Sword Art Online (TV Series 2012– ) Poster

(2012– )

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9/10
Pretty Decent!
crimson_knight_721 August 2014
In the year 2022, thousands of people get trapped in a new virtual MMORPG (Mass Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) known as Sword Art Online. Where death normally causes you to respawn to a safe zone, Sword Art Online was reprogrammed to kill anyone who dies in the virtual world. The only way to exit the game, is to defeat the final boss. Eager to escape this virtual nightmare, a lone beta player called Kirito fights his way through each floor of the game; however, this lone wolf soon recognizes the need for companionship, and the cost for his freedom. In the end, SAO Season 1 was packed full of mythical virtual excitement, beautiful animation, wonderful orchestral pieces, and intriguing character development. Even if you never watch SAO Season 2, SAO Season 1 is a must see for any Anime enthusiast and deserves a solid 10.

Sword Art Online Season 2, brings us back to the mmo virtual world. However, unlike SAO Season 1, the first half of SA0 season 2 is primarily based on a gunslinger motif known as Gun Gale Online,

In a virtual world comprised of guns and bullets, Kirito, uses a female avatar whilst duel wielding a violet energy sword and a 5.7mm FN Five Seven handgun. Not long after his experiences in Alfheim Online, Kirito is asked to assist in finding a mysterious player called Death Gun who is targeting the best players in the game, and is some how killing them in the real world.

Though we reunite with some familiar characters in the past, GGO introduces a sexy sniper named Sinon who uses a PGM Ultima Ratio Hecate II which is a .50 caliber anti-material sniper rifle. As awesome as this season has been, it does lack a few of the intense emotional elements that made the first season so amazing. (Ex: The romance that developed between Kirito and Asuna, or the intense rage Kirito expressed to certain members of Laughing Coffin)

Upon the conclusion of SOA season 2 mid-season finale, we are brought back to Alfheim Online where we are reunited with everyone in Kirito's party from SOA season 1. After a brief 4 episodes, the remainder of the SAO season 2 focuses on an entirely new guild known as the "the sleeping knights" guild. In a desperate attempt to achieve the unachievable "the sleeping knights" request Asuna's help after assessing her combat skills in a duel against their strongest member Yuuki.

Growing up on anime, I have seen my fair share of classics, but the beautiful atmosphere, the breathtaking music, and the fantastic character development has quickly made SAO my favourite anime series. That being said, those who were a fan of SAO season 1 will notice an almost different atmosphere in SAO season 2. Personally I feel that SAO season 1 was better because the second half completely fed off the first half of the season. However, SAO season 2 had what appeared to be 4-5 parts. Although this introduces us to new characters, the plot felt a little scattered as it lacked the kind of consistency and the emotional build that was provided by SAO season 1. Overall, the second season of SAO was not fantastic, but I still believe it deserves a 7.
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8/10
Anime made for RPG gamers.
Spartan_1_1_75 February 2014
Well I have to say, this has got to be the hardest anime to review and rate that I have come across so far. It is one hell of a mixture. But I did had a great time watching it, was very entertaining and that is what really matters.

On the plus side, I loved the setting/premise, a world where virtual reality has been perfected and MMORPG's truly come to life. The RPG gamer in me was really happy while watching this anime. DAMN I wanted to be in SAO so bad. The animation was great, especially that of the action sequences. I loved em. Coupled with amazing soundtrack, they really became epic. Protagonist was very likable and cool. The heroin was hot. :p

Now on the bad side, the anime felt really rushed in the beginning. It actually felt like I skipped an episode couple of times. Would have been better if they stretched out the first arc into 24 episodes or so, would have been much better. It got a little too much lovey dovey too later on, which was off putting. The side characters were good BUT they got very less screen time, way too less. It was like the anime forgot about them. And then there was the second arc. It didn't suck as bad as many said it would but still it was nowhere near as good as the first arc. IT just didn't had the same feeling as the first arc. The setting in it was cool, had a lot of Final fantasy vibe to it. But the love stuff was lame and pointless.

As for the rating, well I would give it like:

First arc (1-14 episodes) 8.8/10.

