Many of us were captivated when we first laid our eyes upon sword art online, this was every gamer's dream to be in a world such as this one. It had the intruiging story and mechanics that gripped anime fans all over the world. This review will talk about two parts of Sword Art Online, the first being the original, and the second being Alfheim Online in which sadly this series took a spectacular nosedive.
The story as far as i could tell is great and the writers really managed to ensnare all its watchers with this one. It is set in a virtual game and follows the adventures of Kirito who is lone gun trying to make his way to beating the entire online game which is Sword Art Online, but the twist comes when the games creator reveals to the players of the game that they can no longer log out of the game and will only be able to escape if they complete it. The catch however is, if you die in the game, you die in real life as well. This automatically creates a world of adventure with a risk, no respawns means a really careful way of playing and the writers did a very good job in incorperating game mechanics into their every day lives. However this only lasted for the first part of the Series, the second part (Warning Spoilers) completely destroyed the wonderful world they created and introduced a whole slew of side quests and characters that are completely forgettable and felt very rushed. Gone was the rush to finish the game and was replaced by some very cliched scenes and characters. The action is still great though.
If there is one thing i can't complain about, its the animation. It was very fluid and well done, and the action scenes themselves were incredible and fluid. There isnt much more to say on that point.
Another thing that was well done was the sound. The opening themes were good and action packed and had a really memorable theme. Every action scene or epic fight, they would bust out the latin choir completely mesmorizing you as the fights progressed. The voice acting was also decent and i had no real complaints with it.
Now here is where Sword Art Online really failed with their writing. Spoliers up ahead. Kirito the main character is your generic and typical badass who is one of the strongest players in teh game. He shows little to no emotion and any female within a 10m radius of him immediatley tries and win his affection. He has a harem which really doesnt stand out and his main love interest Asuna despite here badass introduction just ended up being a generic tsundre who hates kirito, then loves him, then pushes him away, then cooks for him, then they kiss and get married in the span of around 5 episodes. The entire relationship seemed so forced and cliched and no single character seems to grow at all. The rest of the supporting characters are forgettable. In the second half of the show a younger sister character is introduced who immediately wants her Onii-chan's affections. This incest attempt could have been left out and left me feeling almost violated. Her attempts to gain her brothers love intrests fail because he still loves Asuna, so she turns to video games and tries to meet someone else to fall in love with. It works out fine until she coincidently falls in love with her brother (who is in the game once again trying to find his girlfriend who is in a coma) and shit hits the fan. It was all too forced and rushed and introduced too many characters who would play virtually no role later on. So SAO really messed up with this one
Dont get me wrong, overall i liked the series and i would have put a much higher number had this only been about the first half of the series. Though it has its faults, overall i would say it has been an good watch for me. I would recomend this to any gamer who has ever played an RPG or anyone who enjoys an action packed anime with lots of fighting. This isnt for everyone and has been the most popular series of 2012. It doesnt completely deserve its high rating that its fans give it, nor does it deserve the hate that the other side says about it. So in the end i gave it a 7.5/10, what are you waiting for, go and watch it.