“If we make it back to the real world, I’ll find you again and fall in love with you again.”
– Asuna, episode 11
Sword Art Online (SAO) has caused quite a bit of controversy being touted as both the best and worst anime of 2012. With large numbers of people at both extremes of the spectrum, I think it’s necessary to get down to the details on what makes Sword Art Online good or bad.
First off, for anyone that has been living under a rock for the past year, Sword Art Online is a 25 episode adventure-romance produced by Aniplex and directed by Atsuhiro Iwakami. The plot summary is as follows (courtesy of MAL):
In the near future, a Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG) called Sword Art Online has been released where players control their avatars with their bodies using a piece of technology called Nerve Gear. One day, players discover they cannot log out, as the game creator is holding them captive unless they reach the 100th floor of the game’s tower and defeat the final boss. However, if they die in the game, they die in real life. Their struggle for survival starts now…
The main character, Kirito, is determined to complete the game and return to the real world. Within the game, he meets Asuna, who he develops a relationship with.