Case Number 03338: Small Claims Court

.HACK//SIGN VER. 03: GESTALT

Bandai // 2001 // 100 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Chief Counsel Rob Lineberger (Retired) // September 18th, 2003

The Charge

"Do you really want to go back?"

The Case

"Gestalt" is the continuation of the .hack//SIGN series. For a description of the series, see my review of Volume Two (linked at right).

Watching the third volume of .hack//SIGN, I began to perceive why so many hail the series. The plot became more intricate and seemed to be building towards something. Tsukasa finally began to thaw a little and relate to people. It seemed the slowness of the previous episodes might finally be rewarded with some return on my taxed patience.

Most of the sense of anticipation in this DVD builds from the quest for the Key of the Twilight. The Key of the Twilight is a powerful artifact that may or may not be a corporeal object and may or may not have the power to transcend The World. The Key of the Twilight is obviously of critical importance, because everyone talks about it constantly. Thus, you can understand my mild interest when it appears the key might finally be found.

At heart, however, Volume Three is more of the same. The characters are still trivial, the conversations still insignificant. There is little or no action. The strongest emotion I felt while watching this DVD was the urge to fall asleep. I did enjoy a brief few moments of anticipation at the end, and some of the character interactions approached significance. For that, I'm willing to hold out the jury on this series.

By the way, the music is still fantastic. I enjoyed this DVD far more when I put on the music only track. If music had been playing the whole time, it would be a great background program.

This DVD ended in a cliffhanger of sorts, which gave me some incentive to watch Volume Four. All I can say is, this DVD did not make or break my opinion of .hack//SIGN. It simply held the course. Thus, this review will end on a cliffhanger of sorts: I made a breakthrough watching .hack//SIGN Volume 4: Omnipotence. To find out what that breakthrough was, see my review of the next volume (linked at right)...

Review content copyright © 2003 Rob Lineberger; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 70

Perp Profile
Studio: Bandai
Video Formats:
* 1.66:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (Japanese)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (Music Only)

Subtitles:
* English

Running Time: 100 Minutes
Release Year: 2001
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* .hack Timeline
* Japanese Trailer
* Character Gallery
* Bandai Previews

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0361140/combined

* Official Site
http://www.dothack.com/

* DVD Verdict review of Vol. 2
http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/hacksignoutcast.shtml

* DVD Verdict review of Vol. 4
http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/hacksignomnipotence.shtml