After you finished Alice’s route in Taisho x Alice epilogue you unlock Yurika‘s side of the story. A cheerful and energetic girl, who is also quick-witted and good at playing her cards right. She has fairy tale-like romances with the men of the mirror world. Naturally, going through this route means that you should have been through the rest already, and are aware of all the previous spoilers. Also, this route contains elements which might be triggering.
This is the backstage story of the princess and the prince.
When she was young, Yurika had no self-confidence. Grand parties and elegant dresses. She loved sparkling things, but thought that they didn’t suit her. Her father tells her to greet a couple. The lady takes an immediate liking to Yurika, hugging her and commenting that she’s like a princess. While the two men talk, the lady suddenly pinches Yurika’s, cheeks claiming that it’s a massage to relieve the tension. She had noticed that the young girl kept looking down, which she can’t be blamed for since she’s among strangers. The lady says that she’s very cute, and that she should have more self-confidence and look ahead. She can think of this as her home and relax. Yurika says that it’s a lovely mansion, like a castle. The lady remarks that land is much cheaper in the countryside.
On the topic of castles, she finds out that Yurika likes picture books and asks which is her favourite. She answers that she likes Cinderella, Snow White, Red Riding-hood, Princess Kaguya, Hansel and Gretel, and Alice. The lady delightfully responds that she loves them too, especially Alice. She loves stories with a female protagonist. They both agree on that, and that they love princes too. They’re surprisingly similar. The lady says that she has a child like Yurika too – a boy called Alistair. She had wanted to introduce them, but her son is not in his room. Yurika offers to search for him, but the mother says that it’s fine.
Mother: If you ever get lost, don’t worry. A prince will come for you. Because you are a princess.
Yurika: I’m a princess……?
Mother: Yes. And a princess always has a prince right?
Yurika: ……but, I’m……
A guest interrupts, and so the mother has to take her leave first. Yurika waves at her, cheerful, kind and wonderful woman who never lost sight of her dreams. She wished to become like that too. Her father is still busy, and she doesn’t want to interrupt the adults. But she can’t mingle with the children either, who would either call her disgusting or say that she (and her brother) has (have) an illness. A boy in the hall asks his father why her eyes are weird, and she dashes outside while crying. Blue-red eyes. Fluffy and voluminous hair. She hates everything about herself. Her prince isn’t anywhere out there.
That’s when an unfamiliar boy spots her. She unwittingly covers her face and runs off. He chases after her, and finally grabs her hand, as they arrive at the lake. As he catches his breath, he remarks that she’s fast. As she turns around, he looks at her in surprise. Shining blonde hair and beautiful blue eyes. She thought that he was just like a prince from a storybook. But she immediately covers her eyes, telling him not to look. He apologises, but he’s confused and asks why she’s covering her face.
The girl explains that her eyes aren’t normal, and everyone finds it disgusting. She isn’t ill, yet she appears to be. Moreover, her hair is weird. She doesn’t understand what she is saying, and can’t stop her tears or words. She doesn’t want to trouble a stranger. Yurika doesn’t want to be hated, to be rejected. She tells him to let go, but he refuses for she will run away. His voice sounds serious. He orders her to put down her hand, and she does so while looking puzzled.
Alistair: Am I weird? I have golden hair and blue eyes, but my nationality is Japanese. The blood of my Japanese mother and foreigner father runs in me. But I can only speak Japanese. I can’t even speak a micron of foreign language, and I have no intentions of learning it either. I don’t look like a Japanese. But that being said, from the perspective of other foreigners, I don’t look like I’m from any country. Am I weird? Strange? Abnormal?
Girl: N-no……you’re not strange. Nor weird.
Alistair: That’s right.
She asks if he isn’t scared of her, that she is ill due to the colour of her eyes. He doesn’t. He finds her sparkling eyes beautiful.
Alistair: I like it. Your jewel-like eyes, and your soft and fluffy hair. Everything is proof that you are you.
Girl: Proof that I am me?
Alistair: Aah, that’s right. You can call it “individuality” too.
He removes one of her blue ribbons from her hair and tying it on his. It’s weird for a boy to wear a ribbon. So he will stand out more than her. Everyone will focus their attention on him, and no one will pay any mind to her appearance. But this is also his individuality. It’s fine if people call him strange, weird, or ridicule him. That’s how they think. But surely there will be at least be someone in this world who likes this appearance and approves of him.
Girl: ……like me?
Alistair: Aah, that’s right. Like you……so, what is your name?
Yurika: I’m Arisu……Arisu Yurika. Seven years old.
Alistair: Arisu……hmm. What a coincidence. I’m of the same age, and have the same name as you.
Yurika: Then you’re Alice-kun?
Alistair: Aah, that’s right. So you know me after all.
Yurika: I met your mother.
Alistair: I see……we’re not alike right?
