- Episodes : 25
- Genre : Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Game
- Airing Date : Jul 8, 2012 - Dec 23, 2012
- Producers : Aniplex, A-1 Pictures, Genco, DAX Productions
Sword Art Online Preview / Plot (No Spoilers)
Sword Art Online takes place in the near future where Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (VRMMORPG) are the thing to experience. Sword Art Online is the newest game to feature such experiences where players can control their lives with avatars through brain waves. By using a head gear called NerveGear, players can enter the virtual world and live a different life from reality.
What they didn't know, is when they entered into the Sword Art Online mainframe, they soon are greeted by the creator of the program and are told they could never leave. Being held captive and not able to log out, the only way to escape is to beat the game by defeating the main boss on the 100th level. There's just one catch, if you die in SAO, you die in real life.
This begin the struggle of survival for all those trapped in the game.
Who does Sword Art Online cater to?
Sword Art Online is for those who like an anime that has a great representation of what it could be like to live in a world other than there own. If anyone has ever thought about the possibilities of having another identity, existing in the internet, or just living life in a way that would seem impossible in modern days, then Sword Art Online is for you.
Although, what would it really be like, even though it is a virtual world known to be fake, if it was possible for you to die in reality from death in the virtual world? Would you still want to participate?
What's so appealing about this piece of work.
SAO presents viewers a very unique interpretation of virtual reality vs. reality. Even though the conditions are somewhat extreme and heinous in the virtual world, what would your life be like as it continues to exist in the real world? What would become of those you meet in the VRMMORPG and then ceased to be?
Is it the same as meeting them in real life? What about the friends you do make in the game? If you were to escape the VRMMORPG, would your relationship still be the same? SAO explains all of these questions in one of the most understanding and emotional experiences in an anime.
Sword Art Online Trailer (English Dubbed)
Sword Art Online Main Characters List
Kazuto Kirigaya (Kirito)
Voice Actor :Yoshistugu Matsuoka
Kirito is the main protagonist of Sword Art Online. He was first introduced as a solo player who actually was one of the few players to play the beta of SAO when it was first announced. In the real world, he lives with his aunt and sister, but in SAO, he is a very skillful individual that is a walking asset in the virtual world.
He is hated by many as a beta tester for his knowledge of the games world and not really helping others. But when he did, they unexpectedly die in a freak accident, causing him to keep his distance even further away from others.
Although, he develops a relationship with Asuna, the first girl he truly helped and has become a skillful individual herself. Together, they make a life for themselves that almost makes them loose their grasp of reality.
Voice Actor :Haruka Tomatsu
Asuna is one of the first friends Kirito makes in SAO, even though he doesn't see her that often, she has made herself very well-known in the SAO world. As a sub-leader in one of the most recognizable and strongest guilds, she is known in the game as Flash, because of her extraordinary skills as a swordsman with lightning fast strikes to kill her opponents.
Her relationship with Kirito is one of few that actually extend out of the SAO world.
Sword Art Online Review
Sword Art Online has to be one of the craziest and well-thought anime series I have seen in a while. Maybe I haven't seen many to categorize others with Sword Art Online, but I conduct my reviews as a first time watcher in mind, without comparisons to other anime that may, in fact, be better.
While doing my research for the anime, to make sure I get it right, I came across a lot of reviewers who claim this anime to be poorly written and lacks a strong story that has character development in it. In most cases, I found them to be pretty bitter about what they classify as a good anime, let alone as a great anime.
Sword Art Online is in fact, a great series to watch. The anime has a great interpretation on life in both a virtual and realistic understanding. To be honest, who has ever wondered what it was like to live in a world the defies the limits of reality while still holding onto the values of what life has. Of course you would probably want to bend or break the rules in the virtual world, as you would in reality, but no matter what you do, there are always rules to follow.
Although, in the case of Sword Art Online, the rules in reality, are pretty much the same in virtual reality. The only difference is, when you first have the idea of wanting to play a game, especially if its a virtual game, you expect it to be the best time of your life. The last thing on anyones mind is whether they would die in an unknown world they have no control over. That's what many of the characters in SAO thought, I'm sure.
