Development for .hack//G.U. began in October 2002, towards the end of the first .hack series’ production cycle, with CyberConnect2’s president Hiroshi Matsuyama as director. Matsuyama has stated that the acronym “G.U.” has twelve meanings related to the plot of the games but the central theme is “growing up” in many respects. Graphically and technologically, the game is an improvement on the original .hack series. Personally, Haseo grows up as a character, developing his inter-personal skills and his worldliness. As a series, the setting and concept presented in the games are darker and more mature than before. Matsuyama claimed that Rebirth was longer than the four games of the first series combined and that the three .hack//G.U. games would not be “three parts to the same game”. Unlike the previous series where the animated tie-in .hack//Liminality was included as a bonus DVD, the development team opted to integrate the animated story into webisodes available in-game. Bandai also released a “Terminal Disc” with the special edition of Rebirth, which further expands the franchise’s backstory and bridges the gap between the two game series.
Ben 10: Secret of the Omnitrix
During a battle with Dr. Animo, Ben Kirby Tennyson’s destruction of the scientist’s “DNA bomb” accidentally sets off a self-destruct protocol in the Omnitrix. Its activation alerts Tetrax (known as Hoverboard in “Hunted”), who travels with his alien blob-like pilot Gluto to Earth in order to retrieve Ben. He explains the situation to Ben, who hasn’t figured out the meaning of the countdown. He leaves Gwen and Grandpa Max behind, not wanting the latter to be recognized during their trip. Gwen sneaks on board anyway. Using the advanced medical equipment on board his ship, Tetrax finds the DNA signature of the Omnitrix’s creator, Azmuth, and tracks him to a prison facility called Incarcecon. After staging a breakout, they free a female Chimera Sui Generis (Vilgax’s species) named Myaxx, who is Azmuth’s assistant; she had switched her DNA signature for Azmuth’s when he refused to give her credit for helping to create the Omnitrix. Myaxx is also unable to disarm the self-destruct, which will not only kill Ben, but most of the universe’s inhabitants, including Earth itself, but Myaxx knows how to find Azmuth, and leads them to the planet he’s hiding out on: Xenon.
Vilgax, who has also picked up on the Omnitrix’s self-destruct signal, picks up Sixsix (an alien who also appeared in ‘Hunted’ and tracks Ben).
While attempting to reach Azmuth, they are attacked by Vilgax, who has escaped the Null Void and has commandeered a ship to track down Ben. Ben is ultimately successful in repelling the attack, though Gluto is killed in the conflict while protecting Gwen. Tetrax’s ship crashes on Azmuth’s homeworld. As they enter his mountain fortress, they are attacked by a group of Florauna (Wildvine’s species) which capture Gwen. Ben is depressed, and blames himself.
As Ben reluctantly proceeds with Tetrax and Myaxx down towards Azmuth’s lair, Tetrax empathizes with Ben, revealing his origins of how working for Vilgax cost him his whole planet and everyone he’s ever cared for. Tracking down Azmuth to a sealed secondary laboratory, Ben asks him to shut down the Omnitrix, but Azmuth, unconcerned about anything around him, refuses. Angry, Ben breaks down the wall with Cannonbolt and attacks him, revealing Azmuth to be an old, curmudgeonly Galvan (Grey Matter’s species) hiding inside a large mechanical suit. As far as Azmuth is concerned, the whole universe deserves whatever it gets for misusing the Omnitrix. He tells them the Omnitrix was designed to be the ultimate device of peace and understanding. Everyone else made it a problem, only seeing it as the ultimate weapon.
Vilgax, having recovered from his earlier defeat, leads a massive attack on Azmuth’s mountain fortress. During the fight, Gwen and Gluto reappear, Ben runs over to hug Gwen and Gluto having regenerated from some leftover material that splashed on Gwen’s clothes and subsequently helping her to escape. Ben’s actions during the battle renew Azmuth’s faith in the universe, so he repairs the Omnitrix and gives Ben a brand-new form to use: Way Big, a skyscraper-sized alien modeled after Ultraman, who easily repels Vilgax’s army of drones and angrily tosses the villain into space.
With the threat over, Ben offers to return the Omnitrix to Azmuth, who is leaving Xenon with Myaxx. Azmuth, however, sees Ben as the best place for the Omnitrix to be, both because he is technically fulfilling its original intention and because the Omnitrix attracts trouble simply by virtue of its existence. Tetrax returns Ben and Gwen to Earth, leaving Ben with a new hoverboard to replace the one Ben destroyed during his battle with Animo. The Tennysons’ hope of having a normal day of recreation, however, is dashed by a newsflash of ‘zombies‘ attacking a mall, leading them to rush to the rescue.
