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Sword Art Online – 03 »« Sword Art Online – 01

Sword Art Online – 02

OP1.5 Sequence

Sword Art Online   OP1.5   01 Sword Art Online   OP1.5   02 Sword Art Online   OP1.5   03
Sword Art Online   OP1.5   04 Sword Art Online   OP1.5   05 Sword Art Online   OP1.5   06

OP: 「crossing field」 by LiSA
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼

Sword Art Online   02   01 Sword Art Online   02   02 Sword Art Online   02   03
Sword Art Online   02   04 Sword Art Online   02   05 Sword Art Online   02   06
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Sword Art Online   02   22 Sword Art Online   02   23 Sword Art Online   02   24
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Sword Art Online   02   31 Sword Art Online   02   32 Sword Art Online   02   33
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Sword Art Online   02   37 Sword Art Online   02   38 Sword Art Online   02   39
Sword Art Online   02   40 Sword Art Online   02   41 Sword Art Online   02   42

「ビーター」 (Bītā)
“Beater”

One month in and two thousand players are already dead. The fear in the air is almost palpable – everyone is reluctant to proceed given what fate could potentially befall them. Heck, some people even abstain from participating in combat, choosing to remain in the starter cities and wait it out instead. In the same way, it’s no surprise to see the animosity felt towards beta testers – those who are perceived to have an unfair advantage over them. This has basically become their reality now, can you blame them for hating the people who have an advantage they can see no way to obtain for themselves? It happens in the real world too – people frequently argue over class and social standing for example. But really, their hatred is a little unfair, particularly from those who choose to hide away. These beta testers are among the few who are actually trying to clear the game – something that will obviously be beneficial to all. Not only that, but they compiled all their knowledge into a guide to help the new players! Each day that passes is one where outsiders could do something stupid. Every day counts; time is not limitless.

Let’s say a crack team of specialists comes up with a brilliant idea on how to remove the NerveGear. Obviously they’ll want to test it out to make sure it’s a viable method, so they’ll need to risk a single player’s life. If they fail, he dies and it’s back to the drawing board. If they succeed… awesome right? I doubt it. In fact I suspect it could end up being far far worse. Imagine for a moment that they somehow manage to bypass the mechanisms that detect tampering and screw with the NerveGear in some way that allows its removal. Servers register every member who’s connected at any given time and there’s a marked difference between disconnection, frying and logging out – the server is bound to register this. Kayaba is obviously a crazy bastard so once he realises someone has been set free, will he just sit back and leave it alone, letting his captives escape one by one? The guy who somehow engineered a death game without anyone noticing (he could’ve killed anyone who stumbled upon the secret and dumped their bodies in an ocean for all we know), trapped ten thousand people in it and microwaves anyone who tries to leave? I think not! He would fry everyone. All the remaining players. So any outside team would essentially have to remove all the headsets simultaneously without a chance to experiment on any of the players. You can sort of see why they might not want to take that risk.

But do beta testers really have an unfair advantage? In a sense, they do – as the anime points out, they know the best camps and can monopolise them, they can get through early levels quickly and generally get ahead of the rest of the players. But at the same time, it also shows us how being a beta tester can also be a huge disadvantage. If you know nothing about a monster, you’ll naturally be cautious in order to stay alive. However, if you’re positive you know exactly what it’s capable of – exactly how the game will function – even minor changes can get you killed. Not only that, but changes are inevitable between beta and release. With Kayaba’s sadistic nature added to the mix, it’s no surprise to see high level boss moves added to lower level foes. He probably predicted the tactic’s effectiveness right from the start. All it took was one small change in the moveset coupled with one overconfident beta tester and we immediately learn that the SAO anime has no intention of downplaying the death factor.

Being a beta tester, and more specifically a Beater, Kirito will suffer some obvious downsides. Episode one already did a good job painting him as something of a social outcast with its clever directing, and his obvious distress at realising he has no-one to form a party with emphasises that even more. In the one month since starting the game, Kirito appears to have made no friends. He’s a solo player in an MMORPG where boss fights are distinctly orientated towards large groups. One can only imagine that things will worsen given his newfound reputation. But despair not! There is still Asuna! Egil (Yasumoto Hiroki) also appeared to be mostly unphased by the events. On the other hand, Kirito does not appear overly concerned by being a loner – events would suggest that it’s in his nature. His coordination with Asuna (Tomatsu Haruka) was amazing to watch though!

The spirit of co-operation is one of those glorious things that make an MMO such an incredible experience. Watching people come together, uniting under solid leadership, standing back to back, helping each other when they fall… it’s really something beautiful to behold. Even more so when you realise that each one of these individuals is putting their lives on the line in the process. Diabel (Hiyama Nobuyuki) was one such leader – someone who bound everyone together for a common goal and utilised strategy to its fullest. Had they followed the original plan to surround the boss they may well have succeeded without casualties, but there are always players with ulterior motives. Diabel’s desire to earn a secret reward for landing the killing blow (which turned out to be Kirito’s trademark coat) ended up being his downfall. We may not have known him for long, but his open and friendly attitude combined with his brilliant leadership endeared him to me enough to feel a little saddened by his death.

tl;dr: @MoombaDS – Some of the most beautiful aspects of MMOs come together in what has to be the best episode so far this season. #SAO

Random thoughts:

  • I really enjoy seeing the interface when it appears – there’s something really immersive about it.
  • My hopes for the music came true! This week we had some more MMORPG style music for a couple of scenes. On top of that, Kajiura really excelled in bringing out emotions, particularly during the battle.
  • Asuna’s reveal was pretty damn spectacular. I can’t think of any way they could have given it more impact.
  • In fact, the battle in its entirety was extremely entertaining to watch, even if a few of the shots were a little on the static side.

Full-length images: 01, 03, 04, 07, 08, 11, 13, 22.

