Thursday, April 23, 2015

Storytelling in Sword Art Online

My tastes in entertainment have changed a lot in the past year. There was a time in my life (a rough, rough time) when my preference in television was sitcoms like Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory. My interests have definitely broadened since then, and I’ve recently begun to take an interest in Anime. 

Since I began watching anime last semester, the most recent one I binged on has been my clear favorite. That show is Sword Art Online, a 25 episode show based off of a novel series written by Reki Kawahara. Sword Art Online is the story of two MMORPG players named Kirito and Asuna. Set in the year 2022, the show takes place in a virtual reality world in which players put on “nerve gear” that literally puts them into the game. The creator of this MMO ends up trapping the players in the game, and they have to play it to completion in order to escape back into the real world. Kirito and Asuna are two of the game’s strongest and best players, and they fight through the 100 levels to challenge the creator of the game, who is the final boss and the ticket back into the real world. In the two and a half or so years that they spend stuck in the game, Kirito and Asuna fall in love, and decide to fight to the end so that they can be together in the real world. When they finally do complete the game however, one of the creators of the nerve gear keeps Asuna trapped in the state of virtual reality and brings her into a new game that he has created. Kirito then must play this new game to defeat the deranged creator of Alfheim Online. It is an exciting, fast-moving story that kept me enthralled the entire time.

I watched this entire series in two days (roughly 30 hours). Having grown up a fan of Harry Potter, Runescape, Eragon, and other fantasy-fiction books/games, Sword Art Online was right up my alley. I couldn’t get enough of it, and I think that is due to quality of storytelling. Now I’ve never seen myself as much of a writer, whether it be for television/movies, short stories, or anything else. This is because my storytelling skills are lacking; I can have an interest idea, but I really suck at expressing it in an entertaining way. I liked this series so much because the story was so relatable to my childhood interests. It had the right balance of action, character development, and general humor/entertainment to keep me hungry for more the entire way through. I know that as I try out my talents in writing this summer (which I think will be fun, hopefully it doesn’t turn out a mess),I will look to Sword Art Online as a guide for developing the plot and characters in an interesting way.

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