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Sword Art Online

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Re: Sword Art Online

Post  Ryuuka on Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:37 pm

I haven't watched the SAO anime since episode... 9? so I'm not in any real position to say much about that, but I'm going to say that the series really jumped the shark after Aincrad. It's partially because the author is actually a pretty crappy writer and also because the side characters are just completely obsolete, but as a result the series is really just a somewhat-entertaining set of generic wish-fulfillment stories. Aincrad was at least an interesting enough setting to make it work, but after that it just got tedious. Asuna was developed as a power player in SAO but they quickly decided to ditch her characterization completely and have her sit in a cage the entire time.

Everyone always gets tired of the "source material is better" statements, but seriously.
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Re: Sword Art Online

Post  BizB on Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:23 pm

I highly recommend finishing up through episode 14. I really enjoyed the first half of the show. Everything after that just becomes tedious though.

I haven't read much of the light novels, but from what I skimmed I definitely noticed his sub-par writing skills. The entire thing felt incredibly disjointed and unpolished. I'm honestly not sure how the series got so popular in the first place. That said, he's now rewriting some of his work under the title Sword Art Online Progressive, and it's supposedly pretty good. Who knows, maybe we will see a FMA Brotherhood type of remake in five years.

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Re: Sword Art Online

Post  Ryuuka on Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:05 pm

I don't know, I read the novels past ALO but I really did not appreciate how they handled the anime adaptation. Episode 1 got my hopes up and then episode 2 shattered them. It really felt like the director had a completely different vision of the series and I really just don't agree with it.
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Re: Sword Art Online

Post  Chumara on Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:08 am

I've been putting off looking at this thread since I've been also putting off watching the last episode because I really enjoy this show and I don't wanna see the last ep on my shitty laptop screen (I'm on vacation). But I saw replies back and forth and I couldn't help myself.

This show is an interesting one to try and analyze objectively because on one front; yes it has some writing issues but at the same time it was really gripping and enjoyable through the entire time, there was never one episode where I thought "nothing happened, gay" or "fucking filler eps". The SAO arc was fantastic, I'm sure the novels were better but they wanted to get through two arcs in 25 eps and they had to make it work somehow and it was done more or less as good as it could have been done considering the director was some no-name guy thrown on the job. My only unforgivable gripe with the whole show was when Asuna broke paralysis to take a hit for Kirito at the end of SAO, it was dumb, completely dumb and should have been different, even if the novels went about it the same way. With that being said, I'll give me two cents on ALO.

I remember Ryuuka telling me in the middle of the season that the show was going to turn into elf stuff with incest stuff, which really didn't sound great, albeit his reviews of anything non-deserving of a near-perfect score can be pretty cynical. Going into it I didn't really understand the incest thing until we saw Suguha's little montage special on her outlook of Kirito in which the aforementioned review made sense. The love-interest would have been a little easier to digest if it was apparent earlier on in the show, since they did mention the "adopted sibling" thing in the....... first ep? I think? So it was kind of a backlash for that to all of a sudden be a plot point 16 episodes later, but I realized that once they were setting up a scenario where she was falling in love with him in and out of the game but neither of them knew who they were IRL, I thought that it might all be worth it in the end, and boy was I right. Episode 22, along with the pure awesome-ness that was the SAO arc was the only reason that this show was the only one this season that I gave a relative 10/10 rating.

Just a few comments on your rant BizB:
You have to watch ALO with a different mindset than SAO, whereas SAO was the build-up of Kirito and Asuna's characters and relationship as well as their struggle to regain their real life, ALO was really more focused and about Suguha and her resolution of her feelings etc. By no means am I saying that ALO is as good as SAO, but it's easier to understand why Kirito and Asuna were pretty static throughout that arc.
As far as motivation and reasoning is concerned, Nobuyuki's intentions for marriage were for business reasons in the first place, the fact that she was hot and unable to say no were just bonuses that he "secured" once he found out about her and the hero Kirito. Nobuyuki (GRAND ANGEL OBERON or whatever) even told her that he wouldn't go as far as to force himself on her, but regardless she would become his bride against her will and for the sake of her family and business wouldn't really be able to go back on that after that point. Kirito's motivation regardless of whether or not he thought she was being tortured would have been the same, the mutual love of his life is being held against her will and will soon be taken from him against both of their will, there's no further reasoning necessary for him to do what he did. Sure if it was just some female side character it would have made a little less sense, but I'm sure because he's a anime brotag he'd rescue her anyways and then there'd be some harem situation.

