A young wavemaster, only known by the alias of Tsukasa, wakes up in an MMORPG called The World, with slight amnesia. He does not know what he has previously done before he woke up. In The World, he is suspected to be a hacker of the Crimson Knights, as he was seen accompanying a tweaked character in the form of a cat. Unable to log out from the game, he wanders around looking for answers, avoiding the knights and other players he meets along the way.
As Tsukasa explores The World, he stumbles upon a magical item that takes the form of a "guardian," which promises him protection from all harm. Subaru, the leader of the Crimson Knights, along with several other players who became acquainted with Tsukasa, set out to investigate why Tsukasa is unable to log out, and attempt to get to the bottom of the problem before it gets out of hand.
First off I'd like to say that it's a hate-it-or-love-it-anime, I do respect people that don't like .Hack//Sign, But I don't respect people who don't have any arguments. This review is based on personal positive exeriences.
I'll spare you all the joy and pleasure that .Hack//Sign brought me... till the end.
Alright, before I start writing this review there are is one word that is in need to said;
Alright, that's all for now.
To begin I'd like to ask you to read the story at the top of the page.
Are you done?Then lets move on.
The story of .Hack//Sign is boring, there is almost no action,there's no fanservice and it doesn't make fast progress. That's the view on .hack//Sign that most people have, they are correct, but then, you are not enjoying it.
.Hack//Sign, The story:
+ It's detailed
- It doesn't make fast progress (+ But if that's your opinion, you're not enjoying the story itself)
Then, we have the art... beautiful scenery's, great character designs and much more, only thing is that some movements are not the best, but that's nothing compared to the character designs themself.
+ Beautiful scenery
+ Great and original character designs
- Some slight movement mistakes
Then we have the Sound, if there was an option to give it more then a ten out of ten, then I would choose it. Music like you have never heard before, Yuki kajiura, in my opinion she may compare herself to Mozart, Beethoven and more of them. No, .Hack//Sign's music isn't worth a ten only because of its music, the sounds of the surounding and scenery's are great too. Almost each time you play a scene again, you can discover new sounds, like the wind, which blows trough the grass or some other background noices.
+ Yuki Kajiura's music(MORE THAN 50 TRACKS!!!)
+ The background
Characters of .Hack//Sign
Emotions, double personalities, online and offline, trying to be someone you aren't... Everything you could wish for is available. Nothing less.
+ Double personalities, offline and online
+ Characters can make progress, unlike most of the anime made today
I could write pages of information which is usseless to everybody, except for me.
But I won't, here are all the pages in short:
.Hack//Sign brought me the music of Yuki Kajiura, Is she an angel from heaven or something? Her music is a passage to heaven, believe me.
The story is epic, not a stereotype battle between good and evil. (Almost Forgot the fact i may not spoil X_X )
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.read more
Before SAO, before Log Horizon, there was .hack//Sign. This was the anime that started the "trapped in an MMORPG" craze in anime. Although it is far superior in quality to SAO and Log Horizon, it somehow has an average rating almost 2 full points lower. Allow me to explain why this is a great injustice!
Story and characters: 7/10
The story will no doubt seem familiar at this point, because so many series have ripped off .hack. After a computer virus devastates the internet, a new web system is created and shortly after a massive MMORPG using virtual reality is born as the brain child of a German computer genius with mysterious motives. A player called Tsukasa finds himself trapped in this fantasy MMORPG and is unable to logout, but is not aware why or even who he is in the real world. This is only a problem for Tsukasa and no other players are effected by this. What makes .Hack unique is that Tsukasa dying in the game world doesn't mean he will die in the real world. Instead, he just respawns and is still trapped, like an eternal purgatory. Tsukasa must discover the mystery of why he is trapped and find out more about this MMORPG and why it was created. The pacing in this series is slow, so it will take a while to get good. However, I appreciate that this series unlike SAO or Log Horizon focuses mostly on character development and psychological drama rather than pointless action and fanservice. Afterall, duel wielding eventually gets a little stale. "Jesus Christ SAO! Duel Wielding isn't THAT cool, tone it down guys!" - John Woo
The character designs are good, but the animation is sometimes lacking. Most of the time, people are standing around talking and this isn't exactly going to blow you away with its visuals. Hack was made by a small animation studio called Beeline best known for "hits" like Noir and Spider Riders for Kids WB. Yes, there is an anime called Spider Riders, and it is just as bad as it sounds!
