akuen Alice (学園アリス, Gakuen Arisu?), also known as Alice Academy, is a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Tachibana Higuchi, currently being serialized in the shōjo manga magazine Hana to Yume. It was adapted into an anime series, which was produced by Aniplex and Group TAC and originally premiered on NHK BS-2. It spanned twenty-six episodes, between October 30, 2004, and May 14, 2005. The anime was translated and dubbed into English by the anime television network Animax, and the dubbed version has been broadcast on networks throughout Asia. At Anime Expo 2008, The Right Stuf International announced that its Nozomi Entertainment division had licensed Gakuen Alice for the North American market.
Best friends Mikan and Hotaru grew up in a small town in the remote countryside. When Hotaru moves to a school for geniuses in Tokyo, Mikan misses Hotaru so badly that she decides to travel to Tokyo herself to find Hotaru. She finds Hotaru in a school called "Alice Academy," and finds that the school is actually for people with special powers called "Alices." Narumi-sensei, a teacher at the school, discovers that Mikan also happens to have an Alice, and Mikan is admitted into the academy. At first, she becomes enemies with a boy with a fire alice but later becomes friends throughout the anime. There she finds friends, love, and a life that she will never forget during that time Mikan uncovers the surprising past of her life.
The anime episodes are similar to the corresponding manga chapters, but some events are changed or combined. The manga's darker tones are reduced in the anime to suit younger viewers. Characters in the anime may have different hair and eye color than their manga counterparts. The anime series leaves the love triangle between Mikan, Ruka, and Natsume unresolved, with Mikan having not realized their feelings for her, and the mystery of Mikan's parents remains unrevealed. In the first episode, she doesn't catch a taxi to Alice Academy, nor does everyone know about Alices in the anime. Many of these differences may be due to the fact that the anime has had only one season, while the manga is ongoing.
The Gakuen Alice is located somewhere in Tokyo, in the anime across from a huge gorilla billboard. The school grounds contain three levels of education (elementary through senior high), a hospital, the main building, and the central town, where shops managed by Alice-bearing artisans sell goods produced with the help of their Alices.
Four forests surround the grounds. The Northern Woods are the most visited and are home to "Mr. Bear."
In the anime, the Academy has its own monetary system, the Rabbit (Rt), with one Rabbit equivalent to 100 yen. However, in the manga, the Academy uses yen as their primary currency.
Due to constant threat by kidnappears and slave traders, vocal and written communication is limited to within the Academy. The grounds are closely guarded, and heavy security and electrified fences deter students from attempting to leave.
High-scoring students in the Final Examinations receive perks such as free meal tickets, certifications, and money. Along with honor students, these students are permitted a week-long leave.
- Latent Type (潜在能力, Senzai-nōryoku?): Latent Alices are the most common in the school, and involve powers connected to ESP abilities. This is the most well-documented class. Examples: Teleportation and Telekinesis.
- Technical Type (技術, Gijutsu?): Technical Alice types appear when the individual performs a certain activity, such as cooking, drawing, etc. The Alices in this type are based on technology and research fields. Examples: Plant Manipulation, Invention and Cooking.
- Somatic Type (体質, Taishitsu?): Unlike other classes, this type manifests itself physically. The Somatic Alices are based on the bodies of humans, animals, and other living things, and appear in the form of a pheromone or physical ability. Examples: Super Speed and Human Pheromone.
- Special Ability (特力, Toku-ryoku?): This class is essentially for students with Alices that don't fit easily into any of the other three classes. Their powers are different and the class is mixed. Some of the rarest Alices belong to this class. Examples: Shadow manipulation, Doppelganger Alice, and Nullification Alice.
- Dangerous Ability (危険能, Kiken-nōryoku?): This is considered to be an extra type; basically, the Alices in this class are so strong that they are a threat to the school. This class is very different from the others and could also be described as an occult. They are used by the elementary principal and Personna. Examples: Stealing Alice, Mark of Death Alice and the Fire Alice.
Every Alice is categorized as one of four shapes, which specify how much of it can be used and how often.
- Childhood: The Alice slowly appears and disappears as the child grows into an adult.
- Diffuse: The Alice is always available, but at a relatively low power level.
- Intermittent: The Alice can only be used for a short period at any time, but at a relatively high power level.
- Limitless: The Alice can be used as often and as much as desired, but impacts the user's life with each use and can even kill them if overused.
A star-ranking is the evaluation system that the Academy uses to judge a student's schoolwork, Alice level and attitude. There are five rankings, which are indicated by the number of gold stars on a student's collar.
- No-Star: Students who are below average. This rank is reserved mainly for children, and is not enough to graduate beyond the Elementary School Division.
- Single: Students who are approximately average. Most of the students in the Elementary School Division have this rank. Required to graduate from the Elementary School Division.
- Double: Students who are above average, but still are not exceptionally advanced at either their studies or use of their Alice. Required to graduate from the Middle School Division.
- Triple: Students who are usually considered "overachievers" and tend to excel at their studies, use of their Alice, or both. Required to graduate from the High School Division.
- Special: Students who are considered the best of the best, signified by a label in the shape of a star enclosed in a circle (though rarely seen in the anime). Students of this rank excel tremendously in their Alice and, if they care, their studies. Also known as the "Principal students".
Each star ranking has its own monthly allowance rate):
- No-Star: 5 Rabbits (equal to about 500 yen or 5 US dollars)
- Single: 30 Rabbits (equal to about 3000 yen or 30 US dollars)
- Double: 50 Rabbits (equal to about 5000 yen or 50 US dollars)
- Triple: 100 Rabbits (equal to about 10000 yen or 100 US dollars)
- Special: 300 Rabbits (equal to about 30000 yen or 300 US dollars)
Control devices are specially designed prevention devices made for a particular person. These devices are worn on the head, hand, or other body part and can emit tracking signals. Each kind of device has sealing abilities that lock a person's Alice within the device. There are also control devices used for punishment purposes, such as the Cat Mask. If a person wearing one of these disobeys the higher-up, they are immediately punished with a pulsating electric shock throughout the body. These devices can only be removed by the person who placed it on.