Thirteen years ago I watched the journey of Shugo and Rena during .Hack//Legend of the Twilight on Animax. There were certain scenes that just stuck with me through the years, like the Cherry Blossom quest and Rena chasing after Shugo as he was leaving an area and of course the rabbit on the moon. I thought it was time to take the time to rewatch the anime now that I am older, mainly for the nostalgia but also for the curiosity of what it would be like to watch it as an adult.
- Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Game, Sci-Fi, Shounen
- Type: Series
- Episodes: 12
- Duration to watch: +/- 4 Hours
- Age restriction: PG-13 – Teens 13 or older
- Release date: 2003
- Animation Studio: Bee Train
- Does it have a manga: Yes
- Kanji: .hack//黄昏の腕輪伝説
- Alternative Name: .hack//Tasogare no Udewa Densetsu
About .Hack//Legend of the Twilight:
Twins, Shugo and Rena are reunited in the MMORPG “The World” after being separated due to their parent’s divorce. Rena had won the character avatars of the legendary dot hackers, Kite and Black Rose. Together they take on quests and enjoy events while exploring the world and making new friends. However, it was not just luck that had the pair winning the avatars, it is up to them to help solve the new mystery facing the world and stop others from falling into the hypnosis of death.
The anime was cleverly put together. With most of the anime set in the game but with a few brief moments in the ‘real world’ of the characters. Those brief glimpses outside of the game really added tension to the story and added elements of tension and emotion making the whole experience more credible. Without those moments, the anime would have been lacking depth.
The anime had quite a few memorable characters and moments but on the whole a lot of the characters were lost to their designated role. So other than being there to tank or add comedic moments, they had no real impact on the overall story.
The use of a suggested hypnosis to make characters experience death in the game was an interesting move to make, since the virtual reality of the game is set up to be a ‘realistic’ experience for players.
There are a few elements that do not really add up for me as it was never really explained or delved into. Why were Rena and Shugo selected to be the pair that would save the world? How had Aura seen their drama and know their bond? How did she know that Shugo would step up and that his bond with Rena would save the world? I wondered whether I had missed the answers but after a rewatch I realise that it was just glossed over.
Overall, this anime is definitely one of those that make use of bonds between friends and people, no matter how complicated. It does not ruin the anime, just I wish we had more explanation. Plus, since the whole cincher of the show is the bonds between people, I would have prefered if we had been shown more bond building and development. Instead the anime relied more on ‘existing’ bonds and assuming people would connect with those predetermined bonds.
When I first watched this anime all those years back on Animax with days and weeks between episodes I never noticed how frequently the twins call each other’s names. While it makes sense when they have been separated in game, before then it was a tad excessive and over done.
As a sibling, I can say there are one or two shots that make the twins love for one another not so innocent when it completely is. Just the angling, tension and narrative of the shot is misplaced.
The anime has also brought about the question of accountability, or rather, the lack of it. The people who had brought about the harm of others in the game never really had consequences to their actions outside of falling victim to their own code. We never get a conclusion about their punishment.
There is also the mini-story of Shugo working with another character to get ingredients to cure a sick Grunti. Then to have it revealed that the owner of the grunti had expected that it would die and since it was now better, wanted to take it back. This clearly showed the ‘it’s just a game’ mentality most players take. Because, well it is on one hand, it is just a game, but on the other, as soon as you start interacting with other players, it becomes something more. Meaning that, your actions impact others, thus brining into question the morality of gamers and the impact it can have on others.
Plus one of the main causes of the trouble is found spying on the group at the end of the final episode. So, did she get away with what she had done? She had been directly responsible for numerous people landing up in hospital in comas. Surely that could not have had no consequences? I am bothered by the lack of conclusion at this aspect of the anime. Yet, we also see that the World pretty much carried on as normal, even after all that had happened.
Childhood Crush: Balmung
Rewatching while I am now older, I can see why I had a crush on Balmung way back when, but now that I am older, I can’t excuse it away. There is no actual depth to his character but he is a broody baby with long hair, gorgeous ‘wings’ and tortured eyes. Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.
Least Favourite Character: Reki
I never really got this guy’s agenda and can only see him as a manipulator. He does so much that he honestly did not need to do and at the end of the day, he does not really make it clear why he did what he did. Honestly, the excuse that Balmung is better off as just a player, does not excuse his behaviour.
Would I recommend .Hack//Legend of the Twilight? Yes, especially to those who like myself, watched it originally on Animax and never really rewatched it. For first time viewers, I would still recommend it as an anime to watch. It is a great anime for those looking to pass the time with some fun antics with a side of seriousness. While the overall telling of the plot was the unravelling of the mystery behind players falling into comas and finding Rena the true message and meaning was that even if you are separated due to circumstances out of your control, you can still connect and that your bond is still there. Which I feel is a really nice take away message.
What do you think of anime .Hack//Legend of the Twilight?