I finally watched all 25 Episodes of it and I still not sure what I liked about, but I’m certainly sure what I didn’t like about the show, it’s very well made, good character design but the story has many aspects that were lacking in my opinion.
Maybe it’s just me but it felt like a whole lot of very nice characters were underused, they just show for a 22 minutes episode then almost vanish for the rest of the show, to mention just 2 Lirica and Lisbeth, others are more regular but could have gotten a lot more time they even get important roles that were primordial for Kirito and Asuna to develop the series like Klein, there was even a close relationship established since Episode 1 that was never really exploited.
Also by the third episode or so it’s been a year or a year and a half with all tis players in this situation, it’s hard to think that nothing was done in the real world other than moving the players to hospitals which is kinda explained in the last episodes of the Sword Art Online Universe rather than an issue from the start.
But it’s all not bad, even though the setting and plot was kinda hollow and way too inconsistent to me, the characters are incredible you get to really connect with characters that show up very little like Sachi, Lirica or Eugene to mention just three and hell even Kirito’s sister Shuguha before she appears for the first time, not to mention the relationships of Kirito with all the other players like Klein and Asuna specially.
Another positive approach was the fact that you get a lot of side stories that are still important to the main so you don’t get the filler episode feeling, too bad that part at the start of the Anime, the first 7 episodes or so are just rushed up, in Episode 1 everyone is Level One and suddenly in Episode 2 Level 40 and the have just reached Floor 30 something, 2 Episodes later they’re at 50 something floor and then boom 70th floor in like 8 episodes and remain there for like the rest of the show.
I think one of the elements that kept me going was Kirito and Asuna love story, it was very nice and both of them really connect to them, it was very honest and not pulled to the point it felt cheesy or unnecessary.
The Alfheim Online part was also bittersweet for me, the main plot is nice and that last by Kirito to clear the Yggdrasil was just Epic, I loved it, but common Asuna was probably the second strongest Character in Sword Art Online and was sooooooo weak here, granted you’re going to tell me she was forced by a Game Master and there was nothing she could do, fine but she doesn’t even try, and the only time she escaped she was stupid.
The addition to Kirito’s Sister Shuguha was brilliant, and is probably the Character I liked the most of the whole series, she has a tragic storyline that never really gets better for her although at least she gets closure, but she keeps going on and ends up helping Kirito despite everything that happened and her feelings, definitely the best thing of the Anime for me.
IT was probably the Characters the ones that kept me going back to the Anime since they were so good you could easily connect to most of them, even Akihiko Kayaba in the end you can even respect him even though you wouldn’t agree with what he has done, that conclusion with his fight with Kirito was also very satisfactory, first because it’s not what you have expected to let’s get all to level 100 and fight him, but it ended just right there when he realized he and Heathcliff were the same person.
Yui was the only character that really turned me down, Kirito and Asuna didn’t need a daughter and she didn’t even supported any of the story (but it’s thanks to her that we get the saddest moment in the series which is one of my favorites as you can really feel Asuna’s pain, the image above of her kneeling on the floor crying is from that event) and then on Alfheim Online it’s not logical she is still a part of the universe.
At any rate I’ll recommend this Anime to every Otaku out there but with the following disclaimer, expect a very nice lot characters you’ll love, a very nice love story not full of cheesy drama, a light look at what we as human will do to survive but in a setting that’s a bit incoherent and rushed without much logic in te first third of the Anime.