.hack//Legend of the Twilight – Review

Holy crap was this show bad. SUPER bad. Nearly entirely without merit, in fact. That didn’t stop me from good-naturedly trying to sift its dregs for even mild praise, but man, what a waste of time this turned out to be. This one basically just used the .hack universe as an excuse to be the stereotype of anime that people who don’t like anime apply to all anime. Silly episodic nonsense, incest, bobble-headed characters, gay panic jokes, a trite and ridiculous storyline, the whole nine yards. Please, please, please stay far away from this one.

Here’s my full review if you want to hear even more lurid tales of narrative failure. And you can check out my sad, resigned notes below!

.hack//Legend of the Twilight

Episode 1

90s-style pop rock OP

Some decent animation to start

And once again, someone gets “killed” and goes into a coma in the real world

Shugo is the MC

Rena is his sister

They’re twins

They won a contest to get avatars from the first .hack story

He doesn’t really want to play, but is convinced by her

The background music is kinda bubbly, and also kinda annoying

Oh great, we already get a gay panic joke

And then he runs directly into boobs, which shimmer in the sunlight. Ho boy

“I just might get to like the World” awesome

The character models are less expressive – too chibified to have as much personality

The writing is Bad. Just typical anime bad

Oh hey, Spike’s VA is in this

The two siblings catching up. Rena just wants to talk, Shugo suggests they play the game

“This is a beginner level. It’s an area designed for newbie characters.” Thank you for speaking that exposition out loud to yourself, side character

The backgrounds aren’t as distinctive as the original, unfortunately

Shugo’s terrible battle posture is pretty good

“You said you graduated from games, but in reality you just quit.”

“That’s fine for other games, but this game is the World. I can actually see you here.”

Rena’s voice is really starting to grate on me

Wacky background music. This feels like way more of a children’s show than SIGN

Shugo dies, and now seems to be trapped in the game as well. A white haired girl kisses him, saying he mustn’t die. She gives him a golden bracer, I assume like the one in the original game. And yep, he gets Data Drain as well

Shugo is the “heir to the .hackers legend”

Oh hey, it’s Balmung of the Azure Sky. That guy really gets around

More solid animation for Balmung

Ooh, the Data Drain effect looks pretty nice, too

“The Rare Hunter of Love and Courage… Mireille is here!” Great

Balmung muses on the events of the day

Episode 2

Characters are deleting and recreating trees at Balmung’s request

Balmung is directly involved in creating events, apparently

We keep getting little hints of things being weird in the data

Shugo’s dad isn’t around much, and doesn’t have much of a relationship with him. The classic videogame-encouraging scenario

Mireille is super annoying, and the siblings run away from her

There’s a flower-viewing event

They need a Wavemaster to clear the event, so Mireille volunteers. Hurray

Shugo leering at his sister. ALRIGHT THEN

That chibi fanservice

“You wrote code for sake? You know you can’t get drunk here, right?” Nice line

Shugo reminiscing on cherry blossoms

“Sometimes I wonder if falling cherry blossoms can be brought back?” So Shugo wants his parents to get back together?

Slapstick to wacky horns as Mireille gets chased by a skeleton

Rena gets in trouble again, and Shugo data drains again

The data drain seems to affect everyone this time. Everyone else can’t use their weapons, and Rena is now trying to jump Shugo’s bones. Laying on the incest pretty heavy in this show

Ohka, a big-boobed dog-girl, joins the party

“Actually, I’m a werewolf, to be specific.” Real crap dialogue. Both cliche and stilted

Lots of slapstick comedy tropes – all the characters peeking out vertically from behind a tree, jumping on another character’s head, the scooby doo run

Ohka hitting on Shugo. More hammy seduction sax music

Shugo home alone again

Episode 3

Title: The Phoenix Feather

Another “I’m leaving, can you take care of my grunty” story

Shugo’s friends powerleveling his useless ass

Wow, this episode’s random powerleveling fights actually look pretty good

Lots more gags

A lot of the moments in this show seem designed to teach you how to play the game

Shugo pouting about his level, feeling insecure

He meets the blonde girl with the grunty

Hotaru is the girl

He’s got the grunty flu, and needs a phoenix feather. This is like the exact story from SIGN

Rena getting lectured by her mom about playing the game too much

More cartoony gags. Running from monsters, Hotaru clammering up Shugo’s face to avoid a creepy thing

Sanjuro’s the Spike dude. He apparently knew Kite

This time the grunty lives. And they all learn a valuable lesson about friendship

Spike’s lecturing the owner now

And now… Shugo’s friends are gonna beat the crap out of her? Alrighty

Sanjuro talking to Balmung, who apparently now works for the CC Corporation. That makes sense

“‘Twilight’ is drawing near”

Episode 4

Title: Tanabata Night

Even MORE scooby doo running. Jeez

Even goofy slide whistle sound effects

Shugo training with Sanjuro

Rena is jealous of the time he’s spending away

Right, Tanabata Night is the one about the two separated lovers

Introducing another obnoxious character: Komiyan the Third, the King of Aloofness

