Recipe for a great day: Boring start of the day, crap-up an easy quiz, fume over a C programming exercise, watch Sword Art Online. What a great day I had, then.
Visually, it’s A-1 Pictures’ best. Some elements in the setting art and designs are very reminiscent of the damned epic infamous social-science fiction Fractale, even if the extra polishing are lightyears away from the joint collaboration between A-1 Pictures and Ordet, and they’re worth it. Result is having something that would be worthy of being in a P.A.Works or (excellent) Kyoto Animation production. Character designs are excellently detailed, polished, smoothened, and sharpened. Again, this is something that’s quite familiar to those who noted P.A.Works works (pun not intended). Background art is great, paints the entire setting and its mysteries. It can urge the viewer to explore more of the universe. Animation is definitely superb, zero issues and helps in bringing the eye-candy and immersive experience of watching it.
Voice acting is excellent. It is mood-setting, fits the characters well, and helps illustrate the mystery and intrigue of the entire premise. It’s unsettling, and helps in making you thirst for exploration of the story’s entire world. Background music and sound effects also helps in setting the mood and experience for the audience. Combined with the visuals, these two factors go hand-in-hand in bringing an immersive and jaw-dropping experience.
Just like the two aforementioned factors, the writing present in the first episode is superb. Event ordering and scenes never lack dull moments, and they’re connected to the intriguing story so far. The premise of having no log-out option is unsettling and, at least for me, quite diturbing. The fact the players must be able to clear each level furthermore boosts unsettling intriguing feel. Direction is totally consistent with the immersive and depth of the story and writing. It uses all of the factors at its disposal to bring you a bang for the buck entertainment.
Sword Art Online is a promising contender for the Summer 2012 anime line-up with loads of intrigue and entertainment it could bring. In case you didn’t notice the sarcasm in my introductory paragraph, I can’t bring myself to like it as of the moment. Yes it’s interesting and intriguing, but not being able to like it at the moment totally kills off any possibility of me being able to write about it further.
Images Used are under Fair Use.