Gakuen Alice

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Gakuen Alice
Gakuen Alice vol01 Cover.jpg
The cover of the first volume of Gakuen Alice as published by Hakusensha featuring Mikan Sakura
学園アリス
(Gakuen Arisu)
Genre Comedy, Supernatural, Romance, Drama
Manga
Written by Higuchi Tachibana
Published by Hakusensha
English publisher
Demographic Shōjo
Magazine Hana to Yume
Original run 19 February 200320 June 2013
Volumes 31 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by Takahiro Omori
Music by Makoto Yoshimori
Studio Group TAC, Aniplex
Licensed by
Network NHK BS-2
Original run 30 October 200414 May 2005
Episodes 26 (List of episodes)
Game
Gakuen Alice ~Doki Doki Fushigi Taiken~
Developer Kids Station
Publisher Kids Station
Genre Adventure
Platform Game Boy Advance
Released November 18, 2004
Game
Gakuen Alice ~Kira Kira Memory Kiss~
Developer Kids Station
Publisher Kids Station
Genre Adventure
Platform PlayStation 2
Released February 10, 2006
Game
Gakuen Alice: Waku Waku Happy Friends
Developer Kids Station
Publisher Kids Station
Genre Adventure
Platform Nintendo DS
Released April 19, 2007
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Gakuen Alice (学園アリス Gakuen Arisu?), also known as Alice Academy or Alice School, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tachibana Higuchi, currently being serialized in the shōjo manga magazine Hana to Yume. It was adapted into an anime series produced by Aniplex and Group TAC which originally premiered on NHK BS-2. It spanned twenty-six episodes, between October 30, 2004, and May 14, 2005. The anime was translated and dubbed into English by the anime television network Animax and broadcast on networks throughout Asia. At Anime Expo 2008, The Right Stuf International announced that its Nozomi Entertainment division had licensed Gakuen Alice for the North American market.

Plot[edit]

Mikan Sakura grew up with her grandfather on the countryside of Japan. When her best friend, Hotaru, transfers to a prestigious school in Tokyo, Mikan follows her. The school is actually an elite Academy for gifted people with "Alices," an ability that is unique depending on the individual being. Once Mikan arrives to the gates of the school, she encounters an Alice teacher named Narumi, gets enrolled due to a series of events, and is told that she possesses a rare Alice. Despite her initial view of the so-called greatness to the school, Mikan slowly discovers that beneath the grand facade of the Academy, there is a never-ending stream of lies and buried secrets. The school's increasingly manipulative and sinister actions towards her make it a dangerous place to be. Little does Mikan know that her enrollment in Alice Academy set the gears in motion to an even greater tragedy.

Differences between manga and anime[edit]

The anime episodes are similar to the first 28 manga chapters, but some events are changed or combined. There are events after the Alice Festival added in that did not occur in the manga. The manga's darker tones (graphic violence, blood scenes, and the deaths of Yuka and Izumi) are left out in the anime to suit younger viewers. Characters in the anime may have different hair and eye color than their manga counterparts. The anime series leaves the love triangle between Mikan, Ruka, and Natsume unresolved; Mikan remains oblivious to their feelings. The mystery of Mikan's parents and family history, along with others' past, remains unrevealed. In the first episode, she catches a taxi to Alice Academy and no one knows about Alices in the anime. The anime has Reo as the antagonist while the manga has the Elementary School Principal. The anime does not reveal the intents of the Elementary School Principal or other antagonists.

Setting[edit]

The Gakuen Alice is located somewhere in Tokyo, across from a huge gorilla billboard in the anime. The school grounds contain three levels of education (elementary through senior high), dormitories for the different sections, a hospital, the main building, and the central town, where shops managed by Alice-bearing artisans sell goods produced with the help of their Alices.

Four forests surround the grounds. The Northern Woods are the most visited and is home to "Mr. Bear," an animated doll made by Kaname Sono's Creation Alice at the school.

