Posted on 19 April 2008 with categories: .Hack//Roots, Anime Reviews


Just a small note before I start: this review contains spoilers for the end of .Hack//Roots. You need to have seen that series anyway in order to understand Trilogy. In any case, .Hack//Roots has been my second-least favourite Bee-Train production (the least favourite being .Hack//Dusk, but that’s a totally different story), and that was a real pity because of all the great ideas it had. The Trilogy-movie at least eliminates one of the problems I had with this series: it provides closure! It answers questions! The movie still has its problems, but it’s a must-watch for everyone who managed to sit through the original series.

Nearly all of the bad points of this series can be traced back to just one simple decision: the decision to not include the final scene of the original series. The scene where Haseo stopped angsting and actually learned his lesson. In Trilogy, Haseo actually continues angsting, even after being defeated by Tri-Edge. The result is an obnoxious amount of forehead-shot and more scream-fests than you can shake a stick at. The character-development that does get included was by no means as memorable as in the original series (about the only thing that went right in .Hack//Roots).

In addition, the music has been down-graded as well. In addition, though, the graphics turned to 3D, which is of course perfect for a setting of an on-line game. The good parts of this series, however, are the times when characters aren’t screaming. There’s a clear line between angst and emo that Trilogy continues to hop back and forwards to, and the moments you want to watch out for is when the characters are on the angst-side of the spectrum.

Trilogy is by no means a great movie, but it is a good one nonetheless, worth of your ninety minutes of attention. Oh, and be sure to watch the parody-modes that come included. They’re hilarious!

Posted on 5 August 2007 with categories: .Hack//Roots


I finally got around to seeing this one, and I still think that there needs to be some kind of second season for .Hack//Roots. It also confirmed that there is absolutely no other anime that I have a bigger hate/love relationship with. The anime was a trainwreck with a great beginning and ending. Some characters were fascinating, while others were horribly dull. The great character-massacre in the middle of the series was awesome, but it did kill off all of the interesting characters, leaving most of the dull ones behind. Phyllo’s end was amazing, though before we knew what happened to him, he just was obnoxious.

Same with this OVA. Even though a lot of time had passed, Shino has come back from the dead, a bunch of new characters are introduced, and Ovan has died and reborn again, Haseo’s character-development seems to have stagnated. Something has to be wrong when his biggest change is his new outfit. He’s popular with the ladies now, and seems to have turned from a critical and lost character into your typical shounen-lead.

It also seems that the creatures called AIDA caused Shino and others to faint, though that’s the only piece of information we get. The how, why and relation to Tri-Edge are still unknown to those who haven’t played the games. Tabby also is as annoying as always.

Now the good points. Seeing Sakisaka return was awesome. I remember why he was one of my favourite characters at one point. The two new side-characters have a potentially interesting relationship, and overall it was great to see the different characters return for a bit. I even spotted two cameos from .Hack//Sign at one point. It definitely wasn’t a bad watch, and the end where we saw Ovan and the little girl was quite good.

The thing is, though, that .Hack//Roots has been relying too much on its characters, and it’s almost not using the fact that it’s got a unique setting. The reason why I’m loving series as Dennou Coil and Bokura no so much is partially because they’re incredibly well integrated with their settings. .Hack//Sign understood this as well, which is why it turned out so brilliant. .Hack//Dusk also made use of its setting, though that one failed miserably because it didn’t take itself serious enough, though. I’d love to see another .Hack anime who is serious and makes full use of its setting.

Posted on 7 October 2006 with categories: .Hack//Roots, Anime Reviews


.Hack//Roots is an incredibly difficult anime to review, as this anime is a combination of an interesting view with a trainwreck. It’s got so many good points but at the same time, it’s got just as many, if not even more, bad points. It uses the same setting we’ve known from series as .Hack//Sign and .Hack//Dusk: everything in the series happens in an MMORPG, or Massive Multiplayer Online RPG. It doesn’t belong to any specific genre. If I had to put it in a category, it would be around the mystery-dramas, though that isn’t the most accurate description. This anime is closely related to a game, .Hack//GU.

First of all, let me warn you. If you plan to watch the series, without playing the game, don’t. That’s what I did, and you can’t imagine how many unexplainable events happened. Characters aren’t fleshed out enough, things just happen without any reason for this being given, you miss out on a LOT of character background and the ending leaves SO many questions unanswered that it would make even Narutaru jealous.