She recalls his mother’s appearance and words, before looking at him. A kind heart, and a positive heart. He smiles when she answers.
Yurika: ……no. I think you’re very alike.
Alistair: Is that so? You’re the first one to say that.
He wonders what they should do now, having come out this far. She expresses that she doesn’t wish to return just yet. He feels the same way, and arrogantly offers to accompany her, even though he doesn’t usually do so with ignorant masses. Yurika smiles in approval. And this was how she met her prince.
Before she went back home, she tells his mother that she met Alistair. She finds him wonderful, and thought that princes really do exist. His mother looks surprised, but also relieved that he could become a prince. She asks Yurika to continue to get along with him. She had always been worried that he didn’t have any friends, but now she is relieved. She asks Yurika to save him if he’s ever in trouble.
After that, they played everyday. He would always walk in front of her, pulling her hand along. She loved him. One day, she asks if he likes picture books. He smirks and remarks that he has no interest in such childish books, and prefers philosophy books. But when she clarifies if he means books on Plato or Descartes. He mishears it as plankton, and goes quiet when she points out that it’s different. Alistair clears his throat, dismissing it as a joke. As he tries to continue, Yurika declares that she heard about it from his mother. Unable to deny it, he coolly reasons that it’s beneficial to read it during childhood.
Yurika: In other words, you like it right?
Yurika: I love it too. That’s why I thought that it would be nice to read with Alice-kun but……
Her voice grows quieter. Is she troubling him? Will she be hated? That’s all she could think of. Alistair agrees to do her a service of reading together, and she thanks him with a bright smile. After he finishes reading, Yurika finds the princesses in stories amazing. No matter how difficult the circumstances, she will always grab hold of her own happiness in the end.
Yurika: I wish to become a wonderful person like a storybook princess.
Alistair: You’re already……
Alistair: It’s nothing…………does Arisu want to become a princess?
Yurika: I do!
Alistair: ……I see. Then shall we try pretend play?
Yurika: Pretend play……
She heard about it before, but doesn’t actually know what you’re supposed to do. He explains that you act as someone. For example, girls would often play house. She says that she’s never played it before, for she had no friends. He looks down, but insists that he has played it before when she asks him. Yurika happily takes the hand he offers. After that, it became a routine for them to pretend play be it police and thief, or a cafe scene.
One afternoon, they hold a tea party in the garden with chamomile tea and apple pie. She pretends to be a waitress, serving him. He complains that she was slow, but orders her to sit down anyway for their tea party to commence. Seeing Yurika blow on the hot tea, he pretends to act cool and claims that he’s nothing. However, the hot tea scalds his tongue. She is unable to suppress a giggle, causing him to forget about what happened. She apologises for laughing. She can’t get carried away lest he starts to hate her. But Alistair remarks that it’s better for her to laugh. It suits her much more than crying. So he’ll do anything in return, and readily so.
Alistair: Because I like your smile……as much as I like my afternoon snacks.
Yurika: ……that means you love it right?
Yurika: Hey, Alice-kun!
Alistair: Ah-ah-ah-I can’t hear you–?
Yurika: Hey! Say it one more time! I said hey!
She knew more about him, as they spent time together. One day, Yurika approaches Alistair with a black cat she found. She loves cats the most among all the animals. Because she read that white cats often have heterochromia iridis. His face turns pale, and he tells her to back away. He unwittingly admits that he doesn’t deal well with cats. Alistair lets out a sigh of relief when she lets it go, and an awkward silence follows. She asks why he can’t deal with them, and he recalls how he was surrounded by cats when he tried to feed them once. He tells her to keep it a secret, since it’s not cool.
Yurika: That’s not true. Alice-kun is cool!
Alistair: I-is that so?
Alistair: ……but, even so! This is a promise between us!
Yurika: Okay! I got it!
She was happy at the mention of “promise”. Because it feels like they’re connected. But there are still things which can’t be helped. Standing by the lake, Alistair notices that she’s looking down which is unusual for her.
Yurika: A lake is like a sea.
Yurika: Are you stupid? A sea and a lake are totally different. The sea is wide, big and fun right?
Yurika: Yes……say, has Alice-kun ever been to the sea?
Yurika would like for him to cross the sea to see her – she definitely can’t say that aloud. She remarks that summer has ended. The end of summer signifies their separation. He recalls that she lives in the city, and tries to highlight the great sides of living in the country-side. When Yurika admits that she likes it here too, he tries to persuade her to keep coming here, to even live with him. Or she could keep visiting every summer. But only he thought that. She explains that she’s going overseas, beyond the sea. That’s why it won’t be easy to meet up.
Yurika tears up, confessing that she doesn’t want to go and be separated from him. She’ll end up all alone again. She knows that she’s only troubling him, but she can’t stop her tears. Alistair tells her not to cry, taking her hand. He reassures her that they can still meet up, it’s not like they’re in different dimensions. He doesn’t even mind sending her letters. Moreover, he hasn’t returned her the favour for giving him the ribbon.
