Definitions

hard hack

.hack//Legend of the Twilight

is a manga series written by Tatsuya Hamazaki and drawn by Rei Izumi which has been adapted into a 12-episode anime of the same name. The word "Bracelet" in the title was removed in North America, shortening the title to .hack//Legend of the Twilight, though TV Listings retained the original title during the show's run on Cartoon Network. The manga is published in English in North America by Tokyopop, and it is published in Singapore in English by Chuang Yi. The Singaporean translation is imported to Australia by Madman Entertainment.

Plot

Manga

Set four years after the .hack games, the manga follows the adventures of a pair of twins--Rena and Shugo. The story takes place in a fictional MMORPG called The World. After winning a contest, Rena is in possession of a pair of chibi avatars in the design of the legendary .hackers known as Kite and Black Rose. After an odd occurrence, Aura appears and gives Shugo the Twilight Bracelet. Shugo embarks on an adventure to find Aura and unravel the mystery of the Twilight Bracelet, An item that both aids and hinders those involved with it. Along the way, Shugo and Rena meet many friends including Mireille the rare hunter, the fierce Ouka, and the peaceful Hotaru. One night, while waiting for an event to start, Shugo and friends encounter a strange girl named Zefie. Zefie is lured to Shugo because she believes the bracelet smells like her mother, Aura. It is later realized that Zefie is a vagrant AI, an AI that acts independently outside of the parameters of the game. Zefie's presence upsets many including the Cobalt Knights, a group of administrators that follows the rule "If you can't control it, delete it." to an extreme. Meanwhile, Balmung, another administrator in The World, encounters problems of his own. The suits, CC Corp's upper tier executives, are displeased with the little action Balmung has taken against Shugo and his illegal item, the Twilight Bracelet. Balmung's administrative duties are revoked and he is fired. Kamui, the leader of the Cobalt Knights, begins her pursuit of Shugo and company. She successfully captures Shugo and friends, but allows Mireille, Ouka, and Hotaru to leave having them promise they will not interfere with the workings of The World. Shugo, Rena, and Zefie are left alone in a cell together. Rena believes it is worthless to fight any longer and wants to give up. Shugo disagrees saying they should stay until the end. After they come to an agreement to stay and fight, Zefie, much to the amazement of Shugo and Rena, opens the door to the cell and frees them. On the outside world, Ouka, Hotaru, and Mireille decide their fate. With a little help from Mistral, all three agree to return to The World and help Shugo. Kazu, a friend of Balmung, meets up with Shugo and party with a mysterious item called "Helba's Key", the key to the net slums. Kamui shows up, demanding the key to the net slums with her knights in tow. Shugo and Kamui finally face off ending in Kamui breaking her ax. Zefie tells her that everyone in The World is blessed. Shugo activates Helba's key and transports himself, Rena, Mireille, Hotaru, and Zefie to the net slums. Once at the net slums, the party is confronted by Balmung who claims he will not allow the party to proceed to Aura unless Shugo can damage him. Shugo struggles, but then applies everything he learned in The World and manages to strike Balmung. Balmung is pleased and hands Shugo the virus cores he'll need to see Aura. He also explains that only three people can go and everyone else must stay behind. Hotaru and Mireille say their goodbyes to Zefie, Shugo, and Rena as they activate the virus cores and meet Aura. The manga ends with Zefie being reunited with her mother, and Shugo telling Aura of his adventures in The World.

