This is why SAO sucks

I never did make a review on Sword Art Online, because I felt like everything I wanted to say had already been said by other people. Writing my opinion on it would be redundant (I thought at the time). But I have since had a change of heart, after running into a certain someone at Anime & Games Society. This particular individual managed to insult me quite deeply by stating that the reason I didn’t like the anime must be because I don’t play video games myself. I didn’t speak to him any more at the time, but he led me to ponder for some time after. Firstly, he was wrong (on so many levels), because SAO is nowhere near a great anime, right? Secondly, can you enjoy a show even if you don’t know its context to real life?

In this first post, out of two, I’ll be covering these questions. Starting off by explaining why SAO isn’t a great anime. (THERE WILL BE SPOILERS).

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate SAO. I was very much entertained by the anime, and ended up giving it 6/10, meaning it was a fine show. However, I do have some massive problems with how it was executed.


SAO has one of the strongest opening episodes in anime history, competing with shows like Shingeki no Kyojin. There is something sinister in the air when we are introduced to this fantasy world made from technology, a dream come true for so many gamers. And when the players are trapped inside this death game, shit gets real, and that is a very interesting premise. The problem with all this, is that the anime doesn’t deliver. It spends a few episodes setting up for what you’d expect to be an adventure. You expect action, danger, character building. You expect people to go crazy in there, not being able to separate reality from fantasy anymore, perhaps even forget about their former lives.

Instead, we have Kirito’s struggles with his antisocial behaviour. He’s in an MMO. A game created so that in order to advance, you have to team up with other players. And yet, it seems like Kirito manages to level up all on his own. He’s just too over powered, just because he’s good at games. But he can’t be the only one in this world that is good at games? His social awkwardness is a joke. Whenever he runs into some new people, usually girls, he marches in like a knight in shiny armour and saves the day. And every single girl falls for him. This anime has got some serious sexism issues right there. The way it’s set up like an adventure/action anime though, doesn’t really hide the fact that in the end, it is also just another harem. We barely even see Asuna until way into the story. We never see how she gets over her insecurities, we never see any character development.


Kirito and Asuna’s relationship feels like a straight-forward, no conflict route. They start hanging out and before you know it they’re getting married. There’s no hindrance, nothing standing in their way. So they move out to the country-side to play house and as a viewer you feel like you’re a little child again. I was hoping that this whole arc would end in them completely forgetting about the real world, wanting to stay in the game instead, I was hoping for some deep psychological issues. But no, eventually they do go back to the front rows, to continue their quest of ending the game. But of course, not without adopting a child first (this is a whole post of it’s own. Let me put it like this: I don’t like Yui).

All of the things I’ve said so far is only about the first half. And that was the half I liked. When Kirito beats the game, seemingly through the use of magic, it only gets worse. As if the fact that the creator didn’t even remember why he killed all those people wasn’t bad enough (I mean, at this point you just can’t help but be annoyed), now is when the real train wreck begins. Still, personally I think that had the anime ended at episode 14, the one where Kirito wakes up and goes to find Asuna, it would have the potential to be a classic, despite all its flaws.

But for some reason they decided to continue the story. It goes from people trapped in a game of life and death to Waifu the Anime. Kirito’s little sister Suguha is in love with him, and for some reason they justify this with saying they are only cousins. Even the sister man. But Kirito only has eyes for Asuna, and goes on a mission to save her. The pacing slows down immensely, and at this point I don’t even know if that’s for the better or worse. For the first time since watching I was actually bored. The new villain is laughable, and more than once I was worried I had gotten myself into a more graphic genre of anime than first presumed. Hints of tentacle rape and NTR make matters worse, and at the end I was just happy it was over. And why these young teenagers would want to keep playing MMOs after all they went through, is beyond my comprehension.


The problem with SAO is that it’s such a plot driven anime without actually showing any plot. It seems to me the creators just didn’t know where they were going with the story, and repeatedly side-tracked into filler arcs without actually elaborating on the deeper themes. This anime had great potential, but collapsed under the weight of it. And with that I end this post. This is my opinion on Sword Art Online. Please don’t ask me about the second season.

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  • “Whenever he runs into some new people, usually girls, he marches in like a knight in shiny armour and saves the day. And every single girl falls for him.”

    -So true. Sword Art Online is definitely a good anime series but it should not be mixed up with being an exceptional anime like Psycho-Pass or Attack on Titan. Sword Art Online is not a masterpiece.

    It does lack strong character development. That said the tentacle thing was not such a big deal and I felt the sister was more of Kirito not having a choice in the matter. Anyone in that situation would have felt awkward in knowing a close relative was in love with them I am sure.

    Still it really annoys me how Asuna and other characters within the series are not actually developed overall. Making this a very flat overall anime series.

    As for Season 2, Sword Art Online 2. I haven’t seen it but would have liked to have seen how it evolved but if you read my blog I have issues with the anime company that is streaming Sword Art Online 2. So not going to happen.

    • You’re not missing out on much. The 2nd season is flat and dull and the new characters very unlikable.

      To be honest though, as much as I was entertained by the anime, SAO is just one of those things I love to hate. 😛

      • Thanks about for a surface catch-up of SAO S2.

        As for your love and hate relationship. I understand.

      • Bismuth73

        Thank you for proving my point. That is why I don’t take SAO haters seriously. That don’t hate SAO for a logically-cohesive reason. They hate it because it’s fun!
        I honestly think that, more than anything, Sword Art Online needed to be LONGER. That way, it could have taken its time in digesting all the themes it was portraying and really lived up to its own potential. It’s like looking up a famous painting on Google Images: the lower the resolution, the less impressive it seems. If Sword Art Online had been extended to, say, 50+ episodes and did justice to all of the things that actually made it great (like the tension, the questions about reality the author mentioned here, all the things that went into Kirito’s grinding, etc.), it would be right up there with the likes of Naruto, Fairy Tail, One Piece and Attack on Titan.
        I’m smart enough to know that those things DID happen; they just didn’t get screen-time. The fact that most people can’t and/or won’t take the time to understand that honestly have a good reason to dislike SAO.

        “Humans. They scratch the surface of what they can do, and never think to look within.”
        -Ultron; Avengers: Age of Ultron

        • Brad Drow

          I can see where you’re coming from, but there’s a bit of a problem with that argument..
          You’re saying that all the big things that made SAO great didn’t get screen-time, right? But the problem with that argument is, that’s not a good thing. If it didn’t get screentime, that quite literally means the author was so bad at writing the episodes that he didn’t put focus on the things that deserved focus. And since those moments didn’t get any focus, they effectively don’t matter to begin with, since we, as the audience, only see what gets screentime.
          In short; Just because the show supposedly had ‘great things that went on behind the scenes’ doesn’t make it good. It just means we didn’t get to see the stuff that was ‘actually good’, and got to see the stuff that didn’t need any screentime. The key to having a short series is to focus on the stuff that actually matters. By saying that it’s good, and we don’t know that because the good stuff ‘went on in the background’, you’re effectively saying that a show is good because of something that WASN’T ACTUALLY IN THE SHOW.

