.Hack//Quantum is a brand new OVA addition to the long-running .Hack franchise, but we were really behind covering this anime so we decided to start here. Before I start on the film, let me give a brief introduction of the .Hack series. The series occurs many years in the future where computers run on an operating system called the ALTIMIT OS. The World is actually based on an incomplete poem called the Epitaph of the Twilight, whose link to the game is too long to be explained here. The game’s appeal is booster further by its realistic graphics and the use of the Face-Mounted Display(FMD) which give players the illusion of really being their avatar. Set in the near future of Japan, three teenage girls are best friends both in the real world, as well as a multi-player online role-playing game known as “The World”, which is similar to World of Warcraft.
The script is handled adeptly by Tatsuya Hamazaki, who is actually a long-time player in the franchise, so those who are fans of the series will be happy to know this OVA is fantastic and you should feel right at home. As with most of the .Hack animes, most of the story takes place inside of the MMORPG “THE WORLD”. As such the animation is top notch. I really loved how they inserted some CG into the mix too. Watching it even made me feel like playing WoW again as the sequences took me back to my MMO days in college. We’re not talking high art or deep plots, but it’s fun, it’s fast-paced and interesting, leaving in an unexplained cliff-hanger.
Sakuya, Tobias and Mary are, together, a 3-person party experiencing The World as it suits them. Sometimes, they undertake dangerous quests. Sometimes, they wander aimlessly. At other times, they pass time chatting. Your job is to just enjoy the ride. For spectacle, charm, and character, Quantum is brimming with life, and just to let inform those that do not know, Aura is the personification of the AI that is in charge of taking care of The World so that means her appearance in the next episode has some significance. Overall I feel that .hack//Quantum is a fitting continuation and a film that could be a good gateway to those looking to explore this world more thoroughly.
So let me make this really clear: this is easily the best thing to come out of .Hack, full stop. Perhaps this will ring truer when I say that the studio Bee Train and director Koichi Mashimo are not at all involved. Overall: Great addition to the .Hack series, I highly suggest that you watch this if you are a fan of the .Hack franchise. This series seems to be a tribute to the past .hack series as evidenced by the main characters avatars and other characters throughout the episode. The departure from Bee Train was a breath of fresh air, and I was definitely impressed by the quality of animation and storytelling in Quantum. I also got the same feeling as Jeroz with regards to the BRS connection, but I felt that the slice-of-life friendship connection (aka K-On) connection between BRS and Quantum was stronger. That also indicated to me though that Quantum wouldn’t be something on the level of .hack//Sign, just because of how heavily this element was played up in the beginning. All in all, I recommend this anime.