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The third season for Sword Art Online is finally upon us. The arc of alicitation has long been waiting for people like me who have read the entire arc through the light novels. To put it bluntly, the first two seasons of the show were covered by books 1 - 9; alicization is books 10 - 18. So there is a lot of content.
The series does a bit of restoring the story in the beginning. We have a back story about children Kirito playing with two other children, Eugeo and Alice. This is, we know, that he is testing out a new full diving technique that cannot be separated from real life. After being attacked by the third perpetrator of the death gun incident, he is rushed to the hospital. The next thing he knows, Kirito wakes up in the virtual world, known as the underground.
Things are explained slowly when Kirito puts his problem-solving skills to the test on the inside, and Asuna flashes some detective skills on the outside. The real question is, what is the underground, and why does it exist? You know, eventually, as well as the beginning of corruption in the underground.
So far, how does it compare to the light novels?
Pretty good actually.
The first few episodes of the series do a good job of following the light novels almost perfectly. All the important building elements are there and it is really amazing to see the characters I read about living in animation.
Now there are some parts that are cut out, which I do not really agree with. Through the first six episodes, I counted two major scenes that should have been included, which were not. These scenes were important for character development; one for Kirito and the other for Eugeo. The more important scene was for Eugeo, because he is a newer character and we can always use a little more construction.
Then Section 7 happened.
Section 7 threw the nice stimulus to the wind and rushed through about half a box of material value, which I do not like. We get a flashback that covers Kirito and Eugeo's journey to becoming students at Swordcraft Academy, but it was really much deeper than just a flashback. They also rush Kirito and his mentor's relationship, which is very sad, especially since she comes back later, and it would have helped to develop their relationship further.
Overall, I am very pleased with how anime plays out. In the end, the book is almost always better than anime or movie, so I can't complain too much. The animation is absolutely wonderful, and I enjoy watching the story reveal itself before my eyes.