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The episode was rated #1 Best episode of Sword Art Online from 1 votes.
After the group defeats the Skull Reaper, suffering 14 casualties in the battle, Kirito deduces that Heathcliff is, in fact, Akihiko Kayaba himself. Akihiko paralyses everyone except Kirito, and then offers Kirito the chance to face him in a one-on-one duel where, should Kirito win, Akihiko would log out all the remaining players. After giving his best wishes to the others, Kirito accepts the challenge but is unable to overcome Akihiko's absolute defense and intimate understanding of the game's mechanics. As Akihiko readies the finishing blow, Asuna overcomes her paralysis and takes the hit instead, losing all her HP and disappearing as a result. Distraught by Asuna's death, Kirito loses the will to fight and receives a fatal stab from Akihiko. However, at the point of death, Kirito remembers Asuna's belief in him and manages to regain enough substance to defeat Akihiko using Asuna's sword. They are both killed simultaneously and the game is declared cleared on November 7, 2024. Kirito then awakens high above the game world, where he finds both Asuna and Akihiko. Akihiko informs Kirito and Asuna that he has logged out all the other players as promised, and also explains his motives for creating Sword Art Online before disappearing. Kirito and Asuna then tell one another their true names, Kazuto Kirigaya and Asuna Yūki, and embrace each other as the world falls apart. To his surprise, Kazuto awakens in a hospital in the real world and, despite being physically weak, sets off to search for the real Asuna.
The episode was rated #2 Best episode of Sword Art Online from 458 votes.
Kirito and Asuna flee from the boss and take a break for a snack when they meet Klein and the Furinkazan guild. The army also appears, visibly exausted from exploring the floor. They demand Kirito to give them the map he made of the floor, and despite Asuna and Klein's protests he willingly complains with their request. Kirito, Asuna and Klein keep exploring the floor, clearing the monsters there, just to learn that the army is confronting the boss by themselves despite Kirito's warnings, and to make matters worse, the teleport crystals do not work in the boss room. As the members of the army are killed one by one, they launch themselves against the boss to protect the survivors and Kirito is forced to deploy a special skill of his he used to keep in secret that allows him to fight with two weapons, one in each hand, defeating the boss with a series of quick strikes. After the fight, Kirito collapses with HP almost totally depleted, just to wake up instants later, seeing Asuna in tears, who asks him to form a party with him, to which he agrees. Some time later, Kirito and Asuna are brought before Heathcliff, commander of the Knights of Blood who challenges him to a duel. If Kirito wins, Asuna is allowed to leave the guild and join his side, but he must join the guild instead should he loses. Kirito agrees to the terms and accepts Heathcliff's challenge.
The episode was rated #3 Best episode of Sword Art Online from 472 votes.
Ronie and Tiese are late getting to the dorm. Kirito rushes out in search of them, but no sooner has he gone than Frenica appears. She tells Eugeo about how she's suffered at Humbert's hands, and that Tiese and Ronie went to confront him about it.
The episode was rated #4 Best episode of Sword Art Online from 166 votes.
The duel between Kirito and Heathcliff is held at an arena where a large crowd has gathered. Asuna warns Kirito to be careful about fighting Heathcliff as he has an unique skill called Divine Blade which gives him maximum strength and defense. Heathcliff at first is able to overpower Kirito but the tides turn when Kirito forces Heathcliff on the defensive. Just as Kirito is about to deal the winning strike, Heathcliff mysteriously manages to dodge it and defeats Kirito. Now a member of the Knights of Blood, Kirito is asked by Asuna why he never join guilds and he reveals what happened to his old guild. Asuna comforts Kirito and tells him she will protect him. Later, Kirito is asked by fellow member Godfrey to follow him and a seemingly remorseful Kuradeel to the 55th floor dungeons for a skill assessment. As they take a lunch break, Kirito notices too late that the water he and Godfrey drank contains a paralysis effect. Kuradeel reveals he is a member of the Laughing Coffins and how he plans to kill both Godfrey and Kirito while making it look like they were killed in an ambush. After he finishes off Godfrey, Kuradeel attempts to kill Kirito but is saved from certain death by the arrival of Asuna who tracked them on her map. Asuna quickly decimates Kuradeel's health until critical stages. Kuradeel begs Asuna for forgiveness which is a ruse. When Kuradeel's is about to attack Asuna, Kirito jumps in between them, blocking the attack with his arm before killing him. Asuna feels guilty for what happened but Kirito calms her by kissing her, telling her how much he cares about her and wants to protect her. They agree to a take break from adventuring and stay at her home for the night. Later, as he sits next to Asuna at her bed, Kirito tells of a place they can be alone together and proposes to her, which she happily accepts.