 

ED Sequence

Sword Art Online   ED   01 Sword Art Online   ED   02 Sword Art Online   ED   03

ED: 「ユメセカイ」 (Yume Sekai) by 戸松遥 (Tomatsu Haruka)
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼

Preview

Sword Art Online   02   Preview 01

End Card

Sword Art Online   02   End Card
July 14, 2012 at 6:04 pm
316 comments »
  • July 14, 2012 at 6:10 pmPhoenixIce

    Really enjoyable episode and all; I’m not a visual novel reader and all but it seems like they cut out 80% of the sidestory, not sure what to think about that

    • July 14, 2012 at 6:15 pmSilentCid

      Don’t recall this coming out of a visual novel but something that the Author wrote on his website. I do have to agree some of the earlier content that was from this particular side story was missing. Parts missing showed some of Asuna’s earlier character.

      • July 14, 2012 at 6:32 pmpiglet

        We must sacrifice to cover more my child

      • July 14, 2012 at 8:01 pmPtolemaios00

        They definitely did not start with Volume 1. This is actually one of the side/prequel stories “Aria in the Starless Night.” Next episode seems to be Volume 2 Chapter 4 “Red-nosed Reindeer”, I’m guessing they are going through the stories in true chronological order rather than the flashback inserts of the LN.

        I really liked the “in medias res” start of the LN since Kirito starts off very kickass, but I’m going to hold off on denouncing this adaptation. This may work…maybe.

      • July 14, 2012 at 8:04 pmPtolemaios00

        They might be following this timeline:
        SPOILERS
        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 14, 2012 at 8:55 pmSilentCid

        @Ptolemaios00

        Actually the did Chapter 2 and chapter 3 of volume 1 on the first episode. To say they did not start it is incorrect.

      • July 14, 2012 at 11:02 pmPtolemaios00

        Yea, I was a little too general. The timeline should be accurate though.

    • July 14, 2012 at 6:17 pm†Croos†

      Visual novel?
      Don’t you mean light novel?

    • July 14, 2012 at 6:33 pm…..

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • July 14, 2012 at 6:48 pma20020000

        I think the point of the episode and side story was to expand upon the differences between the beta testers and new players.

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 14, 2012 at 6:54 pmworstof2012

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • July 14, 2012 at 8:29 pmpiglet

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • July 14, 2012 at 10:50 pmD-LaN

        First of all, every action is somewht shounen action. They r almost the same until you throw in some stuff to make it feel more mature (f/z). But hey, its cool action scene!!!

        Secondly, I am not an angry otaku mob. I just not cool with the way he voice out his opinion. But ’tis the prob with not reading the novel……. So we LN reader had to do our job, ryte?

      • July 14, 2012 at 11:34 pmricz

        @worstof2012

        Hello duh?
        The way he criticize the episode is not really good

        You can just sense animosity/troll on his post
        So what do you expect?

      • July 15, 2012 at 2:13 amintroverte

        @ricz – I’m not really feeling animosity or trolling from his post. He simply said didn’t like the second episode as much as the first, and even stated a valid (if vague) reason, mentioning why he prefered the first episode and that the battle scene had too much bravado or whatever. I suppose implying that everyone who enjoyed this episode enjoys mindless shounen animes invites criticism, but it doesn’t feel like that was his intention (to me, at least).

        I felt like they may have over-simplified it in order to make it fit into the episode, leaving out some details in the LN that made it more enjoyable. However, that is inevitable in many anime adaptations, especially in this case with how much content was in the side story, and in the end, they conveyed the important points of the episode (the introduction of “beaters” and Kirito’s solitary path).

        If they continue to try and fit these entire side stories into single episodes, then the next few episodes will probably be around this quality. Once the story from the 74th floor onwards starts though, the series should get good.

      • July 16, 2012 at 8:17 amChurnedRainbow

        This comment (and many others that I have seen in the past) seems to show that the RC community cannot really stand any sort of negative response to an episode, whether it be constructive criticism, a complaint, or “trolling”. Almost every time I see some sort of criticism of an episode, it seemed to get dozens of thumbs downs regardless of how well-thought out it was. (Actually, I shouldn’t say negative criticism but rather opinions that differ from the majority. i.e. GC bashing got a lot of thumbs up in the past). Of course, obvious trolling or a simple “Wow, that episode sucked” deserve thumbs downs because they contribute nothing and even take away from the conversation, but negative comments created with some desire to contribute to a conversation deserve more respect than that.

        The above poster made a very valid point that I happened to agree with, and I did happen to notice a lot of shounen bravado in this episode that took away a lot of the novelty I felt from the first episode and made it seem a lot more like a generic shounen show. For example, why did Diabel not take the potion? It was his very existence that was at stake in exchange for a potion that could have been restored through a measly 10 coins (as is common in MMOs). Moments like this gave it a very shounen feel, where character just act heroically when there are much more reasonable.

        And honestly, I think this problem can be fixed if RC just decided to get rid of the “thumbs” system. That way, at least those who disagree with some kind of opinion that differs from the norm will be able to present their counter-argument with words rather than just saying “I disagree” through the click of a button.

        [Sorry about the rant. It's just something that annoyed me sometimes when I scroll through the RC comments.]

        P.S. It’s funny that someone above me mentioned F/Z as a more mature shounen, because one of the main themes of its sequel (Fate Stay) is subversion of shounen. Revealing that the shounen protag’s views of protecting everyone (including friends and even villains that eventually become friends, as is so common in Naruto and Bleach) through the power of friendship and perseverance will only result in suffering.

      • July 16, 2012 at 9:35 ama20020000

        @ChurnedRainbow

        Although it’s not clearly stated the light novel would provide a pretty clear reason why a potion wouldn’t help. So for me it didn’t feel like that it just was a callout to the readers in my opinion.

        Show Spoiler ▼

        So it isn’t really shounen bravado just game mechanics to me at least. Also because they are still on the first floor and the attack originated from a much later part the stacked DoT would not have been stopped by the low level potion (No potion spamming either).

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 18, 2012 at 7:42 amKaleRylan

        I recently started reading these light novels and I think you’re observation of this episode is accurate, but misses the point.

