TV, 26 Episodes
Bee Train, 2002
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance
In the year 2005 a virus known as "Pluto Kiss" sweeps across the world and in an instant the global internet network is completely shut down and rendered useless. In the aftermath of the virus' destruction the C.C. Corporation releases a new OS called "Altimit", an operating system undamaged by the virus and it sells tremendously fast. It is also about this time that Harold Horwick, a german programmer, sells his MMORPG "The Fragment" to the C.C. Corp. C.C. corp takes this game, updates it, and changes it's name to "The World". The new game is marketed, and sells more then 27 million copies worldwide. While at the same time, mass marketing the dangerous secret programmed into the very core of the game by Harold himself.
Tsukasa, a player of the Wave Master class in "The World" discovers a power that grants him the ability to damage people in the real world through the game. What Tsukasa doesn't realize is that this same power has sent his body into a coma while trapping his mind in the game. Tsukasa is now "alive" in the game and he, with the help of his friends including Mimiru, Subaru, Bear, B.T., Crim, Sora, Ginkan, and Helba, must learn to look inside himself for happiness and to trust in others if he is ever to uncover the mysterious Key of the Twilight and find his way home.
.hack//Sign offers so much in the way of it's story. The plot is truly amazing and capturing. There are many twists so it is near impossible to figure anything out before it's revealed. The story can be a bit slow at times, but that's to be expected as it is about an RPG, am I right? Many philisophical questions and ideas are raised such as "What is reality?" "What is real and what is not?" and "To see you must first open your eyes no matter how much pain the seeing could cause,".
The artists who drew the scenes of .hack//Sign really out did themselves. The characters are drawn flawlessly and in extreme detail, while the backgrounds are immensely beautiful and awe-inspiring. The way this show has been created, "The World" is bright and beautiful while the real world is dull, gray, and depressing. This contrast represents how many of the players in "The World" use the game as a way to escape reality and to be free from rules and regularities. Overal the animation is superb.
Voice Acting/Music: 10/10
.hack//Sign features many famous voices such as: Tenaka Rie, as Morganna, who has voiced over in such works as Chobits, Full Metal Panic, and Gundam Seed; Toyoguchi Megumi, as Mimiru, who has voiced over in such works as Avenger, Chobits, and Full Metal Alchemist; and Shinichiro Miki, as Crim, who has voiced over in such works as Cowboy Bebop, Full Metal Panic, and Ghost in the Shell. Each voice-over actor/actress fits their character perfectly and none seem out of place.
The composer of the score, Yuki Kajiura, presents a beautiful compilation that is incredibly moving and enhances the feel of .hack//Sign. The music has a heavy Celtic sound to it while introducing some European influences. In so being the music is very soothing in some parts and a little energetic in others. This is probably the best music from an Anime I have heard so far.
The characters of .hack//Sign are widely diversified and each has a certain attribute they are known for. The characters add many more sides to this multifaceted anime and in short, just make it so much more interesting then many other animes I have seen.
This anime is truly amazing and I honestly have to say that I am sad that I have finished all the episodes in this series. I highly recommend this series to anybody at all who has ever just wanted to escape from reality into a world of there very own.
"If I want to see something, I just have to open my eyes," -Tsukasa (Episode 26)