The episode was rated #5 Best episode of Sword Art Online from 475 votes.
While fishing near a lake, Kirito encounters Nishida, an old man and a network security manager who oversaw the game's development. Nishida claims that despite honing his fishing skill, he is unable to create delicious dishes with it. Kirito then invites him to his home for Asuna to cook the fish he just caught for them. During their meal, Nishida mentions a huge fish he tried to catch many times but failed and asks Kirito to help him. Nishida manages to hook the fish and gives the rod to Kirito to pull it away. The fish is revealed to be a huge monster whom Asuna slays. Soon after, Kirito receives a message from Heathcliff and, upon meeting him, they learn that a scouting party was trapped and killed in the 75th level's boss room, thus a team of players from several guilds is being assembled to confront it. As the time for the battle approaches, Kirito asks Asuna to stay behind fearing for her safety, but Asuna refuses, claiming that she'd rather die than live without him. She also mentions that all players' real bodies must be currently being treated in hospitals and their condition cannot be kept indefinetly, thus fleeing to live by themselves inside the game is out of question. As the players enter the boss room, they are confronted with "The Skull Reaper", a powerful monster capable of killing players with one blow. Kirito, Asuna and Heathcliff confront the creature head on while the other players attack it from the sides.
The episode was rated #6 Best episode of Sword Art Online from 423 votes.
After a guild gathering which lead into a won boss fight and a timeline with background music Asuna comes home and sees that she recieved a message from Yuuki's doctor saying her condition got worse. Asuna immediately runs to her hospital. Arriving there she get's told that Yuuki's heart already stopped once. Yuuki wakes up and Asuna meets her using the Amu Sphere the next room in Alfheim Online at the tree they first met. Yuuki binds her original sword skill which is called "Mother's Rosario" to a scroll and gives it to Asuna as she knows she does not have much time left. Other members of the Sleeping Knights arrive and gather around her. After they spoke their last words hundreds of other players gather around the tree praying for Yuuki. She says to her friends that she may found her meaning in life and is in spite of all the pain in her life now at least happy in her last moments. At Yuuki's death watch Asuna and Siune meet up. Siune tells her she recovered from her disease the day after Yuuki died and got released from hospital. Kirito and Yuuki's doctor arrive and they figure out that the Medicuboid was designed by Kayaba Akihiko. After the outro Kirito and Asuna are sitting in a park meeting their friends in real life.
The episode was rated #7 Best episode of Sword Art Online from 292 votes.
After adventuring on the 74th floor, Kirito finds a Ragout Rabbit, a rare animal with top grade meat. Since he can't cook well, Kirito decides to sell it to Egil. When Asuna arrives and tells them she has mastered her cooking skills, Kirito decides to give the meat to Asuna in exchange they both eat it together. But Kuradeel, Asuna's escort sent by the Knights of Blood, is against Asuna inviting Kirito to her home as he is a Beater but Asuna ignores him. As they arrive at her home at Selmburg on the 61st floor, Asuna cooks the rabbit meat for dinner. As they talk, Asuna and Kirito discuss how two years have past since they were trapped in the game and many players seems to accept living in Aincard with less then five hundred players clearing the floors. Both agree to party up and explore the dungeons at the 74th floor. However, Kuradeel was following Asuna to prevent her from meeting up with Kirito. To settle things, Kirito has a duel with Kuradeel where if he wins, Kuradeel will leave Asuna alone. Kirito wins the duel by breaking Kuradeel's sword. Kuradeel refuses to give up but Asuna relieves him of his duties and orders him to return to Knights of the Blood Oath headquarters to await punishment. As Kirito and Asuna explores the 74th floor dungeons, they discover the boss room and its boss, The Gleam Eyes.
The episode was rated #8 Best episode of Sword Art Online from 474 votes.
On November 6, 2022, the VRMMORPG, Sword Art Online (SAO), is officially released, with 10,000 copies released and sold immediately. Kirito, who beta-tested the game, logs-in to the world of Aincrad and meets Klein, a new player, who asks him to teach him the basics of the game including the Sword Skill battle system. Later, after several hours in the game, Kirito and Klein discover that they cannot log out. Shortly after, the pair are teleported to the town square, where they see that all other players have also been transported to the location. A red-hooded Game Master then appears in the sky and reveals himself to the crowd as Akihiko Kayaba, the game's creator. He tells them that he intentionally removed the log-out option. He cautions that they cannot log-out by simply removing the NerveGear, the VR helmet they use to log-in the game, as it will kill them instantly. The only way to log out is for the players to beat and clear all 100 floors of the game. Should they die in the game, their real bodies will perish as well. As a parting gift, Akihiko gives them a mirror that alters their in-game avatars to resemble their real appearance. Kirito asks Klein to follow him to the next town to level up before resources are depleted, but Klein politely declines as he wishes to remain with his friends. Kirito then heads out, vowing to be free from the game. By the end of the first month, 2,000 players have died and the 1st floor has yet to be cleared.
