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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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:42 PM)
    @Bam: There was this bizzaro Joan of arc slide show arthouse erotica anime from the 70s that recently got a re-release, its somewhat tied to Tezuka, really trippy shit, Kanashimi no belladonna.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:35 PM)
    As a book I could see it flowing better. Oshii or Kamiyama could more effectively adapt such density of material to screen.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:32 PM)
    Ultimately I think it got too ambitious and had too much on its plate.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:31 PM)
    I have yet to see genocidal organ, although yes Harmony was pretty below average and that was putting it mildly. I will consider re-evaluating it if it gets dubbed/when the dub comes out.
    Admittedly its a film of big ideas, my problem with it that the movie itself is just so plodding and I found it too overstuffed to properly focus on/fully develop its themes and the exposition was particularly heavy handed.
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:15 PM)
    @Bam: yeah, heard about the Project Itoh, from what I heard they’re not that good thou, with only Empire of Corpses has a slightly favorable reviews. I believe Kaiser watched Harmony alrready and he gave a very negative rating.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:55 PM)
    For those who have somehow managed to miss the hype for Harmony:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC-6U8HCF8c
    The visuals are intriguing, the palette very sharp, and the CGI relatively well integrated. The early reviews been scathing tho, and given my experience with Empire of Corpses I can guess why.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:49 PM)
    Each piece of the trilogy is handled by a different cast and company. Empire of Corpses was done by Wit Studio, Harmony by Studio 4°C, and Genocidal Organ by Manglobe (or Geno Studio as they are called now).
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:43 PM)
    Anybody seen Empie of Corpses? I watched it to get primed for that Harmony feature film anime, which is part of Project Itoh trilogy. Studio Wit went all out here. The animation is great, and the premise has potential, but the delivery was just botched.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 01:07 PM)
    @Mario, you were worried that you would be covering too much slice of life style anime this season, at least with this I will likely be taking one off your hands. I don’t want to cover it but hey if the public says so…guess I will have to suffer.
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 07:15 AM)
    Also it’s nice to see there was heated arguments on EVA even before I start to do any post review. The way I see it thou certain films/ series are classic/ influential for a reason, if they are brilliant I certainly can still see its sparks. Like I can still amazed of Potemkin Battleship on its montahe editing, or It Happens one night fot its influential on romantic comedy. So I really look forward to see how I feel about EVA hahaa

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