Manga: Kagihime Monogatari
An adaptation of the manga by Kaishaku, Kagihime
is the story of Kirihara Aruto, an Ordinary High-School Student
with an interest in Alternate L. Takion's Alice story. There are two volumes of Takion's story, and rumors of the existence of a third. One night, after working on his own continuation of the story (Fan Fic
, anyone?), he sees the form of a girl flash across the moon... a girl who happens to look exactly like what he imagines Alice should look like. He runs out of the house to chase her, and ends up in a library where the girl he was chasing is locked in combat with another girl who is similarly garbed. Because of this, he becomes involved with several girls called the Seekers of Alice.
The show aired in early 2006. Compare with Rozen Maiden
. Compare with Dantalian no Shoka
, especially the (ahem) key insertion part.
This series provides examples of:
- Alice Allusion
- Alliterative Name — Just about everybody, with Arisu Arisugawa having the most tongue-twisting name of all.
- Ascended Extra: Kisa in the anime.
- Attack Reflector: Kiriha's power in the manga.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished
- Blow You Away: Kirika
- Brother-Sister Incest — And how!
- BFS: Lorina and Shimako in particular. Inverted with Lidell in the manga, who manages to be the most powerful Kagihime with a more normal sized key.
- Cat Girl: Miko Mikoshiba. Mika Ogami is a Wolf Girl.
- Child Prodigy > Teen Genius: Kirika, thanks to extra tutoring.
- Clingy Jealous Girl — Kiraha; Kisa to Kiriha to some extent.
- Clothing Damage — Reading someone else's story rips away their clothes as the pages turn, symbolic of their unwanted exposure.
- Conveniently an Orphan: Aruto in the manga, whose parents died in a fire apparently leaving him with nothing but his Alice books.
- Cute Little Fangs — Kiraha
- Dark-Skinned Blonde: Suwa
- Demoted to Extra: Some of the other Key Princesses from the manga become this, especially in Episode 13.
- Does This Remind You of Anything? — Occurs whenever someone's story is read. In addition to the Clothing Damage, the female Seekers of Alice get penetrated by long hard objects (keys) and cry out in pain.
- Does Not Like Men - Mika
- Don't Fear The Reaper: Subverted with Risa in the manga who is genuinely terrifying as a Kagihime, but only really wants a friend and can only gain satisfaction from killing people.
- Dysfunction Junction — It appears to be part of the rules of the Seekers of Alice. You go in, you put the most hurtful part of your past on the line, and everyone has one.
- Elevator School
- Father, I Want to Marry My Brother — Kiriha is very protective of her brother. Definitely has a Big Brother Attraction going on. Though, partway through the series, she does come to a decision and goes with I Want My Beloved to Be Happy.
- Fairy Tale: The series' main motif. In addition to the two Alice girls, each Seeker is designed off a particular fairy tale - Rapunzel, Cinderella, what have you. Makes for interesting subtext in regards to the battles.
- Fanservice: Of the ecchi variety, but nothing too graphic. In the manga, however, we see Mika and Jacqueline share a kiss and then having sex.
- Fan Disservice: What Suwa does to Aruto in the manga is pretty disturbing . .
- Gag Boobs
- Gotta Catch 'Em All — The search for all the stories.
- Which is the Big Bad's goal in the manga.
- Godiva Hair/ Rapunzel Hair
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode is named after characters, objects and events from Alice In Wonderland
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Kirika, who thought that she left her only friend Lorina to die in a coffin that got cremated. In reality, Lorina abandoned her but she used that lie to cope with her loss.
- Idiot Hair: A lot of characters have this but special mention goes to Kisa, whose idiot hair overlaps into Expressive Hair and wiggles about whenever Kiriha is in danger.
- Improbable Weapon User — Giant keys are the standard among the Seekers, though they're surprisingly customizable.
- Indirect Kiss — The degrees to which Kisa goes with this is astounding. Her first attempt involves making cookies shaped like Kiraha, licking them and then hoping that Kiraha eats one when she comes over.
- Insistent Terminology: Sort of a meta-example. Regardless of what anyone might tell you, the weapons the Kagihime wield are keys and not a certain other key shaped weapon.
- Just Between You and Me — Takion sees fit to exposit his plan when he has Aruto and the girls in the dimension where his final battle is taking place.
- Limited Animation: Which becomes more apparent as the anime progresses
- Magical Girl
- Making a Splash: Kisa
- Mega Manning: Arisu in the manga.
- Manipulative Bitch: Suwa, also Liddell
- Meganekko: Kirika and one of the unseen Kagihime Aya.
- Mind Rape: Asuka Suwa's main method of weakening her opponents is to make them mentally relive their most traumatic memories.
- My Nayme Is: Arisu who insists that people spell her name in hirigana (ありす) as opposed to katakana (アリス).
- Non-Action Guy — Aruto doesn't do any fighting, but his ability to transcribe others' stories makes him useful.
- Off Model: Quite often.
- Ordinary High-School Student
- Panty Shot
- Parental Abandonment
- Phantom Zone — All the Seekers of Alice can generate a Mirror View Space in which to fight, leaving the real world unharmed.
- Playing with Fire — Akane, from episode four.
- Rape as Drama: Mika
- Reality Warper — Aruto. His creative power is so strong that it was enough to will Arisu into being and keep her that way. He runs into a few problems when her version of events doesn't match up with the real world, but she's still very convincing.
- Really 700 Years Old: Takion and Liddell, and in the anime they want to stay young forever.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Kiriha subverts this in the anime but sometimes plays this straight in the manga.
- RPG Episode — The 13th, final episode, which casts Aruto as a hero out to save a fantasy world.
- Schoolgirl Lesbians — Kisa is deeply in love with Kiraha to the point of being a Stalker with a Crush. She also has a deep and burning desire to kill Aruto, and has a closet of things Kiriha has come into contact with in the manga at her house.
- Also Mika Ogami and Jack Jacqueline in Volume 3 of the manga.
- Single-Minded Twins — The Alice twins, who start to venture into Creepy Twins territory near the end.
- Sleep Mode Size — Inverted with Kirika. When she goes into her magical girl form, she shrinks down to the age she was when a traumatic incident in her past occurred. This comes as a surprise to everyone else, since her typical form is that of a busty high schooler. She gets better in the manga after facing up to Lorina.
- Stripperific — Some of the other Kagihime's outfits can come off as this.
- Special mention goes to The Alice Police in the manga that wear leotards that show their bellies and back. They also have mecha-like shoulder pads and impossibly cool weaponry.
- There Can Be Only One
- The Starscream — Lidell, who ultimately ends up offing Takion to fight Kirika and Arisu in a showdown. However, she is spared.
- Transformation Sequence — But only if you're plot important. Aruto thinks he's going to get one in the final episode, but doesn't.
- Twelve Episode Anime — almost literally, as the main story is resolved in episode 12, and episode 13 is essentially an Omake.
- Unusual Ears — Rabbit ears.
- Writer's Block: Takion has this in the manga, having been unable to write a third sequel to his Alice series
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Aruto. Kiriha also has purple hair.
- Zerg Rush — In episode 13, a large group of Seekers charges after the main cast, but they're all defeated in an instant. Conservation of Ninjutsu. As Kirika explains, "resurrected monsters are weaker."
- Zettai Ryouiki: A lot of the Kagihime have up to grade A. Oddly enough, Kirika and Arisu have thigh highs under their skirt making it a subversion.