Posted by psgels on 28 October 2012 with categories: Sword Art Online

This show is starting to piss me off now. It makes no sense! My suspense of disbelief is gone! What the hell is it doing!?

First of all the details in this episode that made no sense: isn’t flying the core mechanic of the game? In that case, why did that blond girl (otherwise known as the cousin) not find it strange that there was this guy who was awesome at fighting, yet a complete newbie at the rest of the game? On top of that, the races are all supposed to be hostile to each other, signified by how that cousin and that friend immediately wanted to attack Kirito for being a different race. That’s nice and all, but what about everyone else? I mean I don’t know whether this has changed in the past few years… but there were a lot of assholes in online gaming who just basically attacked anything they could. This is not Sword Art Online anymore, so nobody dies or anything.

Second of all, there is a very big flaw in the core mechanics of this game. I”m referring to the main quest of this game, in which the world tree needs to be climbed. This episode heavily hinted that two races need to work together in order to get there. That’s probably another reason why Kirito is special, because apparently he is the first guy who will probably try that.

Now, there were a few years in which I played a lot of MMORPGs, and what really surprised me is that the creators overlooked the possibility of using multiple accounts. Like, just create a team of different races, and when the world tree is cleared everyone can just start playing as the race that got the wings.

Those were the plotholes. What pissed me off the most though, was the main villain. The really annoying thing is that there really is potential here: using gaming technolgy as it further evolves to more and more take control of people. There is so much awesome stuff you can do with that if you put some thought into that, but this episode comes and just turns it into an excuse to keep Asuna hostage. What kind of oversimplification is that?

I mean, this is like Fractale: the setting was fascnating. I’d still love to see a properly done series about a society in which touch is non-existant. But the points that the series decided to focus on… why?! My big problem with the new arc is that there still is very little to make it worth watching.
Rating: 3/8 (Mediocre)

63 Responses

  1. JaK says:

    why watch it ? if you don’t like it ? ^^ criticism like this wont make people not watch it XD iam pretty sure that even those diss it watch it which totaly lol

  2. Daley says:

    I still rather enjoy the show though it helps having read the light novels. There is quite a bit lost in the adaptation, inner monologues explaining things and other useful bits of information. I can certainly see why it gets flak on the anime points alone.

    Lyfa mentioned she could not guarantee his safety in the Sylph city. Though if she was escorting him around, being a well known player he was more or less left alone. Also it was mentioned the Spriggan race is not that popular due to the racial bonuses, so they are given a bit of breathing room. Also it’s not that odd to see them in other cities since they are often taken in as mercenaries. Salamanders on the other hand are pure enemies so they are kill on sight.

    There is still room for them to fill in the blanks that were skipped over, I hope they pull it off though the flow of the show seems all over the place if they backtrack to do it.

    I need to read vol 3 and 4 again to refresh my memory, nothing else to really add. With some luck next week will be less of a chore to watch!

  3. Bunny says:

    Jak some people, no matter how much they hate it, will keep continuing just so they feel completed and their time wasn’t wasted for nothing, I mean that’s what I’m doing.

  4. ronbb says:

    To be honest, I have dropped it…it has started making no sense and being too forced.

  5. elior1 says:

    you wrong about shogou becouse his motive is not so bad as you think he want to control humans mind and emotions and even alter their memories so it awseome things

  6. psgels psgels says:

    At this stage I’m hoping that it’ll get better again, but yeah. This series is very much in danger of being dropped from my blogging schedule. I’m not sure what to replace it with though. I originally thought that this would be Little Busters, though that one also turned out to be rather boring…

    • Anca says:

      How about Sukitte? It’s rather underrated.

      Although I haven’t seen the last episode either.

    • psgels psgels says:

      Let me correct that (I’m currently halfway through its third episode): it’s Little Busters is fun, but too silly to blog.

      • meow says:

        Knowing your tastes, I’m thinking Btooom!. It’s a single course too so it’ll clear your schedule faster. For me, I was thinking of Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun but I’m not sure if it really has a lot of bloggable material. Again, it’s up to you, Psgels. What series you’re watching now but aren’t blogging yet makes you want to say something every episode the most? (More than SAO, obviously?)

      • elior1 says:

        actully little busters stop be silly and get emotional in episode 4 or 5 by what i sew in the vn

    • mezzoguitar says:

      Maybe you should replace Sword Art Online with a 1-cour anime this season so you have the room to blog enough series during Winter 2013.

    • Silty says:

      I recommend picking it up for the 3rd arc, which gets better. The 2nd arc is definitely a low point, and you can probably watch the 3rd arc without seeing the 2nd.

    • anon says:

      Medaka Box is getting pretty good

  7. ritchan says:

    After reading what you said about SAO Episode 14, I also got concerned, and looked up the story on Wikipedia. The summary alone was enough to cause fears, and so I spared myself the disappointment.

  8. meow says:

    In that case, why did that blond girl (otherwise known as the cousin) not find it strange that there was this guy who was awesome at fighting, yet a complete newbie at the rest of the game?

    I also think it’s weird. Unless players like him aren’t that unusual. This is a level-less game so newbies could come in and perform pretty well if they have previous experience in other games or sports. Kind of like someone good at another fighting game coming in and playing this one and performing like a pro. In ALO’s case, Leafa may be using her own kendo skills to great effect in the game. Still, Kirito should look like he has starting equipment, and is quite far away from his home ground and yet can one-hit kill better equipped players. How did he get this far from Spriggan territory anyway? I think Leafa should have plenty of questions. But he did help her. Maybe that’s why she was interested enough in him to take him to town and buy him a drink instead of just walking away?

    Well, for me, I just think they skipped a lot of exposition cos they’re running out of airtime to explain things, as usual.

    On top of that, the races are all supposed to be hostile to each other

    Actually, no. Or rather, it’s more complicated than that. As Leafa explained, in general, the Sylphs and Salamanders tend to get into fights because they’re neighbors fighting over resources at their borders. Other races that don’t live nearby will be rarely encountered. Like Spriggans to Sylph. But you can have alliances between factions, multi-racial parties, etc. too.

