All .hack//Sign released episodes
The show starts with a wavemaster (named Tsukasa) lying on the ground, when he gets up, he is unsure of his surroundings. Soon a female heavy blade introduces herself as Mimiru and comments on the fact that very rarely do you see a wavemaster working alone. She assumes that he is very strong. As she looks at his staff, he teleports out of the area. Back in the field, Tsukasa is sitting alone against a well. He talks to himself saying that he did not know what he was doing, or where he was in fact. From the horizon three knights approach and they are investigating the fact that he was seen with a character that looked like a cat. Instead of supplying the warriors with information the wavemaster teleports out of the area. Now in Mac Anu (the city of water) a young female heavy axeman (named Subaru) is talking to one of the Crimson Knights. They are discussing recent issues in ""The World"" and problems that keep arising. As she moves down toward the center of the boat, they pass Tsu
In a field, Tsukasa runs into Bear (the guy he met at the spring of myst). Bear asks him if he has read the message boards. Tsukasa just shrugs him off and proceeds to leave the area. Mimiru meets up with Bear and tells him that he might be in trouble with the knights and that they should look out for him. Bear agrees and says he will call Mimiru if he knows anything. A female wavemaster named BT is now in a desert region being chased by someone, when she is cornered he jumps her asks for her member address. When she says no, he proceeds to kill her. Tsukasa now alone again in an open desert filed contemplates on what he should do, when Maho appears floating above him. Tsukasa wants to get away from everywhere but he knows that there is no place for him to go. Maho nods and then speaks to him, prompting him to say, ""is there really such a place?"" Tsukasa is now in a dimly lit dungeon, and he is being followed by Sora (the person who player killed BT). When Tsukasa meets a dead
In Mac Anu, Subaru meets with Silver Knight to discuss what has been happening with Tsukasa in â€œThe Worldâ€�. She tells him that they are not system moderators and that they are just players. Subaru then says that they will resume the conversation later, but first she must meet someone. In another area, BT asks Bear how it is possible for Tsukasa to move freely between the fields and have a guardian protect him. The only explanation Bear can think of is that Tsukasa has somehow risen above the system. BT then suggests that Bear should meet Tsukasa in real life, but Bear replies that if he canâ€™t log out here, he must be in pretty bad shape out there. BT suggests that Tsukasa might not be a normal player, but merely a character developed by CC Corp. In another field, Subaru meets with Sora and he wants to discuss the Key of the Twilight. Subaru says that does not exit and begins to leave. Sora then draws his weapon and forces her to stop. Eventually Subaru returns to the city follo
Mimiru teleports into the main area, and she overhears some players talking about a person who can summon a monster and have it attack monster for you Back in the city Subaru and Silver Knight have met up with Bear, she tells him she has checked the log. She tells him that if they log is correct that Tsukasa has been on for the last 10 days. Tsukasa is again alone with the little floating girl, and he asks what will happen when she awakens. Finally the voice speaks to him and tells him something wonderful will happen when she awakes. ""You and I, and he, the three of us will be able to live on peacefully, undisturbed by anyone else. In a world devoid of any harm or discomfort."" Tsukasa says that there are no worlds like that In the real world, a grown man stands in the rain and tries to light a cigarette, as the man walks down the rainy street, we can see a hospital in the background. In a forest area Bear sits alone waiting for Mimiru. When she appears, she tells him how horrible
In a desert region, a male long arm is running through the area shouting that he is back. Tsukasa is sitting alone in the dungeon, when the male long arm introduces himself as Crim and asks if Tsukasa needs any help. Tsukasa denies Crimâ€™s help and teleports out of the area. Back in the root town, Mimiru waits for Bear to arrive, when he does, she asks him why are there wanted posters out for Tsukasaâ€™s arrest if this is a game. Bear explains that there are rules, and that Tsukasa broke them. In a field with dark clouds, BT waits for Sora to arrive. When he does, she tells him she wants to exchange some information with them. He replies by saying unless the information he receives is of equal value, then it is not a trade. She tells him that she has a plan to lure Tsukasa out of hiding. As Subaru and Silver Knight walk about the city, Sora appears and asks them if they have found a way to lure him out. Sora says that he has a plan and proceeds to ask if they are interested. She te
In a root town, Mimiru, Bear and BT are all together talking about the events that just took place. Mimiru asks BT why she set up Tsukasa to be captured. BT says she heard the information from another source and it must have somehow gotten to the Crimson Knights. Bear point out that should focus on what is going on right now and Mimiru replies that they should rescue Tsukasa. In the prison where Tsukasa is being held captive, Subaru approaches saying she wishes to speak with him alone. The knights reluctantly agree. When Subaru sees Tsukasa, he is sitting alone in a dark room. Subaru apologizes for everything that has happened to him and all she wanted was to speak to him. While she is talking, Tsukasa sees a bug fly by and says that it smells nice. Subaru is surprised he can smell inside a game. Tsukasa replies that he can also feel pain. Tsukasa asks Subaru if she thinks he is lying and she tells him no. She asks him what he intends to do now and that as long as he abides
Mimiru meets up with a new character named A-20 who pushes Mimiru to her limits. While exploring a dungeon with A-20, Mimiru looks for a reason to stay in touch with Tsukasa even though the two of them had a fight.
