(dot)hack//Legend of the Twilight GN 1 (aka (dot)hack//DUSK)
Age - T (Teen 13+)
Story by Tatsuya Hamazaki
Artwork by Rei Izumi
Translator - Naomi Kokubo
English Adaptation, Lettering and Layout and Editor duties (whew) by Jake Forbes
Retouch by Joe Llamazord
Before we begin...
So, you might have seen the Anime version of this first, right? I don't know if BANDAI has gotten around to rolling out (dot)hack//Legend of the Twilight DVD Volume 1 in your area yet but you might have seen this before the manga... in that case you know what's going to go on with the manga, right?
Wrong. Apparently the manga and anime may very well have two different agendas, but only time will tell if that is a true assessment or not (more on that later).
But let's take a look, shall we?
Graphic Novel 1
When big sister Rena wins a contest that gives her two special avatars (Kite and BlackRose, who are the stars of the PS2 (dot)hack "quad-rilogy" of video games) she shares this with her brother Shugo who...?
Oh-kay. Split point one. In the manga they're living together (still), but in the anime they're separated by divorced parents and Rena wants to be close with her separated sibling again.
So, in The World these two go to have fun... and yet things just seem to go wrong.
Turns out Shugo is a normal flesh and blood boy... go figure... and he can't turn down the chance to gawk at the beautiful women (sometimes in very revealing costumes), or have a nosebleed when he gets panty-flashed or whatever sexy concerning women...
Second point is the fact that, well, while they're in the first beginner's world to try out the combat thing of The World they run into a high level monster rampaging in said world which leads to Shugo dying and being saved by Aura ((dot)hack//SIGN and the PS2 games) who gives Shugo the same bracelet she gave Kite to fight the "nemesis" of the video games (the "cursed data wave" and the powerful "Lt." of the "nemesis", Cubia).
And once again we come to another crossroads.
While the manga doesn't seem to go very far with the Aura thing (at first in this Graphic Novel), the Anime takes it and runs with it like nobody's business. Suddenly it looks like the bad old days of the PS2 games are a-coming back with coma cases and a new threat to The World.
Somehow I liked the light (sometimes risque even) fun of the manga, but have issues with what's going on with the anime which I'll go into shortly.
After meeting PS2 game character "Balmaug", and being joined by treasure hunting, rare item craving Wavemaster Mireille, the wackyness truly begins!
Wackyness including a Valentine's Day special event hunt that seems to resemble something out of Super Mario Brothers 2 with all that giant vegetable pulling, a "revealing" cherry blossom festival that brings in another new character (the shapeshifting female wolf character Orca... hopefully no relation to the male Orca from the PS2 games) and brings out the dead in the form of skeletons dug up from beneath the cherry blossom trees. Oh, and a contest using giant killer digital sharks against the "players" which is trouble for Shugo since he has to "save" his sister who has become the "prize" of said contest which will have her giving her loving romantic services to the winner... oh, and Balmaug joins the contest to get close to Rena.
The anime, of course, differs from the manga... but which is better?
I liked some of the stuff from the anime, but the manga wins in the end by keeping the light side of the story and not "evolving" into a half hearted attempt at a serious (dot)hack//SIGN storyline.
Of course if the manga follows suit I'll lose faith in the manga as well as the anime which I already have lost faith in. Ok, ok, let's break it down.
(dot)hack//DUSK (Legend of the Twilight) Breakdown the 1st
Serious (dot)hack//SIGN with some light moments.
Serious (dot)hack PS2 games with more light moments than SIGN.
Lighthearted fun (risque) (dot)hack//DUSK (Legend of the Twilight) that just goes with the fun and runs with it full out... or does it?
My problem with the Anime is it starts out fun, as in DVD Volume 1 was fun... then it suddenly "kills" off Rena (but she's in a coma now and Shugo has to save her ala the PS2 games quest for Kite to save Orca) and the title becomes mega serious when a new "order" takes over and begins to "execute" players who won't play by the "Administrators" rules (all this in Volume 2).
Y'know what? If the fun (dot)hack works why screw it up? I don't see why.
If I wanted it to be serious I'd have wanted a (dot)hack//SIGN 2 sequel and not something new like this.
If the manga follows suit? I'd be totally bummed.
Just said what I didn't think was good with the anime, but there's not much complaints with the manga...
One "Not", however, is I hope this book isn't a mirror image of the anime because I'll stop being interested in this after Graphic Novel 2 which I really need to buy soon.
Moments to Remember
Ah, it‘s sometimes memorable for all the wrong reasons isn‘t it!
Let‘s see... panties flashed? Check. Near nudity? Check. Abit risque (but good nevertheless)? Check.
Don't worry, sometimes it's also memorable for all the right reasons as well! (Including the first Anime volume which has some really keen fun in it as well when it's not being serious).
What to Ignore?
Why the hell did the series suddenly dump the fun and became serious? Couldn't they have ignored the urge to make another (dot)hack//SIGN and kept it fun? Sigh...
This may be the last of the fun before the title sinks into seriousness like the anime, but I'm hoping it holds onto the fun as long as it can. That's what makes it a good read. Now if I finally bite the bullet and buy Graphic Novel 2 we'll see if I had any reason to be worried or not!
Buy this, though, I recommend it.
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