In the anime, the Academy has its own monetary system, the Rabbit (Rt), with one Rabbit equivalent to 100 yen. However, in the manga, the Academy uses yen as their primary currency.

Due to constant threat by kidnappers and slave traders, vocal and written communication is limited to within the Academy. The grounds are closely guarded, and heavy security and electrified fences deter students from attempting to leave. The Academy is also guarded by a strong barrier cast by the Middle School Principal as the possessor of a tremendously powerful Barrier Alice.

High-scoring students in the Final Examinations receive perks such as free meal tickets, certifications, and money. These high-scoring students also qualify for a chance to receive the "Best Student Award," which allows the students to be permitted a week-long leave to go home to be with family.

Alices/Powers[edit]

Alice type[edit]

  1. Latent Type (潜在能力 Senzai-nōryoku?): Latent Alices are the most common in the school, and involve powers connected to ESP abilities. This is the most well-documented class. Examples: Pyrokinesis, Teleportation, and Telekinesis.
  2. Technical Type (技術 Gijutsu?): Technical Alice types appear when the individual performs a certain activity, such as cooking, drawing, etc. The Alices in this type are based on technology and research fields. Examples: Plant Manipulation, Invention and Cooking.
  3. Somatic Type (体質 Taishitsu?): Unlike other classes, this type manifests itself physically. The Somatic Alices are based on the bodies of humans, animals, and other living things, and appear in the form of a pheromone or physical ability. Examples: Super Speed and Human Pheromone.
  4. Special Ability (特別能力 Toku-nōryoku?): This class is for students with Alices that do not fit easily into any of the other three classes. Their powers are different and the class is mixed. Some of the rarest Alices belong to this class. Examples: Amplification Alice, Doppelganger Alice, Nullification Alice and Shadow Manipulation Alice.
  5. Dangerous Ability (危険能力 Kiken-nōryoku?): This is considered to be an extra type; the Alices in this class are so strong or so dangerous that they are a threat to the school. This class is very different from the others and could also be described as an occult. They are used by the Elementary School Principal and Persona, to perform secret missions for the school. Students with dangerous attitudes are put into the class regardless of their original types (such as Natsume Hyuuga). Tsubasa Andou and Mikan Sakura are the newest additions to the class though the latter managed to escape without going on any missions. Examples: Possession of Evil Spirits Alice, Insect-controlling Alice, and Curse Alice.

Alice shape[edit]

Alices are categorized into four different shapes, which specify how it manifests itself in the person. These may vary depending on the character themselves.

  1. Childhood: The Alice disappears after the child starts to mature into an adult.
  2. Diffuse: The Alice is always available, but at a relatively low power level.
  3. Intermittent: The Alice can only be used for a short period at any time, but at a relatively high power level. Every time the Alice is used, the Alice "supply" shortens until the user loses his/her Alice completely.
  4. Life-shortening: The Alice is very powerful and can be used as often and as much as desired. However, the more often the Alice is used, the more the user's body deteriorates and life span shortens, and eventually the user will reach an early death.

Star-ranking[edit]

A star-ranking is the evaluation system that the Academy uses to judge a student's schoolwork, Alice level and attitude. There are five rankings, which are indicated by the number of gold stars on a student's collar. The star ranking a student is given dictates their accommodations, their food, their allowances, their responsibilities, and their ability to graduate.

  1. No-Star: Students who are below average. This rank is reserved mainly for children, and is not enough to graduate beyond the Elementary School Division.
  2. Single: Students who are approximately average. Most of the students in the Elementary School Division have this rank. Required to graduate from the Elementary School Division. Examples: Mikan Sakura, Youichi Hijiri.
  3. Double: Students who are above average, but still are not exceptionally advanced at either their studies or use of their Alice. Required to graduate from the Middle School Division. Examples: Sumire Shouda, Kokoryomi.
  4. Triple: Students who are usually considered "overachievers" and tend to excel at their studies, use of their Alice, or both. Required to graduate from the High School Division. Examples: Hotaru Imai, Yuu Tobita, Ruka Nogi.
  5. Special: Students who are considered the best of the best, signified by a label in the shape of a star enclosed in a circle (though rarely seen in the anime). Students of this rank excel tremendously in their Alice and, if they care, their studies. Also known as the "Principal students". Examples: Natsume Hyuuga, Subaru Imai, Shuuichi Sakurano.