The episode was rated #9 Best episode of Sword Art Online from 658 votes.
Kazuto recalls when he was ten, he learn he was not related with Suguha, leading him to become detached from his family and become engrossed in online gaming. But due the lessons he learn during his time in SAO, he decides to make amends with his family. Wanting to sort things out, Kazuto asks Suguha to meet him in ALfheim. As Leafa contemplates whether she should stop seeing Kirito in-game anymore, she runs into Recon, whose unsuccessful attempt to confess to her cheers her up. Leafa then challenges Kirito to a one-on-one fight, during which they both end up throwing the duel and apologize to each other. After Kirito explains he won't be able to say what he thinks of Suguha until Asuna is rescued, Leafa agrees to help him in his quest, dragging Recon along with her. Kirito once again takes on the guardians, this time with assistance from Leafa and Recon. As the number of guardians keep increasing, Recon uses a self-destruct spell to create a gap for Kirito to get through, but it is filled up all too soon. Just as things look dire, Sakuya and Alicia arrive with their armies to back them up. Using Leafa's sword, Kirito manages to break through the guardians and reach the top, only to find a moderator-locked door in his way. Using the card Asuna gave them, Yui manages to open the door, teleporting her and Kirito to a new location.
The episode was rated #10 Best episode of Sword Art Online from 379 votes.
The battle between Death Gun and Kirito begins as the former unleashes a deadly barrage of strikes that greatly weakens Kirito. While they are fighting, Kirito has a flashback to the meeting before the Laughing Coffin raid in Sword Art Online, recalling a strikingly similar player with the same red eyes as Death Gun. Kirito deduces that Death Gun is really the infamous, "Red Eyed," Xaxa, the second in command of Laughing Coffin. As Xaxa goes for the final blow, Sinon creates the illusion of a direction line using her experience in the game alone, causing Xaxa to cloak to avoid it. However, Kirito pulls out his sidearm and fires it at Xaxa, stopping the cloaking process and rendering him vulnerable. Using the willpower and strength he possessed in Sword Art Online, Kirito defeats Xaxa, cutting in clean in half. Before he dies, Xaxa reassures Kirito that their battle is not over. Sinon and Kirito then come to an agreement to end the Bullet of Bullets by committing double in-game suicide using a grenade, crowning them both the winner, but not before they reveal to each other their real names. After logging out, Shino is visited by Shinkawa, who, after making romantic advances on her, pulls out a syringe and reveals himself to be the second person involved in the Death Gun murders, which Kirito and Sinon earlier deduced while in the cave. Shinkawa tries to rape Shino, but she is able to get away, only to have Shinkawa pull her back. As this is happening, Kazuto bursts through Shino's door and attacks Shinkawa, holding him off while telling Shino, who recognizes Kazuto as Kirito, to run.
The episode was rated #1 Best episode of Sword Art Online from 319 votes.
Rushing to the hospital Kazuto is attacked by an injured Sugou with a knife at the parking area. Kazuto manages to disarm him, and after considering everything Sugou has done, Kazuto spares his life. Kazuto finally meets with Asuna where they have a tearful reunion. On May 16, 2025, Kazuto and Asuna have returned to school, attending a special school for students who were trapped in SAO. As they have lunch, Kazuto reveals Sugou was arrested by the police after their fight and the crimes he committed were exposed by one of his employees. The 300 players that were trapped by Sugou were freed but his experiments shocked the public. Due to the scandal, Asuna's father and his higher ups resigned and shut down Alfheim Online with other VRMMORPG following suit. Later, Asuna, Kazuto and Suguha heads to Agil's bar along with Liz, Silica, Yoruko, Kains, Sasha, Yulier, Thinker, Klein and his guild where they have a party to celebrate Kazuto for freeing them from SAO. Kazuto gives Agil "The Seed" to be analyzed which is revealed to be a program that allows anyone with a server to create their own VRMMORPG and transfer players to other VRMMORPG easily. "The Seed" is uploaded to the internet which revives the VRMMORPG genre. Later that night in Alfheim Online, now run by a new company, Kirito meets up with Leafa where they share a dance in the sky. Leafa decides to leave since she feels she cannot keep up with her brother but Kirito reveals his character stats have been reset. As a surprise, the floating castle Aincrad from SAO has been brought into Alfheim Online which Kirito then declares he intends to finish clearing all 100 floors. With their friends from SAO and Alfheim Online flying towards the castle, Leafa, Kirito, Asuna and Yui join them.