Mimiru determined to meet with Tsukasa, sends him an email stating that she will wait for him in Dun Loreig. As she waits she is confident that he will show up. Even when Sora appears to help her pass the time.
A girl meets Tsukasa and tells him that she will be out of town for a little while and that she would like him to help take care of her Grunty. While taking care of the Grunty it eventually becomes sick and the only cure is a hard to find purple cherry. While Tsukasa is searching for the cherry all the other characters are discussing the Key of the Twilight. Sora mentions that he may know someone that might be able to help them in their search...the great hacker Helba.
After denying his son money for a new car, Bear talks to B.T. and she suggestions that the reason he is so protective of Mimiru and of Tsukasa in ""The World"" is because he feels that he isn't being a good father. By looking out for them, he is providing the fatherly role which he can't provide to his own son. Meanwhile, Subaru tells Silver Knight to contact her immediately if anybody wants to talk to her. Silver Knight agrees, but when Tsukasa wants to contact Subaru, Silver Knight tells him that she doesn't want to see him. Not much later we see Tsukasa sulking on the Bridge in Mac Anu. When Subaru seems him, she leaves the boat and tries to get closer, Tsukasa teleports away before Subaru could ever reach her and she returns to her boat with a saddened look on her face. All the while, BT and Crim continue to search for clues regarding The Key of the Twilight.
First impressions of "Hack Sign"... stunningly good animation and excellent music.Unfortunately there's not much more to it. This is an anime with a weak story line that contain more holes than Swiss cheese, and tries to make up for it by pretending to be deep. What they don't seem to realise is that there's more to being deep than having the characters do little more than stand around looking thoughtful and utter the occasional grunt whilst elegant music drifts past in the background. You need GOOD dialogue and storyline to be deep, and as hard as this anime tries, it doesn't have either. "Hack Sign" is a prime example of how to make a dialogue heavy anime that is dull (for an example of a good dialogue heavy anime, look no further than "Crest of the Stars").One of the main problems is that nothing ever happens in "Hack Sign". They would have had difficulty making this into a decent 13 episode anime, let alone a 26 episode one. What kept me watching was mainly the aesthetic pleasure that's derived from the gorgeous animation and music. Also, at the end of several episodes along the way, it does show flashes of brilliance with some chilling scenes that promised much... but ultimately delivered very little, if at all.Characters aren't much to be remembered by. I found myself spending a lot of time wondering why they were all so serious... they're playing a game ffs. People like to joke and play about in games. These guys on the other hand, prefer to stand around talking about their real life issues... in total, they must have spent a whole five minutes or so on playing the actual game! No wonder most of them seem really low level! And what's the big deal about about player killing? Having played these kind of games myself, I know it's an integral part of the gameplay, but this anime makes it out to be some sort of bad practice, and kicks up a huge fuss over it, even though people can just respawn afterwards. The accumulative result of all of this is that it didn't feel at any point that they were playing an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online RPG). Throughout the anime, especially in the beginning, I often found it hard to understand the motivation behind a lot of the character's actions, which made the story and characters of "Hack Sign" feel very artificially driven. For example, if something serious happened like a player could not log out and is stuck in the game, wouldn't that make the game potentially very dangerous? You would think that it would get shut down at this point, but apparently no one cares about such a trivial matter, and players carry on playing the game as usual, as though it's no big deal. At least not all the characters are devoid of charm though, and after a while (a long while, admittedly), I did start to warm up to a couple of them like Crim (who is quite cool, and actually seem to be interested in playing the game).The ending... what the hell was all that about? They dragged the anime through 20+ episode just to reach THAT kind of conclusion? It was almost getting exciting towards the end, but the extremely anti-climatic "climax" just brought my ratings for this anime crashing back down again. I think that must have been the worst conclusion ever. After spending the majority of the series hyping up the "mystery", it barely explained anything. Throughout the anime I kept waiting for things to become clearer, and they never did. And also, "Evidence" must be the sh\*ttest recap episode I've ever seen. All it did was sum up all the the parts you don't understand and make you realise that there were even more of them than you remembered. It pretty much encapsulates contents of this anime - a royal mess.
