Sword Art Online is a show by...
Oh who am I kidding, you already know what Sword Art Online is, you've already watched it and have an opinion on it. Hell, I'm pretty sure that your dog has an opinion on Sword Art Online.
Do you know the phrase "The bigger the shit, the stronger the smell?" No? Well you shouldn't because I've just pulled that one straight out my ass (HA! See what I did there?), but by the power of sheer luck, that phrase describes SAO perfectly! Hooray!
You know, I have enough of shows that start out with something great and do absolutely nothing with it. "A bunch of people trapped in a video game, fighting for their survival," sounds cool, doesn't it? Well guess what, it isn’t. You should be able to see the obvious glaring problems after not much more than three or four episodes.
The first thing you’ll think is this:
“Damn, this story likes to jump around, doesn’t it?”
And you would be, right, the story is cut in a way that it looks like it was written by someone with ADHD. Like holy shit, there are more time skips than in my roleplaying sessions! (INSIDE JOKE!) This completely destroys the pacing. For example, the main character is supposed to be really good at the game, but we never see his struggles to actually become good. It just kind of happens behind the scenes, which makes him look like a Mary Sue.
Wait, scratch that. He is a Mary Sue, but on that later.
The next thing you’ll notice is that the author clearly doesn’t really know too much about MMORPGS. Actually to be fair, he seems to know very little. I’m not a MMORPG fan, but it’s easy to see that he didn’t really set up any rules for the world, and just went with what he thought was cool. This would be okay if the show didn’t take its story so damn seriously, but it does, like it really thinks it is something, but apart for the good action? There is nothing there. They do not explore any of the interesting concepts; the mechanics of the games are barely touched upon. The script treats the world of the game as any other fantasy world, instead of basing it around the fact that it’s a game.
There is also some mystery in the story, and guess what? They don’t explain jack shit, like, they meet the villain responsible for trapping them in the video game… but they never really explain his motivation. To be fair, it is explained in the Light Novel (It was pretty fucking stupid from what I remember), but I’m not reviewing the Light Novel, I’m reviewing the anime adaptation.
And you know what the biggest flaw of the story is? The only interesting arc ends in the middle of the anime, leading to the god awful season two. Like Jesus Christ, I’ve never seen anything more, gay than the second season. And it’s not gay in a good way like JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure. It’s just gay. And if I was a homosexual, I would be offended at the fact that this show even exists.
The first season isn’t really good, and everything in the second season is just worse.
The villain is worse, the setting is worse, we don’t feel any tension anymore. Hell that season even tries to grab your attention with a tentacle rape scene, and honestly, it might as well. After all, if it cannot give me an interesting story, then at least it can give me some nudity.
There are none, literally the only two characters are Klein and that annoying villain from the second season. And even then have the personalities of “A nice guy” and a “Dick”. Kirito is bland, Asuna is bland, Kirito’s sister is bland, every character is either useless or has no personality.
Jesus Christ, I don’t know anything about Kirito’s character expect for the fact that he is really powerful and loves Asuna. He is just a Mary Sue with absolutely no flaws or weaknesses, who for some insane reason also gets a harem of equally bland girls. He isn’t even a boring character, he ISN’T a character. He is just some bland piece of wood with a name that can talk and goes around doing what the plot needs him to do. A good story is shaped by the way the characters think, I could even say that characters have free will of sorts, you cannot make them do something that is against their personality or motivations without a reason, or it becomes shoehorned, so often because of that, the personality might work against your own story. But Sword Art Online doesn’t have that problem; after all, if the characters have no personality besides Good/Bad, then the writer can put whatever the hell he wants. But then the story becomes boring and uninteresting. That’s especially visible when the romance between Kirito and Asuna takes place, it feels like watching two dead fishes have sexual intercourse (The only difference is that they don’t actually have sex) (Scratch that “Two years worth of semen made a glopping noise as it flowed endlessly into Asuna” I completely forgot about this gem). And let’s not forget about the idiotic “Child” arc.
