The series starts in the year 2022, when thousands of people trying out the newly released virtual MMORPG (Mass Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) get trapped in where is known as Sword Art Online. Where death normally causes you to respawn to a safe zone, Sword Art Online was programmed to kill anyone who dies in the virtual world by sending shocks through the player's virtual reality helmet. The only way to exit the game, is to pass all 100 floors and defeat the final boss. Eager to wake up from his virtual nightmare, a lone beta player named Kirito fights his way through each floor of the game; however, he soon recognizes the need for companionship, and the cost for his freedom. All in all, SAO (Season 1) was filled mythical virtual excitement, beautiful animation, wonderful orchestral pieces, and intriguing character development. Even if you never watch SAO Season 2, SAO Season 1 is a must see for any Anime enthusiast and deserves a solid 10.
Sword Art Online Season 2, brings us back to the mmo virtual world. However, unlike SAO Season 1, the first half of SAO season 2 is primarily based on a gunslinger motif known as Gun Gale Online. In a virtual world comprised of guns and bullets, Kirito, uses a female avatar while duel wielding a violet energy sword and a 5.7mm FN Five Seven handgun. Not long after his experiences in ALO (Alfheim Online), Kirito is asked to assist in finding a mysterious player called Death Gun who is targeting and killing the best players in the game, and is mysteriously killing them in the real world.
Out of all the anime I have watched, I have seen many of the classics, but the beautiful atmosphere and fantastic character development has quickly made SAO one of my favourite anime series. That being said, those who were a fan of SAO season 1 will notice a very different atmosphere in SAO season 2. Personally I feel that SAO season 1 was much better because the second half completely fed off the first half of the season, and was merely being dragged on because of how much popularity the first season got. Also, as SAO Season 2 introduced us to many new characters, the plot felt a little scattered as it lacked the kind of original consistency and emotional build that was provided by SAO Season 1. Overall, the second season of SAO was not fantastic, but I still believe it deserves a 6.