Second arc 6.5/10.

Overall, despite its flaws, I somehow still found it to be very enjoyable and was engaged in it a lot. 8.3/10.
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8/10
Overhyped but good
bdnahian4 July 2021
In the overall anime I think it's overhyped. But still I enjoyed it though.2&3 season was kinda gloomy to me but season 4 was a beast. Most of all what I like the most in this anime is kirito and asuna's love story. Everything is good but my main motivation is kirito x asuna. You should probably give it a watch.
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8/10
Not a masterpiece but worth to watch
bdnahian4 July 2021
I would not call this anime a masterpiece but it really is something. Surely there are better anime's out there. But if you like game and vr stuff then it's totally worth your time. I watched all 4 season. I didn't like season 2&3 that much. But season 4 was a beast. As the release date is out I am waiting for season 5. Although I think it's overhyped but you can enjoy.
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9/10
Great anime series
HajiAltair10 December 2012
So far I've seen the first dozen of episodes. It goes without saying that this anime is very beautiful and with strong memorable characters. I was hesitant at first to watch this because of the video game theme. But it's a very mature show for what is contrary to what it appears to be in first glance.

Teenage boy Kirito gets stuck in a futuristic MMO game and together with other players in his situation they have to beat the game to be set free or die in the real world.

It's not the typical action packed anime, although it could turn into another Naruto/Bleach/OnePiece of ridiculously overpowered action heroes, I think a better description so far would be a tragic romantic sci fi show. I can't remember when I've seen so many characters die in an anime in such a short succession.

Anyway don't miss this, I'm glad I didn't. There are very few animes these days that make me want to see forward for the next episode.
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8/10
Honestly, not that bad
trolliyama19 July 2020
This is an okay anime series. Why do people hate it so much?

It is because of the supposed "sexism"? (Lol, as if the otaku crowd has ever cared that much about sexism) or because the main character supposedly is a "Mary Sue/Gary Stu/Marty Stu/Whatever"? A lot of protagonists in shonen anime are bigger Mary Sues yet people love them. Just ask Akira Toriyama.
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8/10
It's a must-watch
adaptor4 April 2021
Maybe I'm a sap but I love this show. I loved it when I watched it ten years ago and I'm loving it again watching it with my daughter this year. It reminds me of all the good times that I had playing WoW and raiding with my guild. It's smart, funny, exciting, and thoughtful, as long as you ignore the weird cousin-love thing that crops up for a few episodes

(Note that I've only watched the first two seasons...)
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6/10
How does this get such a good reputation
baumhenrik30 November 2020
I finished the first two seasons now and I'm actually wondering how this show got its good reputation in the anime scene. I mean the first 6 or so episodes were entertaining and I was curious how it all plays out but as soon as they leave the soa game the show just got stuck into a boring love story and doesn't really seem to get out of it at all. The fights are mediocre and the characters are very linear and flat written. The world building doesn't really exist after the first few episodes and the story overall just isn't really exciting I feel like. I probably won't watch the next seasons since my expectations aren't really that high.
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10/10
ONE of the BEST Anime in 2012
Rohb2 September 2012
Sword Art Online (SAO) Even though the anime is not completed as I write this, I can already see that this anime will be one of the best of 2012.SAO is perfectly paced storyline with many plot twists and surprises it's almost impossible to get bored.I have no other words to describe this is just simply amazing and you will easily fall in love with SAO.I can't believe it's only scoring 8.8.It's easy 10/10 in my books...If you watch one anime in 2012 I recommend SAO especially if your an MMO player and even more so if you played MMO's back in the day before they made all of them casual. This anime tells a story from the viewpoint of those kind of games, where things are very challenging, living in another world is possible in games.
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8/10
Instantly Hooked
mathew-godfrey23 October 2015
With the help of a friend, as well as Sirlionhart's Let's Play of Hollow Fragment, Sword Art Online became the first Japanese Anime that I got into. Closest things to Anime prior that I watched were Avatar: The Last Airbender (Some don't really consider it anime as its American, but its based off it) and if you count movies, Spirited Away. But back on topic.

