Return to the Gate
//Sign and The World
Character Guide
Episode Summaries
FAQs about //Sign


Dot Hack is a larger whole that is made up of several parts.  The .Hack//Sign (pronounced "dot hack sign") TV series, which makes up one of those parts, consists of 26 episodes that have aired in the U.S. on Cartoon Network (plus special 27th and 28th episodes released in Japan as a fan service).  In this section, I'll describe the .Hack//Sign storyline as it relates to The World, and present short descriptions of the characters from the TV series.

Sign takes place in the game "The World", as a prequel to the PS 2 games, around the year 2009.  Mostly, we see only what the players see within the game, but occasionally we get brief glimpses of what the players look like, or do, in the real world.  Sign relates the story of Tsukasa, a player that has gotten caught in the game and can't log out.  Along the way, we meet other players that try to assist him, as well as learn a little bit about the darker side of the game.  Ultimately, we find out what is keeping Tsukasa in The World, and why people in the real world have been falling into comas while playing the game.  And, we get introduced to a couple of key elements of the PS 2 games themselves (Aura, and Skeith.)

There are 25 episodes in .Hack//Sign, with three bonus episodes (Intermezzo, Evidence and Unison) that are packaged with the Limited Edition volume 6 of the DVD set (Intermezzo and Evidence are on the Standard Edition DVD for vol. 6).


The TV series and The World

What does the TV series tell us about The World?  


In Episode 25:


Lambda Server root town, Carmina Gadelica Sanctuary In the treasure room, a chest A portal - bringing a monster, or a chest?
Treasure! - A Golden Grunty Theta Server root town, Dun Loireag Delta Server root town, Mac Anu The Helba Gate
A typical desert field The upside-down city (this was to be a root town!?) The upside-down city, again



Episode Summaries


Character Guide

Tsukasa, in the game A young, male Wavemaster in the game.  He is offered sanctuary in the game by Morganna, and thus has no need for ever logging out.  The catch is that he can NEVER log out.



"Tsukasa" on life support

In real life, Tsukasa is a young high school girl that has been abused by her father.  Her mother died when she was a small child. She retreated into The World as a form of escape from her father.  During most of the series, she is on life support in a Tokyo hospital.  In the end, she comes out of the coma, and probably takes Bear up on his offer to have him act as her legal guardian.  She also recognizes the real-world Subaru while leaving the hospital, and they make contact at the end of the show.
Japanese VA Mitsuki Saiga
English VA Brianne Siddal


Bear, in the game A hulking sword master.  Strictly old school heroics (he even uses pencil and paper to map his progress in the dungeons.)  Tends to act as a father figure to Mimiru and Tsukasa, to compensate for having a lousy personal life in the real world.


"Bear", outisde Tsukasa's hospital, in the rain

In real life, Bear is a 47-year-old guy, divorced, and estranged from his only son (a spoiled brat who plays in The World as a Wavemaster.)  He's very good at doing detective work, and easily tracks down the true real-world person behind the Tsukasa character.  In the character data from the 3rd OAV DVD, he is said to be a novelist.  (In the TV series, when Helba summons everyone to Net Slum, we see a manuscript next to a monitor, with the words: "Annwyn Side Story, by Ryo Sakuma".)
Japanese VA Kazuhiro Nakata
English VA Paul Mercier


Mimiru, in the game A Heavyblade.  Mimiru plays her character as a "tough-it-out-through-anything", devil-may-care fighter who is poor at planning things out and following through on them.  But, very good with a sword.  She's the first player to meet Tsukasa, and later tries to form a bond with him in order to protect him from the outside world.

"Mimiru", on her way home from school

In real life, a 15 year-old school girl - an only child with few friends.  Her father works in production at Cenpro, a semiconductor company that etches wafers. Near the end of the TV series, Mimiru tells Silver Knight that she also used to work part-time at a video store, where she enjoyed watching movies all the time for free.
Japanese VA Megumi Toyoguchi
English VA Amanda Winn Lee



BT, in the game

A Wavemaster in the game.  BT is the kind of plotting, scheming character that forms friendships just to achieve a goal, only to watch the friendship crumble when the other person finds out that they've been used.  She rarely ventures out to fight monsters, but is said to be good with both offensive and defensive magic.