Another big problem with this series is that at times, it doesn’t seem to realize that it’s in an MMORPG. .Hack//Sign solved this well, by occasionally showing a mysterious scene about the person behind the computer, but don’t expect to see any of these in .Hack//Roots. The characters move way too much like normal people, instead of computer-graphics. Some even go emo, and instead of relieving their stress on some unfortunate object in the real world, they do this in the virtual world.

The third point actually is a nasty side-effect of the first bad point: some of the character are just so incredibly unlikable. Because their background has been left out, some characters now are a bunch of paper bags. Others, who did have a bit of fleshing out also were incredibly annoying to watch at times. Our main character, Haseo, for example. He just roams around The World like a big gorilla for ten episodes until something changes. Another very cool guy also changes into an incredibly plain one.

Okay, enough bad points. Now the good ones. While some characters are horrible, other ones work out greatly. Haseo, for example, when he’s not in gorilla-mode. And there are a few more of these gems which are very interesting to watch. Around the halfway-mark of the anime, people actually start quitting the game, giving extra depth to the characters who remained. The final three episodes, also, manage to actually recover from the trainwreck that the previous episodes set, and actually deliver some very strong final episodes. If you ignore the frighteningly huge amount of open ends it left.

This show also excels in the visual and sound department. It probably contained, along with Good Witch of the West and The Third the best graphics of all the shows who aired in the spring-season, and the soundtrack is nothing short from memorable. The background music is also one of the things that managed to bring .Hack//Roots back on track when the final episodes started.

Posted on with categories: .Hack//Roots

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I refuse to believe that this is just the end of .Hack//Roots. I demand another season! So many things are left unsolved. So many things still need to happen. Nothing has been resolved at all! It’s only that Haseo now has regained his common sense and Phyllo died of cancer. Meanwhile, even new things start popping up and Ovan seems to become the final bad guy.

My opinion about this episode? It depends on how you look at it. If it’s the end of .Hack//Roots, it sucked. If, however, it’s the end of the first half of .Hack//Roots, it was great. My favourite moment was when the certain cameo from .Hack//Sign appeared. I can’t believe he actually stayed in the world for so many years. Touta also seems to have left. Good, good. I never liked the guy anyway. Tawaraya was awesome, but Touta was way too standard.

Surprise: Saburou actually is a guy! Never saw that one coming. She also remains in The World, watching Haseo. Yata, meanwhile, is ready to introduce himself to Haseo. It seems that the Raven actually is a group of members who have the element. This expains that Yata also has awakened, and it also reveals why they’ve been so interested in Haseo.

Overall, unfortunately there are no signs that this will be getting a second season. I hope I’m wrong with this guess.

Posted on 3 October 2006 with categories: .Hack//Roots

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I’m glad to see that .Hack//Roots has gotten better when the final episodes came along. Things finally become a bit interesting again. Especially Phyllo and Touta were great this episode, even though it’s still unknown what they exactly did. The next episode could actually promise to be a great one, if things go right. Seeing Haseo at the end of the episode, back in his original form also was very interesting. We also finally have another reference towards real life. Tabby did some investigations on her own, and found Shino. She also met Haseo in real life. He seems to be visiting her every day.

Still, there’s one thing I dislike.

Why does Haseo have “the element”? What makes him so special?

Posted on 27 September 2006 with categories: .Hack//Roots

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Seriously, I never, NEVER thought I’d say this about .Hack//Roots, but OMG that was a great episode!

Only now, two episodes before everything ends we finally get to see the fruits of all these episodes in which Haseo just rampaged around the world, without basically anything happening. Everything has just been building up! Only now, when the end is near, the creators suddenly turned five gears higher, and they finally show us some action.

First of all, Ovan comes back. He tells Haseo that Tri-Edge is about to return. If I recall correctly, he was away for so long because of his fight with Ovan. I think he had to recover, according to one of the commenters. When he hears this, Haseo’s face turns into a big evil grin. Afterwards, when he’s in the church, his face actually turns normal again! (Seriously, I could barely recognize him at that time). Then, Tri-Edge appears and he gets data-drained! Talk about surprise!

