Sword Art Online originally debuted as a light novel series, but earlier this month, an anime version kicked off.
Sword Art Online is set in 2022 when a new virtual reality MMORPG called Sword Art Online is released.
Players can control their characters with their minds, and all seems to be going well until the game's creator locks the game, preventing players from logging out.
A challenge is issued: If you want to leave SAO, you must reach the 100th floor of an in-game tower and defeat the last boss. But if you die in SAO, you die in real life...
So, yeah, bring on the .hack comparisons!
Website Random Curiosity has been chronicling the anime in detail, offering insights and opinion (why this isn't just a .hack rehash) as well as screen caps. Have a look at the first episodes in the above gallery.
Sword Art Online [Random Curiosity]