Sword Art Online 01 & 02 – Reality’s just a game

There’s obviously been a lot of buzz about the light novel / manga which the anime is based upon, and for the sake of the lazy-asses who don’t read [ like me ] or  people who simply don’t have time to inspect the written materials, do not bring up the said sources into the posts – spoilers are always a no-no. Thank you very much.

And this is…

It’s going to take a TON of criticism in the gameplay department

A-1 Picture’s Sword Art Online.

OP Sequence: Crossing Field by LiSA

ED Sequence ( 2nd EP onwards ) : Yume Sekai – Haruka Tomatsu

Easily the best few seconds from the opening.

n the year 2022, the Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (VRMMORPG) [wow that’s a mouthful] Sword Art Online (SAO) is released. With an equipment called the Nerve Gear, users stimulate their five senses and connect into a virtual world where they experience and control their in-game avatars with their minds. As soon as the game was released,

the game’s creator, Akihiko Kabaya, diabolically prevents the players from logging out. Akihiko issues them a challenge; if they wish to be free and log out of the game, they must reach the 100th floor of the game’s tower and defeat the final boss. However, should their avatars die in the game by whatever means, so will their bodies in the real world. So we know that these players are in some deep trouble.

Tis’ a season of anime with beautiful backgrounds and design in general

Kirito (pic above), one of the game’s beta testers, so is the rest of the ten thousand-strong player base is also stuck inside the game. On the first day of the game, he logs and chills out along with his real-life friend ,Klein. Within an hour or so, the harrowing news of their inability to log out and them being virtually trapped [pun intended] in the game arrives.

Though shocking, they remain composed  in the situation and thought of ways to beat the game without dying. They figure that the easiest way to do this would be to become the strongest possible player. Being used to be a solo player, Kirito leaves for the next village, as resources are limited. [ no random monster spawns I guess ]

He then bids Klein farewell.

1 month later…

2000 players have died since the game’s release, while many things unfold in the real world, we continue with Kirito’s adventures.

Apparently, not a single player has been able to clear the first floor of the battle tower. A brave player steps up to form a raid party to clear the level, with the aid of information compiled by the Beta testers. Barging into the meeting, another player loudly calls out to Beta testers, claiming that they are the ones with privileged information about the game ( and so  they have ), but are nowhere to be found helping the beginners with the game. They are the ones to be blamed for the players’ deaths.

Even when their lives are at stake, people can still troll and weave schisms among themselves

 Elgi,   a player who physically towers above most players, confronts the ‘troll’ and reminds everyone that the Guide Book to the game, which was available from the very start of the game, has always been compiled and revised by the Beta testers who the troll so blatantly claims to do otherwise.

Kirito teams up with a innocent-looking, hooded girl named Asuna. They meet again later that night and talk for a little more.

The  next morning, they set off to face off the Kobold king. They successfully bring down the king into its critical stage, where it whips out its special weapon and becomes incredibly agile. The party leader attempts to finish it by himself.

‘An allied hero has fallen… forever’

Kirito attempts to give a potion to the party leader, who turns out to be a beta tester as well, but he refuses outright and bleeds to death.

One does simply rely on 2 DPSers to finish a boss..

Kirito and Asuna continue the fight. With Kirito’s knowledge of the boss mechanics, they bring it down with little difficulty. He acknowledges that she is not half bad with a sword.

The ‘troll’ of the party speaks once again ,blaming beta testers again for the party leader’s death; Kirito quickly silences him by saying that he is one of the few players to have cleared the 100 floors, and they should be more careful when saying things like that around him.

With that, the first stage of Sword Art Online has been cleared.

Mirai Suenaga [ Danny Choo ]?

Being a former WoW (World of Warcraft) player and having played quite a lot of RPGs ( both J and everything else out there ), it’s pretty hard to seriously take the ‘mechanics’ of the online game as if it were real. So, as best as possible, i’ll try to keep out my gaming-related experience and criticism in the commentaries – for the better :). The plot progression of this series is expected to be bumpy, seeing as how the first one month of the game was untouched. How they are going to eventually clear the rest of the 99 floors within the span of a anime timeline will be intriguing to find out. As for the plot itself, I can’t really put my finger on it, as I told you, I’ve never read the print materials before (despite it being circulated around the Internet). I’ve got a lot of people telling me it’s like hack//sign and I can agree with them on that. On the other hand, looking back much further myself, the concept of the plot reminded me of Digimon World 3 (classic) on the PlayStation 1 – the whole online game’s a ploy for something immense to unfold in real life. The pseudo-selfish nature of Kirito is also appealing, would love to see how it develops as he grows in the game. Maybe I’ve spoiled the whole story for myself, I don’t know, but the entertainment value of this show is enough to keep me going. Going into technical matters, A-1 Pictures outdid themselves with gorgeous backgrounds and fluid battle animation. Good job getting LiSA to sing the OP too.  Definitely one of the contenders for the hottest of this year.


Posted on July 16, 2012, in Anime and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Conventional MMORPG wisdom cannot simply be applied to this anime… well yet.
    comments on this post would be great appreciated !

  2. dang. this anime blew away the manga. do hope it can blow away the light novel as well but they left out a couple of interesting things already buuut oh well… the anime haz be frikkin awesome so far :3 i agree w it bein one of the hottest contenders for this year 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: