April 6, 2013

Sword Art Online

Using a piece of technology called Nerve Gear, which allows players to literally enter a game. Kirito,  enters a Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, or for short, an Online RPG. The game is called Sword Art Online, a game in which characters can use no magic (other than a few magical stones), and must focus solely on Swords Skills. The game takes place inside a giant flying fortress called, Aincrad. The fortress has 100 floors for players to complete. On the day the game was released however, the game creator decided to hold players captive, and not allow them to leave the game, until they reach the 100th floor. The worst part is, if they die in the game, they die in real life. Their struggle for survival begins... 


The protagonist can often be seen over-powered, and there are parts that try hard to be tragic. The battles are worthy of praise, but you may have to wait a while before the story takes you to one. The boss battles are epic, but out of  the 100 bosses, you only get to see a few  only by defeating these can you go to the next floor.

The series is based on a Light Novel, and with only 25 episodes, there are parts in the series that are rushed. The side stories focus on the protagonist being cool with girls, and throughout most the series, you only get to see things from the protagonist's perspective.

The second half of the series takes a completely different and darker path, and it's not as good as the first half, though the ending kinda makes up for it. Despite all its flaws, I enjoyed the series, and would recommend it to anyone. Now, what did I like about the series? Well for starters, I really enjoyed enjoyed the romance, it was really cute. But, at the second half of the series, the romance is taken to a strange territory. I also enjoyed the battles, they are intense and memorable.

The conflicts can be pretty interesting, too. Like when an ally suddenly shifts sides and attacks the protagonist, he is placed in a position where in order to save his life, he must make a choice that may go against his moral values. Also, the plot twist at the end of half the series, amazing!

These guys are screwed

The voice acting is great. The  animation can be inconsistent. In one part you get this beautifully drawn nature scene, and in another, you get a plainly drawn view at things. There were no poorly drawn scenes, though. The music is excellent. There is a song for every scene, and it blends in perfectly, putting you in  the mood the animators want you in. The battle themes are the most memorable:

The protagonist (Kirito, also known as Kirigaya Kazuto), is a direct spoken character, and can sometimes come off as rude. He sometimes acts overconfident thinking he can do other can not. He rarely shows any signs of distress, and is almost always calm and collected. Though, when in a battle, he becomes incredibly fierce and aggressive. He can also be compassionate and will help others in need, he cannot abandon others in trouble. He can sometimes be controlled by his emotionsHe is a tenacious character and will always find a way to complete his challenges

Asuna, she is a kind and helpful young woman, who is similar to Kirito, and cannot abandon others in trouble. She takes the game very seriously and is very focused on clearing it. She is also somewhat proud and is not afraid to get physical with those that challenge her authority or brag about her abilities. She isn't afraid to act out on her own and will take matters in her own hands from time to time. Asuna, once again similar to Kirito, is someone who can be controlled by her emotions many times.

Overall this is a really good series, of course, it's not perfect. Still, it is one of my top five anime. The concept is what probably drives most to watching the series — I mean, who wouldn't want to get inside a videogame. If you enjoy intense battles, adventure, and romance, you might enjoy Sword Art Online.


Previous review: Fullmetal Alchemist