I have been really throwing around all of the titles as of late I wanted to give my much anticipated opinions on (I know you all have been on pins and needles for that), and as much as I would have loved to comment on Puella Magi Magica Madoka..everyone and their brother has gave their take on it. No reason for me to bother.
So, I decided that because I had ignored all of the hype over Sword Art Online, I would make that the topic of conversation.
I liked BTOOOM! fine enough...twelve episodes with cliffhangers at the end of each episode that kept me watching...but wait, this is about SAO, huh?
The plot goes something like this: In the year 2022, a virtual reality MMO is unleashed on the world, fully equiped with Nerve Gear, enabling the player to use all five senses in-game for real-life effect.
The catch is, game creator Kayaba Akihiko also added a component to the headgear that cooks your brain if you die in game or if the headset is removed by someone outside the game. No way to log out either. Diabolical, isn't it?
That really leads to the question at hand is that there are isn't some form of law enforcement in 2022? You figured that Akihiko-san would have been waterboarded until he released the 10,000 "players" in this VR nightmare.
Enter our main protagonists Kirito, who was previously a beta-tester for the game and Asuna, the almost mandatory strong willed love interest of Kitiro's, who go forth to beat the 100 dungeon bosses to free everyone from the game.
Meanwhile, they meet up with fellow minded players with the goal of escaping and a computer program named Yui, who Kitiro and Asuna adopt as a virtual daughter.
The story lines in the anime run, for the most part, episode to episode, summing up things quickly and neatly. The problem lies in the fact that it is hard to care about the characters (especially Kirito) one way or the other. The action scenes are unremarkable, and the final face-off between Kirito and Akihiko is anti-climatic.
It would be nice if the story ended there...but it doesn't.
At episode 15, Kirito (real name Kazuto) is freed from the headgear, just to find that Asuna is still trapped in yet another on-line game, as well as 300 others from the original game.
The problem facing Kirito/Kazuto is Nobyuki Sugo, the GM of the new VR-MMO and persuer of Asuna.
This forces Kirito to once again go back into the virtual game world (a fairy world named Alfheim), to save Asuna and the others still trapped in their virtual world.
Along the way, he discovers his sister/cousin Suguaha is also involved in the Alfheim world.
Episodes 1-15 are run-of-the-mill anime, but the episodes that follow contain anime tropes that viewers could do without.
Even the solid writing, and a griping ending can't really save Sword Art Online.
I can only recommend this anime to people that don't mind watching shows that are unremarkable at best.
OVERALL GRADE: D-
Watch Sword Art Online at:www.crunchyroll.com
OTAKUMG QUICK PICKS
Inferno Cop: Imagine if the guys over at Williams Street produced anime. Quirky is a understatement...
Boku no Imouto wa "Osaka Okan" : Humorous anime shorts about tolerance..so to speak.
Until next time!!! Cory J.S.