The story centers on our main character, Kirito, who loves MMORPG games, and had been playing Sword Art Online (SAO) since beta. He is considered lucky since there's only 1,000 people who have done that. He's also one of 10,000 people who bought the game when it came out, and logged into the game using Nerve Gear, a helmet that stimulates player's brain. Our main character doesn't seem to stand out much from the rest in the game. His character design is pretty average, nothing too fancy. It's already obvious that Kirito's not very comfortable with making friends. But I think he's a decent main character so far. He quickly grasped the current situation and act on it pretty quickly.
There's really not much to the first episode since it only explain the whole twist and rules of SAO. Players soon found out that there is no “log-out” selection, and that if someone outside of the game try to remove their Nerve Gear, they'll die instantly. So, the only way to get out of the game was to beat it by completing all 100 floors of Aincrad, a giant floating castle. At this point, you can really feel the tension in the players.
It's interesting to see the avatar Kirito has created for himself compare to his actual appearance. As we all know, we tend to create our avatar according to what we wish to be sometimes. What I don't get is why did the GM gift all player the mirror and made their avatar look like their actual appearance? Not that I'm complaining with Kirito's cute self...
The concept of this story is pretty boring to be honest. It's nothing new, especially when Accel World had just been playing with the virtual reality world. Even with that said, I'm still pretty content with the nice art my eyes have been feeding on. I'm really expecting some good animations in the future like flashy skills players are able to use. According to Kirito, there are unlimited amount of skills available. The music aspect is pretty good so far. Now, the biggest question is, why did the creator create such game? He never really tell us what his objective is. It's pretty crazy since 2,000 people had died in the first month in SAO, and the first floor haven't even been cleared yet.
Overall, it's not really a bad episode. I think it's a pretty decent one considering all the explanation needed in the beginning. I'm interested in seeing who and what Kirito will encounter in the future.