Posted by psgels on 25 December 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews, Sword Art Online



Um yeah. Sword Art Online. While it doesn’t beat Guilty Crown as “trainwreck of the year” for me, it still is a show I had very mixed feelings about. In order to explain why, I’m going to have to diverge a bit from my normal spoiler policy, though. I won’t outright spoil things, but I do have to say things about the plot progression here and what happens at certain stages. Because Sword Art Online has for me been the prime example of jumping the shark for the past half year.

Like Guilty Crown, SAO is what happens if you focus your series way too much around your male lead. Thankfully, Kirito is an actual character. A bland one, but an actual character, rather than a plot device. It’s nearly everything around him that’s a plot device instead though. The first half of the series however thankfully has enough to make up for it.

I mean the setting behind this show is fascinating: you’ve got an MMORPG that traps its own players. Wonderful! The despair of the people who are trapped inside it for an incredibly long time was great. A unique culture evolved that was really interesting to watch. Add that to great fight animation and a great climax, and you’ve got a very solid story. For the first half.

The show’s problems already shine through in the first half, but not bad enough. By far the worst issue I had was the harem element. Picture this: you’re on an mmorpg server. The females are in a big minority. And yet, nearly all of them end up falling for Kirito, the lead. He’s the first who truly cares about them when he meets them, he’s the first who makes them feel comfortable, even though he’s a completely antisocial guy. Yeah, this is wish fulfillment that is pretty thinly veiled. Kirito’s sole salvation here is that he actually ends up in a very good couple, and that the chemistry between him and the female lead actually works. The lead female is strong, and they complement each other quite well. The combination between action and romance works out quite well as the first half goes on and gets to its climax.

So yeah, the second half… it took about two episodes for me to completely give up hope on this series afterwards. That arc is just so inherently wrong on so many levels, it’s hard to know where to really start.

But imagine this: the bland male lead is happy in a couple. Then the female lead gets kidnapped for an entire season, and he starts flirting with his cousin (who he grew up with believing her to be his sister), leading to a completely pointless romantic quasi-incest subplot that doesn’t really go anywhere. Seriously, nearly the entire second half of this series is dedicated to just that, rather than the much more interesting other things aobut this series.

The second half is also littered with plotholes that this show just pulls right out of its ass, just to be more convenient and make the plot go as intended. It’s just too spoilery to go into details, but items appear from out of nowhere, the games in this series are riddled with design decisions that just boggle my mind, characters act irrational for no reason, and half the time this show doesn’t know whether it’s in a virtual world or not, which gets really annoying. Oh and the villain there. He’s one of the most stereotypical evil villains I’ve seen in a long while.

Thankfully this is an A-1 production, so the graphics look good and the fight animation is very creative. Yuki Kajiura behind the soundtrack is also solid, although with this series she really starts to reveal that she has run out of inspiration and that all of her music is just starting to sound the same.

Sword Art Online gets a lot of love. I don’t think that it deserves that. Sword Art Online also gets a lot of hate. And I also don’t think it deserves that either. Sure, its second half is pretty bad and all, but it does have its things to make up for it. Its setting has its traces of brilliance, and the first half was pretty solid there. Nevertheless. There’s better out there. It’s just too flawed to really recommend. The only thing I’m really angry at this series for is how it disrespects its female lead in its second half. That’s the one thing that I really find unforgivable. Apart from that the second half is just bad storytelling. Nothing more, nothing less.

Storytelling: 6.5/10 – Good build-up, but waaaay too many plot devices.
Characters: 6.5/10 – There are some interesting characters here, and the lead couple is quite good in the first half. This show completely disrespects the female lead in its second half by having her kidnapped, making her do nothing and have the male lead head off to a pointless incest subplot.
Production-Values: 8,5/10 – Great animation. It’s overall a very solid looking show at the very least.
Setting: 7.5/10 – The show gets some points for being interesting and having some really nice ideas. It loses points for not making any sense. Especially in its second half.

Suggestions:
– .Hack//Sign
.Hack//Roots
Amatsuki

49 Responses

  1. Taara535 says:

    I dropped it right after the first episode of the second half. That was abysmal.

    I think you give its first half a bit too much credit. Near the end of the first half, especially, Asuna begins to lose a lot of her own initiative and strength just to show how great Kirito is. I was quite dismayed how a strong female lead suddenly became the poor damsel in distress trope so quickly. It’s quite a shame too, because as you said, the first half really wasn’t that bad.

