Review : Sword Art Online

Sword Art Online was the most hyped show of 2012, and is also known to be one of the most argued show that exists. With one side saying its the best thing ever, and the other side saying it's complete shit! Therefore, After re-watching it 3 times I've finally decided to review it as now I think I'll be able to give a non-partial and a good review on it covering everything. Though don't go by my rating on this one as it is completely biased. (So, this review is longer & contains more photos!)


In the year 2022, When the first 10,000 lucky people log into Sword Art Online, a new, highly anticipated virtual reality MMORPG, they find themselves trapped in the game with no way to log off. Worse yet, the players discover that if they die in the game or the connection is severed from the outside, the VR helmet will microwave their brains and kill them in the real world. The only way out is to pass all the one-hundred floors - each a self-contained world in and of itself - and defeat the game's final boss. Now, In fiction, a story like this would normally last about a month their time but just 12 episode in and more than two years have already passed since the start, which allows for an in-depth look at the psychological implications of being in a virtual reality for so long that you start to wonder if the real world even exists. But, beyond the discussions of reality, This anime also delves into the sociological issues of living in this virtual world. Some people trapped in the game are hardcore gamers while others are casual players or young children who don't have the experience or skills to be risking their lives in the still unbeaten dungeons. So do you, as a hardcore gamer, draft the whole lot and make them fight? Or Do you just leave them to fend for themselves? All these type of questions and more are addressed over the course of the story. Also, Because everyone is trapped inside the game, their knowledge of the virtual world is limited to what they learn in the game itself. So while everyone knows the basic rules of the world, no one knows the specifics other than the data collected in the beta test. This makes the world perfect for adventures from a wide range of genres. So, If there's one overused cliché in this anime, it's that once two characters hook up, it's the end of the story. But Thankfully, This anime does not stick to the norm and Thus, it explores a love story in Sword Art Online's unique setting and brings definition to exactly what love is like in a virtual world!


I can honestly say that if you do not like the main characters, this is just not the anime for you to watch as the personalities of the characters are pretty much the only things they have going for them. Also, Most of the characters are quickly forgotten after a single episode, I know this sounds harsh but they are quickly forgotten after serving their purposes as sort of a side quest. Despite that, I found two of the main characters to be very lovable: Kirito & Asuna. They were greatest reason I continued watching the anime because I wanted to see where their relationship would lead them! So, Let's go into the specific details of some characters, First up, is Kazuto Kirigaya or Kirito, as his username entails. As a shut-in who focuses his time mainly on playing games, Kirito doesn't show much interaction in the beginning of the show since he is a solo player or a loner. But, It isn't until a tragic accident in episode 3, that changes Kirito forever, urging him to finish the game as soon as possible and beyond that, well, nothing else important happens with him. Also, If I was to explain him in the later episodes, I would phrase it as "An overpowered player who could really care less about anything other then his girlfriend." Though I still really love him.

Next Up, is Asuna Yuuki, who is the main female protagonist, she is shown at the beginning to be a strong-headed and focused player who ends up becoming a powerful player thanks to Kazuto's advice. Although, as the series progresses, the badass attitude that she has early on, develops into, well, "a needy girl who needs her boyfriend to live!". Then we have the rest of the "main" cast such as Kirito's sister Suguha, Ayano or Silica, the blacksmith Rika, the comic relief Ryotaro or Klein, the AI child Yui, and the awesome mace wielder, Agil. Beyond that, we have a whole cast of side characters that get about 20 minutes at most of screen time which have no worth in mentioning. Overall, As I have mentioned above, the length of the anime was far too short to flesh out all the characters. Especially with the inclusion of basically all the Aincrad side-stories, the love-story in the light novel which had gone awry, and indeed does not feel right as many other reviewers have already said. So, With the conclusion of these two animated arcs there is also a justifiable feeling that the main character seems like a deux-ex-machina with not enough human qualities. But to ME, at-least, this is still better than the psychologically-insecure / self-deprecating / extreme-sociopath main characters in other anime that I will not name!

Animation and Sound

The artwork and animation in this anime was simply just WOW! and something to behold. The settings of this show were also widely varied and beautiful, it excellently presented an MMORPG style of world in anime form. This was a world that I honestly wanted to be in! Also, What really made the art from this show a masterpiece were the battle sequences - they were fluid, and gorgeous. A vast array of battle animations and actions were on display, and the big boss battles were utterly enticing. I really haven't seen an anime before with such an expansive world, and such beautiful action animations. So, if you get a chance to watch Sword Art Online in High Definition, FREAKING DO IT! as SAO looks amazing. 

For the sound, it was a big plus, in my opinion. The soundtracks all-in-all were pretty great, with a lot of songs fitting for both the more intense fighting scenes, as well as the more “rom-com” styled parts. The two opening themes, “Crossing Field” by LiSA and “Innocence” by Aoi Eir, were both more upbeat and fast-paced songs, while the two ending themes, “Yume Sekai” by Tomatsu Haruka and “Overfly” by Haruna Luna, were both slower songs, which are often the most fitting for ending themes. Also, I think all of the songs fitted the series and their respective arcs rather well, and Therefore, there wasn't really any problems with any of the songs from the series's soundtrack.


Regardless of how lackluster or ill thought-out things might have been, I enjoyed the anime, and in the end that's all that matters. Reading other reviews I did see some flaws, but they didn't affect of how much I liked SAO. If you enjoy video games, and you enjoy anime, you WILL enjoy Sword Art Online, it's almost guaranteed. But just to reiterate, don't expect a masterpiece of plot or story. You kinda need to just blindly enjoy it for what you see.

Overall, Sword Art Online is a fantastic anime series. While it is not the first anime to have the "trapped in an MMORPG" setting, it is certainly the deepest when it comes to the psychology and sociology behind it. Also, it is a series where the first half was far stronger than the second. As The first half was interested in the psychological and sociological issues of living in an online world, while the second half decided to instead take the simpler route of retelling a classic myth in a modern setting. So That being said, this anime remains an often fascinating, highly entertaining experience for fans of sci-fi-fantasy action, and Kirito & Asuna were utterly adorable together. So though, It didn't quite live up to its initial premise and is hardly an evolutionary leap for anime as a whole, it's still a solid, likable, and enjoyable anime!



  1. The best anime i see this year and the second season is same well

    1. Yeah, It definitely is one of my all time favorite anime if not the best anime ever. :P And even I'm enjoying the season 2 of SAO.

    2. Now I'm seeing Trinity Seven!, going in Chapter 7 and the truth is getting good, I'll browse the most for your page as you have a lot of material that I have not seen.