Sword Art Online is the dream that so many games have attempted to be. The series is well written, with individual characters with their own goals and codes of conduct. There are aspects of social gaming that it touches on that are real world issues for many gamers. The way the characters deal with loot dispersal and player killers are representative of the experience but deliver it in a way that is both entertaining and touching. While it pulled me in and caught me sober, once I smoked while watching, things got excellent.
The Blue Dream I smoked during the first 10 episodes really helped me get into the story. The lighthearted moments made me actually laugh and I felt twinges of fear or anger at characters for their reasoning and actions. I was able to suspend disbelief with even the throw away characters. It’s hard to get that kind of emotional response from me. I was thoroughly impressed with the caliber of character development and social awareness that the show brought out. The way they portray combat and grouping is also something that touches home.
Even though SAO is a great show, it’s not perfect. It conforms to some stereotypes like making all the women fall head over heels for the male lead. There are plenty of blushing moments and behavior I wouldn’t suggest for a small child but it shies away from going into the R spectrum. The topics it delves into are deep and complex so there is a tendency to oversimplify situations but I feel the creators delivered a great product. It makes me want to play.