Sword Art Online Review | Full Analysis | Why Kirito and Asuna are loved and hated.

First of all welcome to our humble blog where we talk about anime and discuss the shows in depth and why they are popular or worth watching. Nobody wants to waste their time watching a trash anime, unless it's kind of a meme and will be a pop culture reference. There's been a few occasions that come to mind.


Kirito and Asuna from Sword Art Online
Kirito and Asuna from Sword Art Online

Ok, so SAO or Sword Art Online didn't have ANY hype when I started watching it way back when it came out and I found it decently entertaining at face value. My girlfriend HATES Sword Art Online so we needed to examine what was going on here.

I'm a simple man. I like some sword fighting and cute girls, so guilty there, and the Aniplex studio who pumped out this isekai weeb trap definitely snared me.

With the Sword Art Online Progressive Movie: Aria of a Starless Night Release on December 3rd 2021, the series has been thrust back into light and is gaining more popularity for the Sword Art Online Novels, Movies, and Video Game series.

Current Sword Art Online Releases


Sword Art Online

Sword Art Online Gun Gale

Sword Art Online Alicization

Arc 1: Aincrad

Arc 2: Fairy Dance

Arc 3: Phantom bullet

Side 1: Calibur

Side 2: Mother's Rozario

Arc 4: Alicization

Arc 4 part 2: Alicization Rising

Arc 4 part 3: Alicization Uniting

Arc 4 part 4: Alicization Invading

Arc 4 part 5: Alicization Exploding

Arc 4 part 6: Alicization Awakening

Arc 4 part 7: Alicization Lasting

Light Novels

30 light novels

Sword Art Online Manga

12 manga


Oh and can we take a break real quick to say that Crossing Fields the intro song is an actual bop? Like, wow. That song just goes too hard. I can literally listen to it in the gym and get some serious work done or run super far. There's just something about a MASTERPIECE of an intro song that gives the anime some watch ability. Thank you LiSA for the freaking hits, not even to mention Gurenge from Kimetsu No Yaiba (Demon Slayer). A serious gift the the earth.

Table of Contents

We are going to analyze the anime a bit in depth and take multiple viewpoints to understand what makes sword art online something that I watched 3 seasons of but didn't really enjoy after the 1st one. I think I kept watching because I was waiting for it to get better and it just kept getting worse.

Similarly, I really enjoyed Log Horizon and Konosuba as Isekais go but they just fell victim to the speed at which SAO was able to vomit out episodes and snag air time globally.

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Sword Art Online worth watching?

Yes, it's a quality drawn serious with huge popularity despite mixed reviews. I would suggest just watching the first season as it gets bad after that. Watching the first season should give you enough knowledge about the show to discuss it with friends and form your own opinion on it's quality.

Why did SAO get so bad?

SAO took a turn for the worse when they started changing the rules of the plot and trying to pump in more unnecessary fan service. Kirito was relatable in season 1 because he had a growth arc and was trying to find himself, and real emotions were conveyed. Once he was the strongest character in the game, he lost his values and became someone else. The inconsistencies of the character development led audiences to lose interest.

Why is Sword Art Online hated?

Sword Art Online has mainly gathered hate from audiences around the world for the characters being written and portrayed in a sexual manner with non consensual themes. There is a molestation / rape fantasy portrayed by the writers that doesn't translate well outside of Japan, and when the story started deviating from the MMO Massive Multiplayer Online story of a character surviving and growing to a defunct love story involving a sad overpowered player, viewers were mainly disgusted and ready to move on.

Why is Sword Art Online so good?

Sword Art Online has a great isekai theme, talented voice actors and awesome illustration and animation. Many people in Japan grew a huge following to SAO, and having loved :hack// and phantasy star as a kid, I was not stranger to the allure of shows like this at first.

Sword Art Online Review (Synopsis)

Sword Art Online Characters Fan Art
Sword Art Online Characters Fan Art

In a nutshell, this anime is great until it's not.

The premise is kind of exciting, a character buys a game that allows him to enter into a virtual world where he can team up with friends and fight battles, kinda like where we are headed with meta and the oculus equipment? Or a bad version of VR Chat?