    I”m referring to the main quest of this game, in which the world tree needs to be climbed. This episode heavily hinted that two races need to work together in order to get there.

    Doesn’t Leafa kind of shoot this theory down? The reward only goes to the first race to reach the top. So if it takes more than one race to get to the top, how does the reward system work? What’s in it for the supporting race(s)?

    Like, just create a team of different races, and when the world tree is cleared everyone can just start playing as the race that got the wings.

    Flaw in that argument: You’ll generally wind up specializing in one race or another and this will differ from player to player. Whichever race makes it to the top will get the reward while everyone else will basically need to dump a year’s worth of progress they previously made with their main and start over from scratch. I don’t know. I’d be disappointed to say the least if my main character got screwed cos it was of the wrong race. There are those who may maintain many accounts but splitting their time (and money?) between multiple accounts will kinda slow down their progress overall? Unless you can somehow run multiple accounts at once? But I guess that’s what makes the contest interesting. There’s something actually at stake.

    The really annoying thing is that there really is potential here: using gaming technolgy as it further evolves to more and more take control of people. There is so much awesome stuff you can do with that if you put some thought into that, but this episode comes and just turns it into an excuse to keep Asuna hostage. What kind of oversimplification is that?

    He’s not just taking Asuna hostage. He’s got another 299 test subjects under experimentation. But Asuna is his special pet. Look at how he touches her and smells her hair. (Yuck!) He’s your typical super-sadist-masochist who takes pleasure in breaking down his favorite victim and thinks he has everything under his absolute control. He could turn Asuna into a mindless doll anytime, but for him, where’s the fun in that? Also explains his loose tongue. He’s willing to give her an awful lot of incriminating information cos he believes she can’t escape. I doubt if he ever intends to let her go.

    there really is potential here

    Yeah. The part where he mocks Kayaba for creating the full-dive system only to use it for a game. I doubt if that was all Kayaba intended too. But it’s something Sugou hasn’t noticed yet.

    My big problem with the new arc is that there still is very little to make it worth watching.

    There is stuff happening in the background. Sugou has an evil plan at work. Kayaba is still MIA. And more about ALO will be revealed, like race/faction politics, more on other mechanics in the game, the architecture of the game (nope, no more simple roguelike floor clearing), etc. But the focus is still Kirito trying to figure out a way to save Asuna. How will he do it?

    I’m still good with this. It’s not the best thing airing right now but it’s not the worst either. I’m mostly happy with the visuals at least. (Although I would have liked something funnier with Kirito’s flying to justify the laughter. =.= The anime couldn’t keep up with my imagination after reading the novels. And Chuuninbou’s been really rocking me lately in the comedy department. XD) Unless someone really drops the ball somewhere, I’m not losing interest soon.

  9. Kiseki says:

    About the multiple accounts thing…what if they can’t? There are games in Korea that require your (Korean) social security number and phone number to register an account. It’s not implausible if ALO would require something similar for fairer play.

    • momotsu says:

      As another ex-MMORPG player from Thailand, we have the same registration requirement. But several players just use identification from their family/friend to duplicate the account.

      So, it’s actually plausible. :)

      • meow says:

        The MMO from my time didn’t have such a requirement. It was F2P to begin with and had a cash shop system so more players would mean more money. One way or another.

    • over_seer says:

      The multiple-accounts issue is the least of issues here, in my opinion. It doesn’t seem too far-fetched that the NerveGear / whatever interface can get all sorts of biometrics on the user, and they can lock one set of physically identifying parameters to one account (character) by storing this information server-side. They talked about all the sensors in the first episode… I think. I’ll spare myself rewatching it to look for that.

      If they really want to lock it down, then they probably can. It’s the future, yo.

      Now what happened to Asuna not being such a wuss?

    • strata says:

      They can have multiple accounts. This is confirmed in Vol 7 of the LN.

      While I’m quite enjoying the series, I have read the novels. I can certainly see why people that haven’t read the novels though would be getting annoyed as a lot of details are left out. For example in the novel, Leafa questions Kirito about how he could be a newbie and be as good as he is at combat. She also mentions that the navigation pixie (aka Yui) was only given out to those that preordered the game meaning he would have had to own the game for a while. Kirito makes up an excuse about having preordered but been playing another game for a long time explaining how he has Yui and is comfortable at swordplay but knows little to nothing about the world.

  10. meow says:

    Second of all, there is a very big flaw in the core mechanics of this game.

    Another thing about MMOs, I don’t think they’re meant to be “cleared” in the same way as say your standard RPG. They’re meant to be endless so they can be a long term source of revenue for their maintainers. I mean, if the game could be finished, then the game maintainers would lose players. How do you clear WOW or KOTOR? Do they actually let you do it? The MMO I used to play has one faction endlessly warring with another faction over colonies. Individual guilds can even switch factions. But there’s no end to the war. The winners just get buffs over the territory they own. And they slowly add new content like zones, quests and weapon sets, etc over time.

  11. dsa says:

    SAO is bad.

    Awesome setting, but is no different of bad shonen tropes.

  12. dsa says:

    Even the narrative of the novels is pretty amateurish.

    • meow says:

      Mostly written by a 15 year old, who posted it online when it turned out to be too long for a contest he was writing it for. He’s been working on it ever since. I don’t know. Amateur or not, it captured my imagination when I came across it.

  13. Andmeuths says:

    I think it’s better to see ALO in the Light of an Eve Online. It’s an MMO much closer to the vein of Eve Online, than traditional MMOs, given the faction structures, PVPism, the sheer potential for alot of crazy stuff to go down, etc.

    As for the Endless Flying: Well, the Cake is a Lie. Put two and two together, and the question becomes “Why do players buy the End Game Myth?” rather than whether the Clearing Conditions are reasonable, or rational. Certainly, from a rational business perspective, you’d essentially be pushing everyone into one race with such Overpowered Racials. But that’s not exactly ALO’s purpose.