Anyways, there's a lot more I could talk about this show and although I believe it's popular for certain reasons, there are also more underlying reasons on why it's actually at least an above average (in my opinion, quite superb) show.

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Re: Sword Art Online

Post  BizB on Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:52 am

I agree with most of the things you said. I did really enjoy the whole revelation where Sugu discovers that Kirito is actually her brother. The scene with her yelling at him in her doorway was perfect. I also agree that, while the show has a ton of problems, it's still very fun to watch. Overall I would give it an 8/10, probably a 9.5/10 for the SAO arc (there is next to nothing that I would change about it). I think my biggest problem with the show stems from the fact that the second half was much more basic than the first. I was watching through the show with my roommate, and we spent a good deal of time talking after every couple of episodes during the SAO arc. We would discuss the game's rules, the ramifications of the character's actions, discuss theories about how the show would end, and even talked about real life applications of the Nervegear technology (that was a fun talk- imagine being able to go to work by putting on a helmet and being transported to a virtual office). However, we barely discussed anything at all in the second half. There was nothing to say- from the moment you find out that Asuna is being held by Oberon-whatever-his-name-is, you know exactly how the show is going to end. This isn't bad in and of itself, plenty of good shows are predictable, but it was just a big change from the first half.

My other main gripe about ALO, and to a lesser extent SAO, was the poor animation during fight scenes. I really hate it when fights consist of close-ups of the characters screaming. The fight where Kirito breaks through the world tree quest with the help of the sprites and cait sith is a HUGE offender of this. This is kind of nitpicky though- I doubt it would bother the average viewer.

I could also go on forever about this show, but it's really late and I don't want to end up writing a novel before I go to bed. Overall it was great.

EDIT: Forgot to add, the part where you find out about Sugu being his cousin, not his sister, is in episode 4 I think. The one with the young girl that has a dragon pet (Simica?). He helps her in the first place because she reminds him of Sugu.

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Re: Sword Art Online

Post  Chumara on Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:31 am

Oh was it cousin? Even more legit for inter-family marriage then.
The fight scenes in SAO were definitely a lot better, but I think Kirito's entrance fight, the fight where he transformed, and the fight against the red king guy were cool as well.

The second half was more simple than SAO, mainly because in a nutshell everyone could already do everything from the get-go and Kirito already had most of his stats from SAO transferred to ALO so aside from flying there wasn't much for him to learn about the game, it really was fundamentally just a tale of two love stories.

I'll be debating with someone how this show was ages better than Accel World in every possible way at Taiyou-con this weekend, so I'm glad to have seen some of your insights beforehand to prepare me for some other viewpoints of the show.

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Re: Sword Art Online

Post  BizB on Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:32 pm

While I haven't seen Accel World yet, I'm pretty familiar with the main complaints about SAO (even though they don't necessarily mirror my own complaints). I participated in a discussion thread on Reddit as the show was going on, and pretty much everyone had a similar laundry list of complaints. Here they are:

