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Case Number 03339: Small Claims Court

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.hack//SIGN Ver. 04: Omnipotence

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

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All Rise...

The Charge

yadda, yadda, yadda…"The Key of the Twilight!…"yadda, yadda, yadda…

The Case

I've made a breakthrough.

I have now watched roughly 15 episodes of this fantasy anime series. The first two DVDs I watched were painfully slow. Watching them was like listening to coffee seep its way through a coffee filter and drip into the pot below, one tedious drop at a time. Good thing that coffee is there, too—you'll need it to get through those DVDs. Volume Three ended with a bit of excitement, which gave me hope for the series and this, the fourth DVD of .hack//SIGN.

Somewhere around episode 16, I made up my mind. I have listened to these inane people drone on and on about Tsukasa and the mysterious Key of the Twilight. I have dutifully given the pathetic, lame, annoying Tsukasa a chance. I even tried to care when (spoiler) Subaru broke up the Crimson Knights.

Finally, I have decided: this series is the blandest, most uninvolving, painful string of "episodes" I've ever had the misfortune to sit through. I can see the writing on the wall. I didn't care that much about the elusive Key of the Twilight to begin with, but I see they are going to milk this indistinct artifact for all it is worth. We might see it years from now after the characters have discussed the shapes of their navels, what their favorite colors are, and whether or not the clouds above do indeed resemble grunties. By that time, they will have left colossal butt-shaped imprints on the mossy logs that they never seem to leave. Today's elementary school viewers will be in graduate school pursuing doctorates in comparative literature.

How bad is .hack//SIGN? In this volume, one of the most dramatic revelations was that the character B.T. is so named because she hates lettuce. See, her favorite sandwich is the classic bacon, lettuce, and tomato. But she hates lettuce, so she calls herself B.T. instead of B.L.T. Lettuce doesn't have a smell to it. I kid you not, they played up this dramatic revelation.

Instead of any form of action, this show gives us people who play a game, sit around, talk, snipe at each other, and invent mysterious intrigue where none exists. In one instance, Subaru walks up to someone and says, "I want to ask a favor." I may be paraphrasing, but the conversation went something like this:

"Is it about Crim?"
"No."
"Oh, it must be about Tsukasa. I can read you so easily, you pathetic girl, because I am ultra important and worldly."
"Well…um…no, it isn't about Tsukasa."
"Then clearly, you must want to ask me a favor about the shadowy Key of the Twilight…{sniff} how pathetically sad. Poor Subaru cannot just be a character, she has to stoop to asking me a favor."
"No, that's not it either…"
"Really? Interesting…then your favor concerning the Crimson Knights must be awfully burdensome for you, you insignificant little tramp. If only you could be like me, smart and gorgeous."
"No, my favor has nothing to do with the Crimson Knights…"

I would have yelled at the screen "shut up and let her ask the damn favor" if I felt it would do any good. Painful conversations like these simply extend the agony of having to sit through this tripe. The World is populated by people with wretched listening skills. No wonder they are sitting in front of a computer playing Dungeons and Dragons with faceless blips.

Tsukasa, the figure who passes for a main character in this mess, is so whiny and pathetic that I wanted to hurl when he opened his mouth. Before you .hackers fire off those flame emails, I want to stress that I "get it." I get it, but I don't care.

If there is an anime purgatory, .hack//SIGN is surely it.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 40

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
Genres:
• Anime
• Bad
• Science Fiction

Distinguishing Marks

• Japanese Trailer
• Character Gallery








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