11 November 2005

If I could pronounce .hack//sign, I could watch it.

I'm just kidding! I've watched .hack//sign (dot hack sign). It's been awhile, but I still have many lingering feelings about this series including both love and bewilderment. Part of the reason for my ongoing confusion about .hack//sign is the fact that there are many .hack series and games, and a friend of mine told me once that to really comprehend the plotline, you must watch and play them all. Well screw that! What if I just want to watch this one? So I did just that *smiles*.

It wasn't a complete bust. While I am still left quite confused about parts of the ending, there were also many themes in the series that became quite clear and were thoroughly enjoyable. To state a quick overview of the series; .hack//sign is about a virtual reality (VR) video game (think VR MMORPG) and the characters you meet both in and outside of that game (Tsukasa, Mimiru, Bear, BT, Suburu, Sora). You quickly learn that Tsukasa is "stuck" in the game for a reason that is illuminated in later episodes. You hear a lot about the rare item: "key of the twilight". Tsukasa journeys to attempt to figure out why he is not able to log out of the world, and meets several companions/enemies along the way including some of the VR administrators (Subaru and the Crimson Knights). There are captivating sub-plots involving both the player characters and their real-life counterparts.

As I said previously, the "ending" is a bit confusing, but I am referring to the ending as the whole conclusion of .hack//sign. The the sub-plots are extraordinarily done, and I thoroughly enjoyed the actual last episode. What makes this series fun for me is the fact that I've played MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role playing games. phew!). One of the episodes involved Mimiru helping out a new lowlevel, frustrating little girl character, and many MMORPG players can relate to this. The music is well done, though a little repetitive. The animation is unique and characters are pretty memorable, though you don't form as much of a bond to these characters as compared to a series like InuYasha.

All in all, .hack//sign was definitely not a waste of my time. However, it should be noted that if you are easily confused and do not like being confused, DO NOT watch this series unless you plan to commit to the whole rest of it such as the games, .hack//liminality, etc. You may get hung up in the fact that you cannot understand some of the series conclusions, and miss the interesting sub plots. This does not mean you are a bad watcher, or that this is a bad anime; you are simply not compatable.

From a rating of (Excellent-Good-Fair-Poor-Horrid):
Plotline: Fair (due to the confusing nature and limits of watching only .hack//sign)
Characters: Good
Music: Good
Animation: Fair


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