        One of the most brilliant aspects of the first couple of novels is that the setting IS very shounen… artificially so. They’re in a GAME. A japanese game aimed at young men, therefore the game’s style has over the top fights, flying sword combos with lightning shockwaves, and all of the other stuff you would expect from a japanese-made game.

        And in the end, that superficial childishness adds to the tragedy of what’s happening to these people. The author never forgets that his setting is a game, and comes up with a pretty cohesive gaming system (something I think .hack never really did, though I loved .hack), and then he shows how in the end, those tropes are meaningless, it is humans that make it real.

        Take marriage for example, most MMOs have a marriage system, usually providing nothing more than a passive buff, a shared item stash, etc. Pretty unimportant, but when your items and buffs are literally what stands between you and death, sharing your items becomes one of the most profound acts of trust you could make towards someone… which is pretty much the same as marriage in the real world.

        tl;dr: It is shounen, but assuming the anime does the novels justice, the shounen game setting is used to expound on some very deep philosophical themes of how we choose to live, and how we face death.

    • July 14, 2012 at 6:57 pmRickyMack

      well personally i think all the important parts (except for one) got covered. i mean we did see the episode but i’ll put the differences in a spoiler tag for folks that want to read the novel first. the story this episode covers is “aria in the starless night (aincrad 1st floor)”

      Show Spoiler ▼

      all in all, it looks like they’re taking somewhat of a reverse haruhi approach. the light novels themselves aren’t told in chronological order, Show Spoiler ▼

      i have to say that i like the achronological telling a bit better because by the start of the novel (well after the events of the first episode), the characters have their development and motivations already so when the side stories come up it’s refreshing to see how it impacted them by the time they’re already so far up the tower.

      • July 15, 2012 at 10:18 pmplushkin

        Actually, I think I can argue that the important scene you mention wasn’t really important either. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the scene when I read it, but I just don’t think it will add anything substantial to the main story, just fan service, which I don’t think that’s what they’re going for in this series adaptation.

      • July 16, 2012 at 1:34 amRickyMack

        haha i was just joking i know it’s not that important and obviously fanservice =D

      • July 16, 2012 at 9:45 pmhwighting

        you’re mistaken on who are beaters
        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 18, 2012 at 7:53 amKaleRylan

        I kind of agree that doing the anime in chronological order is going to be a poor choice, but for a bit of a weird reason.

        I think it’s going to make Kirito look like too much of an OP, perfect, super-shounen protagonist unless they do it really well.

        Because the first book is only from Kirito’s perspective, you get to know him really well and see his weaknesses and darkest days, so you cheer for him when he does heroic things.

        The second book with the side-stories on the other hand, is NOT from his point of view, and his role in each of the side stories (which are largely about low-mid level characters for those that don’t know) is basically a heroic force of nature that shows up, destroys all the adversaries, and continues on his way.

        The point of the second novel, in the author’s own words, was to show how different the world was from the point of view of the not-as-powerful low-level players, and to give the world more context. But I think by putting it in chronological order, you’re going to get way too many stories of Kirito being this amazing, soft-spoken superhero, one after the other and it’s going to make him look way too much like a standard shounen protagonist rather than the frightened teenager that he often is.

    • July 14, 2012 at 8:41 pmBenz

      I enjoy this episode but can’t help to have a few complain.
      1. They did not follow the novel yes this is part of the novel but is more of a side story that should appear later.
      2. This is not how Kirito and Asuna met Show Spoiler ▼

      , a bit annoy they change that.
      3. During the boss fight it should be Kirito got the last kill not with him team up with all those ppl.
      4. This is the part that piss me off most even during the novel read why did he want to take all the blame anyway, if I was a beta player I be like ” So what, I am not your freaking mommy, we all responsible for our own action, don’t blame me if u all suck. What information I got is my own and I am not required to share. If you even have an IQ of a monkey you should realize beta and live will have difference.” Especially theres already a guide provided by other beta player. I am just a bit piss at why he think he have to responsible for other beta player.

      • July 14, 2012 at 11:25 pma20020000

        4. This is the part that piss me off most even during the novel read why did he want to take all the blame anyway, if I was a beta player I be like ” So what, I am not your freaking mommy, we all responsible for our own action, don’t blame me if u all suck. What information I got is my own and I am not required to share. If you even have an IQ of a monkey you should realize beta and live will have difference.” Especially theres already a guide provided by other beta player. I am just a bit piss at why he think he have to responsible for other beta player.

        Although that would have been in his best interest to just let everything explode and continue on his merry way as a solo player he probably correctly realized that not doing anything would push the already bad beta/new player relations into a dangerous PvP territory with new players hunting down beta players. Since he rarely interacts with others he wouldn’t suffer much from taking the blame anyways.

        Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 14, 2012 at 9:26 pmhaseo0408

      The episode was amazing, every single aspect was well played. I was truly sad when Kirito became the scape goat to avoid a mess but at least Asuna saw through it. Can you really blame him for his reclusive nature, personality aside, he is just a kid, how could you ask to take responsability for the lives of others but it really mature and noble to sacrifice himself for the common good

  • July 14, 2012 at 6:20 pmMonks

    This is easily my favorite show so far this season. The concept was already intriguing, and now from this episode the execution in terms of both animation and story are passing my expectations.

    We are lacking in characters a bit thus far, but Asuna seems promising and the black guy I hope will make reappearances later. Mr. Morningstar-head that kept yelling about Beta testers did get a bit annoying in how far he went with it, but I’m willing to forgive that so long as the quality in the other areas keeps up.

    • July 16, 2012 at 6:45 pmSuppa Tenko

      As the Sword Art Online series is ABOUT Kirito and narrated by Kirito, you can come to the conclusion that since Kirito is a solo player it will only be Kirito and Asuna for the large majority of the show… Of course with some Cline, Egil and Heathcliff action.

  • July 14, 2012 at 6:22 pmP Ko

    I’m really loving this show and hot damn, Asuna is haaaawt.

