What happened to the pseudo-predecessor of Sword Art Online?

With all the critical acclaim for .hack// and the legendary status it still holds as a classic in anime and gaming, is there hope for a revival of the franchise?

Being trapped in a video game is a premise that anime viewers are all too familiar with. Although it has been played in many different ways, the .slash// franchise (read as “Dot Hack”) used the idea to capture the hearts of fans around the world. Despite its critical success at its peak, its creators have largely abandoned this intellectual property. Even so, corners of the anime community still hold it in high regard, sometimes elevating it far above series like sword art online or log horizon what came after. This raises two important questions: What exactly happened to the .slash// franchise, and is it ready for a real comeback?

the .slash// titles surround the many mysterious events that occur within a fictional MMORPG known simply as “The World”. It first graced the imagination of fans in 2002 in Japan with anime. .hack//Signwhich aired on American television the following year along with other groundbreaking classics like Yuyu Hakusho and Rurouni Kenshin. Following a wide cast of players in “The World”, it focused heavily on the events surrounding the mysterious character Tsukasa, whose powerful Guardian and inability to log out of the game connect him to a rise in coma victims among the game players.

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Tsukasa and his companions discover the mysteries of The World in .hack//Sign

This anime conveyed a sense of intrigue and challenged ideas about personal identity while featuring a great set of nuanced and fleshed out characters. Still, its main draw was the fact that its run coincided with the initial release of the four-part series. .slash// video game series. Discover the secrets behind “The World” and the forces that threaten it and its players, both the games and .hack//Sign was the first generation of .slash// works, establishing it as a solid multimedia franchise.

The excitement would continue for several years after the initial game’s conclusion. The first story closed with a manga titled .hack//The Legend of Twilight, which spawned its own anime series and focused on the next generation of gamers in “The World.” The momentum he took spawned more manga, OVAs, novels, online games, and more. Most of the entries in the franchise at this time reached the American public, although the game online .hack//Snippet was a notable exception.

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.hack//Legend of the Twilight was a sequel to the main .hack// story

All its popularity would come to a head in 2006 with the beginning of the next great cycle of the franchise, around the .hack // GU game trilogy. Similarly accompanied by his own contemporary anime, titled .hack//Roots, this phase enjoyed mixed success compared to its predecessors. Although the games were praised for their improvements to gameplay, the anime and other aspects were controversial among fans. Still, the trilogy finished strong and added some much-loved entry titles to the work.

However, it was at this point that .slash// began to disappear from the map. While a number of other mediums sprang up in the years that followed, the most important of which was the PSP game. .hack//link, the vast majority did not receive official location abroad. The only exception to this was the OVA series. .hack//Quantum, which was licensed by Funimation but was unceremoniously released on DVD and Blu-ray at the time. Although the reasons for this are unclear, it preceded a sudden drop in the number of new major entries, one of the latest being the Japanese release of .hack//The movie in 2012.

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.hack//GU follows Haseo as he battles AIDA viruses in The World

However, fans still remember the titles fondly, frequently comparing them to newer anime franchises with similar premises or settings. Even without much in the way of a new release, there’s still a fair amount of affection. As the past few years have shown, nostalgia-fueled revivals of series long gone have done very well with consumers, which would make this the perfect time for a new anime set in “The World.” ” start another cycle of works.

Also, as with any franchise made up of such a massive body of characters, .slash// could enjoy massive success as a mobile game with a gacha system. Bandai Namco, which has been the publisher of the franchise for a long time, has considerable experience in the world of mobile games thanks to its many Stories of… Series mobile games. While is true that .slash// had a short-lived spiritual successor mobile game in 2007, which even featured a crossover event with sword art onlinethis was before the international heyday of gacha games and it never caught on with global gamers.

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.hack// and Sword Art Online had a crossover in a mobile game

Of course, one of the demands that fans have been clamoring for for a long time is the re-release of the original four games. Although the .hack // GU trilogy received the remaster treatment along with a fourth follow-up game, the first series of games has only been playable on the PS2 and is now among some of the rarest titles on the console.

Should publishers give .slash// devotees what they have been asking for, it would also be a great opportunity to revisit the .hack//Sign anime that started everything from a new perspective. But no matter what the future holds for him .slash// franchise, longtime fans will always be around, waiting for another chance to log back into “The World” once again.

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