Hack is probably most well known for its outstanding sound track that features a new song in every episode. At one point the OST fetched outlandishly high prices on E-bay, but I am not sure what it is worth today. It is still an excellent sound track and comes highly recommended.
Yes, I will admit that it can be a bit slow at times. That doesn't mean it is a bad series. The drama and character development make this one worth watching.
This anime does have some issues with animation, pacing, and a few minor flaws. However, it is a LOT better than SAO or Log Horizon! Don't be a n00b! If you watch 1 trapped in an MMORPG anime, make bloody well sure it is this one!read more
This is a review compiled by the many members of the VIA (Value In Anime) Graveyard Division. All members who have worked on this review are mentioned at the bottom. In addition, this review will also contain a “Value in the Anime” section detailing life lessons and values that make this anime worth watching.
.hack//sign isn't exactly new. Known for it's slow pace, it has a reputation as a poorly paced, often boring show. While this is true, to an extent, there is still value in this anime--life lessons that make it worth the time you're willing to invest in it.
Story: .hack//sign is a slow anime with an episodic format and plot to match. Often, you may feel that you might have to go back and re-watch an episode or two because might have missed something in the last scene.
The pacing was bad and would have been much, much better as a one cour (12-13 episodes) series. The impact of the plot was lessened by the postponement of the primary conflict, which was not introduced until about halfway through. The ending ultimately lost impact because of the story telling, which was more or less average.
Understandably, there are also some parts, especially prevalent in the OVAs, where you had to have prior knowledge for full understanding. The OVAs themselves added little to the story, mostly giving a sense of "all's-well-that-ends-well." It does try to be realistic in it's approach, though it doesn't always succeed.
Art: The animation style is decent, but outdated, and doesn't quite manage to hold up to today's standards--though this is to be expected. The character designs were varied and distinct while the backgrounds, though predominately dark, were aesthetically pleasing. For the most part, the animation was smooth and the jerking and stills were kept to an acceptable minimum--problems consistent with many other older anime.
Sound:. hack//sign's music and sound fit well. The OST complimented the mood while the OP and ED were catchy, though otherwise unmemorable. At times, the background music was a tad overbearing-- a fault that often resulted in a ruined atmosphere. Standing alone, the music can be drab at times, but proves to be sufficient overall.
Characters: This is .hack//sign's focal point. Character development is initially slow, but speeds up later on in the anime. The characters are interesting, and almost all of them contribute to the plot at some point--one of them receiving extra development during the first OVA. No characters appears similar to another, and they are easy to relate to, though they can be dull at times. The villain is good, but suffers from a lack of impact as the episodes draw on.
Enjoyment: In essence, this is a slow anime with poor pacing that often left us wanting more. It's worth a try if this appeals to you, but it will not keep everyone who watches awake. Because of how slow it is, it would probably be best if you watched this anime over a long period of time. Try watching as a substitute for pills or lullabies.
The soundtrack is nice to listen to, but gets a little tiring after a while and the art is worth a look, even if it isn’t the best. The characters deserve more than a passing glance, being the primary draw of the show.
Values in the Anime: There is value in this anime that makes it worth watching--certain life lessons that we can all learn through anime.
Accepting Reality: This anime shows us how dangerous it is to get absorbed in entertainment. This is an issue especially present in today's society, where everyone is on their phone or computer at almost all times. It’s good to have fun and get absorbed, but also important to stay grounded in reality as well. Recognizing that line between entertainment and reality is paramount.
Games are a way to express yourself; they are a way to act as someone you’re not. No matter what though, remember that these things should stay in the game; they are exclusive to the laws of the game for a reason. Accept reality for what it is, and know the difference while maintaining a balance.
Respecting Others: Respecting others is important in real life, but can be equally so in a game or online. The main character is initially rude and unlikeable, but finds the value in those basic concepts throughout the development of the story and improves themselves as a person. Connecting to other people, and observing how it affects you is of the upmost importance, and is a message strongly conveyed in .hack//sign.
Whether they were pulled into an MMORPG that they were playing or simply found themselves stuck in it, there’s something weird happening to anime characters. One way or another, they just keep landing inside RPGs. Here are 15 RPG-themed anime that helped define this budding genre.