I do like trying new things here, in fact we all do. It’s why I try writing new types of articles and why you might, after watching Sword Art Online, decide to watch Log Horizon. In this new article format I’m going to be picking two shows that are similar or are often compared. And yep, you guessed it, for my first comparison I’ve chosen one of the biggest clashes in the recent anime world: MMO vs MMO – Sword Art Online vs Log Horizon.
At a very basic level, the link between the two shows is their grounding in an immersive RPG world that they players cannot escape from. In SAO, we have the world of Alfheim, where ten thousand players have been trapped by evil mastermind and game creator Akihiko Kayaba and if they die in the game, they will also die in real life. In comparison, in Log Horizon we have Elder Tale a desktop MMO that after an update became the reality for all of the players around the world who were logged in.
As with anything that lives largely on the internet, the world of anime seems to love a good list. So today, because of criminal lack of reviewing over the past couple of months, I’m going to rank all of the shows that I’ve seen over the summer since the start of July by enjoyment (any attempt at being critical is being thrown out of the window for this article!). I’m going to every show I’ve seen whether it aired this season or I’ve only now got around to watching it, but to keep things interesting I’ll be combining seasons. Let’s get started!
Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Bottom of the pile is the famous (infamous?) Madoka Magica. I’m not exactly an avid fan of magical girl genre but given the hype behind this show I felt that it might be worth the watch. What I found from watching the 12 episode season was a dark, beautiful but other underwhelming show that didn’t really seemed really confused up until the final 4 episodes. Then I watched the follow up movie: and the mess that it’s ending created is the cause for the Madoka Magica’s poor position in the list. Shame.
So you’ve stumbled across this blog knowing nothing about anime or you’re just looking for some recommendations for shows to start with. Lucky you, because I’m going to share my top 5 shows that every anime newbie should watch. These aren’t necessarily the best shows, but they do cover well liked and accessible areas that will help you decide what other shows you might like in the future.
5. Sword Art Online
Not everyone likes Sword Art Online, in fact the ‘serious’ anime community (whoever they are), actively dislikes it. That said it’s actually very popular, and for good reason. Think swords, fairies and dragons – plus it’s based within a game. The themes of the show open it up to pretty much anyone and it’s a good example of great anime artwork.
Things are really starting to hit crisis point in Sword Art Online II in episode 9. Death Gun has made an appearance in BoB, killing one player before disappearing.
One of the noticeable things about this episode is that, for a supposedly high action episode, there is a lot of talking and not all that much action. The episode quickly become about finding and stopping Death Gun before he kills anyone else. However, getting from the bridge to the city in which Death Gun is located takes the whole episode- what’s the problem with that you ask? Well in amongst this travelling is some talking amongst Kirito’s SAO friends about how bad Death Gun probably is, Sinon having a bit of break down about the possibility of dying and Kirito himself becoming so ridiculously OP in what comes across as showing off in front of Sinon.
That isn’t to say this isn’t an enjoyable Sword Art Online episode. The artwork and animation is as crisp as usual, and that over powered sword fighting I mentioned from Kirito, it is pretty cool. Sinon’s ongoing fear of the incident in her childhood is managed reasonably well and works really well with the cliffhanger at the end of the episode.
For the first time in my very short anime life I’ve been able to watch a show as it is released (in dub that is, I know, I know, sorry). That show is the second season of Sword Art Online. This week I watched episode 4, GGO (Gun Gale Online). So, I’m going to try and give a quick overview of the episode, my thoughts and, on this occasion, the lessons we should try to take from it (all tongue in cheek, of course).
So far in show, we’ve been introduced to one this season’s new female leads, Sinon (or Shino in the real world), one of Gun Gale Online’s best snipers who also happens to be afraid of guns (!). Kirito has been asked by the government to go into GGO and investigate rumours of a player killing players in the real world through the game. Episode 3 ends as he is about to enter the game for the first time.
Episode 4 is all about Kirito beginning to understand GGO. That said it doesn’t stop him showing off how much better he is than everyone else on more than one occasion.