Watched 2009 roughly
This is a fairly dark anime, considering it looks like its for children. The manga itself is darker but the anime still deals with several of the themes. It also carries on with a them that ‘Alice’ means magic. This is a fairly common them throughout magic shows, which I don’t quite understand but that’s fine.
This is a show about primary school children. In this world, people are sometimes blessed with powers. These powers are called Alices and fall into different categories. Due to the danger of being kidnapped by extremist groups, any child with an Alice gets take from their parents and sent to the Alice Academy to learn and grow up safety. Just you know, without ever being able to see their family again or talk to them or sent the letters or any form of contact. Seriously. This school is protected by several layers of wtf? Children can be brought to the Academy from being babies, the concept it very dark. It also means a lot of the students and teachers have social problems as a result and most are just nasty people.
Oh yes, another thing. The children do there best to earn points in order to win the ‘best student’ award which as the grand prize of being allowed a week’s holiday with their family. It is the biggest prize in the school and everyone is aiming for it.
So its a dark place. And in this dark place is a light. The energetic Mikan. Mikan who is hopeless attached to her best friend Hotaru. Hotaru is a fairly strange girl but tends to bully her friends and calls Mikan a pig but she does really care about her friend. If not slightly exasperated by how much Mikan is attached her her. Hotatu has the Alice of invention. She can create anything. Que being sent to the Alice Academy. Upset by losing her best friend, Mikan follows her to the school and breaks in. The girl doesn’t even bother to tell her grandpa. Just runs off.
Turns out Mikan does have some Alive ability. And so the plot unfolds. We watch as Mikan survives the Alice Academy and learn more about this place she willing put herself into. Plus she ends up with two boys trying to get her affections. Its a good anime and has some very sweet moments. Some of the adventures they end up on are just plain hilarious. But underneath the school something much darker exists.
I’ll give Gakuen Alice a Silver, seeing as I remember watching it and more to the point, enjoying it.