Sorry for the lack of updates guys, sometimes I forget that I have followers xD Anyways, what have I been doing with my spare time? Well, in preparation for Kumoricon (a local anime convention that I will be attending and cosplaying) I have decided to start exposing myself to more anime, the shows that I have completed thus far are completely different from each other but are equally excellent, these shows are Sword Art Online and Psycho-Pass.
With all this exposure, I have decided to give my impressions to every anime that I binge and why I recommend it or don’t recommend it. These impressions will include a basic summary, along with some notable elements of the show that I enjoyed or didn’t enjoy. I will not go into spoiler territory, so if you’re worried about that, feel free to dive in with no fear. If you have any suggestions as to what anime I should binge next, feel free to let me know!
Sword Art Online
Otherwise known as SAO, Sword Art Online is a show that takes place in the year 2025 and focuses on a young man named Kirigaya Kazuto or as he is known in the world of SAO, Kirito. On the launch day of the game, using high-tech VR technology, he transports himself into the world of the game, along with 10,000 other players. However, there’s only one problem, there’s no log off button. It turns out that the game is an experiment, devised by the creator, to create a world with none of real life’s rules or regulations. A world where if you die in the game, you die in real life. In order to get out of this world, a player or a group of players must reach the 100th level and defeat the final boss of the world, only then will the player and all of the world’s inhabitants be able to wake up from their virtual slumber.
From the get-go this show doesn’t stop with its balls to the walls action, the character of Kirito quickly becomes skilled in the art of the sword and is focused on his status as a “solo player”. However, this status is compromised as he meets a cast of characters along the way that ultimately alter the course of his virtual life, for better or worse. The character of Kirito is simply badass and the show’s action scenes put his skills on full display. However, he’s also a kind person under the rough exterior, not wanting people to get involved for fear of something happening to them.
The show also contains romantic elements as well, as many of the opposite gender that Kirito meets, takes a liking to him. However, the one woman that proves to be Kirito’s true equal is Asuna, a young lady whose path is the exact opposite of Kirito’s, she quickly joins a guild and rises the ranks to become second-in-command. As the show progresses, the relationship between these two characters, along with their chemistry, has its fair share of laughs and romance that should appeal anyone regardless of gender.
The first half of the show is brilliant, it’s exciting, engaging and it ultimately has something for everyone. Unfortunately, the second half, while still engaging, does have its share of problems that I ultimately won’t spoil, it doesn’t ruin the appeal of the show by any means, but it takes the show in a different direction that may throw many people off.
Overall, I enjoyed this show and it has quickly become one of my favorite anime shows and the first half also features one of my favorite opening themes. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for an exciting fantasy/science fiction action anime.
What do you get when you cross a crime drama like CSI with a science fiction overlay? You get Psycho-Pass, a show that’s as intelligent as it’s violent. Unlike SAO, this show is definitely for more mature audiences as it contains some serious subject matter, so if you’re squemish when it comes to violence, I don’t recommend it. Otherwise, read on:
Psycho-Pass also takes place in the future, but one that’s more paranoid and corrupt. In the future, each person is monitored and crimes are predicted by the person’s Psycho-Pass which are displayed in the form of different colored hues (a satire of Homeland Security’s color system). The show focuses on a bureau of inspectors and enforcers who, along with their dominators (weapons that alter their lethality based on the target’s crime co-efficient levels) keep the streets safe of crime. While the show follows the 1st Division of the bureau and its cast of characters, the primary protagonists are Akane Tsunemori (a newly recruited inspector with a remarkably steady Psycho-Pass) and Shinya Kogami (a former inspector who is demoted to enforcer after his Psycho-Pass and crime co-efficient levels skyrocket after a traumatic point in his life).
While it could’ve been a result of the English dub (which is the version I watched of both this show and SAO) I didn’t particularly care for Akane’s character, who comes off as flat and a little bit uninteresting. However, Shinya Kogami is a renegade cop who doesn’t play by the rules and is pretty badass to boot. Typically with anime, you’d have some chemistry between the male and female protagonists, while the chemistry certainly is there, the relationship between Akane and Shinya is strictly platonic and doesn’t delve into the typical romance often seen in traditional anime. I liked this approach a lot and it made the characters seem more professional and more focused on the case(s) at hand. The other members of the bureau are hit and miss, some come off as dry and professional, others more light-hearted and easy-going. There’s someone for everyone when it comes to the cast and it certainly kept things interesting.
Overall, the show isn’t for everyone, whether it’s the over-the-top violence or the hit or miss cast of characters. However, if you can look over these faults, you have a show that’s engaging, smart and violent. A crime drama with a science fiction edge that I definitely recommend if you have the stomach for it.