Alice & Zouroku Episodes 2 and 3

Yikes, sorry guys. I’ve been busy trying to get some final projects finished. Hopefully the next Alice & Zouroku review won’t be terribly delayed.

A memory of the past?

Episode 2 and 3 Summary:

In episode 2, Sana meets Zouroku’s granddaughter, Sanae. Although Sana is suspicious of Sanae at first (as Sanae’s a bit odd), the two manage to become quick friends. After being fed pancakes by Sanae, Sana talks a bit about her life at the facility, and how she met the twins. Sana lived fairly happily at the facility, until she witnessed something horrible. This incident scared her so badly that it was what prompted her to run away.

I didn’t take a screencap of the twins last time, so here.
Sana’s too cute here.
Sana……… :c

Sanae comforts Sana. Sana then attempts to whisk them both to the research facility, intending to destroy it. However, she ends up “jumping” to various parts of the world instead. Eventually, they land in Zouroku’s flower shop. Around this time, one of Zouroku’s friends drops by.

In episode 3, we finally find out just who Zouroku’s friend really is. He appears to be some kind of police officer or detective named Naito Ryu. He apparently works for the faction that opposes the people at the facility where Sana was held. He gives Sana a tracking device pin should she ever be recaptured by the people at the facility.

The most blatant advertising I have ever seen. Also… why is it in English? (Did Japan use the English slogan too?)

In the meantime, we get a glimpse at the backstory of the woman named “Minnie C.” She and her husband were part of the U.S. military. Minnie is somewhat unique in that her powers didn’t manifest until after her husband died (during the Iraq war). The mysterious hands that she controls are apparently part of her husband’s spirit.

This whole scene was supposed to be touching, apparently.

Ryu attempts to get Zouroku to take in Sana, because he realizes that what Sana desperately needs is a warm, loving family. Unfortunately, Sana is quickly captured by Minnie when she goes to use the bathroom. This prompts everyone to go on a chase, hoping to retrieve Sana before she’s returned to the facility.

When can we learn more about Naito’s assistant lady?

My Opinion:

These were pretty good episodes, balancing the slice-of-life stuff and plot well.

Episode 2 was kind of a breather episode, after all the action that went down in episode 1. We get introduced to Sanae, Zouroku’s granddaughter. Anime, THIS is how you do oddball characters right. She’s kind of odd, but not obnoxiously so; and her actions aren’t over-exaggerated. She’s also just a sweet person in general so nothing bad better happen to her.

I didn’t expect Sana to talk about her origins so soon, but it was a welcome surprise. Sana mentions that she has no memory of her life before the facility. Apparently, she couldn’t even talk before then. So what is Sana, exactly? Is she really even human? Episode 3 seems to hint that she isn’t. Is she just a lab-created lifeform then? I’m also curious as to what Sana witnessed, exactly. It’s pretty obvious that the facility was trying to do some tests on a person, and it went terribly, terribly wrong. Maybe they were trying to transplant Sana’s powers into someone who didn’t have them? Silly scientists, you should know by now that anime magic is a dangerous thing to mess around with.

Other than that, this episode did show off a bit more of the rules surrounding Sana’s (and the other girls’) powers. Sana doesn’t usually try to manifest food because that takes far too much energy just to create it; and is thus an inefficient way of gaining more energy. So she has to acquire food in more normal ways. This at least puts an end to the “why can’t Sana just manifest food” question.

Anyway, I was hoping for some more slice-of-life stuff in episode 3, but we instead get hit with quite a bit of plot. Which is okay too. I neglected to mention it in my review, but it should be fairly obvious that Naito’s assistant lady is the same lady that saved Sana at the beginning of episode 1.

In this episode, we get a surprisingly large amount of focus on Minnie. Okay, I get that she’s supposed to be a tragic villain figure but… Her entire backstory went by so quickly that the effect was lost on me. I feel like a terrible person for saying so; but her tragedy was discussed in such a rushed manner that it felt almost comical. Like… okay? At least it explains her current actions, but honestly Minnie’s still acting pretty despicable here. I know you wanna bring back your husband, but you’re still compliant in the abuse of a (basically) innocent kid. (Plus I feel like the facility’s just using you anyway, so you’ll probably get backstabbed later.)

Although Naito and his crew are the “good guys” in this situation, I also feel a little wary of them. They do at least care for Sana as if she were an actual human being rather than just a test subject. But I have to wonder if their motives for helping her escape and live a normal life are genuine.

I also can’t not mention the super blatant Carl’s Jr. advertising present in episode 3. Seriously, what the hell? It came out of nowhere and was super jarring. I guess the advertising was due to Carl’s Jr. probably being the one that’s funding most of Alice & Zouroku. At least there was an actual reason (sort of) for the advertisement, so it wasn’t that… out of place? I just hope it doesn’t happen again.

Overall, I enjoyed these two episodes, but I do worry a bit about the pacing of the show. The series is supposedly only 12 episodes long (for now?). And episodes 2 and 3 only covered the time span of half a day; and it seems like it’s going to continue into episode 4. I’m just wondering how much more story they can fit in the remaining nine episodes. Unless the rest of the episodes are all plot-heavy ones, I don’t see them wrapping up the story neatly by episode 12. And I guess that also means that all the slice-of-life stuff is getting thrown out the window…

Well, as long as the series continues to be interesting, I’ll keep watching.

Out of five for both episodes:

precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2 and 1/2

You’re the biggest monster here, Minnie.

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