I’ve kept this show on hold for a long time and just decided to finish on a whim. Brief synopsis: this show is about Fujishima Narumi who comes into contact with a self-proclaimed NEET detective through his friend Ayaka. He and Ayaka are sole members of the gardening club at his school but he frequently hangs out with Ayaka outside of school, at the Ramen Hanamaru shop, where other NEETs associating with Alice, the NEET detective, hang out. The show pretty much covers their activities.
Now Alice commands you to read the actual review. TL;DR VERSION AT THE BOTTOM.
The first episode was a double feature that lasted 45 minutes and I’ll admit at first it was daunting to try to get through. But it was worth. All of the important characters and many small details in later episodes are introduced. At first glance it appears to be a generic detective show, but I think it’s more appropriate to label it as psychological dramatic mystery. It really focuses on character relations and how they get by in their lives. Each case that Alice works on brings out more and more of the overlying plot and leading up into a climax of the multiepisode final arc.
Narumi, the stereotypical bland MC, comes off as a normal kid who gets involved with people he doesn’t really want to associate with, but likes them anyway. The lucky bastard gets to be Alice’s assistant, which is a position any man would want to take upon themselves, and he connects to a very complicated network unknowingly. Luckily he mans up a little each episode so he becomes worthy of Alice’s attention. He’s not as annoying as many other bland protagonists and he’s not afraid to speak his mind, in fact he retorts quite often.
Alice, of course, is best girl. She takes pride in her job as a NEET detective and enjoys the deliciousness of Dokupe on a regular basis. Any man not willing to serve her needs has to rethink their priorities. With her extremely large network of information and technology, she can acquire any piece of evidence no matter how hidden. And she has an amazing mind as well. How can you not love her?
Ayaka, the Ramen shop owner Min (or Master), and the thug Sou-san are all important characters in the story and get a lot of screen time. Ayaka is MC’s one and only normal friend and they are close friends as fellow members of the gardening club. She introduced the MC to all of the NEETs at the ramen shop and is central to the overall plot. Sou-san is leader of a group that is pretty much a yakuza family and is the token bamf of the series. Here he is drinking sake with MC.
Min is the eldest and wisest in the group and is just an overall bad ass for a woman. Don’t know why I took this screenshot of her but here it is.
Next on the list is art. It was animated by J.C Staff and I’ll have to say, well done. It was nice and clean so no complaints here. Plus they made Alice adorable so that’s bonus points. They normally are pretty solid and most of the crap they get comes from having to decide how to adapt the source material, which could happen to anyone. There was little action that required a lot of frames so they had plenty of time to animate scenes carefully.
The music was also well chosen. Kawaru Mirai, sung by ChouCho, was the OP song (which is orgasmic to listen to btw), and the two ED’s were Colorado Bulldog by Mr. Big for episode 1 and Asunaro by Kenichi Suzumura after that. The EDs were alright. The BGM was done by Iwasaki Taku whose memorable work includes Read or Die, Black Cat, Kuroshitsuji, Katanagatari, C[control] and Jormungand. Overall pleasant to listen to, but OP was best.
The one thing this show did poorly was plot direction. Early on, it seems kinda pointless until you get about halfway through. “Random” cases need to be solved that come by like a case-of-the-week kind of deal except none of the actual fun aspects, like getting everyone in a room to discuss and figure out the mystery, ever occurs. It’s all Alice getting pieces of information from everyone else and putting them together inside her head, and her telling them the solution. The story isn’t really supposed to be a traditional detective story so thinking that it is may detract from your opinion of it.
This show is really about how humans interact and react to each other and how Alice discovers more about human nature through Narumi. MC also gains a lot of life experience, which from his perspective, is interesting to watch. Just think of Kamisama more of a show that has an also omniscient detective in it, and it’s a lot more enjoyable. I also don’t need to say this, but Alice is cute as fuck.
So next time you want a serious show that has an adorable loli, this is a good choice. I give this show an 8/10 for originality, good art work, nice music and strong finish, but it’s weakness was the slow and seemingly pointless first half.
TL;DR: IT WAS GOOD SO I RECOMMEND IT. ALICE IS CUTE AS FUCK SO WATCH IT. ENDING AND LAST COUPLE ARCS MADE UP FOR SLOW START. 8/10