Post Reply .hack Franchise Discussion Thread
Kintor 
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Posted 12/1/15 , edited 12/1/15
This thread is for discussing the .hack franchise as a whole. I’ve searched throughout this forum, while .hack has been discussed in the past no thread exists which can provide a broad overview of the whole franchise to anyone interested. Which is why this thread exists, a place to discuss the entirely of .hack and a good starting point for any who wants to learn more about the franchise.

This thread won’t contain everything about .hack but I’ve sought to cover a few key anime within the franchise. Any one of the anime I’ve listed below is a good place to start with .hack since each anime is more or less a standalone story, even if each anime share the same universe.



Overview
The common thread that unites all .hack anime is – The World. This all-encompassing game is an MMORPG powered by virtual reality. Players logon to The World by using virtual reality headsets and control their avatars with a gamepad. By all accounts the experience of playing The World is truly authentic and immersive, with some hardcore players spending more time online then they do outside the game. However, The World is not a normal game, as The World is able to reshape its design and create new content without any human input… a fact that the system administrators keep a closely guarded secret.



.hack//Sign
The first .hack anime and for most people their introduction to the .hack universe, myself included. //Sign is an unusual anime in the sense that it doesn’t have any designated protagonist; rather, an ensemble cast of characters move the story along. Events revolve around a player called Tsukasa who claims he is unable to logout of the game. Throughout the story various characters seek to help or exploit Tsukasa as, thanks to several inexplicable incidents, many come to believe Tsukasa holds the power to decide the fate of The World for better or worse.



.hack//Roots
The second generation of .hack anime, which serves as a direct prequel to the .hack//G. U. games on the PlayStation 2. Here //Roots is different to //Sign because it has a clear protagonist. This anime follows the exploits of Haseo, a new player to The World who has arrived at a time when player killers are running rampant and rival guilds are vying for power within the game. Yet things do not go well for Haseo or the people he chooses to associate with. Over the course of the story Haseo slowly descends into madness as he swears revenge on all those he believes have wronged him.



.hack//Quantum
This is the last main .hack anime, which is actually a three part OVA instead of being a full-fledged series. Nevertheless, //Quantum is a compelling story with high production values; it’s a respectable entry in to the franchise. This anime follows Sakuya and two of her friends, who all know each other from high school outside The World. One day Sakuya is caught in the wrong place at the wrong time and accidently ends ups in possession of information that could uncover a conspiracy that underpins the foundation of The World. Of course, the secret doesn’t stay hidden forever; the resulting mayhem when everything falls apart threatens the lives of all who play The World.

Availability
To my knowledge no legal streaming service currently offers .hack in either subbed or dubbed versions. However, the DVDs to each of the anime I’ve mentioned here are readily available in both NTSC and PAL format. It shouldn’t be too hard to find .hack DVDs for those who are interested. Additionally, .hack//Quantum saw a Blu-ray release at the same time as the DVD, for those who want .hack in HD.

The Future
Make no mistake it has been several years since the release of any new .hack anime but that doesn’t mean the franchise is done just yet. After all, CyberConnect2, the company which oversees all of .hack, has recently begun advertising for more staff to work on an as yet unknown VR project. Perhaps then it’s not a new .hack anime which we should be waiting for. The years ahead might actually see The World realised as an actual VRMMORPG with the use of PlayStation VR or the Oculus Rift; but that still remains to be seen.
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Posted 12/1/15 , edited 12/1/15
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I keep waiting for a resurgence of this series as a whole, mostly on the game side. I haven't seen //QUANTUM OVAs or the //G.U. Trilogy movie, but //DUSK (Legend of the Twilight Bracelet) and //ROOTS were pretty lackluster. the //DUSK manga was decent, though.

as for the games, I find it hard to go back and play the original //GAME quadrilogy simply because the gameplay is very dated, and it wasn't even that good when it came out.. but the story and characters were great.. //G.U. is one of my favorite game series of all time.
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31 / M / The Abyss of Time
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Posted 12/1/15 , edited 12/1/15
The original .hack was one of the series (both anime and game sides) that made me want more complex stories, not to mention how the messaging system made it close to my first psuedo-mmo (might be part of the reason I ran to mmo's once I got a comp able to run some). The games improved though Haseo wasn't exactly my cup of tea (I'm more of a Kite person), but both had characters I loved though I wish you could nudge certain characters to get together
The anime series have always been 'meh' after the original series, though I think I liked Quantum more (been awhile since I saw it). I would love a new game series to come out but there's been no word that I've seen on it happening

Also I loved the reveal at the end of the original .hack anime series since it was one of the first
type of endings. Not to mention the music, my god that music for both game series is just too good.
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Posted 12/1/15 , edited 12/1/15
.HACK GU never got a European release

But I did manage to play the first set of games, I really did enjoy the franchise back then, the characters,
soundtrack and the story line was both pretty good.

It still feels like part of my childhood so I get a wave of excitement and nostalgia when I see copies of the games being sold at conventions

I'd have to agree that the anime for Legend of the Twilight was pretty forgettable I didn't notice it wasn't on OP's list until I read Aidenraine's comment I sadly lost interest after GU but I'll probably end up having to watch Quantum at some point however I also agree with the comments about the anime releases being not as strong as the manga or games (SIGN is an exception though) but it's always good to see that there's still some plans in the works


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Posted 12/1/15
i heard that the games might make a comeback (western) since CC2 is now done with the Naruto Storm series! just rumors rn though, nothing is confirmed
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