Good evening readers,
Long awaited, yes, this review is long-awaited.
Was clearing my anime list recently and this anime surfaced, and I remember making a promise to myself:
NO WAY AM I GOING TO POST THIS NEXT YEAR.
So here we are, after 25 episodes, its time, to review “Sword Art Online”!!
So the story starts off in a future, not too far away from ours, when a game developer by the name of Akihiko Kayaba, creates the first most perfected Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, or VRMMORPG. 10, 000 queue up for the game and enter perfected virtual reality for the first time.
Hooked with a device in the shape of a helmet that connects itself to the brain, the NerveGear reads off the five senses and provides the user with perfect simulation of the in-game environment.
With perfect graphics, real-feel of the environment, and live-action scenes as a first person, it seems like the perfect dream of any online gamer. Or is it?
Then comes our main protagonist, Kazuto Kirigaya (Kirito), who is your typical gamer, but in real life, is alone (from what I observe in the anime). Entering the world the second time in his life (previously beta tester), he meets all the new players, including our other character, “Klien” or Ryotaro Tsuboi.
Then comes the deadly discovery. HEY WHERE DID THE LOGOUT BUTTON GO?
As feelings surge, the nightmare becomes reality. It was no longer a game, but a reality.
Rules of the game:
- If the player dies during the game, his real-life body will be destroyed, and he/she will die. The NerveGear will technically fry your brain.
- If the NerveGear is removed by force, it will electrocute the person and he/she will die.
- To win, a player must reach floor 100, (level 100) of the game, and will be permitted to exit.
- Players play with their own bodies.
Kirito then meets Asuna early in the game, who is a rookie player. Unaware that a few months later they will be reunited again. As Kirito advances throughout the game, he encounters that the game has had a unique effect on people. They become scared, untrusting and some even lose hope and the will to live.
But the anime “Sword Art Online” isn’t about action alone, it’s also about romance. Coincidently, Kirito is reunited with Asuna again, and then the anime suddenly becomes full of romance, and they have a KID (that was fast). Well I for one found it extremely relaxing from the normal cut-chase action scenes. (Too much isn’t good) As they advance towards the 70+ levels, the two discover that by forming the relationship, they have made themselves vulnerable to one another, the risk and fear of losing each other.
(Too much spoilers so I’m not saying a lot of things)
But by a twist of fate, as SAO ends, Asuna and Kirito are separated from one another, and the feelings of anger and loneliness arise. Kirito returns to the real world and finds himself held back by two years. Depressed that Asuna never regained consciousness, he confides in his sister, Suguha Kazuya (Sugu).
As news leaks that someone like Asuna appears in another VRMMO called “Alfheim Online”, Kirito, with the aid of his new friends in AFO, leaps into action in an attempt to rescue her. Will he succeed? How will it all end? Is it a happy ending? Watch to find out!
So what are my impressions? Well, I will just say first, AWESOME ANIME. This is because of a lot of factors.
SAO was a unique anime because it had a correlation between the real world, and that of the virtual world, and that managed to bring around many themes that resonate with our own personal lives. Overall there were also many themes I liked very much, that the creation of a system and numbers to dictate our abilities does not limit us, that there is no limit to what we want to achieve. We must also not forget our real lives, and treasure the ones we already have.
I, as well as many of my friends though, found it difficult in the AFO part of the anime to carry on, because it did drag a little, but near the end it was WORTH IT.
The other thing was that Kirito was damn BAD-ASS whenever he had to overcome obstacles for his one-true love. The fact the anime was made in such a way that made you feel raw hatred for the bad-guys means you will be triumphing and feeling good whenever Kirito owns their ass. Though I am slightly scared of his murderous face. There are also LOTS of action scenes, which all have been very well shown in the anime. I was very impressed by the action scenes because some incorporated CGI and some were very detailed. The only difference I would say is that because it’s in a virtual world you won’t see blood.
THE CLIMAX was the one that impressed me the most, because IT NEVER ENDED quickly. You will be very happy, then angry and full of hate, then happy again, and then full of hate again, and it goes on and on. The fact they keep doing that means you will be on the edge of your seat for quite a long time. Hahaha (ENJOY the torture)
The art, some coupled with CGI, is simply awe-dropping and deserves praise. They managed to really show a virtual world within a game through the art-forms used. Great job A-1 Pictures! The music employed was also very nice. OMG DAT SOUNDTRACK. The soundtrack was used very appropriately and added to the impact of many of the scenes. The 4 OPENING & ENDING songs also had a very nice feel to it, though my favourite would definitely be “crossing field” by LiSA
Sword Art Online was also made by the same creator as “Accel World” (explains why some of the styles are similar) which was also another anime which received very good reviews from us, so good job Reki Kawahara, I salute you!
All in all, Sword Art Online managed to impress me on a lot of levels, and is a definite MUST-WATCH. It has the makings of a very good anime. Sword Art Online is a summer 2012 anime, and premiered on the 7th of July, and had 25 episodes. It is also available in simulcast on Crunchyroll. Official website here.
I hope SAO happens in real life! Or maybe not…