TV (26 eps)
3.472 out of 5 from 15,809 votes
Rank #6,882

In a massive online world, people act only as well as their conscience demands. When one player's punishment is to be trapped in this world, a disparate group of people seek the answers why. Their motives are varied; their methods even more so. What stands between when we tear down the walls of reality? Where does our soul end and we begin?

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I've read contrasting reveiws about .hack//sign. What I personally think is that I could very well have avoided wasting my time watching it. I don't know, maybe there is a good story somewhere along the way and I missed it because I was sleeping - but really, even if that is the case, then you must agree with me that the execution is terrible. The reasons I'm rating it so low are: the pacing is painstakingly slow; there is very little character development; the backstory is only hinted at; there are several issues (even main ones) and sub-plots that are left without a conclusion. It only gets interesting towards the end, so it could have been developed perfectly well in 12 episodes instead of forcing the viewers to watch all those epidoses where basically nothing happens and the characters are only discussing what they should or could do and summarising the very little information they have - I honestly found all these conversations extremely boring and stupid. The idea behind it is probably original if .hack//sign is the first anime to narrate the story of someone trapped in an online game. Tsukasa, the protagonist, is in fact unable to log out from this game which is set in a virtual reality called "The World". He also seems to be suffering from amnesia and to have weird powers and this sparks the interest and curiosity of some other players; some of them feel for Tsukasa and are worried about him, while others are intrigued by the fact that there is a player who is not subject to the general rules of the game, an anomaly. So the plot revolves around Tsukasa (reluctant at first) and this group of players trying to understand what's going on and solve the mystery. The plot could be interesting, but as already said the execution is bad; apart from the pacing, at the end we do get an explanation of sorts but too many things are left unresolved and unexplained: who is the mysterious entity that trapped Tsukasa? why doesn't she want Aura to awaken? what exactly is Aura's role in the game supposed to be? why was Tsukasa chosen? what happens to Sora? and what about Macha the cat?...and so on and so forth. So to summarise: plot holes, unresolved issues, unexplained backstory, slow pacing and dialogues so nonsensical they made me want to cry.  As for the characters, Tsukasa is extremely unlikeable for 2/3 of the anime. You don't get why the other characters care for him nor why should the veiwer. Towards the end he starts getting more likeable and as he changes I guess you could say he also develops. But I'd say that when you start off with a character who can only say "Leave me alone" and "You're so selfish" it doesn't take a lot to make him undergo some development just by showing him open up a bit more to other people. As for the rest, no development. They just have a few quirks to make them distinguishable from one another and the backstory of some of them at a certain point is revealed. The animation and visuals in my opinion are quite bad. The music is good and varied, but several times it sounded a bit off to me, as if there was no connection between the soundtrack and what was going on in the anime. Overall, I wasn't impressed at all by this anime. To me, it was a waste of time. But, as I said at the beginning, there are many who don't agree with me and consider .hack//sign a good anime. So watch it and decide for yourself :-)


