The Ending World is the first volume of .hack//CELL. Tokyopop acquired the rights to publish .hack//CELL in English, and the first volume was released on March 2, 2010.
Vol. 1 The reader is introduced to an unknown female character surrounded in a world of darkness. The character slowly begins to learn, or "remember", basic functions, like moving and soon finds its way to a door of light with she then bathes in. Some time after, the character awakes in an unknown area of The World, where she is introduced to all the visual data the area offers. The character is able to analyze and categorize the data, and, after enough had been compiled, began to visualize her surroundings. In an unknown plain, it becomes clear that the character is not alone as cries are heard off into the distance. Taking a look, the female character catches sight of "Tri-Edge" battling against an AIDA-Infected Player Character. Upon dispatching the character, the scene showing many more bodies lying about, "Tri-Edge" warps out of the area, leaving the female character by herself.
After a brief description of "The World" and it's features, the reader is shown a battle taking place between an Edge Punisher and a Twin Blade. The Edge Punisher is introduced as "Midori", a player character in the world who assumes the role of a "Professional Victim" and soon later introducing her manager, Adamas, a Blade Brandier acquaintance. After the match, Bordeaux shows up to investigate Midori and starts a battle, enticing all of the audience members to join in. The battle is cut short thanks to the intervention of Haseo, causing Bordeaux to flee from the area. Haseo begins interrogating Midori about her knowledge of Tri-Edge. Unreluctant to bestow any information about the character, Haseo challenges her to a professional victim match in hopes of making her relinquish her knowledge.
Haseo manages to land a clean hit on Midori, and they end the battle there. Soon after, the two are relacing under a tree, and Midori begins to explain what she knows about Tri-Edge, which turns out to be very little. The reader is shown that Midori holds hazy, traumatic memories of the character, yet yearns to meet the character once more, albeit for different reasons than Haseo. The chapter ends with Midori shouting encouragement to noobies on the field.