To the many people who play them, video games, can be a form of escapism from the real world. What could be more stress relieving than diving into a fantasy world where you assume the role of the character in the game? It sounds very tempting but if one should stay too long in the virtual world you could lose yourself in it with no way to return to the real world. In the worst case scenario you may forget which world is real and which is fake. That is the premise of .Hack//Sign. .Hack//Sign is a part of the .Hack series which surrounds the MMORPG called “The World” and the different characters who find the mysteries surrounding this virtual land..Hack//Sign follows the story of Tsukasa, a Wavemaster (Spell caster) in “The World”, who suddenly wakes up in a dark dungeon with no recollection of how he got there and what he was doing prior to his collapse. While trying to gather his bearings a female Heavy Blade (sword wielder) by the name of Mimiru passes by and strikes a conversation with him. To her surprise Tsukasa instantly warps back to the town leaving her behind. It’s while he is in town that Tsukasa realizes that he can’t log out of “The World”. He is trapped in the virtual world with no way to get back to reality. If your thinking this will be an action packed show with monster fighting and adventuring you would be mostly wrong. While there is small tidbits of fighting and adventuring this show is very slow paced and mostly revolves around Tsukasa and the people he interacts with. .Hack//Sign also has noticeable dark elements to it especially when the real world is involved. The idea of escapism is really brought out when you see the character’s real life counterparts and the struggles they go through. But that is just a small part as Sign is mostly set in “The World”. Due to the slow pacing every character in this show has a chance to develop and feel more realistic. “The World” allows characters to express themselves in a way that the real world doesn’t allow. The result of this is that characters are intriguing to watch and thus provide a deep story. However this slow pace does cause most people to drop the show, as the pacing may be a little too slow and sometimes it feels that some scenes drag on. Another problem is the ending which is very abrupt and quick. I won’t spoil anything but let’s just say there is a reason why this is a part of a series of Anime shows and games. Overall the story is solid and enticing.The animation in .Hack//Sign is a very well done and fits the fantasy setting of “The World”. Every location has its own emotional feel that lends itself well to the slow pace of the show. The uniqueness of each area helps set the tone for the current situation in the Anime, as each area has its own theme and setting that really makes “The World” feel as big as the real world. Tropical forests, barren deserts and frozen wastelands litter the land with vibrancy. While this is true for the virtual world, the real world on the other hand resembles old black and white silent films.The real world is depicted as bleak and hopeless as text show up to replace verbal sound. This contrast between the vibrant virtual world and bleak real world becomes very important in portraying how “The World” seems to be a perfect escape from real life issues. The character designs are also very well done, since each character has their own design which fit the grander design that “The World” sets up. There are some parts that were a little bit grainy as I would call yet overall the design of this virtual world is truly something to appreciate.The music and overall sound in .Hack//Sign is where it really sets itself apart from other anime. The opening song Obsession gives off a feeling of trance and emptiness that really fits the mood of .Hack//Sign while the background music has a sense of tranquility and sadness that backs up the visual aspect of the show. The music also has a folklore aspect in a sense that it makes you feel like it’s telling a story or possibly narrating the situation your currently watching. One big plus is the background music with vocals in them. Key of the Twilight is one of the best songs in the soundtrack and really exemplifies how music is able to set the tone of a scene and possibly the show. However there are some points where the music overpowers a certain scene in the show which can ruin the mood but it rarely happens. So my advice is to pay attention the music as it can really pull you into the story and set the mood.Overall .Hack//Sign is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. The story of escapism gone wrong will leave you wondering if this could happen to you. The animation is compelling and imaginative while the music really sets the emotional tone of the show. I must warn you again that if you hate slow paced shows or want some action then steer clear of this show but for those who want a good mystery with a fantasy setting then.Hack// Sign is for you.