The episode was rated #2 Best episode of Sword Art Online from 394 votes.
Kirito, Asuna and Yui are resting at Sasha's church where she takes care of the younger children until Yulier of the Army arrives. Yulier explains the Army under their leader Thinker had good intentions of helping players but as the Army got bigger, people like Kibaou started abusing power on others. Thinker was going to expel Kibaou over the Gleam Eyes incident but the latter trapped him at a secret dungeon on the 1st floor which is why she has come to Kirito and Asuna for help. With Yui refusing to stay at the church, Kirito, Asuna and Yulier reluctantly bring her alone to rescue Thinker. When they arrive at his location, a boss called "The Fatal Scythe" attacks them. Kirito and Asuna orders Yulier to escape together with Thinker and Yui as they fight the boss but it is too strong. As the boss is about attack Kirito, Yui confronts the boss, who is unable to damage her due to being an "Immortal Object" and defeat the boss. Yui, finally remembering her past, reveals to Kirito and Asuna that she is an AI counselor created by the game's Cardinal system whose purpose was to monitor and counsel the players on their mental state. But on the day of game's launch, Cardinal refuse to allow to her interact with the players which she was forced to watch their mental state deteriorating until she learned about Asuna and Kirito and wanted to meet them. Despite the revelation, Asuna and Kirito still accepts Yui as their daughter but she tells them goodbye as she's going to be deleted for interfering in the game. Refusing to accept it, Kirito uses the GM console Yui left behind to save Yui by turning her into a crystal item. With Yui's data save on his NerveGear local memory, Kirito and Asuna hopes to recreate her in the real world.
The episode was rated #3 Best episode of Sword Art Online from 446 votes.
Arriving at the top of the World Tree, Kirito and Yui finally manage to reunite with Asuna. However, they are suddenly hit by high gravity magic, which forces Yui to retreat, and are confronted by Sugou. As Sugou reveals his plans to control the human soul, he chains Asuna up and starts to molest her in front of Kirito, who is stabbed and forced to endure incredible pain. As Kirito falls into despair, he hears the voice of Akihiko, who encourages him to stand up and fight, realising the pain is nothing compared to the pain of SAO. Using Akihiko's administrative abilities, Kirito manages to strip Sugou of his high level and challenges him to a fight with no pain absorption, showing him what true pain is before finishing him off. After logging Asuna out, returning her to the real world, Kirito meets with the remnant of Akahiko's memory, who gives him an item called The Seed before leaving. After returning to the real world and giving his thanks to Suguha, Kazuto makes his way to the hospital to finally meet Asuna for real.
The episode was rated #4 Best episode of Sword Art Online from 395 votes.
Sinon shoots at Death Gun, but he dodges the bullet and then kills Pale Rider with his pistol. Death Gun then introduces himself and his gun to the spectators, finishing his monologue with a catchphrase used by PoH, the founder of Laughing Coffin. Meanwhile, Sinon attempts to find out Death Gun's name, but he was not shown on the satellite scan, thus Sinon assumes that he traveled through the battlefield underwater. She and Kirito then decide to follow Death Gun, eventually going to the Lost City. However, since they could not find him along the way, they look for him during the next scan. Seeing that two players, Sterben and Juushi X (銃士Ｘ, Jūshi X?), were present in the city, they decide to go after Juushi X, as his name sounded like Death Gun (死銃, Shijū?) backwards. During the scan, they find Juushi X at a stadium, while Sterben abruptly vanishes from the city. The two rush to the stadium and, after confirming that there was a sniper, decide to split up. However, as Sinon takes a sniping position, she is suddenly shot with a stun bullet. Death Gun, who is actually Sterben, appears and proclaims that he is going to kill her. Sinon tries to defend herself, but then sees that Sterben is carrying the Type 54 Black Star, the same weapon she used to kill the robber at the post office.
The episode was rated #5 Best episode of Sword Art Online from 344 votes.
Carrying the hopes of Cardinal, Eugeo, and Alice in his heart, Kirito stands yet again and visualizes the Black Swordsman, the top player who cleared SAO. For the sake of everyone he’s encountered in this world, Kirito, faces off with Administrator.
The episode was rated #6 Best episode of Sword Art Online from 161 votes.