    • the first line is like a harem anime, it’s basically your normal cliche. Harem animes are full of cliches

  • Silvachief

    Okay, so, we’ve discussed SAO a little before and already know our opinions are a little different. I think that most of what you say here is very justified: Asuna is a very strong person herself, so why do we see her captured (and debased) in the second season while Kirito continues to save the day? Why is Kirito so stupidly good at the game compared to others? Why is there such a difference in tone between the first and second seasons?

    However, there are a few things I didn’t mind that you did, as well as a few things I minded that you didn’t. I’m not sure I would call SAO a harem; the side characters simply aren’t involved again after their episodes (which -is- a problem, in my view). It’s not impossible to have an effortless relationship (though they did have trouble warming up to each other initially) and it isn’t so bad to see one of those every once in a while – it’s different, if nothing else. I personally enjoyed the cabin episodes even if I agree that they could have gone further with the “maybe we should just stay here” idea. I also liked Yui T_T

    The point i’m interested in is where you say that the second season’s pacing slows down. To me, it seemed that the first season went Intro -> Filler -> Plot -> Filler -> Plot -> Filler (though the filler was more entertaining that it usually is), whereas the second season was far more focused from the get-go. Having said that, I do see where you’re coming from with all of your points and it was interesting to hear why you feel the way you do about SAO. I may come back and share my opinion of the third season once i’ve watched it.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, even though we disagree at some points! I do realise you don’t think of it as a harem but idk it just seems strange to me that all the female characters are into Kirito after hanging out with him for a day.
      I do agree with what you wrote in your last paragraph, that it was more focused in the later part. It’s just the inconsistency that bothers me I guess, because I’d already gotten used to the big time skips pacing.

      What I’ve learned from talking to other people about SAO, is that those who like it tend to like it simply because they play MMOs and can relate better (I will elaborate and analyse this statement in a future post). I think this is because Kirito works as a wish-fulfilling character, someone they live through as they wish they were him. It’s easier to relate to him exactly because he lacks a distinguishing personality.

      My biggest problem with SAO though, isn’t even its glaringly obvious flaws, but the fandom of it. People follow the show so blindly without thinking critically of the content for shallow reasons like it’s set inside an MMO. And while I haven’t looked into it that much myself, I’m sure if people do get into the genre a bit deeper, they’ll find other, better MMOs because honestly SAO just can’t be the best there is.

      I’m ending my comment with mentioning the few things that I really liked about SAO, since I neglected to do it in the main post. Actually the soundtrack is a major pro for me, as well as the animation. I’m usually all about the plot and story and characters, but for this one anime, enjoyed it more for the technical points. Anyway, looking forward to hear your thoughts on the new season!

      • Silvachief

        You’re probably right in saying that a certain amount of my like for the series has to do with the idea of virtual reality gaming. I mean, i’ll die happy if I get to experience something like SAO. Having said that, however, the references to it being a game are pretty limited. Yes, it covers combat abilities and crafting and in-game menus and that sort of thing but doesn’t go into detail with any of them. That’s probably a good thing though, because Log Horizon tried to do that with its combat and failed miserably.

        The genre can definitely be done better. With so many virtual reality/game-themed anime coming out at the moment though, I can see it being a long time before we get a really fantastic one.

    • Anon

      “Asuna is very strong.”
      She WAS. Before she met a certain “perfect” guy and fell in love so much that she needs him to be the prince that saves her day. Seriously. After she met Kirito she’s all, “SAVE ME KIRITO”

  • TroublingMink59

    I posted something similar to this on and got banned. Instantly.

    • Good thing this is my website and I can write anything I want! (:

    • Anon

      The SAO fan base is the worst. They can’t take one little insult.

      • I can, hit me with your best shot

        • Anon

          Ok, after a long hiatus from anime, I am back 😀

          It’s nice to know there are SAO fans that can take rants, because most of them just start swearing at you ._.

          So yea, here is my opinion on SAO:

          Overall, SAO’s plot is pretty unique. Getting trapped in a game and all. But, the author isn’t a very good writer. He made a series that could’ve had a lot of potential, bad.

          SAO is supposed to be an Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Game, Romance, Shounen anime (based on KissAnime) But the things you see in the anime basically goes: Action, romance, harem, harem, harem, act- no wait harem. The author can’t even make his work stick to the original genres. Although it is a smart tactic to have a lot of harem, because he basically got all of SAO’s viewers from that. At least half of the people who love SAO are shut-in perverts. Am I wrong? The author decided to ditch the path of a well written action story, and went down the path of “harem = MONEY FOR ME, YEA!’ If an anime can only get views through waifus and boobs, it is not considered very good…

          The characters. Kirito is strong. Everybody else likes Kirito. That’s basically it. xD

          The anime started out great. I enjoyed the first episode, and the concepts behind it. It was a game of survival, or at least I thought that’s what the anime was about. Several episodes in, the story starts gravitating towards what I said above. Harem. The potential of the story, the author dropped it just like that. Very disappointed. The story then continues to get worse. I mean, the second half of the first season… Do I even need to explain how awful it was?

          Lastly, the romance between Asuna and Kirito. Compared to all the other anime I have watched, the romance between the two seemed rushed. It’s basically like, “hey I just met you, and this is crazy. Take my virginity, and let’s have a baby” Sorry not sorry xP

          This is my opinion about SAO in general =3= But what really ruined SAO completely for me are the fans. They’re narrow-minded and perverted and creepy. Yea.

    • Talha Hossain

      Hey the truth hurts

  • Samuel Akinyemi Odunsi

    After i watched the first episode i thought it would be like that VR gamer movie. But it was not. It was a cliche save the day hero anime. They could have gave him more anger, the dude that made the game killed 4000 people and Kirito and Ausuna pitied him for not finding his castle. The characters have no emotion besides love. Stupid, cliche chick flick for 11 year olds.

    • Mewmeister

      the authers second work Accel World is better in my opinion so if you want VR gamer with less harem then check it out

      • Darcy Callaghan

        It’s a shame the character design of Accel World, and overall personalities of the people that the show follows are utterly deplorable.