A very good anime, I enjoied this show from the beginning 'till the end, even if it has a lot of chatting (A LOT!!!). Story: (9/10) It has a very interesting plot, sometimes it doesn't evolve at a fast pace, but every episode will add a bit more at the plot, lefting the watcher with some questions (a bit) solved and even more to be answered, but allthis add more to the interest the watcher will put in this show. Perhaps it lacks a bit on the side stories, but maybe it was already difficult to exhaust the main plot. Animation: (8/10) It is really good, I like the way the characters are drawn, but it seems a bit old to me, and this is strange giving the fact that this anime was released in the 2002. The animation is smooth, even if there aren't so many action scenes. Colors are ok, I would have liked a bit more of them, but in some episodes they really make great use of them! Backgrounds tend to be really fashinating.Sound: (9/10) The background music is beautiful! The only think that I have to say is that sometimes it seems a bit off with what is happening on the screen, but all the songs are enjoinable. Voice actors are ok, they suit very well every character; among them we found Hiramatsu Akiko (Miyabi in AYA; Mary in E's Otherwise), she does a good work, even if she doesn't shine; Tanaka Rie (Chii in Chobits), doesn't play a so important role, but surely knows how to work (and she is so kawaii too ); however, considering the kind of hack sign, where there is a lot of chatting, you can be sure that the voice acting was really good, or it couldn't have so many fans. Opening theme is good, you'll not skip it all the time (well, sometimes I did Character: (10/10) The character development is absolutly perfect. Every character has his/her own unique personification, you will not have two persons that look alike. They evolve while the show goes on, in their way of interacting with others and in what they think. You'll be really amazed for a couple of them, considering how much they could change in this show. Talking about the background could feel a bit strange, because the anime is localized in a game, but even it isn't left as it stands, giving hints about how the characters are in the real life. I really loved Mimiru! Overall Rating: (9/10) What I can say, as perhaps you noticed I liked this anime very much, I would have liked a bit more of action scenes, because pratically there is only one: every time it seems a battle is going to start the focus goes in another direction, or they make a jump to the end without letting you watch it. But even without the action, I think this one is an anime that is a must for everyone, however perhaps you can get a bit bored by all the chatting.


Story .hack//sign is an anime set in the world of a video game called, well, The World.  The series opened up a lot of complex issues and is a real eye opener to what online gaming can do to the mind.  The series itself revolves around the main characters and the characters themselves are crucial to the plot of the series.  In fact, the plot, which is highly confusing, is an afterthought compared to the characters themselves.  The story itself is highly thought out and engaging, to say the least.  Before The World was created a virus called Pluto's Kiss was released by a young, nefarious hacker.  This virus caused a massive internet black out causing massive conflict in the real world including, but not limited to, nuclear missiles nearly being launched.  The virus infected every operating system except one: The Altimit OS.  The World was created several years after Pluto's Kiss was created and follows the typical fanfare of online games; classes, usernames, text/voice chatting, user customizibility and a vast array of weaponry, armors and items.  A few episodes are dedicated to dungeon raiding, which is the core of the game, however most of the series revolves around the mysterious Tsukasa, the protagonist of the series.  Tsukasa is unable to log out of The World and it is up to Tsukasa's friends to figure out why. Animation The animation is rather dull, even for its time.  The series relies on a lot of still shots to pass the time and the action scenes are rather dull.  In all honesty, the animation sequence to the credits is probably the most fascinating animation you will see during the series.  But that doesn't mean the animation is necessarily bad.  The character designs are interesting and some of the fields are quite magnificent, especially the snow fields.  And the grunties, the game's transportation method, are quite adorable to look at. Sound The music scores big points with me.  I actually went out and bought the soundtracks to the series.  A lot of care was put into the series OST.  The lyrics to the sung songs are nothing less than beautiful and when listened to at night leave a strong emotional impact.  In fact, the music itself is what makes the series so great and it really pushes the series forward.  The emotion of the music fits perfectly with the heavy parts of the show.  The voice acting in the dubbed version is superb. Characters The series itself revolves around the characters.  There is a great degree of character development in the series and without such intriguing characters this show would fall flat.  The characters' backstories are nothing less than brilliant.  Tsukasa, for example, for some reason cannot log out of the world.  He is a loner and a recluse.  Suburu, Tsukasa's best friend in the game, is the leader of a group of players called the Crimson Knights.  Think of them like an unnofical gaming clan, united to promote well-being in the game and to stomp out player killers like Sora.  Sora is my favorite character in the series.  His personality tends to reflect his age.  Think of him as a wild card.  Each character's story is highlighted in the series as we learn about them in the game and out in the real world.  But the most interesting characters are the ones who aren't controlled by humans including Macha and Aura. Overall I have a special attachment to .hack//sign primarily because is was the first anime that I had ever watched.  I remember as a kid at my grandmother's house staying up late to watch Cartoon Network just so I could watch this series.  This series has a loyal fanbase and has opened up numerous sequels and spin offs in the forms of other animes, movies, video games, and books.

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