Now we have Taisho x Alice episode 3! So this features Shriayuki from the well-known fairytale, but also the mysterious Wizard. Will we learn more of the hidden mystery from this? Again, the prologue has more differences compared to episode 1 and 2, so you may want to take note of that. Wizard’s route is locked from the start, so you have to play Shirayuki’s first.
Before you realise it, you’re wandering in a pitch black world. You wonder where this is, as you keep walking, unable to find any exit. You have lost track of time. If you stop breathing and walking, perhaps all you’ll hear is the sound of your heart beating. You have no memory of who you are, or what you’re doing here. Feeling uneasy and lonely, you ask if anyone’s there. But there’s no answer. You decide to keep walking in hopes of an answer. Suddenly, it feels as if darkness grabs your feet. You struggle so as not to be swallowed up.
Boy: Let’s run!
Both of you run away, and after a while you both stop thinking that it’s safe. The blonde boy catches his breath and looks pale, and you ask if he’s alright.
Boy: There’s no way……that I’m alright……unlike you who has ridiculous stamina I’m an intellect, strategist, shrewd and intelligent, in addition to being delicate……ugh, I’m going to die from lack of oxygen……
You: Lack of oxygen!? Oh no! We need to do artificial respiration!
Boy: ……you lewd, shameless, promiscuous, rotten, damn bitch——–!!
The boy hits you, and you find him mean as it was just a joke. He shouts at you not to even say such things as a joke, questioning if you’re just as promiscuous as how empty your head is. However, he starts coughing and stops to catch his breath. You point out that he’s even more out of breath now, and he pinches your cheeks asking who’s responsible for that. He only lets go when you apologise. In any case, it was just a whim but he did save you, so he demands for that very, very important word. You honestly thank him, but he frowns instead. Frankly, the straightforward words of gratitude just gave him the goosebumps.
You: Thank you! Thank you very much! Thank you very much for saving me!! I’m soo sooo grateful!!
Boy: Ah–!! I get it I get it!! I get it!! Don’t say it repeatedly!! It makes my skin crawl!!
Boy: Seriously……to be so nasty towards your life saviour despite all my efforts. You’re impolite and rude and savage, insolent, impertinent, self-centred, selfish, and truly have a horrible personality. It’s rather refreshing to join the combos till this point.
You: Ah, that’s right. Hey……
Boy: Moreover you don’t listen to what people say. You achieved full combo congratulations. So, what is it? Where is this? Who am I? I won’t tell you, is what I’d like to say, but it looks like things will get bothersome with you. I’ll answer you since I have no choice, it’s a service. My name is Alice and I don’t know where this is either. That’s all. Are you satisfied?
You repeat his name, wondering why he knew your questions already. Alice waits for you, prompting that he had already given his name. You thank him, and he scolds you for being stupid. It’s only common sense and good manners to answer with your name too when someone offers theirs. But you are unable to remember your own name.
Alice: Why are you nodding with a smile. Are you an idiot? It’s a huge problem if you can’t remember your own name! Going past being an idiot, it’s a level where one would suspect if you have any brains. Shall we try shaking your head once? In your case, it’ll be a nice sound like “karakoro karakoro” right?
You ask if he knows you, and he flatly denies this. So you ask why he saved someone he didn’t know. He goes quiet for a moment.
Alice: ……of course it’s because I’m a kind-hearted human being. I’m a wonderful existence everyone’s been waiting for, unable to abandon those in need, a Nobel Peace Prize winner overflowing with affection and philanthropy.
You: I see. Thank you, Alice-kun!
Alice: ……your head is still so happy despite the situation. Even dogs and cats……no, even amoeba and paramecium would worry about the current situation.
You: Is that so?
Alice: By the way I’m not complimenting you alright? I’m speaking ill of you alright? So, what will you do? Jane Doe.
When you appear puzzled, he points out usually one would be pessimistic and uneasy in this situation. After all, you don’t know your own name, where this is, and have no memories. You reply that you feel suffocated with worries since you don’t know anything. Alice looks at you, and you pinch his cheeks as it felt as though he just thought of something rude. When you let go, he calls you a sadist. You state once more that even you get worried. You were all alone here and was scared that you might disappear when you were attacked just now.
You: But now that I’ve met Alice-kun
Alice: ……now that you’ve met me there’s nothing to worry about?
You: It’s a bit different. Specifically, there’s nothing to be scared of now that you’re here.