Anime

The anime has many differences from the manga. The story begins in much of the same way. Rena wins a limited edition character model contest for The World. She invites her twin brother Shugo to play the character legendary Kite while she plays as the legendary Blackrose. On their first outing together, the duo meet a gigantic level 48 "Armored Super Shogun" in a beginners area, as opposed to the level 40 "Golem" they encounter in the manga. Shugo is killed by the monster, but is revived by a mysterious girl named Aura. As well as reviving Shugo, Aura gives him a mysterious bracelet and tells him about Data Drain. Shugo is transported outside to find the monster still rampaging after his sister. He takes Aura's advice and uses Data Drain and the large monster is reduced to a very weak beginner’s monster. It is realized that Data Drain can rewrite data. Shugo and Rena embark on a quest to unravel the mysterious bracelet's secrets and locate Aura. Along the way, Rena and Shugo meet new friends like the peppy Mireille, the fierce Ouka, the quiet Hotaru, and the veteran player Sanjuro. Together, the friends play together in The World, but the fun quickly ends when Rena is killed by a monster and goes into a coma. Shugo and friends frantically search for a solution, whilst a group of four children are planning something terrible on the outside world. To make matters worse, the Cerulean Knights, a debugging team for CC Corp, are determined to capture Shugo for he is using an illegal item, Aura's bracelet. Not only that, but an administrator that had been helping look for Rena, Balmung, loses his position as administrator and makes things difficult to continue the search. Then Shugo and company finally reach a mysterious place where Rena might be, but are met by a mysterious AI who systematically annihilates the Cerulean Knights, save for its leader Kamui. Using the bracelet and a little help from an inside ally, the group finally locates the source of the problem and proceed to stop it. They transport themselves to a root town that is not open to others and are confronted by the AI along with an undefeatable monster. To make the situation even more dire, the monster has Rena trapped inside it and has implanted a virus that will destroy all that Rena has connections to. Shugo manages to data drain the monster, but The World will be destroyed. Awaiting the destruction, the group speculates the reappearance of Kite's and Blackrose's characters. They realize there must have been a reason why both characters were brought back instead of just one. Rena and Shugo then activate Blackrose's and Kite's joint power and save The World.

Characters

Manga and anime

Rena's twin brother, a 14-year-old who thought he had outgrown computer games. He uses a chibi version of the avatar of the legendary twin blade Kite and is always looking after Rena, especially when other boys are around. Shugo cares for his sister very much and strives to become a hero like Kite in order to please Rena. He later receives a Bracelet from Aura (and a sudden kiss), which gives him the power to reduce any virtually-real threat to a weakened version of its former monstrosity. This is an entirely new Bracelet, not belonging to Kite. He goes by Shugo in The World, but uses the login name "Kite". In almost every episode one of his teeth fall out due to falling or being hit. Even though Rena doesn't like it, Shugo likes to look at girls in The World, for example, when the wind blows their clothing up he'll look up their skirts or get side-tracked with other body parts.
Shugo's twin sister. She introduces Shugo to The World, the MMORPG where the story takes place. She won a pair of rare avatars from a contest (which Aura rigged so Rena would win), which take the form of former heroes from the games. She uses the chibi version of the BlackRose avatar, and gives the other to Shugo. Rena goes by the name of "Rena" in The World, even though her login name is Black Rose. Her class type is Heavy Blade, which is sensible, considering how headstrong she is. She wishes more than anything for Shugo to be able to become a hero like Kite and often gets angry with Shugo for his lack of heroism. In the anime, she also wishes for their broken family to be re-united. She also narrates the next episode previews by giving out special event information. In A.I. Buster 2, it is revealed that Rena used to play a Blademaster named Bridgit before winning Black Rose.
A rare item hunter, meaning she collects anything with the word "Rare" in its description. She is shown to have an odd sense of smell that goes off around rare items, and prides herself on being a "true" rare hunter by working hard for the items she obtains. Her class type is Wavemaster. She is Mistral's (from the .hack games, appearing in Unison) 4-year-old daughter in real life; a child prodigy with an IQ of 200. Her avatar is her mother's with a name change. She often calls herself, "The Rare Item Hunter of Love and Justice". In every anime episode, she says the phrase "rare item" at least once. Being obsessed therewith, Mireille sometimes has a covetous eye on the Twilight Bracelet and believes the item to have been received in a limited event. She shares the name of one of the protagonists of the Noir, also produced by Bee Train. Her name in real life is Mirei

A career werewolf, Ouka is a fearsome fighter. She is often called Ouka the Divine Fist. She originally meets Shugo and Rena at a special cherry blossom festival, when coming to see them and Mireille. Shugo takes an instant attraction to her, especially in wolf form as he loves puppies. Ouka is all too happy to respond to Shugo's affections in kind. As a character, Ouka has two alternate shapes; a white wolf that can use human languages, and a tall, pale, voluptuous human that around the age of 20, with wolf's ears. In real life, she is a student who has a part-time job as Mireille's tutor. Her class type is Werewolf, from a The World expansion pack available to very strong players. Ouka's one interest is challenge; she is constantly seeking "a worthy foe". Tokyopop's first printing of the first volume of the manga confusingly referred to Ouka as "Orca" (the name of a different character in the .hack continuity). This error was corrected in subsequent printings. As well, Tokyopop made an editing error in .hack//AI buster 2. They referred to Ouka as Orca on more than one occasion in the novel.

