Technical Issue!

AsperJosh has suffered a heavy impact. Every picture on every post before the Africa one has been lost due to an album online becoming corrupted.
I have almost every picture stored across 2 laptops and will slowly begin to re-upload them to my posts over a long period of time!
I will be starting from latest posts and work backwards to re-upload the pictures.
Thank you for understanding!
Joshua :'(

UPDATE - Fixed Posts

2015 posts fixed so far:
- Tough Mudder 2015 - MCM Expo 2012 + Past Experiences - Telling People, I Have Aspergers - 5CPS - Marvel Phase Three - Attack On Titan - MCM Oct 2015 - Interstellar - Star Wars VII - Star Wars Original Trilogy - Star Wars Prequel Trilogy - Star Wars Battlefront - The Fault In Our Stars - Chronicle - Evans Night Out + Winter Wonderland 2015 -

2014 posts fixed so far:
- A Year's Progression At The Gym - 5CPS - The Land Before Time - X-Men Premier - X-Men DOFP - Halloween 2015 - Online Dating - Macbook Pro -

House MD, 3 Years Driving currently in progress.
More to be mended

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Sword Art Online (Anime Review)

Starting a brand new game in a MMORPG virtual reality should be exciting right? But when the truth is revealed and dying is not an option, how can thousands of gamers hope to survive and finish a 100 level game in order to awaken from this nightmare? Check out why Sword Art Online is a remarkable anime!

Kirigaya Kazuto "Voiced by: "Matsuoka Yoshitsugu" (Japanese) and "Bryce Papenbrook" (English) is like any other teenager who's excited on playing the world's most ground breaking VRMMORPG game ever set in a virtual reality called Sword Art Online. Having been a "beta tester" he believes he knows what he's up against. After forming a "newbie" mate Klein on the first day and showing him how to play, they both discover they can't log out.

To make things worst, every gamer is teleported to the main square and are shocked to learn from the scary Avatar of the creator Akihiko Kayaba, that his intention and invention has locked everyone in his world. Attempted log out in the real world by removing helmets and dying in the game will cost them their lives. The only way out is to complete the 100 levels of the game.
Just how can Kirito (Kirigaya's Avatar) and everyone else make it out of this digital reality, alive?

This stunning Anime full of Action, Adventure, Fantasy and Romance will have you hooked in no time. Honestly, it's been 4 years since it's release and it's taken me this long to finally get round to watching this wonderful series since a lot of my friends have been talking about it and waiting for me to hurry up and watch it too. I guess I finally figured it was time to check it out back on the 31st Jan on Netflix since I was stressed from a tough days work and craved something exciting and fulfilling to fill in the pain and stress. So having discovered this was available, I knew it was time to check it out at last... Boy was I late on watching something amazing!
And now I see why everyone is always talking about it, why couples cosplay at Comic-Con as Kirito and Asuna and I feel so silly for having delayed my time to watch this masterpiece haha.

The story is similar in it's own way to The Matrix but it has an outstanding story to prove how this world isn't just a game anymore. The humans aren't in the real world using their mouse and keyboard like a pro, playing a unique MMORPG and forgetting to study or go to work like some people in the real world. These players are all asleep on a bed with a helmet on with their consciousness transported to a virtual reality full of wonder and danger called Aincrad.

The fact that players lives are on the line and that they cannot restart or even imagine a Game Over appearing on their screens puts the fear and edge on this Anime because dying is not an option. I can't imagine myself being able to cope so easily to an astonishing surprise like this.
But the fact that there are 100-floors to ascend (up the towers/ pillars), full of jaw-dropping detail and unique landscapes does calm the atmosphere and that players don't really intend to kill one another, help a lot too.
I like how a female gamer Asuna Yuuki "Voiced by: "Tomatsu Haruka" (Japanese) and "Cherami Leigh" (English) really helped fit that missing touch to show equal skill on gender in gaming and she became a key character who will not only become as strong as Kirito but will help each other survive and much more *Oh my God, I'm so happy and find them adorable*. I even hope I have a girl that acts like her... someday haha.

