Sword Art Online is the anime about a death game, where 10,000 people are trapped in a virtual reality where death in the game is death in the real world.
Sword Art Online, or SAO, is based off light novels of the same name. I might as well review it arc by arc, so I'll start with the first one: Aincrad.
The Aincrad arc is the first 12 or so episodes. This sets the tone for the whole series and introduces main characters. It is really the first 3 episodes that center on this plot, and then it seems to branch off into side-stories, weaving in Slice of Life that shows how life works inside the game, which is much needed at times, to help immerse the viewer.
The story is romantically-inclined, it's undeniable, but the first arc still does a good job of keeping the big plot in line and delivering when it needed to. The same can not be said for the "Fairy Dance" arc.
So, it turns out that after the SAO incident, Asuna and 200 other people get trapped in ANOTHER game ran by a pervert who wants to create perfect mind control. Oh, and he rapes Asuna, too. But, even on top of that, there's a huge thing about how Kirito's sister, who is actually his cousin, is in love with him, forming a love triangle.
But that is the impression you get if you only watch the anime. The light novel goes more into the brain research and mind control scheme, so it is much better to read this arc.
Blending 3D graphics with state-of-the-art character animation, it certainly feels realistic and has a polished level of detail. However, there were some moments I wasn't too hot on, but that's not important.
Like any anime, they recycle the songs they compose. However, they create a perfectly fitting soundtrack, from the theme song to the battle BGM. Oh, and Kirito yells. A lot.
The characters are believable and the writers really do capture the essence of an MMO world, and it's patrons. Kirito and Asuna are very deep and rich characters, as well. Full props.
While the anime does not do the story complete justice, it is an amazing adaption. I still fully recommend reading the light novels, as it will definitely offer more insight into the story.<div>