Geek Life

Dot Hack GU, and Why It’s so important.

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Years ago, when I was a freshman in college, I was introduced to the .Hack series via the original Playstation 2 video game quartet, starting with .Hack//Infection.

The premise of playing a video game that took place in a video game was a novel idea back then in the mid-2000’s when I experienced them. I follow Kite and was immersed in the game.

I watched the anime that tied into the games casually, but it wasn’t until I got .Hack//GU that I finally fell in love with the series as a whole. To this day, I consider the anime .Hack//Sign to be one of my all time favorite anime series.

The series takes a more psychological and cerebral approach to storytelling, so you don’t get as much action. It’s more about the people behind the characters and their internal struggles, relationships, and the connections with the World. Some will argue that this makes the series boring, but to each their own.

So it’s not surprise that I started crying when I saw the announcement for the .Hack GU trilogy remaster coming to Playstation 4 this year! Out west, we haven’t seen or heard much from the series in a long while.

It was starting to feel like a distant memory, something I’d talk about with friends but mostly only think about as something that passed, and something that would be nice to have again.

And now it seems that Bandai Namco has been listening and is ready to give the franchise a chance to reemerge in the west, and it couldn’t have come at a better time, because with popularity of shows like Sword Art Online coming in, I think a newer (and younger) generation needs to be exposed to the works that came before Sword Art Online, the ones that created the path for SOA and others to come through.

This might be the “old man” in me, but I think that .Hack deserves the chance to reemerge as the OG MMORPG-based anime and video series.

While I respect some aspects of SOA’s storytelling, I think that .Hack did something better, namely creating female characters who are more than damsels in distress, and (I’ll admit to my own prejudice here) avoiding the clichéd anime tropes such as harems and infinite bosom jokes.

.Hack//GU is the most recent games in the series, and present us with a lot of the standard tropes you see in anime, such as the shounen hero, named Haseo. Just looking at the trailer, you can tell what type of character he is. He’s trying to get stronger, he’s out for vengeance, and yes there is a love interest.

Haseo, while a complete badass, isn’t the biggest reason I’d say people should get into the game and the anime.

It’s the other characters. You’re going to meet so many people who bring to life a lot of the MMORPG character ideals, but at the same time complicate things with narrative branches that, much like .Hack//Sign, things get pretty cerebral , especially with my favorite character from the trilogy, Atoli.

Welcome back OG .Hack. Here’s hoping this step one in a continuous comeback. CrunchyRoll is already helping out!

Currently a grad student, professionally awkward person, writer, and all around total geek. His works are featured on PeculiarBeings.co, PopGeekly.com, and his personal blog lifeonthehighwire.wordpress.com.