    Oh well, the season has spoiled us with great new shows anyway. So it was not too much of a loss.

    • Lily says:

      I actually really enjoyed this show, and I think it is the best anime I have seen recently. I can see why some people might have a problem with the second half though. There is definitely a huge transition, between the first half and the second half and it likely threw some people for a loop.

      I think if you watch the show with only little time between episodes the momentum will carry you from the first half deep into the second and you can still be really into it. However, I suspect that if you are watching the episodes at a slower pace you might lose some of that momentum during that transition and maybe that is where some people are lost.

      When you think about it, the first half covers like 2 years of time and the second half is like 2 days. So it is understandable that some might get lost in that transition.

      I think all the incest talk is way over exaggerated though. It is practically nonexistent in the show. They even went out of their way to remove the bother and sister aspect just to appease people who are overly uptight, though had they been it still would of been okay because nothing happens, at all. There isn’t even so much as a forehead kiss.

      • gurdlo says:

        momentum isn’t an issue. i burned through the whole series in 2 days and still thought the second half was awful. Not that i liked the first half much. It had many plot hole, horrible villains, and pointless romances that went nowhere.

      • Iknow says:

        2 year transition is a problem. not an excuse.

    • Darius says:

      I can feel your feminism from here.

  2. Spike says:

    ALO was by FAR the weakest arc in the novel series, I think alot of the praise comes from the opening arc and the upcoming arcs that haven’t yet been animated. (they will be for sure) Questionable choices by the staff to condense / skip certain light novel details also really hurt the story.

    • TheUltimateReaper says:

      Wait wait wait.

      This isn’t the end of the series? How long is it? Wat

    • Spike says:

      There are 3 other arcs and a few more sidestories (like the first few episodes with Lisbeth / Kirito’s guild) Gun Gale Online arc is very good, Asuna has a short arc which is pretty fantastic, and the currently ongoing Alicization is very good so far. Novels are still ongoing and selling very well.

      • zettai says:

        the novels sold because of the release of its anime and its conclusion. i read the stats and its novels topped the novel selling charts along with accel world.

  3. TheUltimateReaper says:

    Ha ha, well I agree. Man. This anime certainly doesn’t have a special place in my heart, however it did enough for me that I won’t forget it.

  4. Bwaffles says:

    I completely agree with everything in this review. I loved the first few episodes and in the first season I wavered back and forth between awesome and mediocre. I particularly loved the mid-season finale and I would’ve given it an 8/10 if it ended there… then the second half came along. I didn’t like the elf themed world much, the fact that Kirito could pick up on everything so fast compared to people that have played it for months and obviously the terrible incest story line. I found myself struggling to get through the second half cause I didn’t even want to watch it anymore. The ending for me went back and forth between decent and terrible… the parking lot scene could have been great but instead it just made my head hurt. And the worst part of the whole show for me is their “child” turning into Navi and having random powers to change the game or get information for Kirito. I would have been perfectly fine with her not being in the second half.

    Overall I gave this a 6/10 which is a shame cause if it kept to the pace of the first half it could have been so much better.

  5. Entrav says:

    ALO is definitely the worst arc but that’s not really saying too much in SAO’s favor. Anyways, what I’m most disappointed in is the soundtrack. The same. Exact. Thing. Played EVERY TIME. It frustrates me because it was Kajiura Yuki and she normally creates fabulous pieces of music.

    Anyways, there was a lot of haters and fanboys surrounding this anime and I love watching them go at it.

  6. Frog says:

    This was a fair review and very balanced. I think it cut to the heart of SAO without letting too much bias get in the way.

  7. Kaiserin Emma says:

    As frog mentioned this review seems pretty even, that said I don’t think I’ll be picking this show up again after reading it. I got midway then started reading summaries, was particularly displeased with the treatment of Asuna’s character based on what I heard.
    It started off pretty good admittedly but faffed about too much with the occasional glimmer now and then.

  8. sushiyassin55 says:

    Agree with this review. On the other hand, incoming flame war in three…two…one…

  9. zero! Merry Christmas. :P

  10. Airies says:

    psgels, you are honestly way to nice.

  11. JaK says:

    good review! for the first time i think you were un biased about this series but really now you should get over your incestophobia xD shows like Oni Ani really made that theme work ah well..