  • Anon

    Since it’s a “why SAO sucks”, I’ll just my opinion. (Prepare for rant)

    1. Tbh, the author isn’t a good writer. Like you said, SAO is supposed to be an action/adventure anime. But it turned out to be romance/harem/drama. And the romance isn’t even good, it’s forced and rushed. Why? Let’s see. Asuna met Kirito, anddddd love at first sight. The same can be said to every other girl he met. Few episodes later, they got married (not even legal age yet), had sex (I believe) and adopted a kid. There is no development between the two, making it forced and rushed.

    2. Characters also have little to no development. Seriously, if your name isn’t “Kirito”, you don’t get to improve as a character. They had no changes in personality and skill.

    3. Gary Stu #2. I don’t even need to explain this.

    4. “Why did you do this?” “I forgot.” BRAVO. BEST VILLAIN EVER. EVERYTHING IS EXPLAINED.

    5. Plot. The plot is supposed to be about getting stuck in a video game and escaping. But halfway thru, “let’s get married, have sex and a kid, and forget everything in life. Oh wait, I changed my mind. Let’s get married, have sex, and have a kid in real life instead.” Then they escaped, girl gets kidnapped, unnecessary tentacle rape scenes, ends.

    6. Episode one they’re stuck in the game, episode two they’re level 43, a few episodes later they defeated tons of bosses. What.

    • Talha Hossain

      lol i find this so funny and so true at the same time hey would u mind if i use this to tell a SAO pedo why SAO sucks. plz reply.

      • Anon

        It’s fine. Use it all you want xD I’m glad someone feels the same way.

        And ew, SAO pedo. Tbh, Asuna isn’t even a good character. And besides, what’s the point of liking a girl who has eyes on Kirito and Kiritos cock only?

        • bomb idontno


  • Talha Hossain

    For real i found the death gun story pretty nice in SAO 2 (season 1 was despicable) but after that it was pure f***ing b***s***. srry if i sounded rude. 🙂

  • Viewer12

    No/Poor character development. Borderline creepy, sexual innuendos and pervy “camera” angles. Inability to follow through on any of the introduced plots and themes. I hated SAO. Like you, I kept watching- thinking that at some point it was going to get better because people kept insisting that it was good. But no. It was just a major disappointment. I found myself feeling bored, confused and/or uncomfortable the entire way through. I agree that it had potential to be great, but it never followed through with anything. The first episode (the only good episode imo) does nothing but set the viewer up to be disappointed. I give it a 2/10.

    • it’s harem anime what do you expect?

      • Supernova

        Lol even To Love-Ru had more character development from the MC than this, so just being a harem anime isn’t a proper excuse for what SAO promised but didn’t execute. At least To Love-Ru openly pointed out that it was gonna toss a bunch of girls at the MC.

        • yeah, I’ve never watched the preview and what I see everybody says, tells me they’ve only showed people the action part and they got hyped for it, anyway I don’t really like action

  • no

    the lack of any awkward gangly male teenagers with acne in gameworld threw me off instantly. that and kirito’s entire character being 100% male otaku wish fulfillment, if you replaced all the female characters with inflatable dolls the plot would’ve made no difference whatsoever.

    • Darcy Callaghan

      Looking at most MMO players, especially Asian ones(You see some awkwardly good looking caucasian ones sometimes). You see a bunch of very skinny(or obese) loners who shower irregularly if at all.

      In this? You see wish-fulfillment “Mary-Sue” shenanigans and absurdly unrealistic demographic for the playerbase. What I despise the most in Anime/Manga is the MC being an Angsty Loner or complete bishonen pussy-boys. Also, anytime something is said to be difficult even for a group of well-versed veteran teammates, and then the MC(usually deemed weaker than each individual in said group) just walks up and wins without somuch of a firm breeze as resistance. Fuck that.

      This is what turned me off of “Is it okay to pick up women in a dungeon” or whatever it’s called. You have some pushover/easily manipulated Mary-Sue, and of all fucking things they made him the most stand-out stupid looking character in the entire show. Oh my fucking god I want to stab the author to death with a pin-needle for his overall character and design along with his designated and unjustifiable romantic interest.

      I heard Log Horizon was leagues better than SAO, simply because it’s mostly about a “Merry Band of Trolls” going around aggressively pissing people off in the exact same setting(except they don’t want to leave the game from what I hear?) with actual plot.

      • KageShiro

        have you watched “Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka” which is the picking up dungeon anime or what ever you called it…..he’s not just some pushover he is a pure hearted adventurer that wants to do his best, he is easy to decieve or trick, but because he never loses sight of his goal and he gets stronger……just thought you should know

        • Darcy Callaghan

          Except thats an overplayed trope of being so pure he’s unbeatable and will either win immediately, lose and come back to win without effort. Or worst yet make some stupid realization in the midst of fighting,usually acquiring some random superpower or even stupider remembering something irrelevant, like why they are doing it, and suddenly become blatantly overpowered and effortlessly win.

          Of which that defines the main character in every single meaningful fight sequence in “Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru was too long a name, moreso in Japanese”(went with english for that reason). And it’s not that he wants to do his best… He wants to become stronger than someone, who, while emotionless, walks through the dungeon without effort specifically because he wants to play some stupid Gender roll he isn’t fit for… “Man needs to be stronger to protect the woman”.

          He states it countless times himself that he isn’t suitable for her until he is stronger than her and can therefore defend her… therefore worthy of having her. Despite generically having every single other female(most more suitable) in-series fawning over him blatantly.

          This itself is also something I hate about society in Japan; how hard it pushes sexist gender-rolls simply because it’s happened for so long that it’s easy. Japanese people thinking they aren’t worthy simply because someone is “above” them is beyond stupid.

          • KageShiro

            so in other words…’ve heard of it and aren’t a fan….got it

          • Darcy Callaghan

            I wouldn’t say I’m not a fan. The setting, artwork, and animation are, to say fantastic. The story is… odd to say the least, especially with Japan’s rather insensitive(?) trait of turning everything into loli, tomboy, or large breasted women. Or all of the above.

            Granted I’m referring to loki and her(maybe him?) complete dissonance from the god she/he/it is based off. Instead they basically just make her/him a cliche drunk(viking stereotype, as vikings worshiped this pantheon) with no actual connection or traits to the original god.

            The ending fight sequence of the Anime of beating the previous floor’s boss that was previously sidestepped was the most ad hoc thing I’ve seen to date reminiscent of Gainax. It was forced at the last moment despite all the buildup and tries to force you to accept it in the last second that the hero wins without effort.

            They had half an episode(or more) to his struggle against the up-leveled Minotaur, which was shockingly well done lore-wise compared to the gods. That fight sequence was actually good granted I don’t remember if there was any monologue about being “too weak” or “not worthy” of the girl garage he usually spouts once or twice and episode.

