I recently watched a pretty cool SAO AMV. I wanted to watch the anime for a while, so I finally started watching it yesterday… and finished episode 21/25 the same day. If I started a few hours ealier, I would’ve made it. And now I have to wait after my next test to finish up the last episodes.
I know there’s a lot of people who really love this anime, but also a lot of people who think it’s horribly overrated. I understand both of them. Peronally, I’d rate the first part of the anime up until episode 14 with an 8 oder even a 9/10. I really loved the SAO-arc. It was exciting, the action was very well done and the love story was super cute.
Even though the male lead still was the most powerful among the main group, the female lead was basically an action hero by herself. It was so funny to see during their honeymoon when Asuna went to kick some ass, everyone around was totally freaking out and Kirito stayed totally cool. They suited each other so well and I loved seeing a strong couple. As much as Kirito was protecting Asuna, she was also protecting him. Without her, he would’ve died in SAO.
And then came the second part of the anime and Asuna was downgraded to the damsel in distress. And the guy who wants to marry her? He’s just creepy and let’s not forget she’s still underage with her 17 years and he’s a grown adult. And the creepyness doesn’t stop here, because of course Kiritos real life sister is actually only his counsin and that makes it totally ok for her to have a huge crush on him.
What’s with these creepy relationships in the second part of the anime? Sure, they don’t go anywhere, but I still feel very uncomfortable watching it. I guess at least the incest-love from his cousin is meant to be fanservice, because basically her entire character is fanservice. She serves a proper role by showing Kirito around in ALO and helping him to get to the World Tree, but her love towards her supposed brother plus seeing her half naked at least 3 times until now can only be explained by fanservice. Which really pisses me off, because SAO was such a great anime in it’s first half without obvious fanservice measures.
You know, an anime like Shokugeki no Soma shows you right off the bat you have to expect fanservice and that’s fine. However, it the anime has kept it to a minimum until more than halfway through and then decides to throw in much more fanservice moments, it’s much more annoying, because you don’t expect the fanservice to go up all of a sudden.
And then there’s the world of Alfheim Online. We’ve spent 14 episodes and 2 years in SAO, so it’s world was familiar and the players were all experts by that point, otherwise they would’ve been dead by that point. Now, Kirito starts as a total noob in an otherwise overpowered avatar in this new world. The problem is, he and the audience both don’t really have time to get used to this new world, as there’s this 1 week time limit. Sure, Kirito is kind of getting how magic works in battle, but he’s overall still trying to fight like he did in SAO, because that’s what he’s familiar with.
And I don’t like the world of Alfheim. It’s like SAO, but totally different at the same time. I dislike the entire fairy-theme and does really nobody notice anything about Kirito? He’s the one who beat SAO, I’m pretty sure that made the news and absolutely nobody suspects a thing when a player with the same name equipped like a noob, but with crazy stats, suddenly pops up? Really? Nobody? It also amazes me Suguha hasn’t noticed yet it’s her brother she’s guiding to the World tree, but I guess she thinks he wouldn’t want to play such a game ever again after what happend in SAO, just like Asuna’s fiancé.
I would’ve preferred the anime to end after episode 14 and just give Asuna and Kirito a happy end at that point. The ALO arc is much weaker than the SAO arc, downgrades well known characters and is just plain aweful at some points. If it had to be 25 episodes, I would’ve loved to see 25 episodes in SAO with a happy end. Furthermore, I don’t think I’ll be watching Swords Art Online II.