  12. cras says:

    It made a turn for the worst, into a gutter, and out into shark infested waters. Let’s all just forget about the second arc :)

  13. NewNewBoy says:

    Thanks for the review, i thought i was going insane by skipping through the second half to just see what happen to both of the lead character. But i guess there people that can’t stand the alf world arc just like me.

  14. Miragey says:

    Long time reader, first time commenter here. Thanks for all the work you put into this site, Psgels!

    I enjoyed the setting, design and most of the story elements in this show.

    The big kicker for me? Cringe-inducing, hammy, cheesy forced emotions. All the goddamn time. As much despair as people would rightfully feel in a world like this, i just never bought it. Especially not with the main characters crying their eyes out over a computer program they’ve known for two days. I love subtlety in anime and character acting in general, and this show has little to none, IMHO.

    Also Kirito is the usual, tired girl-magnet, super-genius shounen protagonist, that also pissed me off. As Pixar mentions in their storytelling rulebook, “you admire a character more for trying than succeeding.” I felt little more than contempt for this flat, perfect stereotype.

  15. Silty says:

    psgels, should we hold our breath for Season 3 posts once it comes out, or have you completely given up on this series at this point?

    • psgels psgels says:

      The thing is indeed, that I’m not sure whether I want to subject myself to more of this. Sure, this was the worst part and all, but I’m not sure whether I can motivate myself to keep watching after being put through all that.

      • wa says:

        At least this had a nice animation and character design :) But I agree the second half was weak. Overall 3 stars out of 5. I am not sure whether I will either follow next season if there will be one (or several). The best premise was in the first story arc, I assume. On the other hand, this was the only anime I really waited to see week after week.

        • zettai says:

          the other arcs such as the mother rosario arc and the gun gale online arc takes it in a more serious approach as well as the latest project alicization (no more spoilers). overall, i believe this show is bit underestimated with the anime showing its frilly colourful side in the ALO arc when i believe the series should continue onto the more serious side. another season of the anime would fill our cup of teas. if you want to learn more, at least i recommend you research more about these arcs.

  16. SaiDaiOh says:

    I watched the .Hack/ Legend of The Twilight. That was better than this, even its of the same setting and plot

  17. Nelson says:

    Finally, someone who understands that SAO recieved an absurd amount of hype and failed to live up to it. First season wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t great either. I gave up on the second season as well, I just couldn’t stomach the nonsense after episode 17 or so.

  18. Avalon says:

    I agree that this series is overrated and that the 1st half was easily the best, but I still enjoyed it plenty.

    No the incest subplot was not needed, but beside that, I understand you hate incest, but that doesn’t mean a show with it is automatically bad. Back to SAO, did I miss something? When did Kirito ever flirt with his sister? He was just trying to build up their practically non existent brother-sister relationship. She was the one who went oogly eyes over him.

    I don’t know, this show was far from perfect, but I fail to see how Btooom! (which I also enjoyed) got a so much higher score…

  19. MaKinima says:

    Hmm… a decent review. I read the novels first, so it was great to get to see my favorite novel animated. However, I felt some parts were made overly epic and just turned out really corny and cliche. Strangely enough, I thought the ALO arc was interesting in how it handled the whole imouto-incest thing. It was much more interesting than the usual romantic comedy thing, and being told from suguha’s perspective was a plus (at least for me).

    I’ll agree with you on the harem thing. It annoys me to no end, especially when Kirito has a woman already. But I guess it helps to appeal to the readers so w/e, it works for the story.

    Honestly though, I think you should go read the novels rather than the anime as they are done much better than the animation. Plus there are a lot of other side stories and sequels that help flesh out the world. I would have scored it a bit higher honestly just because of my bias, but I thought they could have done more with SAO.

  20. BOB says:

    I totally disagree with your review. Kirito has a lot of character, and perhaps you should read the novel, read the manga, the 4-koma, and watch the entire anime. Then talk. It is wonderful, and Asuna is always off getting captured. Is that, like, the only episode people watched? For real. It is an amazing story plot, and I don’t agree with incest, but it was a stupid sub-plot, for it wasn’t there that long. Sugu only liked Kirito because she was unsure of her heart. She got over him, IF you watched or read.

