Gakuen Alice Manga Volume 4

Gakuen Alice Volume 4 (Manga)

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: Mikan, having been promoted to 1-star ranking, is very pleased by the situation as it means a better room, better food, and better allowance. Now it is time for the school festival where the students get to show off their Alice powers (save for those with dangerous Alice abilities). Mikan’s classmates work on various projects for their Alice type. Mikan’s Special Alice group decides to do Aladdin and the Magic Lamp where their customers work through a maze and have to get passed one of the special Alice students without touching them, harming them, or destroying the maze. With Mikan as the final obstacle and the Alice of Nullification at her command (which she has been training to upgrade), it seems like no one will win. However, when Natsume gets roped into attending, he manages to get through to the end, even getting passed Mikan while following the rules.

Since the prize is to make one of the student’s in Mikan’s group his slave for a week based on which lamp they choose, Natsume has Mind Reader-kun pick a lamp, intending to make the annoying ANDO Tsubasa (Mikan’s mentor) his slave. Mind Reader-kun sees the image of Mikan in Natsume’s mind and assumes that’s who Natsume is referring to. So, Natsume picks Mikan’s lamp and now Mikan is Natsume’s slave for a week. This results in Natsume, Luca, and Mikan seeing the festival together with one event trapping Natsume and Mikan together for a while.

Finally, Mikan gets a day free from Natsume and spends it with Hotaru and Inchou. It is here that Mikan learns that Hotaru has an older brother in high school, who’s the president of the executive committee (for lack of a better term). However, when President Imai and Hotaru meet, the president doesn’t act like an older brother but keeps a business-like but polite distance emotionally from Hotaru. The encounter leaves Hotaru wondering if she’ll be like that, but Mikan figures otherwise since Hotaru’s mother went out of her way to teach Hotaru about important things in life after losing her son to the academy at such a young age.

Thoughts/Review: One of the elements that makes Gakuen Alice so fun is Higuchi-sensei’s art style. Whenever Mikan is happy, I can’t help but smile. Whenever she’s down, I feel a bit down. When Natsume tosses Mikan a candy that turns her mouth into a chicken beak for a minute or so and makes everything she say come out as chicken squawking, I laugh much butt off. *lol* Oh that was terrible and yet so funny. Of course you can’t keep Mikan down for long and that’s what’s great about her as a character. She has the ability to bounce back from even the worst situations and make the best of it in the end. Plus, she has an effect on those she encounters and while a few go negative on her, most people end up treating her well.

I am wondering about Natsume and Mikan. Last volume, Mikan basically rescues Natsume and this volume, Natsume uses Mikan’s concern for him to get passed her and win her group’s game. Despite all the mean things he’s done to her, we keep getting hints that Natsume cares about her as well as Luca. Further, we see that Mikan doesn’t hate Natsume even though he may anger her at times (looking at her panties, looking down her top). I can’t help but think that maybe Higuchi-sensei is looking to make them some sort of couple. I know the manga is still ongoing in Japan but I don’t know if the characters are much older than they are in this volume (I think to Negima! where its only been a little over six months covered in the manga, but the manga has been in production for many years now). Even if the characters don’t age much, I guess it would be neat to see where this weird relationship between Natsume and Mikan goes.

While I’m thinking about Mikan, I like that she’s gotten a bit better at using her Alice thanks to some training from Natsume. ^_^

Well, now we know why Hotaru’s family were so desperate to keep her out of Gakuen Alice considering how cold her older brother is. Kinda sad.

Bottom line: This volume was mostly a fun one with little on the plot advancement front regarding what the school actually is (or rather, what it is involved in). That’s not a problem to me at all, especially in this early stage of the manga.

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