Sword Art Online (Part 1)

Type: The part that actually takes place in the game Sword Art Online

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Synopsis: A young man is trapped in a virtual world where he has to train digital monsters to–Oops! wrong show. I mean to say that the young man is trapped in a virtual world and must solve the mystery of why he can’t log out while dealing with his inner fears and anxieties–no, sorry, that’s a different show too. Let me double check my notes…o.k. This show does follow a young man who is trapped in a virtual world, where monster do exist but as enemies, and he does deal with emotion problems but mostly about why every girl that meets him want to date him. He also actually makes it out of the game half way through, hence the “Part 1” in the title.

Pros: As non-original as it is, the premise of a person trapped in a virtual world still intrigues me. The plot behind this show is that a about ten thousand people are trapped in an online game. If they beat the boss, they beat the game, and the protagonist is one such person who resolves to do just that. The result is an action packed anime with video game jargon and the occasional love story. The action is nice and flashy, but the love stories are hit or miss. The stipulation that “if you die in the game, you die in real life” made some of the early death scenes pretty emotional. It was also an interesting idea to have time move in real time, and the revelation that two year go by in the first fourteen episodes really helps solve some of the show’s pacing problems.

Cons: This show is good, but its not great. I wasn’t psyched about that fact that every girl, every single dingle girl, that meets Kirito falls for him. This felt a little too harem-esque to me. As mentioned above, I also felt that the show had pacing issues, with stories jumping around in both location and time. For example, in Episode 1, Kirito is a level 1 player, but in episode 2 Kirito is apparently so high level that his afraid to tell people. A quick scene maybe showing him grinding would have been since. I was kinda ticked that most people in the show didn’t just band together and rush the hundred floors needed to beat the boss, but that’s nitpicking (and I guess since most people were at level 1, it wouldn’t have helped). As for the Kirito-Asuna relationship, I liked it. It was fine. I actually would have preferred more duo adventures, or at least one episode showcasing an Asuna solo quest. The overall emotional tone of the show is also a little bit too melodrama from some.

Watch it?: All-in-all, its fairly entertaining (4/5)

MVP: Sword Art Online

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For being a game so intricate, it actually had a Cooking skill tree in it.

Best Episode: Ep. 3 “The Red-Nosed Reindeer” (because everyone called him names?)

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