.hack//SIGNTV, ep.26 (~24 min.), 2002
Login to the most successful online game in history! "The World" is being played by millions of people around the world, making it the most popular game ever. Players can go online and trade items, form parties, and go on quests. But none of that concerns Tsukasa. Trapped within "The World," a virtual prisoner - his journey from the digital world to the real world has just begun.
A young wavemaster, only known by the alias of Tsukasa, wakes up in an MMORPG called The World, with slight amnesia. He does not know what he has previously done before he woke up. In The World, he is suspected to be a hacker of the Crimson Knights, as he was seen accompanying a tweaked character in the form of a cat. Unable to log out from the game, he wanders around looking for answers, avoiding the knights and other players he meets along the way.
As Tsukasa explores The World, he stumbles upon a magical item that takes the form of a "guardian," which promises him protection from all harm. Subaru, the leader of the Crimson Knights, along with several other players who became acquainted with Tsukasa, set out to investigate why Tsukasa is unable to log out, and attempt to get to the bottom of the problem before it gets out of hand.
In a massive online world, people act only as well as their conscience demands. When one player's punishment is to be trapped in this world, a disparate group of people seek the answers why. Their motives are varied; their methods even more so. What stands between when we tear down the walls of reality? Where does our soul end and we begin?
Related anime:.hack//gift OVA, 2003, Side story
.hack//SIGN TV, 2002, Character
.hack//Liminality OVA, 2002, Alternative setting
.hack//SIGN: Intermezzo OVA, 2003, Sequel
.hack//Legend of the Twilight TV, 2003, Sequel
.hack//Roots TV, 2006, Sequel
.hack//SIGN: Unison OVA, 2003, Sequel
.hack//Quantum OVA, 2010, Other
.hack//Sekai no Mukou ni Movie, 2012, Other