1) The tone of the show completely changes in the second half. Tons more fanservice (every single shot of Leafa is either cleavage or ass), a much slower pace, and a multitude of other small changes that add up to it feeling like a different show.
2) The villain is way too evil. He is not an interesting character in any way- he's just pure evil for evil's sake. I personally had no problem with this, but tons of other people do. If anything, I thought this show pulled off the pure evil villain quite well- he isn't the focus of the story, so he needs no characterization. Also, death scenes for pure evil villains are always satisfying and this one is no exception.
3) The whole tentacle scene with Asuna. It comes out of nowhere and serves zero purpose in the show. It offended quite a few of the people I was talking with.
4) The side characters all have no real purpose to the main story. I completely disagree with this, but a lot of people felt this way. Simica, Liz, Sachi, and the others all helped develop Kirito's character, but I guess some people just didn't realize this and got upset over it. I think they were expecting them all to come together and fight the final boss or something, but that wasn't what this show was about.
5) Lack of believable motivation for the main character in the ALO arc. SAO was driven by a life or death scenario, ALO is driven by a strict time limit. That said, the sense of urgency and danger was nowhere near as present in ALO than in SAO (until the final episodes that is).

That's what I remember off the top of my head at least. Hope it helps.

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Re: Sword Art Online

Post  Tekkaman Calamity on Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:02 pm

My... displeasure for the second half has already been expressed earlier, but that list of complaints ticks me off for some reason.

1) People must've forgotten the kawaii loli episode and the Asuna gropings in SAO.
2) Compared to who, Kayaba? He was practically forgotten for most of the first arc and his motives barely remarked at until the VERY end. At least with Oberon we had presence and pretty much had a good idea where we were going. Were people coming into this expecting Song of Ice and Fire or something?
4) The SAO side characters were one offs from short story collections written after the fact. They were there to help provide further insight into Kirito's behavior. Their presence is reflective of this. ALO was pretty bad though. The side characters were just tools to get to the end rather than being supporting characters.
5) In SAO there was danger, but not urgency (remember, the events were spread out over two YEARS). In ALO there was urgency, but not danger. That didn't make the big battles any less important, but as we can see Kirito took on a much more laid back personality exactly BECAUSE there was no risk. As to motivation, the guy was trying to find his waifu who he poured all his emotion into. I don't see what's so unbelievable about that. It's not like he was trying to stop some kind of mad world domination plot or something involving mind control.

As to my own problem to the show. It was put quite nicely:
No one has a problem with Gary Stu characters. The problem arises when the plot bends around said character.

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Re: Sword Art Online

Post  BizB on Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:45 pm

Yeah, I agree with your points. My complaints, as I wrote out a few posts ago, are very different from the ones I aggregated above. The people I was discussing the show with were taking it a little to seriously. They were expecting something incredibly epic in scale and proportions, and I guess they felt cheated when their expectations were not met (even though they were very unrealistic expectations in the first place).

You made a good point about the ALO side characters. I hadn't thought about how useless they all were, especially Recon. Was I supposed to feel bad when he sacrificed himself? I hope not, because I was laughing my ass off as he exploded. What a useless character.

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Re: Sword Art Online

Post  Ryuuka on Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:49 pm

Tekkaman Calamity wrote:As to motivation, the guy was trying to find his waifu who he poured all his emotion into.

He poured something else into her as well. If you know what I mean.
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Re: Sword Art Online

Post  Chumara on Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:38 pm

Ryuuka wrote:
Tekkaman Calamity wrote:As to motivation, the guy was trying to find his waifu who he poured all his emotion into.

He poured something else into her as well. If you know what I mean.

I am so glad you said this.

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Re: Sword Art Online

Post  Ryuuka on Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:53 pm

Waiting on those blu-rays.
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Re: Sword Art Online

Post  Chumara on Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:47 pm

I couldn't help myself, I couldn't wait till I got home to watch 25.
All I have to say is that they didn't set up a sequel so maybe they won't run the show into the ground later on.
Nice ending episode though, once a gamer always a gamer eh?

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Re: Sword Art Online

Post  BizB on Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:01 am

Hah, I hadn't thought of it like that. He finally escapes all of the terror and danger of the game, then ends up going back for fun. Such a good ending.

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Re: Sword Art Online

Post  Chumara on Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:03 am

Kirito fights mobs and doesn't afraid of anything

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Re: Sword Art Online

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