The Characters are all as real as human showing all sorts of excitement, confidence, fear, coldness, aggression and even sympathy as if they are their actual physical selves in this digital world. It was sad to see Kirito fall under a bad persona that other made of him once discovering his power level and skill which has costed him several dear lives in the first handful of episodes, I'd feel defensive and short tempered to be made the baddy just because of skill. There's plenty of heart-breaking and tear-jerking moments since it's not cool to see loads of players die before your eyes and theirs nothing you can do to every bring them back.
But it's not all bad since things can only get better and sweeter for our solo player! Plus you need allies and guild members to survive in a world like this, going solo is sometimes suicidal.

The artwork is bright and beautiful with so much detail and colour to make it so outstanding.  The resolution and detail put into this rivals or even surpasses 5CPS artwork. Sometimes I forget they are ascending up a 100-floor world with different landscapes and environments instead of just being a single world. It's a stunning reality full of beauty and danger which even tempted me on wondering if I'd wish to stay in this world like our two heroes almost decided on.
Having to clear boss battles in order to move on up in the game and reach the next level can be unimaginably exhausting and frightening since there are no continues once their HP bar drops to zero.  And there have been numerous occasions where friends have perished and it must be unthinkable to see in horror and despair when people disappear in a second and knowing you'll ever see them again (sounds like The Hunger Games). Honestly, it's hard to focus or keep track of all the world floors or boss names since I focussed on the character names instead.

The animation used in the fights/ battles is excellent (instead of it being a regular MMORPG where we see it from a high altitude to get a glimpse of the battle taking place) we get a heated 1st and 3rd person view of the aggressive showdowns between players and monsters alike in tricky and mysterious dungeons. The melee weapons are beautifully detailed and we can see the blade lines with every swipe. Plus it's interesting having to remember that they are in a game and require money and XP to learn new fighting techniques and other abilities. Since they need to survive in this game, they must acquire ingredients and world items in order to recreate food from the real world as well as create weapons from minerals.
Also with it being a video game, we see HP bars on screen and on display next to every character which is a curve bar around their head. It's an unusual and alternative view to seeing a boring green straight bar and it was a little complicated seeing how much health people had actually lost.
I think the coolest and most iconic thing about this anime has to be the way the gamers access the menu in this world. They swipe their 2 fingers down to bring up a holographic menu which they interact with their fingers and access gear, party members etc. It's an outstanding way to do this since they can't look for a computer in that world to access their inventory, right?
Even I haven't really gotten round to playing an MMORPG yet (not even World Of Warcraft, League Of Legends or many other PC games which are groundbreaking and addictive). I don't have the time to focus on this since I already game but also make plans in real life, go to gym and just mess about after a hard days work haha.

Episodes 8-14 is where the romance behind to blossom at last and I finally get to see the heartwarming moments that many anime fans adore and call them to be one of the cutest couples in Anime. I love them both and am so happy for them for having found something worth protecting as well as living for real within this dataspace (even if it is just an anime).

By the time I got to episode 15, everything surprisingly changes into what should be better, but turns out to be for the worse. How would you feel seeing and knowing that your love has been moved to another location? It felt like I had been stabbed (not that I know in reality that level of pain) to see that all his hard work hadn't fully paid off, yet.
When the second bastard of the anime reveals himself in her hospital room, I was tensing badly in anger like our hero. Seeing this sick bastard playing with her lifeless body made me want to kill him myself.
And after a heartbreaking and threatening statement which will jeopardise their contact, can Kirito not let that happen and go off in search of her as fast as he can.

I will spoil a little detail that a second game is shown in the series called ALfheim Online (ALO) which is another unique world set in a realm of fairies where flying is essential and swordplay and magic is your skill. I liked the plot for having to ascend up tough The World Tree to be granted eternal flight, but I knew Kirito was far more interested in finding someone in a cage at the top of the clouds!
But it's sad and awkward that his partner in that new game turned out to be closer to him in the real world than the both ended up realising the hard way (shame they couldn't be together but I still liked them as an unusual love interest though it can be considered wrong on some level) haha.

