- 1 Season
.hack//SIGN is a Japanese anime series that first premiered in the year 2002. Produced by Bee Train and directed by KÅichi Mashimo, this show was widely recognized due to its innovative plot and unique themes. The show was distributed in the United States by FUNimation, and it garnered a cult following because of its success.
The plot of the show revolves around a young man named Tsukasa, who finds himself trapped within a virtual reality MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) called The World. Tsukasa, the main protagonist, is mysteriously unable to log out of the game and has lost all memory of his real-life identity. He struggles to find out a way to log out of the game and ultimately uncovers a vast conspiracy that has a hold over the virtual world of The World. Alongside Tsukasa, we witness the journeys of several other characters who are all linked to each other in various ways.
Mitsuki Saiga voices the protagonist, Tsukasa. Rie Tanaka voices Mia, one of the few players who empathize with Tsukasa's situation. Nazuka Kaori plays the role of Subaru, who searches for the truth about Tsukasa, and Shinichiro Miki voices Sora, a player who gains power by exploiting the weaknesses of other players for his own gain. Akiko Hiramatsu plays the role of BT, an AI guardian of The World. Isshin Chiba, Kazuhiro Nakata, Megumi Toyoguchi, Hiroshi Yanaka, Yumi Touma, Atsuko Enomoto, Maaya Sakamoto, Mitsuyo Kondo, Nobuyuki Hiyama, Nozomu Sasaki, and Takumi Yamazaki also play crucial roles in the series.
The setting of the show is entirely based in a virtual world that caters to an online community playing The World. The virtual world possesses all the features of a physical world, including dungeons, landscapes, and cities. Despite being a virtual world, it serves as the backdrop of the story, with significant events and conflicts occurring within its confines.
One of the main themes of the show is escapism. As the series progresses, we see how different characters use the virtual world to escape from their real-life problems. The show focuses on the concept of people finding an escape in virtual environments to cope with their real-life. It is a relatable theme that portrays the desire for escapism that is prevalent in many people today.
Another theme that is effectively showcased in this anime is human relationships. Despite The World being a virtual environment, the interactions between characters are portrayed as being genuine, and their relationships affect their feelings and actions. The criticism of online relationships being "fake" is effaced in the show, with complex and meaningful relationships between characters being highlighted.
Lastly, the show also focuses on the impact of technology on society. The World is portrayed as an advanced online gaming platform with complex features and mechanics. This portrayal leads to questions regarding the relationship between technology and society, especially with regards to the impact on personal freedom, privacy, and the impact of societal expectations on individuality.
The animation for the series is eye-catching, and the artistic touch of the series appropriately highlights the virtual environment's themes. The animation is futuristic and clean-cut, with the environment of The World emphasizing the show's themes of virtuality and technology. The music of the series is another highlight, with an ambient and melancholy score that suits the tone and themes of the series.
In conclusion, .hack//SIGN is a show that deserves the recognition it has garnered over the years. The show's themes are relevant to contemporary issues, and its portrayal of escapism, relationships, and technology are relatable to modern-day audiences. The animation and music excellently tie-in with the show's themes, and the characters are all unique and complex. It's a great anime series that is worth watching for anyone who loves a good sci-fi story.
.hack//SIGN is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (25 episodes). The series first aired on February 1, 2003.