Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious!
In Alice & Zouroku episode 10, The Little Queen, Sana Kashimura tries to exact vengeance from Miho Ayumu, but the little queen wasn’t ready for her foe’s response. Zouroku Kashimura contends with an unexpected bathroom remodel, which Sanae Kashimura tries to claim for her bedroom. Finally, Sana lures Shikishima Hatori into a trap with cataclysmic results.
What’s In This Post
Sana traps Ayumu in Wonderland and says she won’t release her without an apology. Sana doesn’t know what to do when Ayumu apologizes almost immediately. She’s thrown into even more confusion when Ayumu begs for help. Remembering that Hatori had frozen her friends in place, Sana wants to be furious and vent against Ayumu, but the girl keeps apologizing. Sana stops, hearing Zouroku calling her, before hiding Ayumu and opening the door. Sana’s converted the bathroom door to a gate into Wonderland. Ayumu tries to peek out, but suddenly, she finds herself outside. Sana sends Wonderland’s top-hatted rabbit as her mouthpiece. They talk about why Ayumu’s friends with Hatori; they talk about school.
Hatori’s curled up with her mother, who’s under the influence of Hatori’s Mirror Gate. She promises to be with her mom forever. Her mom falls asleep, exhausted from the Mirror Gate’s power, when an ancient wooden door appears before them. Peeking in, Hatori sees a surreal landscape through which a whale is flying. Intrigued, haunted by the sight of her exhausted mom behind her, Hatori enters and begins to explore. When Sanae calls Sana for dinner, she’s no where to be found. She leaves a note that says that she’s gone to catch the evil girl.
In a hollow statue of a playing-card king, Sana meets Hatori and claims to be a scary adult. Sana calls Hatori evil and asks if she’s scared to be caught like this. Sana’s taken aback when the older girl agrees with the evil label, but she says she’s not scared. Despite the younger girl’s protestations, Hatori figures out it’s Sana. Muttering that Sana knows nothing, Hatori begins to leave. As they argue, Sana becomes even more frustrated and confused. She sees Hatori’s loneliness and sorrow, but she feels like she has to punish the older girl. At an impasse, Sana declares that she’s frazzled, and Hatori says that if Sana’s going to punish her, she should just get to it. Sana accidentally lets slip that Ayumu asked her to help Hatori, and Hatori feels betrayed. Infuriated, Hatori calls her Mirror Gate and orders Sana to confirm that Ayumu asked for help. When Sana refuses, both Mirror Gates clash and disappear. The building they’re in begins to disintegrate and collapse into a chasm. The white rabbit watches from a distance.
Noriko Yamada is with others from the government agency that helped Sana. They’re at the old research facility, which is locked down. They measure a huge surge in Wonderland’s instability. Mirror Gates are springing up all over the city. A huge Ferris wheel appears in the middle of Kyoto. Ayumu’s parents get a call from Hatori’s mom saying her daughter was missing; Ayumu’s afraid that her attempt to help might have gone awry. Yamada calls Shizuku Ichijou for help, and she calls Zouroku to tell him Sana may be trapped in Wonderland, and that she’s not alone. Of course, he immediately offers to help.
At the bottom of the chasm, Hatori regains consciousness. She’s cold and covered in snow. She hears Sana trying to escape the hollow statue; neither of them have their Mirror Gates. After helping Sana, Hatori asks if she can go home. She even promises to apologize. Sana haltingly says that they might not be able to get back home.
What I Liked
As Sana’s trying to close the door so Ayumu has time to “think about what you’ve done,” the huge flying turtle in the background smiles and happily waves. It didn’t seem to get the memo about this being a serious situation.
I really like how Sana’s trying to deal with her feelings. She wants revenge against Hatori for the huge fright at seeing her family and friends frozen. Yet, when she hears Ayumu’s story, she becomes sympathetic in spite of her anger. At heart (even if it’s apparently not a human heart), Sana’s an empathetic person, and she struggled with that in this episode.
Sana was so pleased when Ayumu called her Kashimura-san. She even did a miniature happy dance, which was all the more adorable since she was in rabbit-form at the time. It was also relevant to the plot: that seemed to be the moment that Sana decided to listen to Ayumu.