    • BOB says:

      “but it was a stupid sub-plot”

      Was should be wasn’t.

    • psgels psgels says:

      The thing is, this is a review of the anime Sword Art Online, and just these first 26 episodes. I don’t care about the novels here, this is a series that for me, needs to stand on its own. And in that respect, the incest subplot took up nearly half of its airtime. And if Kirito has a lot of character, then the anime sure did a good job of hiding all this.

    • Airies says:

      mate, no one gives a rats ass about any of the other mediums sao is spread on. This is an anime review site not a ‘pick a series and watch/read everything there is to it’ blog. so calm the fuck down and move on.

      • Amaya says:

        I agree with the above about not needing to read the other mediums, but I’d like to point something out as a person who has read the other mediums as well, particularly the Light Novels.

        Kirito has, to me, no character. He is aptly put a Gary Stu, or a form of wish fufilment character. The only points where he shines are in the action scenes which there is no characterisation involved, and even then he is overpowered which really doesn’t allow for much of a good story.

        His romance with Asuna, presumably the main focus of the series, was so badly written it is almost hilarious. Note the Light Novel itself started at the 75th floor and we were supposed to actually follow the romance from there, so in that aspect the anime actually did a way better job. However, both the anime and the Light Novel failed to tell a story. SAO has a good setting and a lot of promise, but its delivery failed terribly. Main heroines are generally cliches and the main love was started so abruptly and badly that when later stories become pivoted on that romance, it is difficult to actually follow the goal. Instead, it’s more apparent that people follow Kirito and just want to see him kick ass. Asuna, with all her promise in the early parts of the anime, just becomes a generic tsundere.

        SAO’s character development, story telling and all else are hardly anything to praise about at all, but the anime has done a good job portraying fight scenes which are good to watch, and has done a better job telling the story than the actual Light Novels (mostly for the first half, but the time skips are still an issue).

        Regarding your views, Bob, I’d like to address some things. Spoiler alert, so yeah:

        Kirito’s character is bland, and is only saved slightly by the fact that he’s a badass at everything. Even in the case where he confides to that nurse (Aki, I think?) about his worries of killing people, that didn’t give us an insight on what kind of person he is. It does at best let us know that he’s just a kid. And if he is a kid, his actions everywhere else don’t show this at all and the virtual world adventures and everything don’t give us any insight on him other than a carefree attitude and a hero wannabe. This is worsened when the story in the Light Novel is written from his perspective most of the time, so by right we should get to know more about him. But we didn’t.

        Asuna being captured is not one episode; it’s the entirety of the ALO arc. Her character from being a badass vice-captain became nothing more than a tsundere (if you even give her that much credit after seeing how completely lovey-dovey she is later). The main issue is that Asuna’s character seemed to have been completely tossed away the moment she fell in love with Kirito, from a possibly strong female into a girl who’s lovestricken.

  21. PRAX says:

    It seem more and more these days that north americans are falling out of touch with the art of storytelling. I see this all the time when the most common complaint about a anime is that it added piontles characters or events that did nothing to move the plot towards the ending. When people look at a story as a beginning and end rather than a gurney then they shouldn’t be surprised when their expectation falls short or they find themselves being bored by extended dialog and seemingly needles character stories. I want to make it clear that i am not writing this to attack some part of the north american psychology, I have my own theories on this subject but they are anecdotal and pointless to say. what I am here to do is to dipell shity reviews that make illigitamets argument for why the particular animes were crap, and I don’t want anyone giving the “in my opinion speech” stories are fiction and that means opinions are as strong as scientific fact.

    Reason Number one. A story is a gurney, so you can’t sit there and pick and chose what you like and dislike. yes you can find certain characters annoying, and stupid side plot lacking in purpose, but you can not remove and judge these element individually form the story. so if you say “sword art online whas good for the first season but the second season was disappointing” then you are only writing haf a review. Regardless of whether you like the second season or not you did watch it and thus your opinion was influenced by it, so you must judge it as a whole. So if you thought the second season was shit then you have the option of saying it was either fucking awesome or shit, not this bake your kake and have it to bolshit midle ground. A story is a sum of all it parts.