    The end goals aren’t supposed to be reasonable, nor rational, nor sensible from a Gaming Standpoint. But it’s rather believable behavior for people not to think this through in a game where much is conjecture to the player base.

    As for Sugou, he’s your classic, run of the mill Sociopath. Boring? Yes. Irritating? Yes, perhaps even more than Irritating. Unrealistic? Not really.

  14. Raggers says:

    I did say ALO would be bad. Especially now they’ve introduced the incest subplot (which I hope doesn’t get to much screen-time).

    Expect the rest of the series to become very repetitive.

  15. meow says:

    Just thought I’d post my impressions about this episode. I was mostly happy with the visuals. The characters looked great and the Sylph city looked amazing. Finally got to see Kirito’s everyday abilities against fellow players rather than just mobs.

    Interesting about introducing the Remain Light mechanic now but where was Recon’s Remain Light last episode?

    Mentioned earlier but I wish Kirito had done something that would have made the audience laugh with Leafa and Yui during the flight training. I was kinda expecting him to be rocketing around with a stupid expression on his face or something. Doing silly figure eights was kinda meh.

    I liked the high-speed flight effects, like the sonic booms. I wonder if we’ll get to see some fighter-like maneuvers later in the story. There are some major fight scenes coming up that I’m really looking forward to. The crash scene stretched my disbelief a bit though. He can already maneuver. It wasn’t really clear that he couldn’t swerve away from the tower in time. Watching Kirito’s panicked face was fun though. XD Interesting to note that he actually survived with half-HP even after rocketing into a solid wall at near maximum speed.

    I don’t get how Kirito and Yui mistook Recon for Leafa’s boyfriend the way he behaved. Little brother maybe. I think this is a scene carelessly transplanted from the novels cos the Recon there had an extended scene where he shows a bit of jealousy to Kirito.

    I liked Leafa’s performance here. It was significantly different from Suguha’s so I think I could buy Leafa and Suguha being different characters at first glance. Kirito on the other hand, perhaps because I’ve seen so much of him so much, I don’t really see that much difference between him and Kazuto. Then again, we may have an expectations gap here, where one simply didn’t expect the other to be there. But yeah, this is a suspension of belief thing.

    About Asuna, I’m surprised she didn’t attack Sugou when he tried to touch her but she has been his captive for a few months. Maybe he has some method of neutralizing her resistance like paralysis or something so she knows that method is useless. Well, she still seems to be the old Asuna, in spite of her captivity.

  16. jzar says:

    First of all the details in this episode that made no sense: isn’t flying the core mechanic of the game? In that case, why did that blond girl (otherwise known as the cousin) not find it strange that there was this guy who was awesome at fighting, yet a complete newbie at the rest of the game?

    Even if asked to you think Kirito would answer? Remember that if a human sees his account his stats stand a chance of being reset to true newbie status. So they are a lot of unanswered questions about that. Didn’t bother me all that much but I do agree she should have asked but Kirigaya Suguha (the cousin) did get saved so perhaps that is not the time to grill your savior.

    On top of that, the races are all supposed to be hostile to each other, signified by how that cousin and that friend immediately wanted to attack Kirito for being a different race. That’s nice and all, but what about everyone else? I mean I don’t know whether this has changed in the past few years… but there were a lot of assholes in online gaming who just basically attacked anything they could. This is not Sword Art Online anymore, so nobody dies or anything.

    Just because there are those kind of A holes playing doesn’t mean you will run into them.

    Second of all, there is a very big flaw in the core mechanics of this game. I”m referring to the main quest of this game, in which the world tree needs to be climbed. This episode heavily hinted that two races need to work together in order to get there. That’s probably another reason why Kirito is special, because apparently he is the first guy who will probably try that.

    Now, there were a few years in which I played a lot of MMORPGs, and what really surprised me is that the creators overlooked the possibility of using multiple accounts.

    Like, just create a team of different races, and when the world tree is cleared everyone can just start playing as the race that got the wings.

    As others will also point out…there is a big flaw in your premise. Getting one character up to high levels is very hard and expensive. Mostly you just don’t have the time to work up multiple characters to a level that makes them useful. Consider the amount of players needed to conquer the tree quest, two complete races. How many people would that be? 50? 100? 1000? the numbers alone would defeat any ‘team’ of multiple account user.

    Those were the plotholes. What pissed me off the most though, was the main villain. The really annoying thing is that there really is potential here: using gaming technology as it further evolves to more and more take control of people. There is so much awesome stuff you can do with that if you put some thought into that, but this episode comes and just turns it into an excuse to keep Asuna hostage. What kind of oversimplification is that?

    Well it gets clearly said he has 300 characters he stole from SAO and is using them as Human Test Subjects, what more do you need? How complex do you need it to be? 300 People are still trapped in the online game with a game controller that will blow their minds if it is removed from outside the game. To top that they are also getting brainwashed. And he goes on to say he has a corporate buyer ready to pay him huge sums of money for the finished product. Asuna is just the icing of the evil cake.

    I mean, this is like Fractale: the setting was fascnating. I’d still love to see a properly done series about a society in which touch is non-existant. But the points that the series decided to focus on… why?! My big problem with the new arc is that there still is very little to make it worth watching.
    Rating: 3/8 (Mediocre)

    Factale just skipped whole scenes and didn’t bother to make a linear story, not so with SAO. So I can’t see them as even close to the same.

    The art of the world maintains its high standard but more could have been done with the presentation of the character dialog. They did miss a lot of opportunities to show the characters with more depth. They could have explained with better detail and give us a better chance to really understand the world and the problems the characters are facing.

    However I found a lot of worth in the episode and enjoyed it.

    We got more information about the world, we learn that the Blonde Character is his cousin and is going to help him in his personal quest to get to Asuna who is trapped online which is a big big deal.