The game comes with gear that lets the user feel reality and experience physiological changes to their real body that are made in the game, like pain. This sounds like an anime version of Ready Player One.

Anyway, the Main Character Kirito finally gets his game but everyone gets stuck inside and when you die, then you do in real life.

The story evolves from just surviving to solving the crisis, and they show some great character development at first as this story unfolds.

SAO Insights and Thoughts

There are countless reasons for die-hard fans to stick with the show, but there is an equally long list of reasons for haters to stay away.

Sword Art Online superfans, or those who have seen the series through all four seasons, have praised the show's progression over the years. Season after season, things have gotten better. The series' major focus shifts with each new arc, and the stakes for Kirito and his companions continue to escalate as the story continues.

Fans and critics alike are intrigued by Sword Art Online, which, despite its controversies, has become one of the most popular and polarizing anime programs of the last decade. Viewers are generally divided into two groups: ardent supporters who hail the program as a game-changer in the isekai genre, and outspoken opponents who are perplexed as to how and why the program has garnered such widespread appeal. What was it about Sword Art Online's success that sparked such excitement in the anime community?

Fighting sequences in Sword Art Online are fascinating to watch and wonderfully drawn, even in the show's weaker seasons and arcs, and this is true even in the show's lesser seasons and arcs.

SAO fan art of the anime characters
SAO fan art of the anime characters

Finally, Kirito's transformation from a shy loner in the real world to a revered video game hero is a compelling story that will appeal to a wide spectrum of people. Kirito's story has a powerful emotional impact on viewers, which may explain why the anime has been popular for so long. Kirito was portrayed in the first season of the show as a reclusive homebody with few outside of school connections who spent the majority of his time crouched over a computer, working on his computer. His real-life persona, on the other hand, has changed drastically as a result of his interactions with other players. If he and his lover, Asuna, can ever escape the Underworld, they hope to further their education at a prominent university in the United States. His social circle has grown significantly since he first arrived.

There's no doubting that the anime Sword Art Online is a visually stunning piece of work. On the surface, it appears to be a surefire winner, given to its strong concept and abundance of action. There are a few problematic character behaviors, but the overarching story is quite consistent for the first 14 episodes or so of the season. As the show's dynamics shift, there is less suspense and excitement in the second half than there was in the first. A few instances of poor writing and stereotypical characters make this anime more disappointing than it should be, and hence less enjoyable.

To leave the game, players must fight and kill 100 levels' worth of opponents and monsters, which takes up the first half of the game; the second half of the game is dedicated to insuring their survival. Players die in the game, and as a result of their choices, they die in real life. The story suddenly jumps forward about 20 levels, skipping over a lot of the training and action that had transpired up to this point. Temporal jumps that take the characters two years into the future are interspersed with filler as well as high-octane drama and action. Fortunately, most of this can be disregarded due to the unified plot. However, after a fantastic mid-season conclusion, the second half of this season entirely undoes the first half's wonderful work.

Sword Art Online is a visual feast for the senses. The use of brilliant colors brings to life colorful RPG components such as health bars and objects. When enemies are defeated, they shatter into crystallized shards, and the series' symphonic score gives the impression that the players are in an MMO. The hand-drawn anime aesthetic infuses each scene with a sense of whimsy and pleasure. Sword Art Online has a visual advantage over other animes because of the consistent degree of detail and usage of color throughout the series, particularly in the later stages.

Sword Art Online features a number of issues that are hidden beneath its visually appealing design. Kirito (Papenbrook/Yoshitsugu Matsuoka) and Asuna's Asuna (Bryce Papenbrook) play important roles in the plot (Haruka Tomatsu). Their plot arc is well-written, but it's only about the thickness of a sheet of paper. As the two characters' friendship develops, it is gradually shown that Asuna's character degrades, and by the end of the series, she is a shell of her former self. Kirito is a famous example of a "bland" anime protagonist, with over-powered attacks and a formulaic personality that makes him difficult to distinguish from other anime characters. All of the female characters in the program are either weak or infatuated with Kirito, undermining the wonderful work done in the first few episodes.

