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From Yen Press:
In the year 2022, gamers rejoice as Sword Art Online-a VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) like no other-opens its virtual doors, allowing players to take full advantage of the ultimate in gaming technology: NerveGear, a system that allows users to completely immerse themselves in the game world by manipulating their brain waves to create a wholly realistic gaming experience. But when the game goes live, the elation of the players quickly turns to horror as they discover that, for all its amazing features, SAO is missing one of the most basic functions of any MMORPG-a log-out button. Now trapped in the virtual world of Aincrad, their bodies held captive by NerveGear in the real world, users are issued a chilling ultimatum: conquer all one hundred floors of Aincrad to regain your freedom. But in the warped world of SAO, "game over" means certain death-both virtual and real...
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Uh, seriously, guys, it's not that bad.
After reading all these reviews, I was expecting something really awful, but the artist isn't really incompetent. There's nothing abysmally wrong with the art, and there's nothing abysmally wrong with character anatomy. It feels to me a lot like a case of high fan expectations that weren't met.
If I had to criticize something about the art, I would criticize the flow. This manga has a lot of closeups on faces, and it gets repetitive. The artist tries to cram a lot of content and dialogue into a small space, and it gets pretty cramped sometimes. Shounen manga has lots of huge one-page 'person is falling from above!' 'person is drawing a sword!' 'person is saying something cool!' scenes, and this doesn't.
The light novel, IMHO, wasn't all that amazing. It was kind of choppy, the grammar made me cringe (yes, it's a translation. I know. I'm talking about the overall impact here.) and while I read it all the way through.. meh. The manga is a faithful adaptation of it, although somewhat distilled, and that's bound to happen in a manga. You can't fit everything in a novel into a manga, no matter how amazing the mangaka is.
All things considered, while the art could stand to look more shounen, the light novel itself focused so much on the romance that it felt awfully like a shoujo to me, complete with smut and everything.
If you badly want to read a shounen MMORPG story, I recommend Legendary Moonlight Sculptor, which is a burning flame of awesome beside the candle of Sword Art Online. If you badly want to read a top class fantasy novel... I recommend the Barnes and Noble sci-fi section. I just don't see what's so great about the novel that's so lacking in the manga. It's fine.
... Last updated on January 23rd, 2012, 6:15pm
Well to tell the truth, if I didn't knew SAO from the novel I would never have read this. I'm sorry for the artist but he sucks ^^', even the novel's illustrations were a hundred times better (which isn't always the case with novels). And, well, I don't know if it's because of the translation but I totally can't follow the story, there is no timeline and you don't know what happens when. Well, this was to say, if I had an advice to give those who did this : follow what was written in the novel and change the artist (the best would be the one who do the novel's illustrations) ^^.
Not as bad as made out
I honestly cannot see what is so bad about the artwork. I find it's reminiscent of Pandora Hearts or 07 Ghost. The artist has got a good grasp on anatomy, only the stylistic changes may make it look otherwise to some. I have to admit that the fighting scenes are rather confusing, and the artists tries to get too much in too little space, but if you bother to read beyond the first chapter it gets somewhat better.
The mistake people are making is looking for the novel and the novel's artist in the manga. Like enaikelt said before me, it's a case of too high expectations. Also, the reviews seem to be on the first chapter only. Most mangas/webtoons/etc. get better after the first few chapters, I don't think this is an exception (take for an example, ID. The art was iffish in the beginning, but got really rather amazing the further along you read).
I'm not going to rate this with only 7 chapters out. I don't think that would be fair.
Not all mangas are horrible just because they've been adapted from a novel, i've read several; yes, there have been bad ones, but theat doesnt make them neccessariy bad. With a novel, you have a lot more room to play with. -- Yes, if you were to compare them, you'll probably have an opinion of one being better, but face it, they're not the same. If they were, why read it?
-- And back to the actual review part (eventually) its worth a read, although the art style might make you cringe a bit.
Come on !
I hate improvising and this is one hell of a bad improvising. Compared to 1/2 Prince which is also a novel and manga, this fails ... Even thoguh the novel SAO is better...*this is an individual opinion
There is also a prob of word overflow. Its like a half ass word thats trying to just finish this series already
And i hate the most when they change the the novel to make manga... In the beginning, Kirito supposed to be a bishounen or smth like that isntead of that stupid looking kid.
... Last updated on March 1st, 2011, 4:44pm
Review based on first chapter:
As a fan of SAO novel, I am rather very disappointed with the first chapter. 1.The art SUCKS! (as the translator Teaparty said:"its completely shojo now") 2.The mangaka decided to start right off the bat in the middle with Kirito and Asuna fighting the boss. It's fine, but when you compare that with where the writer of the novel starts off, it totally sucked. 3. The story lacked substance. Well, what can i expect from a manga based on a novel? Especially one like SAO.
What can I say beside the fact that you'd be better off reading the novel.
... Last updated on December 24th, 2010, 10:04pm
sword crappy art online!
No!!!! What have they done! sao's art is so different from this meh! the girl doesnt even look like asuna. . kirito looks like a rip off character from some cheap shoujo manga! and the 1st chapter is so epic fail! there's no impact at all unlike in the novel. if i were you just read the novel and let your imagination drive for you. .
Don't let the cover/insert art fool you...
This has to be one of the most poorly drawn mangas I've ever attempted to read. Not only is the artist's grasp of simple anatomy nonexistent, but he has zero sense of motion. You can't really tell what's going on in the fight scenes, and--as this could be seen as a fight manga--that's pretty bad.
You can think why did i gave a score 10 on this manga which has very poor quality and the reason is obvious im not giving score to the manga but to the anime its a really nice story and the manga could be really good like the anime but they decided to put a complete noob on making this manga which could be a really good and it was good that the authour made a sequel and changed the the artist because if anyone will the quality from both its like the sequel 100xtimes better just to show the difference So to anyone who reads this its better if you go read the light novel or if you dont want to read go see the anime you probably wont be disappointed like i was when i saw the manga
Fine until the issues in the last chapter
I was quite content with this manga adaption of SAO at first. While the art is not exactly up to par, the character expressions are still decent and the portrayal of the story is fine(I read the manga before any other stuff from the SAO series). However, I'm thoroughly disappointed in the misleading final chapter/ending. Their conversation with Kayaba Akihiko was supposed to be more hostile and remorseful over those who had died, but it just looked happy-peppy here. Kayaba was also supposed to have looked completely different from his in-game character otherwise he would have been recognised a long time ago
In short, if you prefer manga like me, picking it up for a first read is fine. But please watch the anime or read the light novel at least after that.