Friday, September 24, 2010

.hack//Legend of the Twilight, the Complete Collection

Art by Rei Idumi with Story by Tatsuya Hamazaki
Published in the US by TokyoPop

Slugline: A secret epilogue

Shugo and Rena have won the online avatars of the legendary dot hackers in the MMORPG The World and gather friends that are not just interested in their famous avatars but in sharing their adventures.  Shugo while dying in The World is gifted with an artifact which allows him to break the game’s rules. The appearance of their avatars and artifact has CC Corp, the owners of The World, in a frenzy to prevent what happened the last time they were around.  Shugo and Rena encounter the avatar of a child claiming that the entity that gave Shugo the artifact is her mother and believe returning the child is their quest.  With that goal they explore the seedy underbelly of The World and overcome resistance by CC Corp to return the daughter and tell her mother their stories.  Along the way, colleagues of the original owners of their avatars help them.

While not precisely a sequel to previous .hack stories, Legend of the Twilight draws heavily on the consequences and characters of them.  Roughly the first half of the volume merely refers to them but in the remainder these previous stories become ever more important until it seems that Legend of the Twilight is just an epilogue not its own story.  As the story becomes more of an epilogue the action/adventure aspects become minimal until the whole point is to tell the story to others rather for it to have its own purpose.  While it manages to avoid most of the metaphysical diversions that other stories in the .hack series fall prey to, it still feels the need to ponder the nature of friends and comrades.  In a way, this being a complete collection means taking the less interesting parts at the end with the more entertaining ones.

.hack//Legend of the Twilight, the Complete Collection is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

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