            The final boss of the anime? A rather large(for the setting) army of “Adventurers” is fighting a boss that broke down to their safe haven from the floor above. Everything they throw isn’t really doing much as his hp-regen is an unbalanced mess that needs to be nerfed. The hero realizes this, pulls out his inexplicable abilty of yelling-powered-portable-nuke and literally obliterates half the boss, stabs a crystal with a dagger, and wins.

            Even the minotaur fight he barely won through clever tactics and willpower, then fainted afterwords while standing. The boss? Stands there hailed as a hero afterwords like nothing happened with most of his wounds coming from a previous fight was some goof using Harry Potter’s cloak(which is a whole new level of stupid how he beats him).

            TL;DR – Good setting, artwork, and animation. Good attempts at reasonable character development, but thrown out a window in the last few episodes. Main Character is uber-cliche and has a rather sickeningly unrealistic and/or trope ridden personality. Inconsistent and rushed back-end of show. Inconsistent and portrayal of gods/myths, gods rather poor while myths are moreover good.

            I’d have to rate it a 6/10, probably higher if they quit with the “I’m not good enough” bishounen garbage and unrealistic romantic expectations. I haven’t read the source material to know if they have, or have even progressed the story, but I’m borderlining this series since they found a way to dirty such a great setting… provided the viewer isn’t an arrogant self-important woman who thinks men should be clamoring on the cusp of death against all odds to prove he’s worth having you.

          • KageShiro

            well all i got from this anime is that someone is pulling the strings, he was saved by someone and he wants to be strong like she is….and he meets lily (full name can’t remember) the supporter he sees good in and wants to protect but can’t because of self esteem….he wants to be as strong as AIZ, the woman that saved him, so he can save his “supporter” who is trapped and almost slave to her famila, because of greed and money, she was tricked before and just gave up hope, in my opinion (which isn’t as important) he wants to save lily like Aiz saved him, but needs strength, i don’t think its “because she’s a woman” i think its because she’s important to him….sorry its my opinion so if you disagree with your essay again just reply “disagreed” or don’t reply at all 🙂 i feel how i feel, as well as you do as you do 🙂

          • Darcy Callaghan

            He stated very early on that he wanted to become stronger than her so that he could protect her(Male gender role stereotype) and so that he was worthy of having her. The “Supporter” was merely a sidestory to add more members to his group(and character development for all) of which it would have been just dumb watching 1 bishounen face the “dungeon” barely-pulling-through every time he enters it. At least the supporter CAN put a little fight up, and his warrior-blacksmith can viably fight without having a gods blessing at that(?).

          • DjBuBbLeGuM

            @-@ …how can a woman be a loli and large breasted at the same time?…that…that breaks the laws of the universe…

  • budah


  • RåñdòmPieeeeeeeee

    Okay so don’t get me wrong, I loved the anime. None of these things anoyed me exept one. I admit the fist episode where AWESOME! I was I love the first ten episodes. Then Asuna came in and… I felt like the ready of the show was about their relationship. Beating this boss would be no problem for them, as long as they stayed together and all that stuff. It got on my nerves how there was not one fight or question in their relationship. I mean yeah the characters did feel to over powed to me, but I could have lived with that. It’s just for me personally, more action, less romance. This is just my opinion and the amazing thing about the world is that we all have opinions.

  • Luis

    this anime is realy shit. i guess you can only like it if you an otaku live in your mother basement….

    • Eric R

      To be fair, the concept of the anime was brilliant but the execution was complete shit. I watch episodes 1-6. I was really disappointed after my friend told me how much she liked it and recommended it to me.

      • Ollia Tobin

        I totally agree with you. I couldn’t even bear to watch the rest of that piece of shit because it was so bad. And I’m normally those type of peeps whom finish any anime they choose to start.

  • Fuckyousao

    Fucked up, weeaboo anime.

    • hi


    • learn the definition of weeaboo before you say it

  • RiGi Otaku

    every main boy cannot kill girl even it were enemy,it suck!!

    • it’s called being modest, it happens all the time in other animes

  • Giggity

    The first 12 ep was okay, the remaining ep including season 2 was garbage. Why bother calling it sao, if sao was done in 12 episode? There is 100 levels in sao and had the potential of really expanding the sao saga to probably the entire season 1. But nope. Instead of the show being an awesome adventure rpg and focusing on the psychological well being of each main character. It turned into romance, this show had a potential but they screwed it up. That’s why I watch Log Horizon. No kinky shit going on.

  • Zachary Goldberg

    The biggest problem with this anime is that the title itself loses all meaning after the game is finally beaten. The whole purpose of SAO was have a group of gamers stranded in a virtual world(sort of like LOST meets .hack) where if you die, you’re dead, no going back. The choppy character development, side stories seem to be the result of lazy story telling because I’m sure the writers were thinking “how do you write a story about a bunch of people stuck in a game”?

    It fell into the same trap as modern video games. The developers create this amazing environment but give it the same type of gaming experience as the last 5000 games that preceded it, just with better graphics and more gore.

    In short…the story should have ended with the game finally being beaten and the two meet in real life. That’s it.

    • James

      100% correct. I think if they had done this, focused on this world for the duration of a season or two then ended the show when they finally beat the game and meet irl, it would’ve gone down better and been much more liked and enjoyed by all anime fans.

  • Simon H.

    As I gamer myself, I call bullshit. This is an ANIME, not a GAME. Plus, the game adaptation was raw, irredeemable horse shit, so of course they have no right to say that. HP and MP aren’t difficult concepts to grasp, and neither are menus. The show doesn’t utilize a lot of gaming lingo anyway (Besides the one time they say “Asshat”).

  • Kitty

    This is the most sexist and cringeworthy anime I have ever seen. I dont know which pedo decided to turn an digital world concept(which would be great), into 12 year olds flashing to an emo guy. Its simply disgusting. The Name Sword art online is “clickbait” and not representative of the content at all.

    • Ollia Tobin

      Ikr!! I totally agree!!! About the sexist and cringeworthy…. in my opinion, I hate the show just as much as you probably do, but if you want to turn that piece of shit into something laughable, watch it with a friend that hates the show just as much as you do.

  • Ok, I get what you’re trying to say but you people sound like you never watched a harem anime before. I think I know why which is because you thought this would be action packed and not romantic nonsense. If you watched so many types of harem animes, these are just the typical cliches in them like “the knight in shining armor” cliche, it happens all the time in harem animes. So, before you say something bad about this, watch more harem anime first.

    • Blue_Pie_Ninja

      but this IS meant to be an action anime… :/

      • good point, but that’s not a reason why so many people should hate it this much, it’s just that they got too hyped then it died down because they thought it would be full of action like Highschool DxD and Highschool of the Dead

      • DjBuBbLeGuM

        The light novel was mean’t to be a harem novel with mmo themes. The anime creators took the exact same story as the light novel, but tried to turn it into an action anime to attempt to win over more people (it was also advertised as an action anime). So it wasn’t supposed to ever be action based, but y’know, money. Light novel was bad, but not as bad as the anime.

