The Official MSBS Anime Review: Sword Art Online

ModernSpongeBobSucks Hello, happy people! My name is ModernSpongeBobSucks and this will be my first post ever on this website. After getting some inspiration from one of my friends CastlevaniaFanboy128, who does anime reviews on this website, and a YouTuber named Black Critic Guy who also does anime reviews, I felt it was about time that I start doing anime reviews as well. For my first anime review, I will be reviewing the anime series Sword Art Online. Keep in mind that I will only be reviewing the first season of Sword Art Online, which means only Aincrad and Fairy Dance (ALfheim) will be discussed. So Sword Art Online II will be reviewed for another time. This might be a long and detailed anime review, so let's get this show on the road. Link Start!

Sword Art Online takes place in the year 2022, where 10,000 players log into the new Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG) called Sword Art Online, where they use a device known as the Nerve Gear to control their in-game avatars with their bodies. But one day, the players then discover that they cannot log out of Sword Art Online. The game creator then tells them that in order to escape Sword Art Online, they must reach the 100th floor of the game and beat the final boss. But there is one cost: if they die in the game, they die in real life.

First, let's talk about the animation, art, and music. The animation is done by animation studio A-1 Pictures, the same company that animates Blue Exorcist and Fairy Tail. And for what A-1 Pictures had to offer, it spared no expense to do a solid good job at animating the vibrant, bright, colorful, and breathtaking action sequences and fighting scenes. In other words, the animation is awesome! Next, we have the art. For me, I just adored the gorgeous settings and background of each virtual world in the anime. Not to mention the character designs are great as well. To put it in simpler terms, I totally admired the artwork of the anime in its entirety. Moving on to the music, Sword Art Online has some of the best original soundtracks in all of anime. Composed by famous Japanese composer and music producer Yuki Kajiura, the same music composer for other anime series like Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Fate/Zero, iconic and legendary soundtracks like Swordland and Luminous Sword put the icing on the cake for Sword Art Online.

Now let's talk about the story. The first 14 episodes of Sword Art Online take place in, of course, Sword Art Online, in the floating castle of Aincrad. In the first few episodes of this arc, the main lead first tries to get himself to the highest level possible so he can help clear the floors and defeat the final boss and survive while he is helping people that he meets along the way. Granted, fans do tend to think he might be overpowered, which I will discuss in a later paragraph of this review. The arc does have a decent mix of action and romance throughout its run, not to mention other genres such as mystery at one point. To sum up Aincrad, this was the bread and butter of Sword Art Online. It had its up and downs, but still fleshed out to truly be a masterpiece of the first season. Moving on, the last 11 episodes of Sword Art Online take place in ALfheim Online. Now I'm going to be honest here, Fairy Dance did kind of take away from the original premise of the anime series. And I'll admit, it wasn't as good as Aincrad, but I still loved the arc regardless of it. Anyways, while the arc was basically a traditional damsel-in-distress story, the arc was still enjoyable for what it is (just not *shudders* the main villain of that arc). In fact, for all of Sword Art Online, I loved practically how the plot kept me invested and not letting myself get bored along the way. So the story is pretty solid and legitimate in conclusion.

And now for the characters. Our main hero is Kirito, a beta tester who got trapped into Sword Art Online on the first day of its release. At first, he may look like your average Gary Stu, cookie-cutter protagonist, but he turns out to be something more deep than that. He is actually quite more complex and deep in what I have seen in the anime compared to what I have heard from people. The guy has emotion and personality, which is one of the things I look for in most anime characters, badassery, one of the best character interactions among his ensemble cast, and is quite laid-back. Kirito is a character that is only strong in the virtual world, but not so much in the real world. Kirito has definitely been through a lot in his life throughout this whole anime series. Next up, we have Asuna as the main female lead of the anime. She starts out a bit mean and quite mysterious in her first appearance, not to mention strong and awesome. But as the anime series goes by, we start to see she has a bit of a soft side and that she can be sweet, kind, affectionate, but sensitive as well. However, her character later on in Fairy Dance does tie in to one major flaw that I will discuss later. Finally, we have minor characters like Klein, Agil, Sachi, Silica, and Lisbeth who are pretty likable for what they are (though, Lisbeth is a bit of a mixed thing for me). And Heathcliff is one of the coolest villains I have ever seen in anime. And Sugou... Yeah, I think you should watch Fairy Dance for yourself to see why I hate him so much.

