Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

.hack//Legend of the Twilight: Volume One (2003)

Author: Tatsuya Hamazaki | Illustrator: Rei Izumi | Page Count: 176

I’d watch my back if I were you.  Your friend has returned.”

.hack//Legend of the Twilight is a manga trilogy that forms a part of the Project .hack series, the first generation of the .hack universe.  It’s set chronologically after the first four games (//Infection //Mutation //Outbreak //Quarantine) that appeared on the Playstation 2 console.  If you’re new to THE WORLD, you’ll lack the necessary background and will encounter minor spoilers of events that unfolded in the games.  It's not necessary to have played them first, but it's certainly recommended.  The book makes some allowances for new fans, but space is limited so the catch-up is brief.  If you've a working knowledge of what has gone before, then read on.  Otherwise, you might want to skip this review.

Shugo (male) and Rena (female) are fourteen-year-old twins.  Rena wins a contest that enables her and Shugo to play the long-running MMO with chibi versions of the avatars used originally by the fabled hackers, Kite and BlackRose.  Having prior knowledge of the game's history means Rena is naturally excited.  Shugo, a newbie, is understandably less enthusiastic.

When a low-level field breaks in-game protocols the twins are drawn in a dangerous direction for which they're completely unprepared.

The story benefits from having the two characters already familiar with each other’s mannerisms and failings in the offline world.  Actions performed in-game can then be used to reveal each sibling's inner-feelings, creating some hilariously awkward moments.  The comedy increases with each successive chapter, which was a pleasant surprise as the .hack world can sometimes be too serious.

3 rare items out of 5