  • LordTerminal

    If you can name a better anime with this premise, I’d like to hear it.

    • Blue_Pie_Ninja

      unfortunately, there isn’t one at the moment.

      The idea is amazing, but the execution… not so good

      • LordTerminal

        Then I have no reason to ever drop SAO until then.

        • saa6786

          accel world, there ya go

          • LordTerminal

            Oh yes, because I like my main characters being Eric Cartman beta males.

          • openend

            Ok it seems like you’ve already made your mind up on this issue. You refuse to admit or even see all the flaws on SAO which really isn’t anything new or great. And you defend it like meth addict might defend their addiction.

          • LordTerminal

            And you like inferior shows with badly designed characters like Accel World. Take your head out of your ass before you talk next time.

          • DjBuBbLeGuM

            You know, technically you’re making fun of your own show. Accel World takes place after SAO, and one of the characters is the daughter of Kazuto and Asuna.

          • LordTerminal

            I refuse to believe both of these shows are connected.

          • DjBuBbLeGuM

            Believe it or not, it doesn’t matter, your beliefs don’t change canon.

          • Name

            So you can’t win the argument, so you resort to denial. Accel World and SAO are connected. FACTS.

          • LordTerminal

            No. There is no way a show with that fat pussy with a name like Haru, is connected to SAO. And that’s not even getting into the fact that it horribly demonizes gaming and gamers.

          • Name

            Case closed.

            Like a show with Jesus-kun in it is better somehow.

          • Brad Drow

            In addition, you do realize that SAO and Accel World are not only made by the same exact person, but Accel World also directly references SAO, and takes place in the same world, as demonstrated in episode 22 of that show by the presence of a certain VR headset which they refer to by name as a ‘nervegear’ headset?

    • murdhani

      log horizon

      • LordTerminal

        I said a BETTER anime.

        • BigguBossu

          Try Overlord if you haven’t. Much better than this harem in denial anime.

          • LordTerminal

            Kinda hypocritical for you to recommend the show where 2 episodes in, the women suck his dick if you think SAO is a harem in denial anime.

          • BigguBossu

            lol, not being hypocrytical just trying to speak the truth, at least with Overlord the harem takes a backseat, which in my eyes makes it better than SAO already. SAO is a harem anime that pretends to be something more serious.

          • LordTerminal

            Dude. It’s boring. That doesn’t make it better. Give me a better example.

          • BigguBossu

            Boring? ‘Kay. I guess your definition of a decent series differ from mine. Just curious though. How come Overlord & Log Horizon are worse than SAO? Because protagonist not gary stu enough? they show a lot less tentacle rape scene? Don’t say that you sincerely believe that SAO has better story than those two. Oh God, please don’t say you actually buying into that crap.

          • LordTerminal

            Well in Log Horizon’s case it’s because I was told it was a very smart take on the sub genre and all I got was a kiddie show. The fights may involve more strategy but they’re also poorly animated and stop midway so that the show can dump exposition on everything. I hate that. The main cast are one note: a Gary Stu nerd, a LARPing woman child and a dudebro. The world isn’t visually stunning, it’s just Everquest mixed with the Last of Us, and to top it off, there’s no real conflict or stakes because everyone can respawn if they die. How is that better?

          • BigguBossu

            Main protagonist is a gary stu. Well, still more bearable than the SAO guy. All his feats smell asspull to me (able to dual wield out of nowhere, can seemingly open the game console command, can transfer data to another game, etc). At least what the LG guy does is explainable. It’s okay to have plot armor but to pull bullshit on almost every occasion? Yeah, that’s just lazy. About fights vs story exposition depends on you honestly. I prefer more story progression rather than more fights & more pointless time skips. The same applies to the world. SAO’s world might look pretty but the world building is honestly atrocious. I could care less about pretty looking environment if they skip so many things about what makes the world interesting in the first place that I end up stop giving a care. At least LG feels like MMO, SAO is just early acces level game. I mean, what kind of a MMO that allows you to play only as a close quarter fighter for your combat class? Terrible. If this game came out now? The critics would rip this game a new asshole. The deaths are pointless other than that one chick in the beginning (this is supposed to be a death game ffs), because the characters aren’t developed enough, so like the underdeveloped world they’re living in I could care less on what happened to them. So, how is SAO better again?

          • LordTerminal

            I’m not talking about story exposition, I’m talking them explaining what they just did in the fight exposition. And it’s not like the characters in LH are developed any better.

            SAO is better animated, fight choreographed and it’s plot flaws just come from the studio not making arcs more than 14 episodes long. I fail to see how LH is better because of its world building and said world building isn’t interesting in the slightest. Nothing of value happens in that world. I dropped it after 4 episodes.

          • BigguBossu

            Is it because the adaptation? Because imo the original source which is the LN is not any better than the anime. Same asspull happened there, it’s just damage control from fanboys. The author really set the series as a harem series with MMO theme, not the opposite. He didn’t even bother to explain half of the bullshit he made. I didn’t say that the characters in LH are well written, but at least they are given explanation that still makes sense. The SAO guy really feel like self insert character with little to no personality. The same with the girls in his harem, terrible char development all around with most of them just content for being the guy’s cheer squad. The world building is barely worth mentioning with too many time skips. If they’re that lazy then why they didn’t just skip to the final floor in episode 2 right away is beyond me. Oh yeah, the animation & opening song are pretty dope though. So overall, nice animation, good soundtrack, terrible characters, terrible world building, terrible plot because it’s a harem and not even an interesting one at that. Saw 13 episodes or whatever, dropped it, read the LN a bit because of what the fanboys said, found out that it’s basically the same thing and then dropped it.

          • LordTerminal

            Kirito a self-insert? I don’t see it. And Shiroe’s no better by your logic. The first episode alone he has 2 women crawling over him, he conveniently has rare items that help move the plot along and all of his plans succeed without a hitch. How is that any better than what Kirito does?

            You’re still not convincing me as to why I shouldn’t have dropped it after 4 episodes.

          • BigguBossu

            You don’t see Kirito as a self insert? Laughed so hard at this lol. My stomach is done. Here’s the thing, I’m not trying to force you to watch Log Horizon or Overlord or whatever. You asked for some recommendations yet say all of them are not good then proceed to damage control SAO. Like I said in my previous comment, since your definition of a decent series is clearly different than mine then no point for me to convince you otherwise. I just want to know as to why you say this SAO as something more than a harem in denial thus makes it the best in the genre. I still don’t see it as your arguments so far feel like you’re fanboying over it.

