|At a first glace, Yuu Watase’s works are often too similar to differentiate. She packs the classic love story line, throws in a little adventure and her trademark drawing style, and delivers a manga that will be sure to captivate readers. Yet while each Watase story contains all of these components, her ability to reinvent her stories, particularly Alice 19th, and create something new is remarkable.We have your classic love triangle that immediately creates conflict. But the story is not about the protagonist summoning courage, but rather about the reaction of the antagonist. After this revelation, other characters enter and set up interesting paths for the story to take, and move it quite well while still staying in the main story line. Because Watase sticks to the plot, she doesn’t overload her reader with too much drama. Instead, she adds her sense of humor with little what-if snapshots on the side; comic relief to draw the reader back and forth between the serious and comical aspects of the story. Yet the serious aspect of the manga still packs a poignant message, one of tolerance, love, family, and morality, that struck me to the extent where I reanalyzed my behaviour.
The art of Alice 19th is beautiful, as to be expected with Yuu Watase. She puts her best into every scene and the work flows easily like a movie. The only exception to this is that she puts detail everywhere, particularly in areas where one thinks it unnecessary, like humorous side marks; however, her detailed art does not distract you from the story, so you still get the full effect of the work.
Definitely, you should not let this series sit on the store shelves unread; it was a page-turner and had me waiting until the next issue arrived. If you are getting tired of Watase’s regular love stories, be open to this different twist on love, and you won’t be disappointed.