Sword Arts Online

10,000 lucky individuals are able to obtain a copy of the online VR game (VRMMORPG), Sword Arts Online - the first total sensory immersion game of its kind. In an very heavy twist, players discovery they cannot log out of the game, and forced removal of their gaming gear by outsiders result in instant, real-life death. In-game deaths also supposedly result in real-life death. The megalomaniac creator of the world seems to want to play god, and the only way out is for someone to reach the 100th floor and defeat the final boss ...

Kirito is a beta tester who seems to live and breath the world. As soon as this heavy fate is thrown upon the players, Kirito seems to be one of the first to accept the reality of things. Understanding the gravity of the situation (in-game resources being limited) and desperate to survive, he quickly leaves for the next area after failing to convince his new protege to do the same.

The OP/ED seems to spoil the fact that he will meet a female player of similar skill ...

Initial thoughts: I find this anime's heavy and tragic nature to be somewhat uncomfortable to watch despite its fantasy setting. I was sure it's going to be the triumphant will to live type of things, and people don't really die, but man, this is too much - especially at the end, when say they a month has passed, floor 1 has not been cleared, and 2000 of the population has died off ... I'm very amused to see this through, but I'll have to watch something funny/uplifting afterwards.

Comparisons to other anime: I can only thing of Hack/Sign, which dealt with a similar issue of a singular amnesiac character who is unable to log out. I very much did not enjoy that one.