Alistair: It’ll be alright. I won’t let go of this hand. No matter how far you are, as long as our hearts call to each other, we’ll definitely meet……in other words, I mean. Even if we part ways now, if you want to meet me, you can.
Alistair: Do you doubt me?
Yurika: ……no! I believe you!! Because Alice-kun is my prince!
Yurika: Yes. Prince. Umm, I’m glad to have met Alice-kun. Before I met Alice-kun, I was all alone in a dark world. But Alice-kun found me, and reached your hand out to me. When you did that, a seven-coloured rainbow was built in the dark world.
Alistair: Seven-coloured rainbow…………hmph, of course. Who do you think I am? I’m a prince. Building a rainbow is as easy as lying around for me. That’s why, it’s also easy to cross the rainbow to meet you.
He made a promise to her. That’s why she could move forward. After some time, she’s grown up. She’s still living overseas. She was a crybaby, but now she can talk back to anyone. Yurika hasn’t met him in years. They did exchange letters at first, but gradually it stopped. She was lonely, but she convinced herself that it couldn’t be helped with the flow of time. One day, she receives a rare letter from her brother. He was working as a psychiatrist in a countryside hospital. She was distant from him since young, so he felt like a stranger to her. In his letter, he writes about a boy who is his patient, and how he wishes to save him. She immediately made arrangements to return to Japan.
Back at home, her father explains that the boy’s mother married a foreigner against her family’s objections. So her family cut ties with her. With no one else to rely on, soon his mother passed away from illness. The boy kept lived with different relatives, before finally being placed in a facility. But things didn’t go well. The staff noticed something unusual, and took him to the hospital. It was determined that he had dissociative identity disorder, and he was hospitalised upon the doctor’s recommendation.
But he was abandoned, and Ryoushi is now his attending doctor. Due to malnutrition, his growth is slower. And he is lagging behind in 2 years in terms of studies. It would even be difficult to go to a normal school, as there’s no knowing when his personalities would change. Her father asked if she was still willing to become family with him. Unlike her brother who is an adult and living away from them, she is still a minor and a female – she had the right to reject. Yurika firmly answered that she was fine. She wants to save him. She pleaded with her family to save the pitiful boy.
After that, they met him. She leaps at him, commenting that she finally met him. She knew at once from her brother’s letter, that the boy was Alistair. She asks if he remembers her, and apologises for not keeping in touch. She had sent numerous letters, but didn’t know that things were this difficult. However, he says that he doesn’t remember her. Her chest hurts, but she admits that 10 years is a long time. Yurika looks surprised to see that he’s still wearing the ribbon, and cries out of happiness. Even if he has forgotten about her, the fact that they’re connected remains unchanged. That alone is enough. She introduces herself as Arisu Yurika.
After that, he’s led to the living-room where her parents and brother are waiting. Her father recalls having met him when he was still young, but Alistair only apologises. The father takes out a cigarette, only to keep it again when Yurika glares at him. Her father offers to adopt him, and promises to support him with all he has. She grins at Alistair, so as to reassure him. But things didn’t go that smoothly. Alistair’s personality suddenly switches to Cinderella, and he refuses their offer. It was then, that her brother proposed that he become her fiance. It’s just a trial period, and they can break it off it they dislike it later. Ryoushi tells him to think about it first. Outside, Yurika expresses that she found it unexpected. Her brother says that he only did it for Alistair’s sake. He could only suggest that then.
Yurika remarks that he seems like a different person altogether. But they are all a part of Alistair. While they appear to be independent people, those are still his feelings and memories which he had cut off. She asks if it’s difficult to combine the personalities, and he replies that it is. He doubts that Alistair can accept the past, on top of each personality holding a trauma. At that moment, they sense a presence. It’s Alistair hiding in the shadows, glaring at them – probably Ryoushi. Her brother advises her to pretend not to notice. He wishes to observe, if it is a new personality or not. Yurika didn’t expect that her brother would know the person she had been searching for. It truly is a curious connection, perhaps even destiny. While she said it jokingly, she truly believed that it was destiny that they reunited. Perhaps that’s why that she sense something off about his words and attitude.
One day, she asks her brother if there are only Cinderella, Shirayuk, Akazukin and Kaguya inside of Alistair. She says that Alistair seems to have forgotten her, and wonders about the reason. He replies that there are different possibilities. Their meeting may not have been that important, or too much happened and it got buried to the depths of his mind. Or there may be another hidden personality. It was also by chance that he got to know Shirayuki. If no one notices him, he would also merely fade away. Ryoushi recalls that there was one more personality, the 6th one. He never mentioned it before as he no longer exists. He was too weak, and didn’t even have a name. Ryoushi has only met him once before. He had everyone’s memories, and was a perfect existence with no problems at all in terms of abilities and sociability. Those were the words of the attending doctor who gave birth to him. But he didn’t had no emotions or senses at all. Ryoushi also witnessed it, that he had no sense of self unlike the rest.