On June 24, 2024 at Lindas on 48th floor, Asuna visits her friend the blacksmith Lisbeth or "Liz" at her smith shop before going adventuring, and Liz suspects she's going with a boy she likes. Later, Kirito arrives at Liz's shop as he's looking for a custom-made sword to buy. Much to Liz's shock, Kirito's sword Elucidator easily breaks her strongest sword. Angry and her pride hurt, Liz convinces Kirirto to let her join him to the Western Mountain on the 55th floor to get a rare mineral from a dragon that eats crystals so she can use the mineral to make a stronger sword. As they arrive at the Western Mountain, Kirito advises Liz to hide as he fights the dragon. However, she ignores his advice when she comes out when she thinks the dragon is almost defeated. The dragon blows her into a deep pit and Kirito jumps in to save her. While they both survive, they can't get out of the pit and are forced to sleep there for the night. Liz asks Kirito to hold her hand while they sleep, which brings her to realize that she can feel another person's warmth even though they are just data. She also realizes that she has feelings for him. The next morning, Kirito discovers that the mineral they are seeking, a Crystallite Ingot, is under the snow as the hole is the dragon's nest. The dragon returns and Kirito grabs Liz with him as he stabs the dragon's back, forcing it to carry them out of the hole before jumping out. Now safe with the mineral, Liz manages to create a new sword for Kirito, Dark Repulsor. As she asks Kirito to use her as his exclusive smith and is about to confess to him, a worried Asuna arrives. Realizing Kirito is the boy Asuna likes, Liz excuses herself from them. As Liz cries over her heartbreak, Kirito finds her and tries to comfort her. Accepting her predicament, Liz promises to help Kirito as his smith if he promises to win the game and free them all.
The episode was rated #7 Best episode of Sword Art Online from 453 votes.
Kirito pretends to not understand Death Gun's answer, and Death Gun states that he will kill him, whether or not he is the real Kirito, before leaving. Kirito then has a flashback to his time in SAO, when he and several others battled Laughing Coffin, and notes that he killed two members during that battle. He then realizes that the player who confronted him was actually Death Gun. Sinon later meets up with him and senses that something is wrong, but before Kirito can confide in her, he is teleported to his next duel, which he wins. Eventually, both Kirito and Sinon have made it into the finals. While waiting for Kirito, Sinon begins to feel he is just like her. She becomes frustrated when Kirito calmly walks straight toward her position, not showing any signs of wanting to dodge her bullet. Sinon fires at him repeatedly, but misses, and she personally confronts him about it. Remembering the promise he made to Sinon, Kirito apologizes and sets the rules for a rematch: he would move away by ten meters, and they would start fighting once he throws a bullet to the ground. Despite Sinon's Hecate's one-hundred percent hit rate at such a range, Kirito shows his confidence in his abilities. When the rematch begins, Kirito is able to slice Sinon's bullet in half and hold her at the tip of his Photon Sword. Realizing that Kirito predicted the bullet path by watching her eyes, Sinon realizes that his strength goes beyond a virtual game and asks him what he is afraid of. He implies to her his experiences in SAO are not strength, but skill. He then asks her to surrender, since he doesn't want to defeat a girl. In anger, she does so, stating that next time would be different.
The episode was rated #8 Best episode of Sword Art Online from 359 votes.
On February 23, 2024, a beast tamer named Silica, quits a party after arguing with their leader, Rosalia. Silicia is ambushed by monsters whilst making her way alone through the forest and her dragon familiar, Pina, is killed trying to protect her. As Kirito saves her, he tells Silica of an item at the Hill of Memories on the 47th floor that can revive her familiar within three days after it's death, offering to accompany her there. As they spend time together, Kirito warns Silicia of "orange players", players who attack other players and "red players", players who kill other players and someone is eavesdropping on their plans. As they make their way towards the Hill of Memories the next day, Kirito tells Silica about his younger sister who is actually his cousin, who she reminds him of. As they finally retrieve the item, the Pneuma Flower, they are confronted by Rosalia and her men, who are actually part of the Titan's Hand, a notorious orange player guild and are after Silica's flower. However, Kirito reveals part of his reason for escorting Silica was to draw Rosalia out to arrest her. The guild realizes Kirito is the infamous Beater "The Black Swordsman", and due to his higher levels and advanced skills, he outmatches Rosalia and her men, forcing them to surrender and send them to prison. As Kirito prepares to return to the front lines, he makes a promise to Silica that they'll meet again in the real world as she revives Pina.
The episode was rated #9 Best episode of Sword Art Online from 510 votes.
