Series of the Week 6: Sword Art Online

Its not hard to admit but most Anime fans are Gamer’s, we love Game’s some of us love Game’s enough to fantasize about living inside them take Pokemon as a prime example of this, most people who play Pokemon think about what it would be like to live inside that world, Sword Art Online takes people who think like this and go’s on an adventure with them….

Sword Art Online image 1

Plot

Produced by Aniplex who produced shows such as Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Bakemonogatari and Directed by Itou Tomohiko (智彦伊藤) Sword Art Online is set in the near future, a Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG) called Sword Art Online has been released where players control their avatars with their bodies using a piece of technology called Nerve Gear. One day, players discover they cannot log out, as the game creator is holding them captive unless they reach the 100th floor of the game’s tower and defeat the final boss. However, if they die in the game, they die in real life. Their struggle for survival starts now….

Characters

Kazuto Kirigaya (桐ヶ谷 和人) Voiced by Matsuoka Yoshitsuga (禎丞 松岡),Kirito is the main protagonist of the series. He is a “solo” player, a player who hasn’t joined a guild and usually works alone. He is also one of the very few people to have had the privilege to play in the beta testing period of Sword Art Online. His game alias, Kirito, is created by taking the syllables of the first and last Kanji of his real last and first names respectively.

Asuna Yuuki (結城 明日奈) Viced by Tomatsu Haruka (遥 戸松), Asuna is a friend of Kirito and is a sub-leader of the guild Knights of the Blood (KoB), a medium-sized guild of about thirty players, also called the strongest guild in Aincrad. Being one of the few girls that are in Sword Art Online, and even more so that she’s extremely pretty, she receives many invitations and proposals. She is a skilled player earning the title “Flash” for her extraordinary sword skill that is lightning fast. Her game alias is the same as her real world name.

Suguha Kirigaya (桐ヶ谷 直葉) Voiced by Taketatsu Ayana (彩奈 竹達), Kirito’s sister in the real world. She is 15 years old and in her third year of junior high, as well as a member of the Kendo club. She’s a diligent worker and has been practicing Kendo for 8 years.In the VRMMO game Alfheim Online, she is known as Leafa, a Sylph fairy. She stumbled onto Kirito by accident one night and decided to travel with him to the World Tree.

Sword Art Online image 2

My Thoughts

Before people misunderstand me, I love Sword Art Online, I am a huge gamer so this Anime was made for me however that doesn’t mean I can ignore all of its problems. First of all I’ll list the things that Sword Art Online does right. The Animation quality from Aniplex is amazing, they never fail to impress me with how fluid the characters move and how detailed the world is, accompanied by the amazing soundtrack made of epic vocals makes you get into every scene its played in, These two combined make for some of the best fighting scenes I have ever had the pleasure of watching. Whats wrong with this Anime then? I hear you say, Well From the first episode of SaO your expecting an amazing plot then the time skips start, these time skips may seem like nothing big however they are very effective at disconnecting me from the plot and making me feel like I missed an episode and its not just me who feels this way either a lot of fans of the show feel this way. To add to this the earlier episodes try to pack too much into them with some characters seeming important just to fade away only to appear for 5 minuets in the finale. In my opinion this anime should have ended at episode 14 as the Alfheim Online segment feels very disjointed from the main story with no real stakes (life or death) on the line.

Overall Sword Art Online is a very average series with amazing animation and music but with a plot that last from episode 8 till episode 14 in a 25 episode series, If you want to see the biggest Anime from 2012 don’t go into it expecting the best show ever made because it isn’t,its a good show however with these flaws it cant be considered a master piece as most fans make it out to be. If your a Gamer or love good fluid fighting then this show is definitely a watch however if your main driving point for watching a show is its plot then this Anime might not be for you.

Final Score: 6.5/10