Well, as the 2014 season of Gungale approaches, I think its time to recap on the previous virtual MMOs that made this franchise what it is. With that said, We have SAO vs ALO, so which one is better? well, for this case, i'm looking at the cartoon anime variants, so here we go!
SAO's Crossing Feilds is a very dark and serious tone, with instruments meant to sink into your bone. It fits the first season well,and the cutscene played during said intro is pretty snazzy. Thing is, its rather dark for an anime like such.
ALO's Innocence has a much lighter, fast paced rythym, and I found it easier to get accustomed to this song. I could listen to this all day. While Crossing Feild is great for setting the mood, thats all it is. Atmospheric. For Innocence, I could listen to it on any mood, and it works. Did I mention that the cutscene in it is better?
Round 1: ALO
SAO has a great sense of depth, and nothing is ever bleak. The animations are smooth and fluid, capturing the action very well. The character models are also very well polished, and nothing looks un intentionally ugly.
ALO is still lush and colorful, and with its dream like setting, it more alive than that of SAO. However, there is one thing that pisses me off. The character models. I don't if it's just me, but making the characters look like fairies result in weird bofy poportions, and overall lacking in the same charm SAO had. the only models I thought were ok were that of Leafa/Suguha, Recon, and the Sigurds.
Round 2: SAO
SAO has a dramatic and kinetic story based on our heroes fighting their way to clear a death trap MMO. It is fastpaced, kinetic, and overall just fun. There are touchy moments, heart stopping moments, all at speratic intervals to keep the pace going. Hell, there were times I cried. THATs impressive.
ALO starts off as a fun and light adventure meant to bring new comers and younger audiences to the world of SAO. However, once Kirito starts raiding the World tree, the action fall face flat into the dreaded world of cliche and places I don't want it to go. I never enjoyed an episode above ep 23.
Round 3: SAO
SAO makes use of it's dark and dramatic tone, mixing many sorts of characters into the mix to make a real world. All the characters feel real, and no one ever comes off as poorly written to me. Even minor characters like Diavel or Sachi come off as good, and thatn is note worthy. Not to forget, Asuna's and Kirito's romance is real, and I never felt like it was corny.
ALO is the opposite of SAO. It is a cheesy, lighthearted adventure that loves to make fun of previous elements, and with that said, charcter personalities pop up and stick out. Just give me a phrase to read and I probably could identify the time, caharcter, and meaning. However, this season retconned many characters, and I am not happy. Most notably Asuna. Who was once the brave and skilled clearer in SAO now is a damsel in distress. Even in SAO extra edition, she really doesn't do a whole lot, and I have enjoyed ALO less than SAO in general due to bad retcons.
Round 4: SAO
SAO has orchestral, drama tones that make the situations dire, tense, cheerful, relaxed, YOU NAME IT! I think SAO has a greay OST as it never sounds bad, and every track sounds great.
ALO retains the orchestral sounds, but mixes it with many fanfares and medievel tunes, which I think benefits. Overall, everything seems better and overall just great to listen to.
Round 5: ALO
Overall, both seasons are great, but where it counts, SAO trumps ALO in story, chracters, and pretty much anything that is realted to story and presentation. i think ALO has stronger music, but it seems they put so much effort into the OST they forgot to make a great dtory. Both are great, when it boils down to which is better, I think SAO just has alot to love, and ALO just usn't up to par with it's older cousin.