One month since the start of the fun-turned-deadly game, 2,000 players have already died, and the first floor has yet to be cleared. Kirito attends a meeting organized by fellow beta-tester Diabel, who announces to the attendants that his party, a group of characters adventuring together in a role-playing game, has found Illfang the Kobold Lord, the boss of the first floor. Parties are formed, and Kirito teams up with a young girl named Asuna. The next day, Diabel's raid group arrives at the boss' room and battles Illfang and his minions. When Illfang's health becomes low, Diabel goes for the finishing attack. Kirito attempts to warn him, but Illfang attacks down first and mortally wounds Diabel. As he dies, Diabel begs Kirito to defeat the boss and save the players. Though they destroy the boss, Kirito is accused of being a "beater"—a combination of a "beta-tester" and "cheater"—for Diabel's death.
The episode was rated #10 Best episode of Sword Art Online from 572 votes.
Last updated: apr 16, 2021
It's really nice but it should have ended after episode 14 it would be a really nice ending
Absolutely awesome anime !! It has everything, a well told story, action, emotion and beautiful animations. Sounds and pictures are fitting well together. Every fan of MMOs and anime has to watch this. I'm very excited about the 2nd season.
9.5/10 As a child, I've always found the concept of living in a game that revolves around sword and sorcery fascinating, so the main idea of this show has been appealing to me since the beginning. However, after watching the first few episodes, I was kind of disappointed: All I got to see was a person with an enigmatic character, who was completely over-leveled and wanted to rush through the game all by himself. Instead of showing captivating and engaging boss fights, all I got to see was the main character virtually one-hitting all the enemies because of his high level. Instead of gaining an insight into the main character's personality and background, I was merely left with a very vague impression of him. At that point, I was doubtful about whether it really is worth it continuing watching the show. Fortunately, I did continue watching the show, and I was glad to see that most of the aforementioned negative aspects didn't prevail throughout the show. Finally, we were introduced with a second main character and therefore also learned more about the sentimental side of Kirito. In the second part of the first season, we also got to understand his family life and relation to his sister better. And furthermore, boss fights no longer were finished in a matter of seconds; instead, we saw how many players work together to defeat the final enemy in bitter and long-running battles. This is when I started to really fall in love with this show. In conclusion, while the beginning of this show is rather poor, it gets better and better with each episode.
Great Show, can't wait for GunGale-Online ^_~
Sword Art Online (Season 1) - 7/10 Despite what many users and critics would have you believe, I advise anyone interested by the prospect of the series give it a chance before writing it off entirely. In fact, I was planning on doing just that after reading a few of the reviews posted by members on here. I started watching anime on a fan level at the very start of this past Fall 2013 season, and like many was dragged in by the momentum of Attack on Titan. A coworker tried to get me to watch SAO and I kinda feigned interest and said I'd get around to it. I had already made up my mind not to watch the series because of the criticism it's received. A few months later (or last week for me) a few friends attempted to get me to watch the show, and so I started. And watched some more. I downed the entire first season in a week, and I can honestly admit happily that I enjoyed it much more than I hated it. It seems as though there are two types of people who review here: the guys who think everything is awesome, and the guys that'll nitpick each episode for inconsistencies. It seems the more popular a show gets the more it needs to be scrutinized. If this were merely some underground fan favorite I doubt people would take it as seriously. I'm going to try and be the in-between guy who chooses to stay unbiased, and will review the series for all it's merits and all it's downfalls, and I'll stay away from determining whether it's worth the praise it receives or not. That being said this first season was FAR from perfect, but I've yet to watch a perfect television series. And seriously, at the end of the day, this is a cartoon. If you've yet to see the season, spoilers follow. Part 1: Aincrad Saga The year is 2022. Ten thousand individuals login to the just released VRMMORPG (virtual reality massively multiplayer online role playing game) Sword Art Online, and then the worst possible scenario for anyone with a fear of virtual reality becomes their new reality: they can no longer logout. Nor can they remove their Nervegear helmets, or else the system will kill them. And worse yet, if they die in the game, they die in reality. Their goal is to reach the 100th floor and after defeating the endgame boss, they can all be set free. 2 years later and 40% of the players have lost their virtual and literal lives. I will admit that I am an avid fan of MMO's and love the idea of just leveling up your character, getting him stronger and stronger ad infinitum. There was a time where I was more than addicted to World of Warcraft. Had a character that had a play time of over two months! But SAO is a very different beast. The approach of having 100 floors was interesting and new. It felt like a classic game with 100 stages, but stuffed into a futuristic MMO. But I had two problems with this setup. 