    • July 14, 2012 at 6:48 pmest

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • July 14, 2012 at 7:44 pmsdfdsfsdf

        The reason why anime characters have large eyes and sometimes barely noticeable noses/mouths (in some scenes) is because of something known as a Supernormal stimulus. The people who came up with the design probably didn’t know that but because facial expressions and primarily eyes play such an important social function making them larger does the trick… If you are not attracted to at least some anime characters you are either a mutant or purposefully suppressing your responses.

      • July 14, 2012 at 7:58 pmest

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • July 14, 2012 at 11:58 pmpiglet

        Kirito iz the mastur beater

      • July 15, 2012 at 7:37 amHunterWulf

        Doesn’t remotely look human !!!! what !!? .. a stylized human character is still HUMAN even if their features and proportions are stylized .. don’t just mutter nonsense to troll people when you don’t even have the slightest idea how the brain works and recognizes visual features even if extremely simplified.. go take your misconceptions and bother people with them elsewhere.

        And yeah, i too find Asuna’s character design beautiful.

    • July 14, 2012 at 8:32 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

      NEITHER can be called “normal” OR “weird” because it’s ALL MAKE BELIEVE AND FANTASY regardless of how believable or realistic-looking the characters come off as.

      People will like what they want to and just because someone may disagree with your choice, they don’t have a right to try to criticize you over it, especially if they themselves like something that, in the end, is really no different.

      Like for the argument here, anime/manga is really no different than cartoons/comic books. They the other countries’ version of the other in the end. Just different styles on how they go about it.

  • July 14, 2012 at 6:23 pmQwert

    I can understand how Diabel must have felt like a dick after playing the leader just to turn and throw away the planned strategy to grab all the glory of the final hit, especially after being found out as a beta tester who was abusing his fore-knowledge of how boss drops worked…

    But choosing to die over it instead of taking the healing item?

    Unless the healing system in the game doesn’t let you use an item until you’ve finished taking all of the damage and he was dead anyway…

    • July 14, 2012 at 6:31 pmSilentCid

      He could of taken the potion but I think guilt of being greedy over the well fair of the raid was his reason for not taking it.

    • July 14, 2012 at 6:32 pma20020000

      Healing potions don’t heal instantly in SAO and given their low item level (1st floor) it would not likely have out healed the multiple dots he had from the bosses special attack.

    • July 14, 2012 at 7:47 pmckuri

      “Unless the healing system in the game doesn’t let you use an item until you’ve finished taking all of the damage and he was dead anyway…”

      Yes, that’s basically how it works in SAO.

      Additionally, although if a person obtains damage this damage is immediately subtracted from the HP, the HP bar update lags behind as it will show any decrease in a step-by-step manner. Thus Diabel had already lost all of his HP regardless of what was seen on the HP bar.

      • July 15, 2012 at 10:22 pmplushkin

        In my mind, I think it’s similar to Dark Souls; you’re already dead before the bar drops to zero

  • July 14, 2012 at 6:26 pmChen2

    I wish they spread this out over a couple of episodes. A lot of details were cut/changed. Next week’s episode seems the same way too. Seems like they’re doing this chronologically and probably will only dedicate 1 episode per side story.

    Read up to volume 1 to 8 in the light novels in less than a week, couldn’t put them down. This is still a great adaptation so far though, despite the rushed feeling.

    • July 15, 2012 at 6:54 amdeafvader

      Not really chronological. They are not covering the reason why he wanted to fight the reindeer boss.

      • July 15, 2012 at 4:29 pmChen2

        How do you know they’re not showing the reasoning for the reindeer fight? That makes the whole thing pointless if they aren’t. What made you make that assumption? The title is the same as the side story, just like episode 2′s title was another side story, and they covered the whole thing in just an episode while taking out some things and simplifying others. That’s what I’m assuming they’re doing with the Reindeer side story as well. The fact that they went to Aria as episode 2 instead of going by the novel shows they’re doing this chronologically.
        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 17, 2012 at 1:34 pmvladrin

        My friend, you should have used the spoiler tag for that one.

  • July 14, 2012 at 6:28 pmblahblah0625

    Really liked the action scene.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 14, 2012 at 6:41 pmSilentCid

      I don’t think that was the case. I believe that no one really knew that Diabel was a beta tester; however, the raid did realized that Kirito was one and were calling out other beta testers who might be in the room with all of them. So Kirito made himself be the one where all the hatred was directed to him who has even more knowledge of the game than everyone one else.

  • July 14, 2012 at 6:30 pmSwordhack4

    Amazing episode. Yes some stuff left out but still amazing. Words can’t describe the battle scenes with Kirito and Asuna’s teamwork. Amazing animation, amazing episode, amazing art, amazing series thus far. If it continues to live up to the hype recently then we all can expect a new season!

  • July 14, 2012 at 6:35 pmLuxor

    I’m wondering, if it’s going to take this long to clear each floor, we’d either get lots of time skips or lots of episodes. I’d love to have more SAO, but given time constraints we could possibly see a time skip after the first couple floors are cleared (a la SIU’s Tower of God, which has the same expansive level system and has a story that would take decades to complete).

    In more detail, the problem SIU had with the pacing was that the tower’s levels took years to climb, with the fastest being 50 years to the currently-known top floor. The manhwa itself has been running for the past two years, but only covered floors 1 and 2, with a time skip to floor 20. While I doubt SAO will take that long, considering Kirito beat the game in two volumes (I think) of the light novel, we’ve got a lot of timeskips or a lot of info that’s cut out.

    But on the other hand… I can’t see the producers trying to rush this and cram everything in, so… any thoughts from novel readers?

