reading: Alice and Therese’s Illusion Factory review
The film centers on third-year middle school student Masamune, who lives in a town where time has stopped because a sudden explosion at a steelworks factory has sealed off all exits to the town. In order to hopefully one day return to normal, the residents of the town are forbidden from changing, and they live out their gloomy everyday lives. Masamune’s enigmatic classmate [Mutsumi] leads him one day to the fifth blast furnace of the steelworks factory, and there they meet a girl who is wild like a wolf and who cannot talk. The meeting of Masamune and these two girls upsets the balance of the world. The unstoppable “love impulse” of the boys and girls who are tired of their everyday lives begins to destroy the world. (from Anime News Network)
This novel is an adaptation of an as-yet unreleased film of the same title, scheduled to release in September 2023. The director, and the author of this novelization, is OKADA Mari, who worked on projects like Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day, Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms, and O Maidens in Your Savage Season. In general, Okada tends towards emotionally charged drama, and this story is no different. The setup is perhaps confusing. It takes a good amount of time before we meet the “wild girl”, and even more time before we really find out what’s going on. I think that’s slightly to its detriment. However, the ending does tie things up nicely, and there are a lot of hints about what’s really going on throughout. Hopefully the film doesn’t take too long to release in America.
Masamune ends up naming the girl Itsumi (deriving her name from Mutsumi’s name, since the “mu” in
What wasn’t clear in my reading is how and why the illusory world came to be, and how Saki/Itsumi made her way there. I probably missed it since my Japanese is just awful. Also, I’m fairly certain the Alice and Therese in the title are never explained. They are only mentioned a single time in the actual novel:
I’m hoping the movie, together with actual subtitles, can clear all this up.
The title translation is not confirmed. It appears the studio is calling it just “Maboroshi” in English. ↩