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How You Can Watch Dot Hack Animated Shows Right Now – Dot Hack Tribute Day August 6, 2020

Posted by Maniac in Dot Hack Tribute Day, Editorials, Uncategorized.
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If you’re a new fan to the .hack// franchise and you’re interested in experiencing some of the shows for yourselves, you’re probably wondering where you’ll have to go to do that. If you happen to live in North America (referred to henceforth as DVD Region 1), I’ve got some great news for you. Despite the fact some of the shows are nearly twenty years old, the content is still available through several modern distribution methods, and you can watch whatever you want however you want right now.

Just be aware this information is liable to change at the drop of a hat and because of that I recommend seeking these shows out as soon as possible. In a world where everyone prefers to subscribe to streaming services it means content shuffled around constantly. There’s just no telling what will happen to them when their current distribution deals expire.

As of today, there have been four anime series in the .hack// franchise that have been released in North America in some form. They range in this order, .hack//SIGN, .hack//Legend of The Twilight, .hack//ROOTS, and .hack//QUANTUM. There has also been an an animated adaptation of the G.U. games called .hack//G.U. Trilogy and while it isn’t considered canon to the .hack// franchise, it is still a an adaptation of a great story. Sadly, we are not going to be discussing the four-part .hack//LUMINALITY series, as each animated episode was bundled on DVD exclusively with the original games and were intended to be watched as part of each game. Because of that, they have not received a separate home video distribution and for us to have any chance of watch it now, we’ll have to hope BandaiNamco will re-release the original games on modern platforms.

For those of you concerned about the technical information from the shows, or where it stands in the subs vs dubs debate, this is where you want to read. If you’re only interested in how you can watch the shows right now you can skip the rest of this paragraph. The majority of .hack// shows were produced in a standard definition widescreen format. That means you’ll only be able to find most of the shows on DVD or in Standard Definition digital formats. Only .hack//Quantum was produced in High-Definition and as such is the only show that has received a Blu-Ray Disc release or could be purchased digitally in HD. As for Subs vs Dubs I have good news for both sides. Nearly all of FUNIMATION’s DVD boxed sets include English and Japanese audio along with English subtitles. The only exception is .hack//G.U. Trilogy, which has no English audio dub and can only be watched in English via subtitles. With all of that out of the way, let’s talk about where to watch some anime!

First off, let’s talk about a method that is still a great option for collectors like me, DVD and Blu-Ray Disc. A few years ago, FUNIMATION obtained the distribution rights for North America’s .hack// series, and they have used that right to re-release complete DVD Boxed sets for each of the shows adapted for Region 1. Back in the early days of anime on DVD, .hack// shows were broken up across multiple volumes of episodes, making customers have to purchase separate standalone discs to obtain all of a single show’s episodes. These original discs are no longer in print and while you might still be able to obtain them through the secondhand market you’ll get a much better deal buying FUNIMATION’s re-released complete series boxed sets. There’s no complete .hack// boxed set but each show is available for individual purchase. In one package of DVDs you’ll find all episodes from each series and a few special features along with special OVA’s. HD purists will need to know only .hack//QUANTUM was given a Blu-Ray Disc release, and I recommend getting that over DVD, because FUNIMATION released it as a combo pack and a DVD version of the show is included.

The reason I recommended buying the series on disc as the first option is because once you have the discs, they’re yours forever. Short of your DVD player breaking (a trivial thing to replace) nothing can take your ability to watch those discs away from you, even if the rights to distribute them change, your discs will remain in your collection forever. However, most people aren’t interested in watching films on disc and prefer to keep a purely digital collection of film and television, or prefer to subscribe to streaming services. We got you covered in that respect next.

FUNIMATION has all of the North American shows up for sale on various digital marketplaces including Apple’s iTunes. Content purchased through iTunes can be watched on Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, PC or Mac, to say nothing of other devices like recent Samsung TVs or Amazon Fire. The prices vary depending on the amount of episodes produced for each series of the show but some shows can be purchased for very low prices. I haven’t checked Google or Samsung’s digital marketplaces at this time but if someone has, they’re welcome to post a comment below with what they’ve found.

If you’re a person who prefers to subscribe to online streaming services, .hack// has also been put on several of them. Most users will be able to find the entire collection through the premium FUNIMATION app, which can be downloaded on multiple platforms including Apple, Samsung and Google. Just be aware, subscribing to that service is not free and if you aren’t a subscriber you’ll only be able to watch a very limited selection of episodes. Those episodes can be watched in English, and the picture quality is very good, despite being in standard definition.

If you prefer to watch on a different service, the free streaming service TUBI has SIGN, Legend of the Twilight and ROOTS available to stream right now for free (with ads). You can get the TUBI app on various devices including Amazon Fire, Apple, Google and Samsung. Heck it even works on the Comcast X1 Cable box. I freaking love this service as it has a ton of great shows and films I have wanted to watch for years now. Just be aware Tubi versions of the show are not of great picture quality, and are currently Japanese audio only, which means you’ll need to enable subtitles to watch them.

And that is currently how you can watch most of the .hack// animated series. The shows used to be available on Crunchyroll in their original Japanese audio, but since the company split with FUNIMATION’s service I don’t think they’re available on Crunchyroll any more.

Unfortunately, I can’t provide information outside of Region 1 for how to watch these shows, but knowing that most of this content was originally produced in Japan (known henseforth as DVD Region 2) it is safe to assume the shows should exist in that region. If you’d like to import Japan’s DVDs or Blu-Ray Discs into your home country, keep in mind that region locks might prevent the discs from playing on your home player. Just make sure to buy a player compatible with your region’s power outlets.

Go forth now, start watching, and explore The World! We will be back soon with more highlights from across the web!

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