It’s been a while since the guys of the dot hack franchise decided to make a proper dot hack anime since .hack//Roots in 2007. Now, moving on from the guys from Bee Train to a new team known as Kinema Citrus, with the only returning top .hack writer Tatsuya Hamazaki and a new director, writer and animators, can Quantum really pick up where .hack have left off these past few years, or is a new generation of dot hack coming our way?
Asumi, Eri and Iori are in real life highschool friends and in The World R:X, a MMORPG, are fellow players by the nicknames of Sakuya, Mary and Tobias respectively. One day in The World, the three were training in a common dungeon, until they catch eye on a large guild nearby preparing to fight The One Sin, the legendary Dragon boss known to The World with its unbelievable strength. As the guild begin battlewith the dragon, Sakuya, due to her carelessness steps on a trap which destroys the ground the guild was fighting on, stopping their battle with a few of their members falling into the endless pit. The three were soon caught by the dragon and flee once it started attacking them. Asumi and Eri were late for school the next day while revealing the character’s real life players. Iori soon caught eye on the BBS (Bulliten Board System) that Asumi’s PC (Player Character); Sakuya has been reported as wanted for being a malicious character in The World, prior to the events with The One Sin battle the day before. During lunch the three talk about their future while Asumi talks about how The World has changed her way in life, and suggests despite exams are coming up, the three should meet up again in The World that evening. Sakuya was then left disappointed after being chased down by the Guild from before that Mary and Tobias didn’t log in. She then meets Hermit in The World who soon finds out he witnessed their actions in the dungeon that day, and asks the whereabouts of her friends, before both being kidnapped by the same guild who were after her. Iyoten, the leader of the group starts torturing her for messing up their battle, which apparently took months prior planning. Sakuya and Hermit were soon rescued by Tobias and Mary catching wind of the news on the BBS as the team flee. It was then revealed that the real leader of the guild who soon realised of the report, unbeknownst to who reported it with their guild name she demands for it to be removed. As the rest of the guild as well as the tailing members track down Sakuya and company atop the inside of a clock tower, Iyoten was able to PK (Player Kill) Hermit, who suddenly glowed a bright light and teleported them into an unknown place to The World. Mary and Tobias tells Sakuya to logout as the place was far too dangerous for her. While Tobias successfully logs out, as Sakuya was about to logout, a mysterious PC appears and attacks her cancelling the sign off. Mary intervenes but was impaled by the PC, and shockingly Mary’s PC’s appearance switched to Eri’s real life body in a unconscious state. Sakuya, shocked tries to grab her hand, suddenly inducing an electrical shock and pushing Asumi, in the real world off her gaming headset and her chair and hits against her wardrobe, lying thereafter in a unconscious state.
I don’t about you but .hack has always been with me since I first began watching anime in 2006. To be exact .hack//Legend of the Twilight was actually the first manga and anime series I read and watch respectively in those glory days. From then on I advanced with the .hack franchise and went on watching SIGN, Liminality and Roots, and even going as far to buy LOTT, XXXX and G.U.+ manga from Tokyopop, as manga scans of .hack online were scarce and simply unpopular with the crowd. Soon in 2007, my first love with .hack died down as I nearly covered everything the franchise had to offer, plus they weren’t creating something new at the time and I passed on to more interesting shows such as Hayate no Gotoku! and Gurren Lagann, etc etc. I’ll stop there with my golden day animu life stories.
For those of you who never delved deep into the almost-complex-as-the-universe-of-GhostInTheShell universe, .hack (or dot hack for pronunciation) is a mass multimedia franchise thought up by the team in CyberConnect2. The franchise is entirely based around a fictional MMORPG “The World” and soon after “The World R:2”. The name; “.hack” is based off the name of the guild presented in the main games; the “dot hackers” who saved the world of “The World” as well as the Real World. There are currently two “projects” of dot hack at the moment, beginning in 2002 with the first instalment of the four-part RPG game, .hack//Mutation with “Project .hack”, formally ending in 2006 when another 3-part this time RPG game called .hack//GU – Rebirth, kicking off the second project called “.hack Conglomerate”, which moves on from the previous ‘Project’ and focuses on an entirely new revised version of the fictitious game The World – The World R:2 (or R:X in this case) with a new line up of characters, stories and other stuff. If you want to dig even deeper then each ‘project’ has an array of anime, manga, OVA, light novels, games, toys, merchandise etc to go with it and each plot line, characters and themes of each medium are all based upon the ‘The World’, pretty neat of you ask me, also good luck on trying to cover them all as most of the series aren’t currently available in English since Tokyopop is too poorfag to pick them up :(
If you’re feeling Eva then you’ll see a trend in each .hack series you’ll find at least one character either dying or falling into a deep lengthy coma that will probably recover at the last second of the last episode, chapter or act in a game. This is due to the ‘mystery’ and other complex shit I’m not gonna explain that goes with the MMORPG. Apparently the game is filled with unknown glitches, mysterious AIs and malicious software that could become the weapon of mass destruction! Although what I think CyberConnect2 have a thing for comas and cannot cope for a series they make without referencing a coma. Quantum wasn’t an exception.