With all of the good stuff out of the way, I think it's about time I try to go over the flaws. First, the anime does suffer from time skips, so it does make the anime look quite fast-paced to a certain degree. Not to mention that it also costs letting us see how Kirito level grinds to get so powerful in the game. Second, I was kind of a bit mad they made Asuna a damsel-in-distress in Fairy Dance. However, I did receive a breath of fresh air when she at least cleverly made an attempt to escape and to help Kirito in some way in order to help him save her. Third, the anime does contain fanservice, ranging from panning shots at the butt to even a shower scene at one point. Fourth, there were a few plot holes that I noticed in the anime. Finally, I did have a little bit of a problem with some incest in Fairy Dance. Thankfully, it wasn't MUTUAL incest that was in Fairy Dance, as Kirito does not embrace it and tries to avoid it as well.

In closing, now that I have gone over the pros and cons of this anime, I think it's safe to say that while the anime does have its flaws, it's still indeed an enjoyable anime. Whether you love it or hate it, Sword Art Online is undeniably one of the most popular anime series out there today. With a dedicated following in Japan and having done successfully internationally, Sword Art Online is definitely not a bad anime series, despite all the notorious hate for it. It might not be the best anime ever, but in my heart, it is one of my favorite anime. So now that I am done with this review, here is my final score:

9.0 out of 10.0 stars

Thanks for listening to my anime review. Please comment in the comments section below if you agree or disagree with this anime review and what anime you would like for me to review. Otherwise, my work is done here. Until then, peace!


Good review, but, it would've been better as an actual mmo. But they have some Sao games for Sony handhelds though. - Skullkid755

I will review Soul Eater in my next anime review. - ModernSpongeBobSucks

I know you're busy studying right now for exams (so am I), but I can't wait, considering you did a really good job with this! - Elric-san

Thanks for the compliment, Elric-san. However, I will have to do a LOT of research in order to give a detailed review of Soul Eater. I used what I remembered from the Sword Art Online wikia and other sources to help make this review. - ModernSpongeBobSucks

In all honesty, I don't think that Kirito had any huge secrets for his powe rin AIncrad, he just new the game extremely well is all. He even stated so himself the the reacched levels higher than all of the other Beta Testers, and how he knows a bunch of more stuff to, more than any info brokers.
Yes the timeskips ar ekinda irritating though. three oncscreen Boss Battles over the cours eof two years? *REALLY?!?!? *
We don't mention Sugou... filthy perverted man. Gosh I hate that guy so darn much! - HeavyDonkeyKong

Me too! I ought to pull the that rapist's tongue out and then tie it around his neck to make him choke to death! That aside, SAO does have its flaws, but overall, I still legitimately enjoyed it. - ModernSpongeBobSucks

I heard you couldn't message so, I'm not here for that. Instead...

So, you know my list of songs that deserve to be hated the most? And you remixed it? Well, I think you should see something: - WonkeyDude98

Ignore what I just posted, I saw your comment saying you were gonna make Baby a DHM. - WonkeyDude98

Okay. Anyways, did you enjoy my anime review of Sword Art Online, WonkeyDude98? CastlevaniaFanboy128 isn't going to be the only user doing anime reviews on this website now. By the way, do you love any anime besides Pokemon? What about the one I just reviewed now? - ModernSpongeBobSucks

Yes, no, and no. - WonkeyDude98

I'm guessing you didn't watch the anime yet or you just didn't like it. I feel a bit disappointed right now, but I respect your opinion. - ModernSpongeBobSucks

The first one. - WonkeyDude98

Hmm... If you have the time, take into account everything I said about Sword Art Online and go watch it when you have the time. But if you want to continue to suffer from Ash and Serena being annoying in the Pokemon anime, it's on you. - ModernSpongeBobSucks

Idea : you can't message people,so make a chat room post where we can talk to you and tell what we are planning and doing and have done on this site, like on a message board! Sounds good, right? - Skullkid755

Great idea, Skullkid755! That would be perfect! - ModernSpongeBobSucks

I like using this sight on my laptop more than my tablet, the laptop isn't a grammar Nazi and also has a bigger screen and typing feels better. - Skullkid755

I meant to type that comment on the chat room post. - Skullkid755

There's a user on this site called kiritotheblackswordsmen. You can find a remix he made on the list greatest anime of all time, with SAO in first place. - Skullkid755 19 new anime review. - Skullkid755

It's a good anime, I'm not the biggest fan of it but it's good. - visitor

You guys know how much I love SAO. However, just thinking about Sugou and the Fairy Dance Arc makes me want to rip my hair out! This was a good review. - Absolite

I do like this show. Kirito is great as well. Sugou is horrible. - visitor

Great review! I'm not an SAO hater or fangirl and I would've given it lower than a 9/10 but I do like all of your points. - visitor