A kindhearted magic user. Half Japanese and half Irish, she initially joined the Japanese server to be more close to her mother's culture (from the .hack//AI buster 2 novel). She is American, but visits the Japanese server where the others play, because she felt it was one of the best ways to learn the Japanese language. She is a girl in real life as shown in the manga. On her first visit, she met Sanjuro, who taught her about her name, and became her friend. She is often confusing words or using common Japanese phrases, and sometimes adding unneeded "-desu" to her words. She loves all animals, which can sometimes be a problem for her party members as she refuses to hurt the in-game monsters. She nurses a grunty back to health with the help of Shugo, and keeps it as a pet. Later the grunty is often found hanging off of her cap. Her class type is wavemaster; her avatar is similar to Elk.
He is the Knight of the Azure Sky, as per his titles (given by the web poet W.B. Yates, a.k.a. Hokuto) "Souten no Balmung" (Balmung of the Azure Sky/Heaven) and "Fianna no matsuei" (Descendant of Fianna). One of the more powerful denizens of The World, who has been playing long before anyone else listed here, and was one of the original .hackers. In the series he is made a System Admin by CC Corp, and he organizes very weird events for the players. He decided to do this after the events of the final episode of .hack//Sign, Unison. His class is Blademaster, "sub-class" System Administrator, and uses an angelic-knight avatar. He first appears in .hack//Legend of the Twilight when he rescues Rena from a monster. He appears frequently during events and is gathering information about Shugo and Rena. He is curious as to the reappearance of the Twilight Bracelet. In the 2nd volume of the manga, he is fired as an administrator. He takes on more work than he can handle, often shoving it all to his assistant Reki and falling asleep in front of his computer, putting his character in a napping position. His attitude has changed dramatically since the events of the .hack games and goes through mood swings often, much to the displeasure of Reki.
His name offline is revealed to be Fujio. No second name is given. Assistant to Balmung, works for CC Corp. Although he hides it from Balmung, he complains to himself about being constantly overworked, since he's constantly finishing whatever work Balmung starts. He becomes fond of Balmung and admires him for doing what he loves. It is revealed that Reki was not included in the original draft, and that he was created solely of Balmung. His class is Wavemaster, with an avatar like a scholar. In the anime, he later betrays Balmungs trust after he gives in to Kamui's temptations. In the manga, he remains loyal to the end, checking up on Balmung when he becomes detained. He is one of the few characters to be given a bonus manga in the back of the Third volume, detailing his joining of the company and reasons for remaining with Balmung. He states that he doesn't understand Balmung, and doesn't want to. In the end, he says that he's the only one who can always find Balmung. He is quoted in an email to Balmung as saying: "I'll do what no one else can."

A Wandering AI in The World. She helps Shugo in his first log on and gives him the Twilight Bracelet(and a kiss). She is said to be the Goddess of The World; therefore it is said that no programmer or designer can truly take credit for creating The World, for Aura could be considered its true creator.Balmung refers to her as the core of the world and she can decide what happens within the world.She gave Shugo and Rena their rare avatars, without the company knowing it. In the manga she is Zefie's mother.
Leader of the Cobalt Knights (This is the translation of 碧衣の騎士団 used in the official English translation by Tokyopop. Fans have mistranslated it as "Green" or "War" Knights. A very literal translation would be "Knights dressed in blue" They are also Known as the Cerulean Knights in both the official subtitles and the English dub for the anime series.), CC Corp's debugging squad. She is possessed of an extreme hatred for any kind of hacker, cheater, or wandering AI and will ruthlessly order her Knights against any she finds. She often butts heads with Balmung. Her class is Long Arm (a class that uses spears, halberds, etc.), "sub-class" System Administrator. In the anime, considered non-canon by many fans for it's deviation from the manga, she was formerly the real-life lover of Balmung. She later seduces Reki in an attempt to get the drop on Balmung. However, nothing of the kind happens in the manga; Kamui does not like Balmung (more than likely due to his principals), and calls Reki "Balmung's little add-on". In the third manga, Balmung makes her realize the real reason she protects The World, but only after teasing her. Kamui's attitude towards her work is very much the result of her experiences with former CC Corp debugger Watarai who's character, Albireo, was data drained by Tsukasa's Guardian during the events of .hack//Sign (though the event is not covered in the TV series, it was covered in Wotan's Spear, part of AI Buster volume 2) and left CC Corp when responsibility of the Twilight Incident was forced onto him.

