Most helpful positive review
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
What is Light and What is Shadow
on September 9, 2003
Each of the pieces of the .hack bundle presents a different vision of both the real world and its imaginary counterpart - The World. Like Rashomon, they offer use a set of varying viewpoints and challenge us to form our own opinion. In this, the video series, the characters believe that a secret artifact, the Key of the Twilight, hold the means of solving the mysteries of the virtual universe. For Tsukasa, who is trapped in the game while his body lies comatose, it is the promise of a return to a normal life.
For others, the key spells power, or wealth. But in a sense, it is really a red herring, distracting the viewer from the more subtle dramatic interplay taking place among the characters. For this series isn't really about the game, but those who play it. For some it has come to replace live, and for others it is only a game they play for fun. Who is right? - we are offered only vague signs and portents to make our own decision.
In this set of episodes the real story is the unfolding and development of two characters that previously held lesser roles - BT and Subaru. BT's avatar it one of cold, self-centered sensuality - perhaps, though, it hides a deep neediness and loneliness. Confronted with Sora, who only sees other players as tools, she finds a reflection of herself - and is disquieted by it.
Subaru, however, takes her place as one of the heroines of the story as her feelings for Tsukasa put her in direct conflict with many of the Crimson Knights. The results appear disastrous, but in the end we are given a flash of understanding about both her own bravery and what underlies it. We are reminded vividly for the second time that The World is only a reflection of the characters' realities.
Is there a tragedy coming? Or transformation and healing? For now we are only given the delicate underpinnings of an increasingly complex story. When this series started I expected a pleasant presentation of adventures in a virtual role playing game. But it has become much more - sneaking up on the audience and engaging their vision.