Alice in the Country of Clover: Knight’s Knowledge Review
Recently I have been madly devouring the Alice manga volumes which are based on the otome game series. And when I say devouring, I mean that I have read over 30 of the tankoubon. I have already written two posts about them here and here.
The last three volumes I got were Alice in the Country of Clover: Knight’s Knowledge volumes 1-3.
I really wanted to write a nice and normal review of the 3 volumes but after I read them I was like “screw this, I need to fangirl review this!” because I was so *censored language here* by it.
Caution! Massive spoilers here. Do not read if you don’t want spoilers for the entire series. This is your only warning.
Now, in the “Alice in the Country of Hearts” manga Ace was just that directionally challenged guy who was always smiling. Check out the picture below.
Yeah, that’s Ace in his normal mode. His mask is firmly in place. He can be nice and helpful to people as you can see from the panel below.
However, after a while manga readers will start to notice that Ace has a dark side to him. You can see that from manga page below. Though I believe this is fan manga, I think it’s still true to Ace’s character.
And below this is more proof of Ace being more than a little bit dangerous.
While these homicidal tendencies might be more than a little bit alarming for Alice, for me as a reader they just make Ace even more interesting. So when the “Alice in the Country of Clover: Knight’s Knowledge” manga was delivered to my doorstep, you can bet I was very excited to rip that package open.
I was mentally prepared for insane Ace to rock Alice’s world because I had already read the “Clover no Kuni no Alice: Heart no Kishi” (Alice in the Country of Clover: Ace of Hearts) manga which was super awesome with lots of Ace goodness. And by “Ace goodness” I mean he was batshit crazy and tried to “jokingly” choke Alice. But that’s alright; it just made me fangirl harder.
And really, it’s not like Alice was even upset. As she said, if Ace really wanted to kill her, she wouldn’t be able to stop him. No one would.
Twisted logic aside, the Ace of Hearts manga was great because it showed how the Ace+Alice relationship would work. TL;DR they would be lost together. Their relationship would be highly dysfunctional. In many ways, it would be anti-romantic.
Ace of Hearts was great but too short (just one volume) so I decided to buy the Knight’s Knowledge series which is 3 volumes. I mean, if one volume of Ace+Alice is great then 3 volumes must be 3x better, right?
Dang it, where did it all go wrong? Argh!
I hate that there was no focus on Ace! More than 50% of the pages did not have Ace in it. Most of the manga was other characters Wtf, who thought this was a good idea? I was so bummed there wasn’t enough Ace. *sobs quietly in a corner*
Volume 1 was bad. Ace only had one proper scene and it was the exact same one from “Ace of Hearts” (the choking one I already mentioned). I am honestly baffled that Ace had so little screentime in his own manga.
When I picked up volume 2 I had high hopes (when will I learn?) because surely volume 1 was just the introduction, right? So volume 2 should be when the Alice+Ace relationship would start to heat up. Nope, there were still barely any Ace appearances. He barely got any lines at all! There was only one part where he bonded a tiny bit with Alice and it lasted all of 4 pages. *cries again*
Not only did he not have many scenes, Ace also got upstaged by Boris. At this point I was ready to throw a tantrum. Boris, seriously?
Okay, don’t get me wrong I *love* Boris, I really do. But an Ace manga should be about Ace! I still can’t believe Boris and the other characters got all the good parts while Ace just didn’t appear or moped around in a very uninteresting way.
On the other hand, volume 2 had a pretty cool fight with Elliot at the end. But is this supposed to be an Elliot+Ace manga? (That was not a complaint, I would happily read an Elliot+Ace manga.)
Then it was time for me to read volume 3 and thankfully the first few pages was the continuation of the fight with Elliot.
This one panel (picture below) satisfied my Ace craving right away.
Ace is soooo bad. I laughed. Elliot’s response was also on point. So much innuendo lol.
That’s classic Ace. He loves to troll people. I’ve noticed that sometimes even his most innocent remarks are actually him trolling people hard because the next panel after he says something “harmless” is him grinning – and the other character getting extremely upset or panicked. When he senses a weakness, he likes to needle people about it.
The rest of volume 3 was good. Nice ending. It just wasn’t great.
Knight’s Knowledge Manga Review: Conclusion
Overall the manga was pretty disappointing for me. The last volume was good but the first two suffered from lack of Ace moments.
I guess I would have preferred an Ace manga set in the Country of Hearts. Clover sucks because it doesn’t have my preferred “one true pairing” which is actually a “one true threesome.” Of course, I mean the three in the image below.
Anyone else agree with me? Tell me who your favorite pair/threesome is.
Daily writing prompt: Depth
While it’s easy to dismiss Ace as just the usual garden variety insane psycho yandere, he actually does have a backstory in the games that is revealed in Diamond no Kuni no Alice. However, at this point in time in “Knight’s Knowledge” neither Alice nor the reader know *why* he is so lost all of the time.
The thing I most love about Ace is that his character has depth. When I read about his backstory, suddenly every other panel was either foreshadowing, harsher in hindsight, or a cryptic utterance related to his past. What seemed like Ace’s juvenile rebellion at first has now has morphed into a series of terrifying implications about what life is really like in the Country of Hearts.
I have not revealed the spoiler details of Ace’s past here since I plan to write one whole post solely about that. (Update: I have written the post, it’s the first link below)
Alice in the Country of Hearts: Why is Ace (the Knight of Hearts) always lost? – My post about Ace, massive spoilers
Heart no Kuni no Alice – Ace “Ace is crazy and weird, but I love him.” Me, too!