What’s more, something tells me that Ovan has been wanting this to happen all along. After all, he told him that they’d together fight Tri-Edge, but Ovan just was nowhere to be found. I never thought that he would be the bad guy of this series.

Especially the reaction of those around Haseo was amazing. Not only Yata, Pai and Kuhn, but especially Saburou and Touta’s reaction was great to see. I wonder how Tabby will react.

Of course, I highly doubt that Haseo will disappear forever, as there’s still a .Hack//GU game which follows afterwards, but if the creators manage to keep the same level up for the final two episodes, things could promise to be very interesting. And after so many episodes of building up, it would almost be blasphemy if this series doesn’t end with a bang.

Posted on 17 September 2006 with categories: .Hack//Roots


I can’t believe how incredibly strong the music worked in this episode. Finally .Hack//Roots understands how to use its music again. It played almost constantly through the entire episode, with some very intense and very fitting tunes. Especially at the times at which characters were feeling heavy emotions as well, it worked great. Finally we have another enjoyable episode of .Hack//Roots.

Basically, all of the PK-ers are planning to lure him into a trap and attack him head on, all at once. When they attempt to execute this plan, however, it seems that Haseo’s able to defeat them without any problems. The Meatball Brigade also has its own problems. Or the Paw Brigade, the Paw Squad, or however you may call it. Ah well, it doesn’t matter anyway, as they break up in the end and Tabby’s alone again. Especially the moment of break-up worked great with the music.

Saburou, meanwhile, spent the episode looking at Haseo’s killing fest, preventing some PK-ers to sneak off and buy revival items. She’s interested in Haseo, but what’s her objective? Phyllo, meanwhile, continues to worry about Haseo and has a very amusing interaction with his cat. One of the few signs that there actually is an outside world. He also sends Touta to find out who first got the idea of ganging up against Haseo, and it seems that it’s an overconfident bunch of PK-ers, who hope to kill Haseo after he slayed more than 100 PK-ers. They’ll be famous. Yata and Pai seem to be members of the “Ravens”. It’s probably some weird hacking cult. They’re somehow related to the .hackers, whoever they may be.

Seriously, there are two series, currently about to end and from which I’m so hoping for another sequel in order to wrap things up: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and .Hack//Roots. In both cases, it’s almost impossible to come with a decent finish, as both will end horribly unfinished as it is now.

Posted on 10 September 2006 with categories: .Hack//Roots


Seriously. I hope the creators are planning to animate .Hack//GU when this series is done. .Hack//Roots is just one big prelude, after which //GU picks the story up and continues it. It’s like the creators are expecting the viewer to play the game in order to fully enjoy the anime. Well, due to the fact that none of the .Hack games ever made it to Holland, I doubt I’ll be able to get the chance to play it.

The episode is a Meatball Brigade episode. The three goof around for a bit, until Touta gives them a bit of advice. When compared to the latest bunch of episode, I have to say that this one was above average. It had some interesting moments in it. Kuhn also plays a big role in this, when he is the second person to awaken. Wait… does this mean that Haseo didn’t awaken? In any case, there’d better be an extremely good reason to explain why Kuhn was able to awaken.

Kuhn telling his guild-members about his resignation was an interesting scene. I’m also actually interested whether the Meatball Brigade will actually be successful. If they continue to annoy Haseo, and continue to gain members, things could become interesting. But in order to do that, the final episodes had better feature a huge increase in pacing!

Posted on 4 September 2006 with categories: .Hack//Roots


Don’t you just love episode titles who spoil the climax?

Haseo continues on his rampage, slaying every player possible. He then runs into a player who survived an encounter with Tri-Edge as well, and gets defeated. He’s like a mad bull, charging at everything which even bears the slightest signs of movements.

But yeah, bulls haven’t exactly been known for their outstanding intelligence. Why doesn’t Haseo try to think a bit, and check out the lost grounds? You would suspect some clues who can turn up, instead of committing genocide in the normal fields. Still, I’m curious how Haseo will react now that he’s been defeated. I was hoping that Midori would be able to beat some sense into him, though the last scene suggests that he’ll be turning even more berserk than he already was.

Phyllo, meanwhile, was nowhere to be found during the episode. Tabby founded a guild, along with the purple-haired guy (forgot his name). I liked Pai. It’s indeed clear that her Pai-personality is one big act, as she keeps getting more and more annoyed by Saburou. Saburou herself has gotten more interest in Haseo, which can also be a good sign. I like the two of them, they’re two of the few good character who appeared after the mass character-homicide of episodes 13-15.