Each star ranking has its own monthly allowance rate:

  1. No-Star: 5 Rabbits (equal to about 500 yen or 6 USD)
  2. Single: 30 Rabbits (equal to about 3000 yen or 38 USD)
  3. Double: 50 Rabbits (equal to about 5000 yen or 64 USD)
  4. Triple: 100 Rabbits (equal to about 10000 yen or 129 USD)
  5. Special: 300 Rabbits (equal to about 30000 yen or 389 USD)

Rabbits are only used in the anime.

Control devices[edit]

Control devices are specially designed prevention devices made for a particular person. These devices are worn on the head, hand, or other body part and can emit tracking signals. Each kind of device has sealing abilities that lock a person's Alice within the device. Other control devices are used for punishment purposes or Alice interference, such as the Cat Mask worn by Hyuuga Natsume, the black star on Tsubasa's cheek, and the bracelet worn by Nodacchi. There are also earrings that cannot be taken off. If a person wearing one of these disobeys a higher-up, he or she is immediately punished with a pulsating electric shock throughout the body. When wearing a control mask normally, electric waves go through the head and cause the wearer to have a horrible headache. Only the one who has placed the control device on the wearer can remove the device.

Alice Stones[edit]

Alice stones, are stones that contain a small, limited amount of Alice from the Alice maker. The stone will glow different colors depending on the Alice that the stone was made of. The person who receives the Alice stone will only be able to use it with a strong will power. When the user has an Alice that is compatible with the Alice stone, he or she is able to bring out more of the stone's power at one time. The power of the Alice stone decreases with use which is indicated by the fading of the stone color. The exchange of Alice stones between two people symbolizes that they are promised to each other, like promise rings.

Alice stones are created when an Alice concentrates his or her feelings and emotions and the outflow of Alice creates a stone. The only exception to this method is the Stealing Alice, in which the Alice is completely removed from the body of the original possessor.

Main characters[edit]

Mikan Sakura[edit]

The protagonist of the series. She is ten years old in the beginning and is currently sixteen years old. She originally lived in the country with her adoptive grandfather until she left her home to search for her best friend, Hotaru Imai, who had enrolled in Alice Academy. Mikan discovered that Alice Academy is a school for children with a unique ability called an "Alice". When she arrived at the academy, she did not believe that she was an Alice and only came to see Hotaru again. However, Narumi L. Anju, her teacher, believed that she was an Alice and had her enrolled into the school. She was accepted by her classmates with skepticism because she did not know what her Alice was at the particular moment, but after a fight with Natsume Hyuuga, she found out that she possessed the Nullification Alice. As the series progresses, she gained a lot of friends due to her cheerful and caring personality and became popular among her peers, despite her naivety and comical traits. Her friendship with Hotaru grew stronger, despite their constant fights. She was partnered with Natsume, whom she constantly quarreled with but she later grew to care for him and fell in love with him. Mikan was a No-Star in the beginning because the teachers distrusted her, but she later became a Single Star after the incident with Reo. Soon after, it was proven that Mikan possessed the Stealing Alice and its partnered Insertion Alice. In chapter 101, she was informed that the High School Principal is her paternal uncle and her parents are Yuka Azumi, a member of the Z Organization who abandoned her as an infant for her protection against the academy, and Izumi Yukihira, a teacher who was killed before she was born. She became the subject to the unwanted attention from the Elementary School Principal who wanted her to remove the Nullification and Death of Mark Alice stones from his body which were inserted by Yuka Azumi using her newly found Stealing Alice. It was later revealed that her Alice shape was Intermittent, and in chapter 166, she used the last of her Alices in an attempt to save Natsume from dying. Mikan had to be expelled from the academy due to her loss of Alices and is now living with her adoptive grandfather in her original hometown. Since her existence is deeply connected to the academy, her memories during her stay were removed in order to protect Mikan from the possibility of her being targeted by several organizations to obtain information regarding the academy. Four years later, however, her memories are returned to her and she is asked to return to the academy. She then begins a journey to find Hotaru.

