Few .hack fans in the US are aware that the missing piece of the .hack universe is a manga series that has been available in Japan, but until now has not been translated into English. I've impatiently awaited their appearance and snapped this up as soon as I saw it was available.
The series is set after the events in the game. Shugo and Rena, a pair of 14-year-old novices to The World win limited edition avatars - the 'dot hacker' set that Blackrose and Kite made famous. No sooner do they start adventuring than it becomes clear that these are more than costumes. Then a visit from Aura provides Shugo with Kite's bracelet, and they quickly draw the attention of other familiar players. These include Balmung, Helga, and even Orca. All wondering if history is trying to repeat itself.
Gradually, the pair make new friends and start playing in the virtual world. This first volume serves more to build the settings than to detail any hair-raising adventures. Most of their experiences seem to arise out of the interference of Balmung, who is now a system administrator. They are being tested to find out if they are more than simple players - a strange fate seems to dog their steps. But for now, the mood is mostly silly.
To be honest, I found the manga a bit disappointing. Both the TV series and the OVA set are fairly intelligent stories - as much about the players and both their lives as they are about gaming in a virtual fantasy. The game itself is fairly straightforward, suitable for a wide range of ages. The manga, however, seem tuned to the younger end of the spectrum. The characters are depicted more as children than young adults. Their behavior is in much the same vain.
It is probably unfair to expect all the parts of .hack to be written for the same audience, but the manga are shallower than I would have ever expected. Of course, the prevailing mood can change at any time, but so far the most dramatic moments seem to arise out of Shugu's defenses of Rena's virtual honor. And his outrage when she isn't all that thrilled with his efforts.
Still, if you are a .hack junky you are going to want to have this. And it is neither expensive or offensive. Just another piece of .trivia .
on November 10, 2005
I got no. 1,2,3 from the library.And on the front it says national best seller now yould you say that this manga dosent deserve that title.i mean like in every 30 pages they have a picture of rien or raien or how ever you spell her name!!naked with like a sword or hands covering her(>>>) O_O.and if its not her its some other girl.its a good fantasy and has good art though.
if you like hack try zatch bell or naruto!!!! ^_^
on April 14, 2004
This was the first manga i bought. I picked it up in the states while shoppin with my grandmother. I had seen a couple of the .hack//sign and legend of the twilight shows. I was hooked the moment i saw it. The drawing of the characters is outstanding, and the humor....man i could not stop laughing a couple of times, the chapters are easy to understand. although it does not follow the show at all just to tell you. in my opinion its better.I am attempting to get the 2nd volume right now, so we will see how it goes
on August 19, 2005
I bought all three books for this manga. I read them as they came out, meaning I would read the first one and wait for the second to be released. I just recently finally got the third book and read it. The funny thing is, the whole time I was reading the third book and was almost finished with it, I did not realize that it was the last book in the series until I bothered to read the back.
Honestly, this manga is not good. It's for younger kids. At too many points in the manga (especially the third book) they get way way way way waaaaaaaaaaay too mushy for me. "Oh yay! I love this game and all the friends I've made! Lets go adventure and be friends and frolic and" oh spare me!!!!
I just don't understand why this manga was made. It was a waste. The story sounds interesting. It's similar to the other .hack stories you are familiar with. The thing that interested me was that this takes place after the main .hack storyline. Here you are revisiting the world years later and you get to see characters from the original story and how they have developed over the years.
However, when it comes down to it, the story just ends way too quickly. By the end of the third book you think the story is finally about to reach its climax but then you find out that there is nothing beyond the third book and you realize that what you just thought was the rising action is now the resolution. The story was just not well told and very uninteresting. It had potential.
This is NOT a must have, even for .hack fans. This story introduces nothing new to .hack. Younger fans may like it. That's the only thing I can recommend it for. Also be warned that there is some slight perversion, such as Reina being naked and covering herself with a large sword. There's no nudity and there is some cussing, but overall it's not a horrible manga for the younger audience.
Overall, I'm displeased and pissed that I bought all three not realizing it ended at three. If I had known the story was going to end so abrubtly, I would have completely passed over this manga.
on February 1, 2004
I recently got sucked into the dothack fandom via my little brother, so i bought this immediately when i found it.
