So, so good!
Those were my first thoughts upon finishing the Aincrad Arc (the first 14 episodes) of the anime Sword Art Online.
I’ve heard that Sword Art Online, in some circles, is to anime what Twilight is to romance — an embarrassment. And I’ve got to say: Judging by the first 14 episodes, I don’t understand why.
I knew that Sword Art Online was a controversial anime…
…and so I went into it watching like a hawk for anything that would make me do this:
But, I didn’t find anything. For example: There were two moments that had me thinking “Come on, Kirito. Why are you doing that?”* But nothing that made me go “Kirito, you’re the worst.” Why Kirito did what he did, and felt the way he felt, was, for the most part, understandable.
I liked exploring the world.
I liked meeting the people in it.
There is one moment that could come across as gratuitous:
I say “could” because I can see how this moment would happen:
Asuna, while running away from her bodyguard, uses a Teleport Crystal. Asuna’s forward momentum — from running — causes her to fly forward as soon as she gets to wherever she teleports to. Causing her to knock over Kirito and end up on top of him. Also: According to the Sword Art Online wikia, the only thing you have to do to use a Teleport Crystal is hold out the crystal, say “Teleport,” then say the name of the place you want to teleport to. You don’t have to be standing still in order to teleport — you can teleport while running.
Otherwise: Nothing made me think “Why’d they put that in there?” I understood why what was happening was happening. For example:
Kirito’s and Asuna’s relationship had me going “Aww!”
I’m a sucker for A.I.
It made me think. For example: More than once I pondered the question “What is ‘real’?”
It almost made me cry.
It even reminded me of shows I used to watch on Saturday morning, like Yu-Gi-Oh!
Sword Art Online was everything that I want an anime to be, and more.
I can’t wait to watch it again.
*1) When Kirito gloats about how knowledgeable he is about Sword Art Online at the end of episode 2, “Beater,” and 2) When Kirito insists, in episode 7, “The Temperature of the Heart,” that Lisbeth not come with him on a quest for crystals because, he basically says, she’d get in his way.