Anyway, having read the main series “Heart no Kuni no Alice” (Alice in the Country of Hearts) manga, I went on to read “Clover no Kuni no Alice: Cheshire Cat to Waltz” (Alice in the Country of Clover: Cheshire Cat Waltz) which is the story of Alice’s romance with Boris.
Before reading this review, you might want to read my previous post – Alice in the Country of Hearts Manga Series Overview and Review.
All of the Alice mangas are alternate versions of the story of Alice. The manga series is based on the original otome game series. As you probably know, in otome games there are tons of different endings. Since the manga can’t exactly adapt all of the different game routes, each manga focuses on one pairing. In Clover no Kuni no Alice: Cheshire Cat to Waltz, the pairing is Alice and the Cheshire Cat, Boris.
In this particular continuity, Alice was abducted by the White Rabbit and taken to a crazy world similar to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Initially she resided in the Country of Hearts. In Hearts she got to know all of the inhabitants and became friends with them. In Clover no Kuni no Alice, she has moved to the Country of Clover.
I recommend that you read Alice in the Country of Hearts manga first. However, if you already have a copy of Clover no Kuni no Alice: Cheshire Cat to Waltz then it’s fine to read it first since all of the manga series in the Alice universe are standalone spin-offs.
Clover no Kuni no Alice: Cheshire Cat to Waltz Review
Only the first three manga pages are colored, the rest are black and white. The art is pretty good but a little bit lazy since most panels don’t even have backgrounds. That’s okay since the art focuses more on Alice, Boris, and the other characters.
At first I was skeptical that the Boris route in the game could be adapted to such a long manga. Seven volumes seemed excessive, not to mention expensive. However, when I was reading the manga, time seemed to pass quickly. I never got bored at all.
The story starts off slowly as Alice (and me, as the reader) gets accustomed to all of the weirdness. The setting is actually pretty problematic as all of the inhabitants have different attitudes and values compared to Alice. I can’t really explain it in detail since that might spoil the story but basically, the Country of Clover works by a different logic compared to our (and Alice’s) world. It takes her a while to adjust.
While the main focus is on romance and character development, there is also a bit of action mixed in. The Country of Clover is dangerous place in which several factions, including the mafia, are fighting for more territory. Alice is just an innocent bystander but even can civilians get caught up in various violent situations.
The story is really topnotch. There are tons of exciting moments as well as warm, sweet, romantic, and sexy scenes that satisfy the fangirl in me.
Although the story’s focus is on Boris and Alice, the other characters all make appearances. In truth, I fell in love not just with Boris, but also with some of the other bishonen. One of the reasons why the manga is seven volumes long is probably the large amount of characters that appear.
Boris is so super perfect: nice, without being a pushover; sexy and aggressive without being rapey (sometimes a problem in otome games); supportive but not smothering; jealous and possessive but you know he is willing to die to protect Alice; and, lastly, has a great sense of humor. The only non-perfect thing about Boris is that at first he is trigger-happy to a fault, due to the number of fights he has everyday. Like all of the other characters, Boris can be quite brutal to his enemies. Apart from that, the only thing really wrong with him is that he isn’t real. Too bad.
Alice is the usual otome heroine: sweet, cute, and unbelievably resistant to bishonen. Where a normal girl would swoon, have a nosebleed, or go “~kyaa!”, Alice just goes “ugh, your face is too close to me.” *lols* Seriously though, she is a pretty good heroine, I like her. She is strong and refuses to take any shit from anyone.
You can see from the image above that Alice doesn’t easily fall in love even with the most moe characters.
This month I had a nice amount of extra money which I earmarked to spend on frivolous things such as manga. I mention this since the number of Alice mangas I have read so far is 5 (main series) + 7 (Cheshire) + 3 (Knight’s Knowledge, Ace’s story) which all together cost over $150.
I mention cost because the Cheshire Waltz series is a not insignificant investment in money and time. In my opinion, the art, story, and overall enjoyment I got from reading the manga was worth every penny.
Also, Cheshire Waltz is far superior to the main Alice in the Country of Hearts manga since Cheshire has a lot more believable romance. The story unfolds slowly but in such a way that I became completely convinced that Alice and Boris really are in love.
In Japan the otome games are rated Cero B: for gamers ages 12 and up.
The manga is rated for older teens.
After reading Cheshire Cat Waltz, there are tons of other manga series that you can read which are also set in the Country of Clover.
The Clover mangas are all titled “Alice in the Country of Clover” but the subtitle will tell you which pairing is featured. For example, Alice in the Country of Clover – Bloody Twins is the Tweedle Dee/Tweedle Dum + Alice story.
The other manga series are (list format is Japanese title, then English title, then the character it focuses on):
Futago no Koibito (Twin Lovers) – Dee and Dum
Heart no Kishi (Knight of Hearts) – Ace
Kishi no Kokoroe (Knight’s Knowledge) – Ace
Kuroi Tokage to Nigai Aji (Black Lizard and Bitter Taste) – Gray
Nightmare – Nightmare
Sangatsu Usagi (March Hare) – Elliot
Sangatsu Usagi no Kakumei (March Hare’s Revolution) – Elliot
Shiro Usagi to Tokeijikake no Wana (The White Rabbit and the Clockwork Trap) – Peter White
Tokage no Hosakan (The Lizard Aide) – Gray
Daily writing prompts: Unpredictable
In the beginning of the story, Boris, in a word, is unpredictable. Alice can never know which way he will jump, or even if he will jump at all. After all, he is a cat. One day he could be by Alice’s side, being deredere but the next day he could disappear and no one will know when he will be back. The nice thing about the manga is how it shows Boris’ and Alice’s character development. Their relationship slowly evolves from a casual friendship to a deep, committed, romantic love. *sigh*