.hack//Beyond the World (Sekai No Mukou Ni): The Movie Review
While looking up information if this was ever to be released in the USA, I found out that the Malaysian version of the movie had English subtitles. Decided to take the risk and buying the movie since I don’t see Bamco showing dot hack any more love in the future. It came in a legit looking version of the movie with the cover cardboard.
The story revolves around Sora, Okano and Tanaka (Kite, Balmung and Orca incarnations) playing “The World: RX” and some crazy stuff starts to happen in typical dot hack fashion. What’s pretty cool about this movie is the mix between the game scenes with the “real life” scenes. Like the classic dot hack games and Liminality. It does lean heavier on the real life scenes over the game ones but it still pulls you in regardless.
The time it takes place in is 2024 which is 4 years after the .hack//link incident and 2 years after .hack//Quantum. I recommend watching Part 1 and Part 2 of .hack//Link before watching this just to get caught up to what’s happened so far. Also I recommend watching Quantum since you will see some of the recurring people in this movie.
FMD’s have gotten a big upgrade for this version of the timeline and they look like regular sunglasses and can be used on the go with the smart phones. Seeing how much this piece of technology has changed over the course of the series is a nice little addition IMO.
While the story focused more on Sora’s side over the main events I still enjoyed watching this, but it does leave you wanting to see more. This was supposed to be the end of the .hack saga but I really don’t think it is. With the versus game having a story revolving around someone important and the 20+ min ova you get after completing it, I still have a feeling they have a trick up their sleeves. If this is indeed the end to the saga I felt like they could have done more with it.
They really went all out for this movie and it shows. This is the best .hack has looked so far and really draws you in. It’s fully CGI, but has a feel that its anime at the same time. Mac Anu looks wonderful and seeing it massively busy is something I feel they wanted to show off ever since they had the idea of an MMO that’s not an MMO.
The character animation, design and lip-synching are outstanding. I love seeing all the characters in glorious high definition and since the trio models look the closest to kite, we a get a glimpse at what they look like past the PS2 graphical limitations. The user interface in this game gets a slight glimpse at as well, with the messages popping up on top of the characters (other people seeing it) and the battle text/winning messages. These little additions make you feel like you’re watching a cut scene to a game you’re playing as opposed to just watching a movie.
Never has a .hack series disappointed me with its outstanding soundtrack over and over again and neither does this movie. I love hearing when the next music clip is about to start and it really adds to the atmosphere of the movie. The soundtrack itself could easily be mistaken for a video game one for the amount of tracks (23) that takes place in the course of two-ish hours; another aspect of this movie that harkens back to the classic games and gives you a great sense of nostalgia.
The only special features that are really included are the subtitles in English, Chinese and Malay. The English subtitles are a pretty bad translation in the use of words. It’s very “Engrish”, but you get what’s going on and understand most of the movie. Seeing as this is the only way we can see this movie currently I personally don’t mind, but I know some others may not enjoy it.
If you have a chance to pick up the Malayan version of this movie, pick it up. I really hope this does make its way over seas and get a chance to see this in theaters. It’s a great movie in itself and if you liked any part of the .hack saga (movies, manga, anime, games etc) you will enjoy this as well.
~ Written: 12-12
- Great soundtrack
- Amazing CGI that feels like an anime
- Great voice acting with good lip-synching
- Great packaging
- Engrish subtitles
- Doesn’t cover enough to be the end of the saga
Other .hack Related Post’s:
- .hack//Link Volume 1
- .hack//Link Volume 2
- .hack//Link Volume 3
- .hack//xxxx Volume 1
- .hack//xxxx Volume 2