What ruined Sword Art Online?

What ruined Sword Art Online?

Sword Art Online (SAO) is a popular anime and light novel series that has been praised for its high-concept premise and action-packed sequences. However, the series has also been criticized for its writing, characters, and pacing. In this article, we will discuss some of the elements that many of us believe ruined Sword Art Online.

For more reviews, updates, recommendations, comparisons, and exclusive anime content, consider subscribing to our newsletter! We assure you a weekly dose of exciting anime content delivered straight to your inbox.

Sword Art Online Main Plotline

The NerveGear, a revolutionary virtual reality headset, allows players to fully immerse themselves in the game’s expansive world. However, in a shocking twist, the creator of SAO, Kayaba Akihiko, traps the players within the game, rendering them unable to log out.

What ruined Sword Art Online?
Sword Art Online | Image via Netflix

The only way to escape is to clear the game’s 100 floors and defeat the final boss. If a player dies in the game, they meet their demise in the real world as well.

Kirito, a seasoned gamer with exceptional combat skills, emerges as a formidable player within SAO. He forms a deep connection with Asuna Yuuki, another player determined to break free from the virtual prison. Together they ally through the game, facing numerous foes and challenges.

So what ruined Sword Art Online?

SAO captured the imaginations of audiences worldwide. However, as the series continued, its popularity waned, and many fans came to believe that it had squandered its initial potential. Here are some of the factors that contributed to SAO’s decline:

Asuna from Sword Art Online
Asuna | Image courtesy of A-1 Pictures
  • The characters in SAO are often criticized for being underdeveloped and one-dimensional. Kirito, the main protagonist, is often regarded as a Gary Stu, having overpowered skills and lacking any real challenges or flaws. Other characters, such as Asuna, are relegated to supporting roles and receive little attention in terms of their personal growth.

  • The pacing of SAO is inconsistent and often unbalanced. The Aincrad arc, which takes place in the first season was an amazing experience with its suspenseful and engaging narrative. However, subsequent arcs, such as the Alfheim arc, were heavily rushed and lacking in substance. Time skips and abrupt changes in tone often result in feelings of disorientation and confusion.
What ruined Sword Art Online?
A still from Sword Art Online | Image courtesy of A-1 Pictures
  • Harem Elements: SAO is notorious for its harem elements, which are at times excessive and unnecessary. The series frequently features scenes of female characters fawning over Kirito, often to the detriment of their character development. These harem elements detract from the overall plot and diminish the impact of the female characters.

  • SAO’s original premise raises important questions about the psychological impact of virtual reality entrapment. Unfortunately, the series doesn’t dig deep into these themes, instead, they decide to ruin it by focusing on romance.


Asuna and Kirito | What ruined Sword Art Online?
Asuna and Kirito | Image courtesy of A-1 Pictures

In conclusion, Sword Art Online had the potential to be an amazing anime series, but it ultimately fell short due to several flaws in its execution. The characters were underdeveloped, the story pacing was inconsistent, the harem elements were excessive, the psychological impact of the premise was not adequately explored, and the anime adaptation made several questionable changes.

Scroll to Top