Posted by psgels on 15 August 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews

So, the new .Hack Movie: how did it turn out? Well, you can see this as the spiritual sequel to .Hack//Quantum. It’s got a similar kind of set-up, it’s got a similar main character and its story progression is kindof similar. It’s just slower-paced and more epic.

But yeah, for those who are unfamiliar to the franchise: take Sword Art Online, and instead of putting the focus on combat, you put the focus on adventure and social interaction. Where Sword Art Online has a lot of shounen elements, .Hack on the other hand has more shoujo-esque elements in it, although it does tend to blur the lines between the genres more often. Of the .Hack franchise, I really recomend.Hack//Sign, which has been among my favorite series for eight years now. This movie simplifies a lot of the setting, but it has its merits.

Here is the thing with this movie: don’t expect anything from the plot. You’ve seen this story before, especially if you’re familiar with any other .Hack installment. All you need to know is that the story is epic, the protagonist is an average teenaged girl and that it has romance, and you can pretty much fill in how it’s going to progress on your own. Where this movie delivers instead is with its atmosphere.

The plot is simple, yet the movie clocks in at an hour and 50 minutes. That time is used to make everything play out very slowly. Because of this, it does a proper introduction of the characters, it does the development and the progression believably, the acting is down to earth and credible and the build-up all gets used well in the climax and it closes off satisfyingly. It’s also helped by a composer who obviously is a big fan of Yuki Kajiura, yet manages to keep her own influences.

So yeah, it’s not a movie that people are going to talk about for long, because there’s not much to say about that hasn’t been said in other .Hack anime, but what it does, it does well. It’s also completely done in CG, but this is handled well: in the virtual world this makes sense, and the characters manage to avoid the “botox”-face syndrome decently. It’s in any case better than the other CG .Hack Movie (Trilogy) which was heavily over-acted.

Storytelling: 8,5/10 – The pacing is slow, but skillful and the build-up is good.
Characters: 8/10 – Well acted and engaging characters.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Pretty good CG, and an impressive soundtrack.
Setting: 7.5/10 – It’s the .Hack franchise well portrayed, but it doesn’t really add something new to it.

Suggestions:
– .Hack//Sign
– .Hack//Quantum
Digimon Movie 2 – Bokura no War Game

3 Responses

  1. Juno says:

    Bought the release and watched it a few weeks ago when it came in the mail. I agree COMPLETELY with your review. Usually I have a few gripes, but here, you said everything I say about it. The plot seems to take concepts from the previous installments so it can just… do it again. Except this time, I feel it was far more simplified and cliche.

    Yet I still enjoyed it. I had put too much expectation into an epic ending plot… so I was consciously aware of my own disappointment in that regard… but when it ended, I was upset that there wasn’t any more. The characters did lack in anything spectacularly motivational for me, but just the way they acted came out as really unique and special in the world of “anime.” Sora was… genuinely adorable.

    And the in-game graphics and movement were so Disney-Pixar-esk that I kinda… laughed a lot. It was just a lot of fun to watch, if only for the eye candy. 3D gimmicks haven’t captured my heart outside of the Nintendo 3DS, but this BluRay has an option for 3DTV’s to play in 3D… and after seeing it in 2D, I feel like watching it in 3D would just make my heart explode in joy and wonder…

    For anyone interested in the physical release, especially if they want the game… I’d say to give it up. .hack//Versus is pretty much like the Naruto Storm games (which are far more than just random cash cow games surviving due to the franchise title–they’re good, and have a really well-worked out gameplay system)… Except .hack//Versus loses the speed, variety of moves, huge roster, and the balance of the characters, so it just ends up getting old really fast. Especially when there are only a handful of playable characters and the moves can be dangerously cheap to spam–especially since there is no real reason to play any other way, due to the lack of variety. No story mode with an actual story, either. Just a series of battles… :/

    At least the other bonus stuff is cool. It just might not constitute the full price for the limited edition that I got. The movie was the only thing really worth it. =P

  2. DangerMouse says:

    Excellent, totally looking forward to seeing this. :)

  3. hoiut says:

    This is the first and only thing I’ve watched in the .Hack franchise, and I have to say I’m impressed. This was certainly a feast for the eyes. The characters are fleshed out and developed extraordinarily well.

    My gripe (like most people’s) is with the climax — how all of that development isn’t quite used to its fullest potential with the somewhat generic “mystical girl” conclusion.

    Plus, for all the subtle and patient build-up between Sora and Tanaka, the viewer never actually gets to see how/when they “hook up.” The subtle implication at the very end is really the extent of it, which is a shame — I really enjoyed seeing their chemistry building!

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 06:02 AM)
    Although given that the the Japanese film industry is steadily improving, this still would’ve worked much better as a big Hollywood flick, mainly because it’s just an over-the-top story with big action sequences, but also because pretty much all the cast (with the exception of Mikasa) have western features.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 05:55 AM)
    Well it looks like the Japanese have taken it upon themselves to make a live-action Attack on Titan movie, which sounds like a pretty bad idea:
    http://www.otakuusamagazine.com/LatestNews/News1/Liveaction-Attack-on-Titan-Visuals-Revealed-6057.aspx
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 02:51 AM)
    I mean I’ve watched some awful stuff like hidan no Aria to take the piss out of it and infinite stratos might as well get to continuing Ass-ange/crass-ange.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 02:34 AM)
    *Ange
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 02:34 AM)
    @Emma: and that’s why you should watch Cross Ante.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 02:33 AM)
    @Emma: you know what? I’ve been trying to find a good version of X for a few years now, but nobody seems to be seeding the torrent anymore =/
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 02:33 AM)
    Sometimes I’m pretty glad I have the ability to get guilty pleasure/so bad its good/funny enjoyment out of genuinely awful things and sometimes end up enjoying them more than actually good series.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 02:18 AM)
    One other good example of an old ova I loved was the X/1999 movie, I didn’t overly care for the manga or second anime adaptation nearly as much by comparison. Yes the voice acting is terrible, the character development was cut out but the fact is I never really cared all that much for Xs characters/drama to begin with and the voice acting makes the final scene laugh out loud hilarious. Beyond that I just enjoyed sitting back and watching the gore play out.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 01:12 AM)
    I also miss the days where incest was reserved for the villains in anime.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 01:09 AM)
    @Bam: I remember giving John dies at the end three out of five and deciding that it was never a poor film but never an excellent one.

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