I reported about this film getting a release a few weeks back then promptly forgot about it. Now Namco Bandai Games is streaming a 12 minute video covering the beginning of .hack//The Movie (.hack//Sekai no Mukou ni) which was theatrically released on the 21st of January.
The story takes place in 2024 in a world connected by computer networks. A 14 year old girl named Sora Yūki has no interest in games accepts an invitation from her friends Kakeru and Tomohiko to go into a popular network game called “The World.” However, after an accident in the game, reality starts to suffer anomalies and strange events.
.hack was the first manga I actually bought for myself: I saw Tokyopop’s manga stand in a local store and decided to support the by purhasing the only manga to catch my eye. Unfortuantely I didn’t like .hack all that much and regard the series with little interest. There are a lot of anime and video games connected to the series but I have yet to watch or play them and I doubt I ever will. As far as the movie goes the animation leaves me cold.
This 3D CGI movie was Produced by CyberConnect2 and was directed by Hiroshi Matsuyama who is also the president of CyberConnect2 and has written and directed different entries in the .hack// franchise. The character design comes from the legendary Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Evangelion, FLCL, Nadia, The Secret of Blue Water) and the screenplay comes from Kazunori Ito (Ghost in the Shell, Patlabor: The Movie. Kokia wwho should be familiar to anime fans from doing the opening from Gunslinger Girlo: Il Teatrino opening is credited with the theme song for this. Sora is voiced by Nanami Sakuraba (Natsuki in Summer Wars), Kakeru by Toori Matsuzaka and Tomohiko by Kei Tanaka.