Hotaru Imai[edit]

Mikan Sakura's best friend. Possessing the Invention Alice, Hotaru is intelligent, logical and extremely rational. She is also rather rude and lazy. She meets Mikan during fourth grade when she transferred to Mikan's hometown and school. At first, Mikan disliked her due to her snobbish attitude. However, their relationship grows stronger after they win a dancing and singing competition in their town. After moving to various places to avoid the government, Hotaru finally agreed to enter Alice Academy to ensure the financial support of her old school from the government. Despite their frequent bickering, Mikan and Hotaru share a very special sisterly bond. She is shown as a cold, serious and blunt person, though she is clearly very protective of her friends in her very own way. Hotaru loves money and usually obtains them by selling embarrassing photos of students to others and her inventions to foreign clients worldwide, mostly to invent more new creations. Her dream is to operate her own business and create inventions to sell around the world. She is known to be very calm, apathetic and usually thinks thoroughly before doing something reckless. She also borders a certain level of arrogance, which other students find annoying about her. In the beginning, it was shown that Hotaru had a bizarre relationship with her brother, Subaru Imai, but as the story line developed, she learned the reasons behind Subaru's impassiveness towards her and realized that both she and Subaru truly care for each other. In the final arc of the manga series, she decided to save Natsume Hyuuga from dying by begging Nodacchi to use his Time-travelling Alice. Hotaru was determined to do so with an excuse that she did not wish to have regrets for her whole life even though she realized the consequences of disrupting Natsume's fate and violating the rules of time space. She left the body of the deceased Natsume in the past and healed the dying him resulting in a time retribution. Then, she was trapped in the time space with her brother who helped save Natsume. Their whereabouts remain unknown in the finale. It is presumed that she and Hotaru were eventually reunited and Hotaru was able to return to the present.

Natsume Hyuuga[edit]

The male protagonist of the series. He is introduced on Mikan's first day at the academy, when he was attempting to escape. Afterwards, he threatens Mikan with his Alice and takes off her skirt (underwear in the manga), which only makes Mikan hate him. Before coming to the academy, Natsume lived with his father and younger sister; his mother died in a car accident when he was young. He arrived at the academy at age 8, along with Ruka, his best childhood friend. He has the Fire Alice and is the only Special Star in the Elementary Branch. He is a smart student, but often ditches class. He is feared and hated by many students and teachers because of his Alice and rebellious attitude. He has many followers and admirers because of his rebellious acts, but he barely acknowledges them. He is forced to do secret missions for the Elementary Principle because Persona held his sister, Aoi, captive in the academy and the Elementary Principle threatened to harm those he cares for. He is physically and emotionally abused by the Elementary Principle and Persona. He also suffers from a physical illness related to his Limitless Alice form, that damages his body whenever he uses his Alice so he frequently has to go to the hospital. Although he is cold and quiet, he truly cares about his friends and wishes to protect them, especially Ruka and later Mikan. At first, he found Mikan annoying, but later grows fond of her. He eventually falls deeply enough in love with her to that extent that he is willing to sacrifice his life to protect her. After Mikan is expelled and her memories are erased, Natsume returns them to her and they resume their relationship.