    Reason Number two. If the only enjoyment you get out of a story is seeing the plot end. then you are sadly missing out on most of what makes a story fulfilling. The plot it the guiding force but far from the main event. I have to say this one boils my blood the most. when I hear people say things like, “it was too slow”, “things didn’t get going tell episod X”, “too much filler” fuuukkkkkkkkk, yes there is such thing as too long of a gurney but what would you rather have a filling meal or a cookie. This is where I say to each their own. some people love the ongoing stories like bleach and naruto were the plot essentially take a backseat and it become more about the moment rather than the journey. This also goes the other way some people hate these type shows because they prefer a strong plot and await the conclusion with eager anticipation. I myself fall more into the later of the tow. You can see these story telling style everywhere. some writers spend their careers writing interconnecting series while others write one off original pieces. So when you see what you think is filler then asked yourself is it really un enjoyable to watch or is it cookies with jam. I could go on about this forever but it come down to the fact that anything between the beginning and end is technically filler. I personally like the pacing and depth that side plots and characters add. When properly used it make a plot worth caring about rather than another solved mystery.

    Reason number three. Stereotypes are more original than you shitty attempt at a review. I can’t tell you how many times people main gripe is that the story was not original. Yes your stereo typed character by himself is boring but throw in the rest of the story and bam! your finded your self emotionally invested in the simplest of characters. So next time I hear some dumb shit say “the plot was good but the characters were way too stereotypical or vice versa” I ask this person to consider that fact that maybe it’s them that has become the stereotype picking the same type stories over and over again. if you eat the same foods day after day then no shit it’s going to seem bland and boring to you.

    Reason number four. The purpose. Good storytelling is what shapes us as individuals. Stories for me take me on a gurney that I otherwise would have not been able to go on. I will never save the world, rescue the princess, solve the mystery, find my self in a love triangle with sister/brother (but don’t worry it totally cool they are not blood related) but threw good stories telling I can pretend to experience these things my self. nothing more gratifying than making fantasy realty.

    When we watch anime we do it to be entertained. when we write a review we do it to share our thoughts and feelings that we experienced. so next time you review a story keep in mind that you are not reviewing the story, but the gurny it has taken you on.

    My review of sword art online.

    A brilliant adventure that explores the gap between fantasy and reality. If you are at all a little nerdy then the characters and plot will be very easy to connect with. The story raise some questions that face humanity in the 21st century. If none of that seem interesting than I would say at the very least it make for a amazing Epic love story. If I have to express how it made me feel I would say watch an AMV called “17,568 Hours” by FaytxZen

    ps: Quit chopping anime reviews up into little pieces, it just make you sound like a picky eater.

    • psgels psgels says:

      I disagree with a lot of points here. For example, storytelling being about the journey. That’s indeed fine and all, if time was limitless. Unfortunately, I’m quite busy and I want to spend my limited tim having fun, not watching a story drag on pointlessly. Since I write reviews based on my own opinion just like you, this translates over to my review.

      Stereotypes, you do have a good point about that. For me, stereotypes should not be a problem if there is enough to make up for them. Unfortunately there are enough cases where this isn’t the case. Also, speaking of stereotypes: why North American? I’m Dutch.

    • Cytl says:

      There are different approaches for reviewing/analyzing a work of fiction. Even so, if people didn’t separate the different elements inside a story then modern storytelling wouldn’t exist: Keep in mind that most of the contemporary methods in this field comes from the analytical efforts of the Russian formalism and structuralism. I don’t know if Psgels is a student/professional of these fields (I seriously have no idea) but in either case, I don’t see why he can’t give his own approach when reviewing. I agree half of the time he may nitpick, but analyzing characters, plots, settings, etc. individually is not a case of this.

    • someloser says:

      This has seriously got to be the most retarded thing I’ve read in a long time. Only person whose who doesn’t know shit about storytelling is you, you pretentious faggot. The entire introduction here is nothing more than a summary of how you view your own opinions as being above everyone else.

      reason one: “ignore all good parts or ignore all bad parts”, seriously how old are you? shit being judged as either completely good or completely bad? Are you fucking retarded? The best car on the market will still have flaws, and people will still point out those flaws because people will want to improve on them. judging shit a completely good or completely bad is probably the most shallow and halfassed way to give a review.

      reason two: blah blah blah this isnt your fucking blog, so stop dishing out your own gripes about other fans. The aspect that psgels does a review on every episode goes to show that he doesn’t just pay attention to the end and the beginning. so stop assuming flaws in your reviewers. Do you even know what the hell is a filler?

