Alice in the Country of Hearts: The Clockmaker’s Story

By Quin Rose and Mamenosuke Fujimaru, based on the game by Quin Rose. Released in Japan as “Anniversary no Kuni no Alice – Tokeiya” by Ichijinsha. Released in North America by Seven Seas.

You would think that I would have run out of things to say about these volumes. Sometimes I have, when they’re particularly pointless – see last month’s batch of Bookshelf Briefs for my opinion of the Ace spinoff – but there always seem to be a few nuggets of interest to keep me going. It also helps that this volume focuses on one of my favorite of Alice’s romantic choices, Julius Monrey, the clockmaker. (In case you’re wondering about the ‘Anniversary’ thing in the Japanese title, it’s what they called the updated PS3 version of Alice in the Country of Hearts.)


The basic premise won’t be a surprise to anyone who’s read the previous spinoffs of this endless otome game series. Alice is trying to get away from an oppressive Peter White at Heart Castle, so she asks Julius if she can stay at the clocktower for a while. He agrees, and they gradually begin to open up to each other. As their relationship deepens, however, Alice has to not only deal with her own feelings, and the fact that her beloved is not the type to take the initiative, but also realize that Julius is hated by a large number of folks throughout Wonderland. Can she come to terms with what his job really entails? And what of her ever-present need to return to her sister?

Julius is a rarity in the set of Wonderland males that Alice runs into. He’s passive, introverted, and taciturn. He will happily stay in his tower for weeks, just working on clocks and sleeping when he remembers to. After several stories with Blood, or Ace, or the twins, or Eliot, or Boris, he feels like a breath of fresh air. He also causes Alice to need to be more proactive, rather than simply have the love interest be aggressive consistently until she gives in. There’s lots of adorable scenes here.

Also, he’s a mortician. Who can resurrect the dead. Only not really. Wonderland’s weird world, where everyone has clocks instead of hearts, and people can be ‘resurrected’ but aren’t quite the same people they were before, makes almost everyone uncomfortable, and that gets taken out on Julius. He’s clearly not doing this for fun, but it’s his role, and he regards it as necessary. But in a way, hanging out with him is keeping Alice in a constant shadow of death – something that I imagine makes Peter quite nervous, given what they’re all trying to make Alice not remember.

This one-shot also has an unusual ending in that, when Alice confesses her love, she chooses to remain in Wonderland and stop trying to return to her own world. Which she’s done before, but in this case the vial filled with people’s feelings that she carries around throughout the game is seen in the final shot to be shattered at her feet. It’s a striking image, showing that there’s no going back. I will admit I’m not entirely happy with the basic premise of the series being ‘if she remembers her traumatic past that makes it a bad end’, which seems to romanticize denial more than I’d like. Still, it does make for a good capper on what has been a fairly enjoyable, if slight, story.

There are also two Crimson Empire stories at the end. Luckily, they are shorter in length than they were in the Ace book. I say luckily as they were incredibly boring and tedious. Alas, you’re better off with Alice than Sheila.

Did you enjoy this article? Consider supporting us.


  1. Considering Julius was my favorite of the potential love-interests in the original series, I guess I will pick this one up. Glad to hear it’s good. I haven’t read any of the other spin-offs.

  2. It’s nice to see a more in depth review for this book. I’m glad one of the Julius manga made it overseas. He is one of the least crazy of all the characters, and I enjoy that about him. I also enjoy the odd friendship between him and Ace. Then throw Alice into it and it’s a party lol.
    Seeing Peter portrayed as more than just some romantic rival is refreshing. He gets used for that far too often and I feel that it downplays his connection to Alice. Lover or not, his role as her guide interests me. I hope there will be a manga for him that digs into this further.

    Hmm, one of the best endings in the the whole Alice game series is the “Truth End” when she decides to return to her world. It was very sad in some ways, but many of the mysteries of Wonderland were revealed in it, and she moved on with her life despite certain truths she had to face. Most of the game players that I’ve spoken to love this ending over most of the romantic ones. And actually many of the romance endings have a certain amount of creepiness to them because it is pointed out every so often that Alice is not making a healthy choice. The most recent games in the series are outright terrifying regardless of whether you get a romantic end or not. So I don’t know if I can agree with the statement that the series romanticizes denial. There are probably people that gloss over the HORRIFIC SCENES and pretend it is a beautiful romance, but I’m betting it would be very hard for most people. There was an ending that I played that left me shaking for a good 10 minutes afterward. Despite being an otome game, the series still places a heavy focus on the plot. There is still a lot that hasn’t been revealed.

  3. shania ranger says

    i want to be able to read this story online but i cant with out buying it first its kind of a bummer


  1. […] Gaffney on Alice in the Country of Hearts: The Clockmaker’s Story (A Case Suitable for Treatment) Jocelyne Allen on All My Darling Daughters (Brain Vs. Book) Johanna […]

Speak Your Mind