After my friend showed me game-play of Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment, I decided to check out the series on Netflix and I was instantly hooked. It was humorous at times, very deep and emotional, and really epic. The characters are likable, the story is amazing, the music, score and theme songs, awesome.

I understand that a lot of people don't like the show, and I see the reasons why. I was disappointed when the First Story Arc came to what seemed like a sudden and rather quick end (Which is the reasoning behind me not giving the show a perfect 10 score). I honestly wouldn't have had a problem with different Story Arcs if the first season had focused on just one (Much like ABC's Once Upon a Time, because I think the Story Arcs were rather good.

But overall, I am really glad that I got into the show. It may not be perfect, but I liked it and I really look forward to Sword Art Online 3 as well as the movie (that is, if they have officially been announced rather than rumored)when they come out.
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4/10
Boring anime
nikhilsunny17 November 2020
Season 1 is not bad but after that sucks. I think its the most overrated anime i ever seen . Story is good till episode 15 after that story become boring.
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9/10
Amazing anime
randy-2655611 June 2019
This anime is very good, the story and fight scene is awesome. All the arc is perfect especially Alicization arc. You must watch this anime once in a life
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8/10
SAO 1: Good animation, story & characters, with flaws. SAO2 - Terrific!
ajrcvr3 June 2016
Season 1: First off, when you create a story that has any kind of magic in it, like this one, you must immediately prepare yourself to be somewhat disappointed in how it develops. Why? Because ANYTHING can happen, and generally does, and the author is not held down to any rules whatsoever, not the rules of story, not things that can actually happen, not events & constructs that could possibly occur in any universe or reality of any kind anywhere, ever. So, when the hero or heroine gets into a bind - who cares, just invent something new to get them out of it, whether it makes sense and can actually happen - even within the reality of the story - or not. Nothing matters, you don't have a real storyline, just random events that occur to the author as he's going along writing. This may seem like a nerdy point, but as an author myself, I expect high standards from others.

Unfortunately, Sword Art Online uses this tactic often enough to create a plot, and of course that is the fault of the storyteller. The main character, Kirito, is interesting enough, as is his love squeeze Asuna (as well as his loving sister, and we're not completely sure why here), but as has been pointed out by others, they are not fully developed, but we do get the idea in the time they've allotted. The overall story is understandable - good guy needs to kill/remove bad guys and save other good guys he cares about, plus his general love of battle - and so that kind of works, if haltingly so as the characters confront the maze of hoops the author has them jump through. The animation itself is very good, in both characters and backgrounds, and the music fine, but in the story development there are flaws, for instance in villains that are evil for no apparent reason, they just like being evil (A common anime tactic), which kind of grates, because it's really stupid, and it's tough to have a stupid character who is a genius in other respects, but hey, I don't want to nitpick.

All in all there is enough visual splendor here, plot drama, & romance, to keep the viewer generally interested in pursuing this tale to the end and its relatively satisfying conclusion. It is light entertainment with attractive females and males (didn't really notice much fan service, but whatever it was is fine), some good action fights, and a reasonable love interest that is easy to understand. The reviewers who don't get the time spent on the love interest missed the whole Middle Ages and Arthurian legend with Knights, Kings & Queens, & lovely Princesses, not to mention Shakespeare, & a couple of hundred years of the Age of Romance. So, watch this with an open mind and don't be too critical of its imperfections, and you will likely enjoy yourself.

Season 2 (SAO II): Many of the flaws from SAO I are gone, and what was created was a much more pointed, focused, and powerfully dramatic and emotional second series. All the good points are there with the addition of a better, more powerful story, more exploded characters who are now made more real and intense. A great job in this overall.