Story: The pacing and open ended plot really hurt. Many scenes drug on unnecessarily and almost appeared that plot did not progress until the final few episodes. Also it seemed that some characters did not care about the plot until the end. Animation: There were WAY too many scenes where the character's eyes where too far apart. Like fish level apart. Also maybe due to translating, there several scenes of silence and no movement. There are even some scenes of conversations that show no movement from extreme distances. Sound: Great music, that builds a universe sound by building on the songs.Some of the DVDs allow a feature of a extra English track that just has the video and soundtrack, I definitely suggest after finishing to check this out. Character: Interesting development, mostly spoiler related. Still guessing on some of it,which is good and bad... Enjoyment: Maybe higher for me, because of nostalgia for its run on Toonami. Overall: Check it out since Funimation has rescued it, but don't expect it to be a fast paced as SAO or to be as visual as Big O.
.hack//Sign was a prequel to the .hack// video game series made by CyberConnect2 and released by Bandai about a decade ago. If I'm right, .hack//Sign and the rest of the series garnered a bit of popularity back in the day, though nowadays they are a bit aged and are becoming more and more forgotten. Despite being a prequel, .hack//Sign can work as a standalone product for the most part, and as such it can even be looked at on its own. .hack//Sign is a slow moving anime, mostly focusing on character relationships and for the most part not showing much sign of a story for the first 10 episodes. In that time, we learn that Tsukasa, the main protagonist, is for some reason or another stuck in the game known as The World, and his being stuck there may have some relation with a legendary hidden item within The World called the Key of the Twilight. Other characters want to help Tsukasa leave the game and go searching for this hiden item. As a mystery anime, .hack//Sign throws out a lot of red herrings. It tries to get the viewer to latch onto ideas that serve little relevance to the main plot. And that's one of the problems: Almost all of the dialogue in .hack//Sign is unimportant and uninteresting, and it does little to move the plot forward. Other characters constantly find themselves trying to figure out what's going on with Tsukasa. They want to help him, but each episode just leads to more false information or no actual progress in helping him. It waters down the story and cuts the enjoyment of this anime down by a lot. Don't get me wrong, I like .hack//Sign, but it can be pretty hard for many anime viewers to watch I suspect due to all of the pointless talking. Its unnecessary, and the show could have been cut down considerably in the number of episodes and still tell the main storyline. The main story itself though is told in a way that still leaves the viewer interested. What is the Key of the Twilight? Will Tsukasa and the others find it? Why is Tsukasa stuck in the game, and why does he keep running away? What are all these flashbacks to the real world? Speaking of that, Tsukasa is worse than Shinji from Evangelion when it comes to running away and moving the story forward. It seems like Tsukasa being stuck in the game is a plot device, as its the other characters that actually work towards solving the mysteries and moving things forward for a good while. The story IS interesting however, and the setting of The World grants it a lot of mysteries, some of which admittedly go unsolved within this anime. You want to know what's going on. Its just that the execution of the story is problematic, and while the story is interesting, the story is also relatively short and simple. Its something simple told in a rather complex and somewhat realistic, somewhat dumb way. The characters of the anime are a mixed bag. Most of the characters come off as dull and near lifeless, and the constant talking references their personal lives. While this may seem like good characterization, since the characters start off initially bland, the viewer may already be uninterested in learning about the individual characters lives. Added to this, most of the information about their personal lives that is mentioned in the anime, which takes up much more of the anime than it should, is really pointless and uninteresting. Do we really need an episode dedicated to a character's dislike of lettuce? That said, it is a unique thing that it goes so in depth on the characters, its just that it wasn't well executed in .hack//Sign. Still, none of the characters are hateable, and Tsukasa himself and a girl by the name of Lady Subaru are legitimately interesting. Tsukasa himself from the very beginning sparks interest in the viewer. Why does he keep running away, and why is he so unwilling to be social? .hack//Sign uses Tsukasa to explore one of the main themes of the show: Escapism. The whole show focuses heavily on the concept of escapism and how it affects the one running away and those around said person. (themes of escapism also show in how the real world is depicted)Tsukasa may be another Shinji, but he is his own character in just how far the show takes it. Then characters like Sora, a silly yet powerful player always searching for new information help keep things fun. And while it takes a long while for him to seem interesting, Silver Knight, a lawful knight who enforces the rules of the game, becomes interesting after some added characterization late in the series. But that's one of the problems with the show: It takes too long to move the story forward, and it takes too long to make