If you are a new anime fan or just plain looking for an anime recommendation, people will surely mention the anime Sword Art Online. Despite the negative views and rants, it is still the third most popular anime in MyAnimeList with over 880,000 members who watched it. But why do people always recommend Sword Art Online no matter which genre you’re asking for?
Sword Art Online is an anime named according its own virtual reality game in the story. The anime is set in the year 2022 where gamers play using a helmet-like console called NerveGear. Using only the players’ thoughts, they are able to navigate the virtual world named Aincrad. However, the main character, Kirito, and the other 10,000 players in the game are trapped and one player must finish all 50 levels before they could log out. To make thing worse, once they die in the game, they also die in real life.
Sword Art Online has it all!
For those who have watched the anime, they cannot deny the fact that Sword Art Online is a little bit of everything. Although the it has the major genre tags in it, the anime has all of the necessary elements packed in its 24 episodes. We will explain to you all the genres that are not tagged but are still associated with SAO.
Sword Art Online tried to have its own drama. The thing is that it did try way too hard but failed miserably. It could play with your emotion if you have grown attached to either one of the characters.
Harem means that the main character has more than one possible love interest. It’s a surprise that Sword Art Online isn’t known for this genre. Kirito, the main character, has more than one girl fuming over him. Even though SAO is not like the well-known harem anime with lots of fanservice, it succeeded in providing more than one female character that fans will love.
Mystery, Super Power, and Magic
It’s no surprise that Sword Art Online will be recommended in these genres. SAO has a couple of filler arcs that fits the mystery genre although they are unnecessary. The main character Kirito is also a Gary Stu and is way too OP. He doesn’t have super powers and magic but it seems like it when he beats down everyone in his way without batting an eye.
Sci-Fi and Thriller
The virtual reality setting is not new to animes but Sword Art Online used this setting really well. It is perhaps its most unique quality aside from the successful romance only a few harem anime has. Although no longer science fiction, a console being controlled only by the player’s own thought is still far from happening.
Don’t flip out yet! Yes, Sword Art Online has a psychological element into it although it is very subtle. In the first arc, the game developer explains why he trapped the players inside his game. His reason is still wrong but it is still a good thought to ponder upon.
Sword Art Online is not the best anime and one might say that it doesn’t even deserve the hype and its popularity but one cannot disagree that the anime series is quite entertaining. The pacing is just right, has great animation and character design. No matter what, Sword Art Online is now part of the classics.
What do you think about Sword Art Online? Do you think that it is overrated? Or do you think everyone must see this anime? Meanwhile, check out this trailer for Sword Art Online Movie: Ordinal Scale released by AniplexUS.