Welcome to the Bookworm Report, a blog I’ll do periodically to talk about a book, or manga, that I’ve recently read. This weeks book is Sword Art Online: Progressive volume 1. Sword Art Online is a series created by Reki Kawahara that has been adapted into a few different manga/ light novels as well as an anime. Centering around a 14 year old boy named Kirito, SAO tells the story of thousands of people getting trapped in the first full dive virtual reality video game, Sword Art Online. In order to escape all 100 floors of the game must be cleared and their boss monsters defeated. The catch, however, is if you die in the game you also die in real life.
SAO Progressive is a re-imagining of the original series written in a light novel format. The story still follows Kirito as he attempts to clear the game, the difference being how he meets his future love interest Asuna as well as a few other characters. The book covers their adventures as they make their way through the first two floors of Aincrad, ending right before Kirito enters the beginning of the third level.
Asuna’s personality is a bit more fleshed out in this version. Kawahara plays up her depression upon realizing she’s stuck in this game until it’s cleared.
I really liked this first part of the Progressive series. I’m a huge Sword Art Online fan, so I was beyond happy was I discovered that this was a thing. I have a couple points that make me super ready to read more.
- You get to dive into the characters minds. This is obviously something we can’t do when watching an anime or even reading a manga. I feel as though the novel medium of storytelling is able to draw people into it in a whole different way. We get to experience Kirito’s uncertainties and thoughts while also seeing through the uber analytical part of his mind. It adds an entire new layer of character development that I love.
- We get more in depth story. Each book is supposedly going to cover two floors at a time. That’s about 37 volumes when all is said and done. I’m skeptical about whether this will actually happen but I hope it will. Covering two floors at a time allows the author to get so much more in depth with what actually happens to every one along the way. And because he started the friendship between Kirito and Asuna so much earlier than in the original, I have high hopes about their love blossoming sooner than later.
Progressive is a well written addition to an already amazing series. That being said, if you weren’t a fan of the originals you probably aren’t going to like this either. But, if you’re someone who was wanting a little more from the story already told, with a few changes, then I would definitely recommend you spend some time reading through this!
As always thank you for reading and I’ll see you later!!