am I reading into the scene too much? o_O
In the real world, Sana, Hatori, Zouroku and Sanae have been missing for 10 days. Ayumu receives a text message from inside Wonderland and thinks it’s Hatori betraying their promise to go see flowers together, but in reality the rabbit of Wonderland has Hatori’s phone. But there’s no cell service inside Wonderland, right? Wrong! That’s what makes this little rabbit so special. Because the rabbit was also born in Wonderland, it has special powers and apparently one of them is a cell signal.
Around the same time Hatori realizes her phone is missing, and sees the rabbit with it. Together she and Sana chase the damn whitetail all around Wonderland. Sana eventually gets the idea to pretend to be tired so the rabbit will approach them, and then she can catch it. It works!
With the rabbit captured, Hatori makes a call to Ayumu. They have a happy friendship-affirming moment and then as Hatori’s cell battery is dying, she pleads for Ayumu to find the rabbit hole in the real world. From there Ayumu should be able to come into Wonderland.
Sure enough, Ayumu finds the rabbit hole on Takeshita street. A pair of wooden doors with the Cheshire Cat materializes in front of her, and after she enters them the doors disappear. Down into Wonderland she goes!
The Cheshire doors open near Sana and Hatori, and the best friends are reunited. At the same time, the spotted pig leads Zouroku and Sanae to Sana! Everyone is reunited! Well, almost. Zouroku and Sanae are on another floating island and can’t get to Sana. That is until the white rabbit materializes a roll of red tape and two scooters for Zouroku and Sanae to roll across the ribbon on.
Now the only person missing is Shizuku… where could she be??
Zouroku is the last of the two to cross the ribbon, and as he does grey clouds start to gather in the skies of Wonderland. In the real world, these clouds correspond to a very rapidly increasing Wonderland. In moments it will breach the ground below the research facility on its way to the surface, so everyone in the facility must be evacuated.
Zouroku is having none of Wonderland’s shit though. He gives the stormy clouds a glare and yells at them to cut it out, thus fulfilling his earlier vow to give Wonderland a talking to. Zouroku then catches the white rabbit trying to sneak away, so the white rabbit materializes a giant red buzzer that says “Danger!” Zouroku presses the button and fireworks are launched into the sky. As the fireworks detonate, the grey clouds thin out and disappear. Their disappearance also causes Shizuku to fall from the sky! She’s ok though, thankfully. In the real world, Wonderland’s expansion has magically stopped. Yay Zouroku for saving the day!
The Cheshire doors leads Zouroku, Sana, Sanae, Hatori and Ayumu up into Zouroku’s house. Sana’s room, specifically. Shizuku is also able to safely leave Wonderland, much to Yamada’s immense relief, though Shizuku is dead tired from her ordeal and passes out right on the floor of the research facility.
Zouroku walks Hatori and Ayumu to Hatori’s house. Hatori realizes she and Ayumu will probably be in trouble with the police, but Zouroku says they have people who will support them, and that they can call him if they get in trouble. Hatori asks Sana to stay for a few minutes too, because Hatori says she can’t lie when Sana is around so she will be forced to tell her parents the truth, and Sana can back her up.
Hatori walks in her front door, and her parents are obviously overcome with relief that their daughter is safe. Seeing how happy her parents are at her safe return makes Hatori realize that her parents do love her and want her around.
Some time after, we see the same government official from the beginning of the episode making an official announcement about a new government department being opened to help deal with the influx of new Dreams of Alice. Atop a tall building Ryuu, Yamada and Shizuku discuss the announcement and how they hope this new changed world will be for the better.
As the credits roll, we see Sana getting to experience getting ready to go to school for the first time. Zouroku and Sanae give Sana a brand new schoolbag, and all her supplies get labeled. Finally on her first say of school, Hatori and Ayumu come to pick Sana up in the morning so they can walk to school together. In the final moments of the episode, the blonde woman from several episodes ago appears and it’s implied that she’s Sana as an adult. Holding a bouquet of flowers to her chest, she thanks Zouroku for everything he did for her.
My thoughts: Omg I love this show. ;~; How heartwarming! I think this was a perfect end to the series, but I really really hope that there is a season 2 somewhere in the future. I would definitely sign up to cover it!
Story: I was really impressed with Alice‘s story. The pacing was perfect and the twist in the middle of the series when Minnie C was defeated and the original people running research facility were arrested really caught me off guard, and that in turn kept me interested in the show. If the ending I thought would happen actually happened six episodes sooner, what could happen next?? A+ for the story from me.
Characters: I didn’t like some of the moments when Zouroku was super hard on Sana, but they’re somewhat realistic in that every parent is bound to have moments when they’re angry at their child. (I just felt so bad for Sana. ^^;; ) Aside from that, all of the characters were memorable in their own way. I’m also happy that Sana and Hatori were able to make up their differences, and that they ended up becoming friends was the cherry on top.
Who was the most memorable character for me? Aside from Sana, probably Minnie C. I’ll just say it’s been awhile since a character has made me cry the way she has and leave it at that.
Music and Animation: The music for this show is FANTASTIC! I have been listening to both the opening and the ending themes for awhile now, and the insert tunes are beautiful too.
The ONLY thing I have to say I dislike about Alice is that I don’t like the character designs, hence “Azumanga Daioh Syndrome.” (J.C Staff produced both shows.) The character animations grew on me by the end of the season, but I’m still not a fan of them at the end of the day.
Oh, and the use of 3D in Alice was very, very well done. Nothing ever looked clunky or jarring, and was always a pleasure to look at.
Overall Thoughts: If you like happy, fuzzy shows about family and good friendships with lots of comedy mixed in, then I recommend Alice & Zouroku for you. This show made me grin, laugh and cry – what more can I say? Watch it!
Final Score: 9.5/10