          • LordTerminal

            I don’t know, okay. I just grew more attached to it the more I watched it and I can’t explain why and I refuse to believe it’s because I’m dumb, or immature, or have bad taste or anything like that. And most of the criticisms I see are either hyperbole or non existent.

            Whenever I watched the first 4 episodes of LH, I don’t get that attachment I got from SAO. All I got was irritated. It’s like it felt like nothing was how you or anyone else who recommended it was in the actual show. It just felt like a lame kiddy show made to cater to the same crowd as Pokemon. And yet everyone I know save for a few people here and there love it and claim it’s superior to SAO. And yet I sit here and notice fundamental problems with it that make me question if this was the same show everyone else is talking about. I just don’t see how people can see Kirito as a Gary Stu but not Shiroe when he’s a strategical genius and conveniently has rare items just to help move the plot along and how every plan he comes up with never fails. I just don’t see how people say the fights in LH are superior when they’re slow, explanation heavy and not that well animated, making the fact that they’re more strategic a waste of written fighting. I fail to see how Atkatsuki is such a great character when all I see is a walking running gag character and a LARPer.

            And the whole thing is just eating away at me. What am I missing? How is it I have little problems with the show everyone hates and plenty of problems with the show most people love?

          • BigguBossu

            Everybody has gripes with something that other people love. It happens all the time and nobody is gonna call you immature for that. If you like a show then cool go watch it, but don’t go to an article that says your favorite show sucks and then proceed to defend it like it’s the best thing ever because it’s not.

            I can point a LOT of flaws in SAO, it’s not even funny. But my main problem with the show is the asspulls. You said that Shiroe has a plot convenient item, I think I know what it is you’re talking about. It is indeed pretty handy but, it was explained why he got that said item. He cleared a high level raid dungeon with his party for that, therefore everyone in the party has one. Now, let’s take a look at Kirito. This guy has an exclusive dual wield skill. The explanation on why he got the skill in the LN is because he has the highest speed. Doesn’t make any sense. So the author is telling me that this MMO has an exclusive skill for players with the highest stat (what a load of bull idea)? Then what about the guy with the highest strength? Or defense? Nope. They’re never mentioned in the story. Why? Because this PIS is intended to build Kirito as this badass who’s higher than anybody else in the game. One of the characteristics of self-insert character is that you got to be perfect at everything after all. And don’t get me start on how that dual wield skill is explained in the anime as the anime studio just give up on the explanation and say fuck it. Kirito being a Gary Stu is also true. This guy solo his way through the game while other players had difficulty even when they’re in group, this guy fought like 7 or 8 guys at once and they barely scratched him, this guy managed to kill a boss that was intended as a raid boss for party/guild alone, if this guy is not a Gary Stu then prove me otherwise. Shiroe barely reach this guy’s ridiculous feats. He had difficulty from fighting a single guy let alone 7 of them, because his class is for support. He needs his party in order for his plans to succeed. How can I relate to a character like Kirito when his feats don’t make any sense whatsoever. At least with Shiroe I know that he’s good at the game, but by all means he’s not perfect.

            I don’t know about you but I’m a gamer myself. So when I first heard the premise of SAO I thought it’s gonna be something good. But it turned out to be a disappointment. I forced myself to keep watching the show hoping it turned out to be at least decent in the end. But alas, I realized this show was not going to be better after watching 13 episodes of it, just one episode shy from the finale of the first half of season 1. Judging by the critics it received regarding the second half of the first season, I think I made the right decision to drop the series. I called this show being a harem anime a long time ago. Look, I’m not saying you should stop watching it or whatever. Maybe the problem is with you trying to be so adamant that SAO is better than anything in the genre. I doubt that all SAO haters have legitimate reason on why they hate it, some of them maybe just hate the show for the sake of it. But some of the Haters do have reasons. Just try to take an objective look at the show. Try to see it from the perspective of people who were let down by this show.

          • condell

            FUCKING harem in denial thats right i mean grimgar is shit but atleast its better than SAO

    • Ollia Tobin


      • condell


    • Vesta

      Even Greed Island Arc in Hunter x Hunter is better than sao. One Arc shows everything that sao in 2 seasons.

      • LordTerminal

        That’s not the same thing. How the Greed Island Arc works is completely different to how the “trapped in a video game” premise works.

        • Brad Drow

          .hack, Log Horizon, Overlord.

          • LordTerminal

            I won’t watch .Hack anything because I don’t want to have to play through a bunch of JRPGs just to get the end to one series. And Overlord is trash.

            I’m currently watching Log Horizon but so far it’s meh. I feel nothing for the characters and the humor is kiddy show level writing. It’s just not the same.

          • Brad Drow

            You don’t have to play the four main dotHack games.
            .hack//SIGN is a prequel series. As for Overlord, could you give me a couple reasons why it’s trash?

  • Calar

    I didn’t like that it never tried to be funny, it was comical in its failures and cliches but most of them were unintentional. At no point did it seem like a video game because in a game there has to be understood the games workings. It explains a few, early on, then never before seen ones once and never again… This feels like it mocks me as a gamer, and I truly believe that those who liked it had to watch it alone while they were depressed because I saw this with my friend and laughed to a wheeze. I couldn’t even stop, after one episode of bs I had to see the next! Me and my friends have been mystery magic theater’ing it every time we meet up. I talk to people who like it and it makes me squirm, I just have so many things I hate about it that it’s hard to say anything in front of their twinkling eyes. I am all over the place, simply put, I don’t like dramas, whiney characters, and love video games.
    If you can read this and not hate me for hating sao then do tell me why you like it, I’ll tone it down and listen and respond to your good points, I had a hard time at recognizing any after my heart went black gor the series.

    • Ollia Tobin

      I can’t even begin to understand the Infactuation with this show whatsoever. And I absolutely love to game!!

  • Ben Millett

    the graphics are actually ok yet the show is so boring. rarely has violence and violence is boring. i only like violent non sexual anime like dragon ball z attack on Titan and fullmetal alchemist


    The novels were better. Just be glad about that

  • James

    There are plenty of people in it that are good at the game, and Kirito playing alone is because he was a beta tester who already knew the keys to leveling up, but at a point he admits he reached the limits of what a solo player can do and joins others. It’s the same thing in all mmos. You can play WoW alone or with a friend but to see everything you need to do things with people.

    The real problem with SAO comes after they beat it. Then the show starts to turn to complete garbage.

    • Ollia Tobin

      Don’t even TRY to justify the Aincrad Ark, because that part was just as shitty as the other arks.

  • fabulousunicornfan

    I have to agree sadly. They should have ended it when he went to find asuna. Or at least, ended season 1 there. And then in season 2 do the whole fairy thing. The first half was amazing, but the second…

  • condell

    I fucking agree this is shit the romance spoiled it i expected an adventure action packed anime

    • Uhhhhhh

      I agree too. I don’t mind a bit of romance, but sometimes the romance bits were super long and boring.

