[Anime Review] Sword Art Online

SAO takes about 5 episodes to get going.

SAO is a Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game and the cartoon is about people playing that game. It touches on Human relationships, action, drama, romance, and how a writer can screw up a good idea.

I loved the novel “Dream Park” which would make you think I’d immediately love SAO but it’s just not that good, for five episodes. It lacks the charm, depth and humour evident in Danmachi (Familia Myth/Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?).

SAO is a fantastic concept (very much like Dream Park combined with modern ideas of MMORPGs) but it’s a bit boring and at times, painful to watch.

All that said, it gets better after episode 5 and starts to become more and more interesting. After 10 more episodes it turns suddenly into awesome and emotional.

Then…. Even more suddenly SAO becomes stupid through to the final 25th episode.

I see a lot of people toss Danmachi aside for it’s tame minimal fan service for the much more serious SAO however after episode 15 it becomes about boobs and a little fan service even up through tentacle fetishes.

It’s a slog through the rest of the episodes where the main character departs a little from who they are for no other reason than to keep you in suspense. As well, this later chunk of episodes has a lot of filler with multiple episodes that could just be skipped and nothing is lost.

Did I mention that the intro and outro credits are painfully long and the music is fairly average?

So in the end you can think of SAO as two parts and an epilogue. The second part feels like it was written by Stephen Moffat. It does not have the same feel as the first and there are his famous style of dues ex machina.

Slow to get going, awesomeness, stupidity, veering way off track and a finale. It stumbles through romance, action and horror. I really mean stumbles as it doesn’t do any of them well in the long run.

I’m glad I watched it but doubt I’ll watch it again or get the manga or even the original light novels. It didn’t really spark any imagination.



It did look (and sound) a bit overly emotional when I caught bits of it here and there. I cant handle crappy anime anymore, if it doesn't engage me within the first few episodes I drop it. I think as a teenager I had a higher tolerance for the angst. Hoping to see more Danmachi soon, as long as it doesn't go the way of Seven Deadly Sins!