Apart from the beginning, the plot entirely takes place in a virtual reality game called “Sword Art Online”, hence the name of this series.
The story starts with Sword Art Online being released and lots of people buying it (analogy: Diablo3). Like many others, the protagonist, Kirito, logs into the game right away and stays in there for hours. However, when they try to log out again, the players notice the button is missing from the game menu.
This is Asuna. She is the main bishoujo of this anime. Main weapon: fork
Shortly after the Kirito notices, still believing it’s a glitch or the logout button is simply replaced, all the players get teleported to the “Town of Beginnings” where the GM and developer of the game tells them the harsh rules of that game world:
- If you die in the game world, the NervGear will kill you in the real world
- You cannot log out. The only way of getting out of the game is dying (at which point you die IRL) or clearing the game.
- Your avatar is basically the same as your real body
- Your real name is your ingame name
That’s an awfully nice way to put it. You don’t die, you just “retire”. I see.
The story itself is quite interesting. A litte irritating, however, is the fact that the story jumps several weeks between episodes. It doesn’t really feel like a flowing story, but rather like only a few dots are narrated.
So far, the story also follows a case-of-the-week-like manner, with the ultimate goal to clear the game and get out.