While playing the newly released MMORPG "The World," Minase Mai and Tomonari Kasumi collapsed in the real world and were sent to the hospital after hearing a mysterious sound. Only Mai had recovered while her friend Kasumi had slipped into a mysterious coma. Mai is later approached by the creator of "The World," Tokuoka Junichiro, who unveils to her that, just like her friend, six other players across the country had also collapsed while playing "The World" and are now in mysterious comas. What exactly is "The World," what is this mysterious sound Mai keeps on hearing, and why are people slipping into comas from this game? Minase, Junichiro and their acquaintances set off to get to the bottom of this problem before any further harm happens.
The .hack series isn't an easy one to get into for those of us who haven't played the game as there is plenty of background information that is left out in the anime. The strength of Liminality is it addresses some of these questions in a very intriguing manner. Liminality spans more than one .Hack anime, several of the manga and some games but the genius in this anime is it does so from the Real Life point of view (vs. gameplay). It manages to tie many loose ends together and in an entertaining fashion.
The characters are well fleshed out and developed. There is
no sense of incongruity that these people don't behave like normal people would behave In Real Life. They're realistic and believable. Even the backstory characters of who developed fragment and why, is lovingly done. Overall, very solid.
Art/Animation and sound
Opening theme showcased the game in a very persuasive manner. If the game graphics looks anything as good as what's presented here then more people will play it. Character animation was clearly of a higher quality than .Hack/Sign or .Hack/Twilight. Sound effects are wonderful, music is good and even the insertion of the Hack/Sign theme was well done. Again, this was solid.
Story wise, this has been the best of the .Hack anime I've seen so far, probably for the "summation" nature of this ova. It didn't feel too short or too long, there was no "filler" type material. The plot was tightly woven, pacing was great and thus I enjoyed this much more than the other .Hack series I've seen. Very very solid and good. I would have rated this higher if I were more familiar with the manga or played the game.
This OVA is the (very much superior) follow up to the "Hack Sign" series. The production is in the typical style of Bee Train, with the ever present, haunting melodies of Yuki Kajiura (a staple aspect in Bee Train productions) succeeding to be even better than in "Noir" or "Hack sign". And since those were earlier works, it does seem like the studio is getting the hang of the music production more and more.
Unlike "Hack Sign", significant events actually start happening from the word go, resulting in a captivating opening episode. Unfortunately, having set the bar rather high, the remaining three episodes are a
little disappointing. In episode 2, the anime descends back to the usual faffing around that was so common in the "Hack Sign" series. The third and fourth episodes are better, but never really reach the standards set by the first.
"Hack Liminality" does go some way towards explaining the events in "Hack Sign", but not very much. Either the translators are at fault, or Bee Train need better explanations. There are a lot of vague statements thrown around, but they don't make much sense, and by the end, I was still fairly clueless about what's going on. Basically, the conclusion is something like "Aha! I've got it!!" I had no idea what exactly what they were doing or how did they did it. All I know is that there were some hacking involved. How can you make a proper sci-fi without explanations?!
Anyways, despite not really "getting it", I quite enjoyed the ride, I just wish they'd put in a more detailed explanation. Like "Hack Sign", this anime's high-ish rating is mainly boosted by its animation/music quality, but underneath it does have a bit more quality in its content to brag about as well.
All right before we get started, just want to make sure that you all know that I haven't played any of the hack games, although a lot of my friends have been telling me to go and get the games because they are really good (from what they said)
Unfortunately the anime series are a completely different form of media so yeah this is my take on it.
Honestly though, it's hard to watch an anime that where you're already supposed to know things and with the lack of background information it's really difficult to get into the story line especially when
there's still so much to explain. Although it's quite fairly simple and almost identical to the other .hack stories, it focuses on the mysterious comas that's been happening to the players all over the world, and how they're trying to solve it and yadda yadda yadda it goes on. One thing that really surprised me about this is the fact that the settings is completely in the real world, I expected it to be placed in the video game because it's .hack and all but that caught me off guard when the whole thing was set in the real world. Overall, it's getting old hearing almost the same thing over and over again from other series, but the upside is there's always new information that they present about the whole .hack series as a whole which kind of answers a lot of questions from the other series.
The fact that it's an OVA, the art is already given as better than worse. I do have to point out that the style of art is quite different from all the other ones though, maybe because it's an OVA or maybe because it's actually placed in the real world rather than the colourful places of "The World", either way I really have no complaints about the art.
I never really saw any character growth mainly because the time spent in the whole OVA weren't really that long, it didn't take them years or months to get to the end but I would say just days, so the amount of character growth from the beginning to the end I would say was "just right" not too much but not to the point where you wouldn't notice anything. They give you a good variety of characters, but the protagonists weren't very persuasive about their beliefs or goals, they never really showed that much passion about the whole ordeal. I found them too laid back with the situations that were happening and wished they'd react in a more believable manner. There was that guy that always had a cigarette in his mouth, I've always liked characters that are like that, shows them that they too can relieve stress the deathly way.
Honestly though, with my full opinion on this, the .hack series were probably the ones that I dreaded through watching the most, but then again I think back they were probably one of the first animes I've ever really watched seriously, so it was hard form to get into it and try to analyze as much crap as I can to make a good review.
Liminality was different because they weren't in the video game for once, and that already, gives this anime a point of uniqueness compared to the rest of the .hacks!
This was suprisingly good! Usually in .hacks I am bored to tears but this was really good! I was very involved and focused 90% of the time. The first episode did drag on a bit but the final 3 weren't as long which was a good thing.
The story is outstanding! Unlike most .hack animes the story does not take place inside of "The World". This takes place in the real world and I like that. It does get somewhat confusing but if you pay attention you will understand it. The ending was a little confusing to me but I still really liked it.
The color was
magnificent and the animation quality was very good! The only thing taht bugged me was the wair the bangs were done, particularly Mai's bangs. They looked amateurish and not good. :\
The sound was outstanding! Although the opening themes changed for each episode, the ending stayed the same and I really liked that. Also, featuring some of the other .hack themes was a nice touch. The background music fit well with the scene. It was a little staticcy at times (it might just be my headphones though). They also had one of my personal favorite seiyuu's too ;)
The characters are very well designed and all have their own personalities and go together great. The only downside is that some of the cahracter I had no idea what there name was throughout the whole OVA.
Expecting another bored time watching this, I was quite surprised to find myself really enjoying this. This was definitely a really good anime to watch and if I ever have the time I would definitely rewatch this again.
Great anime! With a few minor tweaks here and there it could've been outstanding but it is still one of the best .hacks I've ever seen. Definitely would reccomend this to someone.
If you love .hack//Sign, you’re likely an RPG fan. Yet if you’re a bit too young to have enjoyed the Playstation 2 generation of games, you may have missed the .hack video game series and the MMORPG based on the game. If you love the anime, this is one you’ll likely want to dust off and play!
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