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Manga / .hack//Legend of the Twilight

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.hack//Legend of the Twilight (.hack//Tasogare no Udewa Densetsu) is a short manga series and its anime adaptation which is part of the .hack franchise. The story follows the adventures of Shugo and Rena, a pair of twins who have won two limited edition clone accounts of the heroes Kite and BlackRose from .hack//IMOQ and, like their predecessors, find themselves sinking into the vast mysteries of The World alongside a werewolf, a happy-go-lucky treasure hunter, and a mysterious Rogue AI girl named Zefie.

However, unlike most of the other .hack titles, it remains fairly lighthearted throughout the series and focuses more on the game itself rather than the circumstances that led to the playing of the game, spending less time probing the effects of loneliness on the human psyche and more time crawling through dungeons and having fun with events. In other words, it's a lot like playing an MMO with some of your best friends.

Canonically it is currently the last story set in The World R:1, taking place in 2014.

The manga was written by Tatsuya Hamazaki and illustrated by Rei Izumi, and it was serialized in Comptiq from 2001 to 2003; the anime aired in 2003 for 12 episodes. For those seeking to complete their .hack//LotT experience, you'll have to read both the manga (the canonical version of the story) and view the anime due to significant plot differences.

(Character sheet is available here.)

.hack//Legend of the Twilight has examples of:

  • A God Am I: Morti the Wandering AI, in the anime.
    "This is my world."
  • Ascended Extra: Sanjuro, being a side character who required a non-plot mission to recruit, could be skipped over entirely in the IMOQ games. Here, he's friends with Hotaru and is one of the physical and intellectual powerhouses of the protagonist group.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Balmung.
  • Beach Episode: Initially played straight in chapter seven, but quickly subverted as Mireille and Ouka drag the rest of the cast along to do a Special Event.
  • Beauty to Beast: During a swimming contest in the manga, Shugo gets fed up with Komiyan the Turd and socks him in the face. The Data Drain bracelet activates and turns Komiyan's face into a half-fish. Komiyan takes revenge on him later in the story by selling him out to the Cobalt Knights.
  • Bowdlerisation: The punchline of one 4Koma has Hotaru saying "I have them / they're attached", which some readers interpreted as a reference to having testicles. The English version quietly changes this line to "I'm very lucky".
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Twincest between Shugo and Rena in the anime version was implied so heavily that the series has arguably become infamously immortalized because of it. The anime invoked this in order to try and cash in on the Moe craze that was starting to gain momentum in Japan.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Shugo in the anime due to his Amusing Injury Running Gag.
    • Balmung gets this treatment a bit in the manga for his hosting special events that are wacky bordering on absurd. Many of the characters joke about him.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Episodes 1 through 4 are lighthearted and mostly deal with wacky events and goings-on in The World. Episode 5, "Mansion of Terror", deals with an event area that is styled as a blood-red haunted mansion, tougher enemies than the group has faced previously, starts to show the enmity between Balmung and Kamui, and has Rena placed into a coma after being defeated in-game. It's still lighter than the rest of the series, but this is when things get serious.
    • Notable because the events mostly stay the same between the anime and the manga up until episode 5 (minus one event that doesn't appear in manga). In the manga version, Rena doesn't get defeated, the plot event that spurs the entire rest of the anime version, and to a certain extent also establishes the anime as darker than the manga was.
  • Child Prodigy: Mireille is apparently 4 years old according to the manga. Played with in that she gets a little over-emotional, often simplifies things on occasion, and can be rather single-minded, but still seems to know quite a bit about The World and does not often talk like she's that young.
  • Cool Big Sis: Ouka. She tutors Mireille outside of the net, and aside from being one of the powerhouses, does seem to care for Shugo. Notable in that she becomes The Lancer after Rena gets defeated if Sanjuro or Balmung aren't around.
  • Costume Exaggeration: The series somehow manages a Beach Episode that subverts this, where Shugo suddenly realizes that Ouka, being a Cool Big Sis, should naturally appear in the slinkiest swimsuit of any of the girls — until she shows up in wolf shape (which, granted, means she's technically naked).
  • Cross Player: Hotaru is a guy in real life.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: One each in Episode 1 and 2 involving Hotaru and Sanjuro. It develops their friendships and foreshadows Sanjuro coming to Shugo and Hotaru's rescue in Episode 3.
  • Flower from the Mountaintop: Hotaru asks Shugo help her get a Phoenix Feather from a high-level Cerberus to save a sick baby grunty, even though they are both at very low levels. She goes with him, and they get the feather in time to heal it.
  • Gecko Ending: The anime follows the manga up until episode 6, but then creates its own storyline afterward since the manga was still being written.
  • Hotter and Sexier: While .hack//Legend of the Twilight is more lighthearted than other .hack titles, it also contains more Fanservice and suggestive themes.
  • Knight Templar: Kamui and the Cerulean Knights dedicate themselves a bit too much to keeping the game running as it's supposed to. She'll ban players for minor offenses such as merely changing the color of one of their clothing articles. Needless to say, the existence and use of the Twilight Bracelet puts Shugo at the top of her hit list, and his friends just for associating himself with them. In the anime, she bans Silver Knight for associating with them as well, even though he tried to show her the wrongs she was doing, just as he had once done before her. In the manga, she makes it a special point to exterminate Rogue AIs.
  • The Legend of X
  • Lighter and Softer: Legend of the Twilight is very much so compared to many of the other main entries in the series. Newtype USA described it as the "dessert" that followed after the "main course" (that being SIGN and IMOQ.)
  • Marshmallow Hell: Ouka does this to Shugo after he suddenly runs into her unexpectedly in the 3rd volume of the manga. At that point in the story, Shugo had been apart from the other characters from so long, that she couldn't hold back her excitement and happiness to see him again. In the anime, there's also a random player with quite the impressive rack who seemingly exists simply to have others (like Shugo) plow into her and get offended.
  • Noodle Incident: We never do find out what Ouka, Mireille, and Rena did to the grunty's neglectful former owner in episode 3 of the anime and Shugo comments that it's probably better if we don't.
  • "On the Next Episode of..." Catch-Phrase: Each preview with "I have special event information".
  • Parlor Games: Shugo plays shiritori (a vocabulary game) with Zefie and learns you cannot beat someone who can instantly look up every word that exists.
  • Real Money Trade: Hotaru doesn't have any gold, so she considers paying real money in return for medicine for the Team Pet. Shugo quickly talks her out of it. It turned out that the "gold farmer" she was speaking to was an admin in disguise, who was actually manipulating them into rejecting the offer and instead going to fight the ridiculously high-leveled monster in the field that had the medicine.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Hotaru's baby grunty.
  • Running Gag:
    • Shugo would sooner or later get one of his front teeth knocked out because of some Amusing Injury for most of the episodes.
    • Scenes with Ouka either hitting on Shugo or Shugo imagining Ouka somewhat naughtily only for her to show up as a dog.
    • Mireille's obssession with rare items. This lessens once the Cerebus Syndrome sets in.
  • Sexophone: Ouka's themesong is called "You Want To Have Me As Your Pet, Don't You...
  • Solomon Divorce: In the anime, Shugo & Rena seem completely unable to meet outside of The World.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Ouka. Early translations of the manga called her "Orca". The anime got slightly closer and has it pronounced "Ohka" and spells it that way in the English subtitles. Later manga editions have it as the official spelling of "Ouka".
  • Strong Family Resemblance: The manga reveals Mireille is the four-year-old daughter of Mistral from IMOQ. Justified by the manga heavily implying Mireille is using Mistral's profile.
  • Team Pet: Hotaru's baby grunty.
  • Team Shot: The manga has a page at the end called "Unplugged", showing the players behind the characters standing in a pose like this, including both the antagonists and protagonists. This is also the first time any of their true appearances are shown. Balmung's face still remains a mystery.
  • Teen Genius: Wiseman from IMOQ shows up in the later volumes of the manga as a friend of Mireille via Mistral, and is as smart an informant as ever. He's only 14.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: In a Drama CD, Shugo finds out that Hotaru's player is a dude.
  • Unusual Ears: An event prize is a set of Moe fetish items, including cat ears; Shugo begins to idolize the programmer, while the girls are mortified.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: Only one event in the manga does not correspond to the rest of the series, being a cute event for Shugo, Rena, and Mireille to hang out together; perhaps a strong reason why the anime took it out.