Gakuen Alice Manga Volume 3

Gakuen Alice Manga Volume 3

Summary/Synopsis: Chapter 11 sees Mikan get excited over the forthcoming school festival and get her Alice classmates to actually put together an exhibit. In Chapter 12, Mikan gets to go to Central Town (on the Gakuen Alice grounds) where she discovers the ¥500 paid to no-star rankings doesn’t go far. As such, Mikan gets her friends and others in her homeroom to help her raise money to buy some special candy.

Chapter 13 starts a kidnapping story arc. The former Gakuen Alice graduate and now Hollywood star Reo returns to the school for a visit. Mikan is recruited to help try to make contact with the actor, but in doing so, she and Sumire discover Reo and his security are kidnapping Natsume. With chapter 14, Sumire finally reveals her Alice (a combination of cat and dog?) to track down Natsume. Sumire and Mikan end up being kidnapped themselves, where they discover that Natsume works for the Academy as a spy. Mikan and Sumire manage to free themselves and Natsume. Though weak, Natsume gives the two girls cover to escape in chapter 15, but Mikan realizes what Natsume is going to do and returns.

Finally in chapter 16, Mikan prevents Natsume from sacrificing himself and helps him to escape. When Mikan gets hurt by Reo’s thugs, Natsume creates a punishing explosion. Officials from the Academy and rescue Mikan and Natsume, both of whom end up in the hospital for a long while. Because of her actions, Mikan finally receives her first star, meaning she now gets a larger allowance and better meals as well as a better place to sleep. In addition, she earns the respect of Luca and Sumire.

Thoughts/Review: Kyaaaa! I love this manga. Seriously, I do. I hope that sales are good enough (or better) so that TokyoPop will continue publishing the manga. Mikan is such a delight to follow. It is amazing how naive she is and even how dependant she seems on others at times. Yet, it is also amazing to see how she’s able to just take charge without being bossy.

We’ve seen this some in the past with Mikan getting Hotaru’s or the class president’s help. She manipulated her homeroom classmates into the dodgeball game. For volume 3, Mikan works not only her friends, but Luca, the child Yu-chan, and even the kid who reads minds to help her earn enough money to purchase that candy. She gets her Alice classmates (whom are all older than she) to actually participate in the upcoming school festival. Then she basically takes charge during the kidnapping event to make sure Natsume doesn’t die. Now that Sumire, whom Mikan calls “Curly” and who went out of her way to put down Mikan, appears to be friends with Mikan, I’m very interested to see where things go.

Natsume is being developed more, which is good. Having him babysit the 3-year old boy Yu-chan may be a bit much, but it worked. Learning about exactly what the Academy has Natsume doing (considering his powerful ability) is interesting. I had a feeling the Academy performed some sort of covert operations with that woman in the mask being Natsume’s handler. We’ll see where this goes and how Natsume treats Mikan now that (1) she risked herself to save him and (2) he snapped when Mikan got hurt by the thugs. You know, as much as Natsume and Mikan have clashed, I wouldn’t be surprised if Higuchi-sensei made them a couple at some point. *lol*

The other interesting thing this manga added was the external threat to the students. Before volume 3, the sinister stuff seemed to come solely from within the school. With the introduction of the organization Z, the threat outside the academy comes off as even greater than the internal threat. This will be fun to see where it goes.

So, how does this woman who looks like Mikan (her mother maybe?) that Reo and Narumi-sensei knew fit into all this?

As for the TokyoPop release, the honorifics are there which is cool. The Japanese terms for “big brother” are not used, but that ends up making the read a bit awkward when discussing Sumire and her older brother. Personally, I think TokyoPop should just go with the Japanese terms but oh well.

I’m really looking forward to volume 4. ^_^

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