    • July 14, 2012 at 6:39 pmPhoenixIce

      Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 14, 2012 at 7:44 pmSerapita

      Only the first floor takes this long to clear because no one want to risk it, even the beta tester with experiences. It’s hard enough to try and not to die while fighting normal monster, let alone raid boss that usually take a lot of trial and error run to figure out the attack patterns, along with a lot of sacrifice. Once they get the feeling that the raid boss of each floor is not impossible to beat with zero casualty, the process will speed up. Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 14, 2012 at 7:53 pmSerapita

      Forgot to add this about time-skip/floor progression. Show Spoiler ▼

  • July 14, 2012 at 6:35 pmKranyte

    Definitely still enjoying this anime. Was constantly checking nearly every hour for a release so I could watch :P

    With that said, Diabel reminded me of Raid Leaders in wow – oh how annoying that was to do – if only Raid Leading was that simple with people agreeing and not arguing, though perhaps the whole death factor factored into the obedience :P

    As for Kirito, it was kinda funny seeing him not know anyone and party with Asuna. It again reckons to how MMOs really are, espeically when you start one by yourself (i.e. no friends/family playing with you initially) and really (being an MMO player for over 10 years now) did capture that whole solo’er/loner mindset. Then combined with how “scared” to almost being forced to give up extra money/loot he acquired was kinda funny watching him squirm. While it is true Beta testers do have an advantage, like you said Moomba, its not all that uncommon for some things to be changed in the release.

    Overall, I’m really enjoying this series and can’t wait until future episodes based on what spoilers I read :P

  • July 14, 2012 at 6:41 pmThe Green One

    Yes some of the side story was cut, unfortunate but undoubtedly necessary due to time constraints, though some of the earlier Asuna and Kirito interactions were cut too making less sense but overall still an enjoyable episode.

  • July 14, 2012 at 6:53 pmAnimus

    I agree with some of the comments here on how this SS would have played out better if given more episodes, just one additional episode would have made a huge difference. Thats not to say this episode wasn’t great, to people that haven’t read the light novel, it was probably an awesome action-packed ep.

    Mmmm…also, since the next episode is the Red Nosed Reindeer, theres gonna be a huge time skip now.

  • July 14, 2012 at 6:59 pmrh75

    So much potential wasted in this episode.

    They had a chance to really tie us emotionally to Kirito and Asuna, but threw it away. We miss out on the ‘why am I doing this’ of the pairing. The interaction between the 2 in Aria in the Starless Night is fun and cute (they really bond quickly). Without the interaction Kirito had with Show Spoiler ▼

    the impact of Kibao’s speech and Kirito labelling himself a ‘Beater’ is gone. Also the title of ‘Beater’ was meant to protect Show Spoiler ▼

    but again without that interaction, it loses any emotional impact.

    I still like the show, but with 24 episodes they could’ve slowed down and split this into 2 parts. The character development would have been worth it.

    • July 14, 2012 at 7:07 pma20020000

      Although I agree that they cut out quite a bit if he didn’t label himself a “beater” then it would still lead to an all out beta tester witch hunt which would end very badly for the general progression in the game.

    • July 14, 2012 at 7:23 pmMike

      IMO, the importance of Aria is over-exaggerated by many of the LN readers, it wasn’t even part of the published novel :/, not to mention Aria itself(along with some other SS) has conflicting elements with the SAO main story.

      Also, the two cour is most likely going to be SAO/ALO, not just SAO only.

      • July 14, 2012 at 8:21 pmSilentCid

        To be perfectly honest a lot of his work before being published was a web novel that he put on his website. When he won Dengeki Game Novel Prize for Accel World the publisher wanted him to do SAO as his first book and told him if he can take down most of these work. With the help of his editor he trimmed down the original draft to fit the LN page format. So for supporters of SAO this has every right to be part of it.

      • July 15, 2012 at 2:22 amRickyMack

        i agree completely

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 15, 2012 at 10:27 pmplushkin

        @RickyMack
        Thank you!! I knew I couldn’t be the only one who realized that. You’re right, their meeting right now is too soon cuz their serious meeting was suppose to come much later

    • July 14, 2012 at 7:29 pmNadi

      Well..
      Show Spoiler ▼

  • July 14, 2012 at 6:59 pmfrubam

    That “beater” nickname is kinda stupid, but the episode was exceptional in all other areas, so I’ll let that go. I just hope it’s not a name that sticks (>.>)…

    Kinda felt like they skipped some content from the woods to the boss’s door. Asuna didnt’ even know about “Switching”, so I expected a little side tutorial like in the first episode’s Kiri/Klein explanation regarding it. Of course there probably were some battles from when they entered the first floor to the boss’s door, but I can live without that in order to get to the meat of the story.

    Once again, Kirito impressed me in this episode; not by his fighting prowess, but his decision to make himself the bad guy so that everyone else wouldn’t stop trusting each other. Even though it wouldn’t be in his character to do so, I thought he’d mention about Diabel being a beta tester, but he reluctantly took all the blame for himself, becoming what seemed the opposite of his char’s personality for everyone else. Oh, and when he equipped that armor, that just made him look so badass =03.
    ______

    • July 14, 2012 at 7:05 pma20020000

      Well it wouldn’t be very interesting to watch an anime slowly go through an entire dungeon but its pretty much what happens in the light novel as well in terms of skipping to the top of the dungeon.

      Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 14, 2012 at 7:54 pmSerapita

      The name sticks though, unfortunately. :/

  • July 14, 2012 at 7:00 pmShuA

    Great ep, but they should give more time to Asuna and Kirito interaction

    • July 14, 2012 at 7:13 pmInnocence

      Well Kirito and Asuna

      Show Spoiler ▼

      pretty soon so it’s all good

      • July 14, 2012 at 9:34 pmLawrence Leong

        Lol…is it true about the sex part? Is the sex in-game-sex?

      • July 15, 2012 at 2:06 amShiden

        Chapter 16.5,
        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 15, 2012 at 3:03 amFiShar

        Go read some of the doujins if you care about the sex scene.

    • July 14, 2012 at 7:52 pmShuA

      What I meant by interaction wasn’t that (more dialogue to know each other, etc)
      But, that will be OK too I guess “:)
      lol

    • July 14, 2012 at 9:32 pmThe Moondoggie

      This show is all about:
      Show Spoiler ▼

      So somethings from the LN didn’t make it huh? That’s ok. As long as they stayed true to the core plot.

  • July 14, 2012 at 7:08 pmRezakon

    I expected the long time skip not the short story detailing his past and why he doesn’t join guilds anymore. Good to see they gave us a full background episode instead of relying on flashbacks over the coarse of a few episodes.

