Posted by: AceRailgun | September 15, 2012

Sword Art Online – Good decisions all around

You know I think Sword Art Online is pretty good and if you don’t think so well I want to know why. Honestly, as some people know I was skeptical about this anime from the beginning because it got the same hype as Guilty Crown, one of my all time favorite anime but it has proved itself to be entertaining and engaging and it’s proven me wrong. I haven’t read the light novel so I guess the hype came from those people who have and for once the masses were right in hyping something.


On the surface it seems like a pretty standard fantasy anime but on closer inspection I have a lot of trouble pointing out flaws, things which don’t sit right or even aspects I don’t personally enjoy. I can’t even get petty over one little thing because there isn’t a thing I don’t like. Before you write this off as a gushing praise post let me tell you it’s not as I’m just reeling more and more in my seat as I write this. It feels odd to be having this kind of reaction to something simply by thinking about it more then I would normally.


Since this story is tailor made for gamers it makes sense that’s as a gamer I enjoy it even if I don’t play massive multiplier online games. The first thing it does right is keeping the cast simple and most importantly interchangeable. You might think this is odd to mention as an interchangeable cast isn’t that great but when you think about it it can really help balance story telling and avoids the situations where ten characters are all standing around in one room Persona, Angel Beats and Fullmetal Alchemist all have this problem.  Sword Art Online avoids that by keeping Kirito a solo player and he just interacts with one or two of the supporting cast at maximum in the same area.


Sword Art Online isn’t scared to be dark either, it’s killed many characters a few of which were murdered in cold blood. As an adult watching anime having a serious tone at times is important to me even if it is lost when the characters barely react to some deaths and then over dramatize others. If however this story decides to undo all this in the end it will greatly taint the experience for me and here I am sitting fingers crossed that it doesn’t happen.

There is one other thing I want to say I’m very satisfied with and that is Kirito getting with Asuna. It’s pretty clear they had sex even if they are in a computer game and even though I don’t care too much for either of them I’m just glad the situation wasn’t danced around and teased like it is in Yuru Yuri or Kokoro Connect. Kokoro Connect will most likely end with a kiss just so you know but I’ll get into that later.


So praise aside there is one thing I can come up with that is sort of a double edge sword I’m trying to swing at the story in an attempt to save myself from looking like a drooling fanboy. The characters have forgetten the plot and even I have at times. They were trying to escape the game but saying they have forgotten the that is silly because they haven’t forgotten the overall goal it has changed which is very rare in story telling. It’s adaptive plot at it’s best and here I lie in a pool of my own blood and regret having cut myself with my double edge sword as I was swinging it around wildly trying to slay the inner praise monster that writes post nobody enjoys because nobody uses the internet to be nice.


So in summary Sword Art Online is okay I suppose.


  1. The principal criticism of SAO is that Kirito is a generic Harem MC/Shounen Hero/Whatever Male Archetype the commentator hates at the moment. You could try to critique SAO by analyzing how Kirito is none of these things, or whether the Haters do have a point.

    • Kirito may be a very standard anime lead but we are watching anime so that is to be expected. However he does break the trends by not being a huge wimp and he also gets to have sex which is something 90% of male leads never do.

      There is other worse things for the haters to hate so they can do that some place else where I don’t have to see it.

  2. I think my initial biggest problem with this series, aside from the dumb character moments, is that it felt pretty aimless for quite some time. Putting random episodic arcs at the start like it did hurt the flow of the story and made it feel everywhere at once. It’s gotten a lot better over time, though, and I’m hoping the next few episodes will be more engaging as a result.

    • The plot jumping around a lot in the start was off putting but I do think it helped show off the cast and the variety of levels and social situations that had arisen in the game world. I’ll agree once it moved past that it’s gotten better simply because longer stories don’t need to be rushed.

      If the next few episodes aren’t good then the series probably won’t be able to recover. It’s hit a critical point where there is no real threat and it needs to be mixed up a little to throw the main characters off balance and bring them back to the desperate situation they were in to begin with.

  3. I don’t exactly quite agree with you. There are are now 5 side story episodes that are unnecessary but the latest side story episode (episode 11) is important.

    But I do agree that the series is alright even though most anime that adopt from novels is usually not that good.

    Though this series can’t be even compared to Guilty Crown whatsoever in any way. It’s quite a different genre and SAO’s story is way better.

    • Of coarse Guilty Crown can’t be compared to Sword Art Online, Guilty Crown was a pile of ass. I make reference to Guilty Crown as a joke. Guilty Crown is like a pet to me one that I like to tease because it is too stupid to understand my insults.

      I wrote this before episode 11 aired so it makes sense that I don’t know what happened in episode 11. It’s odd that you say episode 11 is important because being someone that hasn’t read the book episode 11 seems like another short arc introducing another girl which probably won’t be around in later episodes. I’m guess you’ve read the novel or at least know details from it which haven’t been explained in the anime yet. Please don’t reveal anything as I like surprises.

      • Yes, I’m basically way ahead on the story and now I understand your Guilty Crown joke. Lol.

        As for episode 11, I am just pointing it out with the rest of the side stories.

  4. Truth to be said, I consider Sword Art Online merely average judging from the episodes that aired till now. (Anime only, have no idea about LN)
    The developments are simply too fast for me to care about any character and while the premise look good, the results are…questionable. 😐

    • Hmm maybe I’m just too nice and I know for sure i try to look for the good things. Progress may be fast but it’s nothing we haven’t seen as of late and it’s certainly not an issue keeping up with the progress.

      I’ll admit the story isn’t giving us enough time to care about the characters but I’m certain we aren’t suppose to care about anyone but Kirito.

      I don’t know, I probably shouldn’t praise stuff anymore cause everyone (just look at the comments) just say the opposite and points out flaws.

  5. Sure, the anime is good I can agree with that. The thing that sucked about this is anime is the amount of spoiling otakus it brought with it (everyone loves spoilers don’t they . . . NOT) AS IF EVERYONE HAS READ THE LN! ! Putting aside my personal ranting, I agree with feal87, SAO is somewhat average . . . at least for now . . .

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