Alice in Bishounen-Land Volume 2 by Yushi Kawata Art by Yukito
With the help of a new member or two, Alice and the newly-rebranded idol group Triple S progresses in the battles. Disclaimer A review copy was provided by the publisher. Check out the first volume review.
The first volume is so weird but trust me it gets weirder. But once you got used to the humor, everything seems funnier this time around. The randomness of the backstories, the non-stop comical situations, and cheesy jokes. I'm loving them all now including the minor characters. The one thing that balances it all out is Alice. She's the shining beacon of reason and her spot-on observations make it more laughable.
For something crazy, it briefly touches 'beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder'. And it's not in your face at all. It is refreshing and satisfying to get some key takeaways from both volumes when you're least expecting one.
The isekai element of the story is set inside an otome game but does not involve reincarnation or villainess which is the trend nowadays in light novels etc. And instead of visual novel type, it is idol-raising and gachas. But there is another isekai element that has been bugging me since the first volume and that it is reminiscent of the friendship rivalry from isekai's forerunner, Fushigi Yugi. Wait there's more... it ends with a sci-fi theme... Yep, pretty much Wonderland through and through.
It's hard to get a full-blown romance with only two volumes but I'll count their affinities as signs of what could have been so it's halfway between three and four flowers. (See Levels of Reverse Harem) It is obvious that it will end with Alice either choosing 'the one' or choosing no one as most manga endings go. (See more of 7 Types of Reverse Harem Endings) But it also ends defiantly on its own terms. It's hilarious how they managed the final eighteen pages. I don't know if I hate it or love it. But I recommend reading this with an open mind. And as the mangaka has mentioned the number of volumes for this is not a huge commitment for readers. Between you and me, I secretly want it to continue for a few more volumes. Let me know your thoughts on the manga.