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4.3 out of 5 stars36
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 17 April 2014
When it comes to series that are set inside a video game world they always seem to be a bit boring for numerous reasons, but Sword Art Online is different from those other series. For one thing this series is based on a series of books, or light novels, so there is only so much that could be done with it because of that.
I will say this now; if you are not a video game fan, let alone an RPG (Role Playing Game) or MMORPG (Massive Multi-player Online Role Playing Game) fan, then it is unlikely that you would enjoy this series. Some video game fans might not like it either. This is a series that you will either like or hate depending on how much you like RPG, or MMORPG, video games.

Set in the not too distant future of 2022 technology has advanced to the point that Virtual Reality (VR) technology has come around, and is used to transport people to the world of a VR video game. On the launch day for Sword Art Online the creator of the game traps people inside it, and makes it so that if you die in the game then you die in reality. If people want out of the game then they need to beat all one hundred floors and beat the final boss.
That pretty much sums up the basics, but there is more to it than just that. Through out the first half of the series it does like to focus on death, survival, and various other themes. The only problem I actually had with the first half is that there are a lot of time skips to the point that you'd wish that there would be more, so that when something happens you have a better reaction. The first half could have been at least double in length since it does span over two years of the players life.
If I start talking about the second half of the series it'll massively spoil half the series, so I'll just skip it.
(If you don't want to read any form of SPOILER's, even tiny ones, then skip this paragraph) What I will say is that at there is no real explanation to why the creator of the game did what he did, but it does leave you with enough information to speculate. Though you could sum the guy up within five minutes of seeing him on screen. There is only two words to describe him: god complex.

The series spends a good number of episodes trying to develop the main character, Kirito, and Asuna. Kirito is a solo-player and wants nothing to do with being in groups. He spends his time hunting and occasionally helping those in need, Asuna on the other hand is a bit more likable, if you are not that fond of Kirito in the first half that is. Asuna starts off, like Kirito, a solo-player but grows a lot faster than Kirito and becomes a member of a guild. Sadly she kind of gets side-lined after the second episode, then returns for a certain amount of episodes, but then get's side-lined for the remaining episodes. I can't say too much, but when she's on-screen is either an awesome character or just a casual anime girl.
The series does like to use Kirito's emotional drive a lot as the series goes on. It is because of this that the first half is so good. It is because of Kirito's fear of getting close to people and, accidently, sending them to they're deaths that really puts the viewer on the spot in certain situations.
I will say this now; there is a lot of character's in the series. Most of which only appear in one episode and are then side-lined, but have significant role to play in terms of developing Kirito. The only problem with this is that when Kirito meet's a new single female character there is a high possibility that she will end up having feelings for him by the end of the episode. The reason why this is a bad thing is because it happens in a lot of anime's for no real reason, apart from the fact that he is the main character.
I'll stop with the characters since if I talk about it too much it'll go into spoiler territory.

If you've already seen clips and trailers for this series then you'd already know that the animation is awesome. It is really high budget animation that you'd expect from the same studio behind Blue Exorcist. There's not a lot to say about it apart from the fact that the show looks beautiful, but awesome at the same time.
The sound on the other hand is really good. The dub is good and the cast nail their roles. The soundtrack on the other hand isn't as good. The soundtrack differs from awesome opening theme songs, to dull standard orchestrated music, then to interesting stand-out tracks, but then back to dull. The soundtrack is only good in certain parts of the series, but when the music get's going it really does set the scene well. This is most noticeable in the second half of the series.

For a series set around video games it's a good one. Though the show does have the tendency to side-line characters that aren't the two leads it still delivers well, though the first half could have been longer so that the emotional impact is a lot bigger. Either way the show does deliver well, despite a few nit-picks you could go into detail in.
Normally I would give a buy or rent/stream option for when I'm reviewing, but this time is a little different (ish). Each part of Sword Art Online contains five to seven episodes per set, so to recommend a buy wouldn't be the best of recommendations. Heck this series would look amazing on Blu-ray. I recommend that if you are an anime or video game fan to give this a try and to stream it. If you enjoyed it as much as I did then I would, one hundred per-cent, recommend a buy, once there is a complete series version available. I would also like to mention that you can now buy/pre-order the novels in which this series is based on now.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Manga UK isn't allowed to release Sword Art Online any other way apart from four seperate releases, so if you want to own Sword Art Online you have to buy it as four volumes.
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on 30 January 2014
Continuing on from part 1, the story continues on the players trapped in sword art online experiences and lives, as 2 years have gone by since the games launch. The main focus is on the developing relationship between Kirito and Asuna. For me Anime relationships always tend to frustrate me since nothing tends to happen as the series goes on, so for me this relationship is a nice change of pace and for the most part romantic. Although i did find episode 11 a little on the dull side.

