Review: Sword Art Online

We tend to watch multiple anime at once in our house.  I don’t know how we do it because we only watch during dinner time each night and sometimes watch a few episodes over the weekend if we’re lucky.  🙂  Right now I’m really enjoying Sword Art Online!

I’ll give the premise of the show:  In the not so distant future, the Virtual reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG), Sword Art Online (SAO), is released. That’s a mouth full, eh?  With Nerve Gear, a virtual reality Helmet that stimulates the user’s five senses via their brain, players can experience and control their in-game characters with their minds.

The story follows Kirito Kirigaya who started his experience with the game as a beta tester.  This allows him to come into the game with an upper hand, being able to experience the game before most other players.  When the game launches Kirito and the other tens of thousands of people playing realize they can not stop the game.  They are locked in!  There are no pee breaks, grabbing some pizza, poop sockin‘ or yelling back at your mom as she tells you to get your fat ass up and out of that chair.  The creator of the game appears before the players and announces that they must make it to the 100th floor and beat the final boss before they will be released.  What also adds another level of terror for the players is if they die in the game for any reason, they will die in the real world as well.

NOTE: I try not to reveal too much, but I will talk about what episodes I’ve seen so far in a general way.

So as you can imagine a massive panic takes over the players in the game.  After the crying, the shock & disbelief of this news sinks in people begin to build their characters.  Of course by doing what you do in MMO’s…. killing things, getting items that help your character, building xp/skills, getting better weapons.  Clans also start to form so players can take down larger enemies together.  Kirito is the exception to the rule.  He wants to be alone and also keep his higher ranking and skill hidden.  Deep inside he doesn’t want to get close to others for fear of losing them to the game.  Along Kirito’s journey he meets a girl named Asuna.  She is joined with a high ranked group who are well known in SAO.  She is curious about Kirito because of his mysterious, but kind demeanor.

You can easily tell by watching the shows intro they will eventually become much closer.  There are other likable characters, but most of them are only in a few episodes.  I would have liked to see more of the other characters and have more development, but the story does more along quite nicely.

We have watched the first 15 episodes and I really love it so far.  The characters are like-able and I’m happy to see that the main male character is not just a lame f-up like in some other anime.  He’s intelligent and cool, not to mention cute!  Gotta have that in my review.  😉  I also like Asuna and (Klein) Tsuboi.  Klein as he calls himself in SAO is someone Kirito meets when he first enters the game.  They become friends, part ways, then meet back up later on in the game.

Klein’s voice actor, Hiroaki Hirata, also did the voice for Tiger from Tiger & Bunny.  Tiger is my favorite character from another favorite series of mine.  So this is just an extra bonus!  🙂  I’ve already seen many people discussing cosplaying Asuna and other characters from SAO so I guess I’ll have to stay away!  I would love to costume as Asuna or even cross-play Kirito, but I know I would have some tough competition.  I fear it will become one of those cosplays that gets over done.

Up until episode 14 we didn’t know the anime would continue on!  We thought that was it until we jumped on Crunchy Roll and there is a whole other story line continuing.  🙂  I’m glad because I wanted to see them interacting in the real world, but it looks like they will be heading back into a game world soon.  We’ll have to see how that will go!  I will probably watch the most recent episode available, episode 16, tonight over dinner.

To wrap up this review I’d would definitely recommend watching Sword Art Online!  I love the concept of the story.  It really felt like the creators really put themselves into the shoes of the characters and thought of real scenarios of what people would start feeling and how they would start acting after being in an amazing yet false world like Sword Art Online.

I would have liked some development on supporting characters.  It’s beautifully animated and there is a nice mix of action and character interaction.  I know there were some questions that were not addressed right away that ate at me a little bit, but then they were addressed.  For example at first no one would acknowledge what was happening to their real bodies while they were stuck in this game world.  Things like that.

You can watch Sword Art Online on Crunchyroll:

I hope you enjoyed the review and that it was helpful!

Good night!,

-Little Neko




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