As many of the longer-term readers of my blog are probably aware, i’m not the world’s biggest fan of Sword Art Online (the anime). While season 1 was good, successive seasons only got worse, compounding on the series’ lack of consistency, bad character writing, lazy story progression, and generally flawed world. Each season past the first just made these flaws more and more obvious, slowly making me dislike a series that I had once enjoyed.
For this reason, I went into SAO Alternative a bit apprehensively. Though written by a different author, it’s still the world of SAO, and like a bad brand name, gave me a bad first impression. Thankfully though, from what i’ve seen so far, this show may end up turning things around.
First off, Aincrad is gone. That flawed, inconsistent world is nowhere to be seen, along with all the main characters from the original series. In their place, we have the character LLENN, a tiny girl who wears nothing but pink (including her gun). LLENN is not only adorable, but already seems like a far more interesting character than Kirito, so much so that the series doesn’t need to rely on the fear of “dying in real life”, instead giving us a very real and down-to-earth “gaming” experience.
The war game showcased in the first episode reminds me largely of the popular game PUBG. While i’m not such a huge fan of that game, the instant connection in my brain shows just how well the show has done already in making GGO feel like a real game, something that Aincrad never quite managed to do.
I don’t mean to be ragging on the original series so much, but I feel it’s the best way of showcasing what this new show is doing correctly, and impressing me. Combined with the gorgeous visuals, slick animation, and great audio, with a stellar soundtrack including an OP by freaking Eir Aoi (who, by the way, is amazing), and very accurate and well-done gun SFX.
All-in-all, I think this show is gonna be a great watch this season, and I don’t see it leaving my list anytime soon. Things could change later down the line, but for now, that’s how my opinion stands. What are you guys thoughts abut this show so far? Do you agree with my opinion? Let me know down in the comments, and thanks for reading!