Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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Nerdy Notes – .hack//SIGN

June 23rd, 2010, Promulgated by Ink

You’d be amazed at how pro-life and moral themes show up in the oddest places.  Being an anime/manga/video game nerd, I find them all over the place and raise my eyebrows.  Who would’ve thought that an anime about a virtual reality game would tackle issues of life and death, portraying life as important and indispensible?

Warning: Spoiler alert–to anyone planning to watch .hack//SIGN, this is basically a plot summary.

The premise of the anime .hack//SIGN (pronounced “dot hack sign”) is that a person (named Tsukasa) of unknown gender is trapped within a virtual reality game called [The World].  Tsukasa”s player character is male, so it is assumed he is male.  He can feel in-game pain, cold, and even smell scents in this virtual world (like those of a marketplace).  The reason for this is because his physical body is in a coma in a hospital somewhere and is, believe it or not, female.  Her father was abusive and so she began playing in [The World] to escape him.  Anyone who comes into contact with Tsukasa realizes that there is something strange going on, and a couple fellow players looked around the real world to see if there was a child hospitalized in a coma.  They found the little girl behind Tsukasa, whose father was considering pulling the plug on her vegetative state.  The point which I found wonderful was that her doctor refused, insisting that her state was simply vegetative and her brain was not dead.  It wasn’t, in fact–her consciousness was in the game, but it needs a mind to function.  The doctor also said something rather profound about the value of life which I wish I could remember verbatim.

This series also has another plotline at the same time as Tsukasa’s mysterious background–the creator of the game has written an artificially intelligent program (named Morganna, because everything has a name) to write, create, and “give birth to” another AI, Aura, who is virtually the “goddess” of [The World] and would provide more fields and patches for the game–basically, an overglorified upgrade.  Morganna becomes too clever and begins attempting to halt Aura’s progress, since she realizes that the birth of Aura would mean her own end.  The creator, Harald, entreats her–Aura must be born in order for the natural order of [The World] to continue.  Even though she is not a real “life,” per se, Aura is portrayed as a young girl in stasis, floating above a bed, and the campaign to save her from virtual abortion is joined by Tsukasa.

Intriguing and slightly confusing at times but otherwise a good watch, .hack//SIGN is simply one example of seemingly secular things I find which has underlying Christian/Catholic themes.

(Depending upon how this post is received, I have several more ideas and could write more on other examples.)

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3 Responses to “Nerdy Notes – .hack//SIGN”

  1. avatar Marcus says:

    Great work, Ink! It really is astonishing– and somewhat reassuring– to see the sanctity of life affirmed in such unlikely places as an anime like SIGN. I hope to see future posts in the same vein!

  2. avatar Christopher says:

    Isn’t it rather obvious that there’s Christian/Catholic themes all around us and found within secular things (aka goodness). There just happens to be “evil” as well all around us within secular things as well too. One must discern and tread carefully.

    Ink, don’t forget there’s a discussion board on this website too, it would be nice to have more of the writers on this blog assist with filling it with more substance.

  3. avatar Ink says:

    Yep, I know. ^_^ I’m just lucky to get time these days to write up posts, and discussion boards tend to actually move (although this one is at a glacial pace). This particular post took me the better part of the day to write, intermittently. So I find it a lot easier to write up posts here than on the board. Besides, we don’t want to monopolize the board, too. =P We’ve already got our own website. The board is for everybody.

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