.hack//Sign follows the story of a young wavemaster known by the alias Tsukasa. He woke up inside an MMORPG, without any memory of the events prior to his arrival in The World. Moreover, Tsukasa cannot log out of the game like other players do.
As he explores The World in search for answers, Tsukasa stumbles upon a “guardian”, who promises to protect him from all harm. With his guardian and the leader of the Crimson Knights by his side, Tsukasa sets out to investigate his strange case.
About the Show
.hack//Sign is a sci-fi mystery anime television series written by Kazunori Itou, who is also responsible for the screenplay of the first Ghost in the Shell movie. Produced by studio Bee Train under the direction of Kouichi Mashimo, .hack//Sign aired a total of 26 episodes (plus 3 OVAs) between April 4, 2002, and September 25, 2002.
Episode 1: “Role Play”
Tsukasa awakens and finds himself in The World. Strangely enough, he has no idea who he is, and why he was there. To make matters worse, he learns that he cannot log out of the game, and is trapped within The World.
Episode 2: “Guardian”
The Crimson Knights notice the peculiarity of Tsukasa, and treats him as a hacker. Later, Tsukasa goes to meet Mimiru and Bear to show them his guardian monster.
Episode 3: “Folklore”
BT and Sora suggest that Tsukasa might have some sort of connection with a legendary item called the Key of the Twilight. Bear does not completely accept the idea, and suspects that Tsukasa might be a victim of a more serious case.
Episode 4: “Wanted”
Tsukasa’s guardian suddenly starts attacking other characters uncontrollably in The World. In an attempt to address the situation, Subaru declares Tsukasa a wanted character on all servers of The World.
Episode 5: “Captured”
Now being hunted by most players, Tsukasa goes into hiding. He later learns how to control his guardian. Meanwhile, Sora and the Silver Knight concoct a plan to double-cross Tsukasa, and hand him over to the Crimson Knights.
Episode 6: “Encounter”
Tsukasa ends up in the hands of the Crimson Knights. Subaru talks to him, and learns how real The World has become a part of Tsukasa. She decides to release him, but Sora arrives to “rescue” Tsukasa.
Episode 7: “Reason”
Mimiru meets a newbie named A20, and decides to give her a walkthrough of The World. Thanks to this meeting, Mimiru finds the reason why she is playing the game.
Episode 8: “Promise”
Mimiru sends a mail to Tsukasa, inviting him to meet at a certain place. Wanting to see him again, she plans to wait there until he arrives. Meanwhile, BT asks Crim for help in finding the Key of the Twilight.
Episode 9: “Epitaph”
The search for the Key of the Twilight begins, and the quest appears to be on the right track when a hacker named Helba appears. Meanwhile, Tsukasa meets a player who asks him to look after her sick Puchiguso.
Episode 10: “Compensation”
Bear contemplates on his shortcomings as a father, after BT suggests that it may be the cause of his concern for Tsukasa. BT and Crim then push their investigation with the help of BBS clues. Meanwhile, Tsukasa and Subaru start to become closer to each other.
Episode 11: “Party”
Mimiru and Bear decide to do a non-fighting quest, taking Tsukasa with them. Meanwhile, Sora decides to go after Tsukasa.
Episode 12: “Entanglement”
Tsukasa is shocked to see Aura covered in vines. Morganna then asks him if he really does wish to return to the “filthy world”. Later, Bear and Subaru talk about the possibilities that may occur when Tsukasa’s player finally manages to log out and awaken.
Episode 13: “Twilight Eye”
The players have finally figured out how to open the Twilight Eye, and how to follow the path that it reveals. BT and Crim go in. BT and Sora covertly plan something.
Episode 14: “Castle”
BT and Crim discovers a hidden area, and they immediately begin to search for the key. Bear, Mimiru, and Tsukasa shortly arrive after. Unexpectedly, the group meets a fragmented AI version of Harald Hoerwick. After speaking to him, the area begins to crumble and Morganna attacks Tsukasa. Macha orders to kill Mimiru, but Tsukasa sacrifices himself, resulting to him logging out.
Episode 15: “Evidence”
A series of flashbacks are shown.
Episode 16: “Depth”
Tsukasa screams as he is suddenly logged in again, at the same time as Morganna’s domain. Due to this, Tsukasa learns that he cannot die in The World. Later, he meets Subaru, who comforts him.
Episode 17: “Conflict”
Crim rejects BT’s invitation to meet in the real world. Later, she joins a band of players who needed help, who were then revealed to be tricksters. Tsukasa arrives to save her.
Episode 18: “Declaration”
Silver Knight continues to prevent Subaru from meeting Tsukasa and his friends. Later, Subaru discovers what Silver Knight has been doing. She then decides to disband the Crimson Knights, after coming to the conclusion that they have deviated too far from their original purpose.
Episode 19: “Recollection”
Subaru wanders around The World, and reminiscences her early days in the game, and how she and Crim founded the Crimson Knights. Later, she is attacked by a player and is badly beaten. Tsukasa then arrives to help her.
Episode 20: “Tempest”
Tsukasa takes Subaru to Aura’s domain, but discovers that she has gone missing. Meanwhile, the others are still continuing their search for the Key of the Twilight. Morganna appears and attacks a lone Tsukasa.
Episode 21: “Despair”
Tsukasa is left badly hurt by Morganna, and her rampage still continues. Distorted monsters start to appear within The World.
Episode 22: “Phantom”
Bear, Mimiru, and Subaru travel to another fragment of Harald, and they learn Aura’s connection with Tsukasa.
Episode 23: “The Eve”
Everyone prepares to pass through Helba’s gate, but Tsukasa refuses and is scared to go. Subaru then remains to wait for Tsukasa.
Episode 24: “Net Slum”
The party arrives at Net Slum, Helba’s domain. There, Helba reveals Morganna’s plan, and that they must defend Subaru. Later, Tsukasa reveals that she is a girl in real life, and wishes to meet her outside The World.
Episode 25: “Catastrophe”
The intense battle between Tsuka and Morganna’s party commences.
Episode 26: “Return”
Tsukasa awakens from his coma, and finally meets Subaru’s player.