Sunday, September 16, 2012

.hack//Sekai no Mukou ni- final thoughts

.hack//Sekai no Mukou ni is a movie set in 2024 (19 years after .hack//SIGN, 9 years after .hack//Roots and 4 years after .hack//Quantum). The technology advanced since the first version of The World- a virtual MMORPG. The movie tells a story of Yuuki Sora, a 14 year old girl, who unlike her friends from school isn't exicited about new gadgetry and games. Her strict grandpa don't accept new technology either, making Sora undeveloped in this area. On the other hand her friends Kakeru and Tomohiko are playing The World every day. After long suggestions Sora decided to start playing with them and she receives an avatar named Kite. A chain of certain accidents started occurring in The World not long after that.

Older Aura actually looks cool.

The movie is made all in CG and unlike the first two .hack titles half of the story takes place in the real world. Is it good? After watching .hack//Quantum I would say it's an interesting idea but here it's just really boring. It has some good aspects as an internet addiction problem we see on the news. The world of 2024 is attractive too- you don't need that heavy helmet anymore to play virtual games, you can see everything in 3D wearing special glasses. The World is filled with casual players, even older people are enjoying the game. Some good topics, but they are portrayed so shallow that don't even produce any discussion. I really liked that philosophical atmosphere in .hack//SIGN and .hack//Roots even if they were talking too much. What do we have in this movie? A teenage drama and problem about confession. The first twenty minutes of the movie were characters introductions in real world and in that twenty minutes not much happened. The story started to develop after Sora first logged to The World. She explore the game with Kite avatar (I really don't understand the hype about that character) and her friends who has Balmung like and Orca like avatars.

Some old characters appeares... I mean old avatars.

In the plot set in The World I expected some kick-ass fighting scenes but it wasn't anything to watch here. We have a few battles with monsters but no fighting between players. Besides the final battle was reduced to running and flying with the ship. In .hack//Quantum at least they fought a dragon and the final combat was very exciting. Yes, .hack//Quantum was a good title with action if someone didn't like these endless conversations in previous .hack tv shows.

"Hi! I'm Sky Pirate Take! Did you see Balthier, he owns me some money!"

In the first glance the graphics aren't good. In the real world we have that poor CG animation without any shadings, similar to some cut scenes from old games. Only the facial expression of characters can exhibit a little. And then the camera changes to the scenery of The World and we actually see large improvement. The landscapes are beautiful as ever in The World, we can see some great armour shadings and good looking avatars. Still, it's not that level as Final Fantasy Advent Children or even Resident Evil Degeneration but there are some improvements. Was it on purpose? At first .hack series we see the real world as a monochrome, sad universe and The World is illustrated as colorful fantasy reality. Could that be the same reference here in Sekai no Mukou ni, or was it just company's low budget? On the other side we have music, which is actually pretty good. There is this german song about Aura played during her appearance and an ending singed by Kokia.

The graphics in The Word are much better. Was it on purpose or just low budget?

You don't really need to know .hack universe to watch this movie, the only element in common are the avatars and Aura- an ultimate AI (Artificial Intelligence) in The World. In the end I would like to mention this american guy David- an agent from a Global Network Investigative Service. He is voiced by Greag Dale and I must say I really liked his japanese. At least they didn't make an american guy speak japanese fluently. For me the movie was a little boring, the problems didn't affect me and there was too little battles so I would rate it 6,5/10.

You wouldn't belive if you saw some characters look in real life. That sexy magician on the left is actually an old women.

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