Sword Art Online (Sōdo Āto Onrain) is a Japanese light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by abec.
The series is in the near future and focuses on protagonist Kazuto “Kirito” Kirigaya and Asuna Yuuki as they play through various Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMPORG) worlds.
This science fantasy anime has received widespread commercial success, with the light novels having over 20 million copies sold worldwide.
1. Quick Review
In the year 2022, virtual reality has made significant breakthroughs. As a result, a massive online role-playing game called Sword Art Online is launched.
Using modern “NerveGear” technology, players can control their avatars within the game using nothing but their own thoughts.
Kazuto Kirigaya, nicknamed “Kirito,” is among the lucky few enthusiasts who manage to get their hands on the first shipment of the game. He logs in, along with ten-thousand others, to find himself in the scenic and elaborate world of Aincrad.
This fictional world is full of fantastic medieval weapons, gruesome monsters, and hidden adventures. However, due to unfortunate circumstances, the players soon realize they are stuck in the game and cannot log out.
The game’s creator has trapped them in his new world until they complete all one hundred levels of the game.
In order to escape Aincrad, the protagonist Kirito will now have to interact and band together with the other players bound to the same fate. We are also introduced to Asuna Yuuki, who commands the leading group attempting to escape from the ruthless game.
In this world where you need to survive till the boss level, you can’t differentiate between friends and foes.
To make matters worse, if the players die in Aincrad, they die in real life. Kirito must adapt to his new unnerving reality, fight for his survival, and hopefully break free from his virtual prison.
Sword Art Online has a deep and engaging story with some great characters carrying the story forward.
This series really makes you think about the consequences if a sci-fi twist like this was placed on the online gaming society that we all indulge ourselves in.
2. Info Card
Sword Art OnlineAir Date: July 8, 2012 – December 23, 2012Status: CompletedStudio: A-1 PicturesNo. of Seasons: 1No. of Episodes: 25
3. Is It Worth Watching?
Sword Art Online is blessed with some beautiful animation and contains some eye-catching action scenes. The voice acting for the main characters Asuna and Kirito has been impeccable and the sound quality overall is perfect.
If you’re here for an anime with a great storyline and enjoy a little romance mixed with action and suspense, then this is the anime for you.
In the near future, gamers have lined up on launch day for Sword Art Online, a hot new VRMMPORG that lets players connect to an immersive virtual reality world with special helmets called Nerve Gear.
Kirito is one such gamer who’s eager to check out the real deal, having spent a lot of time as a beta tester, and quickly becomes friends with newbie warrior Klein.
In a tragic turn of events, Sword Art Online’s 10,000 players soon discover that not only are they unable to log out, but the only way they can return to their physical bodies is also by beating the 100-level tower’s final boss – death in the game means death in the real world.
Now, with no hope of return, Kirito and the other participants must survive the game as best they can.
Sword Art Online is an amazing virtual reality story. The series has an amazing art style and beautiful music that fits the show perfectly.
The main protagonist of Sword Art Online, Kirito, was chosen to be one of the one thousand beta testers for the closed beta of Sword Art Online, the first-ever Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG) for the NerveGear, and later joined the official version of the game where he became one of the 10,000 players trapped in Sword Art Online.
Kazuto is described as a calm and collected character, rarely showing any signs of distress.
When it is announced that Sword Art Online had become a game to the death, Kirito was able to quickly accept the new conditions of the game and take immediate action to increase his chances of survival. At the beginning of the game, Kirito befriends a girl named Asuna.
Asuna Yuuki is a kind and helpful young woman who, similarly to Kirito, cannot abandon another in trouble. She takes the game very seriously and is determined to clear it.
She is also characterized as someone who despite her kind personality, will not hesitate to get physical with those that challenge her authority.
Sword Art Online takes place in a world known as Aincrad. The fictional realm is set in medieval times with gruesome monsters to match the era.
The Creator of the Game changes the conditions of Sword Art Online making it a death game which means that if you die in the game, you die in real life. The only way out is to make it to the end of the game alive.
IV. Theme Songs
Yuki Kajiura composed the soundtrack for the Sword Art Online anime.
The opening theme for the series is “Crossing Field” by LiSA for episodes 2-14 which also plays as the ending theme for episode 25.
The song along with its visuals portrays the journey of the anime’s main characters. The song exudes feelings of a “never give up” attitude which is very in sync with the mood of the show.
“INNOCENCE” by Aoi Eir is the opening theme for episodes 15-24. The music is very motivational and the lyrics translate to finding your way out of the darkness.
The closing theme for Sword Art Online is “Yume Sekai” by Haruka Tomatsu for episodes 2-14. The song starts off slow and sounds beautiful.
The music brings about tones of nostalgia as you think about how far the characters have come in their journey.
“Overfly” by Luna Haruna is the ending theme for episodes 15-24. This song is perfectly relatable to every character in Sword Art Online.
Luna Haruna’s inspiring voice sings about being by each other’s side and casting your worries away because you will not stand alone in your fight.
5. Final Thoughts
Sword Art Online’s artwork to the voice acting to the animation, everything is well done. The series has an entertaining story that comes with some great character developments along the way.
The journey of each character will have you emotionally invested in them and you will leave you looking forward to what comes next.