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Manga / Alice 19th

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I wish I had 'Courage'...

Alice 19th is a Shoujo manga written by Yuu Watase. It ran from 2001 to 2003 in Shoujo Comic for a total of seven volumes, and was licensed by Viz Media.

Alice Seno is a shy girl that's afraid to speak her mind, while her older sister Mayura is open about her opinions. Mayura seems to outshine her in everything and leaves Alice feeling inferior, though she tries to hide her emotions.

One day, Alice sees a white rabbit in the middle of the street and hears the thoughts of the people around her. Without thinking of her own safety, she rushes into traffic to save the rabbit — who turns out to be magical and can turn into a little rabbit girl called Nyozeka. She tells Alice that she has the potential to be a Lotis Master and explains that Lotis are words that possess great power.

Alice ignores Nyozeka, but quickly learns there's truth in her words. She and Mayura get into a fight because both end up falling for Kyo Wakamiya, a schoolmate of theirs. During the argument, Alice angrily tells Mayura to just disappear — which she promptly does. Nyozeka explains that Mayura has fallen prey to the Maram, the darkness of one's heart.

Nyozeka explains that Alice has to use the Lotis to save Mayura from the Maram. Things get more complicated when Kyo turns out to have potential as a Lotis Master himself and the skirt-chasing Frey is sent to guide the new masters. But Mayura doesn't seem that willing to leave this world of darkness.

Alice 19th contains the following examples:

  • Aerith and Bob: Alice and Mayura are Japanese, but the former is named after the girl in Wonderland and the latter is the Sanskrit word for Peacock.
  • Alice Allusion: The main character is called Alice, and Nyozeka takes on the form of a white rabbit.
  • Attempted Rape
    • Matsujo tries to assault Alice in the initial trip to the Inner Heart world, but Alice manages to use the Lotis to throw him off of her.
    • Tetsuya tries to rape Alice while brainwashed by Mayura, making sure to keep her mouth covered, so she can't speak any Lotis. She still manages to use Lotis without speech, and then Tetsuya leaves when Kyo comes in to check on Alice.
  • Big Bad: Darva, an ancient and powerful entity that is the source of the Maram Words, and is willing to drive the world into its destruction by corrupting the hearts of the inhabitants. He is using Mayura as a host to reincarnate onto Earth.
  • The Chosen One: Alice and Kyo are the legendary Neo Masters that are destined to appear when Lotusan's words are beginning to lose power. They are believed to defeat Darva with the power of the Lost Word.
  • The Corruption: The power behind the Mara corrupts people's hearts and turns them into evil monsters. They twist and exaggerate the bad feelings a person may carry around with them.
  • Die or Fly: Alice and Kyo learn to use Buimuku, which ends up giving them wings, just in time to prevent themselves from falling to their death in the Inner Heart. Frey claims that he cannot perform this, but later volumes show all the Lotis Master being able to sprout wings for flight.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Mayura uses this often. Her little sister is in love with the same guy — match her up with a different guy to distract her from him. Her little sister bluntly tells her to leave her alone — Mayura goes on to manipulate their parents and friends to abandon her. Her little sister stands up to her and wants to confess to Kyo — place a curse on Kyo that means he'll die if she confesses.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Darva's human appearance is depicted as a longhaired man with feminine features.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The protagonists struggle through pain and work through the mess of interpersonal relationships, but the world ends up saved and are able to put their words to good use.
  • The Generic Guy: Billy and Mei-Lin don't get much development to their characters beyond minor traits. They appear shortly before the final showdown with Darva, leaving Watase no time to expand on their backgrounds. But the side-story in the final volume does follow one of Mei-Lin's ancestors.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: The most effective way to purify Mara from within a human is to travel to the Inner Heart and remove its source there.
  • Kaiju: Darva's true form is a grotesque beast that towers over cities.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: Alice and the other Lotis Master use Lotis Words to defeat the evil within people's hearts.
  • Nightmare Dreams: After Mayura disappears, Alice ends up experiencing several nightmares because of her guilt. The nightmares become worse when Mayura returns, as she's messing with her mind.
  • Not Quite Dead: None of the Lotis Masters were actually dead when Alice fell into her catatonic state. Billy even explains after the final battle that they wouldn't die so easily.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Alice's timid nature keeping her from speaking her mind drives some of Mayura's resentment. A large portion of the series revolves around Alice working on being able to speak up about things.
  • Power Gives You Wings: 'Buimuku' has connotations of wings, which they give to the Lotis Master.
  • Reincarnation
    • Darva is an ancient entity that feeds on humanity's darkest desires. And when someone falls deep enough into the darkness, like Mayura did, he possesses them to reincarnate into the real world.
    • The final few pages show Nyozeka's spirit hanging around Alice and telling her to get a move on with confessing to Kyo already. It's pretty clear that she'll be reincarnated as their daughter.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Alice and Mayura end up arguing over Kyo, and are on opposite sides to battle for the fate of the world.
  • Spell My Name with an S
    • Many of the international translations tend to not agree on romanizing several of the words because of the Katakana used. Mala/Mara/Maara and Malamu/Maram/Maaram, as well as Dalvia/Darva and Lotsan/Lotusan.
    • Mei-Lin and Mei-Rin are used within the original Japanese, with 'Mei-Lin' being used in the story and the cover of the sixth volume using 'Mei-Rin'. Most of the translations go for 'Mei-Lin'.
    • Frey is often seen translated as Frey or Frei. Both are considered correct, as 'Frey' is Scandinavian for 'Lord' and 'Frei' is merely a variant of 'Frey'.
  • Tongue-Tied: Mayura places a curse on Kyo that means he'll die if Alice ever confesses her feelings for him. The curse gets broken when Kyo comes to terms with the source of his hatred, his unresolved feelings towards his abusive father, leaving Alice free to confess.
  • Words Can Break My Bones: Lotis Words and Maram Words can help and hurt people, respectively. Nyozeka also mentions that even people without the ability to use either of them can heal or harm people, saying that people should be careful with what they say.