And all of the players that were apart of the unfortunate experience in SAO, are now a better individual because of it. That's what me wonder if the creator of the VRMMORPG was thinking?! Did he want to observe his cruel creation for the pleasure, or for reasons of making others have self realizations of their lives?!
Unfortunately, that wasn't really the case for Kayaba Akihiko. He basically just wanted to observe the players in his game like lab rats. Disregarding the value of life and having them face situations that caused many to commit suicide, acts of crimes, betrayal, and even murder.
Many of you are probably thinking this would never happen in the real world. Well, even though it's just an anime, the light it sheds on the subject doesn't seem too far fetched if technology were to ever advance enough to this point. And with that in mind, how realistic does this anime seem to you?
Now, back to reality.
The anime is a very unique series with others out there like it in the anime world. It has a great believable story that relates to life in many ways. I don't really see this as a generic interpretation like many others do, but rather as an enlightenment in a very imaginative way. The story of Sword Art Online is a well-thought series where the writers did present every possibility of any situation that could exist in a MMORPG game, let alone a VRMMORPG.
I truly believe the animation for SAO was really well-done, and the sound complimented the visuals very well. The character development was also presentable and believable in the sense that ones life could suddenly end at any moment. Or, they could just be another player trying to survive by making ends meet as a laborer or hospitality worker. You also had some of those individuals who wanted nothing more to just cause havoc and destruction towards others, like the Laughing Coffin's.
In the end of it all, you had that one individual who stood out the most as the one who could bring closure for good. The great thing about it, is it was all because of the love for another. Who knows how long everyone would have been stuck in SAO if it weren't for the determination and love Kirito had for Asuna, who knows how long everyone else would have been stuck SAO. Kirito is the true Heroine of the series.
Now the last part of the review.
Kirito finally saw Asuna at the very end when SAO was defeated, the creator explaining why he did what he did, and he forgot....! WTF! Kirito shows his sorrow for not being able to save Asuna, thinking she has passed on into the afterlife. Little did he know, and with the help of other players from a totally different game, Asuna continues to exist as a captive in its world.
How you might ask? Because of some crazy dude who wants her for only her families money and power. He uses Asuna as a test subject and imprisons her in another virtual world called Alfheim Online.
This was probably the only part of the series that kind of got me thinking in a new way. How was it possible for her to have survived unlike the others. It is later explained, Sugou Nobuyuki is the one who keeps her mind intact and claims her as his personal prize. By keeping her in a bird cage while trapped in another game. Crazy.
This began the second part of the season which really should have been its own season in my opinion. Kirito discovers that his own sister is a player in Alfheim Online. She helps to find and save Asuna, but not before realizing she is in love with Kirito!? Now, it is revealed that they are not really blood related and Kirito is adopted or something, but Suguha Kirigaya is in fact in love with Kirito. Anime! Go figure.
They do end up saving Asuna and discovering the possibility of having other VRMMORPG worlds interacting with another by visitations. This begins the newest and fastest growing trend in the world of VR gaming.
The NerveGear is a program that requires the user to wear a headset in order to dive into the virtual world. It is voice activated for initiating the dive, and with your eyes closed, you are instantaneously transported.
The only down fall to the NerveGear, besides it producing false realities, is producing new possibilities of different realities that make the real world unappealing. This can lead to individuals wanting to live the rest of their lives in the virtual world.
Sword Art Online has a great interpretation of guilds and teamwork within said guilds in the series. This can extend to video game guilds as well, both have to utilize teamworks with skills in strategy, tactics, and communication. Because a team that work together, wins together. That's the truth!
3. New Friendships
Sword Art Online displayed in many ways of new friendships being made and existing friendships becoming stronger than ever. I would have to say this is in part of being in a guild, but regardless, everyone needs someone. SAO showed that as something important to have.
Overall, Sword Art Online is an awesome anime that had me hooked from the very beginning. Unlike many others out there, I loved the story and character development it presented to the viewers. I'm not one to be super critical when it comes to enjoying anime.
Especially knowing when I, myself, can't even create anything like it. I cherish the little things in life, and I cherish all that anime has to offer, because anime is bigger than you may think!