most of the characters worth caring for. Only Tsukasa and Lady Subaru (who shows great interest in Tsukasa's situation) really start out interesting. The art itself in the series is pretty to look at, though admittedly sometimes a bit simplistic, especially in backgrounds and fields. The age of the show shows, but nice character designs from the same person who did the character designs in Neon Genesis Evangelion make the characters interesting to look at. Occasionally close ups give added detail to the artwork, making it extremely impressive to look at, even to the point of making this show a great source for desktop backgrounds. The animation however, is usually pretty minimal. In the Monogatari Series, characters talk to each other for long periods of time, often with lots of crazy and silly yet good animation being shown on screen to keep things interesting. That isn't the case here. Most of the time, the animation is minimal and very boring. Occasionally however, when its really important, the animation takes vast improvements by leaps and bounds and everything moves really smoothly, however this is rare and is used for the most important scenes. Now the sound is what I call a 10/10. The music was done by Yuki Kaijura, known for such soundtracks as the Sword Art Online soundtrack and the soundtrack to Puella Magi Madoka Magica. And while those soundtracks were good, .hack//Sign has by far some of the best music in any anime period, and the music outshines the music in SAO by a long shot and PMMM somewhat. Much of the music is comprised of what sounds like a violin or something similar, an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar, and pretty English vocals with lyrics often somewhat fitting to the storyline of the show. Its often very relaxing to listen to. Tracks like "The World" and "Key of the Twilight" really shine. I don't know how good the acting is in the Japanese voice track, but the English dub is pretty mediocre. Nothing too cringe-worthy or bad, but with the writing in this show, which is somewhat poorly written, things sound really weird being heard. It'd probably sound less weird reading it than listening to it. The acting itself is pretty mediocre too. Tsukasa sounds fine, Subaru's voice seems to fit the character well and Mimiru does a fine job, however the rest of the cast is varied. Some of which usually are entertaining to listen to while others are boring and lifeless or downright have bad acting. Overall, .hack//Sign is a show that really shines in its music and artwork. It has plenty of character development if you're patient enough to wait for it, however ultimately that's what this show requires: Patience. If you don't like slow moving shows with lots of dialogue, stay away. If you're here because you liked Sword Art Online and wanted another MMO anime, just know that this show is VERY, VERY different. Ultimately I don't think I could recomend this anime for most anime fans. If you're patient or are a .hack// fan, go for it. Otherwise, .hack//Sign isn't the anime for you. Don't let that deter you from watching other .hack// anime however. Not all of them are the same. If you want .hack// but want something a bit faster paced and more fun, then .hack//Quantum or .hack//The Movie might be better suited for you.
I'll confess I didn't make it through this Anime, but I watched the first 6 episodes, thinking at the end of each one, next time there'll be character growth, or the main character will stop being such an annoying wingey kid, but no. Not an anime for me personally, next to nothing ever seems to happen, and I couldn't work out why anyone tolerates the main character. But good music.
First of all I would like to say that I began watching this anime fully conscious of what it was. A kind of slice-of-life/ drama anime, which did not bother me at all. I like slow paced animes, it doesn't bother me for the characters to take their time to develop and overcame their difficulties. But in this case there is hardly any character development at all. Starting with the side characters that help tsukasa throughout the series we have subaru, mimiru and bear that happen to encounter tsukasa and learn "her" problem, and because of that reason they decide to search for a way to solve the matter. Sad part is that this is pretty much it, we get to know a little bit about bear background to see that it has become a personnal matter for him. Aside from that nothing more SERIOUSLY. No other background, no development or any struggles from their part, the sole purpose of them being on the anime is for tsukasa to have some kind of emotional pillar, meaning that only of them would be enough for the role whatsoever. As for tsukasa herself she strives with a dillema the whole anime, which is trying to accept her state and understand what's going on with her strange powers, which happens to be funny because not her or the viewers are able to understand it either. Her reluctancy prevents her from making any significant development until episode 24. The worst part os that such development was almost forced because of her need to stay safe from the enemy. That brings me to the "evil doers" that inhabt THE WORLD, the assassin is a shamefull excuse for a villain since he is able to kill and blackmail everyone, but because of a strange connection and curiosity with the main character he chooses to act in a way that does not affect tsukasa. Along with the random characters that NEVER appeared in the anime but were included because of the game.
Why? Just why? It's so bad. Worse than the power glove. It's not THE WORST but it's pretty fucking awful. At least Roots had a recognizable character.
