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.hack//Legend of the Twilight #3 PDF Print E-mail
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R2 DVD Reviews
Monday, 20 August 2007 17:00
>hack//Legend of the TwilightIt's the end of the line for .hack//Legend of the Twilight and for Shugo, Rena and friends. Will Rena make it out of her strange isolation? Will Shugo be able to defeat the forces that are threatening to take over The World? Will Reki ever decide whose side he’s really on? Just for once, an anime series actually answers its questions...

9 - Footsteps of Collapse
Kamui's crackdown continues, with any character with the slightest modification being captured and deleted. With Shugo top of their wanted list, he's having to resort to using disguises to be able to move around town. No-one's been able to find any clues to Rena's location, either, until Reki offers to use his sysadmin powers to track her down. On the plus side, the Cerulean Knights are making progress in their attempts to track down the monster-modifying hackers, while Rena's making her own efforts to get out of the area she's found herself in - but Shugo's and the others first foray into the area where Rena seems to be draws the attention of both the Knights and the hackers...

DisguiseHackers

10 - Capital of Illusions
With a large chunk of its staff in real-world comas after the Knights' confrontation with the wandering AI, CC Company's finally got a fair idea what's going on - although publicly, the incidents are being reported as the result of hackers interfering with the game. With Kamui and the rest of the Knights out of action, Reki's given the task of getting The World back to normal, and as a result he's quickly realising that sysadmin powers, and the authority that comes with them, are severely over-rated. Shugo, meanwhile, wants to take another shot at rescuing Rena - but as Sanjuro points out, while he has the bracelet to protect him, the rest of the group don't, and the stakes are now suddenly that much higher. If they're going to continue working together, they're going to have to do it right...

Back on the trailMorti

11 - The End of the World
The wandering AI - Morti, to you and me - appears before Shugo and the others, and begins rewriting the play area around them. She's been investigating death - specifically, what it takes to inflict a "full death" on The World's characters. She has the power to manipulate The World as she sees fit to bring about those deaths - and Rena's a key part in her plan...

AngerStill captive

12 - The Legend Begins
Morti may be trying to bring true death to The World, but there's one character she's attacked that she's had no effect on: Komiyama. It takes a while for Shugo to figure out why, but eventually it dawns on him: Komiyama had been on the wrong end of Data Drain a while back, and he seems to have developed immunity to Morti's virus as a result. So if Shugo Data Drains his comrades, they should gain the same immunity - he just has to convince the others to let him do that...

Komiyama butts in againDetermination

RescueRedepmtion?

Our bunch of anonymous teenage hackers certainly seem to know what they’re doing, as the Cerulean Knights get dispatched with almost embarrassing ease, leaving the real-world players in comas. Their skills (or should that be skillz?) are largely thanks to their shaky alliance with the wandering AI known as Morti, who has a fascination with death – specifically with what it is. Since game characters never really experience death (respawning hardly counts), Morti hasn’t had an opportunity to examine the phenomenon – but now she thinks she knows how to bring true death to The World, and it’s up to Shugo and the others to stop that particular horror from being unleashed.

These final episodes do a good job of building up to the show’s climax and in explaining exactly what’s been going on. Reki’s investigations help the gang find their way to Rena and to the final showdown with Morti – although Reki’s constant switching of sides is nearly impossible to keep track of – and you certainly can’t complain that any of the series’ mysteries have been left unexplained. The big problem is pacing. Morti confronts Shugo and the others at the beginning of episode 11 – we then get a series of painfully slow scenes where Shugo figures out how Morti can potentially be defeated and confronts the ring-leader of the hackers, but while that was all playing out over the final two episodes I couldn’t help but wish they’d just get on with it - the whole sequence didn’t seem to be much longer than 5-10 minutes of “real time”, but was dragged out on-screen for far longer than it needed to be, to the point where a lot of the impact was lost.

A lot of the show’s usual comedy was missing, too. For me, the humour was a large part of what made Legend of the Twilight its own show and helped it stand apart from .hack//SIGN, so the switch to a slightly heavier tone didn’t do the show any favours, especially with this version of The World’s bright, cartoony appearance not really lending itself to a serious story.

Given how many shows over the years have ended without tying up their loose ends, though, I’m not going to complain too much, as Legend of the Twilight at least tells a complete story, and lets the viewer have a decent amount of fun along the way. There are some fun characters here too, and a few nods to previous incarnations of .hack to keep the fans happy. It does have its flaws, but even the poor pacing at the end isn’t quite enough to spoil the fun completely.

.hack//Legend of the Twilight stars of bright and comedy and gets darker as it goes along – and a final arc dealing with death is probably about as dark as you could get. It’s carried along by a cast of likeable, fun-loving characters, but in the end poor pacing and an ending that’s a little out-of-tone with the setting spoils the show a bit. That said, the story is properly tied up, and the series has far more rewatch value than its brother .hack//SIGN. Being “into” the .hack universe through the games and other properties obviously helps the show’s appeal as well, but even if you don’t, Legend of the Twilight has enough going for it to be worth a look.

Rating - ***

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