Yurika: ……what a strange story. To have no emotions.
Ryoushi: ……that’s right.
Yurika: Say, why did you feel like telling me about it?
Ryoushi: ………………somehow I felt like it.
There is someone whom she doesn’t know inside of him. While her brother thinks that he has disappeared, she doesn’t think so. A week has passed since they took Alistair in. As her parents and brother are busy, it became natural for it to be just the two of them. One day, she asks how the food is, and he compliments that it’s delicious. She asks what is his favourite dish. Alistair looks away, before replying that anything is fine. Yurika observes that he acts reserved around them, though it’s probably a given when you think about his situation. All of a sudden, she pinches his cheeks claiming that it’s a massage to relieve the tension. She says that he’s a wonderful person, and should have more self-confidence and look ahead. He can relax here, since this is his home. However, he stops eating and stands up, replying that he’s only being let to live here. A heavy silence follows. Alistair soon excuses himself and heads upstairs.
As he has settled down living in the countryside, it soon came the time to start school. They transferred to the local schools. She was a first year in high school, and he was a second year in middle school. They should be going to the same school, but it can’t be helped with the gap in academic abilities. She hands him his lunchbox in the morning, before requesting to go to school together that day. Yurika looks very happy walking beside him. She asks if they can go home together too, and is delighted when he agrees. But he has a complicated expression.
While she didn’t feel excited about going to school, it was actually unexpectedly refreshing and fun. At school, a girl asks if she’s wearing contacts. Yurika corrects her that it’s heterochromia iridis. Perhaps more commonly known as an odd eye. She’s now used to being questioned about her appearance. And while children don’t understand, at this age they should with a little explanation. In the corridor, a boy wearing a brown hooded jacket stops and stares at her. He then exclaims that he’s fallen in love at first sight, and asks to go out. She apologises, for she has someone she likes already. The boy is Ookami, and apparently recently moved here.
After school, Ookami follows and keeps asking for her number, but she replies that she already has someone she likes. He is aware, and says that they can remain as friends. When she agrees and he’s about to get her number, she greets Alistair loudly. Ookami and Alistair see each other, both looking surprised. Back at Yurika’s house, everything is explained to Ookami. Ookami sees that he doesn’t remember him, and asks if Akazukin can come out. Yurika explains that dissociative identity disorder is where the feelings and memories that are cut off mature and develop another personality. While there is one body, he doesn’t have any memories of when the alternate personalities surface. The alternate personalities seem to be able to converse with each other, but Alistair can’t.
Ookami introduces himself since this is their first meeting, and Alistair hesitantly shakes his hand. The latter asks if he believes that he has multiple personalities. Ookami says that he doesn’t doubt friends. While it does sound like something out of a manga, he doesn’t see Yurika or Alistair as the type to lie. Moreover, he has met him when he was Akazukin before. He thinks that the two of them are different. In any case, since Akazukin is his friend, so is Alistair. The three of them ate dinner together that day. After dinner, Ookami cheerfullytakes his leave. Yurika observes that Alistair looks happy, perhaps because he has made a fellow male friend. He accidentally speaks to Yurika casually, and switches back to polite manner. Despite her saying that he doesn’t need to as they are the same age, he refuses and heads back inside the house.
Yurika immediately catches up with Ookami. She thanks him for today, admitting that she misunderstood his character initially to be someone flippant. Her brother told her that Alistair needs a friend around his age, and she thinks so too. So she hopes that Ookami can be a good friend to him. When he asks about herself, she notes that Alistair seems to be avoiding her. Ookami guesses that the person she likes is Alistair too. He thinks that Alistair doesn’t know, but it’s only a matter of time. Yurika says that she does like him, but Alistair doesn’t remember that they met when they were young. She isn’t sure if the prince was a different personality, or if his character changed over time.
Ookami: A prince?
Yurika: He was a prince. At least to me. Alice-kun saved me. That’s why, I want to save him this time.
Ookami. I see.
Ookami says that he will research more about his condition, so that he can be of help. And this was how they became friends. Wishing for Ookami to be one of those who understands Alistair, she introduces him to her brother. Ookami wonders why Akazukin won’t appear before him, and Ryoushi points out that he may have become Akazukin’s trauma. From what he heard from Cinderella, both Shirayuki and Akazukin were born due to his mother. His mother probably realised that her own son had another personality. That’s why she desperately told him not to go out, and shut him inside. However, that caused a new personality to be born – Akazukin. Akazukin sneaked outside, and met Ookami. From Ookami’s side of the story, a lot happened and Akazukin probably thinks it’s all his fault.
