Sword Art Online is set in the year 2022, and Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing has become commonplace. Sword Art Online, a highly anticipated game, is released on November 6, 2022. The game is used with NerveGear, a Virtual Reality helmet that stimulates a user's five senses through their brain in order for them to experience and control their in-game characters with their mind.
At the beginning of the series, we meet Kirito, the main character of the series. He was one of the 1,000 beta testers for the game, so he's rather familiar with it. He meets up with Klein, a friendly newcomer to the game. Kirito teaches Klein the basics of the game, and a friendship forms.
Suddenly, a bell rings, and all of the players are forced into a teleportation back to the main login area of the game. The game's creator suddenly manifests himself into the game, although his face is hidden. He has disabled the game's logout button and presents a challenge to the players. In order to log out, players must reach the 100th floor and defeat the final boss. If their avatars die in the game, then the players die in real life. Also, if people in the real world try to remove the VR helmet, then the player will die in the real world. The series follows Kirito as he tries to make it through the game and win his freedom.
The animation is decent, but the overall premise of this series really requires a viewer to have a strong "willing suspension of disbelief." Right at first, it's not too bad, but after the game creator manifests into the game and starts laying out his challenge, I found my "willing suspension of disbelief" was weakening. I totally lost that ability at the end, where it says that within the first month of the game, 2,000 out of the 10,000 who had logged in on November 6, 2022 had died.
As I saw that, I was like, "Okay, so that's 2,000 counts of murder, plus 8,000 counts of unlawful imprisonment. And I'm sure that the family of at least some of the 2,000 deceased players would have filed wrongful death suits with the game manufacturer, so I find it hard to believe that the manufacturer could continue to stay in business. And if the manufacturer can't stay in business, wouldn't it then cause the game to be shut down and force the players trapped in it to be logged out?"
Overall, I think Sword Art Online would be best appreciated by viewers who have a strong "willing suspension of disbelief" or by viewers who don't really have much understanding of the legal implications involved with the premise of the series. After watching the first episode, I would personally recommend Sword Art Online to anime viewers who are 14 or 15 years of age and older.
|Sword Art Online||25||2012||Tomohiko Ito||A-1 Pictures||Aniplex of America|