"This game is impossible to clear. It's just a matter of when, where and how you die." Kayaba Akihiko's death game has been up for one month. This incredibly difficult VRMMO has already claimed 2000 victims. It's the day of the 1st floor boss strategy meeting. The solo player Kirito, who's decided to only strengthen himself, meets a rare female player on the current front lines, while heading to the meeting around noon. Fighting alone against the strong monsters, she was like a meteor cutting the night sky.
A compilation of Aria in the Starless Night, where Kirito becomes known as the Black Swordsman, the events concerning the 2nd floor boss clearing, and Rondo of the Transient Blade, the sad tale of a young male blacksmith.
The manga is still ongoing but I enjoyed it from the start. I've seen the Sword Art Online anime adaptation and though the story is okay, it felt rushed. The story was jumping from one experience to the next so I wasn't pretty satisfied after it ended. However, this manga showed the nitty-gritty of the life within the game. It shows more personality among the players especially Asuna and Kirito.. Especially Kirito. Kirito was more or less unemotional for the most part of the anime until he suddenly got together with Asuna. There was no development between his feelings. In this manga, Kirito has more personality and more development between them. I like it because it shows more detail and personality compared to the anime. I'm still hoping for better progress and more exciting and enjoyable chapters! I was hoping it would be a weekly chapter update. The only thing I dislike about this is the slow update in chapters. Every latest chapter keeps me hanging!read more
A contemporary Sci-fi, Action manga, set in the not-so distant future, of advanced virtual reality and augmented reality. Sword Art Online has become a bit of a phenomenon within our cultural sphere, spawning numerous adaptations from: anime series, to movies, to video games and several manga titles. With its popular status, SAO has attracted a ton of scrutiny, the bulk of which being some form of "WTF! Why rush through the Aincrad arc." Well I guess the author, Reki Kawahara took a lot the criticisms to heart, as he strives to reboot the main story of the franchise with this latest iteration Sword Art Online: Progressive.
Which immediately skips over any sort of prologue and thrust the reader and main character, right into the thick of it. So even those who have watched the series and or read the light novels will still be gifted with something fresh & different. As it begins from the perspective of the intelligent, yet dissatisfied highschool girl, Asuna. Who so happens to wind up trapped in a new MMORPG, with little to no knowledge of even the most basic of game mechanics. After being saved from perma-death, by the solo swordsman Kirito and his sly informant Argo; Asuna gradually learns about the death game she has gotten herself stuck in and the people she will eventually call friends. And from these first couple volumes I can tell that the author is putting much greater thought into the story. Like spending time to flesh out the world, the game mechanics and the characters.
Characters like Asuna, who I feel is the right choice for main character, since she is as ignorant as us readers, on the new world she's found herself stuck in. Of course I am aware this is a rudimentary method of providing exposition, but it does allow this story to become more of a journey than a power fantasy. What makes the characters interesting in this iteration is that there's a great deal more context to their actions. And it achieves that without bogging down the story with numerous flashbacks and monologues, beyond the initial volume.
When it comes to the artwork of SAO: Progressive, only one word comes to mind... "clean". The artwork is just very clean, with simple panel arrangements making it easy to follow the flow of action. But that's not to say that detail isn't put into those panels, as a great deal of it is put into emphasising some of the major impacts of any given combat scenario. Then again what really made me fall in love with the artwork of this manga has to be with how it's able to express so much without dialogue. The perfect example of this being 3 simple pages towards the end of Vol.2 Chap.008. With no dialogue it's able to express to the reader just how much Asuna has developed as a character; establishing that she acquired a humble abode (something she learnt from Kirito), that her studious nature remains in this new world and that she's grown to love her sword.
But mind you there are still flaws with this iteration of the story, most notably being the random tonal shifts, whereby the needless jokes are forced into intense battles. However none of it is enough to ruin what this iteration, of the Sword Art Online "Aincrad Arc", is attempting to achieve.read more