.hack//Alcor

3.0 out of 5 stars Nanase loves Silabus

.hack//Alcor

After the spectacular .hack//Legend of the Twilight: The Complete Collection I went in search of more goodness from the .hack world. Unfortunately, I found, not all .hack is created equal.

“.hack//Alcor” is a minor entry in the .hack universe, being a one-shot story of a shy girl named Nanase. It was originally serialized in 2007 the “.hack//G.U.: The World” magazine, a publication which allowed for stories set in The World which didn’t really touch on any of the major storylines. Think of it as the stories of characters running around in the background.

This story focuses on Nanase, whose name means “Seven Stars” and comes from a Japanese reading of the constellation The Big Dipper. Author Izumibara Rena chose the name to symbolize Nanase’s personality as one of the fainter stars in the background on the constellation that you never notice when looking at the brightness of the whole.

Nanase is a twin-blade member of the Canard guild, and is always in the shadow of fellow guild member and Emperor of The Arena Alkaid. Nanase admires Alkaid so much that she even uses the same character model in The World, but is jealous of all of the attention that Alkaid gets, especially from guild-member Silabus whom Nanase secretly loves. When Nanase confronts Alkaid about this, Alkaid is harshly truthful with Nanase, saying “Have you ever done anything worth being admired for?” This starts Nanase on her quest for change, and an attempt to contribute to the guild rather than just standing in everyone’s shadows and felling bad for herself.

As you can see, “.hack//Alcor” doesn’t have much to do with the .hack universe and the same story could be told in almost any setting. About the only directly .hack-related element is the hunting PKs (Player Killers) who have it in for Alkaid and her friends, especially Silabus who has been targeted by a PK named Bordeaux. The character designs and art are good enough, although artist Izumibara Rena is not really on the same level as “Legend of the Twilight” artist Idumi Rei.

All in all, “.hack//Alcor” is not a bad series, but nothing overwhelming either. If you are a .hack fan it is a pleasant little read; a pretty standard shojo “shy girl with a crush on the popular guy” -type of story that just happens to take place in The World.

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