The feeling that really describes .hack//SIGN for me is wasted potential. The premise and world are marvelous; the animation smooth and detailed and the graphic design excellent. The plot is decent and the music is superb. But the characters! The voice acting, the script, the personalities, it was all so wrong that it just brought everything crashing down. This show could have been so much, and yet it became so little, like a great play performed by ametuers. Indeed, the only way the characters could seem passable is if you looked for some hidden message in the more conveluted and abstract levels of the plot. I'm not sure if playing the games is necessary to understand the show or what, but for me, this was a failure matched only by the perfection it could have been.