Gakuen Alice (学園アリス Gakuen Arisu?), also known as Alice Academy, is a Japanese manga 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.
Best friends Mikan and Hotaru grew up in a small town in the remote countryside. When Hotaru moves to a school for geniuses in Tokyo, Mikan misses Hotaru so badly that she decides to travel to Tokyo herself to find Hotaru. She finds Hotaru in a school called "Alice Academy," and finds that the school is actually for people with special powers called "Alices." Narumi-sensei, a teacher at the school, discovers that Mikan also happens to have an Alice, and Mikan is admitted into the academy. At first, she becomes enemies with a boy named Natsume with a fire alice but later Mikan made friends with him (Natsume). She also befriends his best friend, Luca. There she finds friends, love, and a life that she will never forget. However, during that time, Mikan (along with her friends) find out that the academy is really built on both secrets and lies.
Differences between manga and anime
The anime episodes are similar to the corresponding manga chapters, but some events are changed or combined. The manga's darker tones are reduced 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, Luca (in Japanese it is spelled Ruka), and Natsume unresolved, with Mikan having not realized their feelings for either. Not only that, but the mystery of Mikan's parents remains unrevealed. In the first episode, she doesn't catch a taxi to Alice Academy, nor does everyone know about Alices in the anime. Many of these differences may be due to the fact that the anime has had only one season, while the manga continued.
The Gakuen Alice is located somewhere in Tokyo, in the anime across from a huge gorilla billboard. The school grounds contain three levels of education (elementary through senior high), 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 are home to "Mr. Bear," an animated doll made by an 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 kidnappears 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.
High-scoring students in the Final Examinations receive perks such as free meal tickets, certifications, and money. Along with honor students, these students are permitted a week-long leave.
- 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: Teleportation and Telekinesis.
- 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.
- 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.
- Special Ability (特力 Toku-ryoku?): This class is essentially for students with Alices that don't 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.
- Dangerous Ability (危険能 Kiken-nōryoku?): This is considered to be an extra type; basically, the Alices in this class are so strong 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 principal and Persona. Examples: Stealing Alice, Mark of Death Alice, Ice Alice, Possesion of Evil Spirits Alice and Fire Alice.
Every Alice is categorized as one of four shapes, which specify how much of it can be used and how often.
- Childhood: The Alice slowly appears and disappears as the child grows into an adult.
- Diffuse: The Alice is always available, but at a relatively low power level.
- Intermittent: The Alice can only be used for a short period at any time, but at a relatively high power level.
- Limitless: The Alice is very powerful and can be used as often and as much as desired, but impacts the user's life with each use and can even kill them if overused.
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 type of stars represent the benefits and advantages for each student.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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". There is one Special star student in each of the three branches of the Academy.
Each star ranking has its own monthly allowance rate:
- No-Star: 5 Rabbits (equal to about 500 yen or 5 US dollars)
- Single: 30 Rabbits (equal to about 3000 yen or 30 US dollars)
- Double: 50 Rabbits (equal to about 5000 yen or 50 US dollars)
- Triple: 100 Rabbits (equal to about 10000 yen or 100 US dollars)
- Special: 300 Rabbits (equal to about 30000 yen or 300 US dollars)
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. There are also control devices used for punishment purposes, such as the Cat Mask. If a person wearing one of these disobeys the higher-up, they are immediately punished with a pulsating electric shock throughout the body and when wearing it normally, electric waves go through their head and cause the wearer to have a horrible headache. These devices can only be removed by the person who placed it on.
Alice stones, also called brinjals, are stones that contain a small, limited amount of alice from the alice maker. The brinjal will glow different colours 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, they are 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 colour. The exchanging of alice stones between two people basically symbolizes that the two people are promised to each other, like promise rings.
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 volumes have been released as of November 2009. The first was released on February 19, 2003 and the twentieth was published on November 19, 2009.
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.
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.
Its says that amco 2010 play the game of gakuen in 2011 and Mimico chan will make a promotion of a new alice.
- "学園アリス 1". Hakusensha. Retrieved 24 December 2009.
- "学園アリス 20". Hakusensha. Retrieved 24 December 2009.
- "Manga+Comics: Gakuen Alice". Tokyopop. Retrieved 24 December 2009.
- "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.
- "CDJapan on the Gakuen Alice opening and ending theme single". Retrieved September 22, 2007.
- "Gakuen Alice Love Potion Chuiho Radio CD". CD Japan. Retrieved September 22, 2007.
- "CDJapan on the 2nd drama CD". Retrieved September 22, 2007.
- "CDJapan on the 3rd drama CD". Retrieved September 22, 2007.
- Aniplex's official website for Gakuen Alice (Japanese)
- NHK's official website on Gakuen Alice (Japanese)
- Animax India's official website for Gakuen Alice
- Official Gakuen Alice ~Kira Kira Memory Kiss~ Playstation 2 Game Homepage (Japanese)
- Enoki Films USA official website for Gakuen Alice
- Right Stuf/Nozomi's Official Gakuen Alice Website
- Gakuen Alice (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Gakuen Alice (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia