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.hack//integration

a.k.a..hack//SIGN: Unison

hackinteg-2

Genre: Drama
Company: Bee Train
Format: 1 OVA
Dates: 10/24/2003

In a darkened tavern, old friends begin to gather for a reunion. New comrades found along the journey also meet the legends of the past to make a party unlike one anyone in The World has seen before. Faces old and new appear, including Tsukasa, Mimiru, Bear, BlackRose, Mistral, Elk, Mia… the list goes on and on. Join the heroes of the past and present as they celebrate the end of the struggle for the safety of The World.

summary by Madoka

Reviewed: 04/14/2004 by

Grade: 62%  av-Madoka

Highs: Interaction between game and series characters

Lows: Nothing happens; weak ending

.hack//integration is the culmination of all the .hack stories before it. Originally included in a box set release of .hack//Liminality in Japan, this OVA episode wraps up .hack//SIGN and the games. Even though seeing the characters from both the series and game interact is mildly satisfying, the weak ending does little justice to the sweeping cross-media storyline.

If you’ve been waiting to see Kite and the other characters from the game in animated form, this is your chance to catch them in action. Because this episode takes place at the end of the story, the presence of some characters might give away some of the game, so players of the game should take care if they wish to stay unspoiled. For the first time, the characters between the two storylines have the chance to interact and form relationships. BlackRose and Mimiru in particular make a funny pair, and Tsukasa and MIA have an emotional scene together as they meet for the first time.

I usually avoid talking about the end of an anime, but in this case, it’s difficult to talk about this OVA without discussing it as the end of the first .hack major storyline (don’t read any further if you do not want to know). So here it is, the end of twenty-seven .hack//SIGN episodes, four .hack//Liminality episodes and a four volume video game. And what are the characters of the story and the loyal fans presented with? Some drinking at a bar followed by a dance party. Dominated by conversation and celebrating, nothing that seriously impacts or closes the story occurs in this OVA. Fans will just have to play the games to get the full story and a real ending.

.hack//integration is not the grand finale that its loyal audience has been waiting for. While it is entertaining to see familiar faces interacting for the first time, this OVA emphasizes that the real focal point of the storyline is not the series, but the game.

 

.hack//integration is licensed in the U.S. by Funimation, and episodes may be viewed legally in the United States HERE.

 


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