Asuna wielding a Sword performing magic arts
Asuna wielding a Sword performing magic arts

The second half of Sword Art Online overshadows the wonderful work done in the first half of the series due to an unnecessary and difficult storyline twist. Furthermore, the characters' ambitions, as well as the reasons behind the game's design and player entrapment, are blithely discarded. Characters and protagonists in Sword Art Online aren't very unique, and the series as a whole has lost a lot of its luster since its first release. Sword Art Online, on the other hand, has some redeeming features, like great aesthetics, a dramatic soundtrack, and a well-paced first half of gameplay. It's a shame that the second half of this anime was handled so poorly, because the overwhelming sensation felt by most viewers as soon as the credits rolled was disappointment rather than excitement. Because of the bad writing, it was difficult to understand the plot of Sword Art Online throughout its first few seasons. Throughout the first arc, "Aincrad," the pacing was variable, and at times downright shaky. Despite the fact that the episodes jumped back and forth between years and months with little explanation to compensate, this was primarily due to the fact that Season 1 had 25 episodes and Season 2 had 24, which was a hurried attempt to cover a big number of tales in 25 episodes. As a result of this hasty writing method, several viewers have expressed unhappiness with the show's lack of concentration as well as the shallow features of the characters.

The third season of Sword Art Online debuted in 2019, and the majority of the technical issues have been rectified since then, and will continue to be a constant in Season 4. Despite these technological advancements, Sword Art Online detractors have been expressing their discontent with the game for nearly a decade. There is also another critical point to consider.

Sword Art Online Analysis and Audience Opinions

This series' light novels are well-known, and I've read them all. 'It's also one of the best books I've read in a long time.' The bond between Asuna and Kirito, as well as the grandeur of the planet, are wonderful, and the plot twists will leave you wanting more. This is the anime for you if you want a beautiful story, have played any RPGs, or love a little romance mixed with action and suspense. The anime has already covered a substantial chunk of volume 2 of the sword art series, so the main and fantastic storyline will continue from here.

So there you have it. SAO has become one of the most contentious anime in recent years. Some consider it to be one of the best, while others consider it to be rubbish, and still others simply ask, "hey guys, can't we all just have different opinions?" I loathe groups one and two in particular with all my heart. I'm going to write a review to explain why I think it's a waste of time. What exactly are we waiting for?

Sinon from Gun Gale Sword art online 2
Sinon from Gun Gale Sword art online 2

Despite the fact that "trapped in a video game" has been done many times before, the premise of SAO was intriguing. The plot then devolved into chaos. Several significant events occur off-screen, but they are never mentioned again or explained in depth.

This occurs on occasion with titles such as "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," and "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," which sweep the audience away and leave them with a terrible taste in their mouths. Online communities, forums, chat rooms, and every other section of the internet known to man evolve into debating grounds. A popular product does not always get to bask in the adoration that it deserves. It's difficult to keep up with the bombardment of criticism that comes with acclaim. Finally, it should be recognized that popularity does not always correspond to excellence.

Sword Art Online, or SAO as it is colloquially known, is no exception.

SAO, based on Kawahara Reki's light novel series, has been the most talked about show of the Summer and Fall 2012 seasons, with mixed reviews indicating that it will likely remain so for a long time. As a result, the creative team of SAO aimed to produce an engaging work by basing their work on the intriguing premise of "players in a VRMMORPG where death is comparable to death in real life, and clearing the game is their only way out." It's bad that SAO fails to live up to expectations, but it's also unfortunate that the first episode was so promising and created the idea that this was a program worth watching, only for things to go wrong after that. One of the most contentious anime series in recent years has arrived.

Let's get one thing straight before we begin the review. I haven't read the original light novels as far as I know. As a result, I won't be comparing it to the anime. Now that it's out of the way, let's get on with it.

On the surface, SAO appears to have an innovative and well-executed concept. A large gang intends to embark on an adventure after logging into a VRMMORPG, only to be terrified when they discover the game's horrible truth. In the first episode, this concept was successfully realized. In my perspective, it's a solid start. Having said that, it just takes a few episodes for SAO to reveal its true colors and then deliver a crushing blow to my expectations and enthusiasm.