Art Direction by: Ruby Halipoto
Voiced by: Ai Orikasa, Megumi Ogata, Kikuko Inoue, and Sakura Tange
Distributed by: ADV Films
- paper dolls
- Japanese audio
- English subtitles
Dindrane’s Anime Warnings:
- sauce for the gander, but not the goose
- frank sexuality of many varieties
- bunny on skateboard without a helmet
Released by: ADV Films
Rating: 15+ (I’d say more like 17+)
My Advice: Rent it.
[ad#longpost]In Miyuki-Chan in Wonderland, we have a new anime version of the classic Lewis Carroll tales, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Contained in two short episodes, the entire disc contains two separate Miyuki adventures, “Miyuki-chan in Wonderland” and “Miyuki-chan in Mirrorland.” These are condensed versions of the longer originals.
It all begins with Miyuki awakening from a strange dream and learning that she’s about to be late to school. Her cries of “I’m late” are echoed by the similar cries of a skateboarding Playboy bunny. Following the bunny at a run, Miyuki falls into a mysterious hole that suddenly appears in the street, swallowing them both. Now in Wonderland, Miyuki must find her way home without succumbing to the many all-female temptations Wonderland has to offer.
The “Mirrorland” short is also a variation on the theme created by Carroll. This time, Miyuki is sucked into her mirror by her mirror image. Again, Miyuki must manage the odd and sensual inhabitants of this surreal landscape and find her way home. But first, she must beat herself at chess at the behest of the White Queen.
The surrealism of the story is highlighted by the score. Much of the visuals are speech-free, relying upon music to achieve mood and that feeling of disconnect required in a story this fantastic.
The art is very attractive, with lots of fan service that is lovely enough to appeal to both male and straight female viewers. CLAMP is known for their good-looking women, and here we get to see why.
The voices were nicely done, even as understated as they are. Many of the voice actors are big names in the business, such as Kikuko Inoue, and their experience and skill shows here. The audio quality is up to the task, as well, with no detectable problems. Given that no English dub is provided, only one track was tested.
I’d love to see the full-length versions released on DVD, as well. These shorts are just enough to show you what this art is capable of, without being so confusing that they’re worthless on their own. Longer versions won’t have this very low price of course, but would still show off CLAMP’s famous art and the talented voice actors.
The extra here is a Miyuki paperdoll – cute enough, if a bit slim. The insert provides the instructions. It would be nice to have information where online additional outfits might be found, or perhaps some information from the producers about what’s it’s like to convert an English classic like Lewis Carroll’s work into anime, but again, this feels like almost like a pre-release version. There were also a selection of ADV previews, but those hardly count as ‘extras’.
Ok, admittedly Miyuki-Chan in Wonderland is a little ecchi…maybe a LOT ecchi…but it’s pretty to look it and kind of fun. But it is genuine fun and very pleasant to look at. If you’re easily offended by soft-core animated porn or anime versions of literary classics, then you should skip this flick. If, on the other hand, you don’t take yourself or this genre too seriously, like attractive visuals, are a Carroll fan like me, or just plain like light-hearted, musical anime, then you’ll probably enjoy yourself.