    • July 14, 2012 at 7:18 pmSilentCid

      I think going in chronological order brings out much of the story thank just a simple flashback.

      • July 15, 2012 at 9:51 amRickyMack

        I’d have to disagree. I kind of like seeing the characters already defined and then having a flashback that shows how they got there.

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 15, 2012 at 9:53 amRickyMack

        now that i think about it, a similar example of how achronological order works better sometimes would be Lost.

  • July 14, 2012 at 7:16 pmNadi

    Although I am disappointed by some of the things that got cut from the LN, I still thought they did a good job in handling the episode.

  • July 14, 2012 at 7:16 pmIsabel

    As someone who hasn’t read the light novel, I still enjoyed this episode. The direction in the bread scene between Kirito and Asuna spoke volumes, even without the dialogue. I’ll give the series the benefit of the doubt and hope that they expand on Asuna’s character later on. Although Diabel only had a few minutes of screentime, his death was heavily felt, and his last words to Kirito weighed on the latter’s mind. Especially so when Kirito decided to unify everyone’s hatred toward him instead of fueling the conflict between beta testers and newcomers. The action part of me reveled in the boss fight; despite the static shots, I still enjoyed it.

    I badly want to read the light novel, but I just want to enjoy the anime for what it is right now and then later fill in the missing gaps with the light novel. That way, I won’t feel too disappointed with what has been animated and what hasn’t.

  • July 14, 2012 at 7:42 pmAlcren

    Yes alot of material was cut but if you think about it. Alot of what was going on was internal dialogue. Stuff that in an anime doesn’t get said unless you want the story to be like DBS. With characters not moving at all and just thinking out loud.Show Spoiler ▼

    Based on the main story asuna and kirito aren’t best friends. This is after all only a month in. Remember the long time skips and that Kirito is a solo player
    Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 14, 2012 at 7:47 pmSerapita

      Yep, It’s only logical that Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 14, 2012 at 7:52 pmChloesong

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 14, 2012 at 7:55 pmMike

        Dark Repulser is from the Lizbet story, so it’s going to make it in.

      • July 14, 2012 at 7:57 pmSerapita

        Only thing that mentioned about Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 14, 2012 at 7:59 pmSerapita

        Darn, I got it confused with Show Spoiler ▼

        :/

      • July 14, 2012 at 8:10 pmChloesong

        Show Spoiler ▼

  • July 14, 2012 at 7:44 pmChloesong

    I was really pleasantly surprised by how convincing Kirito sounded when he forced himself to act like a scheming beater. Really didn’t expect that evil laugh. Definition of out of character. :)

    I’m kinda sad that non-LN readers miss out on the awesome internal dialogue and subtle complexities of the characters. Like the initial misunderstandings between Kirito and Asuna when they meet (her gender and his age) and awkward, almost tense first conversations. Their thoughts in the LN really made them stand out from being generic stereotypes (Kirito’s pragmatic chain of thoughts/hidden naivety and Asuna’s conflict of reality vs virtual, pleasure vs despair.)

    Also, it’s difficult to get the truly dire state of things in Aincrad in the anime, without lengthy explanations and the statistics that show how few players of 10,000 are even leaving the starting town.

    Still the action/teamwork was awesome and I love how the anime at least lightly touched at the things that had to be rushed over (the guidebook) instead of just cutting it out. Really enjoying the adaptation and looking forward to next week!!

  • July 14, 2012 at 7:50 pmSerapita

    But at the same time, it also shows us how being a beta tester can also be a huge disadvantage. If you know nothing about a monster, you’ll naturally be cautious in order to stay alive. However, if you’re positive you know exactly what it’s capable of – exactly how the game will function – even minor changes can get you killed.

    This. The anime didn’t mention it but in the novel it stated that Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 14, 2012 at 8:06 pmChloesong

      This again. Too bad Kirito internalizes his rage. At least it’s animated and you can assume:
      Show Spoiler ▼

      Its so good to see all the new SAO fans and LN fans here. Really happy to see SAO is getting exposure outside the LN community. ^^

  • July 14, 2012 at 7:56 pmdan

    Anyone noticed at 13:47 the music played was also from fate/zero(episode 3)? I realise both shows are of the same composer but can’t help feeling a bit amused that she can’t be bothered to write new scores :D

    • July 14, 2012 at 8:15 pmIsabel

      Same/similar instruments, different melody (if you’re thinking of Tragedy and Fate track, like I am). Different emotions invoked too, whereas in Fate/Zero, most tracks were downright depressing and heart-wrenching and filled with despair. This track actually evoked a bit of hopefulness after a dismal start. I can rag on Yuki Kajiura at times for having similar sounding tracks over different series, but honestly I thought the music in SAO so far has been different, if only slightly to the casual Yuki Kajiura listener.

      • July 14, 2012 at 10:31 pmdan

        No, its the same melody, just shifted the scale.I mentioned episode 3 of f/z because it was played when Saber first met Lancer. The score helped to set a grand,almost majestic tone to the duel.Can’t exactly say the same for this.I have no trouble with SAO’s score, but it doesnt sit well with me things will be rehashed like this.

    • July 14, 2012 at 11:28 pmricz

      No it’s different

    • July 15, 2012 at 5:47 amIsabel

      You were right. The beginning seconds of the track has the same melody as that track in episode 3, which is titled “rule the battlefield”, in case anyone else is wondering. However, the later part switches up the melody slightly with another violin? (not too good with music/music composition). So, only time will tell when the OST comes out, just how similar the two are. I’ve seen Yuki Kajiura do this before for consecutive anime series, where she would take a fragment of a track from another series and intertwine it with a different melody to make a whole new track. It has bothered me in the past, and I hope that the rest of the score for SAO isn’t like this.

  • July 14, 2012 at 8:18 pmgandalf8

    The side story this episode was based on is one of my favorites in the SAO storyline, so I was frankly disappointed at all the stuff they left out. Nevertheless, I understand why they did it, even if I don’t like it. My main grievances was the huge character development for Asuna that was left out, their failure to portray the intricate strategy involved in that boss fight, and no Show Spoiler ▼

    .