    We see the story line progressing against a real world time frame, the clock is ticking…..brainwashing will be used against Asuna in the near future, so there is a great need to hurry and free her.

    I did enjoy your comments though. I really liked the passion and straight from the heart vibe.

    • Andmeuths says:

      The key problem is that A1 Decides to axe HUGE chunks of Monologues. And when you have a character like Kirito, who is the quiet kind of person, most of his characterization comes from his monologue.

      So, in a way, A1 really fails to capture the LN Material when it comes to characterization here, largely because they choose to ignore monologue most of the time. Because we don’t see their internal thought processes, I think that’s where most of the issues people have with SAO tend to crop up.

  17. elior1 says:

    @psgels actully little busters stop be silly and get emotional in episode 4 or 5 by what i sew in the vn

  18. Kim says:

    I’d still love to see a properly done series about a society in which touch is non-existant.

    Wouldn’t you say this can describe Dennou Coil. Okay I know the series isn’t completely in that world, but it does deal with many of the same connection themes as Sword Art Online. Except it does it in a much more compelling way.

  19. StaleBread says:

    ~Sigh~ Watched this for the premise, made it through the 1st season, and now finally has to drop it. Good animation though. And nice + colorful character designed. Those I liked.

    Read the source material too. But disappointed to see it was just another Asian MMO original fiction story, nothing makes it stand out, except for the if you die you die for real setting. Now that part is gone too. Why didn’t the writer just end the story when it should have ended?

  20. JaK says:

    weeeee another battlefield ;D

  21. Spike says:

    If it’s not pretty obvious by now, this anime is just basically a showcase for people who have already read the novel and to get people to buy the novels. They are cutting way to much, they really don’t seem to care to keep in important details like character motivations and game mechanics. I suggest you just drop it because they’ve already left out some really important stuff about ALO so you are just gonna get more and more confused.

    • meow says:

      I would try to take the anime adaptation as an alternate universe SAO where things are a little different from the novels and see how it goes. There are still a few wrinkles to iron out but it is what it is. I disagree with you about them not caring about details though. They’re throwing in what they can given the time constraints and leaving out the lower priority details. I think things might be a little tight as it is already.

      • Spike says:

        I know it’s tight budget and time wise, but literally week after week almost all the complaints people have (including psgels) about plotholes / weird motivations / concepts that don’t make sense are answered in the novel and is cut out for some reason It’s not like they are cutting out pointless fluff- it’s important details. Kinda like when Lyfa sees Yui and asks is that a private pixie? Kirito says sorta and thats it. No one who hasn’t read the novel even has a concept of what a privite pixie is. So when Yui starts using some of the perks a priviate pixie can use in future episodes, bet me that psgels is gonna be confused again…

        …because they didn’t take that extra 4 seconds to explain about Yui properly. Stuff like that.

  22. Aecen says:

    Great ep, Kirito actually has a personality this ep.

  23. TheUltimateReaper says:

    I’m still not sure what people don’t understand about SOA. Psgels, have you ever played Skyrim? It’s a pretty simplified RPG for the modern age. The sheer amount of quests, leveling up etc. Depending on the RPG the difficulty can be next to nothing to downright near impossible. Multiple accounts? You guys can correct me if I’m wrong but, nerve gear kind of limits you to one character at a time right? Kind of hard to multitask. I’m not sure the villain is using it as an excuse, rather isn’t it that he was doing this to begin with and is simply using it to his advantage to control Asuna? SAO isn’t the most.. realized of thing for it’s potential, it does disappoint me with a few things, and the plot is strange, but the mind control thing could be it’s saving grace. Time will tell.

    • meow says:

      You guys can correct me if I’m wrong but, nerve gear kind of limits you to one character at a time right? Kind of hard to multitask.

      Just FYI but in ALO’s case, you can make another character, like WOW but can only play one at a time.

      About the rest of your post, I’m waiting for whether the series will explain a little more about the ALOSphere, RTO’s version of the Nervegear. It has some important differences to Argus’s Nervegear, specifically lack of any dangerous functions like microwaves, etc, which is why players were willing to try it even though the SAO incident had taken place. However, why did 300 people from SAO, including Asuna, have to be hijacked for Sugou’s experiments. Why didn’t Sugou just use ALO players? On the face of it, if any players in ALO had gone into a coma, ALO might be shut down too. But is there more to it? And why is ALO running on the same Cardinal system as SAO but an earlier, outdated version of it? How did RTO get their hands on it?

  24. Ryan R says:

    Here’s the thing with SAO – At it’s core, it’s the purest wish fulfillment story you will ever, ever see in professional media (only fanworks can compete with it here).

    It happens to use extremely compelling concepts and ideas to get there though.

    So the discordance is just massive for some of us – We see these great ideas just teeming with potential, but the show is not about those great ideas. It’s about modern adolescent male wish-fulfillment distilled down to its purest essence. The great ideas are just vehicles through which that wish-fulfillment is achieved. SAO basically bends over backwards to make Kirito the ultimate cool dude who gets to be the impeccable hero but also consistently badass.

    Imagine Batman with Superman’s powers played as pure wish-fulfillment – that is Kirito.

    • meow says:

      And that’s the beauty of it. It is wish fulfillment but with a very specific target base: MMO players.

      Eg. A classic MMO player’s fantasy is to find someone of the opposite sex who is into the same things they are in the game and connect. The show takes and subverts this from the first episode with everyone’s real appearance and gender revealed. (Check out all the guys playing girls, etc.) Kirito and Asuna being the idealized wish fulfillment. XD

      Veteran MMO players will also instantly recognize and possibly resonate with a lot of the concepts introduced. Basic game mechanics and it’s most efficient use, grinding, the search for shortcuts and exploits like switching, repop zones, information gathering and the importance of secrecy, camping, competing for bosses, raid strategies, looting and it’s related conflicts, the effect of level differences, p-k-ing, m-p-k-ing (Thinker’s trap), deathtraps (the Cats’ anti-crystal areas), in-game criminals, etc. This new arc seems to be introducing factions (in this case race-based) along with territorial control and their fringe benefits.

