As you can see I’m slowly getting through my ‘anime to watch’ list! So today, let’s talk about my first impressions of Sword Art Online.
The basic premise of Sword Art Online is that SAO is the latest must have MMORPG that uses virtual reality headsets. Unfortunately for the all the players to try the game out on launch, they find they cannot log out of the game. Instead they given a message from the game’s creator, Akihiko Kayaba, that thanks to the VR headsets they are trapped in the game and the only way out is to beat level 100. The only catch is if they die in the game, they die in real life. The series follows Kirito, one of the original beta testers for the game, as he tries to get to the 100th level.
Initially, I struggled with the first two episode. The pacing felt a little off, as not a lot of time was given to get you to root for Kirito. Still, I was hooked by episode five, the start of a two part murder mystery story. While there is an over arching plot, initially each episode (or two) is a self-contained story, like Kirito helping another player find a rare crafting material. Despite the overall seriousness of the situation, the players do give the viewers some humorous moments; so if you were worried this would be another Attack on Titan, all blood and guts, don’t worry.
As for the characters, there isn’t a single on, yet, that I haven’t liked and wanted to succeed. Kirito is a protagonist that I found was relatable and Asuna is a great supporting character, that manages to dodge the damsel in distress role. The other characters that pop up from time to time, are also memorable with there quirks and appearances.
Overall, I’m enjoying Sowrd Art Online. I wouldn’t say it hooked me as much as Fairy Tailor Attack on Titan, as both of those anime I binged watched while SAO I’m taking my time with. I would say that if you are gamer or fan of MMOs, then this is the anime for you. You’ll get all the little gaming references and will probably enjoy the amount of detail put in to make Sword Art Online a believable game.
What do you think of Sword Art Online? Do you think it lives up to the hype? Let me know in the comments!