.Hack//Roots really is the king of the anti-climaxes. At the climax of the last episode, Haseo, Tabby and Sakisaka are about to be teleported towards some unknown areas when the cliffhanger set in. What do you think happened at the beginning of this episode? Yes, they ended up in the lost grounds which Shino and Ovan seem to have labeled as their favourite place. Still, this doesn’t make this episode bad. In fact, apart from episode three, this was the best .Hack//Roots episode yet.
So many different thing happened, so many unexpected events played. So many questions introduced and so many questions answered. This episode really was a roller-coaster ride. And then to think that this was just an intermezzo, an introduction to the ninth episode! I can’t wait to find out what might happen then.
Haseo was great once more. It really seems now that he wants to please Shino in some way, and he wants to be with Ovan. That’s why he got the idea of what the function of the pillars might be, and that’s why he listened to Shino when she asked him to continue searching for the Virus Cores. I guess he doesn’t like Tabby and Sakisaka too much, which only makes him more adorible. He really doesn’t know how to deal with people, that’s clear now.
Ender also has the worst timing in the world, that also became clear after this episode, though I’m loving her evil character more and more. Especially now that she’s beginning to show more and more weaknesses. I just loved the fact that she just appeared after Sakisaka vanished, and then kept wondering where they went. This means that even she doesn’t know about these bugs. For the rest of the episode, she got assigned to watch Haseo, as Shino decided that the three of them were better to be moving alone, after she heard that Ender showed up again at the church. She then really gets surprised when Haseo suddenly disappears in front of a marking again, and you can see that on her face for the rest of the episode.
Goad also is planning something. He wants to prove Ovan that he’s better than him, and gets one of the virus cores which was in the posession of another PK-guild, named Kestrel. Phyllo calls him with a little brat because of this, with some good reasons. Still, I like Goad. He’ll definately play some great roles in the next episodes. I also loved the fight he had this time. It was short, and some strategy was included in it. And why does he think he can beat Ovan when he can’t even beat a guy like Phyllo? ^^
Tabby was adorible this time, especially in combination with the rapid succession of the different scenes. She really is determined to find out about the Virus Cores, so she decides to check out the church a bit, in order to find another one of those teleporting markings. When Haseo and Sakisaka are talking a bit, she’s busy checking the wall in order to find some secret entrances. Instead, she finds a doorway into a bug which doesn’t let her move at all. It takes her a while in order to find out she’s dealing with a bug and teleport away. (Yes, I absolutely loved the scene in the church. Roller-coaster rides at its best!)
Sakisaka remains in his sceptic and sarcastical self. When Tabby suggests them to take a look at the church, he finds that they’d better look for the virus cores instead of the markings, though he gets taken along against his will. Inside the church, he has no idea where to look for, and makes a couple of sarcastical comments about this. Though, when Tabby has her accident, he reacts to this, faster than Haseo. Only to wind up getting blocked as well. He, however, gets out faster than Tabby does, he meets up with Shino faster and fulfills goes to take care of one of her requests before the other two arrive.
Tawaraya had a bit of a sad role in this episode. He has a Virus Core, and for some reason, he’s supposed to give it to the members of the Twillight Brigade. His earlier attempts failed, and he can’t seem to think of another way to do it. But why does TaN want to give some of the Virus Cores to the Twillight Brigade? I mean, can’t they just take them from Haseo, Ovan and Shino and use them themselves? I mean, they seem smart enough to do it.
Naobi has another cryptic discussion with Ender. Apparently, their plan is about to enter a certain “Phase One”, and they need Haseo for it for some strange reason. Tawaraya doesn’t need to know anything again, despite him having one of the Virus Cores. Apparently, the thing he wants is Ovan’s character data. Once Ovan is caught, their mission will be lots easier. Their plan to do this seems to be all set up, though Ender is not sure whether it will work. Naobi’s silouette also appears when Ovan starts talking about the fact that the Key of the Twillight might already be near them. Does that mean that Naobi has got something to do with the Key of the Twillight itself?
Shino also seems very keen on being the one to break the good news to Ovan. She has another cryptic discussion with him as well. It seems that Ovan might disappear for a while once the Key of the Twillight is found. She also reveals that she knows Ovan in real life somehow, though she makes it seem that there’s more than just that. Though, why is she reluctant to let Haseo show his own findings to Ovan?
Ovan seems to be getting energetic at the end of the episode, up to the point at which he even priorizes the Key of the Twillight above his own job. It really seems to be his plan to go and get the Key of the Twillight in the next episode. But still. Haseo has two Virus Cores. One he got from Shino and the other one he got in the strange space he visited during this episode. Shino also has one, and he has the fourth one of the Twillight Brigade. Then there is one in the hands of Goad, and Tawaraya posesses the last one. But how was he planning to go there without having the last two of the Virus Cores? Or could it be that Haseo just managed to discover the seventh Virus Core? After all, it was found in an unknown area. In any case, his little pep-talk at the end of the episode really managed to make Haseo enthusiastic.
Sakisaka also states a nice point: everything seems to happen a bit too convenient. And it’s true. The Key of the Twillight is about to be found, and we’re only at episode eight. This must mean that there’s something about to happen which will turn over the entire plot of the anime, like a giant pancake. It probably has got something to do with Haseo’s strange ability. It would be too great if all the different parties manage to break up afterwards, making the Twillight Brigade and TaN to be disbanded.
The brilliance of .Hack//Roots? The fact that there are so many different characters, with each and every one of them acting independantly. Because of this, there are so many different opportunities for different kinds of conversations, which makes each character different. And not just once, but during the entire airtime of the anime. Each of the different characters has his or her own meetings with other ones of the different characters, and it’s executed perfectly.