.hack//SIGN is a 26 episode anime that revolves around a Wavemaster named Tsukasa who becomes mysteriously trapped in The World, and also about a group of players who wish to find a mysterious item called the Key of the Twilight. Two OVA episodes were created with one about a player named Mimika and the other occurring in Net Slum a few months after the events of the .hack//Games.
SIGN takes place almost entirely in "The World", with almost all scenes that take place in the real world being shown colorless with a grainy effect, in “silent film style” (where the words appear on screen instead of listening to them). The only exception is at the end of the last episode.
Set within a virtual reality MMORPG, the story revolves around various players in The World, and their interactions with one another as a series of mysterious events cause one lone wavemaster, Tsukasa, to become trapped within the game, unable to remember who he was or how he became trapped there. The story follows his interactions with Mimiru, a headstrong Heavy Blade, Bear an experienced veteran player, and a mysterious force seemingly acting as Tsukasa's guardian.
A plot of interweaving mysteries and emotional growth, Tsukasa journey is filled with more questions than answers much of the time as he tries to understand just who he is and why these events are unfolding around him.
The show aired throughout 2002 in Japan and 2003 (on Cartoon Network) in the United States.
Bandai had four total releases of .hack//SIGN in the United States. A Limited Edition set was released, with each DVD having an extra pack-in; a non-limited version was released at the same time, the first disc being available in March 2003. In 2004 a "Complete Collection" was released but it did not include Unison. Another complete collection labeled as "Anime Legends" was released in August 2006.
- Role Play
- Twilight Eye
- The Eve
- Net Slum
This is a list of areas visited by the characters of SIGN.
- Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground
- Θ Bitter Fantasy Mirror World
- Σ Screaming Wind Sands Fate Castle
- Θ Rejecting Oblivious Wavemaster
|Role||English VA||Japanese VA|
|Tsukasa||Brianne Siddal||Mitsuki Saiga|
|Mimiru||Amanda Winn Lee||Megumi Toyoguchi|
|Bear||Paul Mercier||Kazuhiro Nakata|
|BT||Donna Rawlins||Akiko Hiramatsu|
|Subaru||Kim Mai Guest||Kaori Nazuka|
|Silver Knight||Doug Rye||Isshin Chiba|
|Sora||Dave Wittenberg||Hiroshi Yanaka|
|Crim||Lex Lang||Shinichiro Miki|
|Morganna||Valerie Arem||Rie Tanaka|
|AI Harald||Crispin Freeman||Takumi Yamazaki|
|A-20||Sandy Fox||Atsuko Enomoto|
|Balmung||Crispin Freeman||Nobuyuki Hiyama|
|Kaochin||Brianne Siddal||Sara Nakayama|
- When all six U.S. DVDs of SIGN are lined up numerically, the letters on the spines spell out "LOGOUT".
- Hidden on the back of each DVD case is a keyword that can be used in the .hack games. These keywords access an area with one-of-a-kind items hidden within the dungeon, such as the Lady's Equipment or Risky Coffee.
- Kazunori Ito penned 15 episodes of SIGN by himself, and coauthored the screenplay to episodes 7, 10, 12, 17, 19, 23, and GIFT with Michiko Yokote. He also cowrote the screenplay to episode 5 with Akemi Omode. Episode 27 was written by Hiroaki Jinno, and episodes 18, 21, 22, and 28 were written by Mitsuhiko Sawamura. Episode 11 was written by Koichi Mashimo and Kirin Mori.
- During the opening sequence of the anime, the main casts of SIGN had their outfits disintegrated to reveal their true faces from their game visors and their physical appearance. Although in the entire episodes until the end of the anime, their outfits remained intact after revealing their true faces. This is due to both censorship and nudity.
- In one episode however, the protagonist Tsukasa has his outfit in shreds when his character appearance is about to be deleted or having his data drained. But was later spared in the end as Tsukasa was now seen in a battle damaged state.