When the final fight took place, it was both sensational but also hurt like hell to see Asuna sexually molested (not the first time in that season) by the bastard and watching Kirito suffer under his wrath. It was like seeing one of those God-awful "Netorare" animes where I want to go into the computer screen to sort the sick men out in a horrific fashion *like Lucy's first attack in Elfen Lied* (hate it when people send me them and I end up seeing them hoping for a better ending, which is mostly unlikely). I would have gone all Attack On Titan berserk if I was there and caused him great suffering before killing him more creatively (good thing Kirito took care of him with a painful and deserving performance by the end!)
But it's surprising and rather fulfilling to see an old enemy return to remind our hero who managed to defy a system once before and that he can do it again and win with encouragement and abilities.

The conclusion was a surprising outcome which an old enemy now seen as a better man gives our hero the choice to do exactly as he did but not on a threatening scale. I'm glad he appeared again and I admired his request to Kirito and it actually helped planted a seed in which it would grow into something miraculous and remarkable which would give players an unbelievable privilege in gaming, forever!

I am super chuffed and unbelievably happy and relieved to see that it all works out in the end. This was really worth my time and I can't believe I left it this long to finally watch this masterpiece!
I'm gonna check out the Movie next week before moving onto the Second Season!

The opening intro Crossing Field for the first 14 episodes is a great pop like son performed by LiSA (she also did a Dub version). I even enjoyed listening to the closing credits song Yume Sekai which is performed by Asuna's Jap voice actress.
The second intro Innocence for episode 15 - 25 is performed by Eir Aoi (she also did a Dub version too), though I won't upload that intro here as it contains spoilers. And so does the closing song for the remains episodes which is Overfly by Haruna Luna.
I really liked the soundtrack (performed by Kajiura Yuki) which was a bit like The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess and a bit of Kingdom Hearts II because of the mixture of pleasant piano tracks "A Tender Feeling", "Reconciliation" emotional piano tracks "At Our Parting", "In Your Past" and an awesome choir battle song "Swordland" during the epic fights.

I used to think that a world like The Matrix or a Virtual Reality would be amazing but it could become an addiction. By placing the visor or helmet or even connecting an Internet cable into my head, I'd sell my soul away into another place with not so many limitations without a care. I have no idea if this will become a reality or if I'll be strong enough to juggle between two worlds, but I do think that life isn't all that bad in the real world. We may all live with limits, restrictions, under tyrants and live a repetitive cycle 5 days a week (or more) but I think we can make anything happen. If we want to see other countries, visit friends or even try something new, our hearts and minds will grow brighter and stronger and we will live our lives to the fullest in the world we were born in. As much as I want to be able to fly, control things with my mind or just live a life with no worries, I guess it's all just not possible (yet) and I'll just have to make do with what I've got, can do and who I have in my life, to live it with!

I finished it Friday morning dead on Midnight (00:02 to be exact). I couldn't believe that it all worked out in the end and it was well worth staying up late to finish the last 10 episodes since the gut-grinding surprise which shattered my heart.

I don't know if it's just me who can get so lost and into something fictional that to others they see it only as a story or series when to me and some others, it is something else and I think it's because fiction outdoes reality sometimes. Do any of you ever feel "changed" after a film/ game or book? I know fiction is just a story and it's all fake and can never be real, but still don't you feel a strong connection to a story that you've adored watching and somehow feeling like you were a part of it? It's probably just me digging into it this way due to my condition, but when I'm with the right people who understand me and have seen the same things as me, it makes me feel I'm in the right place with the right people talking about something so unique/ personal or enjoyable that I feel at home!
And I know I have friends I can talk to about this on how this emotional and lively Anime lifted me up during a struggling time in my life. I haven't felt this way since Clannad After Story (which I'm still writing up and the first season too!)
My next post will be a BIG ONE and will be a deep insight into my thoughts and will be using Rock/ Metalcore music and lyrics to relate to my stress and anxiety I've head for a while. But it'll all help me confess me feelings and help me feel relieved and much better than ever! Stay tuned!


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