Midori also shows promise. I like the way she was introduced. She was introduced because she had an encounter with Tri-Edge, and not the other way around (having an encounter with Tri-Edge because she was introduced). Yata needs some action. All he does is sitting, staring at some blue screens full of techno-babble. We get absolutely no clue why he has to sit there all the time. What does he need. What are all these screens for in the first place?

And what is going on with Haseo in real life? Has he been sitting behind his computer, in emo-mode ever since Shino disappeared? One of the things I loved about .Hack//Sign is that at certain times, it showed small flashes of the real persons behind their computer. I loved the philosophical themes behind //Sing. But ah well, I guess I’m going to have to accept that //Roots will feature none of them at all.

Posted on 27 August 2006 with categories: .Hack//Roots



Seriously… this is the first anime in which I feel that a deaths or disappearance of a character was a huge mistake to do. Apart from Wolf’s Rain, perhaps. Goad, B-Set and Sakisaka really could have been able to contribute to the horrible mess which was episode 20.

Tabby still doesn’t do anything, Phyllo still stands at the same spot, Ovan and Shino are still missing and Haseo is still going berserk. This time, however, not to get stronger, but to find Tri-Edge. He seems to have turned into an all-devouring zombie. Tri-Edge meanwhile has been kidnapped by god-knows-what and Yata and Pai are planning to test Haseo’s power with a strong opponent. Oh, and Pai seems to have awakened just as Haseo did.

Still, there is hope! Touta finally does something useful, ever since his comeback, by trying to get through to Haseo. If the following episodes will feature Haseo, getting back to earth, I’ll be happy. If that’s the case, then this anime won’t be a total waste either. It seems that during the next episode, Haseo’ll also be defeated by some stranger, so who knows.

Phyllo also made an interesting analogy about Haseo. Even if you try to force open a shellfish, it’ll shut itself close instead. But seagulls have an interesting method of opening these: by dropping the shellfish on a rock. Will that have the same effect on Haseo, I wonder? What happens if you just break him. Will he open?

Still, what is this awakening? Why is it so important? And why is Yata after someone who awakened when he can just use his subordinate? And why does it just happen to certain people? And what causes it? What is the connection between Haseo and Pai’s awakening? After all, Pai awakened in a normal field. It also seems that different people react differently when being awakened. Pai seemed to be in pain, though Haseo began to look even more as an undead zombie.

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  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:21 AM)
    All thats left now is macross 7.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:20 AM)
    However this one begged to go on for more than just five episodes, come on now and it had the franchises penchant for weak villains. It doesn’t get me as emotional as do you remember love does, the characters of Macross plus were more likeable. Still its a step above Macross II and I at least had fun with it on an action level.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:17 AM)
    Thats Macross zero completed then, it was great to see the background arc/plot for this franchise, the pace is tight and the action is arguably the most immersive, well done of the Macross universe along with Frontier.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:33 AM)
    While Tatami Galaxy and Ping Pong were definitely sharp I felt that Kemonozume and Kaiba were more inventive.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:30 AM)
    Aye,it was the visual style of the film being so different from the norm that drew me in. Still out of Yuaasa’s stuff I found myself more taken with tatami galaxy.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:22 AM)
    I think creatively the anime industry has plateaued a bit by now, where we see more derivative stuff and there has a formed an almost universal “anime style” which hinders non-traditional voyeurism.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:18 AM)
    I love the tonal whiplash that the story goes thru and the then-impressive-and-new visuals. Both 4°C and Hifana take queues from the Kansai art and the underground graffiti styles that prospered in Japan after the 70’s. Parallel to the postmodern movement in the Western world, the new wave was more expressive than fine and you see its heavy influence on the manga and anime industry.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:14 AM)
    @Bam: It is at the last stretch on the film where it is at its strongest visually in my opinion.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:10 AM)
    @Bam: For only 100 minutes it did a decent enough job on its protaganist in any case.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:02 AM)
    Mindgame is amazing. It is as unorthodox as they come but not really pretentious. It’s pretty humble and does have an actual message and proper story arc, so it’s definitely not just random for random’s sake. The industry needs more Yuasa.

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