He’s Komiyama, an annoying person Shugo knows from the real world

Wow, they even reused the fanservice shots of Rena

Balmung’s going to participate in the event

An operator doing maintenance slipped into a coma – “the ‘twilight’”

“A perfect version of the World might well be unattainable.” Yeah, it’s pretty tough to create a game that doesn’t kill people

Everyone’s in yukatas

We keep getting panning “hot girl” shots of Rena, but her character is a tiny big-headed lump

Komiyama wishes for Rena’s socks. Hoo boy

A girl is chosen as Orihime, the legendary damsel. Everyone competes for her in order to win their wish. This seems like a very poorly designed challenge

Oh what a surprise the girl is Rena no way

“I’m Rena, fourteen years old. Nice to meet you, everyone.” Rena, has no one taught you anything about talking on the internet

“If trained, Shugo has the potential to improve even more.” Thanks for that, cliche sensei

Everyone using their various talents to try to win the race across the river

Hotaru never learned to swim

Actually pretty decent music track now. Flute and drums?

More scooby doo running

Monster going straight for Shugo

This show’s cost-cutting measures are insane

and it’s time again to data drain

Mireille just never stops talking about rare items. Basically every member of the cast has one Attribute

A kiss from Orihime!

“But, we’re siblings.” THE ETERNAL LINE

And the whole goddamn crowd just stares at them, waiting. ANIME

Wow, they’re reaaally slowrolling this

Oh no, something is happening on the server!

“I want our family to be together again” was Rena’s wish and “I want to be with Rena” was Shugo’s. FAMILY LOVE

Episode 5

Some council of kids discussing Shugo data draining “their” monster

Beach episode. And also haunted house episode, apparently

Aaand back to the gay jokes

“This is a rare item from my secret cache. A school swimsuit!” Great. Awesome

“Is this game fun.” “Yeah.” “But kids your age have so many other things to do.” Sanjuro trying to convince them to stop coming to the World to keep them out of the conflict

“The World is designed to be enjoyed by all players, it’s not a place where you should be risking your life.”

Oh no, jerk boys bullying a girl

Oh no it was a trick they were trying to steal Shugo’s member address

Shugo gets a creepy message from Aura

“Yeah, I’m dying for another fight.” Wolf girl’s one Attribute

“I smell a rare item just waiting to be discovered!” Speaking of

Balmung runs into a woman, Kamui. They stare at each for a while

She works for the Cerulean Knights, who seem like the old SIGN knights. Power hungry

Yep, haunted house time

The annoying guy from last episode is back. Great

Komiyama, right. Or whatever the others call him

God, the character heads are so damn huge

Welp, slapstick time. People running into things sure is funny

They’re avoiding fight animation this time

Rena regretting trying to act cool

ono Rena’s in a trap

And for the… fourth time maybe, Rena is about to die, and Shugo leaps to the rescue

Oshit data drain worked on the monster whadayaknow

And Rena disappears into a cloud of nothing. Sad times

Wow, this ominous string track for Rena disappearing is so cheesy

Episode 6

Welp, I guess Shugo’s sister has been deleted. TIME FOR A HOT SPRINGS EPISODE

Rena won’t pick up the phone in the real world

Mireille thinks it’s a special event

So now they’re searching for information to find Rena

Annoying guy falls in the water. COMEDY

They’ll use the grunty’s nose to sniff her out

Sanjuro meeting with Balmung about stuff

Weirdly off-kilter string song for this section

Shugo remembering Rena used to get lost in the real world

Dang, they animated the hell out of Shugo stealing his resolve

Some awkward translations of puns here. Or attempted ones, the sentences just don’t work

So the characters actually feel the cold in this show, even though they didn’t and that was actually a plot point in SIGN. Guess the writers of this show never watched that one

And that cold was just used to set up the excuse for a hot spring

Fanservice time. Lotsa legs

Aaand again the show focuses on Rena fanservice. Preeetty weird

And time for the scooby doo run, followed by the data drain

Uh oh, Rena’s in the hospital

Ahahahahaa and we hear Shugo’s “RENAAAAAA” even as the camera spins up from her bed. Drama!

Episode 7

Title: Twilight Moon

One more “RENAAAaaAAaAaAA”

The sub dialogue is actually way worse

Oh wow, another gay panic joke as they fall on each other in a kiss

There are more people in comas in the World

The girl member of the evil syndicate seems displeased with their evilness

Balmung and Sanjuro were two original members of the .hackers, the group that fixed the World four years ago, including the original Kite and BlackRose

The real-world moments are the best ones

Killing the monster to get the code to open the gate to Rena

Shugo being a sketch

Cerulean Knights!

Episode 8

Title: The Solitary Knight

The Cerulean Knight leader Kamui is totes crazy. Publicly executing and banning users for item modifications

Sanjuro says the knights will eventually come for Shugo because of his bracelet

We even got the coyote “runs off a cliff, stops in air, looks down, falls”

Balmung talks to the executives of CC Corporation, who are apparently a giant glowing console issuing grim commands

The CC Corp endores Kamui’s methods, because who cares

And now Shugo’s just fighting monsters looking for a weird one to lead him to his sister, good plan, team

The evil kids overact their evilness so badly. And also, what’s up with these kids intentionally trying to send random other people into permanent comas? What?

