Sword Art Online [First Impressions]
So Asch is back and here I go with some first impressions of Sword Art Online, this seasons .hack-esque MMORPG anime. First off though a quick synopsis:
The only way to escape is to ‘clear’ the game. Death in game means actual ‘death’ —-
The ten thousand who have logged onto the as of yet mysterious game ‘Sword Art Online’ using their Nerve Gear have been forced into this perilous death game and are trapped inside.
Protagonist Kirito, one of the many gamers, has greeted this ‘truth’.
He plays as a solo player in the giant castle that is the stage for this game —- ‘Aincrad’.
To meet the conditions of clearing the game and leaving this twisted virtual world, he must get through all 100 floors. Will Kirito have what it takes to clear the game, or will he die trying?
This anime has had me hooked from the time it was announced, every trailer just upping my expectations and today whilst waiting for the first episode I was quite literally bored out of mind my mind, just watching anything on t.v. to pass the hours until the simulcast started on Crunchyroll, yet another thing I am ecstatic about is that I can watch this in 1080p legally :) /end shameless plug
The only downside to this however is I am writing this review and no one has taken any screenshots yet and my parents poor little office PC doesn’t have photoshop so I’m a tad screwed image-wise right now, but hey I’m sure Random Curiosity will get them up ASAP.
So getting back to the review, the first episode did not fail to impress. It was however a lot slower than I imagined but that’s beside the point. First up we are introduced to Kirito, the protagonist, who is a gaming geek, in fact his set up is something to be jealous of… he has 3 SCREENS, yes THREE.
Kirito is however a social recluse, the impressions I get from the first episode is that he isn’t overly close with his younger sister and that he doesn’t have many friends especially in game. Not that he’s bad at socialising though, after being harassed by Klein another player in the game, who notices Kirito’s experience in the game due to his involvement in the beta test, to teach him the basics of the game. He forms quite the friendship even shedding a tear when they go their separate ways.
Klein is certainly the polar opposite of Kirito, outgoing, friendly with bucket loads of confidence. I have a feeling (and its not just the spoiler in the ending) that he will make it through this ordeal.
Lets move on though as this wasn’t a huge character development episode, the art work was amazing. I’m quite literally speechless, epic landscapes, stunning effects which were simple yet more than effective, especially the sword skill effects and the slight curve on the POV stuff which makes me all giddy as the animators have paid such attention to the little things and in the long run that is what makes the difference.
And the soundtrack was also up to par, the grandeur orchestral-ness really setting the stage and the mood.
So all in all I was really impressed with this opening episode, especially since it lived up to what I had imagined. I’m hoping in the next episode we will be introduced to the heroine Asuna and her guild and perhaps see what has happened to Klein in the 1 month that has passed.
However most of all I loved the not awkward character and power introductions. As seen in Arcana Famiglia where it all seemed forced to introduce everyone and everything in the first episode.
Looking forward to next weeks episode already and I’m off to watch the first one again.