Greetings guys, gals, and pals,
Remember that time I told you I wouldn't be doing reviews for a while? Well, I lied. Sorry. vv
But I do feel like I should toss my hat in the ring for the anime SWORD ART ONLINE. It was a very popular and hyped up show of last year (think ATTACK ON TITAN, but a year ago). Unlike Titan though, many people were displeased with the show after we get around half way through. Or at least some of the most vocal voices (mostly thinking of reviewers) were displeased with it.
To bring people up to speed, the story of Sword Art follows Kazuto Kirigaya, except you will never remember that name because 99% of the time he's called by his in-game name Kirito. Kirito and many other players log into the game Sword Art Online (SAO) using what is called a Nerve Gear which fits over the head and uses brain signals to move around an avatar in game. However, once people start to try and log out, they find there is no way to leaveThey are then informed by the game's creator that they are trapped inside SAO and the only way to get out will be to get to the 100th level. If someone in the real world attempts to remove the device, the player's body will die. Additionally, if a person's avatar in the game is killed, their physical body will die.
This is the premise that hooked people really hard. The jeopardy the characters are in is indeed real, even though they are all technically playing a video game. In addition, Kirito is some form of a gamer's wet dream since he is a solo player who spends so much time leveling up that he is practically untouchable for the majority of the game. Some critics claim this makes him a little flat, though I personally did like him and how he interacts with other characters.
What interested me most at first was to compare it to the classic show .HACK//SIGN, which, I have to say, I remembered much more favorably before rewatching it after SAOI don't think there is any part of sign that is better then SAO, so if you need to make a choice between the two, just do SAO. Don't get me wrong, sign is still a classic, and it is probably one of the major reason SAO was even made, but it hasn't aged well.
I won't get into what ticked people off half way through the series as that is major spoilers, but I just want to comment that I personally didn't find it as earth shattering as other people did. Do I think they would have been better off not doing it? Maybe, but it shook up the show and changed the direction, which I think more anime could stand to do. Often the most interesting anime do have a twist like that part way through the series that changes everything. Titan, TENGEN TOPPA GURREN LAGANN, and PUELLA MAGI MADOKA MAGICA all do something to that effect, just to name a few, and those are all considered really good anime because of it.
Genre wise, SAO is kinda all over the map, which is part of what it gets flack for, because some people think it's trying to do too many different things in a short amount of time. I think at it's core you should really think of SAO as an Action/Adventure kinda anime, just realize there might be long periods between the action scenes.
Flow on this show is kinda weird, cause there are big time skips during the first half, then the second half is over a much shorter period of time. So the first half is pretty episodic, though they do an alright job of linking the episodes together, just no real "Ermergerd! What will happen next!" feels.
All in all, I really did enjoy the show, which I really think is what matters. A lot of reviewers mark it down for a number of things, but really the driving factor for me recommending a show is if I enjoyed it or if I thought it was important. So if you don't mind turning your brain off a bit when watching a show, I highly recommend watching this and making your own judgement on it.
This has been Tryggy-Sama,
Until next time.