Sword Art Online 2023-03-07

Living in the virtual world.

Stories about what happens when a MMORPG in a virtual world becomes serious enough to replace the real world. Based on the novel series of the same name, first 14 episodes is the Aincrad part, matches volumes 1-2 and parts of volume 8 of the original novel. The original novel progressed extremely fast (Aincrad was cleared in the first volume), and the anime episodes has to extrapolate some plot elements, some of which ended up in the new novel series: Sword Art Online Progressive. Viewers who started with the anime series before reading the novel is probably a bit disorientated, but this is because the anime is very faithful to the original, and has done a very good job piecing together the events in chronological order given the original material.

Next 11 episodes matches the Fairy Dance parts of the novel (volumes 3-4), here the events are very continuous and the anime episodes flow smoothly. Meanwhile, some of the sub quests of Fairy Dance were skipped in the anime, and actually the novel series is already up to volume 11. A second season is more than likely and definitely very welcomed.

Besides being true to the original work, the anime series has an all star cast for all the voices, plus Kajiura Yuki for the background music. Other than the slightly jumpy episodes for the first half, every element is very well balanced and very well done. Definitely a series worth watching again.

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