I give this a 9 out of 10, and the first season a 6. I averaged them out to an 8, because the second season was so much better. IT does what art is supposed to do - make you see and experience life in a small and intense period of time - and doesn't let the magic overwhelm the humanity of the thing. Definitely worth seeing. If you're not a romantic - & it's clear some reviewers aren't! - you probably won't like this so much, but then you probably shouldn't be watching anime in the first place. For those of you that are, it's a treat!
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1/10
Wasted Potential
arorashadow_20038 October 2012
Sword Art Online runs under the premise almost out of a Saw film: A master programmer of an MMORPG has entrapped everyone in the game and the only way to escape is to fight your way through a series of dungeons in order to fight the final boss. Players in the real world lay in a vegetative state and will be killed instantly should anyone try to remove the virtual reality unit they are tied too. And somehow an incredible amount of time passes and no one has been able to figure out a solution to this. Sword Art Online seems to have all the elements of a potential heart racing thriller but doesn't seem to care about that.

The writing is really mismatched on this series that it almost feels like there's two camps of writers on this, one team that seems more interested in making a series about a regular MMO and regular people that play them and a another camp that wants to make a regular fantasy series with a mix of science-fiction elements. Either one of these would be fine for a show, where it not for the fact that the series had set it self up to be an action thriller with people's lives hanging in the balance. It gets to the point it seems like the staff wants to be doing one of these shows but got stuck doing an adaptation of existing material by the studio.

Each episode feels as disconnected as the next with little overarching connection to it. What manages to save it from really feeling like there are really two different teams of writers trying to make the show something completely different, is the cast of uninteresting characters. For being in such a stressful and dangerous situations the characters all seem strangely calm about this. There doesn't seem to be anxiety, a desire to race to the finish and get back to reality sooner or even survive. Everyone seems to carry on as normal when you expect mass races to the finish, team ups or anything more sensible. Even the main character seems to not give any kind of care about this. Seeing a bunch of character behave like everything is normal with not even the slightest inclination that all is not well just robs this series of any peril. And and there's no indication that these are troubled people who'd rather live out their world in virtual reality, so there's no justification of the strange amount of calm. It's the same kind of problem I had with Toyko Magnitude 8.0 which also found a group of characters in a very stressful and life threatening situation but didn't show any signs of it. The series really relies on you suspending your disbelief.

The animation quality is pretty good it's pretty standard animation fare but I hardly think it's as quality as many say it is but it's certainly not bad either.

I never thought I'd see the day when I actually found a musical score by Yuki Kajiura so boring that I have zero interest in even sampling the soundtrack down the road. This has to be one of Kajiura's least interesting scores since The Garden of Sinners film series but even those had some strong theme songs behind them, this has nothing! For being a more symphonic score outside of Kajiura's usual small musician ensemble she fails so terribly at catching any of her stylistic charm seen with past scores nor any sense of flair nor adventure that comes with a different direction. It's an even less interesting rendition version of Fate/Zero and not a single solitary piece stands out to make it worth mentioning. I've been a fan of Kajiura for many years and I've never been let down so hard before.

This series is one of these most overrated series of the past year with very little that makes it worth a good watch. The series has a lot of action but very little substance to back it up and even the action isn't that fun because there's no thrill or danger to it.

If you want a series that better explores the depths of MMORPG and has a better grip on what kind of a story it wants, I would actually recommend the .hack series, which does share it's similarities to Sword Art Online, such as both featuring characters trapped within virtual worlds.
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10/10
Great
cquimby121610 April 2018
Love this show, easy to watch, great story line Very easy to build a relationship with the characters
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10/10
Wow, just amazing.
ukrainianz23 August 2012
This anime is Amazing. Watch it now. I can't even explain this... Sword Art Online is ridiculously well made, so far. A lot of anime have a good start but end horribly but this anime has an incredible start and only time will tell of the end. However, I believe that this anime will finish very well. I don't want to reveal much about the show but the main character Kirito is awesome... Just go watch this show. Now. You wont regret it trust me. I don't know if I'll be able to survive waiting a week for each episode. All I have been doing so far is praising the show but I'm dead serious the characters are awesome, plot is awesome, the idea of the show is very interesting as well. I HIGHLY recommend this show and I know this isn't the most detailed and persuading post (I don't wanna spoil anything), at least I don't think it is but this is a very good show. You will get hooked from episode 1, I promise. My brother and I aren't crazy anime fans, we probably are now because of this show but he saw someone post on a website that an amazing new show is going on air and well, he was right.
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8/10
One of the best Anime in 2012
efee_puiyi11 August 2020
It's outstandig.The art is beautiful.The animation and drawing perfect too.It includes many different genres.I've laughed,I've cried,I've screamed.Great story line.Very easy to build a relationship with the characters. Anyway don't miss miss this show.I'm glad I didn't.It's a true work of art!10/10 You've gotta watch this! Thanks for reading.I hope you enjoy.
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8/10
A Series That Keeps You Guessing To A Point
briggnalle23 February 2016
After watching the final episode of SAO my reaction was of randomized and mixed feelings just like the show itself. This anime which was completely out of my territory found its way to become one of the best I've seen in a long time.

