The summer of 2012 saw the release of a futuristic anime called Sword Art Online (SAO). SAO amassed a gigantic following in very little time after the premiere of the anime adaptation. The story follows a young teenager, Kazuto Kirigaya, better known under the pseudonym Kirito in online games. He is an adept gamer after having spent most of his time distancing himself from his adoptive family. When the first Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game, the titular “Sword Art Online”, is released his desire to barricade himself from the real world are met beyond expectation as he becomes trapped in the game.
Over the course of the series, he meets various players that challenge his wall and befriend him. He is quick to put himself in danger for those he’s grown to care about despite never having met in the real world. It soon becomes clear that friendships become his most invaluable strength in game.
Fans of SAO frequently state an immediate attachment to Kirito. A shared will to escape the mundane world yet bond deeper with someone who makes life fulfilling. In our modern world where we’re more connected than ever although being miles apart, we’re quite literally so close yet so far. Kirito reminds us that regardless of the distance we create or are imposed upon us it is crucial to welcome relationships. Whether it is in person or online, try to strike up a conversation with someone. Make a connection. Link start!