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.hack//Roots #6 PDF Print E-mail
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R2 DVD Reviews
Tuesday, 28 April 2009 00:00
.hack//RootsIf you're looking for a final volume that will answer all your questions, you're in for a disappointment, as .hack//Roots settles instead for throwing even more unanswered questions into the mix, before hitting the Big Red Reset Button™. Oh, joy...

22 - Bonds
The first foray of Tabby and her rookie friends as a new in-game rescue squad, the Paw Pad Squadron, doesn't quite go according to plan, with one of them being quickly killed and a speedy retreat being the order of the day, so it's back to the drawing board for their plans - although the problem may be that they're just not at high enough a level to make the plan work yet. With a lecture from their mentor ringing in their ears, it's back the the game to level-up - but this may not be the best time to be working on that, as the strange goings-on in The World may be about to step up a gear. Haseo, meanwhile, pays Phyllo another visit - he's still busting to get a shot at Tri-Edge, but can't figure out how...

Paw Pad SquadronInvestigation

23 - Trial
Haseo's efforts to track down Tri-Edge continue - he's questioning everyone who may have seen or had contact with the mysterious warrior, and he's not backwards in killing those who can't or won't give him the information he needs. Yata is keeping a close eye on his progress, and explains to Kuhn why he's been brought into his little guild - he may have unique abilities that put him on a par with Haseo, and they may need those abilities if they're to solve the mystery that's unravelling around them. But Kuhn isn't the sort to be blindly led, and warns Tabby that events around Haseo may soon begin to get nasty. If Tabby and her band are going to protect Haseo, then they'd better be ready for some serious action...

HaseoBlocked escape

24 - Confront
Unknown to pretty much anyone except Yata, Ovan has been back in the game for a while now, and just keeping a low profile. But he seems to be on the move again, and that worries Yata. Phyllo and his contacts have other worries, in the form of Haseo, with Tabby in particular beginning to wonder why she still supports him. The other two members of her squad have left her, angered by Haseo's actions when they were just trying to help him, but a conversation with Saburou helps her put things into perspective - it's really Shino she should be focussing on helping, not Haseo. Meanwhile, Haseo's behaviour is growing ever more erratic - but could the return of Ovan bring him back down to earth..?

YataOvan

25 - Truth
Haseo got his wish, but his confrontation with Tri-Edge doesn't end as he'd hoped, and he ends up apparently erased from the game. Saburou witnessed it happen, but she's been keeping the news to herself, leaving rumour to account for his disappearance - and rumour says that, having realised he couldn't save Shino, he's simply quit the game. Yata also knows what's happened - but his concern is what Ovan was up to when he manufactured the encounter. As one who possesses the 'Factor', he thinks it's unlikely that Haseo will have suffered the same fate as Shino - but if not that, then what? The only person who knows that is Ovan - and Phyllo wants him to share what he knows...

SurveillancePhyllo

26 - Determination
Haseo's back in The World, and after having been reinitialised by Tri-Edge's attack he's back to his original, level-one self. His reappearance doesn't go unnoticed, either - in fact, preparations have been made to deal with him, even by those who are no longer in The World - but his return also coincides with another increase in the unusual occurrences within the game. Not that anyone other than Ovan, Yata and his associates seems to notice. But can life in The World ever return to normal for Haseo..?

Back to normalOne down, two to go?

Once again, the problem with .hack//Roots is that, presumably thanks to its videogame connections, it doesn't tell you all that you need to join the dots and make full sense of its story. It doesn't even bother to finish its story, instead leaving a greater threat hanging in the background to be dealt with - presumably whilst sitting in front of a PS2, and not a DVD player. The long-awaited confrontation between Haseo and Tri-Edge just sees Haseo's character reinitialised and returned to normal, with nothing solved. Shino remains as one of the Lost Ones - we get a glimpse into the outside world through Tabby's revelation that she's tracked her down to her hospital, and that a boy she suspects is Haseo has been visiting her every day, but Haseo's determination to "save" her comes to nothing. Ovan's true status? The significance of Tri-Edge and the two similar characters who appear briefly towards the end of the series? The aims of Yata's group, and of the other characters who have gotten involved in the search for the truth? Nothing, other than the designation "AI" given to Tri-Edge and his companions.

It's not all bad, though. The opening episode, with Tabby starting her own short-lived guild with the aim of helping others, is quite fun to watch and gives a good feel for her clueless nature, and it is satisfying to see Haseo finally face off against Tri-Edge, even if the battle doesn't go the way that he expected it to. For some reason, the lack of story progress didn't really feel so bad until after the volume had ended, either - the episodes here give a good impression of going somewhere, even if they don't.

I confess that I did eventually give up and head to Wikipedia to help fill in all the blanks left by the series, though - there's a good run-down there of the .hack//G.U. games that the series ties in with that, while it won't answer all your questions, will at least leave you a lot less confused.

Can't bring myself to give good marks to a series that requires additional research, though. Perhaps if the .hack//G.U. games were available here I'd be more generous - hell, I'd probably have played them by now - but that's not the case. It seems strange that the series was even released here when such an important piece of "supplementary information", but it has - and while it's interesting in places and not short on mystery, there's just too much left unanswered for me to be able to wholeheartedly recommend it.

Rating - ***

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