Akazukin is trapped by guilt, though he himself doesn’t realise it. Or perhaps he doesn’t want to. That’s why he unconsciously rejects Ryoushi and Ookami. Ryoushi thought that he first met Shirayuki, but he realises something from Ookami’s story. When he first saw Alistair, it was when he saved a boy from drowning in the lake – Ookami. The latter widens his eyes in surprise, and excitedly laughs at the realisation that Ryoushi is his life saviour. Ryoushi is tempted to hit him. Amidst this, Yurika notices the complicated expression on Alistair’s face.
That night, Alistair offers to wash the dishes instead. She asks him to wipe the dishes for her, and he refuses at first. But eventually they end up cleaning the dishes together. Yurika tries to break the silence. She says that she thinks that his mother did want to understand him. She had been thinking about why he made that face. Then she realised that surely, even now he still loves his mother. He looks at her in surprise and agrees with her. It was the first time he smiled at her.
Some months after he was taken in and on their way back home, Yurika finds a cat. She shows it to him, much to his horror. This was her “gamble”. A trap to see if he has really forgotten her, or if he is merely pretending. He admits that he cannot handle cats well, and she giggles. She apologises for laughing, but he doesn’t mind since it’s uncool of him to be scared of cats. Yurika denies this, and says that he’s really cool. She’s certain that he remembers her now. He blushes, and she observes that he’s embarrassed. She giggles again. Later, Alistair went to the hospital so she takes her own time looking at books and clothes.
On the way back, Yurika overhears a group of girls talking bad about her. They speak ill about her appearance, as well as her way of speaking. She was aware that they found her distasteful, but she wasn’t going to change the way she spoke. But she notes to herself that she shouldn’t stand out too much. Just then, she spots Alistair. She grows embarrassed, hoping that he didn’t notice her as she takes the long way back home.
When she’s together with Alistair and Ookami, the latter wonders why she speaks that way – such as the English. Yurika is taken aback, but she pretends to joke around. Ookami says that it’s werid and seeks for Alistair’s agreement, but he only replies vaguely. Yurika replies that she was raised overseas, and it’s difficult to switch over in an instant. Moreover, this is her “individuality”. Alistair mulls over this, to which she nods and smiles. On the way home, Yurika stops by a fruit stall as she realises that they have little left in the fridge. The owner compliments her look today too, and that her Japanese is really good. Alistair merely stares from a distance. Some days later, Yurika goes to fetch Alistair after school as usual. All of a sudden, he says this.
Alistair: I like it. Your jewel-like eyes, and your soft and fluffy hair……everything is proof that you are you.
Alistair: Ah, I’m sorry. I just thought of that but……
Yurika: ……thank you.
It took all she had to hold back her tears. He noticed her feelings. As expected, he hasn’t changed since before. He was her prince. One night, he visits her room. She can tell from his voice that it’s Cinderella. But she soon felt something off, and saw through him. She says that she knows, for he’s himself. Yurika is confident that she can find him no matter which of him she meets. After that, the mood around them changed. He no longer speaks politely around her. It feels like they’ve returned to the past, which makes her happy.
Alistair finishes cleaning, and notes that this used to be a cafe. She says that her parents always loved unique things, so they bought this place and made it their villa. The furniture is new, but everything else is the same as before. Alistair recalls that Taisho democracy was covered in his class. It was the period when clothes and food were westernised, women spoke up more, and liberalism and freedom was respected. Yurika adds that cafes also appeared in Japan then. Alistair compliments her food, and is sure that there will be many customers if she opens a cafe. She happily thanks him. She feels shy at his compliment. She had picked up cooking, so as to be suitable for her prince, even if just a little. Because of his praise, it takes her a while longer to realise another important thing.
Yurika: Wait, eh……just now……
Alice: I’m sorry. I was at a loss as to how to call you……but I could only think of this. I’m sorry if I offended you.
Yurika: No!! One more time! Say it one more time!!
Yurika: My name!
Yurika: Eheheh……what is it? Alistair-kun?
About half a year since he started living with them, her parents were returning to the city. Yurika reassures them that she can do the household chores, and she has no problems with studies. Moreover, Ryoushi will be here. To be honest, she didn’t expect much from her parents. Other people may view them as good people, but as a family member, she feels that they’re a little cold. That night, she asks if Alstair feels lonely. She felt uneasy, thinking that he needed a new family. But that was just her imaginary fear. He replies that he isn’t sure since they are not his real parents, and redirects the question back at her. Yurika smiles and answers that she isn’t, for he’s here. Just as she needs him, she wants him to need her too. But how should she go about it?
Yurika is changing out of her uniform. Just then, Alistair knocks and says that he’s entering. He opens her door to find her in her underwear. Alistair hurriedly closes the door, apologising.He sounded very flustered. She feels the same way too, but she didn’t want to keep being bothered by it and quickly changes. She opens the door and he apologises once more. Yurika asks if he saw, and he’s unable to answer. His face reddens.