Alice: Haah, is that so.
You ask if he knows about himself unlike you, since he has such a wonderful name. He sighs at how stupid you are, saying that it isn’t necessarily his real name. It may be a false one. After all, he doesn’t remember anything either.
You: Ah, I see.
Alice: ……oo-i, such a dreadfully weak response. How could you casually let such a serious and important thing just slide by.
You: Eeh–!? I-is that so!?
Alice: Thank you very much for the forced response.
You wonder why he name is “Alice” though, since it’s usually a girl’s name. He remarks that one shouldn’t expect normalcy in this abnormal situation. And it’s only because that’s the only name he can recall. In any case, it doesn’t matter if it’s really his name or someone else’s. He only gave it as such if she asks for his name. Also, there is the possibility that your name might be “Arisu”. If you’re unsatisfied, he can continue calling you “Nameless”, “Anonymous”, “A certain someone” and the like. You’re delighted with the name, and tell him not to be shy. He is your benefactor so you hope to get along with him.
(For the review, I’m going to switch to third-person POV now. Even though the game refers to the heroine as “you”, I’m not used to writing in first-person POV. And the heroine shall be “Arisu”, while the boy will be “Alice”.)
Alice: I’m not being shy, and not being reserved. Don’t tag a weird label such as “tsundere” however you like. My skin crawls. In the first place, why is the person who was saved plainly giving a condescending attitude.
Arisu: You’re my life saviour. By all means please do allow me to get along with you.
Alice: I see, I understand. Please take care of me too……did you think things would develop like that?
Arisu: Yes, I think so!
Alice: You have a screw loose!!
Since Alice remembered the name, Arisu wonders if the two of them knew each other previously. He gives a vague answer. When asked what they should do next, Alice shrugs and replies that he has no intention of doing anything. He doesn’t want to leave, and asks her instead if she thinks she can leave a place she knows nothing about. Arisu says that she wants to leave. It’s dark and she can’t remember anything, but she knows that she has to leave. Moreover, as pointed out by Alice, she was attacked by something unknown.
Arisu asks if he will go with her, confident that they will find a way to the outside world. Alice tells her not to get him involved, for he doesn’t want to leave. He doesn’t feel uneasy. While he doesn’t know where this place is, he make a guess. He doesn’t know what this world is, but he can instinctively tell that it isn’t reality. In that case, the most realistic answer is that this is a dream. Because anything can happen inside a dream.
Arisu: This black world without anything is a dream?
Alice: Is it strange?
Arisu: ……it’s not strange, but it’s a very lonely dream if this is really a dream.
Alice: Don’t speak as if it’s someone else’s. Perhaps you may be the one having this dream? By the way……
Alice pinches her, advising her not to use a classic, cliche method of pinching her own cheeks to check if this is reality or a dream. He explains that the pain senses felt in a dream works as the mind may be just creating its own image (of pain) by itself.
Arisu: ……by the way, if this is my dream, Alice-kun would be the character in an unreasonable and incomprehensible dream?
Alice: I can say the same to you. To me you’re the character in an unreasonable, incomprehensible and unpleasant dream. If this was a dream, it would be a nightmare. A nightmare. In the end, who is having the dream? Is it you, or is it me……
Arisu: The one who doesn’t wake up will disappear?
Alice: Aah, that’s right.
In any case, Alice thinks that it’s meaningless to do anything since this is a dream. To his surprise, Arisu asks if he’s scared. He has no intentions of leaving. If this was a dream and he chooses to remain inside, it means that he doesn’t want to wake up. He doesn’t answer her.
Arisu: It’s fine.
Alice: ……oi, what’s with this hand. If you suddenly hold my hand, I will accuse you of sexual harassment. Police–! There is a pervert here–!!
Arisu: If this world is a dream, and even if one of us disappears, I won’t let go of this hand. So let’s go together?
Alice: Don’t keep repeating groundless statements so casually. Your words are so weightless like popcorn.
Arisu: It may be true that my words are groundless and weightless, but the same goes for Alice-kun right? Since both of us have no memories.
Alice: ……are you implying that my words are lies?
Arisu: I’m the same as you. That’s what I want to believe.
Alice: ……seriously. You’re naive. Almost like caramel.
Arisu: Do you mean that I’m sticky and persistent?
Alice: Aah, that’s right. You sure understand that well. At any rate, no matter what I say, you don’t plan on letting go of this hand right?