"BT", alone in her apartment

In real life, a 28-year-old former model (according to the character data from the 3rd OAV DVD).  Single, living in her own apartment, and getting desperately lonely.  Develops a crush on Crim.  Near the end of the TV series, BT runs the risk of developing an attraction towards Silver Knight.  Her character name comes from her favorite food minus her least favorite food: Bacon-Lettuce-Tomato sandwich - Lettuce = BT.
Japanese VA Akiko Hiramatsu
English VA Donna Rawlins


Subaru, in the game A Heavy Axe in the game.  Initially, Subaru was a weak character, constantly being pushed around by other players.  But, with Crim's support she developed a stronger backbone and went on to form the Crimson Knights as a way for players in the game to help keep other players in line.  Eventually dissolves the Knights when they overstep their charter.  Subaru develops an attachment to Tsukasa that is partly sexual, but mostly based on their mutual handicaps.  

"Subaru", outside Tsukasa's hospital, in a wheelchair

In real life, Subaru is a young handicapped woman who has been forced to use a wheelchair for 4 years now.  She started playing the game as a way to form friendships, and to experience the pleasures of being able to walk under her own power.  She was harassed by some guy sometime earlier in her life, but that may not be connected as to why she is in a wheelchair now.  She is the only person in the game to have Crim's real world phone number.
Japanese VA Kaori Nazuka
English VA Kim Mai Guest


Silver Knight

Silver Knight, in the game

A sword master in the game, and leader of the Crimson Knights, subordinate only to Subaru.  Silver Knight tends to be overzealous in tracking down and punishing players who get out of hand in The World, and his single-mindedness in trying to punish the "illegal character" Tsukasa eventually results in the Crimson Knights getting disbanded by Subaru.  

We never see "Silver Knight" outside of the game

In real life, a 23-year-old employee at a video rental shop.  Would rather work at a pizza shop and get all-you-can-eat pizza.  (In the Japanese version, he says that he'd rather work at a sushi shop.)  At the end of the TV series, he flirts a little with BT.
Japanese VA Isshin Chiba
English VA Doug Rye



Crim, in the game

A Long Arm in the game.  Crim plays his character as a happy-go-lucky wanderer that stands up to fight for peace and justice.  In an effort to support Subaru, he helps form and run the Crimson Knights.  That is, until the rigidity of the rules of the Knights begins to chafe, and he runs off to be on his own again.  

We never see "Crim" outside of the game

In real life, a businessman who travels around the world a lot (he'd just come back from Indonesia at the beginning of the show).  He's desperate to keep his real life separate from his game life.  The only one he is willing to meet, or help out in the real world is Subaru.  He's met BT as well, but has no interest in getting romantically involved with her.
Japanese VA Shinichiro Miki
English VA Lex Lang


Sora, in the game A Twin Blade in the game.  A conniving backstabber, in both senses of the word.  Sora is a player killer, which puts him up against the Crimson Knights, who are out to stop that sort of thing.  He has apparently maxed out at level 99, making him one of the more powerful characters in the game, and the equal of Crim.  He enjoys getting information, putting other people on the spot, and obtaining the member addresses of various powerful players.


"Sora", in a coma after being turned into a weapon by Skeith

In real life, a 4th grade student.  Little is known about him, other than that his mother gets angry if he stays up too late, and that he has his own room.  He is also one of the few people that knows how to contact Helba.  At the end of the TV series, Sora gets Data Drained by Skeith and put into a coma.  He's finally released from Skeith's cross in .Hack//Outbreak.
Japanese VA Hiroshi Yanaka
English VA Dave Wittenberg


Tsukasa's Father
As far as we know, he doesn't play games.

