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
    (Sunday, May 3. 2015 10:57 PM)
    It’s always a little bit underwhelming when you play an earlier game of an improving series before the later ones. It’s like playing FF6 as kid as your first FF game and then going and finding FFV and playing that while hoping it’s as good as 6.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 3. 2015 10:52 PM)
    The levels are simple and rather small and linear, but each world has a great and unique atmosphere and variety. The Tower of Latria is specially atmospheric and the game suddenly takes on a much darker and almost horror game feel to it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 3. 2015 10:48 PM)
    @Aidan: yeah I could see how somebody would just want to run thru the game once, but there are a lot of cool weapons, armor and story quests that you can do with tendencies. The PVP is fun and simple as well, and weirdly has much better collision detection than DSI&II.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, May 3. 2015 02:49 PM)
    I wasn’t keen on the levels though. There were not quite as visually interesting as dark souls environments.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, May 3. 2015 02:48 PM)
    @Bam, I’m not gonna bother with the world tendency stuff. My goal was to get through the main game and leave it at that.
    There were quite a few things I liked about it. The maiden in black for one. Honestly the emerald herald is nothing compared to her.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 3. 2015 05:25 AM)
    But the fact that initially nobody knew what they were getting into with DeS made it a special instance in time. A moment of camaraderie between confused, scared yet amazed players. That was our beach. An element that is diminished with it each subsequent release. Bloodborne brought some back with its originality, but it became too famous and got plastered on all the websites, which took away that cozy wonderment.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 3. 2015 05:18 AM)
    Also it’s always hard to replicate your first Soul experience, so for us that got DeS first it will always have a special place. Hell, I still throw it on sometimes and multiplayer some areas. DSI built upon the foundation and made it bloom, so in many ways it was superior to DeS.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 3. 2015 05:15 AM)
    @Aidan: the last boss of DeS is not really a final fight type of boss, but rather another obtuse element that made it a cult classic. There was a lot to do in the 5 zones based on World Tendencies, so I hope you got those done before you ran into NG+, cuz that’s gonna be a bitch now.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, May 3. 2015 12:55 AM)
    Ah yes, that’s why swa was pissed. Hmmm..this is odd. As far as adaption goes I don’t see anything left out besides the monologues yet…it has so much less impact. Still this is gonna be a hard episode to blog.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, May 2. 2015 10:55 PM)
    That last boss of demon souls was a major letdown. Still after marathon the game it’s nice to reach the finale. Thought it would take me longer than this. It was better than dark souls 2 namely because it was fairer. But Dark souls 1 was far better.
    And now to watching UBW and see what swa is pissd about. Though I can guess…it can’t be that…

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