Ruka Nogi[edit]

Natsume's best friend. He is half-French and half-Japanese. Natsume met him when they were eight years old, when Natsume moved into Ruka's town and enrolled in his school. They immediately became friends because they both have Alices and are targeted by the academy. He is a very loyal friend to Natsume and later to Mikan. He came to the academy with Natsume after Natsume was falsely blamed for setting their town on fire and witnessed Natsume cry. He tries to defend Natsume against people who pick on him and accuse him of bad things, even though he feels he is a burden to Natsume. Despite their different personalities, they are very good friends and get along. While Natsume is cold and rude, Ruka is warm and pleasant. He later becomes good friends with Mikan after spending time with her and develops a crush on her. He and Natsume have a friendly rivalry over her, but he eventually gives up on Mikan after realizing that Natsume needs her more. He remains good friends with them and wishes them for the best. His dream is to be a veterinarian. He has the Animal Pheromone Alice and is a Triple Star.

In the English-language release distributed in North America by Tokyopop, his name is romanized as Luca Nogi.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Written and illustrated by Tachibana Higuchi, the chapters of Gakuen Alice are published in the Japanese manga anthology Hana to Yume by Hakusensha and are collected in tankōbon. Twenty-nine volumes have been released as of March 2013.[1]

Gakuen Alice was licensed for an English-language release in North America by Tokyopop before the company shut down. Thirty volumes were published. This title is currently available to be licensed.[2]

The manga is also licensed for a Spanish and German- language release

Anime[edit]

The 26 episode anime version of Gakuen Alice was directed by Takahiro Omori. The episodes started airing in Japan on October 20, 2004, and ran until the finale on May 14, 2005.

The series uses two pieces of theme music. The opening theme, Pikapika no Taiyou (Shining Sun), is performed by Kana Ueda, the protagonist's voice actress. The ending theme, Shiawase no Niji (Rainbow of Happiness), is performed by Kana Ueda and Rie Kugimiya.

The entire series was released as a five DVD Japanese language only set in North America on July 7, 2009.

Fanbooks[edit]

The cover art of the official illustrated fan book

An official fanbook (Volume 7.5) was published in March 2005.[3] Data in the first official fanbook is accurate up to Volume 7 of the series. A special fanbook titled Gakuen Alice SP Fanbook released as a furoku in Hana to Yume magazine. A second official fanbook (Volume 25.5) was published in September 2011. Data in the second fanbook is accurate up to Volume 25 of the series. An official illustrated fan book (artbook) was released in May 2007. Another illustrated book (ehon) was released in October 2011.

CDs[edit]

A soundtrack for the series was released on March 2, 2005.[3] A single of the opening theme and ending theme were also released.[4]

Three drama CDs were broadcast on a web radio. On January 18, 2006, Sony Music Entertainment released the first drama CD.[5][6][7]

Video games[edit]

Gakuen Alice ~Kira Kira Memory Kiss~ was released on June 22, 2006, for the PlayStation 2 in Japan. There is also a Game Boy Advance game that has also only been released in Japan called Gakuen Alice ~Doki Doki Fushigi Taiken~. On April 19, 2007, a Nintendo DS game called Gakuen Alice: Waku Waku Happy Friends was released in Japan.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gakuen Alice 26". 
  2. ^ "What Now, TokyoPop? Fate of Unfinished Manga Series Revealed". Deb Aoki. Retrieved May 24, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Tachibana Higuchi's Official Site on the release dates of books, CDs and DVDs". Archived from the original on March 1, 2007. Retrieved August 22, 2007. 
  4. ^ "CDJapan on the Gakuen Alice opening and ending theme single". Retrieved September 22, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Gakuen Alice Love Potion Chuiho Radio CD". CD Japan. Retrieved September 22, 2007. 
  6. ^ "CDJapan on the 2nd drama CD". Retrieved September 22, 2007. 
  7. ^ "CDJapan on the 3rd drama CD". Retrieved September 22, 2007. 

External links[edit]