The Podcast Without Banners – Dragonstone

The Podcast Without Banners returns after a two year hiatus, as Thomas Fyrehart and Maeve LaFey give their thoughts on episode one of season seven; Dragonstone.

Little Witch Academia (Cour 1) – Rila Reviews

When Riley’s away, big sister will play. Rila finally cracks open one of her favorite anime of the year by reviewing the first cour of Little Witch Academia! Stay Toon’d!

Rila – Mocha Vampire

Special Thanks To Our Awesome Patreon Sponsors!

Bernard Jerome McEntee Jr.
And all Anonymous Pledges!

Thanks for watching!

At First Glance – Black Butler

Note: There are spoilers for the first episode of the anime in question in this article.
You have been warned.

Welcome back folks. As a quick reminder for those who are new or have forgotten, the concept of these “At First Glance” articles is that I watch the first episode of an anime I’ve never seen and give my thoughts on it.
Simple, right? With that out of the way, let’s get down to business.

Black Butler

Ah yes, Black Butler. This one has been on my to-do list for a while, especially since it was suggested to me back when I started doing these in 2016. So, to the person who did suggest/request this…sorry it’s taken so long. As far as my knowledge of the anime went, this was another of those anime I was vaguely aware of but had absolutely no idea what it was about. And going by some of the promotional imagery, including this article’s banner, let’s just say you could be forgiven for expecting something other than what we get.

No, Black Butler thankfully isn’t what the imagery implies, it’s just a story about a rich tween boy called Ciel Phantomhive in Victorian England who has a Demon Butler, and is also apparently Queen Victoria’s Guard Dog, investigating and solving crimes in London’s seedy underground. You know. The usual. Oh, also he has three other servants who act as comic relief, and one of them looks like an interpretation of the Final Fantasy character Cid.

Which makes sense given Square Enix had a hand in publishing the manga

There isn’t ultimately too much to say about the events of episode, other than it serving as a good introduction to the characters more than anything. We’re not given much of a background on the characters yet, aside from a cold opening showing the deal being made between Ciel and Sebastian. Though we’re given no context as of yet exactly why this deal was made aside from hints. Though I am aware due to reading up a tiny bit.

I must admit, I actually expected this episode to have action in it. I mean, you know, demon butler and all. The actual approach of playing this more like a drama with some psychological horror kind of thrown in as well ended up working fairly well. Though I am aware there is action in this anime. So, this episode being more of a set up explains the lack of it.

One thing that irked me about this though is the English dub. Yes. I’m complaining about the English dub. I rarely if ever do that, but this is one instance where I will indulge in that kind of snobbery. The English accent in this are horrible. Just horrible. Well, most are anyway. Sebastian is fine, and to an extent so is Ciel, but Baldroy, Mey-Rin & Finnian’s accents are all just so terribly exaggerated that it takes me out of the moment. Whatever comic relief they’re supposed to provide just turns into annoyance.

Also, those three having very thick working class English accents makes no sense. Baldroy is from the US, Mey-Rin is of Chinese descent and Finnian is of German descent. Baldroy might as well have a thick US accent of some kind, and the other two should either be speaking English with a much posher accent than they are, as they’d have been taught English by Sebastian, or they’d be speaking English with an accent fitting their heritage. And yes, this is normally a silly thing to expect from an anime dub, but they went through the trouble of bothering to give them accents at all, so they could’ve afforded to be a bit broader with their choices. Maybe that’s just me though.

I’ll just stop there so I don’t end up talking in circles. In any case, will I continue to watch Black Butler? Well, the concept has me interested enough, plus I can’t really judge it too much on this one episode. I will say however, I’m not watching it in English again.

For those who are interested, Black Butler consists of 46 episodes across three seasons (24 in season one, 12 in season two, and 10 in season three “Book Of Circus”, respectively), all of which are available in both subbed and dubbed formats. There are also nine OVAs for the show overall (one for season one, six for season two, and two for season 3 respectively), all of which are also available in both subbed and dubbed formats. Lastly there is also both an animated Black Butler movie (available subbed and dubbed) and a live-action one.