      All this will probably be lost on typical non-MMO players, but so too would the massive potential of the setting be on your average teenager. Mind control through a gaming device seems like a typical shounen trope. But something more realistic might be say developers of a strategy FPS using player gameplay data from all over the world to develop real military small unit tactics. Or say real military commanders of tomorrow (or possibly even today?) directing their troops through a top-down GUI right out of your average RTS using l33t Korean gamer tactics? I imagine your average teenage gamer wouldn’t exactly be excited about something like that. They’re probably more likely to just have a good laugh about it.

  25. fathomlessblue says:

    I think people who hate this series need to change their expectations somewhat. Sure, it’s embarrassingly bad as an action/drama show, but as a comedy this is gold! I haven’t had this much fun since Guilty Crown!

  26. Zurito says:

    ….I decided to share my opinion a bit.

    Okay, so I kept watching it and found it quite enjoyable, even if some things seemed too forced or unexplained. And then came this episode and my suspense of disbelief was pretty much gone. But I remembered that many people spoke about the novels.. So, I broke down and sat and read the novels.

    And I must say that indeed, the anime really skips lots of information that the novels had, which addresses many issues that psgels pointed out in all episodes rewievs. Hence why I believe that it would be best to actually read the novels to clear up some things (not all, but some). Because after reading the novels, some things which didn’t make sense now made sense or were actually explained and my suspense of disbelief is restored! At the same time, reading the stories which had the other ‘female interests’.. It was more.. believable in the novels? Less irritating? Asuna’s popularity was much better explained too. Anime just.. seems rushed in comparison and skipped some explanations, which, well, is bad for the anime. That’s my opinion.

    I will continue watching the series. Sure it is not a masterpiece, but now that I read the novels, I re-watched all the episodes and I found it more enjoyable (It also made wonder, what if the whole spectacle with Yui was actually in large way orchestrated by Heathcliff/Akihiko Kayaba to draft his ‘Hero’ back to front-lines?).

    On side note, I really do like the sound of Kirito’s seiyuu voice.

    …Wow.. I sure wrote a lot more then I thought I did. Congrats to those who did read it! And thank you.

    • Andmeuths says:

      I think that’s the fundamental problem with LN readers reading blogs in Blogosphere about SAO, by viewers who have not read the LNs. I cringe and wince whenever bloggers raise up objections to SAO that exist because the adaptation leaves holes which didn’t exist in the original LN, because of material left out. Biggest of all are the monologues – no one whose ever read the LN, as far as I have known has accused Kirito of being a generic Shouen Protagonist – indeed, some argues that he’s more of a character in the Seinen genre. But that’s because we get an insight into the head of a naturally introverted boy.

      No, I don’t propose that the LN be read, not necessarily, but rather, my point is that this adaptation has some very strange priorities on what it chooses to axe and what it chooses to emphasis on.

      Think for a moment: if Hyoyka never continually gave us a peek into Oreki’s thought processes and monologues, it would have been THAT much weaker. Kirito’s character has been severely weakened by showing us his actions, without his thoughts or motivations or the logic behind what he does.

      Similarly, the SAO adaptation has been grossly weaken by firstly: reducing the monologue content (this first happened egregiously in Red Nose Reindeer) and axing essential material and exposition (as early as Episode 1, where the animators, in all their wisdom decided to leave a plot-hole regarding the fate of the players outside that NEVER existed in the first place in the LNs. And all that was needed was for Kayaba’s opening speech to be extended by ten More seconds.) This issues have been around since the end of the first episode, and the second episode was a perfect microsm of all the ways the adaptation got it wrong

      The fact that the Anime brings forth many criticisms that don’t crop up with critics of the LN, and are indeed often well resolved in the LN actually suggest that this ADAPTATION is, from a strict story-telling perspective, disappointingly done.

      From a Commercial Standpoint of course, SAO is a runaway success. So for those haters who hope that it’s not going to get a second season, I’m afraid to say that I think it’s likely that GGO and Mother’s Rosario will get an adaptation, and probably Alicization too.

      The fact is, for those who suggest that A1 Should have gone Anime Original, (and presumably, therefore, a more linear, coherent plot that doesn’t jump around), I think the fact that SAO is being rewritten right now plays a part in preventing such a… pardon the pun, progression.

      Perhaps, SAO should have waited for the Progressive rewrites to be complete, before receiving an animation adaptation. However, from the standpoint of the author, his publisher, and the studio, given the massive sales numbers (especially to the LN – the first volume of the rewrite received massive sales) it seems that animating SAO was a commercially justified decision.

      I’d say this again though. At the rate SAO is going, it may end up acquiring a reputation among the English Fandom that Twilight has in the literary world. Even if this may be a very poor analogy and comparison.

      Finally, I think it’s an interesting challenge (for Non LN Readers that is, since I think LN readers would immediately think of AUs where Kirito made different choices rather than Kirito being “different”) for critics who argue the plot is bad and it should be re-written to take the concept and try to present a counter point of how they think it could be better. You would probably immediately notice that one HUGE advantage you have over the anime is the fact that you can more easily let your readers into the internal thought processes of your character.

      • IceCwmElf says:

        I myself would encourage the reading of the LN. Since the anime adaption isn’t perfect, reading the LN would give a more complete feel? Something along those lines. I agree with your points in the flaws of the adaption wholeheartedly. Flaws can be easily discovered when comparing the LN to the anime and with this, many perspectives arise.

        Some regard SAO as the greatest ever and others think not. I’d be willing to bet that the majority of the latter have read the LN. That Twilight analogy made me laugh. I’m not sure whether or not it’s possible, but the more I ponder upon it, you could be right after all. Although SAO is directed more towards both genders, integrating action for the males and romance for the females. It all depends on the execution of the remaining episodes.