I was really surprised to see how much has changed from the last time I seen something .hack (G.U.+ manga). From my first impression back in the day I thought .hack to be pretty mature, the way of story telling a lot clever re-arranging chronological plot lines and the character designs really memorable. However in those days I never really caught attention to the voice acting and the songs used for the opening and ending. Heck, I even watched half of the episodes of SIGN in ENGLISH DUB and thought the dub was OKAY. Looking back now, I can’t believe what I was saying at the age of 11, oh, sweet innocent me ;__;
Even the opening screen to The World baffles me, it wasn’t like that in Roots!
Looking at the character designs in Quantum, from what I can remember from the original plotline in the .hack games they took the character designs of Balmung, Blackrose and the all-legendary Kite. Y’know that one uncanny cosplayer always at anime cons?
But the only catch here is – THEY’RE ALL GIRLS PLAYED BY GIRLS.
What is even more shocking is that they appear to had Kite do a moefication, just so that his original clothing have more of female attributes as well as being voiced by the ALL GODLY KANA HANAZAWA. I can’t believe I instantly knew that just by hearing and without actually knowing first-hand ;__;
And also if you’ve been following my antics on Twitter – you’d see why I’m all over Hanazawa and currently airing Infinite Stratos.
Friggin moe bro.
Blackrose – well, nothing much changed with her design except being played by another player and have a different hair style, whilst Balmung, as with Kite he’s undergone sex change too but still the girl player has a rather masculine voice. Probably to still retain Balmung’s rep imo .__.
Speaking of the girl players in the real world – Asumi, Eri and Iori have rather basic character design, their facial qualities look all the more same as the backgroudn characters excluding their accessories and voicing talents, plus they seem to lead an uninteresting life in comparison with the other .hack real life characters. That or I’ve been watching too much highschool love hate romance comedies lately.
Gasp! A fellow /a/non!?
It was also a nice thing to see The One Sin in its true and almighty glory. I always wanted to see what it looked like after reading AI Busters where Balmung and that other Hulk dude which I forgot his name defeated it receiving the title of Descendants of Fianna. Looks a lot like that dragon in Tales of Earthsea now that I mention it.
You talkin’ shit to my waifu?
Dat technology in Quantum, you won’t see this in 2002 .hack!
Dat screenshot of Sayaka.
Overall, I quite liked it. Although sadly picking several tropes found in today’s anime, it still mostly kept its .hack reputation in terms with its story telling and development. Being another short OVA series it’s ascertain that this ain’t gonna last long. Animation has seen a great overhaul as now the animation looks a lot more fluid and pretty and colours looking what they really are, in comparison with Bee Train’s quality in past .hack anime.
No op here, but the ED does show promise, it’s called “Shizuku” by Nanri Yuuka.
Reminds me of Sea of Twilight by See Saw, best anime song of 2006, or was it 2007……
She’s taking the kidnap quite easily, well it is a game and she’s not really feeling it, right?
From what I can from here on is that there’s more to come over the mystery by that weird woman on that No Mans Land plain of field in the world. Plus whether if Eri and Asumi probably recover from their sudden comatose and how Iori copes that this is probably going to be their school’s new scoop. Also that guild, what is their actual purpose and involvement in this case? If you haven’t seen past .hack shows then you might suffer in the next ep as old characters from passing shows have been confirmed to appear, given the next ep preview I don’t actually think any past knowledge is needed despite the old characters. Well yeah, guess you newbies can manage…
Inb4 “Girl Collapses Playing The World R:X” news report w/dat pic.
It’s them! Oh the good old days…
Welp, Quantum is set to be releasing a new ep on DVD/BD each month so, since the first came out at the end of January, expect the second episode and last to be coming out at the end of February and March respectively. Unknown if I’ll do another post since I’ll be rather busy with exams at that time, we’ll see.