Well, that about covers it. If anyone has any suggestions for anime I should watch for this in the future, give me a shout and I’ll put it on my list. If it’s already on my list, I’ll bump it up in priority. However, if I’ve already watched it then I’m obviously going to have to decline.
I’ll see you next time folks.

At First Glance – Food Wars!

Note: There are spoilers for the first episode of the anime in question in this article.
You have been warned.

Welcome back folks. As a quick reminder for those who are new or have forgotten, the concept of these “At First Glance” articles is that I watch the first episode of an anime I’ve never seen and give my thoughts on it.
Simple, right? With that out of the way, let’s get down to business.

Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma

Well now. Where to start. Going into Food Wars I figured this would just be a cooking anime, maybe with some action-y emphasis to make it funny/interesting. What I got…well, let’s just talk about the set up first, shall we?

Food Wars is about Sōma Yukihira, a plucky middle schooler who works at his father’s local restaurant as he tries to hone his skill as a chef. Apparently Sōma and his father are continually hounded by loan sharks who want to buy the building they live and work in so they build an apartment block or hotel or something on top of it. This seems like it would be a recurring theme throughout the show or something, but no. Later in the episode the loan sharks trash the place and the head loan shark, a woman with…err…” large ambitions” …tries to force Sōma into making a meat dish for her, knowing full well they ruined all the meat.

Pictured: Large Ambitions

Unfortunately for the lady loan shark, this backfires, as Sōma creates a dish using things he’d bought to have for breakfast the next morning. The dish, a Pork Roast of sorts made using bacon wrapped over a potato/mushroom filing and such, goes over quite well. A little…too well, really.

No joke needed

Point being Sōma manages to save the family business by making the woman swear they’ll leave his family alone if she wants to eat more of the dish he made. She agrees, family business saved, then it turns out Sōma’s dad is closing the place for a few years anyway to help a friend out overseas.

So, Sōma gets shipped off to a cooking academy. A cooking academy that turns out to be one of the country’s best (at least in the show’s universe), with a very low graduation rate. Good luck with that Sōma.

Okay, let’s get down to the main…I just realised whatever word I’m thinking of using it’ll be a food or cooking pun. Damn it. Oh well. The main portion of this article will basically me be talking about what I tried to refrain from mentioning until now. That being that this anime actually rivals Prison School when it comes to the amount of borderline hentai imagery that this anime has. I’m not even kidding.

It’s basically a running joke that this anime has everyone having orgasms of varying degrees any time they eat anything they find to be delicious. From fairly subtle reactions like this.

To more intense reactions, like the infamous moment where the loan sharks all eat some of the Pork dish and orgasm so hard they go into a fantasy where their clothes rip right off them.

Then there’s the opposite extreme when Mayumi, a classmate of Sōma, is forced to eat an intentionally horrible dish he created. Her reaction not so much being orgasmic as much as feeling like her mouth was..violated. Which is shown to us via what I can only describe as softcore tentacle porn.

Yeah I’m actively avoiding showing some stuff as you can see. Why? Because I like being on That Ruled, that’s why. Besides, you can easily find it in your own time. Or you’ve already seen it, so you know what I’m talking about anyway. Point being there’s a lot of stuff in this that caught me off guard, considering I was just expecting a fairly simple anime about cooking. I mean, this is still an anime about cooking and the premise is still fairly simple, but I only got a warning about the whole “food-gasm” aspect of the show minutes before I watched this episode. This really is the Prison School of this genre of anime.

That said, will I continue to watch Food Wars? Yes. Holy fuck, yes. This is far too hilarious for me to just give up after one episode. That and the anime is different enough from others I’ve watched for this to generally keep me interested. I’d definitely recommend people give this show a watch. However, do not watch it in public, or near your parents, or near pretty much anyone who would judge you if they’d walk in at the wrong moment. It’d be pretty damn awkward.

