Friday, 12 August 2016

Sword Art Online Anime

Ni hao

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I think this is my first anime post since my hiatus and I decided on an anime that has been really popular lately: Sword Art Online.

Sword Art Online is often shortened and known as SAO and the anime is created from the light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by abec. The anime adaptation was announced in 2011 and is directed by Tomohiki Ito with music by Yuki Kajiura. The anime is produced by Aniplex and animated by A-1 pictures.
The first season was aired between July 7th 2012 and December 22nd 2012, it was also streamed via Crunchyroll and Hulu. As I mentioned above the series is based off the light novels and season one is adapted from the first 4 volumes as well as parts of volume 8. The first season contains 25 episodes which is in turn split into 2 story arcs: Arc 1 Aincrad has 14 episodes where Arc 2 Fairy Dance has 11 episodes.

The first season has 2 opening themes with the first one being my favourite and 3 ending themes one of which is the first opening theme which is used for the final episode. I want to share these with you below.
Opening 1 - LiSA - Crossing Field

She also released the track in English.

Opening 2 - Eir Aoi - Innocence
By Ma fer

Ending 1 - Haruka Tomatsu - Yume Sekai

Ending 2 Luna Haruna - Overfly
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The first season follows Kirito (real name Kazuto Kirigaya), a beta tester for the online virtual reality game named Sword Art Online. On the launch day all the players are unable to log out of the game Kirito and new friend Klein notice that the log out button is missing and put it down to a glitch in the game, later SAO creator Akihiko Kayaba confirms the worst to the players that it's in fact not a glitch and the log out button has in fact been removed and the only way to return to the real world is to complete the game by beating the levels and the final boss, and that if they die in the game then their bodies die in the real world too. By the end after gaining and losing friends 2 skilled swordsmen team up to complete the death game: they are Kirito and Asuna.

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Arc 2 follows Kirito 3 months after the end of the death game in Aincrad, with Asuna in a coma and held captive in another online virtual reality game: Alfheim Online(ALO). In ALO the player takes on the role of fairies, all with different powers. Kirito heads into Alfheim Online in the bid to rescue Asuna and along the way makes new friends, one of which is a female fairy named Leafa.

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Andrew started watching this anime long before me and kept telling me I needed to watch it, he was constantly watching it to the point when I decided to give the series a try I'd already seen quite a few of the episodes and lost interest. It wasn't till my hiatus I decided to give SAO another try. I'd already seen a majority of the Aincrad Arc and either though I didn't feel hooked I pushed past all my sighs and eye rolls and continued to watch it. I was honestly surprised with myself for the fact that as the credits were rolling at the end of the Aincrad Arc I was crying and applauding it, gutted that that was the end. I was more hooked on the Fairy Dance Arc with the suspense of when and where Kirito would find out that Leafa was actually his sister (she's really his cousin, both were lead to believe they were siblings). I love the animation for both Arcs but I think I lean more towards Fairy Dance because it's a lot more colourful. I think what may surprise SAO fans is that I'm personally not drawn to Kirito and Asuna as a couple, I think this is the first anime I've watched where I've not really liked the lead characters and not fancied the lead male character. My favourite characters are actually characters you don't see as often as Kirito and Asuna and they are Klein and Leafa. I've seen a lot of people comment that SAO is overrated and don't understand why it's as popular as it is, with many also stating that it's changed to follow the romance of Kirito and Asuna, with fans of the light novels have stated that it follows the light novels. I personally found the romance part boring to the point I was rolling my eyes and calling bullshit. I love romance manga and anime so I don't think that was because I was against it, I think it's because I'm not really into Asuna and Kirito. I recently read that as a couple they may not get a happy ending and as bad as it sounds that made me happy. Overall I think Sword Art Online is a series I would recommend anyone to watch that hasn't. I think if I'd not already seen a majority of the episodes so many times already I would have got into it a lot quicker. I'm looking forward to the film being released as well as season 3 (season 2 to be posted in a future post) and I'm curious on how it's going to work as a live-action TV series. If you like action, romance, comedy and edge of the seat moments then I highly recommend watching Sword Art Online. The complete 1st season is still available dubbed on Netflix and both season 1 and 2 are available subbed on Crunchroll.

Have you watched Sword Art Online?
Are you a fan?
Who are your favourite characters?
Let me know in the comments below.

See you soon!

Zai Jian

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