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  • Joined Feb 16, 2013
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.Hack Reading Order

How to read the .Hack Light Novels and Manga in plot order.
1 .hack//AI Buster (Light Novel)

.hack//AI Buster (Light Novel)

The start of the R:1 Era story. 

Volume 1: The story of Albireo and Hokuto.  Read this first.

Volume 2: Short stories based on volume 1 and other franchise entries. 

Short stories Hokuto's Situtation and Wotan's Spear - Able to read after AI Buster 1.  Has references to the .hack//SIGN franchise.

Short stories Kamui, Rumor, and Firefly - Best read after reading .hack//LOTB or watching LOTB anime.  The stories focus more on characters featured in that part of the franchise.

2 .hack//ZERO (Light Novel)

.hack//ZERO (Light Novel)

Story of Carl in events after the SIGN anime and before the IMOQ storyline.  Notably this will be a harder read to find and it's incomplete unless you can play .hack//LINK.  Knowledge of SIGN is not required, but it will be hard to keep up without it.

Note:  This is still considered canon, even if it did not finish.

3 .hack//Another Birth (Light Novel)

.hack//Another Birth (Light Novel)

Blackrose's point of view of the first four .hack games.  Does not require previous knowledge of the game storyline, but it does help. 

Best read with some background knowledge of the .hack IMOQ games.

4 .hack//XXXX


Note: This is not required reading.

An alternate telling of the IMOQ games.  Notably this requires knowing background on the first four games to have full understanding.

5 .hack//Legend of the Twilight

.hack//Legend of the Twilight

The story of two people who gain the avatars in a special event.  Background knowledge of IMOQ is helpful, but not required.

Note: The anime version only covers the manga up to volume 1.  Everything else is anime only.

6 .hack//G.U. (Light Novel)

.hack//G.U. (Light Novel)

Note: This is not the official cannon story for GU.  It has elements of what was the actual plot, but is NOT official.  Therefore, it's not really required reading.

The original telling of the GU storyline.  Notably the plot is similar and still covers Haseo's journey against AIDA, a force that has taken something precious to him. 

7 .hack//G.U.+


Note: This is not required reading.

An alternate telling of the GU games.  Notably this requires knowing background on the first three games to have full understanding. The fourth game in the GU series had not been released when this was made.

8 .hack//GnU


Side story for GU regarding Moon Tree.  Knowledge of GU games is not required, but helpful.

9 .hack//Alcor


Side story for GU that features Alkaid and Silabus.  Background knowledge is helpful, but not required.

10 .hack//CELL (Light Novel)

.hack//CELL (Light Novel)

A novel that expands on a character met by Haseo in .hack//ROOTS.  Notably knowlege of the GU game will not be required, but can help for references that may lead back to the original game.

11 .hack//Link


Note: This is not the full story and may not be fully canon.  So it may not be required.

The manga adaptation of the game .hack//LINK.  The story of Tokio as he discovers the world in peril and must save it from being destroyed by a mysterious organization.

12 .hack//Quantum I

.hack//Quantum I

Novel Adaptation of the Quantum OVA.  Background information isn't really necessary, but helpful.

13 .hack//Quantum+


Adaptation of the Quantum OVA.  Background info helpful, but not required.

14 .hack//Sora: Sekai no Mukou ni

.hack//Sora: Sekai no Mukou ni

Manga adaptation of .hack the movie.  Knowledge of the movie isn't probably necessary,but could be helpful.

15 .hack//4koma


Note:  Not required but it is required to know the background of multiple games/media to get the context.

A 4koma crossover between GU and the IMOQ games.

16 .hack//Tasogare no Hibun (Light Novel)

.hack//Tasogare no Hibun (Light Novel)

A telling of the Epitaph of twilight.  Previous knowlege of the poem is not required, but can be helpful.  Notably this can be read at any point of the .hack reading order.


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