Yurika: Will you take responsibility?
Yurika: Fufu. It’s a joke! It’s fine. I don’t mind it at all.
Alistair: ……ah, yes……
He nodded with a complicated look. When she asks what he wanted, he answers that he forgot. After that, the season gradually turned to autumn. It became natural for them to be together. Ookami happily greets them that morning, and asks for his lunchbox. Yurika now also makes his share too. While Ookami looks frivolous, he’s surprisingly observant and she does confide in him from time to time. Moreover, he knows his own position and when to withdraw. After knowing Alistair’s situation, he would observe from the sidelines and lend a helping hand at the right moments. Alistair hesitantly answers when she invites him into the conversation. She asks what’s wrong, but he says that it’s nothing. Could he be jealous? She can’t help but feel happy, at her selfish thought. Perhaps that’s how happy she was. Soon, they part ways. He waved goodbye with a lonely expression. She could tell that he wished to go to the same school as them. But it’s difficult to shorten a gap once it’s been created.
So she thought that she could make him something sweet to cheer him up. Yurika finishes her pudding, and he enters the kitchen just then. She pauses, recognising that it was someone else inside of him. Moreover, she had not met this one before. When she asks who he is, he smiles and tells her not to joke around. He’s her cute younger brother, Gretel. She realised instantly, that he, named after the younger sister in the fairy tale, was born due to her influence. She apologises for asking something strange, and offers to feed him a spoonful of pudding. He grades it 40 marks out of 100 marks. She spoiled Gretel a lot.
As she lived with Alistair, it became natural for her to interact with “them”. Each of them had individuality, and she grew to love all of them. It wasn’t hypocrisy or charity. She just purely fell in love with them. At night, Yurika strokes his hair as he sleeps like a small child. She didn’t mind staying this way, as long as they were convinced. She soon fell asleep too. In the dark, she hears someone calling her. It’s the prince who offered his hand to her when she was lost in the dark as a child. She wakes up, and sees him blushing furiously. She explains that she let Gretel lie on her lap and ended up sleeping. Alistair apologises and dashes out of the room. She overhears him questioning himself why he came outside. He lied on her lap – though it wasn’t him. Yurika pretends not to hear it.
Alistair: Uwaah! What!?
Yurika: ……I’m sorry. Did you hate it?
Alistair: No……not really……it wasn’t me anyway…………didn’t Arisu hate it? If you do, you can reject……
Yurika: I didn’t hate it at all.
Alistair: I-I see……
Yurika soon heads down the prepare breakfast. When she’s alone, she can feel herself blushing. As the happy days passed by, the sparkle soon lost its lustre. It was when she was a second year in high school, and he was a third year in middle school. Gretel had caused an incident at school. Yurika is speaking on the phone. After the call, she expresses her relief that he doesn’t have to leave school. He’s unable to answer, and she notices that he’s been feeling very down about this matter. She tells him not to be too concerned. She knows that it wasn’t his fault, and she doesn’t think that it’s Gretel’s fault either.
Alistair: You always……………………
He swallows his words. She didn’t mind it if he blamed her. He should. Alistair asks if she need not go to school, questioning the reason. Yurika hesitates, and doesn’t answer him in the end. She has a secret which no one else knows – that she is connected to one of them within him. Her strongest queen. She has thoroughly made use of him, who doesn’t even have a name. In the bathroom, Alistair throws up.
Alistair: Who is it……Gretel? No, it can’t be……it’s not Gretel……he thinks that she’s his sister……then is it Kaguya? Or Cinderella……who did it with her……!! …………all of you……do you like her? That’s why you slept with her? She too……why did she do this…………Arisu……does she like all of you……?
At that moment, Yurika knocks on the door, asking if he’s alright. He opens the door, and Alistair reassures her that he’s fine. “His” existence has finally been exposed. Moreover, Alistair seems to have misunderstood that they have a physical connection. After that, he blatantly avoids her. This is her punishment. Even if her relationship with Alistair has become strained, her relationship with the others remain well. But slowly, cracks started to appear. That night, Gretel caused a second incident. And it was more violent this time. Afraid that they would separate, Yurika pulls his hand as they walk in the dark forest.
Alistair: ……where should we go?
Yurika: I don’t know. But don’t worry. I will protect you.
Alistair: Why am I…………
He’s shocked to see her face injured. Suddenly, Alistair groans in pain. He screams when he sees his bloody hand. Yurika tries to calm him down, but he asks if he hurt her. She firmly denies this, begging him to believe her. She insists that he didn’t do anything. Instead, Alistair asks if someone else hurt her then. Was it Gretel’s fault? Or Kaguya’s? She insists otherwise, but he’s had enough. She sees that his mentality is battered up. It’s all her fault. After that, her brother told her off for acting on her own. Ryoushi took over Alistair’s mental care. Later, Yurika welcomes him back. She asks what’s wrong when he stares at her. Alistair asks to be alone. She can only question herself: what should she do?