Magi is to Kamui as Reki is to Balmung, she is Kamui's assistant and just as, if not more, loyal to her Knight as Reki is to his. She enjoys a good fight just as much as Ouka, but tends to do it in the name of the Administration. Magi is also a Wavemaster, with a scholar avatar similar to Reki's. Magi appears to be personal friends with Kamui.
Played by Komiyama, a classmate of both Shugo and Rena. He is always with his pet grunty, Oscar. He has a desire for Rena, and is always after her affections. His voice (in both the manga and anime) is always recognized by his unique laugh, "Kii shi shi shi shi." Shugo detests Komiyan for this, often threatening to delete him from the game. In one scenario, Shugo unleashes a "data drain" from his Twilight Bracelet, changing both Komiyan and the monster attacking him into fish for Mireille to take. At another time he turns them into huge frogs. Komiyan seems to have a desire for Rena in socks.

Anime-only

One of the original .hackers, Sanjuro makes it his responsibility to train Shugo. He is an American who plays on the Japanese servers also, as well as one of Hotaru's friends who originally invited her to the JP server, and acts as her Japanese language tutor. His class type is Heavy Blade, with an avatar of a ronin samurai. He only appears as a supporting character in the anime, but mentioned in the manga.

Manga-only

Zefie is a Vagrant AI, and Aura's apparent daughter. She shows up one session and is attached to Shugo. She originally came to Shugo because she smelled Aura's scent on Shugo's bracelet. Zefie's story is that she's lost and is looking for her mother Aura, in which Mireille quickly claims is a character-specific "sub-quest" that could result in the rarest of rare items. She is always trying to get the affections of Shugo, and is rude to all who try to stop her, mainly Rena. Zefie also has the ability to control The World and avatar appearances however she sees fit, which either can be very useful, or very annoying. She also seems to like Mireille more than she likes anyone but Shugo. This is supported by the fact that she never insults him or plays tricks on him. Zefie is a PC but called a stray Al because 'THE WORLD' administrators have no control over her unlike the shopkeepers or any other PC.
Kazu is a male Wavemaster. He was a childhood friend and neighbor of Shugo and Rena, and the real life brother of Akira Hayami(BlackRose) He provides Shugo and his party with the Helba Key for access into the Netslum. In real life, his name is Fumikazu Hayami.

Media

Music Theme

Opening Theme - " New World"
Vocals by, Round Table featuring Nino
Ending Theme - "Emerald Green"
Composed by, Yuki Kajiura
Preformed by, ''See-Saw
Vocals by, Akiko Nakagawa

Soundtrack

The music for the anime was composed by Yuji Yoshino, with vocals by Yoko Ueno. There are 29 songs in the soundtrack excluding the opening and ending songs.

  1. Introduction - Yoko Ueno
  2. Love The World - Yuji Yoshino
  3. Where Shall We Go? - Yuji Yoshino
  4. Jump Into The Blue Sky! - Yoko Ueno
  5. Twisted Emotion - Yuji Yoshino
  6. You Want To Have Me As Your Pet, Don't You...? - Yoko Ueno
  7. The Cost Of Pleasure - Yuji Yoshino
  8. Roaming Soul - Yuji Yoshino
  9. Dawn - Mai Takahashi
  10. More And More - Yoko Ueno
  11. Afterlight - Yuji Yoshino
  12. Net Disconnected - Yuji Yoshino
  13. Abnormal Gang - Yuji Yoshino
  14. Data Drain - Yuji Yoshino
  15. Sexy You - Yuji Yoshino
  16. Season Of Love - Yuji Yoshino
  17. Legendary Hero - Yuji Yoshino
  18. Fair, Later, Fine - Yoko Ueno
  19. Under Control - Yuji Yoshino
  20. Sad Eyes Staring At The World - Yoko Ueno
  21. Uninvited Person - Yoko Ueno
  22. Emerald Green (Short Version) - See-Saw
  23. Inappropriate Monster - Yuji Yoshino
  24. Listen...A Little Secret - Yoko Ueno
  25. Burning Chase - Yuji Yoshino
  26. Garden Of Cherry Trees - Yuji Yoshino
  27. Speaking Soul - Yuji Yoshino
  28. Grand Finale - Yoko Ueno
  29. New World (Acoustic Version) - Round Table

Episodes

.hack//Legend of the Twilight episode list

References

External links

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