Bleach: Memories of Nobody
A plus soul is chased by a hollow in a local park. Ichigo Kurosaki and Rukia Kuchiki appear and dispatch of the hollow and send the soul off to Soul Society. Comically, Ichigo finds his body inspected by medics, having turned into a Soul Reaper without placing an artificial soul within his body. He escapes from the scene with the aid of Rukia. Soon after, unidentified ghost-like spirits begin appearing in Karakura Town. A mysterious Soul Reaper who calls herself Senna appears and begins destroying the spirits. Ichigo and Rukia return to their Soul Reaper forms (Ichigo this time through the use of Kon, a mod soul) then confront her, but she refuses to answer any questions and leaves. In the battle, Kon notices a figure wearing dark armour among the spirits. Ichigo follows Senna while Rukia returns to Soul Society in order to search for answers. Ichigo encounters Tōshirō Hitsugaya and Rangiku Matsumoto while following Senna, who tells him to come with them to the Urahara Shop, having been sent to earth to investigate why the real world is suddenly appearing as a reflection in the sky in Soul Society, having been noticed by Ikkaku Madarame and Tetsuzaemon Iba.
Back at the Urahara shop, Kisuke Urahara explains that a dimension between Soul Society and the real world, the Valley of Screams, has expanded to the point that it is connecting the two worlds. The spirits seen earlier are “Blanks”, souls without memories that were lost in the space between the two worlds and that comprise the Valley of Screams. The memories of the Blanks combine to form a single entity, the “Memory Rosary.” Deducing through the use of Kon having witnessed the armoured figure from before, he instructs the Soul Reapers assembled to find the Memory Rosary before this mysterious group does. Ichigo once again follows Senna around, where they make a scene at a nearby mall. Shortly afterwards, Senna is attacked by the armoured beings, and Ichigo arrives to fend them off, not knowing their motives.
While trying to help a soul find his father, Senna and Ichigo travel to a monastery, when suddenly officers from the Gotei 13, namely Renji Abarai, Jushiro Ukitake, Suì-Fēng, Toshiro Hitsugaya and Rukia appear at the monastery along with some armed forces. They declare that Senna is the Memory Rosary, and order Ichigo to hand her over, but Ichigo, valuing her as a being and not an object, refuses. The mysterious group arrive, calling themselves the “Dark Ones”, and are identified as a group of exiles from the Soul Society seeking revenge for the past, appearing and capturing Senna while managing to fight off the Soul Reapers and Ichigo. In the ensuing battle, Ichigo is mortally wounded and is taken back to Urahara Shop, where Orihime Inoue proceeds to heal him. The Dark Ones take Senna to the Valley of Screams and attach her to a device powered by the Blanks that will cause the Valley to collapse, resulting in a collision between the real world and the Soul Society that would destroy both worlds.
Ichigo travels to the Valley to rescue Senna while Rukia goes to get reinforcements from Soul Society. However, Captain-Commander Shigekuni Yamamoto-Genryūsai wants to destroy the Valley before it collapses and refuses to order a rescue mission with only an hour left. In the Valley, Ichigo is overpowered by the large number of blanks and by the Dark Ones, but he is saved by the arrival of his Soul Reaper counterparts, Suì-Fēng, Izuru Kira, Renji, Byakuya Kuchiki, Toshiro Hitsugaya, Rangiku Matsumoto, Kenpachi Zaraki, Yachiru Kusajishi, Ikkaku and Yumichika Ayasegawa. In the meantime, Jushiro Ukitake convinces the Captain-Commander to prolong the destruction of the Valley so that the Soul Reaper force in there may complete the mission and escape the Valley beforehand. The Soul Reapers quickly defeat the Dark Ones and Blanks, and Ichigo battles and eventually defeats their leader, Ganryu. The Soul Reaper force then quickly leave the Valley and reappear in the real world, content in finishing the mission.
However, the process of the collapse has gone too far to be completely stopped. Senna sacrifices herself to push the two worlds back apart to save Ichigo, using the power of the blanks to trigger explosions between the Real World and Soul Society in order to stabilise both. Afterwards, when both worlds have been saved, Senna, weakened by her efforts to restore the worlds asks Ichigo to take her to the graveyard so she can see her name on her gravestone. Although the stone had the name of one of a Blank whose memory Senna had, Ichigo lies and tells her that her name is on it. Believing him, she expresses contentment that she once had a life of her own before fading away. Rukia notes that once the power of the Blanks fades away, so will all memories of Senna. However, the last scene shows Ichigo walking on the bridge where the portal to the Valley was and sees a red ribbon, the one that he had bought Senna, floating down from the sky, and sees a girl who looks just like her running past him, causing him to smile.