Suddenly, there is a scream and the sound of something breaking. Yurika bursts in, asking what’s wrong. There are glass shards on the floor. She realises that he had broken the mirror. Yurika wishes to treat his injury at once.
Alistair: Arisu……who exactly am I?
Alistair: Right now, there’s someone who isn’t me inside the mirror……I was myself at first. But when I realise it, I have changed into someone who isn’t me. My face doesn’t reflect in the mirror. There is someone who is similar but also not similar to me there. Someone who isn’t me told me this. That he likes you. That was when I realised. Surely someone who isn’t me, wants me to leave. And after I’m gone, he wants to live as me and become happy with you.
Alistair: I’m scared…………I’m scared. Someone who isn’t me exists, and sometimes uses my body to pretend to be me. And when I’m myself, he would peek at me from the darkness. Arisu……am I myself? I have no confidence……after all, isn’t that right? Who can prove that right now I’m the real me? Someone who thinks that I’m not me, may be the real me instead.
Yurika: ……I’m on your side. Even if you deny yourself, I’ll approve of you. I love you.
She will definitely fall for him, no matter which of him she meets. She loves all of him from the bottom of her heart.
Alistair: Arisu………………I’m sorry. I don’t even know if those words are really directed at me. I……can’t even believe in your love…………
Yurika: …………even so, it is fine.
Yurika gently hugs him.
Yurika: I don’t mind even if my love is denied. I’m fine as long as you can be saved. Because it doesn’t change the fact that you are my prince.
That night, she cried in a long time. It was as if she had returned to that time. After a while, he greets her in the morning. She answers. He pauses, and says that it’s nothing with a smile. His behaviour was normal. That’s why she didn’t suspect anything. She went to school as per usual, and sat in class as per usual. She realised a voicemail from her brother during her break. With a bad feeling, she listened to it and was shocked by the unexpected news. Yurika left school and rushed to the hospital. Her brother was waiting for her there. He informed her that Alistair had overdosed on sleeping drugs, swallowing a whole bottle of it. It seemed that he intended to commit suicide. A passerby happened to spot him collapsed in the lake, and reported it. The stomach has been pumped, and he isn’t in critical danger.
While he is unconscious, he should wake up the next day. Yurika felt relieved at those words. But he never woke up. She asked her brother for the reason. He wasn’t sure. Nothing abnormal shows up from the examinations. He explained that to sleep is to lose consciousness as your response levels to outside stimulus is lowered. But it is easy to wake up from that state. However, Alistair won’t wake up no matter how strong the stimulus. Yurika asked if he is in comatose. Ryoushi agreed, but stated that his situation is a little different from coma or vegetative state. Changes in expressions and brushing movements were observed in response to pain or stimulus. In other words, he isn’t awake but his consciousness— Yurika interrupted him, asking for the conclusion.
By checking the brain waves, he saw that while the body was asleep, the brain itself was still active. In other words, he is dreaming. He doesn’t specialise in neurology, so he isn’t familiar with comatose. But if there is no problem with the body, it probably has to do with the mind. The person himself is refusing to wake up. Ookami wondered if that was even possible. Ryoushi wasn’t sure. But perhaps he wanted to escape reality to the point of choosing death. Usually, you don’t realise that it is a dream when you are asleep. Only after you wake up. If Alistair is dreaming, that the dream is reality to him now. Yurika asked if he will ever wake up, but he remained quiet. Ookami tried to reassure her – after all, there is no such thing as a dream you don’t wake up from. Her brother agreed. She asked what she could do, to which he advised her to talk to him everyday, move his body, and let him listen to music. In any case, to give him stimulus. So she talked to the sleeping figure, as advised by Ryoushi.
Yurika: ……say, can you hear me? Can you hear my voice?
Yurika: Why……please……wake up……! Alistair-kun!
At school, Ookami tried to cheer her up. He assured her that surely he will wake up. While her brother said that Alistair tried to commit suicide, she doesn’t think so. It was true that he was at a loss over his situation, and feared the world. But she doesn’t think that he would’ve chosen death. Alistair probably thought of meeting them in his dream. To meet them and decide what to do. Not that she would know what he was truly thinking. She had been thinking of a way to save the prince this whole time – to create herself in him. He has dissociative identity disorder, and has seven personalities. She would create Arisu Yurika as his eighth personality. Since he is dreaming, and the people and places in a dream are usually part of the person’s memories. The brain may reenact a stored memory if it is triggered by an outer or inner cause. A story could be pieced together in a dream.
