action, adventure, drama, fantasy, mystery, science fiction
online computer gaming, Virtual Reality
2002-04-04 to 2002-09-25
.hack//Sign follows the story about Tsukasa being mind-trapped into the game. Despite being a "fantasy quest type adventure", it does not rely on action sequences Instead, the show is driven by mystery, slowly revealing its secrets to the viewer while paying much attention to the individual characters. Questions like what happened to Tsukasa in the real world, who he really is and why he is unable to log out are driving points of the story.
Soon after the beginning of the series Tsukasa is led to a hidden area. There he meets Morganna, depicted as a voice without physical appearance, and Aura, who appears as a young girl clad entirely in white, floating asleep above a bed. The storyline introduces Morganna as an ally, but her real intentions are unknown at this point.
As the story progresses many characters are introduced, some who want to help, some who have ulterior motives. Then more questions arise as to "what is happening in the game itself, who are these various characters, what are their true goals and what will happen to Tsukasa". All the while he is seen struggling with his increasingly dire situation as well as his own social and emotional shortcomings. Tsukasa isolates himself, but eventually he begins to get closer to other players, and builds strong relationships with some of them; the most important is the one born between him and Subaru, a kind and thoughtful female Heavy Axeman.
In the meantime, the anime follows the quest for the Key of the Twilight (黄昏の鍵 Tasogare no Kagi?), a legendary item rumored to have the ability to bypass the system in The World. Some characters want the Key to gain the power this supposedly confers. Others believe the item will provide Tsukasa with a way to log out. Despite their reasons for seeking it, everyone agrees that it is related to Tsukasa in some way, as he is also a factor bypassing the system in the game. His body being in a coma in the real world adds a sense of urgency to the quest.
Watch episodes of .hack//SIGN Dubbed: