Are you a fan of anime? Have you heard of the .hack series? If you love complex storylines, immersive world-building, and unique characters, this anime series is definitely worth watching. However, with multiple seasons, OVAs, and spin-offs, it can be challenging to determine where to start and in what order to watch them. Fear not, as we have created the ultimate guide to enjoying the .hack series.
Which .hack Anime Came First?
Before we delve into the watch order, let’s clear up some confusion about the .hack series’ debut. The first anime series to be released was .hack//SIGN in 2002. It was a 26-episode original video animation (OVA) and television series created by studio Bee Train. It was followed by multiple OVAs, such as .hack//Intermezzo, .hack//Unison, and .hack//Gift, and directed by Koichi Mashimo, who also directed Noir and Madlax.
.hack Anime Watch Order
Now that we have established the chronological order of the initial release let’s dive into the .hack watch order that you can follow to enjoy the series to its fullest.
As mentioned earlier, .hack//SIGN is the first anime series to be released in the .hack franchise. It is necessary to watch this series for a better understanding of the universe and the character building. The series revolves around Tsukasa, a player who’s trapped inside the online game “The World,” and his struggle to escape the game’s clutches. The characters have an intriguing backstory which is slowly revealed as the plot progresses. You can watch the .hack//SIGN series on popular anime streaming platforms such as Crunchyroll or Funimation.
This is a more minor part of the series, but still worth watching. It’s an OVA that only lasts 1 episode and is set in outer space. It tells the story of a character from The World who travels into space and how their absence impacts the in-game world. You can watch .hack//Intermezzo as a part of the .hack//Liminality DVD set.
.hack//Liminality [OVA] (2002-2003)
.hack//Liminality is a four-episode OVA series that runs parallel to .hack//SIGN. It explores the real-life consequences of playing “The World” and follows the story of a girl named Mai Minase’s attempt to uncover the truth behind a mysterious virus that infected her friend while playing the game. It is essential to watch this OVA series between .hack//SIGN and .hack//Dusk.
.hack//Dusk is a 12-episode anime television series set after the events of .hack//SIGN. The series follows a new main character, Shugo, a player who receives a legendary bracelet and becomes involved in a series of events that transpire within “The World.” The anime series varies in its tone from suspenseful to lighthearted, so it can be a fun watch. You can enjoy this anime on sites like Netflix and Hulu.
.hack//Roots is actually a prequel to .hack//G.U., which comes next in the watch order. With 26 episodes, the series explores the origins of the guild “Twilight Brigade” and reveals that the guild’s actions ultimately kick off the events that take place in .hack//G.U. The show is predominantly dramatic and emotional, and its visuals may seem a bit dated compared to recent anime series. However, it’s still worth a watch. It’s available on Funimation and AnimeLab.
.hack//G.U. Trilogy (2007)
Next, we have another OVA in the series, .hack//G.U. Trilogy. The OVA follows the same story as the .hack//G.U. video games, which depict the events following the destruction of the Twilight Bracelet that concluded .hack//ROOTS. The series has three episodes and includes some CGI animations. You can watch it on platforms like Hulu or Amazon Prime.
.hack//Quantum is a standalone, three-episode OVA created in commemoration of the .hack series’ ten-year anniversary. The story follows three female players named Asumi, Eri, and Iori, who become friends in “The World” and embark on a quest that leads them through various encounters and challenges. It’s available for streaming on Funimation.
Is the .hack Series Worth Watching?
The .hack anime series is worth watching if you’re a fan of RPG-style games, the isekai genre, and video game culture. It’s a series with a well-developed and intricate lore and character design. The mix of both in-game and real-life storyline is intriguing and keeps the viewer engaged. The diverse cast of characters and the lush world-building are also great selling points for the series.
Is Dubbed Hack Sign Worth Watch?
For those who prefer the Japanese anime’s original language, Hack//SIGN can be enjoyed with English subtitles. However, if you’re interested in the dubbed version, it’s definitely worth giving it a shot. The dub voice actors deliver their lines brilliantly. The English voice actor from the main cast also went on to voice a character in the video game series .hack//GU.
In conclusion, the .hack series is a must-watch for any anime fan who loves RPG-style games and immersive world-building. The continuity between the different anime series, OVAs, and video games is very important for understanding the complex storyline and character relationships. Follow the watch order mentioned in this guide to ensure you get the most out of the series. With our guide, you’ll be sure to have an enjoyable and immersive experience of the .hack universe.