      • condell

        ikr enough is enough man

        • Uhhhhhh

          The ecchi too.

  • vTOLv

    “And when the players are trapped inside this death game, shit gets real, and that is a very interesting premise.”
    if we strip off all the layers of useless bollocks in that premise, what we get is
    “a fantasy world where people die when killed”
    as opposed to what? a world where people shit marshmallows and turn into schwarzenegger when they get killed?
    it’s just the old fantasy setting we’ve seen a billion times before done in the classic A1 picture style of “making a difference by doing sod all.”

    • Harsha Sai

      In that case perhaps u shouldn’t watch anime at all – they’re good because they’re set in fantasy worlds or are based on fantasy concepts (Death Note is as real as it gets, and even that is based on Shinigami). What do u watch, Keeping Up with the Fucking Kardashians? SAO had real people having fun in a VR game, but then the game ends up becoming a death game. These people have lived ordinary lives, they live in cities with police and the army protecting them. It would have been interesting to see how they would have gotten stronger, how they could’ve unlocked special moves and not just swinging glowing swords. There could have been more guilds. There could have been more tournaments, quests to defeat the bosses rather than just a single room and boring dungeons before that. It had so much potential but sucked at execution.

      • vTOLv

        yeah quit punching that straw man when you are ready, so we can have an actual argument.
        i never said i had a problem with fantasy settings, what i do have a problem with is SAO coating up it’s own generic fantasy setting with an extra layer of pretentious bullshit. practically, there’s nothing separating SAO’s premise from all the other 7 billion fantasy anime.
        so they’ve changed the premise of “getting teleported to a parallel fantasy world” to”getting teleported to a parallel fantasy world……that is made of ones and zeros.”
        which makes no practical difference what so ever.
        except it takes away all the potential to have any form of mystery…
        death note’s premise is NOT realistic….because there’s a note book that kills people and that doesn’t exist anywhere in reality. it’s also not generic, it has unique feature, like the before mentioned note book, and that’s what makes it interesting. SAO’s premise doesn’t have any of that. like i said, it’s essentially just “a fantasy parallel world where people die when killed.”

        • Harsha Sai

          Well then by your argument all (or most) shonen manga are bullshit, including (and especially) the big ones like DBZ, Naruto, One Piece, Bleach, Attack on Titan (which is quite unique), One Punch Man (super unique), etc. But SAO is a little different in that the characters in the game are people who go to school and stuff, and don’t grow up learning ninjutsu or hiding from Titans, going into the coolest video game ever (in terms of current tech and gaming) and finding out they’re trapped and can die in the game, and they have to finish the game by working together to escape. Sounds like a pretty good setting for a shonen anime, which u obv don’t like in general. But they fucked it up colossally, with the bad romance and super short time frame. I suggest u don’t watch shonen anime in that case, because you don’t seem to like many of the staples of the genre.

  • DjBuBbLeGuM

    I remember I binged watched this series (both seasons) because I had fallen in love with it. I used to always praise it, then I rewatched it and I didn’t even make it 4 episodes in. This anime is really bad. I realize I fell in love with the idea, not the anime itself. If someone wants to watch a good anime watch Fate/Zero or Durarara

    • I saw Durarara recently and I absolutely loved it!

  • Bismuth73

    You want to know what I think? I think that if the anime fulfilled its own potential, it would have been WAY longer. Like, 50+ episodes long. I think that the anime writers did as good as they possibly could have with the time-frame they went for. I honestly think Sword Art Online deserves WAY more of an expanded universe than it has been given. Just imagine: Sword Art Online Unabridged – a longer, more mature take on the anime that completely digests its own themes and presents the original canon in a more complete context.
    The people who love SAO (like me) intuitively know that that kind of a story DID happen – we just don’t get to see all of it. The haters, meanwhile, cynically assume that the things Sword Art Online glossed over don’t justify the things they see.
    Whether you believe me or not, there is more to an anime than the things that get screen-time. And that is why I believe that Sword Art Online is one of the most unfairly judged animes in existence.
    And if you don’t believe me, look up some of the more popular SAO FanFiction entries, like Shared Strength by KnightEstoc. If I haven’t proven my point here, that story certainly will.

    • Harsha Sai

      SAO had amazing potential, everyone knows that. Remember what Bleach taught us? Amazing concept is not enough, u need to have good execution too. The SAO creators took a complex plot, and tried to shove it down our throats in very little time. Imagine what would have happened if Eren turned Titan in the very first episode, as soon as his mom died. That would’ve sucked right? SAO does that – but throughout the entire stupid series!

    • Tsukki

      Dude, what we’re looking for is NOT plot behind the scenes. Hello? It’s like telling someone who watched a play and got sorely disappointed by the lack of romance to go backstage because the actors really smooch a lot behind the scenes. Even though we can’t go backstage in the first place. (Btw this is just an example.) Like we care what goes on behind the scenes if we can’t see it?

      The fact is, what makes SAO a sucky anime is not that it has no plot. It is a sucky anime because ALL THAT PLOT FLEW TO WONDERLAND. Also, the fact that you asked us to read FANFICS to prove your point shows how desperate you are. Fanfics are called FANFICS for a reason. If you can’t grasp that…well…

      • Brad Drow

        I think he didn’t realize that just because there’s a lot of neat places to put fanfics in a story doesn’t make that story good. It means the author was too lazy to put anything important in massive time gaps.

    • Brad Drow

      I think you haven’t realized that ‘potential for fanfiction’ and ‘quality’ are not the same thing.
      If anything, you telling us to check out fanfiction makes your arguments weaker. What, the creator of SAO couldn’t bother to actually write something in those giant gaps, so they have to rely on fanfiction authors to pick up the slack?

  • NoLife

    I read like 2 paragraphs and knew ur arguments were gonna suck. Your arguments are basically that the show didn’t have the genre you like. 1.It’s not a tragic shoujo anime, its a shounen. 2.Main characters being the best at something is so common? Why is kirito the only one getting hate. 3. Asuna and Kirito were each other first real friend, had many events together, its not random.

    • Harsha Sai

      Bro. Watch other anime, then speak. SAO sucks because there is no story line, no character development. We don’t see how Kirito gets better. We see very few good fights. Even Fairy Tail is better. With SAO, the creators could have put in guild vs guild tournaments, quests, good fights, proper intro to the characters. People say Bleach had good concept but sucked at execution. Well, SAO had an amazing concept, but sucked way, way worse at execution.