    The way they simplified the boss fight is the biggest pitfall of the episode for me. The main draw of SAO has always been the game world itself, namely the game mechanics, how the players interact, and the strategies involved in the fights. By trimming down on all that, this anime has already halved its charm for me. What’s more, judging by the preview, next episode is gonna be about ‘that’ arc, and I think it would be criminal to stuff all that arc in just one measly episode. I guess there’s nothing for it but to just hope for the best and wait for next week..

  • July 14, 2012 at 8:21 pmznail

    Agreed, this should have been a two episode story for sure. There was so much cut out that it removed most of the complexity of the story. And of course a lot we didn’t get to find out about the characters and even some side characters that was totally removed. It’s almost difficult to talk about this episode as most of the important things was left out.

    • July 14, 2012 at 8:28 pmSilentCid

      We can all assume it was time constraints as the reason for doing it. Maybe they will make it up later on.

      • July 14, 2012 at 8:47 pmznail

        It would be somewhat strange if they did as it’s rather related to what happened in this episode. We can’t expect a flashback of Kirito and Asuna meeting in a dungeon and him inviting her to this meeting and the extra time they spent between the meeting and the actual boss fight.

  • July 14, 2012 at 8:29 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    Kirito, based on his total acceptance of being called a “Beater”, seems like he went to taking the Itachi-style route in making himself out to look like a villain to everyone else in order to preserve the teamwork and comradery that Diabel worked so hard to bring out, even if could end up resulting in his own easier death.

    And the whole “unfairness” complaining can easily trickle down. Sure beta testers of games can have advantages over any of the regular players (but as mentioned, small changes can throw everything off as even betas of games aren’t always the 100% package), but then again, over a short time, that can easily translate to the regular players as well. Any newer player who gets the game (or really plays it) at a later date will also be at a varying disadvantage to the players who got it during the first week or so and have played it a lot longer than they have.

  • July 14, 2012 at 8:36 pmricz

    Okay this is a (normal)opinion of a normal fans
    not a fanboy nor a hater for episode 2

    the episode itself is good not really bad and I can relate to kirito “Damn I haz no friend to form a party”
    The soundtrack is obviously good

    The only downside of this one is… the episode is too short
    But that’s to be expected on an anime adaptation

    well the animation is a so-so

    And ofc this anime is a plus to me since I’m a gamer too

  • July 14, 2012 at 8:37 pmJean

    Having read the books, I agree with the decision to replace characters; really if you want to run through an anime in 24-26 episodes, do you leave in the guy you’re never going to see again or show the dude who’s going to be important later and build relationships early on?

    I think it’s better not to expect a letter-perfect adaptation; this show is doing a decent job of “show, don’t tell” and the author does a LOT of explanation in his early books that is (mostly) skipped in the anime in the interest of not boring viewers to tears with lectures.

    • July 14, 2012 at 9:01 pmznail

      I agree that it does a good job at that, but that also makes it more important to keep events in as some things will be strange without no explanation nor the events. For instance so did Kirito save Asuna’s life no less then 3 times this day and that is hardly obvious from the anime, which means this day was more important to her then viewers might think. Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 14, 2012 at 9:29 pmU Doh

      Very true.

  • July 14, 2012 at 8:44 pmRichfeet

    This anime sounds like that Catherine game except there are no sheep, well literally anyway.

  • July 14, 2012 at 9:26 pmewok40k

    Well, I WILL NOT try to find the plot holes, as I feel this show just requires a WILLING suspension of disbelief on the watchers side. If you are nitpicking, there is enough of real life interference with our mad scientist plan, the most obvious being Murphy’s laws, and enormous level of complication of the entire scheme.
    One thing I like about the show is how it portrays different characters ways of coping with the situation – from mentioned staying in protection zone and waiting it out, to desperate pushing forward (Asuna), to trying to help others and organize (Diabel), to simply getting angry at perceived cheaters (the jerkass player).
    And one final coincidence: in 4 hours I’m going to a quest in a MMO I play in RL. (yup this sounds like oxymoron…) Wish me luck! the reward is second best crossbow in the game…

    • July 14, 2012 at 9:37 pmThe Moondoggie

      >>as I feel this show just requires a WILLING suspension of disbelief on the watchers side

      I feel video games requires us to do that too. So it isn’t surprising that it would feel that way on a show about a video game.

      • July 15, 2012 at 12:21 amRickyMack

        “Snake, if you want to climb up the ladder first stand in front of the ladder and then press the action button.”

      • July 15, 2012 at 12:33 ama20020000

        It really isn’t too surprising that a work of fiction requires some level of willing suspension of disbelief as it sort of comes naturally with the whole it not being factual.

        That being said there is a limit to how far you can push viewers but the light novel and animated adaptation appear to be fine for me even though am more technically inclined. (normally would nitpick but there reasons are fairly self-consistent and difficult to poke holes in)

  • July 14, 2012 at 9:26 pmSilivious

    That coat that he got, was actually not his trademark coat. He gets a much better one later, though it’s not really explained all that much. If he had kept that coat all the time, a mere level 1 armor wouldn’t hold up at all in the high floors. XD

  • July 14, 2012 at 9:28 pmMixed Milkshake

    Don’t know if anyone has mentioned this or not, but Moomba, the ED being streamed for this post is from episode 1…

    • July 15, 2012 at 4:04 amMoomba

      There were some file-renaming shenanigans in the backend shortly after that first episode post. Clearing your cache should probably fix it.

  • July 14, 2012 at 9:36 pmFlameStrike

    A pretty good episode! The fight was done well, and I liked seeing Asuna’s teamwork with Kirito. My only complaint was that they left out a ton of details from the LN. Although it was probably due to time constraints. I don’t mind that they removed Argo, but Asuna’s character development was also left out. It would have been interesting to see Asuna decided to stop her self-destructive behavior and change her goal to clearing the game, but oh well that’s behind us now. Hopefully don’t won’t jam the next arc they’re doing in one episode too, because I can’t see how the emotions will come cross properly that way x.x

  • July 14, 2012 at 9:48 pmewok40k

    Ah, and one more thing:
    3 cheers for the Read The Friggin’ Manual!