The setting the manga is much more lighthearted and carefree than the serious, thoughtful, almost urgent facade of the anime and the video games. Yet this also has it's mature side, featuring some pinups and panty shots that will definitely make you pull a double take when you see them.
All in all, a good read if you like dothack, but the uninitiated might want to start with the other products, considering (timeline-wise) the anime comes first, then the video games, then the manga.
on June 11, 2005
Shugo and Rena just won a contest that lets them play as two legendary players, Kite and Black Rose, and now they're ready to take on the world. But when strange things start to happen, as in a high level monster attacking low level players, the administrators know something is going on. Now the real adventure will begin.
The first volume is kind of slow, mostly dealing with the players and their interaction. So far the story seems driven by the characters, with suggestions that there are things happening in the background. A mystery is about to unfold but not in this volume - this starts dealing with the characters first - building the foundation of the future story.
on June 9, 2004
I know this book SAYS it's rated T. But that doesn't mean you can't read it! I'm a pre-teen, and I read the whole thing in one day! It didn't even have alot of mature things in it! If your telling me, it should have an E rating. But anyway, the book was awesome!!! Especially the Cerberaus part when they fought him. And I also like the Japenese style of reading right-to-left. Plus I like the concept. It's halairious!!! I was laughing in my head at some parts. Like I said, T rating, E concept.
on February 6, 2013
.hack//Legend of the Twilight, for those not in the know, is one piece of the vast multimedia puzzle that is the .hack// franchise and one that ties into several other of the pieces. But instead of focusing on the story, like several other reviewers have, my short discussion will be more about how Legend of the Twilight works as a comic.
When I first read this book many years ago, it felt as if something was "off" about it and I could never put my finger on what it was. Revisiting it now, I realize that Legend of the Twilight (henceforth referred to as LotT) is a victim of bad comic design. The paneling can be chaotic at times and frequently seems awkwardly jammed together. A particular issue I noticed was the usage of using more panels to express an action or scene than were actually needed and I found myself restructuring pages in my head to flow better and more efficiently capitalize on the available space. Another particularly irksome thing I noticed were the massive white spaces that were so depressingly prevalent. Characters float in a white, insubstantial space void, with an occasional establishing shot to remind us that "oh, they're in a garden" or "oh, they're at a lake". Paired with the bad paneling, this often leads to the characters and maybe an item they're interacting with being literally the only things present in the page. (For examples of this see pages: 76, 96, 123, and many, many more.) Perhaps the most blatant example of this would be in "Login 5: Get Well Grunty" in which Shugo goes to an area called The Valley of Hades and runs off a cliff that pops up out of nowhere. Except for one panel prior to falling, there was no indication that this cliff was there or that he had an option of avoiding it.
I feel these types of shortcomings are due to the issue of many mangaka not having much formal art training before entering the field. With Comptiq (the magazine in which it ran) updating monthly, there's no real reason that these flaws couldn't have been avoided with sufficient skill.
That said, the story itself is fine. The World, the game that all the .hack// media take place in, lends for many different types of stories as there are many different types of players. Not everyone will be Tsukasa (.hack//Sign) and that's okay. It ties in to other installments within The World V1 canon, most notably the IMOQ games (the character models for the games' protagonists are recycled for Shugo and Rena's in-game designs) and the AI Buster novels (the appearance of Lycoris and several other characters in a later volume). Is it necessary to get the full .hack// story? No, certainly not. Most of the core stories are handled within the games, novels, and anime series. LotT is fluff, plain and simple, a way to get a little more extra mileage out of the .hack// experience. Might be good for readers in middle school, if their guardians don't mind the sometimes sexual humor.
on December 5, 2006
.Hack://Legned of the Twilight Volume 1
By: Tatsuya Hamazaki
This manga is the story of Shugo and Rena, a brother and a sister who win a contest to receive the character avatars of two legendary fighters. This manga (like the anime and games) take place in an online game called "The World". Though, the characters they are playing as were notoriously strong fighters in their time, Shugo and Rena have to start as Level 1 players. Now, together, they are off to explore the mysteries, monsters, and friends that the world has to offer.