      reason three: “stereotypes are good because their better than your bitching.” seriously is this the best you can come up with, you filthy casual? “Let’s overwrite this problem, by focusing on how good the plot is and ignoring the stereotypes” Back to reason one you ignorant faggot, stereotyping will always be a negative problem that you cant just overwrite with positive aspects of the show. People dont like seeing the same thing over and over again, and writers know that too.

      reason four: why are you bring this up? psgels has does exactly what you said, but you still seem butthurt that he didn’t find it to his liking. “next time you review a story keep in mind that you are not reviewing the story”

      The questions about the 21st century were never fully explored while the romance was james bond tier, going to show that this has got to be the 3rd piece of work you’ve probably laid your eyes on. and if anything your own shitty review had probably made psgel’s look better in comparison. You aren’t dispelling anything, kid.

      ps: take some damn literature classes while you’re at it. and spelling classes as well. there’s a damn difference between journey and gurney

    • starwatcher162536 says:

      I doubt your overall thesis that North America doesn’t appreciate the journey. There are a number of episodic series that lack a strong cohesive plot that the series centers around that have been popular stateside. Now and Then, Here and There. Cowboy Bepop. Kino’s Journey. Many others.

      Sword Art Online in the first half, did as you say, explore the gap between fantasy and reality. The Second half did not. It was good when it did, but even the first half had much uninteresting fluff. The other series mentioned also had fluff but made it interesting.

      Sword Art Online vacillated between good and mediocre in the first half and mediocre and bad in the second half.

    • Highfinder says:

      “A story is a gurney”
      gurney – A wheeled stretcher for transporting hospital patients

      In sword art online’s case that certainly is true. As those who are drawn into it may be in need of hospital care or suffer from terminal stupidity.

      I will just say this. In that giant wall of text there you mentioned about opinions being as strong as scientific fact when it comes to fiction. That depends on how well the opinion is written. For example you have mentioned that you think the plot is strong, the characters are good and the side stories add pacing and depth. Of course, you have not said how the story is strong, how the characters are good or how the the side stories add pacing and depth. Nor given examples from the show which illustrate this. So really that opinion is about as good as someone saying “It’s good because it’s good” so you could have saved a lot of time by saying just that instead of blathering on about other fans opinions and saying some rather irrelevant stuff about a story being a journey instead of a story. Journey or story, that doesn’t change anything. If a journey is poorly constructed then it doesn’t negate it’s flaws by calling it a story.
      I recommend on reading up on writing a well informed opinion. As I can promise that with the way you write now that no one will take your opinion seriously. Because as you write now it sounds that you are basing your opinion fully on a emotional response and truly have no idea what you are talking about.

    • Iknow says:

      i can’t believe that I’ve read all of this and got nothing out of it.
      How sad.

  22. zerr says:

    Ill agree that the second part staled out a bit, but I think youre way overthinking things if you let it get in the way of enjoying the anime… one just has to accept that there will always be something to criticize… so take the review with a grain of salt, and make up your own mind about it, dont let someone else do it for you… that said, it is worth watching and enjoying

  23. zettai says:

    imo, i feel like sword art online should take a second chance in terms of making up for its mistakes when they decide to create the gun gale online arc. surely i enjoyed its story and action but felt a bit weak in the second arc (in my opinion which felt underrated despite its way of storytelling of kirito’s past) as well as the introduction to the “harem element” which i agree kinda ruined the series (not gonna go fanboy with it or hate it) but i’d like the series to continue on. i heard about the story ongoing to some more serious atmosphere which interests me and ideally feels actually more of what this anime really stands out to be. i wish it hurries up to make the upcoming arcs and release it… :/

  24. Sara says:

    I completely agree with you. The second half gave me a feeling of completely destroying my laptop. Its just so freaking unreasonable!
    The main lead couple should have been favored through out! The biggest downfall in this anime for me was the introduction of the fake sister character, and to see their guts, the anime ended with a gut renching dancing scene from the pseudo couple!
    I wish Asuna could just kill her -.-

    The first half of it really made me believe it would be an awesome anime, but for me the disappointment of the latter half made me resent it.

    I wish they did not continue with the anime after episode 15.