The animation is… actually really good. Like it looks REALLY, REALLY well, but to be fair, it only makes this show look like a polished turd. And while the lighting effects, the environments, the movements all look absolutely amazing, that still doesn’t excuse the bland art style. It really feels like it has no personal touch at all. The characters look very basic and uninteresting, but I don’t feel like vomiting when looking at them, so that’s a plus.
Let me say, that the action in this show is actually really enjoyable to watch, so if you REALLY want to see SAO, it will probably be only for that sole reason, but you still should watch an actually good action show, like JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure or Hellsing Ultimate.
The sound is also really good, the soundtrack fits the situations presented well, especially the music that plays during the action scenes, although on the other hand, you could say that they are over dramatic. But hell, after all, the show is centered on the fight for survival in a dangerous environment; of course it should be dramatic. The voice acting and sounds effects are quite good too.
Sword Art Online is at best a mediocre show; it had great potential but wasted it on stupid decisions and fan service. The only reason why people like it; is because they do not think about the issues it has, or just plainly ignore them trying to make themselves believe that they did not lose their time. Don’t watch it; there are other shows that are better at what they do.
My recommendation: Just watch Log Horizon, it’s literally the same concept, with the exception being that the show is actually good.
3.5/10~ Wasted potential
Sword Art Online has an interesting premise. Not extremely unique, but just interesting enough to get me hooked.
. . . For the first couple episodes.
So around episode four or so, I got lost. Not because I was distracted, but because the story was so fucking inconsistent. So I thought, "okay, well I'm sure it must be just for now." Wow, was I wrong. This anime went downhill fast. One episode, they could be on a low level, and one later, almost done with the fucking game. The characters don't excactly soften the blow either. They're basic archetypes with EXTREMELY MINOR character development.
At least the animation is nice. Nothing too spectacular, just pleasant. I just wish there was something to make up for the shit plot and character development.
For starters let me say that sword art isn't like Accel world. Accel world is about a fat kid that doesn't know wtf he's doing and just lucks his ass off into a harem world where he is a natural talent.
Sword art actually has a storyline and the character makes total sense because he didn't just get into the game but he has played the beta (he was pretty much addict) and has done alot of research on the maker of the game. No wonder he's one of the best players.
Sword art potentionally has a very good plot, though since it is not finished and not very far yet, we can't see where it's going. It started off as him being one of the best solo players. now (episode 8 just aired) the last two episodes were complete fillers. The story doesn't seem to be going anywhere. I hope that it will not turn into a harem anime, though there have only been three girls seen in the whole series so far (of which two in the filler eps), and since he actually met a guy at the beginning there is hope.
The story is still far from ruined. It can turn into either a bad cliche harem anime or into an awesome story with the main character meeting different persons, maybe starting parties and a guild or something.
Sword art has a very strangely pacing story. In the second episode two months have past, and after a few eps we have seen one and a half year already. Then it starts to show things from in between that time (mostly fillers) so this anime's timeline is pretty inconsistent. at the beginning of the episode a time is shown. remember:
The game started at november 6 - 2022. It's pretty nice to know how many years have passed since the start and they should put a bit more exclamation on it IMO.
As for now, there isn't much to say about it because the direction it's heading is pretty vague. But so far, exept for the two fillers, I am very content about it.
Looking good, pretty moving. Last episode they let the characters wear normal clothing inside of their house. Doesn't make any sense at all but it's probably to fluffen up the clothing style a bit. It doesn't matter to me but some people give critisism to animes such as steins gate for the cast constantly wearing the same clothing. So at least they are listening to the fans.... or maybe it's just to be cliche again.... Can't tell yet ^^
Good opening decent ending and decent BGM. Nothing special here but nothing bad either.
