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.hack//Legend of the Twilight #2 PDF Print E-mail
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R2 DVD Reviews
Wednesday, 29 November 2006 00:00
Cover ArtLegend of the Twilight takes a serious twist as Rena is accidentally caught up in a plan to dispose of Shugo and his bracelet, which is causing a few problems for the villains of the piece.  Will the gang be able to save Rena?  Will Balmung be able to find out who's behind The World's current problems?  Or will Kamui and her Cerulean Knights spoil everyone's fun..?

5 - Mansion of Terror
While Shugo and the others enjoy themselves at a virtual beach, some of the game's shadier characters decide that Shugo, whose Data Drain ability is causing problems with their illicit activities, would be best removed from the game.  Balmung's realised there's a possible danger to Shugo and Rena, and arranges for a few hints to be dropped that maybe they should quit The World - at least for a while.  No chance, especially when Shugo receives what appears to be a plea for help from Aura herself - but the message is part of a plan to lead Shugo into a trap.  Meanwhile, the CC Company's Cerulean Knights have taken an interest in the chaos that seems to be following Shugo around...

HackersThe Knights arrive

6 - Trap of the Steaming Hot Water
After seeing his sister disappear before his eyes, Shugo's on a mission to find out where she is or what happened to her.  Her ghost should be wandering somewhere waiting to be resurrected, but there's no sign of it - and Shugo hasn't been able to contact her back in the real world, either.  While the search continues, Sanjuro and Balmung begin their own investigation into what's happened, while the hackers prepare another attempt at taking care of Shugo...

Ghostly departureShugo's wet dream

7 - Twilight Moon
While Rena lies in a coma in hospital, in the game she reawakens in Aura's domain, where Aura is waiting to offer what help she can.  Having seen Rena's console and knowing that somehow she's still logged into the game, Shugo realises that he'll be able to find her somewhere in The World - he just needs to find out where.  Reki's investigations show that a gate was forced open from the area around the time Rena disappeared, so it definitely seems she was teleported somewhere.  He's also uncovered that Rena's not the only person who's been trapped in a coma and unable to logout.  Could it be that the "twilight" incident is being repeated..?

Real-world RenaAura to the rescue

8 - The Solitary Knight
Kamui and her Cerulean Knights have begun a very public crackdown against any sort of rule-breaking in The World - change the colour of your character's clothing by a shade or two, and that's instant deletion and banning.  It's not exactly a popular move, but no-one really has the power to stand up to the Knight - and with Shugo's bracelet being a very non-standard piece of equipment, he's likely to be on the Knights' hitlist.  Not that he's letting that stop him from continuing his search for Rena.  Meanwhile, Balmung finds himself in trouble with his company supervisors, the newly-awakened Rena tries to find her way out of Aura's domain, and Shugo receives a surprising ally from the past...

Jackpot?Friend and foe

The Cerulean Knights play quite a large part in this disc.  They're a more formalised & officially sanctioned version of Subaru's Crimson Knights from .hack//SIGN, only with a particularly ruthless leader, Kamui, and a rather over-the-top way of dealing with any perceived rules violations.  One of their first victims will be very familiar to anyone who's seen the earlier series, and without spoiling too much there are some good moments surrounding the character.  It points out that, while Twilight's version of The World seems much brighter and friendlier on screen than SIGN's, it isn't really, as the events that Shugo and the others have found themselves caught up in now are at least as deadly as what happened in the earlier series.  That does make the series feel a little strange sometimes - with all the fun that Shugo and the others still manage to have, you don't really expect there to be serious undertones.

While Kamui and her knights carry out the official investigation into disappearances like Rena's, the gang look for a way to track where she's gone while Balmung carries out his own, unofficial inquiries that soon draw the wrath of CC Company management.  There's quite a bit of personal conflict going on here, with different groups vying to be the ones that are seen to make the most impact and a little bit of betrayal thrown into the mix as well.

It comes down to Twilight really being a show with two faces - one the one hand the fluffy, fun side with Shugo having fun with his online friends, on the other a more serious side that's becoming more and more prominent as the series progresses, with the group that's hacking the game and trying to dispose of Shugo becoming more of a problem as time goes on.  I can't quite decide if I like that slightly schizophrenic feel or not.  The other problem is that the serious side of the story is in a lot of ways just a rehash of the earlier story, with the same problem of people falling into a real-world coma while being unable to log out of The World beginning to seem just a little overused.  Would a more original storyline have been too much to ask?

For all that, I do still like this series, although more for the comic side of it that the serious.  The characters make it worthwhile, as they're a varied bunch whose antics are genuinely enjoyable.

Twilight is good as far as it goes, as it's slightly different twist on The World is refreshing after the darker and more mature atmosphere of the earlier .hack shows.  If could have been better, though, if more work had gone into giving it a storyline that was more its own and less a rerun of what's gone before.

Rating - ***

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