REVIEW: This Week's ALPHA - Dec 24, 2012

Rejected Sugarplum Fairy and SJ Alpha editor Urian Brown gives his take on this week's issue.
By December 23, 2012


art by Eiichiro Oda
This is a super fatty issue to end all super fatty issues! A whopper coming in at just over 220 pages with a total of nine series including two monthlies! Just in time for those long car trips to grandma's house! This is a real tough guy One Piece cover! While I personally prefer happy Luffy covers, I like the tough ones as well. 

One Piece
by Eiichiro Oda
Well, it looks like this super crazy arc is finally coming to an end! Caesar Clown has shown his true colors to his troops, and they've seen the light! While I've certainly enjoyed the non-stop insanity and energy of this arc, I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next! I will say this—Caesar Clown is one of the creepiest OP villains yet!

Hunter x Hunter
by Yoshihiro Togashi 
The conclusion to the special Hunter x Hunter one shot: Kurapika's Memories! Kurapika has a big dream—leave his village and see the outside world! There's just one problem, his people are persecuted for a curious genetic trait that turns their eyes crimson red when they're upset or angry. In order to leave the village for an extended amount of time, Kurapika must first prove he can survive outside for 24 hours without his eyes turning red. Can he keep his cool and fulfill his dream? I really enjoyed this one-shot. Kurapika was one of my favorite characters in Hunter x Hunter, and I was sad when he wasn't in the manga anymore, so it's nice to see him again. I'm going to ask Santa for a Leorio one-shot next! 

Rurouni Kenshin: Restoration
by Nobuhiro Watsuki
I don't know how many times I've said this, but the art in this manga is absolutely amazing. Watsuki Sensei has really outdone himself here. It's some of the best-looking and boldest manga art I've ever seen. Brilliant use of contrast, textures and sound FX. It is a pleasure to read this. The story's intriguing as well. A re-telling of the original manga from a totally different perspective. I wish it was weekly!

Cross Manage
by Kaito

The team is finally improving! But Sakurai still hasn't quite got a grip on what Toyoguchi's strength as a player will be. When a goal post breaks, Toyoguchi offers to take Sakurai to buy new equipment the next day, but some are convinced it's a date. Is it a date? IS IT?! Find out!

by Tite Kubo
Ichigo continues to learn more about the uber-powerful Squad Zero and the Royal Palace by going to...a bathhouse! I've seen a lot of wacky bathhouse scenes in my day, but this one is really something.

by Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro
The Cooking Festival has officially started, but Komatsu is not off to a good start! In order to get the freshest and best vegetables, the chefs must swim across a canal. Whoever gets their first will get the best stuff. But there's just one problem—Komatsu can't swim! Is the contest already over for him?

by Naoshi Komi 
Tsugumi's mysterious past as an assassin in America is coming back to haunt her in the form of a rival assassin determined to bring her back! When an all-out battle erupts, Raku gets caught in the middle! Will he survive the night? Get ready for hijinks!

by Masashi Kishimoto 
Great chapter of Naruto! Shikamaru's father comes up with a battle plan to take down Ten Tails! But even working together, can the allied ninja forces hope to stop such an insanely powerful beast?

Blue Exorcist
by Kazue Kato 
Interesting chapter of Blue Exorcist. There's an evil spirit in the girl's bathroom that only shows itself to women. So it's up to Shiemi and Izumo to exorcise it! Izumo's not the easiest to work with, as Shiemi knows firsthand. Can they put the past aside to get the job done? I like the spirit in this chapter quite a bit. It's the manifestation of schoolgirl insecurities, so it's constantly saying creepy things mean or insecure girls would say. Something about that makes my skin crawl. 


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by Urian Brown