With a plot line such as getting stuck in a virtual world, one can only throw so many surprises and twists into the story that are unique. As a result of the plot being shared with things such as .Hack and Accel World, much of the plot line has been done before. That being said, SAO pulls off these already done twists and give new life to them in a way that makes it a lovely and entertaining anime to watch.
I was enthralled with the pairing of Asuna and Kirito since a few episodes in. So once the second arc started I quick became annoyed with all the near-romantic scenes between Kirito and Suguha. Despite this I actually enjoyed the plot to the second arc all and all.
The only thing that annoyed me endlessly was Kirito’s nativity when it came to others flirting/coming on to him. Yui should have smacked him more on behalf of her mama! Anyways. Sword Art Online is a great anime that has beautiful character designs and backgrounds, if you’re looking for an anime to watch this one is great. Although I can’t say it stands up to some others, so it might not be the best anime but it’s certainly up there.
On a side note, apparently the other two arcs are going to be made into anime soon! So I’d certainly watch this now so you’ll be able to watch the others when they come out.