.hack//roots

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Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy

Studio: Bee Train

Distributor: FUNimation, streams on Hulu in both dubbed and subbed versions

Suggested Age: 13+

No. of Episodes: 26

My Rating: 8/10

Summary: Fifteen years after the events in .hack//Legend of the Twilight Bracelet, the CC Corp. (the company that makes “The World”, the fictional MMORPG where the .hack franchise takes place) has been burned down. But The World still goes on and has even been upgraded in recent years. A new team of vigilantes has emerged, called the Twilight Brigade. The series mainly focuses on two new recruits for the team, a boy named Haseo and a cat-girl named Tabby.

Review: Unlike the other series I’ve reviewed from the .hack franchise for this site, this was the only series I had not watched on Cartoon Network before they were added to Hulu. The sole reason I decided to rewatch the others at all was because they’d been relicensed by FUNimation. This is the finale of the anime portion of the franchise.

Haseo was a bit on the angsty side.  However, I understood where he was coming from. He was an impulsive teenager because he wanted to prove himself worthy of joining the Brigade. He was a great anti-hero.

Tabby was kind of annoying at first, the way she kept pining after Haseo.  But after a while, I grew to like her.  She cared for all her friends and would spend lots of time working on her stats so that she could become a stronger character. For her, the Brigade was more than a team. It was the family she never had, and she would do anything to keep them together and safe.

The animation is a bit darker than the predecessors, even darker than .hack//sign. There’s a nice use of shadows and lighting and it just has a grimmer feel, as if the World is ending. And considering what’s going on in the Real World, it might as well be. The company is all but gone and anarchy reigns. You get the feeling that the situation is hopeless and no order will ever be restored.

What I didn’t like was the pacing.  It was slower than the other titles, and I didn’t much care for that.  The other two stories were paced well, and had very little filler. This was not a show you could breeze through.

Sub/Dub: I wasn’t able to watch the dub until the final six episodes.  I did like what I heard though. Oh, and if you’re a brony, you might like to know that Tabby is voiced by Maryke Hendrikse, who also voiced Glinda on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (as well as Remi from Black Lagoon). I am not kidding, it really is the same person who played such abrasive women playing the perky cat-girl.

Music/Score: For the most part, the music isn’t as good as the others in the franchise. The opening theme is ok, but the closing is rather chaotic and I didn’t like the way the singing sounded.

Violence: (7/10) As I said, this is the darkest of the three series. It’s also the most violent, SPOILER! with at least one character falling into a coma after being violently “killed” in the game.

Language: (3/10) Haseo has slightly blue language, but that’s about it.

Sexuality: (0/10) None.

Nudity: (3/10) Both Haseo and Tabby wear navel-revealing clothing. I should also note that Tabby’s outfit slightly shows off her breasts.

Religion: (0/10) N/A.

Related Media: This is the third and final anime series in the .hack franchise. There are also video games and manga, but those are out of print these days.

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