Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: October 2003
Synopsis: “There are many worlds in the universe outside of our own, connected by doors that are hidden to the eye. But if you chance upon these doors, you can be transported to a place where supple beauties reign supreme and all of your fantasies come alive. Should you pass through the doorways, be most careful, for the creatures you will meet can be as dangerous as they are beautiful. Many would die for a glimpse at those worlds – Miyuki would do anything to have them go away.”
Don’t let the dramatics of this book’s synopsis have you fooled: Miyuki-chan in Wonderland is an often over the top, quick paced comedy with lots of sexy ladies and fantastical situations. Loosely based on the classic tale of Alice and Wonderland, Miyuki is a schoolgirl who suddenly finds herself transported to a magical world where only one thing is certain – everyone wants to get under her skirt!
This is kind of book you can’t take too seriously and we can only assume CLAMP had as much fun drawing it as we as readers can have reading it. CLAMP has always said how much they love drawing women and in a one-shot that doesn’t have a single man in it, this is a full out smorgasbord of girls. Bunny-girls, cat-girls, card-girls and probably most prominently of all throughout, girl on girl. With a rating of only 16+, things never get to the point of full out pornographic however. It sure feels like an intentional tease though, with a story that could easily hop the line to hentai at any point but stays decidedly on the cleaner side of things.
It’s never explained why all this attractive woman just can’t seem to keep their lusty hands off Miyuki, but then again, where’s the need? Everything is pretty quick paced and very random, giving it all a dream-like (or nightmare-like in some cases perhaps) feel to it. Scattered throughout the book are panty shots, breast groping and fetish after fetish: animal girls, bondage queens and a little S&M here and there. CLAMP also takes the opportunity to poke fun at themselves with a spoof of X/1999 as well as a twisted take on fantasy RPGs.
What many fans love about CLAMP’s artwork is taken here to full form. There is so much detail on every page, from the long slender figures to the variety of outfits that adorn them. At times the pages are a bit cluttered with too much happening all at once but it’s all part of the fast-paced intent of Miyuki’s wild accidental-escapades. While reading a whole series like this would be a tad straining, it works nicely at a page count of only about 100. Art bonuses include full colour concept art used for the animated version at the back of the book including some ‘characters’ not seen in this original as well as several full spread, full colour pages of artwork at the beginning. Kudos to Tokyopop for including it!
All in all, Miyuki-chan in Wonderland isn’t a CLAMP series, or book in general, I’d recommend to everybody. Frankly however, if you liked any of what you heard in my review, then check this one out. If not, than best stay away. My opinion after each sitting though is it’s a sexy, funny and entertaining book that makes for one heck of a read. You’ll never think of the White Rabbit or Cheshire Cat the same way again.
Review written June 22, 2008 by Lissa Pattillo
Book purchased from comic book store, Wilkies Wonderful World