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Sword Art Online – Anime Adaption rough review

With the completion of reading the original light novels of Sword Art Online volumes 1 – 4 including 8 and watching the anime adaption. It was a long, enjoyable experience.  Note: scoring is based on 5/5 (0 – lower with 5 highest rating) and by letter grade (-F – lowest with +A – Perfect)

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As per usual of an anime adaption. You can not expect an adaption to be 100% to the original source. Overall, Sword Art Online (SAO) TV was executed in a manner that is quite enjoyable and the journey with memorable characters. Here is the rough review of the anime adaption to Reki Kawahara’s, early works, Sword Art Online.

Animation: 4.5 / 5 : A

The animation of SAO TV was great. Regarding the battle scenes, the flow, movement, expressions and skills execution in each battle represented what an MMO is like. Just as Reki Kawahara desird as he wrote the original web novel of SAO. Outside of battles, the animation looked great and added to the feel. The scenes in the anime adaption resembled what I imaged, as I read the original light novels. As a result, the animation for scenes and battles sequences was pleasing at the least.

Art: 4.5 / 5 : A

The character designs are close to their original, source material, character designs. The background artwork and CGI looked nice and the final scenes of the Aincrad arc was beautiful. I couldn’t ask for more. In Fairy Dance, the world that was animated for us resembled what I imaged as I read the light novels and this made the transition between arcs enjoyable.

Music: 4.5 / 5 : A

The original soundtracks for Sword Art Online did not feel out of place and added to the scene. Watching the battles with the soundtrack during the Aincrad arc was essentially amazing. First opening, Crossing Fields by LiSA, conveys the mood of SAO beautifully. The opening theme to the Fairy Dance arc INNOCENCE by Eir Aoi suits the overall theme of the Fairy Dance arc. The other themes, Yume Sekai by Haruka Tomatsu, and Overfly Luna Haruna fits SAO. The music overall is quite respectable to the world of SAO and adds to the feel of the scene.

Story: 4.5 / 5 : A

The story board members of the anime adaption had to make a decision, cut more or… cut even MORE from the original source material. They could have gotten away with using all 25 episodes for the Aincrad arc, and we would have been left with a climax where we would be on the edge of our seats thinking; “What…. I want more, please give more. NO~ why do I have to wait?” To make the decision to fit the Aincrad and Fairy Dance arcs of SAO into 25 episodes. To be able to leave us with a great feeling of satisfaction after watching the TV adaption. It is quite hard to pull off and they pulled it off with some respect. Even though there has been a reception of less favour for the Fairy Dance arc because of the drama. I enjoyed the drama and the reminders of reality and the virtual world being two sides of the coin. Not many series pull this off with a reasonable level of success. Because of this, it added to the world and story of SAO and to see it being animated. It was one of those things I am thankful they pulled it off. There were a key scenes in the original light novels where my eyes had tears forming on the sides. Thankfully I was able to have those moments with my eyes welling up again (with satisfaction and happiness), as I watched the TV adaption.


To sum up my feelings of SAO TV. Both Aincrad and Fairy Dance were enjoyable. After the last episode of Sword Art Online TV. I was left with a feeling of great satisfaction and felt happy going through the adventure again. The story elements Kawahara used as the pillars that held up Sword Art Online leaves with the question. What is true Reality and What is the Virtual world?

The final review score for the anime adaption of Sword Art Online; 18 out of 20 : A.

A must watch anime for the majority. Rarely I will state this; “If you are new to the world of anime, Sword Art Online TV deserves to be on your list of very first anime series to watch.”

If you are interested in watching Sword Art Online: http://www.crunchyroll.com/sword-art-online

Image source; Crunchyroll’s Sword Art Online page

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