For those interested, Food Wars currently consists of 37 episodes across two seasons (24 in season 1, and 13 in “The Second Plate” respectively), with a third season set to air in October, which I only just found out about. Aside from that there are also four OVAs. To clarify, both seasons and all of the OVAs are currently (as of me writing this) only available in Japanese with English subtitles.

Well, that about covers it. If anyone has any suggestions for anime I should watch for this in the future, give me a shout and I’ll put it on my list. If it’s already on my list, I’ll bump it up in priority. However, if I’ve already watched it then I’m obviously going to have to decline.
I’ll see you next time folks.

Anthem and Detroit and Metroid, Oh My! (E3 2017) – Bulletoon Weekly

The girls return with another E3 recap, courtesy of 2017! What new treats await the gaming world?

Rila – Mocha Vampire

Riley – AxusX
also on AstroPill

Special Thanks To Our Awesome Patreon Sponsors!

Bernard Jerome McEntee Jr.
And all Anonymous Pledges!

Thanks for watching!

At First Glance – Log Horizon

Note: There are spoilers for the first episode of the anime in question in this article.
You have been warned.

Welcome back folks. As a quick reminder for those who are new or have forgotten, the concept of these “At First Glance” articles is that I watch the first episode of an anime I’ve never seen and give my thoughts on it.
Simple, right? With that out of the way, let’s get down to business.

Log Horizon

Ah yes, that OTHER “We’re stuck in a video game somehow” anime I’ve had on my to-do list for quite some time now. I could’ve done Log Horizon back to back with Sword Art Online few weeks back, but the listing Gods determined it would happen now rather than then. Unlike Sword Art Online however, Log Horizon revolves around the main characters realising they’ve been sucked into the MMO they’ve been playing (Named “Elder Tales”), as opposed to just being stuck in a VR headset forever.


A fate worse than death

Also unlike SAO, Log Horizon has the people just kind of thrust into this situation and forces them to realise what must’ve happened on their own, rather than having an exposition dump. Honestly? I found that funny, because it shows how much of a trope this set up must be by now. They even guess the whole “if you die in the game, you die for real” aspect of the whole thing.

From what I can gather, we’re introduced to the characters that make up the main cast (or at least main trio) in this episode. Shiroe (The Strategist), Naotsugu (The Pervert), and Akatsuki (The loli-I mean The Assassin). Shiroe I feel will be the one I like the most out of the main three, though Akatsuki is a close second purely by how she deals with Naotsugu’s perverted nature.

I’m fairly certain Naotsugu is going to grade on me with time. His “I’m perverted and proud” thing was kind of funny at first, but they somehow manage to run it into the ground in this one episode alone. At least in my opinion they do. Like, I grew up watching Dragon Ball Z, and am a huge Naruto fan. I can handle pervy characters as comic relief, especially ones that don’t get away with being pervy idiots. This time though, it just…doesn’t work for whatever reason.

Speaking of Naruto, let’s talk about Akatsuki. Fitting how she’s named that considering her Assassin class thing seems to be modelled after ninja, by the way. Akatsuki shows up a “guy” that won’t talk, only to turn out to be a girl who got stuck as her male character, taking a potion Shiroe gives her so she can revert to a female body. And then she comes out looking like an eight-year-old. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, both Shiroe and Naotsugu find her attractive.


Considering she looks like an eight-year-old, that’s a creepy choice of words

And yes, I bothered to check, she IS an adult, as are the guys, but the anime never clarified that on her end. And sure, it’s still just an in-game avatar, but it’s blatantly stated she took the chance to model her female appearance on herself a bit more. Thinking about it, Akatsuki’s appearance seems to garner a lot of unwanted attention for her, though only Naotsugu has made anything resembling a sexual advance so far.


Which quickly prompts her to knee him in the face, hence the cut-off

That aside we only meet a few other characters, and the plot of the next episode is set up throughout, not that I realised at first. But overall this episode did a decent job of introducing us to the characters we’ll be following on this adventure, so I can give them that much. Plus, the lack of exposition for why this happened works for now, since any explanation would probably come off as sounding pretty technobabble-y anyway.

