As an expression of gratitude for the heroes of both the ".hack//Sign" and the ".hack" game series, Helba has prepared a special event for all the characters to find the newly established "Twilight Hot Springs." The characters can get their well deserved rest and relaxation by having a soak in the wonderful hot springs, but there is only one problem—the hot springs are hidden and there have been mysterious player murders. With the only clue being the word “GIFT," the race has begun to find the culprit and the location of the hot springs.
It's plain and simple, Helba decides to create her own world by telling all the players and characters from the .hack series that she is opening up a hot springs and it's their job or quest to look for it, and apparently whichever group (series) finds it first will get a prize. Aside from the main story there are small little commentaries and tiny problems that the characters have with each other which seem more amusing than the main objective, it's literally like all over the place and it's hard to keep track on who has a problem with and whatnot. Overall the story is really not that important you'll just be entertained at the fact that Subaru actually used her axe for once.
It's weird, it's plain weird. The characters are drawn in a very abstract manner, it's good that the anime says their name when they pop out because honestly it's so hard to determine which character is who because some of them look nothing like what they're supposed to look like. There were some parts where the animation and art would go back to normal but at such absurd times like when Crim accidentally sliced Balmung's cape and feathers appeared... when it focused on the feathers they looked perfectly fine, and another time when Bear and Orca were fighting and two naked women passed by, why were the women normally drawn while Orca and Bear look like a vomited canvas?!
There were some weird stuff that happened in the anime that I just can't explain; When Sora and Crim were fighting, strings suddenly came out of nowhere and attached to them like they were puppets. Aura came out at the last second right when the OVA was about to finish, did she have a purpose? Or were the writers that desperate to literally put all the characters in the OVA and just inserted her just so they can say she counts... seriously.
Another moment was when in that moment you see Mia and Elk lying down on the hill... and then they just started making out, like wtf no explanation at all?!
There's not much to say about it since all the characters are taken from other series, but one thing is for sure most of them are out of their normal personalities, the writer certainly meant this OVA to be on the comedy side since pretty much all the characters had their own littler comedic twist on them.
The .Hack franchise has always been loved by a select cult following, and hated (for the most part) by nearly everyone else. Some series in the franchise are worthier than others, but unfortunately with the advent of anime like Sword Art Online, Accel World, etc. new comers to .Hack find less and less to like.
It isn't as novel a concept as it was on release, and to have a great grasp on the series you have to play through the .Hack video games, which are expensive as well as a bit dated (the first game series especially).
I myself am a fan of the franchise. So when I sat down to watch this short expecting to see some new animation and all of the characters I had grown to love, imagine my horror when I pressed play.
The art of this is dismally unappealing. I expected to see more detailed character designs, and a nice new gloss of animation over the whole thing. What I got was a grade schooler's art project. And trust me, this kid ain't no Picasso.
This could have been a decent short like Unity, but instead we got a failed art project. I can't even recommend this to fans of the series. Only watch this if you are desperate for more .Hack, and keep in mind that you WILL regret it.
Critic’s Log - Earthdate: September 5, 2014. Supplemental Review for .Hack//SIGN
This may be pointless of me to review an OVA that is only 1 episode, but I don’t mind reviewing stuff related to an anime that I previously reviewed. With that said, here’s .Hack//GIFT.
Helba has created the Twilight Hot Springs for the heroes from the .hack game series and the heroes from the .hack//SIGN series. Now the characters race to see who finds it first, and to solve some mysterious player-killings.
To be technical, this is a Bee Train production and the drastically different art style and cartoony character designs are done on purpose with .Hack//GIFT. This special OVA was made after the game and it definitely feels like a “Thank You” note to those that bought the games and/or watched the anime. The art style does feel a little odd for my taste, but at the same time… It was intentional and considering that it is not mainly connected to the main series and made as a parody to .Hack//SIGN and the games. I don’t have anything negative to say about the animation.
The soundtrack by Yuki Kaijura is pretty much recycled and not even used lightly… So there’s that…
One thing that is interesting to note that this OVA does not have a dub, this is because there were some jokes that would get lost in translation if dubbed and would not make sense if a Dub were to be made of it. To be honest, this anime is non-canon compared to .Hack//SIGN and I guess this isn’t much of a problem.
The characters are fine… but everything to do with character development is not necessarily to talk about because of the nature of its OVA
The same applies for anything to do with plot. In the end, you aren’t really missing much if you give this OVA a pass, Unless you want to see a little nudity. In other words, take it or leave it.
.Hack//GIFT was available by Bandai Entertainment and it is currently out of print since Bandai went under. Even though .Hack//SIGN was picked up by Funimation, there’s a good chance this OVA may come with it, but who knows…
Since this is only 1 OVA and this was only 26 minutes long, I don’t have much to offer on this one but with everything said and done, .Hack//GIFT is a nice breath of fresh air compared to .Hack//SIGN. Because of its end result, all I can say is just take it or leave it.
I give .Hack//GIFT a 5.2 out of 10, it is AVERAGE!