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CopyMaster's .hack//SIGN Tv Review

.hack//SIGN

.hack//SIGN tv Review

In a not-so-distant future, a popular game hits the nations. Millions of users join this role-playing game filled with monsters to slay, treasure to recover, and a place to meet new people. Welcome to the World.

A young Wavemaster called Tsukasa one day wakes up in this strange place. He does not know who he is, what he is doing here, and lest of all how he got here. When he tries to log out, he realises he cannot do so. In the World, if a player dies, they restart where they last saved. For Tsukasa, however, it is a whole different game. If he dies in the World, he will die and will not be able to re-start the game. Luckily, he meets some friends along the way, and together they travel the World hoping to find the legendary "Key of the Twilight" as well as what is going on behind Tsukasa's past.

Will Tsukasa ever get out of the World, or will he be trapped forever?

By: daos

Story & Characters

.hack//SIGN revolves around a character who cannot log out of a mass-online game called "The World" due to unknown circumstances; his username;Tsukasa. While the concept is not very original (one may say it is quite similar to the animation ReBoot), the story definitely is. Characters who met with this introverted person sympathize with his situation, adding a multitude of unforeseen troubles which questions the character's roles in life, between the game and reality. Very original and insightful pertaining to our rapid advancement in info-technology which may one day actually happen. Script writer Kazunori Ito has outdone himself this time. He has clearly explained a question in which was once asked by many; will machines take over us one day? In .hack//SIGN, the answer is clearly no. Rather predictable, but nonetheless, effective to our common knowledge. The genre is also rather interesting; it combines sci-fiction, fantasy, logic, and mystery into a single package; something which is undoubtly is a daunting task. Overall, the story is rather complete if you look at it as a graphic "novel" more than an action film. As a result, it loses something; the essence of action. On the other hand, if you enjoy a good book like I do as much like other regular anime, .hack//SIGN will be a good choice for your consumption and will last for years to come.

Rating: 7

Art

Character designs are by the renowned Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, the creator and artist for the hit sci-fiction series; Neon Genesis Evangelion. Although the rendering is rather standard to keep within a reasonable budget, the character concepts are quite original and enticing. Character personalities suit their designs and are detailed enough to make them memorable. The story's concept, being in a game, the character's attire will relate to the theme, allowing a vast range of character designs, not limiting to what it would seem to be to US. The characters also fulfill the requirement of anti-flamboyancy, an important factor in character design.

Rating: 8

Sound

.hack//SIGN often uses solemn opera choirs as their background music; clearly one which distinguishes this series from the rest. The music fits the situation and the atmosphere very well, such as the song "fake wings". "Obsession", the opening theme, is far by the most appropriate work which combines vanity and fast-paced momentum together. A plus point to this series. The sound effects are delightful to the ears. Sword clashes are rather rare in the series, but when they do happen, the rubbing of steel does not irritate the ear like many other sword fighting would; it is toned down to a lower but acceptable frequency.

Rating: 8

Presentation

Although the concept was not the most original, the story paves its way for its success in Japan. Because this is Project Hack's first creation (a trio of three, Kouichi Mashimo, Kazunori Ito and Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, all renowned figures in Japan's animation industry), they lack sufficient funds to create amore movements and animations to make this series more engaging, thus they had to employ many, many stills within each episodes themselves, and this is the greatest weakness of the entire series. If you notice, you don't get to see the characters battle, but all you see are scene switches; a great disappointment for action fans. There are those who argue; 'the thing was created in 2002 right? Why so many stills then?' As such, many viewers tend to lose interest very quickly; not a good sign at all. Pacing in the story is another letdown. Some scenes take more time than required, in the end resulting in repetitive and boring babbling amongst the characters. The only one in the story who does not seem to suffer from this syndrome would be Mimiru; her conversations are the most varied in the entire series. This is the weakest section of .hack//SIGN, but it does not ruin the overall quality in terms of its concept and character design. Surely one worth watching if you enjoy novels.

Rating: 5

Final Verdict

6.67 (above average)

Reviewed by CopyMaster, Apr 25, 2005

Comments

  1. animeaddict57 Apr 25, 2005

    this review hecka owns my big o revew

  2. Alienated-NZ May 06, 2005

    yeah its ok but not great... great review :nya:

  3. tishdon May 10, 2005

    Great review. I agree with you about so many of your points. Especially about the slow movement of the plot. But I really liked this series and it does have a place of pride on my DVD shelf-alongside Neon Genesis Evangelion.

  4. Loyd May 13, 2005

    Its a really good show and i like how the game kind of go with it like there is a virus that won't let someone log out or something it tyring ot destory everything overall i liked it but i don't like the new one they same out with

  5. Ghai May 18, 2005

    kinda agree with whatever was said there but i love the music alot more esp the bgm. the bgm is what i tink gave hack sign a more fantasy feel to it. the soundtrack was 1 i loved alot =D realli thought songs like Aura came out at the right place at the right time. as well as bgms like key of the twilight and such =D

  6. Acoustic04 Aug 09, 2005

    I like the whole plot and story of .hack//SIGN, but I just wish there was more action. I mean in most of the scenes, the group just sits and talks about the key of the twilight and tsukasa's condition. Rarely do you see any action. I still say the story is pretty good, but it'll probably only appeal to a small audiance.

  7. ClassicSuperman Feb 25, 2007

    You've some good points in your review, congratulations.

    I just want to say that, in my opinion, .hack//SIGN is not an anime for the action fans. This anime is one of my favourites because he priorizes the chats and the plot, not the action scenes. I agree when you said the audience may lost interest because of the story's pace, but on the other hand, .hack was an anime made for the big audience? I don't think so, and i'm happy with this anime as slow as it is. XD

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