So, will I continue to watch Log Horizon? Sure, why not. It’s definitely a different enough set up from SAO for me to not just write it off as a rip off or anything like that. Also, despite all the negatives I mentioned, it’s better than bad. It’s good! …Okay, fine, I couldn’t think of a better way to work that reference in there. Sue me. I was determined to make it anyway…even though most might not even get what I’m referencing.

Anyway, bad references to 90s shows aside, Log Horizon currently consists of 50 episodes across two seasons (25 eps per season), and from what I can tell is only currently available in Japanese with English subtitles.

Well, that about covers it. If anyone has any suggestions for anime I should watch for this in the future, give me a shout and I’ll put it on my list. If it’s already on my list, I’ll bump it up in priority. However, if I’ve already watched it then I’m obviously going to have to decline.
I’ll see you next time folks.

Back Row Reflections – Wonder Woman

The following article contains spoilers for the DCEU in general to a degree, but primarily the 2017 Wonder Woman movie. You have been warned.

Well, this is interesting. Normally I would do a lengthy Facebook post about my thoughts on a movie but, for once, I’m actually writing them out for this site instead. Don’t hold your breath on this becoming a habit though. I know I’m not going to make any promises.

Just to give a little background, this was potentially going to be the last DCEU movie I’d willingly go and see in the cinemas. While I did like Man Of Steel, Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad were strikes one and two against WB for me. I was going into this movie with a lot of hype that it was amazing. While part of me hoped that it would live up to the positive hype, I was also fairly cautious at the same time. I’d given them a chance with Suicide Squad, which I thought actually looked interesting. I wasn’t going to get my hopes up twice.

Thankfully, this time, I wasn’t spurned.

Wonder Woman is a fantastic movie. Great visuals, a solid story, interesting characters, and above all else, Wonder Woman was Wonder Woman. I believed it. Whatever criticisms I have of this movie, and there are some, Gal Gadot’s acting is not one of them. I firmly believe that Wonder Woman is in safe hands with her.

The one thing they, and Gal herself, absolutely nailed was her empathy. My God. Empathy. That almost felt like a foreign entity in this franchise. Superman is a brooding Emo; Batman is Frank Miller’s Batman. While I liked Ben Affleck’s acting, and Henry Cavill isn’t bad either, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is the first character in the DCEU I’ve truly given a shit about. I’m not kidding. Wonder Woman even captured elements of Superman’s character better through Wonder Woman’s eyes.

There’s a moment in the movie where Diana, Steve and their little band of misfits are making their way through No Man’s Land to try and get to who we’re told is the big bad. Diana is stopped by a woman who tells her the Germans have overrun a village and taken the locals hostage. Without a second thought, she puts her tiara on, discards her civilian clothes and proceeds to have one of the most satisfying action movies I’ve ever seen in a superhero movie.

I was almost brought to tears I was so happy. I’m not even joking. I was so happy with how this movie was going, and how Wonder Woman was being portrayed, that I genuinely almost cried. This was the Wonder Woman I wanted. This was the movie I KNEW they were capable of producing. If anything, it’s sad that it took them this long to do so. DC and WB HAVE made good superhero movies before. So, a string of publicly and critically panned ones annoyed the absolute hell out of me. They were better than that, and now they finally remembered it.

Wonder Woman is now the gold standard of the DCEU, and I hope they keep to that standard with the movies to come. I’ve always said I will never compare Marvel movies to DC movies (except when relevant, like BvS & Civil War), so now I thankfully, and finally, have a benchmark for this current string of films.

After thinking about it, I’ve decided I’m only going to mention one glaring problem I had with this movie. The inconsistency with blood. Diana gets grazed by a bullet and we get some blood on her arm. But then, much later, she stabs the guy she assumes to be Ares in disguise right through his chest. No blood. None. We see the blade sticking out through the ceiling of the watchtower they’re on. It’s clean. No. That’s not how that works. Don’t you dare wuss out on that.

Am I saying there needed to be buckets of blood? No. But for a movie with swordplay set in WORLD WAR ONE, there’s not much blood at all. Hell, the scene where Diana gets grazed by a bullet the Amazons are fighting and stabbing the shit out of the Germans. Once again, no blood on their swords. Do people in the DCEU not have any blood in their torsos or something? Like, this is something I’d expect from Disney, not Warner Brothers.