Arisu: Because we promised.
Alice: I didn’t.
(Note: In Japanese, the character used for “naive” is also used for “sweet”.) And so the both of them start walking in the darkness. The uneasiness and fear dissipates as she feels the warmth from his hand. While she claimed that it will work out, Alice questions what she will do if it doesn’t. Arisu replies that she will think about it then.
Alice: Uwaah, that’s the worst possible answer. A statement as expected from a very irresponsible and selfish person like you.
Arisu: You say that, but you still accompany me. So Alice-kun is a good person!
Alice: ………………hmph. Well, I don’t dislike caramel popcorn.
The two of them keep talking. The floor they’re walking on isn’t quite a floor, and there isn’t anyone else around. But she doesn’t feel lonely. Eventually, they come across a large mirror. While it may come across as a ridiculously large crystal, Alice points out that her reflection is being shown. Arisu observes that the mirror is glowing, and wonders if the light is coming from it or an outside source. Alice remarks that it’s even more unnatural for them to be able to see each other. She realises this upon his statement.
Alice: You’re really slow in realising that!! Are you a scatterbrain!? A natural airhead!? In either case, it doesn’t change the fact that you’re stupid, weird, goody two shoes feigning innocence!!
Arisu: Bioluminescence. It refers to a living organisms that can emit light right?
Alice: Aah, that’s right. A gang of deep sea creatures. Like a chauliodontidae.
Arisu: We’re human beings so we shouldn’t have bioluminescence.
Alice: A serious reply to kill the gag, thank you very much.
Arisu: You’re welcome.
She wonders how it works, though it may not be weird at all if this is a dream. She also wonders if the mirror connects to another world, like what one would often read in stories. Alice tells her to go ahead and test it out, but not to get him involved. Knowing how reckless she is and how she doesn’t plan ahead, she’ll most like just jump right in. Arisu wonders how the mirror world is like. He remarks that it might be completely the same, but also the complete opposite. She reckons that it must be a lively and fun world then.
Alice: Is white the opposite of black?
Arisu: That’s right!
He commends her over-simplified way of thinking, and adds that perhaps the real world is on the other side. She ponders over it, repeating her observation that if this is a dream, this is a very lonely dream. While she can’t recall anything, isn’t a dream supposed to be more colourful?
Alice: There are monochrome dreams.
Arisu: Like chess?
Alice: Like chess.
Arisu: ……did you know? The literal translation of monochrome is “one colour”. Originally used to refer to things drawn in one colour. Of course, there are two colours if you match it with the background.
Alice: ……you are full of useless knowledge despite having no memories.
Arisu: You too.
She happily concludes that they’re of one mind and body. Since this is a dream, it means that they’re sharing memories. Alice is put off and wishes to withdraw his suggestion that this was all a dream. Not that Arisu allows him to though. In any case, whoever is seeing such a lonely dream must not wish to return to reality. But she doesn’t want to stay here either. Moreover, the mirror here must have some significance.
Arisu says that if one is aware that this is a dream, it’s possible to alter the dream as you like. Alice agrees since it’s a dream, and mainly the brain’s reconstruction of your memories such as people and places. She states that she’d like to go through the mirror then.
Alice: What will you do after going through the mirror?
Arisu: I don’t know. But I think that I should move forward if I can.
Alice: ……you’re amazingly positive.
Arisu: It’s more fun to look ahead.
As she stretches out her hand towards it, the mirror shines. What was once her reflection in the mirror, now shows something different. The left shows boy white as snow, and the right shows a young man dressed in black and as if he’s laden with darkness. Strangely, both of them feel a sense of familiarity with the reflected worlds. The mirror ripples like waves when her fingers touch it. However, the right side turns black when touched again.
Alice: Hmph, that’s certainly suggestive. It’s like saying there’s something it’s dangerous please don’t approach me.
Arisu: ……shall we go?
Alice: Nonono, why are you enjoying this. Don’t get excited. Understand, read the atmosphere, it’s saying don’t go. Look, see. It’s black, hard, and shut closed right? No matter how you think, the moment you enter it’ll obviously turn out to be owowowowww!
Arisu: Hmm, what a pity!
Alice: What’s pitiful is your head, and myself who is accompanying you.
Arisu: Will you accompany me?
Alice: If you won’t let go of this hand.
Arisu: Then, let’s go!