Still going strong, the latest .hack// entry is short but oh so sweet!
The .hack// franchise began on PlayStation 2 as a combination of game, anime and card game and it’s fake MMO gameplay may have been ahead of its time. The concept would be great as a real MMO with downloadable anime episodes, online components and scanned in card game pieces but oh well, such is the laments of a .hack// fan. While the past cannot be re-written the present sure as hack can be enjoyed, this thanks to FUNimation. The latest OAV anime .hack//Quantum is everything to love about this franchise in a few condensed episodes. From beautiful animation with the solid .hack// design and music this is one enriching anime. Here’s what’s to love …
Story – The World is still going strong with multitudes of players including friends Tobias, Mary and Sakura. The trio is inseparable at school and online as they adventure and enjoy all the adventures and trappings of The World until they stumble upon a guilds battle with The One Sin and everything changes. Picking up an item dropped by Hermit, a small cat-like player, plunges the trio into an adventure where friends fall into comas and the world changes all its rules. It’s only by chance that Sakura holds the key to salvation but will her efforts and those of many players help the world to survive.
So much more to the story than this folks, but to tell more would ruin it. Central to the tale is Sakura and Hermit and they are as deep and enjoyable as any .hack// character before and they each have a less drab persona than some of .hack// previous protagonist. Truly enjoying the story is helped by having a story background but not needed as the stage is set quite well. It’s a quick story that shows how great it is by making viewers want more but this is the MO of .hack//. It gets viewers, gamers, all excited and weaves a grand story and always leaves room for more.
Animation and Art Style – The established look of .hack is front and center with character designs based on some legendary players and settings well established in the games and prior anime. There is a cartoony feel that fits but doesn’t detract from the seriousness of the overall story. The quality of the anime in HD is pure eye candy, very nice.
Voice Work and Music – The music is solid and while it does not carry the haunting feel of the original Sign series it is still worthy of purchase at any import store or site. The characters sound great and deliver another solid .hack// experience but nothing is wow; that’s draw dropping, but it’s all solid … all very solid.
Miscellaneous – It’s still going. Learning that Quantum was hitting our shores brought so much joy to this gamers heart and makes me long for the day when we finally get a true console MMO for .hack//.
Overall .hack// is the anime/game/manga/book franchise equivalent of Jell-O. There’s always, always room for more. Quantum is rock solid, great in HD with a quick and engaging tale that touches on so many points from the past with design and imagery that will bring back fond memories. For anime fans and gamers alike; .hack//Quantum is totally worth checking out.