        I’ll be still following SAO, but not as enthusiastically as before. There’s a massive debate on how books trump movies. I’m willing to agree with that notion.

  27. Mike says:

    Really psgel, really?

    this guy here can insult every single person who likes SAO and it’s ok, yet I get my post deleted when I call him out for being elitist using his own words?

    Yea, really unbiased here, why not just join in on the bashing yourself.

    • psgels psgels says:

      Good point. I actually overlooked that comment, but you’re right: he definitely was trolling there. That doesn’t make you right for responding to it, though.

  28. sushiyassin55 says:

    LOL, psgels losing his patience over an episode? I haven’t seen this happen in a while!

  29. neowai says:

    I never expected the game to end in episode 14, I always thought they would adventure into the final 25 levels with awesome bosses and desperate fights with unexpected comebacks.
    But no, it all ended suddenly in a flash. Now it’s all about a quest to save Asuna from the claws of the sick manipulator, meanwhile a bunch of lustful chicks will try to bump on kirito :o

  30. Saigo says:

    SAO is an example of a good concept (done better by .Hack Sign), but terrible execution.

    Is like the fusion of Guilty Crown (quality of the plot) + .Hack (world)

    Is full of cliches.

    And Kirito is a Gary Stu……

    People that consider this good, are probably the same that consider Code Geass as a masterpiece.

    • Sway_212 says:

      I’m confused now. I thought Code Geass was pretty horrible but I actually Like SAO quite a bit. What category does that make me fall under, as per your classification?

  31. FlippyJ says:

    I just marathoned SAO at the recommendation of some friends, and I am very disappointed in how it is turning out. From the first few episodes, I honestly thought that SAO had the potential to be shounen that is more complex and dark than most of the other mainstream shounen shows. The production values are high, the awesome Yuki Kajiura is doing the music, and it initially presented the “trapped in an online world” concept in a realistic way. .Hack had a similar world, but, shoot me, I couldn’t stand how slow moving and passive it was.

    Sadly, SAO just kept becoming more and more like most other shounen series as it progressed. The few very good episodes were when they actually discussed things like their bodies in the real world and the reality of an online romance. It then goes from good, okay, and insultingly mediocre then back and forth. And now this fairy arc is just…what… Also, I could hardly tell that Yuki Kajiura did the music since its really unremarkable compared to her other works. Is it because she is really out of her genre or something?

    Are the novels really that much better? This new arc really makes me want to drop the series entirely.

  32. Kirito says:

    Well if your read the book everything makes since. In the book leafa noticed something weird about him how he is a noon and was able to defeat those guys