Pros: The story-line is very good, while randomized at times it stays on course on whatever story it tells and it builds up the suspense with battles, realizations, romance, and almost everything an action anime has to offered. A little bit of humor doesn't hurt either, for the show was serious most of the time but still offered a little bit of comic relief that was well needed but not overused like many anime today. The romance within the story was a nice touch as well as the thoughts concerning life and personal strength.

Cons: As said above the story is randomized at times, in fact during the first few episodes I was confused due to the many 'jumps' in the story. Like one moment the main characters here doing this, and the next doing that. Which was very different and I will admit confusing at first but as the story picked up it all began to make more sense despite my disappointment in the random jumps and what I like to call 'filler' episodes. However I CAN say that it was all worth it in the end.

All in all, it was a very good series and I really enjoyed watching it. It held many characteristics that make for a good adventure and story, it told good lessons within it, and best of all, it keeps you entertained despite the randomness starting in episode one. If you aren't a big fan of 'jumps' or filler episodes maybe this isn't for you, but I highly recommend that you give this series a shot and see for yourself what a wonderful piece of artwork this series has to offer.
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10/10
Amazing
larsverduin28 January 2019
Ignore the negative reviews, and see it for yourself. It is actually one of my favourite series I have watched, the bond between Kirito and Asuna is special. And it's something I have not come across other than in SAO.
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8/10
Interesting concept and well executed for the most part
bayan-rafeh9211 December 2013
Sword art online is set in a virtual reality fantasy MMO where players cannot log out and die once killed in the game.

Without giving anything away, the show's greatest strengths lie in the rich environment and the extremely creative scenarios they explore. Unfortunately the show doesn't dedicate enough time to really fleshing out this world and exploring the possibilities within it, but the stuff they did was absolutely fantastic.

The first few episodes are disjointed, each with loosely connected to the overall story, mostly through the main character and one or two side characters, and that is the best done part of the show. Each episode reveals more about the hero's personality, and is really full of interesting characters and good sub-plots and a soundtrack that fits very well. You could literally sit through one episode and feel like you watched an entire movie despite the fact that they're just over 20 minutes each. They're extremely well done. This applies for the first 10 or so episodes.

The later episodes are more a part of the main story, with more focus on moving forward with the plot which are also well done for the most part. The characters introduced are also very good. The action scenes are intense and the relationships are developed well.

So what's wrong with it? Like I said before, the first major problem is that it didn't dedicate enough time to simply exploring the world. A lot of time passes in a short number of episodes(14 episodes span 2 years in the show); the characters could have been a lot stronger if more episodes were dedicated to exploring different aspects of this world and the people in it.

The second major problem is the unnecessary second major plot later in the show. It feels like an entirely different show with the stakes being a lot lower than they were in the first part. If they dedicated those episodes to expanding the first part it would have been a lot better.

A small problem I have with it is that every female character having significant interaction with the hero falls in loves with him at some point. Those plots are done well mostly, but it would have been nice to see him have a female friend who was just a friend throughout, if only to break the pattern.

If you're coming from a shounen background(Naruto/Death Note/Bleach etc.) or have never seen anime in your life, you will most definitely love this. Even hardcore anime fans should easily enjoy this since its one of the best of it's kind(much better than titles like Naruto).