One other thing that bothered me, but wasn’t a major gripe, is that I wish this had just been a World War II movie. I mean, they put a pretty heavy emphasis on Germany as the bad guys, so it would’ve made sense. In fact, as I’d discussed with other people, this movie probably started that way. The assumption being “Ugh this is just Captain America” attitudes being what stopped them from committing to or possibly changing the setting.

Though in all honesty, I just wanted Wonder Woman punching Hitler. I mean. You can see where I’m coming from right? Wonder Woman. Punching. Adolf Hitler. In the face. That would be worth the price of admission alone. There are other minor things that bothered me about the movie, but as they’re mainly just nitpicks (as the WWII thing was) I’ll leave them out of this.

So, to summarise, Wonder Woman was a phenomenal movie that lived up to all the hype surrounding it. At least in my opinion. There were some issues here and there, but nothing that dragged the movie down for me all that much. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and if I’m able to afford it, I may actually see Wonder Woman again before it finishes up in the cinemas here in Australia.

So, there are my thoughts on Wonder Woman. At least, as much as I can justify spewing out anyway. What did you think of the movie? Did you agree with me? Do you think my opinion is akin to horseshit? Let me know. I’ll see you all next time with another At First Glance article.

At First Glance – Assassination Classroom

Note: There are spoilers for the first episode of the anime in question in this article.
You have been warned.

Welcome back folks. As a quick reminder for those who are new or have forgotten, the concept of these “At First Glance” articles is that I watch the first episode of an anime I’ve never seen and give my thoughts on it.
Simple, right? With that out of the way, let’s get down to business.

Assassination Classroom

Unlike last week, this time we have an anime where the title only kind of threw me off to the actual premise. In that I assumed this was just an anime about a school for assassins but we’re just following one class. Nope. There is actually more to it than that. Long story short, a tentacle creature they come to refer to as “Koro-Sensei” has destroyed 70% of the moon, leaving it as a permanent crescent moon.


I’d be more impressed if Piccolo hadn’t destroyed the whole thing that one time

In an odd move, Koro-Sensei demanded to teach Class 3-E at Kunugigaoka Junior High School, acting as their normal teacher as well as teaching them assassination techniques. The whole thing is kept under wraps, and the 30 students are offered a ¥10 billion reward to kill Koro-Sensei within a year’s time. If they fail, Koro-Sensei claims he will destroy Earth. So, yeah. Not quite what I was expecting plot wise, but a decidedly less generic set up than I thought up on my own, so that’s good.

Ultimately not a hell of a lot to talk about compared to last week, but I must say, Koro-Sensei looks like he’s gonna be fun to watch. A very charismatic and generally well animated villain with an interesting design. On the other hand, I’ll admit that I was completely unaware that our main character/narrator for this show was a boy until they specifically referred to him by male pronouns.

I mean sure he’s wearing pants, but the feminine face, tiny pigtails and such threw me the hell off. Not that I mind, and going by what I’ve read there is a reason for this aside from Japan just loving androgynous men, but yeah. I honestly thought Nagisa was a girl until they pointed out he’s a dude. So, my bad I guess.

Kinda bugs me that Nagisa is angsty and all, but at least his angst contrasts nicely with his cutesy appearance, rather than him looking like a complete edge lord, as some other anime are want to do. Though the general concept of the cast seems to be people society has tossed aside, so I guess there’s probably a lot of angst in that room. Just it’ll present itself in different ways.

That’s about all I have to say without reaching, really, so I’ll just start the wrap up. Will I continue to watch Assassination Classroom? Definitely. The concept, on top of Koro-Sensei, are more than enough to keep me interested. The first episode gives you just enough plot to allow you to determine whether you want to continue or not, and I for one am intrigued as to how the events of the series will play out.

