Sword Art Online

Type: Anime - 25 episodes.

Genre: Action, Romance, Fantasy.

Plot Synopsis: In the near future virtual reality video games are a possibility. Our hero Kirito enters the new big hate VRMMORPG to battle his way through the games beautiful world. Soon after logging on players begin to realise that logging off is impossible. The games creator, Kayaba Akihiko, tells the players that death in the game results in death in reality. The only way out is to win the game.

Video Review:
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Story: 6/10
Sword Art Online has a decent story. Nothing we haven't seen before but it's a fun premise. The first few episodes of SAO have a blistering pace. I loved the first three episodes. They me hungering for more. SAO settles after this however. Filler episodes combined with a forced romance damage the story. With the second arc the storyline is further damaged.

Characters: 5/10
Patchy. Whilst Kirito is actually fairly likeable, the shows insistence that he become male wish fulfilment is an irritant. Asuna starts off as a really interesting female secondary but the romantic subplot is really bad and it robs her of all that made her interesting to begin with. Laefa is annoying. The rest of the cast (minus the harem characters) seem mildly interesting but get very little screentime. The villains are very disappointing.

Art/animation: 9/10
The animation is very good. Really quite nice. The character designs are pleasant to look at and easy to tell apart. The battles are a feast for the eyes. If we had more battles this could have pushed for a 10.

Voice acting, music rating: 8/10
The soundtrack is really good. It takes awhile for you to start enjoying the tracks but soon you will find yourself absent mindedly humming the themes. The voice acting is solid.

Overall: 7/10