1) The show never explained how big each floor was. You just assumed each floor had special stuff only located there, like towns and forests, and lakes... And 2) they skipped so much of the game within the first few episodes of the show. This was particularly upsetting to me, because I'm all about the linear storytelling going on from battle to battle. I eat up all that filler stuff. Instead they skipped from the boss of the first floor to two years later when they're on floor 74... What?! I understand the purpose of this however, and that's because the story they wanted to tell took place primarily at that last month that SAO was still active. I feel they really could've delved deeper into the lore of the world instead of focusing so much on character woes. This saga should have lasted the entire 25 episode run so as to iron out certain potential plot holes and encourage character development with some of the tertiary characters. Another strange case about this MMO is the lack of character class. An RPG without magic?!? I'm surprised that so many were upset by the love story that blossomed between Kirito and Asuna. It felt extremely natural and I felt they spent an appropriate amount of time on their tale. It didn't fall short for me. Much of what they as characters were experiencing by the second year was surprisingly relatable. Although the primary objective was to free themselves from Aincrad, they had become so accustomed to living in this world that they considered it more real than reality itself. It's only natural then to find yourself in love with another that you party with on a daily basis. I found their relationship occasionally very touching to be honest, and was fully invested. I wasn't a huge fan however of their "daughter" Yui. That was a plot point I just could not stand. I was constantly amazed at Kirito's blatantly overpowered stats. I was sure that it would become old soon, but the more it was showcased the more I digged it. The mysterious way in which he was given the special ability to dual wield... Excellent. Knowing in retrospect that it was actually just the GM granting him special rights simply to spice things up a bit and have a bit of fun is amusing, and a satisfying reason in my opinion. From the beginning I didn't consider the GM a villain, because it didn't seem as if he had much of a motive other than the fact that he could just do it. It struck me more so as the work of an eccentric visionary, who's bored and lonely. When Kirito lost that duel, due to what appeared to be a glitch or hack in the system, I thought for sure it must be the GM or someone in cahoots with him. I'm surprised it took so long to realize it. That last battle was interesting to say the very least. I can understand why many didn't care for it. The way I see it is that these guys are stuck in this virtual world for two years, getting brain-fed data constantly. After that long you'd expect there to begin to be strange anomalies when the game interferes with heightened levels of emotions. Yes, "the power of love" strikes again, but I think it's more than that. I think it's the will to beat the system, and nobody had more will than Kirito. I'm surprised this was one of the first moments where glitches were realized on screen. You'd expect them to be just slightly more commonplace. And as to why they weren't dead at the end... Well the GM congratulated them on jointly beating the game. Enough said really. Part 2: Fairy Dance Saga An RPG with magic!!! Finally. But now it's full of fairies... Interesting. The premise of the second half of the season begins with Kirito waking up, but somehow Asuna didn't. We find out that somewhere near 300 players from SAO didn't make it out for whatever reason. And worse yet, some creepy dude wants to marry Asuna while she's in a coma! Kirito soon finds out there is a new VRMMORPG called Alfheim out and he gets a tip that Asuna is trapped inside this world. He goes in, gets the unknowing help of his busty step-sister, and attempts a rescue mission. As an MMO, Alfheim feels far more organic than Sword Art Online did. Perhaps it was the ability to log off. Perhaps it was the racial choices and magic capabilities. I'm not sure. But because it felt more organic didn't necessarily mean the show benefitted from it. Where my issue with the first half of the season was that they sped through over a year and a half of story, this second half of the season takes place in, what, 3 days? The tone becomes drastically different, and in many ways it feels like a completely different show. This threw me off balance quite a bit. I liked the idea, but not the execution and I'm sure others felt the same. If this is the true source of people hating the series then I can't argue with you there. It angered me too. But I didn't let it affect my view of the overall arc too much. The stakes are far different in this half of the series. In the first half the big issues were not being able to log out, and if you die you die. But in this half you CAN log out AND you get to respawn. You just lose all your gear (or something?). This wasn't fully explained, or maybe I missed it. Instead the real stake only existed for Kirito and Asuna. She was trapped by some horny maniac, and he was determined to save her before she got married off. Because the story didn't have enough breathing room it all felt more unrealistic despite the more realistic game. Again, this could have been fleshed out far better over a full season. One thing I really did like was that Kirito's stats carried over into this game from SAO. Basically he was the best before he even began. Makes sense he'd be far stronger than the strongest player in this game due to the fact that Alfheim had only been going strong for about a year. And you know what, despite not liking Yui's character in the first half of the season, she was ridiculously cute throughout the second half. Seriously. She slept in his pocket. The second half of the series, although inherently not as violent, had far more fan service, and weird sexual stuff all around. I don't consider Sugu's strange love for her adoptive brother to be incestual, but it's definitely... strange. Regardless, although the subject matter