On Knowledge vs. Experience

Blaugust Post #3

For a while now, Tam and Kodra have been talking on the podcast and otherwise about Sword Art Online, an anime which at this point is actually 3 years old. Yesterday I decided that maybe I should become more familiar with it, and watched the first 15 episodes. Prior to this, I was familiar with the premise and the two main characters. I’ll avoid specific spoilers in this post, but some basic plot info follows. If that’s too much for you, tomorrow’s post is likely to be about something else.

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All Fun and Games

Sword Art Online (SAO from here on out) is an anime about an MMO. Its central conceit is that the players are all trapped in the game, and if they die in the game they die for real. SAO takes this premise seriously, because there’s not point in making such a threat if no one actually dies. This much I knew before Tam and Kodra even started talking about it. I learned prior to watching it that it does focus more on relationships than I originally thought, and it’s not really an “action” show. I figured that this would tell me what to expect.

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I was not prepared. SAO knows how to deliver the emotional punches really hard. The first arc of SAO is probably a good 8 sads out of 10, and the lead-in to the second arc doesn’t make it look like it’ll be happy either (although Episode 15 also inspires other feelings). It starts early, as one of the most memorable moments is in episode 3. It doesn’t stop there, but that’s really the first hint that not everything is going to be okay. Even knowing that bad things were likely to happen, it hit me pretty hard.

I will say that SAO got me very interested in its world and characters, and I see why certain other people have been going on about it. I did pick up the game (It’s pretty cheap at $20), so you may hear about that in a little while.

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