This book is broken up into a series of logins instead of chapters.
Login 0: Prologue. This Login gives a quick preview of a couple of the characters and goings on in the rest of the story.
Login 1: The Legendary .Hackers. This login goes into greater details about the contest that Shugo and Rena win. It also introduces some of the basics of "The World" such as the root town, the chaos gate as well as a couple of monsters including one extremely strong one.
Login 2: Kite's Bracelet. After Kite is defeated in battle, he encounters a mysterious girl and recives an ultra cool item to help him in his journies. It also introduces some new friends for Shugo and Rena, a "stalker" of sorts, and a mysterious savior
Login 3: Midnight in the Garden. Rena and Shugo are joined by the Wavemaster Mireille as they learn about a special event taking place in a special garden. In this garden, they search for clues to win rare prizes for their collection, well, Mireille's collection at least.
Login 4: Cherry Blossom Mayhem. The trio head off on another adventure for rare prizes (though Mireille seems the most interested). They also encounter a new, furry friend as well as some wicked, evil monsters.
Login 5: Get Well Grunty. Shugo travels with new friend Hotaru who's visiting from the American server in order to try and heal a sick little Grunty. However, in order to save the little thing, they must travel to an extremely dangerous area to retrieve a rare healing item.
Login 6: Starlight Special. Shugo, Rena, Mireille, Ouka, and Hotaru travel to another special event in search of even more rare treasures. This is a special event where the winner gets a kiss from a special lady as well as a granted wish.
If you've seen the anime, you'll pretty much recognize these Logins for the episodes they are.
This is probably one of the funniest mangas I've ever read. I also love the slight sexual tones that are in these books. They are a great and exciting read, especially since this has a more elaborate story than in the anime. The pinup drawings at the beginning of this book is very well done, all of the drawnings in this books is well done. I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves these kinds of manga books, you won't be sorry.
on March 6, 2006
.HACK//LEGEND OF THE TWILIGHT
As part of the triple-pronged hit of the anime TV series and video games, this .Hack chapter was actually the first one to be released in Japan, or at least as part of a monthly manga publication magazine. Legend Of The Twilight is in fact a sequal to .Hack//Sign, the RPG, and the underhyped OVA, Liminality, taking place four years after the apparant threat to the virtual world of "The World" has passed.
Here, Shugo and his twin sister Rena have won the character avatars of original .hackers Kite and Black Rose, meaning that their online selves resemble those of the playable characters from the RPG, accept slightly younger looking. Once online, Shugo dies during a quest, but is brought back thanks to Aura, who is an AI that exists within The World's mainframe. She grants Shugo a bracelet which has the same abilities that Kite's did, accept this one can actually be seen as a real wearable item. This attracts the attention of a young rare item
hunter named Mirielle, who is really the 4-year old daughter of Mirelle who was one of the original .hackers too. They also befriend an American player named Hotaru, and Ouka, a female werewolf who fights barehanded. Shugo also attracts the attention of Balmung, who was a key player in the video games, but now is a system administrator for CC Corp who runs The World.
Shugo later runs into Zefie, a young AI who turns out Aura's "daughter". Shugo and the others then set out to find a way of reuniting Zefie with her mother, despite that fact that Zefie is selfish, pushy, and clings to Shugo like a monkey. However, the Cobalt Knight Brigade, who are an official group of player thugs for CC Corp, like a Nazi version of the Crimson Knights, learn of Zefie's existance and plan to wipe her out. After capturing Shugo and his party, they lock them up. But Zefie's abilbity to manipulate the world Neo-style allows them
to escape and seek out Aura.
The manga follows a different approach than the anime based on it. In the .Hack//Legend TV series, Zefie isn't in it at all, and Shugo's party has to take on a sort of anit-Aura and her group of hacking followers from destroying The World. The manga goes on for two regular-sized volumes, and then one double-sized
third volume complete with bonus chapters. Rei Izumi's artwork is great though and really brings the story to life, "offline". A for real fans who've played all four video games, and seen both prior anime series. It might be a little hard for others to integrate themselves in the .Hackverse though.