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Sword Art Online

I'll admit that I got teary-eyed at the end of the season but that's because this show rocks.
Here's my review of: Sword Art Online! So Sword Art Online (or SAO for short) is an anime series based on the manga of the same name. I haven't actually read the manga, but I've heard good things about it. But enough of that: let's talk about the show.
SAO takes place in the not to distant future of the 2020's. It focuses mainly on the latest gaming entertainment: Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. However, this type of MMORPG has been tinkered with so that the player can actually be in the game; aka Virtual Reality. The most popular VRMMORPG is Sword Art Online, where half the story takes place. The other half of the season takes place in another VRMMORPG called Alfheim Online, or ALO, but I'll get to that later.
The main character is a 16 year old boy named Kazuto "Kirito" Kirigaya who was a beta-tester for SAO and has been interested with technology and gaming since he was 10. During his latest dive into SAO, the creator of the game, Akihiko Kayaba, takes control of SAO and traps 10,000 players inside the game. Their true selves replace their avatars and they're told taht if they die in the game they die in real life, and that the only way to get out is to complete the game; in other words, "beat an MMO". As time goes by, Kirito becomes a badass expert at the game since he was a Beta-tester, and becomes discriminated by most of the other players who label him a "Beater" (Beta-tester and a cheater). He tries going solo throughout most of the story to protect others until he meets Asuna Yuki, the story's female lead. They end up working together for a few episodes and form a strong bond. They eventually beat the game and get sent back to the real world, until the ALO saga comes into play.
The SAO half of the show was great, but it did have a few problems. First of all, the biggest flaw was that the story was rushed. Within 12 or 13 episodes a timeframe of two years has gone by since the beginning. I would've liked to see more of the journey and the relationships between the characters. The characters were likable and seemed so real, but the rushed story didn't give us much to explore. As for ALO, it set up a whole new plot and introduced new characters, while acknowledging the existence of the memorable ones from SAO. It felt like the second half shoul've been another season rather than a continuation of the first. It might've been like that if the story wasn't so rushed and forced.
In the ALO portion, the new plot is that after the SAO incident most of the players who survived woke up from their comas and began adjusting back to their old lives. Asuna, as well as 300 other players, hasn't woken up yet. Kirito learns that a new villain named Nobuyuki Sugou intends to marry Asuna while she's in a coma in order to weasel his way into her family with guarenteed power. Sugou is keeping Asuna and the other 300 players trapped in ALO, which is where he continues to gain control of the human soul. With the help of his sister/cousin Suguha, he enters ALO and makes his way to the World Tree where Asuna's avatar is being held. After a few more episodes, Kirito manages to get to Asuna and make Sugou suffer for how he treated Asuna. Asuna is freed from ALO and the two of them begin their new lives in reality.
The second half of season 1 wasn't that bad. In fact, I liked the new approach of the gaming world in an MMORPG of fairies. However, I can't stand Asuna's change in character. I understand how she feels, the series justifies her feelings, but in SAO she was her own unique flavor of awesomeness. She maintained that status even after she and Kirito got togther, but then in ALO she became a damsel in distress. I did not like or appreciate how Asuna went from warrior to damsel within a couple episodes. But it is great to see Kirito so determined to save someone he loves, even though his determination was on the verge of insanity. The newer characters were interesting, specifically Suguha and the problems she's facing, and the overall plot isn't bad, but I wish Asuna did more than just wait for Kirito to save her.
Overall, Sword Art Online was a cool anime series despite its flaws. I enjoyed watching the characters deal with their imprisonment in a game, and how they adjust to it. The characters were amazing and you really connect to them and how they feel. If it were me; I would've made the series a bit longer, expanded the story, and split the SAO and ALO parts into two seasons. I loved SAO and am proud to award it with the rating of: Awesometastic! 4.7 out of 5!
I've heard that a new season is confirmed for SAO, and I'm interested to see how they portray a new MMORPG with guns rather than swords or magic. Have you seen SAO? If not, check it out. I'll see you in my next review. Bye bye.



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This article has 4 comments. Post your own!

Tinakoo_Tinoco said...
today at 8:44 pm:
i loved this anime, to be honest, the fans can get a little annoying, but that didn't stop me from liking it. T this day i stil don't get why people hate this show, it has so much good stuff in it that makes it so good, buti agree with you n Asuna being a whle damsel in distress. The second half to me was boring, but im looking forward to seeing thr second season
 
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Cyber-SkullThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sep. 22 at 6:14 pm:
It has its problems but its a really good anime, trust me.
 
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Kirito said...
Sep. 17 at 9:21 am:
she didnt just wait for him she tried once to get out and got some sort of command key and almost got "attacked" 
 
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theheavymetalistThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jul. 28 at 2:56 pm:
nice review, i have seen the show just not all the way through.
 
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