"Tsukasa's" father, in yet another drunken rage

In real life, an alcoholic bastard.  Works in Tokyo as a salaryman.  His wife died while Tsukasa was young, and he's been beating up his daughter ever since.  A few weeks after Tsukasa fell into a coma, he tried to take her off of life support at the hospital.  At the end of the TV series, he is probably in jail for assault, or has been committed to an asylum (we don't know for sure either way.)
Japanese VA NA
English VA NA


Aura, being menaced by vines created by Morganna This enigmatic girl spends almost all of her time floating in a deep sleep.  She was created by game programmer Harald Hoerwick to be part of his plan to show the world his love for poet Emma Wielant.  She is kept unconscious by Morganna, and fed negative thoughts by Tsukasa.  At the end of the TV series, Tsukasa wakes Aura up, and she escapes to some other part of The World, closely pursued by Skeith.  She reappears at the beginning of the PS 2 game - .hack//Infection.
Aura doesn't exist outside of the game.
Japanese VA Maaya Sakamoto
English VA NA


Maha / Macha
Maha / Macha, appearing in front of Tsukasa One of the 8 Phases mentioned in Emma Wielant's Epitaph of TwilightMorganna creates Maha (spelled Macha in Epitaph) to control a dumbbell-shaped Guardian, and to communicate with / torture Tsukasa. It moves its lips, but seems to "talk" only psychically (that is, Maha has no speaking voice).  At the end of the TV series, Maha sacrifices itself to protect Tsukasa from Morganna.  It reappears as a boss monster in the fourth PS 2 game - .Hack//Quarantine.
Maha doesn't exist outside of the game.
Japanese VA NA
English VA NA


The Voice / Morganna
We never get to see Morganna Initially referred to only as The Voice, we know her as Morganna only because of her listing in the voice actor credits on the TV DVDs.  According to the Broken Man, Morganna was created in the game as the means for waking up Aura.  But, she became self-aware and now hates the idea of existing only to give birth to Aura.  Instead, Morganna traps Tsukasa within the game, and uses him to generate feelings of despair and self-loathing that are pumped into Aura to keep Aura from waking up.  At the end of the TV series, Aura does wake up, and escapes her grasp because of a betrayal by Sora.  Morganna summons up Skeith, and causes Sora's player to fall into a coma.
Morganna does not exist outside of the game.
Japanese VA Rie Tanaka
English VA Valerie Arem 



Helba, Queen of Darkness; AKA - The Woman in White

A world-renowned hacker.  Bear wants to contact her in The World to learn more about the background of the game.  Her character is derived from the Queen of Darkness, as mentioned in the Epitaph of Twilight.  


We never see "Helba" outside of the game

Little is known about the real world Helba.  That may in part be due to the fact that computer hacking is a crime punishable by the death penalty.  There are rumors that she is involved in computer security in some way.  She reappears throughout all of the PS 2 games.
Japanese VA Yumi Tohma
English VA Mary McGlynn


I just don't have a good screen shot of Skeith One of the 8 Phases mentioned in the Epitaph of Twilight, written by Emma Wielant.  Skeith is a death-dealer, with the ability to put people into comas.  He is summoned by Morganna at the end of the TV series in order to Data Drain Sora (in fact, the Data Drain appears to have been used to turn Sora's character data into Skeith's cross-like weapon).  Is last seen chasing after Aura.  Skeith reappears at the beginning of the PS 2 game .Hack//Infection, still chasing Aura.
Skeith does not exist outside of the game.
Japanese VA NA
English VA NA 


The Broken Man
What little that remains of the programmer, Harald Hoerwick The Broken Man seems to be an AI (or a group of cloned AIs) introduced into The World about 1 year prior to the start of the TV series, to try to talk to Morganna.  When Harald Hoerwick discovered that Morganna had gotten corrupted, he put himself into the game to try to reason with her.  The attempt wasn't overly successful, and the result was a broken AI trapped in two or more sealed-off fields within The World.
The Broken Man is the consciousness of game programmer Harald Hoerwick, but not directly controlled by him (in fact, the Broken Man may be all that remains of Harald in any form at all).
Japanese VA ?
English VA ?



Clueless A-20, in the game

A blade master?  She's only been playing for one week when she accosts Mimiru and tries to form a party to enter one of the harder dungeons.  She survives, but has virtually no strengths going for her at all, except pure, blind stupidity and optimism.

We never see "A-20" outside of the game

In real life, a young school girl who started playing The World just because her other classmates did.
Japanese VA Atsuko Enomoto
English VA Sandy Fox


Bear's Son

Bear's son, in the game

A Wavemaster.  

The spoiled brat in the real world

In real life, a spoiled teenager who is the product of a broken home.  His only real interest in his father, Bear, comes from trying to borrow money from him.  Most recently, he wants $5000 to get a car.
Japanese VA NA
English VA NA