I have no shame. There’s no reason to, I’d rather you all know who I am, and while I can’t get behind some chick falling in love with a cowboy, I can totally get beyond two sword masters fighting to save 6,000 souls in a digital world, and they fall in love, have (more or less) a child, and fall upon horrible times. Heart wrenching times. I’m bawling. I’m not kidding. About twenty minutes ago I was bawling like a small child while eating chocolate and finishing off an airplane sized Jagermeiester.
Here is the break down of how this all worked out, as I do my best to dissect this animated masterpiece through my warm tears.
The anime starts with a creepy premise where all these people are stuck in a virtual world, and to get out they have to win. Otherwise, when you die in the game, you die in the real world. This kid goes solo, helping people in these small stories, but also watching people die. It gets to him. The kid is 16. Of course it gets to him.
Then he meets a girl. They fall in love. I’d be happy to watch them for the rest of their life living out a digital family. But things happen, my heart is rent in two, and at the end of the day, I just want to see them get married. I don’t care about anything else. No one else matters. They need to wake up, meet up, and have tons of babies because they’re that adorable and I’m living vicariously through them. Because I want to meet a woman in a virtual world, kill minions with her, and have babies, while living in a cabin on the lake.
So we get to the mid season episode. Of course it has to rip your heart out and show it to you while it continues beating, spurting out the blood which sustains you. As I died inside, my brother shoots me a message, “Raid?”
What!? Raid!? Love is on the line. Lives are on the line. Adorable little geek children are on the fracking line and you want to do a raid!? I care little for loot and saving a world which will not kill all the players inside it! I need to know how this love story ends! In 15 episodes, I’ve forgotten this is an action story. All I care about is the love story. All I want to see is these two in each other’s arms.
When in college, anime and manga were my fall back. Usually it was after a break up. I would buy tons of volumes. Love Hina. Negima. Tsubasa. I read it for the romance. It made me laugh and cry. It awakened my heart when it was dead. But I did not come to SAO with such expectations. Yet surely it did deliver.
So I’m off to write a fantasy romance novel. My heart screams for it. Happy writing.
Fantasy Writer and Cartographer
Speculative Fiction Author
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