Sword Art Online (Summer 2012) – All of Us Dream

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Game, Romance
Director: Tomohiko Itō
Writer: Reki Kawahara

This is one of the series that makes me love anime until today. “Sword Art Online” become one of the roots of a game and fantasy genre. You see, there are plentiful and hundreds of shows are made after this anime. It even takes the same premise with different stories and characters. You could just say, some of it consider that some are just plagiarism. I don’t want to mention one of them but “Sword Art Online” became a grain from our community.

This is before “DARLING in the FRANXX”, before “Log Horizon”, before “Overlord”, before “One Punch Man”. You could name anything like overhyped shows that first came from your heads. I also don’t think about why I like this anime so much. It was first introduced by my friend along with “Accel World“. This is the time where I more often playing some video games. I didn’t know an anime or related to it. So, this is my review on the most overhyped influential show. It is often proud of casuals, newbies, fanboys, and even the internet hate it so much.

The story inspired by a video games genre called MMORPG. Surely, this anime has a big target and audience for gamers. So, this is not a coincidence that the number of redundant positive responses to this anime has a lot. Some of them always refer to the main character as one of the greatest swordsmen ever in entire anime. I mean, Guts from Berserk or just name one of your favorite character anime who uses a sword. This is a type of 24 or 25 episodes that divided into two cour or arc.

The first arc, the main character along with other players, are trapped in an MMO game called Sword Art Online. They must complete 100 floors or dungeon through beating the boss from each floor. However, the most interesting point is you die in the game world means you die in reality. So, this is the point which makes everything more interesting and you think the plot will be unpredictable. But, nope. The first two episodes are actually very good and still follow what the plot introduces. But, the story will focus more on that until finally it just falls at the place and feels pointless.

Each episode will tell and introduce side characters. They have no connection at all and nothing to do with them. Instead of side characters who help along the adventure, these characters feel just to be the heroine as the harem. I want to state that this is not a “harem” anime. But, the plot does something which it looks like. It just like a deus ex machina that comes in the right timing. It is in charge of filling in the “plot” itself but failing to enter the main story.

Not to mention, the romance element also comes just like that without any development characters. They are so obviously and felt constrained. Another thing that seems good at this point is the development main character at the first arc. It feels emotional in certain scenes. The second arc is set at a different time and used a time skip. Yes, I think the plot will end up by completing 100 floors but they lie to you. With a few side characters, the plot turns in an unrealistic way. It is like a hero who tries to save his queen.

As well as this is typical A-1 Pictures anime, I freaking love the art. They really do this as a fantastic and colorful way. The choreography prevails in the action part is perfect. The portrayal extends through the beautiful scenic of a virtual reality world. It’s also a worth point in this aspect. The character design, the bosses, and the effects make a very beautiful frame whether it’s seen from anywhere. It’s very clear that this is typical A-1 Pictures anime. Same as when they made some shounen anime, action, or other genres besides the two genres. It’s one of the best so far in this anime and it’s worth.

As with the visuals, the sound in this anime is well really great. The voice actings are decent. I’m sure of it but the soundtrack is just one of the best by Yuki Kajiura. I really like how she always makes the score in the form of a magic touch. It matches with the scene. She also worked in so many projects. They were “Fate/Zero”, “Puella Magi Madoka Magica”, and even “ERASED”. In addition, the part when it comes to the choir sound just fits perfectly with the action scene.

The opening and ending theme songs are quite interesting yet memorable. Nobody can decide that “crossing field” by LiSA is always playing in your heads. “INNOCENCE” by Aoi Eir is also like that. I like both songs since the two singers are also my favorite J-pop singers. “Yume Sekai” by Haruka Tomatsu and “Overfly” by Luna Haruna are also both memorable. Though, not like the two opening theme songs.

And now, we are getting more serious because this is the whole worst thing ever besides the story. Kazuto Kirigaya a.k.a. Kirito, a term for OP character that has no weakness at all. He is a typical character that you will never deal with him but you just wanna punch him right in front of his face. He didn’t have any development at all because he was strong indeed from the beginning of his introduction. It was the most perfect character that ever existed, all the heroines have loved him whether they are, a villain who was very jealous because his presence suddenly became afraid and sometimes became his friend, and one of the characters who were specialists in everything either hackers, playboys, gamers, anything.

Asuna Yuuki, a typical character that I think is one of the coolest introductions ever in this anime but the development of her Tsundere character crap makes it blatant yet one of the “waifuable” characters. Since her meeting with Kirito, I think that she really dependent on Kirito and it makes her a useless character especially when it reaches the second arc. Who the hell cares about the other supporting characters both the heroine and the male character but we’ll discuss a little about Suguha Kirigaya. I discussed this character because she is who replaced Asuna as another main heroine regardless of Asuna’s existence. Yeah, it’s just an incest romance sub-plot that some people also care about but you don’t really give a little thing.

Yui is a typical character that just like that. Well, she is a character. Yeah, a character. A deus ex machina character that seems to ruin an RPG genre and whatever storyline make it one of the worst characters in this anime. It’s like the ending of “Clannad ~After Story~” which I hate it so much, this type of character feels like you are laughed at and you feel bad at them. Jokes that make the whole story and characters become pointless.

Although there are some people who hate this anime just because the internet also hates it and as if making them cool because they hate something popular, they don’t seem to have an opinion to tell and have no obvious reason why they hate it. Well, this show has a lot of potential and influence from its successors to make this anime a pioneer of everything. Sure, before “Sword Art Online”, there were various anime which discussed an RPG before. A few of cancer fanboys, a hater also the same as well, but it just one of the enjoyable and generic shows, I admit.

I also don’t know how many times I watch this anime just because some those features I consider good make me almost forgot with the storyline and characters itself. “Sword Art Online” is a show that feels solid and generic despite the many pointless scenes and aspects included in this anime. The pace is always balanced, sometimes slow and sometimes fast so it doesn’t feel boring to enjoy all the story elements. So yeah, this is one of the shows that you don’t need to enjoy without consuming a lot of ideas or you can enjoy with your eyes being closed. What’s more, this is my first anime to make me love anime and made me watch more anime again.

“Sword Art Online” is an overhyped, overrated, overpraised show all times. There are many fans and communities who really like this terrible solid show which feels forced in terms of story. There is no development of character at all, including the main characters who have no weaknesses. The first one and two episodes are great, introduces a simple premise and an interesting plot but fail at the whole story. The romance is just coming out like that and has no specific explanation about it. The music and the animation are all but closed with thousands of pointless stuff in this anime. This is one of the typical shows that first, you initially liked but you will also hate in the next few years.