A virtual multiplayer online role-playing game exists, known as "The World." In "The World," there is an event held in the Dungeon of Nankoflank that Mimiru, a character in the game, undertakes with Bear, another character of the game. Mimiru confesses to Bear that she's not doing the event for the treasures or experiences, but for the memories and experiences of when she had first started playing. The two later meet a certain character named Mimika and together, the three proceed through quests and events as Mimiru learns the meaning of the game.
I actually had watched .hack//SIGN in 2007, and didn't find it too crash hot. I don't think at the time, I had realized that there were more .hack series apart from Legend Of The Twilight and Roots, so I never got round to watching Intermezzo, and the others.
STORY: Couldn't really remember much from the main SIGN series, and I was reminded today about how. .. average the story line was. Of course this is only a one episode special, so there wasn't much to it; Mimiru drags along Bear to check for something in a temporarily re-opened dungeon in The World. I mustn't have been
paying attention because of the overall story line, because I hadn't realized that majority of this episode is made up of reminiscent scenes, and it became a surprise to realize that the small, un-named 12 year old girl in the reminiscent scenes is actually Mimiru in the past. That made no sense to me, but whatever. Another turn off would be the MMORPG theme, and that would be probably because of the characters which I will discuss later.
ART: .hack art, well, character designs remind me of Angelic Layer's and I honestly can't be screwed looking up whether it is designed by the same person. Anyway. The overall design is pretty smooth and bold, however the noses are a bit of a bother sometimes. Animation was par, apart from some parts, typically involving bright, flashy scenes, oh, and the opening.
SOUND: The sound has always been good in the .hack series, even if I do have to strain my brain to remember. Same goes for both the ending and opening themes, especially the opening. I guess the 'chanting'(?) used in the series is appealing to me.
CHARACTERS: I'm sorry but, do any of these people who play in The World actually have a life? If you completely ignore the fact that the players seem to be almost always online and how serious they play the game, I think I would probably give the overall series a 6. In Intermezzo, the audience is introduced to three 18 year old girls, taking turns to play a single character called Mimika. The three of them go on about how that they can be appreciated in The World, and not in actual life, suggesting that they are 'incompetent' and 'plain'. Sure, on the odd occasion I play MMORPGs, but only for fun when I have spare time and I feel like it. I don't take it very seriously, and I only play at my own pace. But is it really necessary to take a MMORPG, or any game, so seriously that it almost blends in with your own life offline? Many times during Intermezzo, and the other .hack series, I've wanted to remind the characters that "it's just a game."
This special was fine, and I honestly can't expand any further on it. Definitely something I would suggest to a .hack fan, and if you're not interested in MMORPG themes or you didn't really enjoy .hack//SIGN (however I'm the type of person who HAS to watch every series' special, movie, ova, etc, and I don't normally drop anime.), I do not suggest watching this.
Initially I took but did not take to the .hack series, if that makes any sense at all. I found the music to be an easy 9/10 in both Signs and Roots (Especially Roots) but found the writing kind of hard to get into in Roots, which dismantled any hopes of giving the series itself a 9/10 or higher. Had I of enjoyed or (taken in) the writing more clearly than I did during Roots and Signs (Even though Signs had better writing I think!) I would have easily bumped up the rating for the main series from a 7/10 to possibly an 8/10 or
9/10. Even so, I will more than likely go back to this series and try it in English sometime down the road, and see if my perspective on the rating of the series changes any.
.hack//Intermezzo was easily a 9/10 for it's good writing, and actually showing characters (what they look like) outside of the virtual fantasy game. It helped that the 'normal' high school girls that were behind the scene of the high leveled, lance wielding, female character, were all cute, and one of them even had Mamiya Sakura type-twin-tails! That may be a personal preference, but stuff like that encourages me to bump up ratings! XD
It also had a MKR feel to it in that sense, with those three normal high school girls, not only graduating, but graduating from the game. Though the reason for this takes some deeper thought, as for the crystallizing of their blonde haired character.
It was nice to see the short spiky brown-haired girl in this OVA as well, and how all her experience, what she came to know and learn from the game, had its origin in what she personally learned from these three girls.
There was a bit of a puzzle quiz in the game as well. Namely, not being alone, but not necessarily being apart of any Party as well. I humbly admit I was unable to solve the the puzzle at the time it was said.
Finally, what really inspired me to give this OVA for .hack//Intermezzo a rating of 9/10 was the causality of the three high school girls friendship. I remember when I was a young whipper-snapper, hangin' out at the ole friends place, casually clickin' away at the ole' controll'a to get 'dat 'dere machine box-thing-a-ma'game, going! Those were some fun times. Brings back a lot of casual fun, just like this OVA did! :3