  • Ahmad Ghulam Mirza

    dont know much about mmo, but rpg had BADASS WEAPONS. Player spend more time finding theese than actually finish the game. That fire elf got weapon that turn ethereal and kirito only have dual weapon skill wtf

  • Sheep

    2 year old review still gets heat from fanboys. some people just dont want to get disillusioned

    • You said it! On the plus side, it brings more traffic over to my blog 😀

      • Sheep

        so in the end, you still win! lol.

  • autumnmay13

    When i started anime i tried watching this, watched up to 10 episodes got bored-(my own opinion)

  • Daniel

    I’d rather get shot in my fucking leg than watch SAO again.

  • Michael J. Morgan

    I agree with most of what you wrote except the “sexism” part. Isms can go die like the deus ex machina in this anime.

  • Anne Nalyn Entrena

    I was fond with SAO the first time I watched it, but I have to agree, what you said was quite true.

  • yasmin

    when i first watched SAO i didn’t think it was bad, actually the part that made me realize it was the sexism of the show,, after that i started noticing all the other shit and everything went downhill

  • suka blyat

    Watch Hentais Then

  • Uhhhhhh

    It’s like you read my mind! Almost everything I thought about SAO is here!

  • Uhhhhhh

    Maybe some people liked it but I think the Alheim online part was bad enough. I thought that MAYBE, just MAYBE it would be less terrible and that Kirito has to find a way to become strong enough to save Asuna but instead, Kirito somehow transfers his over powered-ness to this game. But maybe him staying super strong was a good move to some people, however to me I think it’s either they were to lazy to animate more of it (or probably going insane from how bad this anime is) or they didn’t want Kirito to not be the best video game player ever.

  • Ariahn Zirmohn

    These comments are getting out of hand.

    In the case of anime, I think ignorance is bliss. Yes, of course there will be flaws, and many of these flaws will be fatal, but I’m one who wants to enjoy something as much as possible despite the flaws. SAO clearly has issues, but it’s a series which many have somehow greatly enjoyed despite its many holes, including myself. I think we should simply let it be rather than roasting those who really do enjoy it. Yes, perhaps I am choosing to be “blind” or whatever you’d like to call it, but at least I’m capable of finding great interest in something that has the most awful mistakes. I’m no SJW, but some call that “finding the best in people.” People, in this case, are flawed anime. This isn’t to say that we should keep opinions to ourselves. I’m just saying that if someone finds greatness in an anime that tons of people hate, let them be.

  • lileraekl

    All i’m going to say is thank you for sharing your opinion and thank you for not ranting about extremely stupid things because some people who are hating on SAO for things like the opening sequence of the show (because people are hating so much on this one show they had to turn to try and find everything wrong with it including its opening which I think we can all say is a little to far)

  • ~Your_Momma~

    In the end this section came from a single guy.. Look there will come a time that you have watched hundreds of anime or maybe thousands (if such exist) and you’re out of things to watch.. there is always flaws in every surface as well as what’s inside that surface, It’s INEVITABLE.. there’s no PERFECT anime out there that every viewer would love so just open your eyes and watch the goddamn show.. as an old fan of anime and I have watched too many that I lost count and also lost the time to update my list on MAL, I gonna give you a tip: “IF you’re a real watcher, just watch for the sake watching cause there’s no difference what anime you watch because in reality, You’re just sitting your ass and staring at a screen” so just enjoy it if you can’t make a better one…

    • your ideal Waifu

      nope theres a perfect that you could find you just need to find it theres a millions or billions of anime out there so theres no way that theres no anime that cant suit your taste and i watch anime for fun so why would i watch it if its boring?

  • Ben H

    This article depresses me. Sword Art online is about the social side just as much as the action side. This show just makes me happy every time I watch it. It is beautiful and also not your bog standard anime witn no suprises. A lot of these points are not wrong but the whole overall point has been missed. Sounds to me that the writer of this article only cares about watching a hero swing about a sword. Its all been done before. Nobody wants to see that least not anybody who has watched it all before in countless other shows.

    • Name

      But the point was that the anime was advertised as an action show. Hence why people have every right to complain. Maybe they should learn their lesson and not be so misleading.

      Also, the pacing is WAY off. Vol. 1 starts off at Floor 1, then next up Vol. 2 starts off at Floor 43?

      Like what????? No, just no.

    • Nekoszowy

      I’ve started watching SAO because it sounded cool and really fun to watch. Instead I’ve got a shitty romance with annoying fem character, harem and stupid playing home game. Now this anime is one of the worst I’ve seen.

  • Fluctlight

    Well , i was an vivid reader of web novel version of this… And yes this one actually influenced me enough for me to take computer engineering as an major so there is always an special place in my fantasy palace for SAO, growing up with RuneScape , World of Warcraft like mmorpgs I always wanted to live inside them as a player . But really ? After I watched the anime I was disappointed much… They did not ruin the web novel … They stayed faithful to it … What they trashed was my imagination.

  • Wallmitsvah

    Sao had so much potential too

  • Cory Ng

    This is just sad honestly. I think this article does an excellent job at highlighting the cons of a shounen anime that was made as a light fun series. It was meant for your entry level anime watcher, someone who wants a bit action, a bit romance, and a lot happiness and fluff. It’s direct opposite is Attack on Titan, meant for a more dark and gory audience who likes heavy treatment and desperation at its core. Hence why I preffered SAO over Attack on Titan. I understand there’s dozens of better animes: take Accel World or Log Horizen, two beautiful much better developed animes over SAO. But I wouldn’t have gotten into those if not for SAO. SAO is an outlier in anime. Why is it so popular despite its lack of character development until the end of season 2, harem treatment including wincest, and absurd amount of fanservice? It was made in the right place at the right time. SAO came out just as a new generation of anime fans were emerging, unwilling to backtrack and watch the 300+ episodes of naruto or one piece, they went and found a fresh new show that was relevant: VR gaming, which in 2012 was just emerging. People got hooked and whether they liked it or not, it had a barely decent story with great animation and hot girls. Entry level anime watchers were satisfied. Speed up 5 years and we look back shocked and say “how did we like such trash?” Well that’s because we went and found better stuff that we probably wouldn’t have found if not for SAOs appetizer to anime. SAO got me into the Toaru verse, which is number 2 or 3 when it comes to light novels. I also was encouraged to watch hunter x hunter from that and now am an avid fan. So that’s what I give it. It doesn’t deserve the hell poeple have put it through. It was light, meant for an intro level anime that had a lot of luck of the die. I’ll see you all in the alicization arc, a major improvement from the shabbily done ALO and GGO.

  • Rem Nyan~

    SAO sucks for the reason of the Main fucking villain is mass murdering psychopath. The only reason he gave for murdering 4000 people is i like to float in a castle in the sky. well fuck you.

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