For those who are interested, Assassination Classroom consists of 47 episodes across two seasons (22 in season one, and 25 in season two respectively) and is available in both dubbed and subbed format. Along with the show there are two OVAs, a “recap” style anime film and two live-action movies (“Assassination Classroom” & “Assassination Classroom: Graduation”). Lastly, there is a spin-off “web anime” called Koro-sensei Q! (or Koro Teacher Quest), which consists of 12 episodes available in both dubbed and subbed formats. Koro-Sensei Q! has also received its own animated film adaptation.

Well, that about covers it. If anyone has any suggestions for anime I should watch for this in the future, give me a shout and I’ll put it on my list. If it’s already on my list, I’ll bump it up in priority. However, if I’ve already watched it then I’m obviously going to have to decline.
I’ll see you next time folks.

At First Glance – Prison School

Note: There are spoilers for the first episode of the anime in question in this article.
You have been warned.

Welcome back folks. As a quick reminder for those who are new or have forgotten, the concept of these “At First Glance” articles is that I watch the first episode of an anime I’ve never seen and give my thoughts on it.
Simple, right? With that out of the way, let’s get down to business.

Prison School

I swear it’s an ongoing theme for this month (and, really, in general for these things) that I’ll be covering an anime I know of, but know nothing about. And boy, do we have a doozy this time around or what? Prison School. An anime I knew so little about that I honestly thought the premise was based around an actual school within a prison, rather than what turns out to be the other way around. Misleading title is misleading.

Anyway, the basic premise of Prison School, or at least what the first episode shows us, is that five boys (Kiyoshi Fujino, Takehito Morokuzu, Shingo Wakamoto, Jōji Nezu & Reiji Andō) have enrolled in what was previously an all-girls high school, Hachimitsu Academy, and find out they’re the only five boys in the entire school. Being horny little shits they attempt to peep on the girls bathing, only for it to backfire and them to get caught by the “Underground School Council”. As a result of their idiocy, they are publicly shamed and made to serve one month in the school’s prison block or face expulsion.

With that out of the way, wow. This anime was nothing like what I was expecting. Partially for reasons I brought up earlier (my assumption of a different premise) and partially because, well…of the anime I’ve covered so far, this one easily tops the list of “anime on the verge of being hentai”. Which is saying something considering I covered Shimoneta last year (using the shorter title cause it’s easier to repeat). And Shimoneta was basically a porn waiting to happen going by the first episode alone.

So, if that’s anything to go by, holy crap, you can tell I’m not joking. Like, I knew going in just by the promo image alone that this would be a pretty fan service-y anime, but holy shit. I had no idea the levels of borderline softcore porn this would get to. I’m not even kidding. But I also won’t give you any examples either. If you want that, do a quick google search in your own time.

One funny aspect of the episode that I will talk about though is the fact Meiko, the “Vice-President” of the Underground School Council, tries disciplining them only to realise it’s not working. Turns out all the guys except Kiyoshi are actually masochists and loved the whole thing. Especially since Meiko is wearing a skirt so short (and generally squats down so much) that you get a better view of her panties than I’d like. Though seeing her panties at all is weird for me, given the fact she’s most likely underage, seeing as this is a high school anime. Even if she does look old enough to be the headmistress (pun not intended) of the school itself.

Meiko in general just brings on more questions than I’m ever expecting answers for. That and more than I should even be thinking of considering the sheer insanity of this anime. Which, I guess I should also talk about, but I’ll leave that for the end blurb.

So…will I continue to watch Prison School? Oh hell yes. This anime might be borderline softcore porn, but holy hell is it funny. Like Shimoneta, the sexual stuff has a comedic aspect to it all for the most part. And generally, the show, as I said before, is sheer insanity. It’s completely over-the-top and it completely revels in it, making it an enjoyable “what the fuck” kind of watch.

For those who are interested, Prison School consists of 12 episodes, which are available in both subbed and dubbed formats. On top of that there is an OVA for the anime called “Mad Wax”, and the manga Prison School is based on also got a live-action show, which came out the same year as the anime, funnily enough. The live-action series is only 9 episodes long, and I don’t care if there’s a dub for it, because it’s live-action. Just watch it subbed. Dubbed live-action is weird.

