Sword Art Online Review
Please note, all the below is my own opinion and there are probably grammatical errors. I have tried to avoid saying too much about the story itself as I am aware some people may have not watched the anime series yet. Please be aware that there are spoilers for Sword Art online and Darling in the Franxx – read at your own risk.
Looking back at Sword Art Online (SAO) I think it is the perfect anime for people who want to start watching anime. I never considered myself an anime fan even though I watched Pokémon and Dragonball Z religiously growing up but since they were in English, I never thought of them as anime (I’m aware now that I was wrong). I started watching anime when I met a girl and knew she liked anime. So, without asking her what she liked I downloaded Crunchyroll and at the time SAO was either first or second on their recommended list, so I chose that. (It turns out she never watched it and I have never really had anyone to talk to about it since lol).
One of my preconceptions of a lot of anime was that it was going to be crazy storylines that don’t really make sense like JoJo's Bizarre Adventures which I have now watched and enjoyed and I am looking forward to the next season. Honestly, I enjoyed SAO which I know divides opinions it seems as people have a strong opinion one way or another. One of the main criticisms I see is Kirito who is the main protagonist who may just too strong and there never is any real danger of him losing. Another criticism I find people saying is it’s just a harem anime where a boy goes through the series and makes different girls fall in love with him (one of which includes his sister who we later find out is actually his cousin. Which in my opinion does not really make it much better…) While there are elements of both criticisms in the anime, personally I did not find it any less enjoyable.
One of my favourite things about the first episode was when everyone in the game is in the ‘Town of Beginnings’ and we see a lot of “girl” characters being overly flirty with guys basically asking for things. Then when the plot of the show is revealed by Akihiko Kayaba that they are all trapped in the game and if they die in the game they die in real life. Suddenly, everyone starts to look like who they are in real life and some of the “girls” change into older men as that is who they really were. This made me laugh as I played a lot of World of Warcraft and Runescape over the years and have seen this type of behaviour and have seen people fall for it while thinking “surely they know this is an act right?” (But just to be fair I will say my friend met his future wife as a result of playing World of Warcraft, so I guess it’s not impossible…)
Now is the plot original? No not really. Are there a lot of filler episodes? Yes, but if people stopped watching anime because there are filler episodes I think the industry would be in trouble as Naruto and Dragonball have a lot of filler episodes. I remember as a kid watching an episode of Dragonball where Goku and Frieza just talked during a fight for the entire episode which did not answer anything. Were there missed opportunities to make the anime better? Yes. Does this make it a bad anime? I think not.
The reason I said its perfect for people who just start watching is the storyline is easy to follow, there is not too much fan service and people probably have seen something similar to this story before so it doesn’t alienate them and it’s kind of predictable (unlike Darling in the Franxx where *spoiler* just ends in an alien attack which was never really mentioned. Thanks Studio Trigger) which people seem to like.
While I did enjoy it, I found it does get worse as the series goes along. I have not watched the newest series but if people want to advise as to whether it is worth watching or not please let us know. The place I started to lose interest was during the Gun Gale Online Arc where Kirito uses a sword/sabre and somehow beats people with snipers and various other guns. Even the SAO alternative which tried to give a more in-depth feel to the world using new characters and story kind of fell flat in my opinion. I really enjoyed the first few episodes and it just got repetitive and overly predictable. But that is just my opinion and I am sure people enjoyed it fully.
But ultimately SAO will always have a special place in my heart as it really opened the world of anime for me and I have been able to watch some amazing animes such as Re:Zero (Rem is best Girl BTW), Attack on Titan, Demon Slayer and Kaguya-sama: Love is war (which has one of the best opening songs in all of anime IMO) and so much more. I do not think SAO deserves as much hate as it gets online. I know it is probably not the best anime in the world, but it is not the worst by any stretch of the imagination.
I would give this a 7/10.
If you have any anime recommendations, please let us know! Please feel free to look at some of the official SAO merchandise in our store and other kawaii goods that we will try to update regularly!
- Dilofski Reviews