Like the last part, the visuals in Sword Art online is stunning, with fluid animations and awesome visuals.

I can't comment on the oridinal japanese voce acting since I've only watched the english dub. the voce work in sword art online is excellent. with the English cast putting on a believable proformence, matching their characters. The best performances of the series so far go to Bryce Papenbrook (Blue Exorcist- Rin) and Cherami Leigh (Fairy Tail- Lucy) who play Kirito and Asuna.

Overall a great series in general so far, leaving me wanting more
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on 7 April 2016
The first part of this series set the stage: this delivers the rest of this particular story, and does it well. The two main characters, Kirito and Asuna, have found a routine that works well with them both, and are slowly but surely progressing part of what everyone trapped in the game hopes will resolve it. Their trouble is that Kirito can work and play well with others, but his obvious displeasure at having to do this all the time and his distaste for the group politics don't endear him to those who think they should be in charge. Asuna's problem is the old old story of being a woman with power, and there are those who will never like that combination.

The conclusion is bittersweet: not everyone gets to enjoy it, and there's a lot of unfinished business, but it's well worth seeing out.
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on 16 December 2013
Following on from the end of the first volume, Sword Art Online Part 2 continues the story of being trapped in the VRMMORPG two years after it began. On this set of episodes there is a notable shift is characters and their feelings on life, particularly between Kirito and Asuna, whose relationship is something that's very enjoyable to watch develop. So much so that you are emotionally invested when an expected shift in the story comes about. However if you're someone who's wanting battles, have no fear as you'll get your fill in this volume on both an epic and unexpected scale. There are some breathtaking moments and (without giving anything away) some major events that come about that make this volume great viewing!

If you enjoyed the first volume you'll have a great time watching this!
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on 24 June 2014
Continuing my review of Part 1, Sword Art Online is one of the most passionate and satisfying anime series I've seen in recent years. And especially in the second part, you get to witness a lot of charm and emotion. The developing relationship between Asuna and Kirito is really lovely to watch and it's surprising to see just how far they go in such a short space of time. It's true that like most animes the writers couldn't help but add in a little bit of 'fan service' to satisfy some viewers pleasures, and some of the scenes and jokes can be seen as a little bit inappropriate. But if anything else, they are little more than a bit of light-humour, which helps to keep the series from being too dark or intimidating. Of all the parts of Sword Art Online, this is perhaps the most charming one.
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on 29 November 2013
SAO episodes 1-14 are one of the few animes that after watching, I just want more. Only Neon Genesis Evangelion has left me with that feeling. SAO is an extremely good anime with high end animation. The first 14 episodes are truly spectacular, however the show goes down hill after that. Thankfully episode 14 can act as a conclusion, but the first half is very much worth picking up. Sure, it may be a bit expensive but it's affordable so I'm not complaining. Me and my friend will marathon this series when I have volumes 1 & 2, looking forward to it!
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on 16 October 2013
Okay, its all personal preference and what not, but they didn't hold any arguments, and therefore taking their advice and not buying this show would be a very silly move on your part.
Without spoiling the show, the story revolves around a young boy who is trapped inside of an online multiplayer game with his only means of escape being to essentially 'beat the game', it has romance, action, super funny scenes and memorable characters and is easily going to be a no-brainer purchase for those who have kept up with this series, this particular item is the blu-ray version, meaning the animation looks more crisp, colourful and generally of better quality, yes, the price may seem a bit high, but if your paying for these as they are released, then you have to save up £19 every other month for the next volume, which im sure even a five year old who wants everything they see can accomplish.
Personally, i think this is great value considering prices overseas are almost ludicrous for an animated series of anything! And i recommend this for people who want to see what popular anime is like nowadays, if you want to try before you buy, CrunchyRoll and other streaming websites have this series, enjoy.
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on 3 July 2014
Honestly I'm my opinion , I don't really like anime.. My friends showed me like hundreds yet I'm not interested but I saw two episode of this and I was hooked , I got part 1,2,3 and 4 on blu ray .. It's 5 star but !!! I got part 2 and there first and still haven't got part 1 and 4 , I would of thought that they would have put them all together as one package as I ordered them all at the same time and place ... It's stupid! But other than that it's amazing 5 star!!!
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on 10 March 2014
Sword art online quickly became one of my favorite anime, part 1 got me in to the story, where as part 2 made me love the charicters, yes ill admit part 2 is abit slow with not a great deal of action in the beginning, but i personaly think its a nice break from the fighting, before some big and essential fights.

All in all if you liked SAO part 1 ull love part 2.
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on 1 February 2014
just got my copy today it's a good series with excellent animation and the character of yui is on the disc which for me is cute as hell but i have to ask why is the cover on this site different from the one that's released the one on the dvd i got has at least have the picture covered in white while the one on this website gives you a full picture please explain someone
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