was out there, it felt organic and natural, and the resolution with the real world confrontation was probably the most emotional scene the anime offered. You couldn't help but feel bad for her. And yet she still aided him in his flight to victory. (See what I did there?) The rape scene was particularly unsettling, and I didn't care for a second of it. I hope that's what the creators of the series intended because that's how it came across for me personally, and hopefully for other viewers. It was disgusting. But that's when the original GM intervened, becoming the god in the machine, allowing Kirito admin access, and the ability to beat the system. Perhaps I'm a sap, but I'm not used to watching stuff with happy endings. The season was given a nice ending. Part 3: Sword Art Online Extra Edition & beyond I won't get too caught up in the Extra Edition synopsis, because there's not all that much to it seeing as how it's mostly a synopsis of the entire first season with swimsuits in-between clips. But if it tells me anything, it's that the first and second half of the season were two very different storiess, with many differing strengths and weaknesses. It may not be a popular opinion, but I do believe it would be a far stronger series if the two arcs were each given a full 25 episode season. I'm sure that would lead to criticism of filler episodes, but if it would make the series a stronger one in the long run, I'm all for it. And it wouldn't feel like such a weird switch right there in the middle of the story. I was very confused with the resolution of the world seed. Essentially everyone has access to this world seed, so everyone can make their own world with their own rules? I don't see how that's a good thing, seeing as how the first two worlds were run by madmen. And there was an interesting tease to the future of the series. But hopefully they explain better in season 2, which was snazzily introduced earlier yesterday. The Phantom Bullet saga eh? I hope this one gets a full run of episodes as well. Space out the story a little bit. In conclusion. It's a flawed series, but it's by no means unwatchable or bad.
Don't get fooled by the first episode. This show is pretty bad (at least if you expect quality writing out of it). The main problem for me was the lack of story. They setup a life or death siutation but instead of showing the players coping with it we get a timeskip and a chronological adaptation of the source material (light novels) which means lots of irrelevant side stories. The stakes are mainly ignored and hardly anyone works toward the goal of completing the game (clearing all 100 floors). When the SOA story arc comes to an end it is abrupt and makes no sense at all due plotarmor. The second arc is still airing but luckily it'll be over soon. All changes have been for the worse. Another issue are the characters; cardboard cutouts and personality changes on demand. Most of the women (or better girls) tend to exist to form a harem for our MC. Speaking of which, this show goes full-shonen as far as his powers go. It is ridiculous what he can pull off (getting his own skills in an mmo, hacking, highest leveled player in the game when all you see is him idlying and helping lowlevel players.. it get's even worse in the second arc). Given that it is an action show you would at least expect the fights to be good. Unfortunatly these are a letdown. The bossfights usually look rather bad. Not only because of the CGI but the way they animated it. There is hardly a battle choreography and they overuse still frames. You can literally see that the only things animated are the flashing lights which are supposed to represent sword strikes. Add to this the ever increasing fan-service, silly dialogue, unbelievable romance and countless things that make no sense. Due to reasons I cannot understand this show is popular and sells really well so a second season could happen.
It has been pretty good so far. The amount of accurate MMO references has been surprising as well.
This is a definite watch. First season was a little boring because of lack of Action Scenes but after that it was a impressive. Season 3 and 4 will definitely keep you on the edge. Plot, animation, story everything was top notch. Now, I am patiently waiting for the Second Cour of Season 4.
I realy loved this show, the store, the characters, the awsome animation, just excelent 10pts.
WAIT WHY TF IS IT SHOWING ENDED? IT'S STILL GOING IN, THERE'S SEASON 3 PART 2 ON THE EAY IN OCTOBER!!
While we celebrated the Pride month just now, why not talk about some awesome TV shows focused on LGBT characters. What if you want to learn about the people at large but you realize that there is no diversity in your close social circles. That’s when a good TV series can enlighten you with the ideas and realities. It can also save you from awkward moments in the real life by providing the right insights.
Because I’m watching so many imaginary scenarios, it’s nice to take a look at things that actually happened every once in a while. The drama from documentaries really feels a lot different than those from series you just know didn’t happen. I love being aware of everything that is or has been going on and Netflix is really great at helping us with that.
I am Sophie and this is my website.
A little about me 👋 I am a marketing student in Paris. I love spending afternoons with friends in a cafe or a park.
But more than anything else, I love watching (.. binging…) series on my computer on rainy Sundays or any sunny day for that matter 🙈
I must have watched hundreds of shows by now, from romance to science-fiction series. Often I like to go back to a show I enjoyed. But I don’t feel like watching it all over again…
I created this website so myself and others could find the best episodes of our favourite shows. As of today, I have about 1,000 shows on the website with votes and rating coming from fans.
Hopefully, you can join me from your sofa and enjoy some nice TV!
- Sophie ☕️🍰