Being completely honest, I had some trouble choosing this one. On the one hand it would have been pretty easy to rant about series that had disappointed me, but on the other I found it tough to pick a specific one which had left me truly disheartened. So I turned to the side of light and a veritable wave of names popped into my head! I eventually settled on Sword Art Online as the series which had given me one of the worst/best case of the feels, good and bad (excluding the emotional roller coasters of Plastic Memories and the like).
I’ll drop a quick note that I’m talking about the first half of the first season here. In my mind the second half often gets glossed over or completely ignored as it was so much of a let down in comparison to the Aincrad arc. But in itself it isn’t actually a bad show so when you watch it (and I really hope you do!) try and keep that in mind.
On top of this, the second series brings back a lot of the things i truly loved and brought the series back to some of its former glory in my eyes. A fellow reviewer has chosen this series as their connection so if you’re interested click HERE and give it a read.
Now, to the important bit, the show itself!
For those of you who haven’t had this show on your radar I’ll also give a quick summary. The year is 2022 and a group of people have become trapped in the show’s namesake MMORPG, Sword Art Online, on its release day, and their deaths in game may be a little more permanent than they might expect. They are given an item which causes the player’s avatar to revert to their day to day appearance (and even gender in some cases…) which gives some cheap laughs and removes their perceived separation from reality. The main character, in game name Kirito, quickly comes to terms with what has happened and sets off to defeat the floor bosses, clear the game and free himself and the other newly found residents of Aincrad before the comatose state of their real bodies proves too much.
This suddenly serious scenario the characters find themselves in leads to all kinds of strife. On top of this the writer’s decision to allow well written and seriously likable characters to… not remain alive for the sake of the story causes some desperately sad scenarios which really hit home.
Though that’s not saying it’s all downhill. The lows in the series really allow the high points to lift the audience, and personally had me jumping about in my chair! One such high point is the relationship between Kirito and Asuna. Not really a spoiler (I hope…) as it was clearly going to happen, even in episode one, and I would have blown a fuse if they’d ignored it! All of the terrible things going on around them bring their pure relationship into its own light and gives every little thing some serious weight. It’s a pretty common thing in the show and so you’d think it would wear after a while, but it never stops being effective (at least for me). Big thumbs up to the script writers all around for their work on this feels train!
What’s more, ‘Crossing Field’ – Lisa (the opening song), soundtrack, smooth fighting animation and general quality of the show do nothing but add to the impression it leaves and if you haven’t already I hope you find the time to watch this!