Sword Art Online Aincrad Review
When I picked up the first light novel of Sword Art Online, I expected it to be a little more in depth than the anime. To my surprise, the anime followed it very closely except for one part (Chapter 16.5). I really just want a more in depth account of their time in SAO. I think it would be really cool to hear about what happened in there and how people adapted to the situation. I guess I will have to wait to read it later on in the Progressive novels.
Sword Art Online Aincrad Volume One is about the death game called Sword Art Online. Kayaba Akihiko has created the first VRMMORPG and only 10,000 players are able to play the game during the launch. When all players are logged on he announces that they can not get out without beating the game. If you die in the game you also die in reality as well. Thus the players are reluctant and slowly start to beat the game.
The story follows one main character, Kirito. He is fourteen when he first logs onto Sword Art Online. The story follows his accounts throughout SAO and his transformation into an adult. He mostly works alone until a Knights of Blood Guild member becomes his ally. Her name is Asuna and she is second in command of the KoB. The two fall in love and eventually get married in the game. When it is time to fight the boss on the 74th floor, the two go back to the front lines to fight. Here a secret of the KoB guild leader, Heathcliff, is let out. The game changes and Kirito has a chance to beat the game, but may risk death.
Kirito is the main character of Sword Art Online. He basically stays to himself through out the game. He prefers to fight on the front lines by himself until a boss battle and will usually help out the Knights of Blood Guild. He is known as the black swordsman and it is later revealed that he has a special skill called Duel Blades. Other than Heathcliff, Kirito is the only other known player with a special skill. He eventually partners up with Asuna. She is the most beautiful female player of SAO and the other main character of the book. She is a the second in command of the Knights of Blood and is a very fast swordsman. She is known as The Flash to most SAO players. The two kids fall in love and get married as well.
Egil is the owner of a shop. He is an axe wielder and sells at low prices to help out other SAO front line players. He rarely ever participates in fights, but his strength is really good. Cline is another SAO character that shows up a lot. He is the guild leader of the Fuurinkazan. He is a friend of Kirito’s and helps him out at times through out the game.
Heathcliff is the leader of the Knights of Blood Guild. He has a special skill called Holy Sword. He beats Kirito once to make him join the KoB guild. Kirito finds his fighting style a bit unusual and has a revelation of him towards the end of the book.
There are honestly not many differences between the anime and the light novel of Sword Art Online. I think the one difference that was not in the anime that I noticed was when Kirito, Godfrey, and Kuradeel go to train for the KoB test. Another memeber actually goes with them in the light novel. Kirito and the others never mention his name though. Of course there was also the chapter 16.5 that was not in the anime. It is hinted though that Kirito and Asuna have intercourse in the anime on their honeymoon.
Chapter 16.5 is only int eh unrated version of the books. I highly doubt they will include this section in all USA releases. This is the chapter where Asuna explains to Kirito that there is the ability to have sex and the two do it. The chapter is very detailed. A little hard to get through at first but I pushed through it, feeling it was crucial to the story of SAO. It is crucial in way. It allows the reader to know how detailed the game actually is and how real in can feel to the characters. Be warned if you choose to read this section.
Overall the book was a great read. I really liked reading the book and getting a different emotion for the characters. Not a lot is different from the anime though. I wish that it had been a little more detailed but I guess that is why they call it a light novel.
Sword Art Online Aincrad Volume One Grade: 8 out of 10