animefringe november 2003 / reviews

Miyuki-chan in Wonderland
Format: right-left manga
Production: TOKYOPOP / CLAMP
Comments: Fanservice and crazy events a-plenty, CLAMP-style!
Animefringe Reviews:
Miyuki-chan in Wonderland

It seems only appropriate that I review such a wacky CLAMP title in the same issue I defend the beloved group of five against accusations of being nothing more than hentai.

While not overtly graphic, there's more than enough innuendo going on in Miyuki-chan in Wonderland to offend anyone who may be sensitive enough.

The cast is all female, apparently because Mokona (the M in CLAMP) wanted "a chance to showcase her sexy female character designs." While even the writers admit its a little perverted at times, I agree that it would be worse if men were to enter the equation. Instead, we are treated to a cute, visually stimulating trip through a number of worlds dominated by a strong lesbian undertone.

That's fine by me - this isn't exactly CLAMP's finest literary masterpiece, but then it wasn't created to be such a thing.

That said, this was quite a bit of fun to read. Coming more than year after ADV released the OAV version of this series, TOKYOPOP has put together a nice little package collecting all seven short stories featuring Miyuki, a young Japanese girl. Either she lives in a bizarre reality or she's highly delusional - in either case, each section tosses the hapless heroine into a new mind-bending scenario with amusing twists and turns around every corner.

Since the series is so short, there's also a sizable omake (bonus) section, and the release is made extra sweet with the inclusion of a significant amount of full-color concept art from the OAV release.

As the title suggests, Miyuki-chan first travels to Wonderland and Looking Glass Land - both inspired by the classic adventures of Lewis Caroll's Alice. Each new scene is brought about by some sort of peripheral event. For example, while watching late-night television, Miyuki drifts off into TV Land. On her way to work, she enters Part-Time Job Land. She also goes off to Mah-Jongg Land, Video Game Land (my favorite), and X Land (from CLAMP's own series).

There really isn't much plot to speak of, nor is there much of a conflict. Essentially, Miyuki goes to weird places and weird things happen to her. That's it.

The visuals are what really make this book worth it. CLAMP has a knack for creating some beautiful illustrations, and this title is no exception. If you're looking for a book full of random drawings of beautiful women in various states of undress, then look no further - there's not much more to Miyuki-chan in Wonderland.

Overall, this is prettier than the OAV, though it still doesn't have much of a purpose, plot-wise. If you'd like to check out some CLAMP-fueled fan service, then this will do the trick. If you want a story with more substance, however, you'd do better with X, Chobits, or Magic Knight Rayearth. Still, CLAMP fans shouldn't go without this particular title.