Critic’s Log - Earthdate: May 22, 2013. Review #87: .Hack//SIGN In the real world, I enjoy watching anime, in “The World”... I really don’t want to talk about this. Username: FC** *Password: **.#@ck//$!&N*** *Welcome to The World* In the near future, there is a popular virtual reality online role playing game, characters try to play out the goals they set for entertainment and also passing of time. It is called “The World” and it is an RPG with a setting of monsters, player characters and dungeons. Tsukasa is a detached and introverted player and individual that has a number of mysteries about his player character. Many weird events surround Tsukasa and his involvement in a rare item called 'The Key Of The Twilight' and this sparks Tsukasa's meetings with different online characters and the befriending of their real life counterparts; All without ever meeting face to face in reality. What is strange about Tsukasa is that he can't seem to log out of The World. Subaru and Silver Knight of The Crimson Knights continue to look for proof of why Tsukasa can not log out or the existance of The Key Of The Twilight. Meanwhile Tsukasa befriends Bear, Mimiru, and BT and they try to help him understand who he really is and how he can come back to the real world. To be technical, .Hack//SIGN is a Bee Train production and this studio has done some decent works since .Hack//SIGN but their production resume isn’t top notch and it doesn’t have to be. Just because I review anime doesn’t mean that I would perceive a show’s success or downfall would determine what studio it is from. I have seen some animes from Studio GONZO and my conclusion so far is that even though their CG animation looks terrible, not every single anime made by them is bad. Bee Train is not a big name and .Hack//SIGN is a notable anime from them. I hate to state the obvious, but you probably heard it from someone… somewhere. This is a review, what do you expect? The animation is the most brought up factor of this show. It’s character designs and artwork are great in .Hack//SIGN. This one has a major problem though… There are times where it hardly ever moves. .Hack//SIGN was known to be a dialogue heavy show. This is one of those “talking head” animes where pretty much most of the show is full of conversations. This is the show’s double-edged sword and I will get to that later in this review. I will say that it was nice to see the animation improve over time, even though it can be obvious to notice around the last few episodes. The animation looks good, it is a little boring to look at because it hardly moves at times. If there is one thing that .Hack//SIGN excels in is its soundtrack. In my opinion, This soundtrack has some of Yuki Kaijura’s best work. She is no Yoko Kanno, even though she is an amazing music composer, Yuki Kaijura is also a good composer. With the way the soundtrack is composed, it is the biggest strength of .Hack//SIGN. Hell, The opening theme song is really damn catchy, the closing song is a nice calm theme which I can tell the contrast this show is going for. First off, the opening has a very catchy beat and extremely exciting and energetic, the closing theme is calm and peaceful, there’s a bit of contrast there. Secondly, the show’s opening is misleading and it fits… The show led me to think that this would be an exciting series with a virtual video game setting with some fantasy in it and the show got that right. The show wasn’t as exciting as I thought it could be. Regardless of the situation. The opening kicks ass, and the closing theme is not bad either. There are some calm pieces as well as some ominous ones. The use of the themes used is pitch-perfect as most as it can get. Kaijura-san is well known because of her work in .Hack//SIGN and I look forward to hearing more of her work for years to come as well as animes I have not seen yet a few years since .Hack//SIGN. . When voice acting is concerned. The Japanese cast has some good choices. Mitsuki Saiga is terrific as Tsukasa. For the majority of the show, I thought Tsukasa was voiced by Megumi Ogata. I say this because when I was watching this anime subbed, Tsukasa sounded a lot like Shinji Ikari (The original Japanese voice of course). I later looked this up and found out it’s a completely different person. Long story short, the performance is terrific. Megumi Toyoguchi fits as Mimiru. Kazuhiro Nakata also fits as Bear. Akiko Hiramatsu is also good as BT and Kaori Nazuka is great as Subaru. A Noteworthy extra in the subbed version is Shinichiro Miki as Crim which he did alright in this one. I won’t drag too long about the subbed version of .Hack//SIGN any longer The casting is mostly pretty good. As for the English Dub. Brianne Siddall is also terrific as Tsukasa and it is one of her most recognizable roles, which is saying a lot considering what the show mostly consists of. Mimiru also has an interesting casting choice for the dub, she happens to be voiced by voice actress Amanda Winn-Lee. Does Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion ring a bell? Well, she is mostly known for being the original English voice of Rei Ayanami and she plays a character who is the complete opposite in personality than Rei Ayanami, and Amanda Winn-Lee’s