So like I said before this is the first time I was actually watching all the way through the series, I had always lost steam between episodes eight and eleven before, but watching it again this time I actually got to the good parts, episode fourteen and onward. Don’t get me wrong, slow character building is fine, but the overall mood Tsukasa has of not really wanting to do anything or talk to anyone is a little bit infectious, and I end up feeling burnt out of the series. I’m the kind of guy who really gets into a show and if it’s good then whatever the mood they’re trying to set is it sort of settles into me.
The music for this show is amazing, Yuki Kajiura gave them a big selection of music to work with, and they reuse songs and just shove in a fragment of a song as much as they need to. The artwork was great as well, a lot of varied environments like you would expect from a fantasy game, and it had a lot of cool takes on the staples of the general themes, it probably wouldn’t look as original now as it did when it came out because it did its job very well and a lot of future works took bits and pieces of the style. I’ll probably throw up some pictures of different environments instead of trying to describe them.
The story is really slow, they probably could have told this story a lot faster than they did without really losing much. It focuses on the mysteries surrounding the current changes in The World, an MMORPG that uses sort of VR goggles for display and has very expressive character sprites, to the point where almost the entire show takes place in the game and they move and talk just as they would in real life, with the exception of when they step away from their terminal and the character goes completely motionless.
I am going to say something before we get too far, people take this game really seriously. If someone told me the phrase “the internet is serious business” was initially a joke at the expense of this series I would believe them. It makes more sense later when there are actual people at risk because of the things happening in the game since Tsukasa can’t log out and such, but really, before that point people like the Silver Knight were just so invested in the game just because, like it was a life and death matter when it really just wasn’t. They do address this in the series, but by the time people start saying why do you care so much it’s just a game, then shit has already gotten real and it’s no longer a game.
I really like the cast, Tsukasa is the main character but even though everything sort of revolves around him a lot of the time it will just follow other characters, even for whole episodes, and I like that. Tsukasa starts out pretty misanthropic and having that teenager attitude you see a lot where they hate adults for vague and mostly unspecified reasons that usually apply just as much to kids as they do adults, this time it’s that adults are all selfish. In my experience adults usually aren’t as selfish as children and what Tsukasa means is I’ve known some selfish people and don’t trust anyone anymore. This leads to long periods of time where he won’t go anywhere or contact anyone, so that’s why everyone else gets a good amount of screen time, so things work out for the best. You know what, I’m realizing as I think about writing this next part that it’s probably just easier to do what I did for Gundam Wing and just throw up a picture of the character and talk about them, yeah that’s what I’ll do, the lazy route, cause no one is reading this anyway.
Overall I would say, if you’re fine with a slow unfolding plot, and you want to watch these characters hang around you should watch this show. I liked it a lot cause I’m cool with that sort of thing. On the other hand if you want a better written plot, or you want a bunch of cool fights, or if you get bored easily, I would not watch this anime. Although if you’ve read this far you’d probably be fine with weird meandering shows like this one.