02 February 2013

Geek update: Akaneiro and Sword Art Online!

Official Art (c) 
Just a quickie update...I backed my first game via Kickstarter, and I'm happy to say Akaneiro Demon Hunters has been successfully funded! To read about the project, go here.

The game is going to be free to the public, and it's already in beta, so if you wanna play, go here.

Anyway, Akaneiro caught my eye because Kotaku advertised the project...I love RPGs and the game's artwork is gorgeous. Plus, the story is inspired by Little Red Riding Hood and Japanese mythology, which sounds full of win to me! I was happy to back this, but I'm also happy to receive some of the awesome "thank you" gifts that come from being a backer--art, comics, music, and a lot of in-game goodies. Pretty cool!

In other geek news.......brace yourselves..........hell freezeth over.


Kirito from Sword Art Online.
Ok. Maybe not all of Fullmetal Alchemist....as in, the entire franchise...but man, oh man. My top two-anime series of all time was Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood (my #1) with the original Fullmetal Alchemist in at #2...but after I started watching Sword Art Online, I'm gonna have to tweak my favorites list.

 Now, Sword Art Online isn't a completed series yet, as far as I know (I think there's another season coming, maybe?), so I can't bump it to #1 until I watch it in its entirety, and then I can properly weigh it against Brotherhood...but I just finished the fourteenth episode and I am blown away by this show.

I was sucked into the series faster than any other anime I've watched so far, and this is the first anime series to have me bawling like an idiot. So many emotions. This show has everything--fantasy, sci-fi, action, romance--and I ADORE the soundtrack.

I first heard about this series through Kotaku East. If you read a headline that says Sword-Art Online is the Smartest Anime I've Seen in Years you kind of can't help but pay attention. I recently joined Hulu Plus and was delighted to find it there  so I started watching it. I marathoned those episodes!!! I had to stop because of school, but also because I had to recover from sobbing over Episode 14. Holy cow, I'm going to have to use this gif again:

It looks like there are 25 episodes total... When I have the time, I'll zoom through the rest of the series and wait impatiently for the possible (?) second season. In the meantime,  I went ahead and ordered the series to add it to my fast-growing anime collection.

Update from the future (2015!):
The part of the series I refer to above--what made me fall in love with SAO--was the Aincrad arc, which introduced Sword Art Online and its main characters. The second "season" was actually the second story arc, called Alfheim Online.

And oooooh, did I dislike this part of the series. Kotaku gave it a nicer review which I think nailed its issues (although I disgree with their glowing remarks about the villain). Overall, I felt betrayed by creative choices that seemed to undermine the magic of the Aincrad arc. Take a capable, strong heroine, and make her a sex object/damsel-in-distress again; make the new villain as over-the-top, pervy, and cartoony as possible; add in a pointless brother-sister "love" story; and... and... that was Alfheim Online. I watched it all the way through out of the need for resolution, but it just didn't hit me the way the Aincrad arc did. Because of this, SAO lost its place as one of my top anime series.

As I type this update, though, there's Sword Art Online II, which starts the story with Gun Gale Online and a new arc. I'm a few episodes into it and the mystery and visuals have kept my interest; I also read that there's a fourth arc that wraps the series up beautifully, so I'm looking forward to that.

Sword Art Online II could be the antidote to my feelings of disappointment after the Alfheim arc wrapped...I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.

Overall, though, do I feel my readers should give SAO a try, despite its weaknesses? YES! It scores high on emotional impact for me which I think makes the series worth watching. 


  1. Have you ever watched Vampire Princess Miyu? It's pretty old (1997), but I love the crap out of it. Some of those episodes are really creepy.


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