portrayal of Mimiru is fitting. Paul Mercier is also memorable as Bear. Donna Rawlings is alright as BT even though she hasn’t had many roles and did not really stick around in the industry since. hmm, oh well! Kim Mai Guest is great as Subaru, and Dave Wittenberg has a lot of fun playing Sora here. Noteworthy extras of the dub include Mary Elizabeth McGlynn as Helba, do I need to say anymore about this voice actress? No, not really. It’s freaking Mary Elizabeth McGlynn! Crispin Freeman as Balmung. Doug Rye as Silver Knight despite he hasn’t voice acted much before or since, but his voice clicks with the character, and Lex Lang as Crim. Why am I going to some length in talking about both casts. It’s because both versions have some good casting. The Japanese cast is mostly great, The English dub cast is great too but there are a few hiccups but it is a miniscule issue with the dub. The dub performances may feel a little different with the original intent with some characters but it is a solid dub none the less. There is one thing interesting about .Hack//SIGN and that would be its characters. Tsukasa is the main protagonist of this anime and… I’ll get to him later. Mimiru does have a bit of an attitude but she plays her part alright, she turned out to be a good friend to Tsukasa. Bear is likeable in the show and he is likeable in the long run as well as interesting, even though his tattoo design is kind of similar to William Wallace from Braveheart (For the most part)BT is also an interesting character, but I really don’t have much to say about her, she is just as interesting as Bear and she has differences too compared to other characters. Subaru is not a bad character and there is an interesting side to her but because it goes into spoiler territory, I can’t say why she’s interesting, but she is, even though she has the Silver Knight around her a lot. Sora is bit annoying at first but there is a reason for that… again, because of spoiler territory… I can’t say why, but he’s part of the character balance. There’s got to be a character that either screws things up or is annoying. Just saying. For a show that’s dialogue heavy, the characters do leave some impression due to the fact that this show somehow has character development. It would be cheating to say that Tsukasa did not develop that much. That would be an understatement. Tsukasa may not fare well for some because of his depressive state of mind. I will say that when this anime comes full circle, Tsukasa has a little interesting feature about him. Tsukasa does develop, I would have favored Tsukasa a lot if this anime didn’t take its slow ass time in its running time of 28 episodes My major problem in .Hack//SIGN is its pacing. It…is…so…damn… SLOW. With 26 episodes, including two extra ones. This show is full of dialogue. Dialogue-heavy shows are not necessarily a bad thing. Like I said earlier, it hardly moves at times. The show’s dialogue is part of .Hack//SIGN’s slow pacing and this is the biggest flaw with the show. If this anime were half as long, I would welcome this anime as a dialogue heavy series. But 26 episodes, with 2 extra ones in which counts up to 28 episodes, it does exceed my limits. Even with 28 episodes total of dialogue heavy material, the show is actually interesting with its themes of escapism and anxiety. You could say that the psychological aspect can be compared to Neon Genesis Evangelion. Both main leads tend to have anxiety issues as well as both of them with that vibe of depression for the majority of the series. The Evangelion franchise really made it clear to the viewer while .Hack//SIGN keeps it a mystery for quite a while. The Evangelion franchise makes it clear that it is a series that gives room for character study to the viewer, so does .Hack//SIGN. Here’s a fun fact. Both animes have the same character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto. So, what do I think of .Hack//SIGN as a whole. I’m afraid this review from here on out will be completely subjective because .Hack//SIGN is an anime with a love/hate reception after its completion. The story is slow as hell but it does devote its time to the characters. I will say that the show is thought-provoking, but I feel it is also quite pretentious at the same time. For example, the red herring moments where the viewer is mislead at first but the twists that do come in don’t really answer much. I also feel that the real world scenes could’ve had more screentime than the final result of this anime as a whole. Also, I felt that the 26th Episode could’ve ended the series, but NOPE!. When the chronology of the .hack franchise is concerned. There are 4 games that follow the 26th episode, a 4-part series simply titled <strong>“.Hack” </strong>for the PlayStation 2. were made to continue the storyline of the anime. The games at least have more action than the anime did, but the game series continuation is a little boring to me and not even the main cast is shown much in the game either. I would be contempt if the video game series concluded the story after .Hack//SIGN, however… THERE WAS A LITTLE MORE LEFT TO TELL. Two extra episodes were made after the 26th Episode. One being “Intermezzo” where Tsukasa is not even in it which in my