Main character(Kirito) is very interesting. He helps people for reasons and not just because he encounters a little girl. He acts like a douchebag in the beginning to keep people away from him because he doesn't like to play co-op. Seems rather inconsitent but he has reasons for everything and looks like a very interesting and promising character
Sidekick ho (Asuna) I might have to change my profile picture to captain obvious when I predict that she's going to end up with him. She's (from what I've seen yet) pretty much the only one he hangs out with from the pro players and he has several meetings with her. Also it seems like she is the only one he forms a party with. Also she has maxed coocking so git to ze kitchaaa
Dude he met in the beginning (yeaaa... what's his name again?) He didn't really do anything so far. He played a minor role in one of the earlier episodes (I believe we saw him again in three) but so far he's been doing jack. He will probably get involved again later on.
As you can see the character cast is (after 8 eps) still vey limited. As there are almost never just three main characters (let alone two) there will probably be some new characters introduced later on. Let's hope they are not harem girls and make sense and that this anime shall take the right path.
Now at episode 11 17, sword art has turned into an awesome anime with an amazing cast. The most noticable thing about it is probably that it is really the first mix between a real japanese "kawaii" momentum anime and a serious story that is actually going somewhere. This anime jumps around from doing awesome stuff to having a incest-seeming sister. Nonetheless, there are just a eps that do barely matter (6-8 and I believe 15 was rather worthless too). Has became one of my favorites and looking forward to the release of the next episode tomorrow
I will try to update this review weekly. So far the anime looks good but with last two episodes being pretty much filler is not a good sign. Let's hope the best(I'm expecting it to continue to be awesome) , but if it continues this way it will end up with a total score of a 4. Continued as an awesome anime after 2-3 "fillers"
This show has gotten some well-deserved hype, because it certainly looks great, and the soundtrack is nice. On top of that, it has a premise that in the beginning, looks very very interesting.
Where this show falls down for me is that the plot is completely and utterly inconsequential.
The problem is that the show tries to head with an episodic format, while not realizing that in many successful episodic shows such as Nichijou or Working!!, the plot of each episode is removed from the others, but they focus on one group of characters.
In Sword Art Online, we see the adventures of Kirito, boy forced into a death game, ala .hack, only he isn't alone here, 9999 other players are trapped with him. The thing is, the story has never focused on Kirito. Each episode, without fail, they introduce a new character we have not seen before, with their own story, and rest assured, you will likely never see them again after that episode.
Even with this format, I thought the show could have worked if it had focused on Kirito, but the show changes focus to the new person and characterizes them for an episode before they drop off the face of the earth.
In all, the only reccuring characters are cardboard cutouts, and all other characters have no consequence beyond their episode.
Although I feel a show does not have to have a good story to engage me, this show focuses entirely on the story, badly told, rather than on other aspects, like action. By the last episode I watched at time of writing, the action scenes had been pared down to about 20 seconds per episode.
To sum up, The show has terrible storytelling, excellent visuals, almost no action, and completely unrelateable characters. Watch it for the pretty visuals and decent soundtrack, then forget about this empty show.
**POSSIBLE SPOILERS** Ah Sword Art Online. One of the most argued over anime of recent years. Some say SAO is the messiah of anime, and any who oppose it should be exucuted publicly. Others say watching Butt Attack Punisher Girl Gautaman ten times would be more enjoyable than SAO. Though personally, I believe both sides are completely wrong. Now, why am I only now reviewing it? I don't know, mind your own buisness!
*If you want a quick summary of how I feel overall, It's at the bottom.
Story (First Arc)
Plot: On November 6, 2022, the players log into SAO for the first time, and later discover that they are unable to log out. They are then informed by Akihiko Kayaba, SAO's creator, that if they wish to be free, they must reach the 100th floor of the game's tower and defeat the final boss. However, if their avatars die in-game, their bodies will also die in the real world. One of these players is Kazuto "Kirito" Kirigaya, who was chosen as one of the 1,000 beta testers in the closed beta. Since he had previous experience and knowledge of the game, he felt that he could beat the game easily. As a result, he set out to beat the game on his own.
