I just noticed I never mentioned that I finished Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal. It was pretty great, actually. I was expecting it to be more Rurouni Kenshin, but it turned out to be quite different, but in a good way - The pacing was slower and the story was more personal. There was less action, but what action was there was awesome, albeit bloody. The characters were all very interesting, though voice-acting, bith English and Japanese could've been better. The art and music really sold it, though. I had the limited Edition Blu-Ray, so the art was all crisp and colorful, though I'll bet even without the HD it still would've looked great, since the art styles and character designs were wonderful on their own. The music was mostly traditional Japanese music, but they really set the tone just right, and made the setting feel alive.
I really should say more about the story, since it was very well-done, but I doubt I could say much without spoiling anything. It's not exactly the best story I've seen in an anime, but it's still pretty damn good. This is definitely one of the best OVA's I've watched, and that's saying something since I'm more or less a fan of OVAs, and part of what makes it so great is that you don't need to have seen the original show to understand what's going on - I hadn't seen the original in years, and I can't say I remember much of it, but I still managed to keep up. Yeah, this is one I definitely recommend to others.
Anyways, I recently finished watching .hack//SIGN and two of the OVAs. .hack//SIGN was pretty good. The story was amazing, filled with mystery and symbolism that actually make sense (looking at you NGE), filled with interesting and deep characters. The only problem is the pacing - this is easily one of the slowest shows I've ever seen. It even makes Eureka Seven look fast. Still, unlike ES, it was never billed as an action anime, so taking it for what it is, a character-driven drama/mystery, it's a problem that's easier to forgive. Also, Tsukasa can be annoying at first, but thankfully the show focuses as much on everyone else as it does on him, so he doesn't get enough screne-time to get on your nerves until later on when he starts to get better.
As for the art and the music, they're incredible. The World is beautiful, as are the character designs. I love how past events are always shown with as staticky videos, and specifically the real world is always given a gray tone on top of that, to contrast with the beauty of the game. The music is some of the best I've heard in an anime - every track is memorable and set the tone perfectly. It's easily the best aspect of the entire show, and I'd even go as far as to suggest watching it just for the music, if nothing else.
Really, though, as much as I loved .hack//SIGN, right down to a very personal level since I can greatly relate to Tsukasa and his situation, I'd honestly have trouble recommending it to others. The show is super slow, there's hardly any action, the ending is a total cop-out, and much of the show consists of characters just talking to eachother, often going over what they already know. This obviously won't appeal to a lot of people. Still, I do suggest people at least give it a try if they haven't already, if just for the music and to see if they'll get hooked on the brilliant story.
The OVAs were just plain filler, though, and not really worth watching.
Now I just need to figure out what to watch next...do I finish Angel Beat or The Third? Or do I start up Baccano! or Trigun?