Katsutoshi Kitagawa (Opening)
Chiaki Ishikawa (Credits)
The Legend of the Twilight Bracelet is a sequel that fits the old Hollywood stereotype; It's all about more action, more sex and recycling everything original the original had. No, I wasn't kidding about the more sex part. The show is based on the comic with the same name, but, that didn't stop Bandai from not coming up with any truly original ideas for the series.
This series takes place 4 years after the PS2 games. The company behind The World, CC, has managed to sweep most of the events of the video games under the corporate carpet including the data for the .Hackers (dot hackers) avatars. Still, many of the older users of The World still remember the .Hackers and the "Twilight Incident".
The main characters are 14 year old twins, Rena and Shugo. The pair have been living apart for 3 months now because of their estranged parents. As a promotion of some kind, two of the .Hackers's avatars, Kite and Blackrose are offered in a contest which Rena (conveniently) wins. Shugo reluctantly agrees to meet up with his sibling online and play The World together.
The first couple of episodes show a dynamic RPG world with multitudes of players participating in various quests all over The World. The twins initial foray into The World becomes interesting when they run into a powerful hacked monster on a beginner's field. Shugo gets himself killed trying to save his sister. Fortunately, the angel-winged knight and system administrator Baramunk takes a turn saving Rena. The "dead" Shugo, meanwhile, meets Aura, the AI which represents the will of The World, who bestows a powerful bracelet capable of the rewriting monster abilities to Shugo. Baramunk finds himself unable to defeat the hacked monster until Shugo returns and performs data drain on it.
Rena and Shugo quickly meet up with Mireille the rare-item hunter who followed them on their first quest. Ohka the Holy Canine joins them on their second adventure after another hacked skeleton monster shows up while the threesome is trying to trying to solve a cherry blossom event. Another character, Hotaru, joins after Shugo helps out her with her puchiso (small pet in The World) problems.
The series, as I've mentioned, isn't too inventive and having surrounding Shugo with girls it wastes no time having him ogle them (including his sister! eww...) and having some tame fan service. Undoubtedly, this will be toned down by for the North American market. Which is a shame as the part when Shugo nukes Rena with data drain and she forgets he's her sister was pretty amusing.
The worst part of the show is that everything about the main villains is terrible. Shugo's bracelet is from the start the obvious key to defeating them. The plot relies on huge transparent cliff hangers between shows to generate suspense, the villains have little or no motivation given for their actions and their single goal of investigating death by recycling previous plots by sending users into comas is weak.
The art is quite colourful and matches the more simpler themes of The Legend of the Twilight Bracelet. It isn't a reason to watch the show, though. The music is above average and the series has a catchy opening and surprisingly serious ending song.
Contrary to my rather harsh review, I actually enjoyed watching parts of it. The show does have a number of blunders in character development and plot that are groan inducing. Prior to the 5th episode or so, I was quite pleased with the show. Afterwards, it turns into a broken record that has little more to offer in character development and plot. I'm just glad they finished in 12 episodes.
The series has been picked up from distribution from Bandai.