Saying Hi to Dumb Fun: Alice or Alice

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When boob physics is what begins the story, you know exactly what you’re getting.

Alice or Alice involves twin sisters Rise and Airi, their friends, and their brother with a sister complex. Each character could be described in one sentence, the character designs aim to evoke as much cuteness as possible, and the brother isn’t even that important. In fact, there are only a couple of scenes over the 12 3-minute episodes which imply any sort of sister complex.

In actuality, the focus is on the girls, who find themselves in typical slice-of-life situations such as playing at the beach or going to a festival. What distinguishes these situations is the snappy and raunchy humour: quirky sound effects and audible grunts accompanying a character suddenly dropping dead on the floor is followed by one of them obsessively taking pictures of another character in a maid outfit, and it’s definitely the kind of unapologetic humour I dig. It also complements the random or striking facial expressions which add energy and dynamism to the package.

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Concerning the brother, there’s generally more affection from the girls towards him rather than the reverse, and it comes off as adorable. Why the girls who aren’t his direct siblings adore him so much is never explained, and the series doesn’t care enough to do so; it doesn’t need to when the obvious intention is for the viewer to self-insert.

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The most interesting aspect of the series though is the voice actors. It features the talent of Yoshitsugu Matsuoka — who plays Kirito from Sword Art Online — and ones who feature in the Love Live! idol franchise such as Aina Suzuki and Sora Tokui. Listening to the voices of Mari Ohara and Nico Yazawa as they anticipate a prideful battle between themselves is a welcome crossover. What’s funnier is that the girls become idols in the last episode, and it’s an instance of meta-textual aspects representing a noticeable portion of my enjoyment.

At the end of the day, Alice or Alice isn’t a bombastic thrill ride akin to Nichijou, but it knows its target audience and I’m glad to have watched it to the end. It’s a reminder of the fun hidden behind seemingly generic offerings and inclines me to give more shorts an honest shot. I’ll keep saying “hi” to them just like how I raised my right hand in front of my computer screen almost every time the word was uttered in the OP.