So Rena is stuck in some kind of dungeon, cut off from the main servers of the World

“Where have I seen that face” said of a scribble of Shugo. You know, I can actually buy that

Evil kids discover Aura is with Rena

Aura learns from the evil kid that they’re in the Japanese servers

Shugo’s arrested by the Cerulean Knights

Someone arrives talking chuuni as fuck





“Not bad, kid.” This is like Schwarzenegger making a cameo in a shitty knockoff Terminator movie. High camp, but so great


“That kind of justice… IS A LIE.” Silver Knight has basically become the Samurai Flamenco of this world. Wonderful

I like that this episode’s tension is because I care more about Silver Knight than everyone in this show

WOW THEY ACTUALLY KILLED HIM. This stupid show killed a character better than its entire cast put together

Balmung gets demoted to a player

Episode 9

Title: Footsteps of Collapse

Rena sends a message to Shugo

Now Mireille and Shugo are in silly animal costumes. Time for another scooby doo run

The knights keep executing players. And now Balmung’s old assistant is meeting with Shugo and the gang

The knights are actually doing a good job of tracking down the evil kids!

They’re gonna GATE HACK into Rena’s server

Wait, what happened to the Twilight, anyway? The bad guys so far are Kamui and these asshole kids

So now everybody’s fighting everybody in the private server

A Wandering AI appears, and starts to delete everything?

The Wandering AI turns on the asshole kids. G’bye asshole kids

Dramatic insert song starts!

Oh no, Kamui’s friend Magi gets deleted

Rena running actually gets animated

Rena’s not quick enough to escape with them. Now they’re shouting each other’s names some more. This goes on for about two minutes

Episode 10

Title: Capital of Illusion

The whole CC Corporation staff fell ill

Reki (Balmung’s old assistant) is now the head CC person in the game

Characters explaining exposition to each other again

Reki walks into boobs

A Wandering AI is non-player character data that has its own consciousness. Okay

Now we’re getting flashbacks to last episode, because why not

And now the whole team is getting back together one at a time, for… reasons? I guess they didn’t have enough plot for this episode

Reki inspires Balmung to do a thing

Time for another melancholy insert song as Rena walks around

“In order for me to transcend death, it is important that I first understand it.” Okay, wandering AI

Oh hey, the whole team has to work together for once. That’s nice

Marty’s the AI? Morti? Morti

Marty sounds better

Episode 11

Title: The End of the World

Marty’s going crazy, changing the world all around

The show now reminding us of the weird stuff happening at the beginning, saying it’s Marty’s fault

Aw shit, Kamui killed Reki

The main party is being overrun by zombie merchants. Not the most imposing sight

“I wish to know the nature of true death.” Since it’s hard to die in a videogame. ‘kay

The special monsters transport people to a special server where a mental suggestion tells them that they are dead both in the real world and outside

“The World has a guardian, Aura”

Turns out Rena was the actual target, because silly plot reasons

Now Rena’s getting swallowed by some monster thing i guess

o no everyone’s getting hit by a monster i guess

our hit points are draining it’s a virus she’s deleting stuff whaaa

There is just no tension in this sequence at all. And of course the characters are garbage. This show is so bad. So bad



Kamui’s getting totally redeemed for some reason even though she hasn’t really changed from the crazy person she was

“You’ll hit Rena, and she’ll be Data Drained too.” KILL HER

Episode 12

Now we’re at the “don’t give up” part

“There’s one other way. Data Drain.” oh boy

I like that the bad guys are just letting Shugo talk this out

Shugo’s going to data drain himself


“Three hackers couldn’t have done this. But FOUR hackers” fuck this show

Now they’re talking about what death is like. Okay

“Maybe, if Shugo and Rena are together, some kind of dumb plot contrivance will solve this plot for us!”

So then they join hands and become a shooting star apparently

Wait, what? They explode to destroy the evil gates and then… the show just ends? Right there?

Okay, post-credits scene

4 thoughts on “.hack//Legend of the Twilight – Review

  1. I am highly interested in this Silver Knight fellow, is it worth watching the show for him ?

  2. Nah, all my love of Silver Knight comes from .hack//SIGN, where he was one of the better characters. He’s basically just a cameo here.

  3. Nice overview, I’m just sorry you had to put yourself through this hell to make it. As a huge fan of the .hack franchise, I can say, LotT isn’t up to snuff with the others. It’s just so generically dull and void of any enjoyment or mystery that the series was usually known for. Every time I see a tumblr pic of Kite labeled as Shugo I die a little inside…

    On another note, if you haven’t already (and have played the original 4 games) I would recommend .hack//Liminality. It’s short ova (4 episode) and while it takes place entirely in the real world, ties together with the games story nicely. The characters are likable enough, the soundtrack is great and the animation is much better than .hack//LotT imho.

  4. This is hilarious and your play-by-play of every terrible moment almost makes me want to watch it. But I won’t, because I’m sure your entertaining commentary is far superior to the series itself!

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