Sword Art Online is one of my all time favorite anime’s. there is very little I dislike about it. However, I do know that a lot of people have very strong opinions about this particular show.
Kazuto Kirigaya is a 14 year old boy who loves playing video games. Sword Art Online, the newest full dive MMO has been released, and the Nerve Gear allows people to experience it in a fully virtual world. Upon entering it during the first official day of it’s release, Kirito, Kazuto’s player name, discovers that he is unable to log out. The creator of the game announces that everyone currently in the virtual world are stuck there until the game has been beaten, and that dying in the game means you’ll die in real life as well.
What I Liked About It
While the story isn’t exactly original, it’s done way more in – depth than I’ve ever seen. The gaming terminology used is a nice touch, especially if you’re a gamer yourself. Kirito is exactly that, a nerdy teenager who plays games to escape from his real life problems. What’s kind of awesome is that within SAO he flourishes in a way I don’t think he would’ve in the real world.
The big thing I appreciated about Kirito is that he shows his emotions. In anime, the strong lead is generally emotionless. They’re written that way to show the reader what the author is trying to convey. Kirito is the opposite. Yes, he’s very strong. And yes, he’s definitely the leader of the series, but he breaks down. He has panic attacks and gets depressed like any teenage boy would in his situation. It’s super refreshing to see that in an anime.
Another thing I’d like to touch on is his and Asuna’s romance. It’s very well written in my opinion. They’d known each other for a while, knew the others strengths and weaknesses. They aren’t perfect, but they accept each other for who they are as people and love each other anyway.
What I Disliked
I really didn’t like that they squeezed two story arcs into the first season. When the Aincrad arc was over, I thought it was the end of the season. I was shocked to discover I was only halfway through. I feel like it would’ve had a bigger impact to simply break it up.
A wasn’t a fan of the music either. It’s not bad and it did fit with the show, but I personally wasn’t feeling it. I had a problem mainly with the intro and outro songs more than the music that played within the show.
Final Episode (SPOILERS AHEAD)
After beating and escaping Sword Art Online halfway through the first season, Kirito reawakens in the real world to discover that Asuna has not. After meeting up with the head of a company trying to help out SAO survivors, Kirito learns that she is trapped in yet another virtual reality game Alfheim Online. He dives back in in an attempt to save her.
He does, but only after she’s molested by the Elf King and Kirito is forced to watch. The King is actually Asuna’s father’s business partner who has been promised to have Asuna’s hand in marriage without her permission. Kirito defeats him in game and then rushes to her hospital room in real life to be there when she wakes up. He runs into the King’s real life persona, who is waiting in the hospitals parking lot with a knife. He attacks Kirito, intent on killing the teenager for destroying his plans. In the end Kirito triumphs and finally gets to meet Asuna face to face in the real world for the first time.
All in all, I’m a huge fan of SAO. I love the story, the characters and the art. It’s become one of my all time favorite anime’s behind Full Metal Alchemist. If you’re a gamer, or if you’re into fantasy, drama, and romance, I would strongly recommend Sword Art Online. The English dub is just as good as the Japanese dub, so no matter which you prefer you’ll get a good experience.
As always, thank you so much for reading! If you have anything you’d like to add, please feel free to leave a comment!