My thoughts: When SAO was first released in 2012, I was absolutely hooked. I hadn't watched too many anime focused on MMORPG, so this was a fairly new and exciting experience to me. The plot, althought not completely original, is still very solid and entertaining. I never felt completely lost, or bored, and found myself on the edge of my seat many times. Though there are many plot holes here and there, most of them can be explained once thought out. There are very large time skips however, and I felt that with more focus on minor events and less time skipping, the anime would have scored much better.
With A-1 Pictures behind the scenes, I knew exactly what to expect in terms of visuals. The character motions were very fluid with little exceptions, and the color palette was similar to Oreimo, which I felt fitting. The fight scenes, possibly the most important aspect, were also nothing to mock. The swordsmanship was brutal and crude, which in my opinion is much more realistic. The visual effects seemed a bit off at times, but it rarely took away from the scene. All in all, the animation was fitting for the genre, and is what we've come to expect from A-1 Pictures.
Sword Art Online's first opening was my favorite of the series, and never disappointed me. LiSA has a reputation for great songs, and this one is no exception. The tone and build ups really matched the feel of the anime. The ending theme was also enjoyable, though not as memorable. It's nice to have a soft and slow anime theme every now and then, and I think SAO fit it in well. The voice actors fit perfectly for all the characters, except Silica. I almost never like high pitched lolis though, so don't let that affect your decision. With all this in mind, I'd say the sound was above average, though nothing stellar.
Now, I'm not going to get into GGO, so I'll be leaving Cinnamon Sinon out of the roster. None of the characters in SAO were really misplaced, though some should have gotten more screentime, as they feel like they were just filler characters.
Kirito: Our main protagonist, Kirito (or Kirishit as some prefer) is your average run of the mill protagonist. I will give credit where it's due though, he isn't a dense brick. He's mellow and a lady killer, but for about half the anime, he's a scene kid with depression issues. He always gets the job done with his OP power level, which I assume is over 9000, or by letting Asuna do his shit for him. Overall he's an aight nigga.
Asuna: Asuna-sama is the one true waifu for Kirito. Anyone who claims the annoying loli, the blacksmith with one episode, or that whore Sinon are better, they should be banished to the shadow realm. Now back to Asuna. She, like Kirito, is also pretty OP. Though we don't often see it, her sword skills are among the top players. She's sweet, a good cook, and was willing to fuck Kirito 5 seconds after they kissed. She is truly the best.
Silica: She's that loud loli that every anime has. She's pretty much useless, and probably should have been eaten by that rape plant thing.
Liz: Now I'll be real. If Asuna wasn't such a babe, Liz would probably be the next best, only because of how nice she is. She basically gave up on her new found love, Kirito, so that Asuna could have him all for herself and be happy. Meanwhile she cries under a bridge. Poor girl. We don't get much developement for her, but overall she's a lovable character.
Agil: He's basically the cool black Russian from Durarara!... He's my nigga.
Klein: Meh. He's aight. He doesn't change at all really, and is always just in the back watching usually.
When it's all said and done, the first 14 episodes(Arc One) of SAO were very entertaining. Some characters were ignored, but the main characters were given good depth. Animation was A-1 A-OK(get it?), and the story gave enough to get by. Though, If I had my way I would have prefered that the second Arc was scrapped altogether. I feel that if they spent all 25 episodes on the SAO arc, it would have turned into something amazing. Minor characters would have been given depth, less time skips would be needed, and many plot holes would be filled. The ending of the first arc also bugged me. Although I will be flamed for this, I would have prefered a bittersweet ending. What I mean by this, is that Asuna and Kirito die together, in love, while the other 6000+ are saved thanks to them. This would have given no need for the fairy shit or COD shit. Overall though, I'd say this anime deserves more than it's getting from its haters, but definitely not the worship it gets from the lovers.