All in all, the good greatly outshines the bad, and I recommend you give it a watch.
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9/10
Still Awesome!
GKoeneke22 April 2019
Finished season 1 of Alicization. This is still an awesome series. I can't wait to see how the next season unravels. I feel like Kirito and Asuna never catch a break. Because of SOA they are forever tortured by people trying to replicate and advance the original technology and Kirito seems to always be the ultimate test for these systems. Still Awesome!
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1/10
The equivalent of junk food
megaoiluj28 July 2018
The embodiment of mediocrity, the example of what is wrong with anime. If you're a teenager who wants to turn off his brain, this will surely entertain you. If you're looking for something moderately good, a logical and well-done story, without clichés, without forced moments or some originality, this is definitely not for you. This does not go beyond a nice visual display full of bad and ridiculous moments that takes the viewer for an idiot; It's the equivalent of a junk food with no nutritional value.
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10/10
Worth watching it
magarsumit30 August 2020
The series is good so far. Its worth watching trust me. Although i couldn't understand some game development parts, I enjoyed the series.
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10/10
Watching this is as crucial to your existence as learning how to breathe!
UglyParents1 January 2013
This anime was nothing less than a masterpiece (and, believe me, I don't throw that word around lightly). I'm not a gamer and yet I found every aspect of SAO appealing: the special skills, the slightly complicated workings of the VRMMORPG(s), the character designs...everything was top- notch. While the idea of creating an anime which focuses on characters playing a VRMMORPG isn't entirely new/original, I believe that SAO manifests the most flawless depiction of such a series.

From the onset of the anime, Tomohiko Ito intrigued me with a plot line so gripping and characters so relatable and admirable that I would undoubtedly watch every last episode of this anime. The phantasmagorical world that he created left me wishing that there was some possibility that it could be real sometimes and the love shared between the two main characters was so heart-rending that it made my heart bleed. This anime illustrates the whole scope of human emotions/relations within a mere 25 episodes AND features quite a bit of character development. Furthermore, it presents a completely fleshed-out and fulfilled story which leaves no "what ifs?"...it ties up all loose ends and then redirects to give you a look at the lives of even some of the minor characters.

This isn't just an anime...it's a true work of art! 100/10 You've gotta watch this! :D
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10/10
Deep and Engaging Story
neos-516-32657930 October 2012
As most of you know there are light novels for this series, all of which I have read. And this has been perhaps the best read I've had in ages. The storyline, characters, vastness of the world and romance between Asuna and Kirito are perfect, and the twists will leave you dying for more. If you're here for an anime with a great storyline, have played any RPGS or enjoy a little romance mixed with action and suspense, then this is the anime for you. Although there has only been 4 episodes (at the time of this review), the anime has covered a substantial part of volume 2 in the sword art series, so from here on out the main and incredible storyline will be followed. The animation is beautiful to say the least, and will no doubt accurately represent the amazing setting from the light novels as well as the character models. The voice acting for the main characters Asuna and Kirito have been spot on (of course), and the sound quality is overall, like the animation, perfect.

As I hinted at above, the story will have you hooked from the beginning , I'm sure many of you have played RPGS, and if you died in those RPGS, you'd respawn and try again of course. But in this anime, the RPG becomes real life, if you health bar drops you're killed almost instantly in real life. With that kind of premise, this anime will be very suspenseful and engaging. I'll focus on the main characters for now because most of the others haven't been fairly introduced yet. Off the bat you can tell Kirito isn't the average anime protagonist, he chooses to go solo for the sake of his own survival rather than stay with his "noob" friend and protecting him in the VRMMORPG. This might seem like a shortcoming, but in the novels he quickly changes upon meeting Asuna (his main love interest+party member), and becomes a character you'll love. Asuna is very strong willed and at first seems to contrast with the anti-social and awkward Kirito, but we later find out how similar they are, and their relationship is perhaps the best I've seen in any other anime or Manga. This anime will only be about 25 or 26 episodes long, covering just volumes 1,2, and perhaps some of 8 in the process, if it does well enough movies and ova's or even another season could be launched, allowing us to further immerse in this incredible universe.

And I'm sure by the time this anime is finished (or long before), everyone will be rushing to read the novels, and they won't be disappointed!
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