It was nice seeing Hatori smile as she ran up the stairs after the white rabbit. I hope she and Sana can come to terms. Though she has an amazing friend in Ayumu, I think Hatori could learn a lot from Sana, both in terms of controlling her power and in terms of proportion. Sure, Hatori’s had it rough. But it didn’t compare to what Sana’s been through.
I shouldn’t laugh at other’s pain, but Sanae’s cute expression and “ow!” when she banged her head after finding Sana’s tiny entrance to Wonderland was too adorable.
Sana’s idea of a really scary place? Somewhere with “no bathrooms or snacks!” I’ll grant her: that’s scary. I was also relieved that she didn’t try to recreate something really scary, like some of the experiments she witnessed from her days in the research lab. It gave me more hope that she’s not scarred forever.
Hatori thinks that Sana “knows nothing?” Nothing about suffering because of her power? I wonder if Hatori will be comforted or aghast when/if she learns what Sana’s been through?
Not only that, but Hatori thinks that no one can understand her? I wonder how she thinks Sana remained unaffected before by Hatori’s power before, or how Sana created the building in Wonderland — or Wonderland itself? Maybe Hatori’s so deep in her own depression that she can’t recognize that her power and Sana’s are similar and both need a Mirror Gate? That they share a lot in common? Maybe we’ll see more of that in the next episode!
During the panic at the research facility, one of the speakers mentioned “Jodorowsky space.” I wonder if it’s named after the writer Alejandro Jodorowsky?
Just before Zouroku received the phone call from Ichijou, he was preparing to go out and search for Sana. He was carrying her little pink jacket. Yes, he was worried; yes, he was probably at least a little angry that Sana had obviously been using her powers, and not in a good way. But he still didn’t want her to feel cold.
Ichijou should better than to suggest that Zouroku not try to help Sana! When she tried to tell him Wonderland was expanding and that the situation was dangerous, he echoed something he told Sana just after they first met: that it was the adults’ jobs to protect the kids. Zouroku’s unflappable and utterly reliable.
What I Liked Less
Nothing to put into this category this week.
Say — does the Sana in the ED look a few years old than the Sana in the series? Is this a forward-looking statement of hope? Or am I imaging things (again)?
It’s endearing to watch Sana badly want to punish Ayumu for threatening her family, only to pull back in confusion when Ayumu readily apologizes. Sana’s view of morality is much less well-formed than most children her age. It looks like Zouroku and Sanae are giving her great guidance, and she’s trying to apply it. But she’s running up against her immature emotions, and she’s really struggling to decide what to do. I think one of this show’s strengths is Sana’s solid and realistic characterization.
A couple of other things stood out in this episode. First, we saw again how Hatori and Sana’s Mirror Gates interfered with each other. They seemed to negate each other, only this time, the effect was more pronounced. Are their gates destroyed, or only change to another form?
Second, we see Wonderland’s influence expand, and we see many other people finding themselves with a Mirror Gate. Is this a permanent new fixture in this world? Will all those new Mirror Gate owners get to keep them? Did Sana and Hatori’s gates convert into the energy that became those other gates? Did their (I hope temporary!) disappearance release some kind of lock on Wonderland so it expanded? It’s a seemingly subtle event, but I think it’s going to be important to the whole concept of Mirror Gates.
What do you think about the Mirror Gate phenomenon this week? Let me know in the comments!
Other Posts of Interest
- Titans, Heroes, Queens, and Swords: Spring 2017 Anime Preview Part I
- Aliens, Gears, Game Creation, and Worlds in Collision: Spring 2017 Anime Preview Part II!
- Alice & Zouroku Episode 1 Review: The Red Queen Escapes
- Alice & Zouroku Episode 2 Review: Dreams of Alice
- Alice & Zouroku Episode 3 Review: Cards
- Alice & Zouroku Episode 4 Review: Something Not Human
- Alice & Zouroku Episode 5 Review: A Home to Return To
- Alice & Zouroku Episode SP Review: Looking Ahead to Part 2
- Alice & Zouroku Episode 6: The Kashimura Family
- Alice & Zouroku Episode 7: Friends
- Alice & Zouroku Episode 8: The Evil Witch
- Alice & Zouroku Episode 9: Where the Cheshire Cat Smiles
- Alice & Zouroku Episode 11: The Queen and the Witch
- Alice & Zouroku Episode 12: I’m Home