Leave a Reply

Halfway through Aico.
All hail Devilman crybaby all hail devilman crybaby and its glorious new regime.
I mean, Netflix did have a hit show. Devilman Crybaby. Regardless of our personal opinions on it, it hit big.
Maybe pick one and review it here too
I'm planning to catch up with all the Netflix shows next weekend
@Aidan: Have you finished Aico?
Thanks Kaiser, can't download the streaming web for some reasons but at least now I can watch it online
All these shows came out within too small a frame of time from each other.
It's not a good thing that it's crap, I mean I am still waiting on Netflix anime to have a serious hit show but at least this way I can get around to finishing Aico.
New netflix show came out today called Sword Gai. But luckily I don't have to watch it cause seems it's crap.
and blackfox + trigger anime could be cool. not a fan of the design of trigger's main girl though
Game anime is pretty cool too
Think this is my favorite so far
Tons of interesting trailer releases due to animejapan 2018.
@Mario: I also finally did that review of lady bird:
Definitely more of a Westerns hommage this time round.
But its such a visual film anyway and so little dialogue, lack of subs are fine, I got by following with highschool French.
Though remember, those links I gave are un-subbed.
@Mario: While I was onboard with all of Amer, at the same time it wasn't able to best that opening segment later on.
@Mario: I enjoyed being pulled into the bizzare atmosphere of both amer and strange colour of your bodies tear.
@Mario: Or stream: you could download it with downloadhelper if you want to watch it on vlc player.
@Kaiser: I think I've mentioned this to you but I consider the first segment of Aimer one of my all time favorite. I just love everything, everything about it. The style, the art designs and the editing especially
@Kaiser: couldn't find it online. Do you have a link or something? Just pm me if you do
But its hardly a comprehensible film anyway, even going by plot synopsis, its all about style as substance to let wash over you and its enjoyable for that style.
@Mario: It has very very little dialogue, I watched it in French, knowing some of the language.
@Mario: No I mean the other two are more dreamlike than it.
it's even more dreamlike than the other two? Now I have to watch it
@Kaiser: is Let the Corpses Tan available online already? My, My. Looking for it now
@Mario: I saw let the corpses tan, blackly funny but you kind of need to be into B movies to get the full appeal out of it and just run with it, their style is there but it definately feels more dreamlike in amer and strange colour of your bodies tears.
@Mario: He himself claims he's like Ken Loach, but I always felt, like most, that Ozu was a better fit.
@Mario: Still walking is one I really want to watch by Koreeda.
About VEG, as of now I just take it for what it is. I reckon it's more like many of them know how to write, but when it comes to writing a letter, they have a "just ask the professional" mentality
@Kaiser: interesting. So Koreeda moved from character-driven drama to plot-driven thriller. A good change of pace at the very least
@anon1906941: I don't have any old blog, this is the only blog I write.
@Amagi: I'm just thinking of the dolls as ghostwriters. They might be able to write, but rely on the ghostwriters to write for them for a special/important occasion (i.e. princess/prince story), write more quickly than they could (i.e. the scriptwriter/observatory dude), or to do so if they're physically unable (possibly the mother).
I have somewhat of a problem accepting this whole "doll" business in VEG. It always feels like anyone who isn't a doll was absolutely unable to write, despite that most of them are pretty eloquent in speech and most likely not illiterates.
@Mario: more of a whydunnit of possibilities than a whodunnit .
@Mario: Feels like a sporadically fun game koreeda is playing with the audience that at other times wears off.
@Mario: I'm torn on third murder by Koreeda, it presents interesting scenarios for motives and it does have something to say about the nature of truth (and in relation to lawyers) but theres nothing concrete here . Overall you could say its Rashomon for the 21st century.
where is your old blogs mario
Wow, Netflix is suddenly releasing a lot of anime shows .-.
@kaiser: I'm not too happy with After the Rain this week. A bit of a letdown for me consider I really enjoyed last week's episode.
After the rain continues surprising me, it can be dull going at moments but at the same time, even this week , the slow pace is still allowing the drama to creep up on the viewer, making the small moments all the more effective.
I wouldn't really count western examples of "kids adventuring in another world" shows as isekai shows though because they don't share the tropes of genre
@Kaiser, Yep. Read it.
@Aidan: Have you read Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni?
There are Alice in wonderland manga too.
In all seriousness, the Japanese were very fond of that story anon and even in the 90s there were isekai stories.
Does Alice in Wonderland count as Isekai?
....which is fair. But even though it does not hold up and has not dated well, I can't think of it as bad as something such as...well neo angelique or Amnesia.
Interesting to think that people forget that isekai isn't exactly a new thing. But thinking of it, if Fushigi yugi came out now, people would probably call it an otome show.
When you know all forms of fiction are actually isekai because by the act of watching/reading/playing fiction we are absorbed/taken into another world technically =O
@Vonter: Looks like I probably should as the alien 9 guy did it.
Has anyone read Milk Closet by Hitomi Tomizawa? It's weird. Does dimensional hopping count as Isekai?
Reverse-isekai seems to be an appropriate term for that.
Does the opposite of Isekai has a name? Like with the anime Gate or the He-man movie?
And the dungeons and dragons cartoon was also a Isekai.
You are now aware that Captain N, was technically Isekai =P
I also have a feeling that the anime so far is still in a set-up stage. The side characters might get more important roles later on but for now they serve little purpose.
@Masky: A little bit of both, I guess. I know that the anime burnt through a lot of materials here. The result is while it's affecting at the time, they move on so fast to the next arc that the emotion never really sinks in
Honestly confused here if manga is just better or if its just case of differing tastes/expectations ._. Like, I think Mahoutsukai no Yome is surprisingly good considering the premise
Episode 22 was great, and while I feel more connected to the drama here than say, Violet Evergarden, as a whole I still feel underwhemeded
I've finally, finally catched up with Mahoutsukai no Yome (well, technically I'm still 1 episode behind, but I've just burnt through like 7 episodes). It still has pacing issues (which Lenlo pointed out well), some parts they glossed over too quickly, while another part just stayed for too long)
Already late but might as well say it. I plan on leaving my reviews till next week in order to focus on the Season preview. Hopefully get that done this week or next week.
I really enjoyed the Burnt Field episodes of 3-Gatsu. They came off as a bit too flashback-spammy and a bit melodramatic like the show always is, but still a great time was had.
KT here: This looks pretty though I am sure I will object to the way the history is presented.
KT here: Classicaloid Season 2 penultimate episode had a whole bunch of anime/game references including an Akuma one.
With Vinland, I think it was that it switched magazines, started as a shounen.
HYPE! HYPE! VINLAND HYPE! I really hope it's a 2-cour where they end with the "End of Prologue".
Wonder how Vinland will be. It's one of the very very very few long running series I still consider as good. Usually there is always a lot of stuff that annoys me once a series switches its tone or genre at some point.
I also wish Wixoss would die and I really loved the first series, even both seasons. But the lastest one without Okada was atrocious.
@Kaiser: that kind of distraction is just the internet's curse I know it as well. It kinda pisses me off because I was a pretty diligent worker once and created a lot of create new content even. Now I often get the urge to check the newest funny tweets/memes whatever.
Well played sir
In my headcanon I'm pretending the crowdfunding for a possible gunsmith cats anime will work.
This will be a good way to re-cap on older chapters of Vinland through the adaptation. I started reading it way back in 2007.
excellent news
So, vinland saga appears to have gotten picked up for an adaptation by WIT
I will watch Legend of Galactic Heroes. Probably give Golden Kamuy a chance.
I'll consider golden kamuy at least.
