After the overview of the situation we got in the first episode last week, episode two goes into more depth about the specifics of a couple of the characters as well as giving us more information about the supernatural power that Sana and the other ‘Dreams of Alice’ can use.
It seems heaping my praise on Zoroku last week didn’t have the desired effect in this episode as the first thing that happens is he leaves for work, taking himself away from the majority of the episode – only appearing briefly to try and keep Sana in check. Instead, episode two properly introduces us to Zoroku’s granddaughter, Sanae – and yes, the show is self aware enough to realise that the similarity between the two names could get confusing.
The show tries to be quite clever here by telling us about Sanae by using Sana’s powers which obviously then tells us more about Sana’s power itself. This isn’t entirely ineffective as we see Sana looking Sanae’s subconscious – though this piece of information isn’t in itself that enlightening as we knew she could do this from the last week (she found out just by looking Zoroku that he had a granddaughter), it did tell us that Sanae’s parents, and therefore one of Zoroku’s children, had died several years before the present day.
More excitingly, Sana can summon anything (she summons pigs after she is teased by Sanae with a sock puppet) and can transport people anywhere. As great as a horde of small pigs were, I got a whole lot more from the second point which suggested that although she is able to transport herself and others anywhere instantly, she doesn’t entirely have control over it.
Sanae, herself, comes across as a very caring character who does whatever she can to look after Sana without really knowing anything about her. Unlike her grandfather who appears very switched on, Sanae appears to be, well, away with the fairies most of the time. Whether there is another level to her character is yet to be seen but at this stage, she seems to be quite one dimensional.
The cardboard cut out twins that I made a point of disliking in last weeks review featured again this week in one of Sana’s flashbacks. We didn’t learn all that much more about them here, but it did show us that they were pretty important to Sana while she was in the research lab and also that she has no ill will towards them – though it remains unclear if that is the case for all of the Dreams of Alice or just the twins. Sana’s ultimate and immediate aim also appeared in this segment (after copious amounts of pancakes), which is to go back and destroy the facility because of the cruel experiments they were conducting.
In the brief parts of the episode we weren’t with Sana and Sanae, Zoroku calls in a favour from some people in suits, which seems to be just as well as the head of the facility (who is also in a suit remember) acquired photos of Sana with Zoroku on the way back to his house.
This episode was a lot of characterisation and contextualisation but it does seem to have roughly set things up so that the plot can start to progress next week. I’ll reserve any judgement of the show as a whole until then.
What did you make of this weeks episode of Alice and Zoroku? Did the two girls hold their own or were you wishing for Zoroku to get more involved again?