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.hack//Alcor    by Amou Kanami & Izumibara Rena order for
by Amou Kanami
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2009 (2009)
*   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Amou Kanami and Izumibara Rena's .hack//Alcor is a one-shot manga set in the .hack game universe known as The World. While it can be read as a standalone, it may confuse readers who have never encountered .hack before because, of all the .hack manga I have read, this one has the least exposition about what The World is all about.

Nanase has never been that popular and when she tries to emulate anyone she admires, she just comes off as a poser. She thought this would be different when she started playing The World, but even there, she is accused of copying Alkaid, the Arena Champion. She also has problems taking action, which almost leads to Silabus, the player on whom she has a crush, getting killed in the game. Nanase needs to learn to be herself and make her own path if she wants to get anywhere in The World or in life.

This is different from previous .hack manga as it focuses more on Nanase's journey as a person rather than as a player. This makes it a little less sci-fi than previous entries but, as it lacks some introduction to The World, it's more confusing. Plus, many of the other characters seemed rather generic and I had trouble telling them apart. .hack//Alcor would be good for a .hack fan who wants something a little different. But, while it is less intimidating than some of the other .hack manga, it is a little too confusing to lead a newbie into The World.

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