by Leonie

Possible spoilers for season 1 of Sword Art Online.

If you enjoy the occasional anime on a lazy, rainy autumn evening when you have nothing to do – or year-round no matter the time of day or weather because #lifeofahermit – then you’ve likely heard of Sword Art Online. While I’m not a massive fan yet (I’m only 9 episodes in), I appreciate the drawing style and the hugely imaginative world that the author of the light novel series, Reki Kawahara, has created. So far, I have watched Kirito-kun and Asuna-san form alliances, procure valuable (and dope-looking) items and fight the shizzle out of some monsters and fellow players of the video game.


If you don’t remember, or if you’ve never seen or heard of the anime, the basic plot is that the protagonist, username: Kirito, along with a substantial number of other players, is trapped in a virtual-reality adventure game. The only method of escaping is to play through – and survive – all 100 levels of the game. Any other attempt at escaping (e.g. having a family member unplug the console) results in death. Dying within the game also leads to the player’s death in reality. So, trust that the stakes are high!

However, there is one thing that would annoy me more than anything if I were stuck in SAO.
Being trapped in a video game? Yeah, sucks.
Constant worry of being robbed, ambushed or attacked? Not cool, sure.
Death? Pretty bothersome, but hey, what can you do.

No, what would be the most upsetting part, without a doubt, would be losing my avatar. Let me explain: the players in SAO, once they are gathered and told that having turned on the game pretty much equals a death sentence, everyone’s appearance changes. Even tough at first they took the form of the avatar they chose and carefully put together before the game started, they now look like they do in real life – face, body, height, hairdo, the whole nine yards.
Do you know how long it takes to craft the perfect avatar? If you’ve ever played the Sims, you know what I’m talking about. I have spent hours adjusting face shapes and eyebrow arches; I have gone through every. single. hairstyle. until I found the one that says “fashionable, but not trying too hard; casual but not lazy; effortless but still on point.”


So to have all that work be thrown in the (virtual and metaphorical) trash by a psychopathic game developer with a god complex would make me want to slap each and every pixel off his smug face. Imagine having produced the ideal avatar, putting an unholy amount of time and effort into its creation and then someone goes: “Nah fam, just kidding” and it’s all gone.
And if you don’t think that’s the most annoying thing about playing/being stuck in SAO, then…

…well, then you’re probably a well-rounded person who’s got their priorities straight.

It is entirely possible that something even more bothersome will appear or happen as I continue watching this beautiful anime. I doubt it but let’s just see what we’re getting into with the next episodes (and the movie which I’m really excited for!!!) so no spoilers if you’ve already seen it!



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