A dream can be influenced by an outside stimulus, and she would make use of that. Fortunately, she exists in his memories so the success rate should be higher. She would have Arisu Yurika appear his dreams, control her from outside, and save the prince. Ookami asked what would she do if it failed. Since it is a dream, there’s no telling if things would go according to plan. Yurika replied that she had insurance, and thought of a cooperator. She asked if he would stop her. Ookami said that he wasn’t a doctor, and asked what he could do to help. And so with his help, she sneaked inside the hospital.
Yurika: ……hey, can you hear me?
Yurika: Does my voice reach you?
Yurika: I have a request of you……it is something only you can fulfill.
She holds Alistair’s hand.
Yurika: Let’s pretend! Shall we play princess? The roles have already been decided. I’m the princess, and you’re the wizard. ……will you forgive me that it’s not the main role? But it’s a necessary existence for a story. The stage is also decided. The stage is the mirror world……a world where everything is reversed. Fairytale characters with reverse gender will welcome me as the “heroine” in the mirror world. As the “heroine” of each fairy tale in the mirror world, I will spin a slightly curious and distorted fairytale with slightly twisted fairytale characters. What exactly will be the outcome of this story? ……there is no script, so even I don’t know what kind of story this will be. But the ending to aim for is already decided, so it’s fine. You know right? I like happy ends. Wizard, sometimes a supporter, and sometimes an enemy, you are someone who can use mysterious powers……an extremely important position. I wish for you to kill me if I’m wrong. A single story doesn’t need multiple heroines (princesses). If not, the story will turn weird.You can do it right After all, you’re my strongest queen (chess piece).
She wanted to understand them. But that was her pride speaking. They may look stable but their hearts bear a deep wound. It was a delicate and dangerous one which may explode any moment. They needed someone’s help, being trapped in their pasts and suffering over their current situation. She wanted to make them happy.
Just for now please, I wish for you to listen to the fairy tales that I’m going to tell. I may not be able to save you, but the princess who is devoted to her prince will surely save you. She will surely not bring about any calamities to the enjoyment of our stories.
The love-gift of a fairy-tale.
This is the fairy tale about saving the prince.
This was an enjoyable playthrough! While I find StS more memorable, TaiAli was a very interesting and unexpected take on fairy tale romances. Playing it in order (episode 1, 2, 3, epilogue) is really critical and slowly unravels the truth. Playing it all back-to-back also helped me, as my memory of the previous games would be still fresh and you can see the intentional parallels between routes. I do recommend the order I played it, because this order will make sense once you play the epilogue.
I ended up liking all the characters, much to my surprise. I knew that I will end up liking Wizard and Alice. But I did not expect to like Kaguya or Gretel……haha. Especially after you learn their pasts. But the writer really knows how to dig at the characters during the light-hearted moments to make fun of their specific traits. Yurika is a fab heroine. While she appears to be so perfect, Ryoushi made a very good point about her “flaw”. In any case, she definitely this game more fun. I would’ve like to see how she interacted with all of them though……this is hard to explain without spoiling anything haha.
I started to add trigger warnings from episode 2 onwards, because some of the incidents are not that pleasant to read about. I can’t specify them without any spoilers. All I can say is that, things will take a darker turn once you come to episode 2. When you think about it, a few incidents actually happen in–okay I almost said a spoiler. Basically I think that a few incidents actually also happened in one of the heaviest games I’ve played. But due to Yurika’s character and the characters being very supportive in general, it was easier to play through it in TaiAli.
The cast, especially Matsuoka, did a great job. I am repeating myself, BUT HE REALLY DID A GREAT JOB. And they made the right decision to cast him. I don’t know how else to stress this. I applaud Masuda and Eguchi for all the intense lines too. :’D
Mero’s art is really pretty. And after you finish the game, you can see the significances in the promo art. But like StS, the CGs are not aplenty given how long each route is. I do hope that they will include more in the FD though. The music grew on me as I kept playing the game. I actually liked that they did different versions of the OP for the different episodes. My favourite is the piano version (yeah how easy was that to guess). But I still can’t get over the rock version in episode 3. Maybe they should’ve played that for episode 2 instead haha.
The system is pretty standard. But thank goodness that for a PC game, they allowed you to jump back to an earlier scene using the backlog. Also, this lists all the route scenes after you finish the route – and with proper scene titles. I don’t know about you, but it really helped me when I wanted to double-check details in the game.
I’m really rambling now. I suppose in short, I do recommend Taisho x Alice! Like twisted fairy tales? Like parallel themes? Like a mix of comedic and intense moments? Like being surprised? Then please support Primula! Please note that I played the PC version. But I think that the Vita port isn’t that much different in terms of content. I hope that my posts will help you enjoy the game more, and I apologise if I made any errors
because I usually play this at night after work when I’m sleepy. My next post will probably be the new year’s post, as I will be taking a year-end break. I’m not sure what I will play next. But in any case, till next post~ Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in advance!