Gakuen Alice Manga Volume 16

Gakuen Alice Manga Volume 16
学園アリス manga review

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Note: The title is currently out of print (updated March 06, 2014).

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Gakuen Alice Manga Volume 16With the Sports Festival over, Mikan is more popular than ever with her classmates.  She notices that Natsume is withdrawn and his influence on keeping the class in line has been removed, causing some to take advantage and pull pranks.  Meanwhile, the elementary headmaster has new orders for Luna to observe Mikan. He also wants Narumi-sensei to confirm his suspicions that Mikan has a Stealing Alice. To do that, he wants Mikan to heal Narumi’s injury from Persona’s Alice.  Narumi ends up discussing this with Misaki-sensei after Misaki discovers how bad a condition Narumi is in.  Narumi begins to suspect that Mikan’s mother Yuka didn’t steal an Alice from the headmaster but instead put one in him.

Meanwhile, Mikan has been wondering about her new ability as well and while discussing this with Hotaru and the others, Goshima-senpai arrives to explain that this is a Stealing Alice.

Mikan, Curly, the class president, Luca, Natsume, Mindreader-kun, Hotaru, and Bear swap souls after pranksters cause them to inhale a substance. Mikan-Bear runs off runs off to find Mindreader-kun-Bear.  Hotaru-Mikan encounters Luna, who hasn’t heard of the soul-swapping and assumes this is Mikan in front of her.  Luna tells “Mikan” that she must have guessed that she has a Stealing Alice and warns her that her only option is to serve the headmaster or else her friends will suffer. After Luna leaves, Mikan-Bear encounters Hotaru-Mikan, who has been reflecting on how much Mikan has had to endure. As such, Hotaru vows to Mikan that no matter what, the bond between them will never break.

Mikan’s soul returns to her body and Natsume’s soul returns to his. Mikan finds Natsume and thinks that Bear is in his body and so handcuffs him to herself. Mikan decides to talk with “Bear” about how much he is like Natsume. She also discusses her confused feelings for him and how she can’t figure him out. When some of their classmates race past and reveal that Bear is in Hotaru’s body and on a rampage, Natsume frees himself from the handcuffs and starts to walk off when Mikan demands to know if he is planning on leaving them. He says he is not.

Mikan encounters Narumi-sensei, who had been thinking about his childhood and Yuka. Mikan discovers his condition and recognizes it as being the result of Persona’s Alice. Jinno-sensei happens on the scene and realizes that Narumi is near death. Narumi doesn’t want Mikan to use her Stealing Alice to remove Persona’s infecting Alice as he wants to protect her from the headmaster but Jinno-sensei knocks him out and Mikan does her thing, gaining an Alice Stone from Narumi. Mikan passes out afterward and Jinno tells Narumi that while he won’t report this, the headmaster will find out soon enough.

Mikan is out for three days and upon waking up, Narumi asks her to promise not to keep what she did a secret and to not use her new Alice no matter what. Bear, who’d witnessed what Mikan had done for Narumi, decides to get Mikan to steal the Alice within him and return it to the very sickly Kaname in an attempt to make him a little better.

Meanwhile, the elementary school headmaster learns of Narumi’s recovery but hears it was Narumi’s own healing that did it and not Mikan. As such, he has students attempt to get Mikan to steal their Alice’s with a promise of a large reward so he can determine for good if Mikan has a Stealing Alice. In the process, Bear gets torn up defending Mikan from these students and when the teddy bear stops moving, Mikan thinks that maybe Bear has died. Nevertheless, she carefully repairs him and brings him to Kaname, who immediately knows Bear is faking it. After a long talk in which Kaname promises to get better, Bear now treats Mikan with respect and love.

Finally, it is summer and it is time for swimming classes. Hotaru is discovered to be unable to swim and her older brother Subaru is to give her lessons. She is still thinking of Luna’s warning while Hotaru was still in Mikan’s body that to punish Mikan, Hotaru would be one of the ones taken away. Subaru senses something is wrong but just as he has secrets, she has hers and won’t speak of it.

Thoughts/Review:

After the tedium of volume 15, volume 16 had a partial return to the fun aspects of Gakuen Alice but also finally addressed a long-running plot thread, namely that of Narumi-sensei’s infection at the hands of Persona.

I will admit that while silly, the soul-swapping story was amusing in that it allowed Higuchi-sensei to have several of her characters behave in unusual ways.  However, silliness aside, two good things came from this.  First, Hotaru learned the depths of Mikan’s troubles at the school with Luna’s threat against Hotaru while Hotaru was in Mikan’s body.  Until now, Hotaru did care for Mikan but Mikan could be rather clingy and annoying too, and so Hotaru might do something to put a little distance between herself and Mikan.  Now that Hotaru understands Mikan’s situation, she’s different and I think will be more keen to help protect Mikan than ever.

The other good thing that came from this story was Mikan opening up to Natsume, whom she that was actually Bear in Natsume’s body.  So their relationship took another little step forward.

Another person getting closer to Mikan and willing to protect her is Bear.  Bear has long held antagonistic feelings for a lot of people but Mikan seemed to incur a lot of Bear’s “wrath.”  After Mikan’s efforts to carefully repair him, I guess he has decided that she’s OK.  ^_^

I’m guessing that Narumi’s theory on the elementary school principle (headmaster, whatever) is going to be correct and that his change of attitude toward Mikan is the result of something Yuka did to him.  However, if that’s true, then why not just have a better method of testing Mikan so he can get Mikan to remove this foreign Alice right away?  It just seems that the principle is going through overly elaborate methods to confirm the theory that Mikan has a Stealing Alice along with a Nullification Alice. If he wants to use Mikan’s ability, it seems that he’s going about this poorly as well.  Basically, I’m having a hard time figuring out what he’s up to.

So, while this is a good volume, unfortunately it is the last one from TokyoPop. I’ve heard nothing about license rescues so I’m debating on whether or not to get current with Japan on this since there’s no guarantee that anyone will rescue this.  *_*  This is one of the sucky things about being an American fan of a Japanese manga but still needs it to be translated. IF I do read ahead, I’ll just read to current and then probably start blogging the current chapter.

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2 Responses to “Gakuen Alice Manga Volume 16”

  1. ayme says:

    So sad that Tokyopop closed. Now no more collection of this awesome series!
    T_____T

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