Miyuki-chan in Wonderland

February 15, 2011 dreamkaleidoscope
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TITLE: Miyuki-chan in Wonderland
RATING: Older Teen (16+)
CATEGORY: Shoujo-ai
SCORE: 3 (Very Bad)
RECOMMENDED FOR FANS OF: CLAMP (mangaka of X, Chobits, Legal Drug, etc.), fanservice

I have made it my mission this year to collect every CLAMP title that has ever been released in English, with the exception of X. (I refuse to read that long a series without confirmation that they will continue it.) Why? Eh, I don’t really know myself. The idea just kind of struck me one day, and I do have a completist mentality… Anyway, you can expect a lot more CLAMP reviews from me over the coming months, starting with this out-of-print title that I bought used for cheap, Miyuki-chan in Wonderland.

The plot of Miyuki-chan in Wonderland can be summed up as such: Cute high school girl keeps inexplicably falling into alternate worlds filled with scantily-clad women who want to get Miyuki naked and do naughty things to her. Obviously, this is a pure fanservice title, so I wasn’t expecting much out of it. Just boobs, butts, panty shots, and very pretty artwork (because it’s CLAMP).

Did it manage to exceed than the low expectations I set? Sad to say, no, it didn’t. Oh, certainly, the art is very pretty, and I adore the character designs in Miyuki-chan. Miyuki and the rest of the cast are just too gorgeous for words. I was especially fond of the design for the catgirl Cheshire Cat. Unfortunately, the character designs and the stunning color artwork that is included as a bonus are the only redeeming aspects of this title.

First off, just judging it as a fanservice title, it’s fairly tame. There’s a little bit of nudity, but it’s just Barbie doll nudity — not a nipple in sight. If I was a fanboy who picked up this title expecting some detailed female nudity, I would be sorely disappointed. Even that would have been fine, though, if the character interactions had been sexier. Some suggestive poses and dialogue, maybe even a kiss or two for the yuri fans out there… But like I said, things are pretty tame. You get sexy, lingerie-inspired outfits, a little wardrobe damage here and there, and some light teasing — and that’s about it. It’s just…not very titillating, in my opinion. (Granted, I am a straight woman — not exactly the audience for this kind of title — but I can appreciate and even enjoy fanservice on occasion. In fact, Chobits, which is another fanservice-y title with a much better plot, is one of my favorite CLAMP titles.)

Then there’s the story itself. It’s already been established that Miyuki-chan doesn’t have much of a plot. The volume contains seven short stories that follow the same basic formula of Miyuki falling into some weird new world and getting hit on by its female inhabitants. The first two are based on the classic children’s stories, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Had the entire volume been devoted to a sexy parody of those two stories, it might have been interesting, but with so few pages, all that the stories amount to is Miyuki meeting a character, who maybe gets one or two speech bubbles to say something, before moving right on to the next one. The quirky characters from the original stories barely get any kind of personality at all, and Miyuki herself doesn’t do anything but express the desire to get away from them.

The other five stories fare a little better, as they tended to have fewer characters and a tad more plot. In fact, there was one I actually rather liked called “Miyuki-chan in Mah-Jongg Land”, in which three beautiful women come out from the pages of a mah-jongg manga Miyuki had been reading and force her to join them in a game of strip mah-jongg. Despite the fact that she’s doesn’t have much experience playing the game, Miyuki has beginner’s luck and manages to get the other girls to strip for her rather than the other way around. That was a nice change of pace. Also, fans of the aforementioned X might get a kick out of “Miyuki-chan in X Land”, where Miyuki gets sucked into the X movie and gets to meet the female characters Karen, Satsuki, Kanoe and Hinoto.

As for characterization…not even worth mentioning.

Miyuki-chan in Wonderland is not a title I would recommend buying, even if you are CLAMP fanatic. The only thing it has going for it is the pretty character designs, and you can just as easily enjoy the included color artwork in CLAMP’s Southside Artbook without having to suffer through this pure excuse for fanservice. Personally, I would just get the artbook instead unless you’re like me and want the complete CLAMP library. Don’t bother wasting your money otherwise.

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