Watch – Sword Art Online

“WHY IS EVERYONE SO OK WITH THIS?”   That pretty much sums up how I felt at the end of watching this anime series.

PLOT

So basically in the slightly distant future VR has come along way. Our main man – Kirito is his in-game name – logs into a MMO via a headset. This thing basically paralyzes you and transfers your consciousness into the game. The game is called Sword Art Online and it’s a massively multiplayer online game. So everyone logs in and they are having a grand time until they all get teleported to the main starting city and all realize they can’t get out or log out of the system. The maker of the game descends upon them to tell them they cannot leave. If someone tries to unplug them from the outside their brain gets zapped and if they die in game that’s lights out in real life too. The only way out is to beat the game with it’s 100 levels.

FLOW

SAO is 1 season, but it felt like they crammed two seasons together and shortened them. He only about half way the season and he’s already out the game; it was extremely anti-climatic. The first episode goes fairly methodically through what is happening, but after that it just seems to jump. I felt like the whole concept of being stuck in the game and what that means could be explored so much more. Episodes have kind of random themes with characters you’ve never seen before and then they just disappear. It always seemed like there was so much going on in the world, but we didn’t get to see any of it.

ATTITUDE

At first everyone seems to have the proper reaction to being locked inside a game by a mad man and the threat of death looming at them. When people do die, they also seem to have the correct reaction, but that’s when it stops. Like people don’t take it seriously and just run around getting into “I’m going to die, because went someplace I shouldn’t” situations all the time. Sure you can’t live your life scared, but at least use some common sense. If it was me I’d make sure I’d out level anything before I go adventuring at all.

People don’t take a lot of time to think whether or not the creator is bluffing or not about the whole dying business. I kept thinking, maybe it’s all not true and it’s some sort of social experiment. There isn’t anyone or any group in the game breaking off into a faction and supporting the idea of just killing yourself in-game to get out.

Why is no one angry at this guy, Akihiko Kayaba, for locking them in here? Like no one is shaking their fist when someone dies and going damn you or anything! Your friends are dying and no one is like trying to get at this guy somehow? Hell at the end when they figure out he’s been playing along beside with them this whole time, you’d think there would be this reaction of anger and everyone would just attack or something. Nope they just have a nice duel and then Kirito has a lovely chat with him afterwards. He asks him, why he made the game and why he did what he did. Dude just says he doesn’t really remember why he did it and talks all whimsically about his dreams. Kirito’s reaction…absolutely nothing. This dude just put you all through 2 years of hell and killed thousands of people and you aren’t like pissed off and demanding answers!?

Then everyone on the outside is totally okay with more MMOs using VR and guess what someone gets the idea to use it for their own dastardly means once again – though this time with more subtlety. After that’s all settled we get this from Kirito, “MMOs were starting to die after the ALfheim Online fiasco”. Really? Really? The one where a guy almost found out how to control people’s minds shut down the VR MMO industry and not the one where thousands died?

CALM

Okay, okay, deep breath, moving on. Asides from my main beefs I have with this series as clearly and overly explained above I enjoyed watching it for the most part. It is an interesting concept. I just feel a little short changed on the experience. Like if someone said they would give you cookies n’ cream ice cream, but only gave you vanilla.

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