opinion felt “filler-ish”, and the second one called “Unison” that really concludes the .Hack//SIGN anime. If you didn’t play or watch the games and jumped into the “final” episode, you will be somewhat confused. We have Episodes 1 through 26, then the 4-part .Hack games as well as the Liminality OVA’s with it, and then the final two episodes. Wanna know why I felt it should’ve ended after Episode 26? With all due respect to the .Hack fans it does have what seemed to be an ending (albeit oddly rushed). the games take it from there (plus the OVA’s) The show resumes after with two extra episodes which (in my honest opinion) FEELS POINTLESS. Call me crazy if you’d like, but this is probably why .Hack//SIGN has gotten the love/hate reputation. I still think it’s interesting, but I think it could’ve answered some confusion later on. I will say that it is good that this show doesn’t hold your hand. This is a show where the viewer has to really pay attention and it does require some thinking to do as well. It is a unique anime, but I can’t say I enjoyed it. <em>Loading… Please Wait </em> .Hack//SIGN was available by Bandai Entertainment. It was out of print after Bandai went under but it has been rescued and re-licensed by Funimation. The 4-part .Hack video games (Infection, Mutation, Outbreak, and Quarantine) were available for the PlayStation 2, a PlayStation Network download re-release has not been made for these games and it doesn’t look like it will. The .Hack//Liminality OVA's are under the same situation as .Hack//SIGN as well as its parody .Hack//GIFT WIth all that said, .Hack//SIGN is a unique series with psychological intrigue as well as some series. It is a slow series and there are some stuff that will make sense along the way. However, not all questions are answered. The soundtrack by Yuki Kaijura is the show’s saving grace and is definitely worth listening to outside of this anime. The artwork is also good-looking, but unfortunately the animation hardly moves and does look stale. The character development is great but the layout of the plot felt awkward to me considering it led into a 4-part game series which also leads to two more episodes of the anime set after the games which I felt didn’t really add much to the story. I can agree this is a love/hate anime and that’s where I draw the line with this one. I give .Hack//SIGN a 5.1 out of 10, it is AVERAGE! Feel free to leave a comment, now if you’ll excuse me… I’ll be logging out. ***Lain***
A series that was if anything a series I could claim helped me get into anime. This series along with Witch Hunter Robin, Gundam Seed and of course Death Note was my Bionix block that would leave me gasping for more every Friday night as I trudge through boring modernity. Being sucked into a game world made my 12-year-old mind race! However each time I return to this series I find it is the definition of mundanity. While I enjoy the characters of Bear and Crim, I never got all that attached to the rest of the cast. When much of the series is wrapped up in Tsukasa ever spiraling depressions, and he does nothing to propel the plot, forward we end up stuck in a rut as we wait and count down the episodes till something exciting happens. However, when the plot does thicken, and the villains come out to play in a game of death in a literal game we have lost so much of our will to care that even the spectacle lacks punch. The mystery of why Tsukasa is trapped in the game world and the strange monster that can affect reality is interesting, but the answers never became apparent in my multiple viewings. Much of the lore of the game world is what catches the attention of the viewer, but the series never does much with it. You would be better off playing the game rather than watching the show (which you can as .hack is a game on PS2). The themes are great, and the world is interesting, but the execution is lacking in this show. That is not to say the series is bad. The art design is incredible, and the music is fantastic, and some of the best Yuki Kajiura has ever penned to sheet. One of my favorite track Aura is haunting and memorizing in this quite lullaby of the soul. It's great, fantastic and mostly wasted here on a show which never really does much. That includes the animation as while the art design is something else this lost child of early 2000's era and Bee Train's animation quality leaves much to be desired as it never animates much of anything. The series feels slow in both design and spirit because while this series has a story to tell, the method which it is being told in is not that good. Some fans will get a lot out of this show the design and music are something else, while the execution is slow and lumbering along with the plot. You will be better off spending your time and money playing the games this series is based on and listening to Yuki Kajiura mind-bending compositions. .Hack//Sign is the definition of wasted potential leading into an overall mediocre series. 2 1/2 Stars our of 5.
Producer, Theme Song Arrangement, Theme Song Composition, Theme Song Lyrics, Music, Recording Engineer
Director, Episode Director, Storyboard
Director, Sound Director, Script, Storyboard, Editing, Screenplay
Director, Episode Director, Storyboard