Kirito dealing the LA on Illfang


I’m quite a big fan of the Sword Art Online light novels. How well does the anime adapt it?

Not bad. The interesting thing about the light novels is that the first book features Asuna and Kirito is basically a huge buffet of surprises. It’s like going to a Chinese buffet and seeing frog legs… but they taste like sweat and sour pork. And the sweat and sour pork tastes like ice cream. And the ice cream, well, that’s a mystery. The second volume then goes back fills in side stories featuring Kirito’s harem. Based on the preview for episode three, it looks like the anime is going chronological.

The animation by A-1 is pretty good and on-par or better than Sunrise’s Accel World (with much better character design than Accel World), and the fight scenes are done quite well. I’m enjoying the weird sword art sound effects too. The background characters don’t move a lot, and the monsters could be a bit more detailed, but overall not bad animation.

Maybe it’s been a while, but I always thought Asuna and Kirito interacted (with admiring eyes instead of the hostility) like Kiritsugu and Saber until the later floors.

This dude is as annoying as the shrimp on Space Brothers. I hope he gets killed by one of those damn act 2 bees from Diablo 3. His logic of, “Hey, the beta testers [who cleared like 8 of 100 floors] are keeping secrets from us!” Really? This is like saying:

A. Kanako is keeping the secrets to living with an evil, masochist cross-dresser. B. Shaq is keeping the secrets on making free throws. C. The Office is keeping the secrets on how not the jump the shark. Repeatedly. D. Horo~n is keeping the secrets on how to be modest.

Kirito and Asuna eating bread

Kirito and Asuna

Impresses cute girl with food loot– quickly alienates her with “I play way too much MMORPGs!” gibberish. Kirito, you’re a smooth man. Though with all the food and cooking talked about Sword Art Online, there was never a side story involving Iron Chef Aincrad, which would be awesome, but not as awesome as Iron Chef Westeros. But still quite awesome.

Best part of the first episode? When everyone reverts to their true image. Ouch. The sudden 70/30 cute fairy princess/male ratio suddenly turned into the world’s second greatest sausage fest (just a tad behind any IEEE symposium). I also like the added touch where the men who were using female avatars got stuck using female clothes. Classy.

(And how exactly do you calibrate a machine such that it scans your body? Do you rub the nerve gear all over your body as if it’s maple syrup? I mean, it’s a damn helmet. It would make a lot more sense if the thing had a camera or something on it.)

(Though I can already imagine the reviews for this game: “Got trapped inside, almost died, lots of bad tasting food, but still better than The Old Republic.”

Klein and Kirito stares at each other's true appearance

Klein and Kirito

Decent pacing, good animation, pulpy action, romance and harem elements, and light comedy makes Sword Art Online pretty much what I expected it to be. If you enjoyed the original light novels, this show should be a no-brainer.

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