Anime Review: Sword Art Online

Title: Sword Art Online
Synonyms: SAO
Japanese:  ソードアート・オンライン
Type: Series
Episodes: 25
Duration: ~23 minutes per episode
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Romance, Game, Shounen
Age Rating: PG-13
Audio: Japanese
Subtitles: English


Plot

The story starts with the release of a Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (VRMMORPG) called Sword Art Online (SAO). Kirigaya Kazuto (Kirito) is among the few chosen beta-testers of SAO. It is the first ‘Virtual Reality’ game ever made. After the game’s official release, thousands of players log in to experience virtual reality gaming. But soon, they find out that the only way of logging out is by finishing all the hundred levels in the game. The catch is, if they die in-game, they die in reality…My Review

I took over a month to finish this. It is a nice anime, and it has a terrific ending. The first few episodes were good, but around the middle of the series I found it a little boring. I think it is because I enjoy anime that have more of a fun factor rather than seriousness. It is definitely worth watching. A lot of sentiment, action and some depressing scenes make the viewing experience complete. I primarily enjoyed it because of the idea of there being a ‘virtual reality’ so real that it feels like reality itself. I really hope science and technology advances quickly so that in the near future, we would all be wearing a ‘nerve gear’ and logging in to a VRMMORPG.

Story: I think the story/plot is very original, and gets you hooked. There are plenty of tense moments, and a sweet romantic arc. Also, there are a lot of sentimental scenes, especially because everything is a matter of life and death. The only thing that made me uneasy was the stark seriousness. The story’s fun factor reduces considerably because some people are just pure evil, and they don’t understand the grave situation they are in. So, I will give this a 9/10.

Characters: What can I say, amazing anime always have amazing characters. Everyone’s character is rich, very well developed. Kirito’s sarcasm gets me every time. I also liked the way everyone has a very contrasting character. It gave me a sense of ‘satisfaction’, the feeling you get after you watch something mind-blowing and it stays in your mind for a long time. This gets a full 10/10.

Art: Nothing short of great. Characters look really cute. Fight scenes are done excellently. Not only have they precisely made the characters’ emotions, but also every time there is a clash of metallic surfaces, numerous sparks fly. It gives a very nice effect to the scene. Very good as a whole. I will give this a 9/10. Could have been better. There are some really serene places in SAO. Quite a lot of footage takes place there. The art has a utopian feel. There are various environments, snow, lakeside, sometimes just plain grass. Everything else is like reality itself; night and day, different weather conditions etc. But there are places where there is no background at all, an infinite void. Scenes like that make the anime a bit dull.

Overall Rating: 9/10

Links: MAL AniDB ANN

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