  25. the bomb says:

    okay, everyone saying that the anime was bad in the second half are completely wrong. I actually liked the second half as good as the first one. Most of the people who hated the second half are girls, and are jealous and mad at Kirito for getting the chance to flirt with other girls. Not his fault he’s a girl magnet. You can’t expect every anime to be a lovey dovey fairytale like Romeo and Juliet with a beautiful ending. The director actually spiced things up, with his cousin, NOT sister romance. Something out of the blue, and interesting unlike other animes.Even if the romance continued between kirito and his cousin I wouldn’t have a problem with it because it’s the directory’s story and everyone not agreeing that the second half was good by starting the controversies actually makes it more interesting.
    There are so many instances where cousins marry cousins. In the old days it used to be a norm in the early 1800’s so everyone stop whining and enjoy the anime ;). It’s amazinggg

  26. Amaya says:

    I think SAO is a fair, if not good representation of what anime is to other people: a cartoon. It’s great to watch for just surface-deep aspects, such as art, combat scenes, pretty characters. But anyone who watches an anime for plot, character development wise or are able to go beyond the surface-deep level, will be unlikely to like this series because it cannot tell a story.

    Character development, plot development and just about everything that goes beneath the surface are handled poorly. Even its romance, a key plot point, was lazily developed. Characters are cliches and forgettable, even the main character since he is in fact just a Gary Stu or a wish fufilment character without much development otherwise.

    But if you’re looking for something that will entertain you just by looking and not watching, then SAO may be a good choice of anime.

  27. Marceline says:

    The time skips were too fast and I didn’t see proper development of the leads relationship. Legit one episode they hate each other 2 time skips later; “OMG I love you kirito lets get married!!”. Honestly I think I’ll pass watching the next season…

    • meow says:

      My concern with the 2nd season is how they’re starting to introduce some weird abstract philosophical elements into the story. (For those who’ve seen it, I’m talking about Kirito and Asuna’s convo on the park bench.) I’m not sure about what they’re talking about or what relevance, if any, it has on the main story. They talk like they get it completely but the whole thing seems lost on me.

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  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 23. 2014 12:15 PM)
    @KuRoZuka, A bit of advice fake economist. Mixing Japanese words with the english language is a weeaboo practice and is seen with the greatest contempt. Just saying.
    As for fairytail, well I read a bit of the manga and got bored pretty fast.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 23. 2014 09:46 AM)
    The sheer amount of talent behind Dandy is staggering. There are veterans from all the corners of Anime industry present here, so in a way this might be the biggest anthology yet. I mostly watched week-by-week just to see the new guys’ take on the Dandy sandbox, and I have to say some of them were pretty interesting. Definitely quirky, but interesting.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 23. 2014 09:41 AM)
    Yeah but it’s interesting how much more sophisticated the humor was in Bebop, even despite not really being a comedy-heavy series.
    I’m sure if you’ll continue to the end you’ll find some memorable episodes in Dandy, and once people accept that it’s not Bebop, and that it’s really silly but kinda proud of it, they’ll start enjoying it more for what it is and say it was worth their time.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 23. 2014 09:36 AM)
    Even though I wasn’t really into the episodes I’ve seen I will definitely say, yes it was a mixed bag. Then again so was Bebop.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 23. 2014 09:34 AM)
    Season 2 has more mature material in general, and a few pseudo-philosophical episodes really stand out. The different experimental animations that are peppered throughout are a very nice treat also. And again each episode has different talent behind it so it’s a VERY mixed bag.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 23. 2014 09:33 AM)
    Ah Johnny Bravo, a cartoon I laughed at now and then while I was much much younger.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 23. 2014 09:30 AM)
    @Emma: Season 2 is far better, I think they kind of got the hints that the booby gags weren’t working. The humor is by far the weakest link in this show. I would also add that I think the dub is superior. The theme and style is very American, kinda like Johnny Bravo, so English fits more naturally.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 23. 2014 09:25 AM)
    The zombie episode kind of grabbed my attention though a bit.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 23. 2014 09:24 AM)
    On one hand I like the pulpiness, oldskoolness of it though.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 23. 2014 09:23 AM)
    Eh, I watched the first five episodes of space dandy. I also watched it dubbed and subbed. I’d originally watched the first episode partially before. Its a trippy, visually interesting show I guess but none of the humour clicks with me on any level, I didn’t laugh once in these five episodes, the boob monster episode made me feel depressed, it all feels a bit kiddy for me unfortunately.

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