Almost 2/3 of all software that is distributed illegally is infected with viruses. Clip Studio Paint free versions are hacked by pirates who add those very same viruses. The danger of the viruses is different: a good antivirus can save you from some, while others will cause the entire system to crash and you will have to reinstall the operating system.
.hack//Sign (stylized as .hack//SIGN) is a Japanese anime television series directed by Kōichi Mashimo, and produced by studio Bee Train and Bandai Visual, that makes up one of the four original storylines for the .hack franchise. Twenty-six original episodes aired in 2002 on television and three additional bonus ones were released on DVD as original video animation. The series features each characters designed by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, and written by Kazunori Itō. The score was composed by Yuki Kajiura, marking her second collaboration with Mashimo.
Harald Hoerwick is introduced as the creator of The World. He secretly designed the game as a virtual womb in order to create the ultimate artificial intelligence (AI), by receiving emotional and psychological data from the players. His motivation is revealed to be the death of Emma Wielant, a German poet with whom he was in love; the AI, who was named Aura, would serve as the "daughter" they never had. Harald left the gathering of the required data for Aura's development at the care of the core system of The World itself, an omnipresent AI called Morganna Mode Gone. The storyline of .hack//Sign, set in early 2010, revolves around the premise of Morganna attempting to stall the growth of Aura indefinitely, after realizing that she will lose her purpose once Aura is complete.
Near the end of the series, Tsukasa's real-life identity takes a more central place in the storyline, particularly in relation to his growing bond with Subaru. The series shows his fear and insecurity as he confesses to her that he is probably a girl in the real world. It is also at this point when Tsukasa is told Morganna's plan by a highly skilled hacker called Helba. Morganna conceived the plan to link Aura to a character who could corrupt her with negative emotional data, placing her in a state where she would never awaken. The chosen character was Tsukasa, as his mind was filled with distressful memories of his real life. Helba also suggests that when Aura is able to awaken, "the Key of the Twilight will take form".
The project development began in early 2000 as a joint effort between Bandai and CyberConnect2, with the original idea of producing an online game. In online games people can interact with each other and create their own stories. The producers wanted to design a game that would offer the players the same experience, but they later thought it would be more appealing with its own storyline, like in standard offline role-playing video game. According to Daisuke Uchiyama, sub-leader of Bandai's video game planning department, the result was a challenge to the RPG genre itself: an offline RPG, entitled .hack, set in a simulated MMORPG named The World.
As the project started shortly before the PlayStation 2's release, the authors seized the opportunity to make the .hack game on the new platform. This decision allowed them to develop into unexpected directions. Shin Unozawa, general manager of Bandai's game department, suggested dividing the game into four parts and release them in three-month intervals. The idea being to follow the four panel manga style as well as to keep sales constant throughout the year. Taking advantage of the PlayStation 2's capability to read DVD-Video, the authors also decided making an OVA series (.hack//Liminality) comprised by four episodes, one to go with each game. Nevertheless, they still felt the need to bolster the project with something more, therefore they decided to produce .hack//Sign, a TV show timed to air with the first game's release. For Kōichi Mashimo it was a hectic schedule: he was directing both animated projects, and was also in the midst of developing the Noir anime series.
Yuki Kajiura provides a soundtrack permeated by the Celtic style and gaming theme of the series. The songs feature synthesizer and strings compositions, as well as vocals consisting of English chanting. Celtic influence is prominent in themes such as "Key of the Twilight" and "Open Your Heart". Performed by Emily Bindiger, "Key of the Twilight" blends a pulsing drum and bass mix with guitar intonations. "Open Your Heart", on the other hand, combines Bindiger's contralto vocals with an uilleann pipes solo. The .hack//Sign soundtrack also features vocals by Yuriko Kaida. "Mimiru" has her humming across a saxophone melody performed by Kazuo Takeda; in "Das Wandern" she sings over a lone piano.[unreliable source?]
Despite its visual concept, .hack//Sign is not a sword and sorcery story, but an exposition-driven character study. It proposes "a trip inside the psychology and soul of an emotionally bruised, but slowly healing person." Themes range from psychological to sociological and are dealt with using classical dialogue as well as image-only introspection.
Escapism, if only as representing a consequence of anxiety, is a significant theme in .hack//Sign. The series explores how technology, such as the Internet and online games, can be used to escape reality. The World is portrayed as a means that people use "to escape their lives", assuming roles online that compensate for their shortcomings in the real world: to some, it is a place where they can overcome their physical limitations; to others, it is a social outlet or a world free of rules. In addition, the preference given to the virtual world over reality represents the intrusion of technology in the social structure: as people engage in "the wide potential of cyberspace", they become more withdrawn in the real world.
Originally, .hack//Sign was broadcast in Japan on TV Tokyo between April 4 to September 25, 2002. The same year Victor Entertainment released the entire score in three albums, along with a single containing the opening and ending of the series.