I'm too busy with galactic heroes original to watch the remake right now and you can bet for certain i am staying far far away from mahou shoujo site.
While I won't say anythong doreikus villain reveal pretty much killed it for me. I never really watched much of full metal panic due to not finding it funny.
Just let Wixoss, Sword art and tokyo ghoul die already , its beating the dead horse at this point.
Kaiser-Eoghan in the meantime you can all content yourself with that preview.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
@Anon, When it's done.
They actually take work you know, not as if I can just cough them up on a whim.
Spring Preview when?
I enjoy TONS of subtitled stuff, but I have to admit...sometimes to re-winding and pausing when the dialogue gets heavy or complex.
I know Aico has a shit dub but sometimes I find myself watching in English and feeling lazy because its easier to watch more now that way.
I used to be able to marathon stuff so easily but now I can't do the 12 episodes in one go thing like I used to.
Something goes off, even after 30 minutes to an hour "Shit....have to see if something NOW....can't stop myself"
I'm not the kind of person who messes with their phone in a cinema, but at home somehow theres this moments where I just get this distracting urge to keep checking some site, E-mail, snacking, going to the bathroom too often or lie down, look at someones doujin/smut art or write something all when I'm supposed to be doing something else.
What I mean is, I'll be reading/watching something and its not boring at all, maybe even interesting, but I can't stop pausing sometimes for...reasons and it takes me longer to get through something because of this.
I know this is pretty much an effect of living in this generation but, for those of you who experience this, how do you guys deal with "distraction." Sometimes this annoys me....
@Amagi: I'm evasive of "non-old man pubs" at night , particularly late at night, I don't want to come across any "characters" I'd prefer not to encounter.
Liquor goes great after copious amounts of beef and steak
@Amagi, Considering that I am here, you probably should have expected a Fate GO review.
Wow I didn't expect a FGO review here
Well it's the reason why I never drink alcohol at home. Even if I were depressed it wouldn't change my mood so it's pointless.
I can reach a point where I feel like dreaming but none of my character traits change. Guess it always varies depending on the person. Same with my best friend, he's just get tired when drunk, but nothing else ever happens.
@Kaiser: Same here. Often go to pubs with friends at night but not only do I not want to ever get my mind "altered" by alcohol, it doesn't even work it seems. Or maybe it's the will or that I am just not influenceable.
Ah, this is just me being in grumpyKaiser mode =)
I have been drunk, I do not like it. I do like being tipsy, but hate drunk. I generally like beer because it does not muck me up as bad as harder drinks (ouzo, raki, and I absolutely despise tequila). The first time in my life I celebrated Valentine's Day was this year. Have to say that it was not too bad.
Baccardi and Vodka were the only forms of alcohol I felt didn't especially taste "off" to me.
I also dislike Valentines day for the schmaltz, insincerity, fakeness around it and the idea there has to be "a day" for it and the captilization, commercialization of emotions.
In all my thirty one years I have never been drunk and never intend to, I dislike the idea of surrendering my mind to alcohol and feeling "altered". If anything you would be safer doing marijuana.
And Guinness is massively overrated.
@Anon: I care for neither really.
Alcohol culture in a nutshell: if you like to drink sweet alcohol that actually tastes good instead of liquor that tastes like gasoline and piss, you're a pussy.
I've no interest in Irelands drinking culture /festival days much.
Its really just a day off or an excuse for 13 year olds to get drunk.
He was Welsh aswell and there weren't exactly that much snakes in Ireland to begin with.
@Mario: Its technically St Patricks day now yes. Not that I personally care for it, I got going to the parade out of my system over a decade ago, never liked the oirishness and cliches/commercialisim around it, in the end it just makes it impossible to get around the city, plus the weather is so poor its pointless going out anyway.
I saw some Irish flags around my area. Is it St Patrick day today?
I did listen to some of aico's dub, I don't think any of these people are experienced or professional voice actors.
Anon: B the beginning was too much of an awkward genre mix. I was content to just ignore aico because I'm not a fan of Bones as a studio but you're the second person to say it reminds them of some old ova.
@Anon: I enjoyed the combination of old and new with devilman, it even being able to eclipse the ovas, aswell as the experimental visual style and transgression, and as you said, the surprising emotional involvement.
So i finish, B the Beginning, Aico, Devilman( What a feel's ride). and I must say that they're far from perfect, but they remaind me of 90, early 2000 anime, that i loved so much and that is a big plus. Today's anime doesnt feel quite the same in my opinion, what are your thoughts.. Now im getting excited to watch SWORD GAI!.
While obvious an anime series, After the rain often feels like a live action film.
@Mario: Actually that does remind me, I never saw Pola X by Carax.
Miike is extremely hit or miss, but I loved how Audition minipulated the viewer with its slower first half before really taking off, most of Ichi the killer is just a perversely funny black comedy to me.
Chang-dong-Lee is refreshingly less melodramatic then other Korean directors.
Benh Zeitlin is one I'm not familiar with, but it turns out he did beasts of southern wild and I enjoy magical realism.
@Mario: I wasn't aware Carax was still alive, some sgements of holy motors work, others don't , lovers on the bridge was a more accessible film I recall.
@Fluca: okay. Kinda fixed it. I don't think we have a spoiler code so I just changed your spoiler into white color
@Kaiser: I'm checking movies from indie auteur directors that could come out this year, interested Benh Zeitlin's second movie, Lee Chang Dong's and Leos Carax's one
Would love to see Our Little Sister in anime form, actually
Although Miike directs like at least 40 feature films, I only remember his Audition and Ichi the Killer the most, both of which I have extremely mixed feeling about
Every time I here the title Aico, it makes me think its some kind of eco/environmental thing, which I know it isn't.
The fate/extra Alice character (I looked her up) looks like she belongs in rozen maiden.
The modern Japanese directors can be prolific Miike and Sono pump out more than one film a year.
And it shows, that Our little sister adaptation, that live action adaptations CAN sometimes work.
Quick fact, that action crime josei anime, Bananna fish, coming out in April is based on a manga by the writer of Our little sister's manga.
@Mario: The interest being, how he would handle something so removed from his usual style.
@Mario: Actually re-checking, its next week, The third murder , which seems very different, a courtroom drama with some philosophy in it.
I really enjoy Our Little Sister, but I think mainly because the film is entirely within my comfort zone (Slice of life manga material, about the life of these girls)
@Kaiser: Which one will you see? He now directs one movie per year so it's hard to keep track some times. I really like his style and I reckon people who like slice-of-life will enjoy his movies
@Mario: Hirokazu Koreeda has a new film out, seeing it on Friday, I've only seen Our little sister by him.
@Anon: I essentially deleted the rest of the episodes off my computer after struggling through the first, like most, maybe moreso I got very turned off by the genre mixing. Thats not to say that I'm against genre mixes though, but they have to be weird, I mean really weird.
I am not a fan of breather episodes, something most modern anime are pretty keen to insert. I hate breaking of climaxes in order to show three SoL-, fanservice- or formularic monster of the week episodes before the main plot progresses further. When I want SoL I go watch a full fleshed SoL. Aico is pretty straight forward and kinda easy to watch in one go in that regard. Nothing really new though.
Just finished Aico. Had a few downsides like most series but I enjoyed it. Felt like a classic scifi anime you'd see in the 90s.
@Anon, I watched it. Though it was mixed but a decent enough watch. It really felt like two shows hastily combined into one. Been thinking of writing a review for it and Aico once I finish Aico.
*Have you watch
Have toy watch, B The Beginning?
I would call it somewhat lightweight however, but I won't complain/level too much against it, as it is afterall, a family film.
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