Well, that about covers it. If anyone has any suggestions for anime I should watch for this in the future, give me a shout and I’ll put it on my list. If it’s already on my list, I’ll bump it up in priority. However, if I’ve already watched it then I’m obviously going to have to decline.
I’ll see you next time folks.

At First Glance – Sword Art Online

Note: There are spoilers for the first episode of the anime in question in this article.
You have been warned.

Welcome back folks. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m back to doing these again. To keep it brief my attention was diverted elsewhere, and now it isn’t. Sorry for anyone who actually reads these things that my hiatus was longer than intended. As a quick reminder for those who are new or have forgotten, the idea of these “At First Glance” articles is that I watch the first episode of an anime I’ve never seen and give my thoughts on it.
Simple, right? With that out of the way, let’s get down to business.

Sword Art Online

Ah yes, familiar territory. Well. In that this is one of those anime I’ve heard of, but honestly had no idea what it was about prior to watching it. Basic premise is that the hot new Virtual Reality MMORPG in town, the titular Sword Art Online, has finally been released, and players are eager to jump on and play. However, it turns out the log out feature isn’t present.

At first it’s assumed this is just a glitch or a bug. However, an avatar of the game’s creator informs the players that this was, in fact, always intended to be an aspect of the game. Basically, the game dev is insane and wanted to be a god over this world.

Not only is the creator of the game, Akihiko Kayaba, totally insane and wants to be a god of a virtual world, he also made it that if anyone’s virtual headsets are forcibly removed, or the people playing the game have their life bars drop to zero, they die in real-life. Their only method of escape being to finish the game.


“IF YOU DIE IN THE GAME, YOU DIE FOR REAL!”

Oh, as an added twist, player avatars are erased through some random mirror item he gives them all, and everyone suddenly looks like they do in real life instead. The result of which is a joke that I honestly got a laugh out of, despite the fact I know it would’ve made others groan.


“Son of a-you’re a guy?!”

“You’re not seventeen!”

Trust me when I tell you that could’ve been handled a lot worse. Hell, there’s a few movies that are evidence of that. Anyway, with this revelation our hero, Kirito, goes out of his way to charge on ahead to level up as quickly as he can so he can get out of the game. And that’s about all it gives us really, as far as plot goes. The only other character we get a chance to see properly for now is Klein. With the bulk of the episode before the big revelation being Kirito teaching Klein the ropes of the game.

It’s honestly a nice way to let us get to know a bit about both characters’ personalities. It honestly got the point that when Kirito goes off on his own, I was actually disappointed that Klein didn’t go with him. Though I like fact they do part on friendly terms. Hell, Kirito even seems a little down that Klein has friends to worry about and isn’t going with him. Hopefully that gets touched on in later episodes. I mean, they weren’t exactly subtle about it, so if it gets ignored I’ll be disappointed.

Oh. Also. The anime doesn’t have an opening. No joke. I thought there was just a cold opening before an intro, but it never happened. In fact, I’m fairly sure what ended up being the outro may even be the intro for the following episodes.

So, did I enjoy SAO’s first episode enough to keep watching? Thankfully yes. The premise definitely has me hooked enough to keep watching. Though one thing I do recall hearing about SAO is that the first season is good, but the second is iffy. Whether I’ll agree with that is beyond me at this point, but who knows.

For those who care, Sword Art Online consists of 49 episodes over two seasons (25 in season one and 24 in season two) and is available in both subbed and dubbed formats. There’s also a TV movie, “Sword Art Online: Extra Edition”, and a film, “Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale”. Aside from that there are also five video games based on the franchise. Normally I wouldn’t bother to mention that, but the meta nature of video games based on a property that revolves around the characters being in a video game world is hilarious to me.

Well, that about covers it. If anyone has any suggestions for anime I should watch for this in the future, give me a shout and I’ll put it on my list. If it’s already on my list, I’ll bump it up in priority. However, if I’ve already watched it then I’m obviously going to have to decline.
I’ll see you next time folks.