  • July 14, 2012 at 9:55 pmPfiz

    This episode’s fighting scene is gooood! Too bad this mini-arc lasted for 1 episode. The next one is going to be sad though T_T

  • July 14, 2012 at 9:59 pmLightnDark

    Guys, seriously, I know there are many people who are huge fans of SAO but seriously take a step back and lets be objective shall we?

    This episode is at best – average and at worst – mediocre. Let me break it down why:

    The good:

    1. The music, the only real thing standing out for me this episode was the music.

    2. The introduction of Asuna – She is the female lead after all right?

    3. Kirito trying to be the bad guy all alone in an effort to direct all the hatred away from the rest of the beta testers.

    The bad:
    1. The first 1/3 to 1/2 of this episode felt redundant (the discussion scene), it was necessary but it shouldn’t have been dragged out this much.

    2. The fighting was terrible in terms of animation and execution (look at the caps moomba took.)

    3. Why did that dude opt to die? Did he wanted to die as a hero or am I missing the memo?

    Feel free to disagree, but these were the major points that I’ve taken note of as a non LN reader, I’m sure a LN reader can probably offer more insight than this.

    • July 14, 2012 at 10:36 pmAnonymous

      Regarding your bad points:
      1) The discussion scene is shorter than it is in the novel and was only a few minutes. I personally believe that it was not too long.
      2) The animation looked fine to me.
      3) He was already at 0 HP. A potion would not have done anything. His HP gauge was just catching up.

    • July 14, 2012 at 10:36 pmSilivious

      Essentially, he was already dead, as the HP bar has to subtract the damage from his current HP over a period of time. Even with the potions they had access to, they couldn’t have healed him to prevent death. The only thing that could do something, they don’t have access to atm, and that’s the crystals that are very hard to buy and obtain.

    • July 14, 2012 at 11:25 pmricz

      The bad:
      1. The first 1/3 to 1/2 of this episode felt redundant (the discussion scene), it was necessary but it shouldn’t have been dragged out this much.

      It’s a discussion/meeting scene after all
      It’s not like.. hey we haz a meeting… okay that’s all thank you

      2. The fighting was terrible in terms of animation and execution (look at the caps moomba took.)

      Yes the animation is not good but not all anime can be epic just by the animation… there are many elements/factor to make the fight scene good… and I dun see what’s wrong w/ the execution(it’s not the usual fight scene after-all) :/

      3. Why did that dude opt to die? Did he wanted to die as a hero or am I missing the memo?

      It’s a common sense that if your HP is too low and u receive an attack that is way too higher than ur Hp then using a pot is useless

      Feel free to disagree w/ me since I didn’t agree w/ you too XD

    • July 14, 2012 at 11:57 pmSilentCid

      Being LightnDark I have to give a negative just to show my appreciation. At the same time LightnDark is only looking at this from a anime only view. LightnDark has no other source to help him so seeing a bar go down by the seconds with his conclusion being as such. Could a potion help fortify the man’s health enough without dying? To LightnDark that really begs the question for him. So saying oh it’s “common sense” may be so for LN readers, but someone who happens to seen this anime for the first time it’s not to them.

      • July 15, 2012 at 12:11 ama20020000

        Technically it is also fairly common for both damage over time and healing over time effects to exist in real games.

        The non-light novel logic is that the potion wouldn’t have done any good because he had too many debuffs (DoTs) and the potion would only would have worked if he had a little bit of HP left after the effect wore off. Most modern games are designed to prevent the use of potions to out heal damage you are receiving through cooldown timers and healing over time effects.

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 15, 2012 at 3:49 amricz

        Its an anime about a game AND I’m pretty sure all of the people here play an RPG game
        So I dun know where the “LN reader” thingy that your saying :C

        Seriously guys…. I read light post and I know dat his not a LN reader
        But what I’m saying is…. it’s pretty effing common on any kind of game

        It’s a boss T.T
        Dun expect it to be hitting 1 hp per hit…….. and dun forget that diabel took 2(?) full hit(w/o blocking ) on that “rage mode” boss

        I might be rash on that one but I’m just saying the truth

      • July 17, 2012 at 1:48 amanon

        @ricz
        nah, there are a lot of non-RPG gamers who watch SAO just because it’s good. And while the whole potion-damage stuff

    • July 15, 2012 at 12:15 ama20020000

      1. The first 1/3 to 1/2 of this episode felt redundant (the discussion scene), it was necessary but it shouldn’t have been dragged out this much.

      I don’t think they really dragged things out if anything they flew through the light novel side story content while maintaining the critical points.

      2. The fighting was terrible in terms of animation and execution (look at the caps moomba took.)

      Never knew a single still image captured animation fluidity.

      3. Why did that dude opt to die? Did he wanted to die as a hero or am I missing the memo?

      He was already dead as he had a multiple damage over time effects that would have killed him even with the potion as it is healing over time but given the low level of everything the HoT effect would not have countered the stacked DoTs.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      The next episode should be interesting to see how they handle it with such a limited temporal budget. Also your objectivity and non-bias disclaimers are interesting as typically it is assumed your being a rational objective person and claiming “we” should be more objective is a bit strange. Everyone is going to have a their own opinion but assuming others are irrationally supporting the adaptation is a bit disingenuous. I only read the light novels after the first episode last week to see where they were potentially going as these future tech possibilities type of shows are interesting to me.

  • July 14, 2012 at 9:59 pmhwighting

    I am confused about something and I did not real the light novels yet…

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 14, 2012 at 10:35 pmrsquirrel

      the reason for the time difference is because
      Show Spoiler ▼

  • July 14, 2012 at 10:03 pmKaikai

    Nooo Ikkaku died! O well I’ll miss him for 1 episode.

  • July 14, 2012 at 10:05 pmfragb85

    This episode feels so meta. As a former World of Warcraft addict(I’m not proud of it to say the least) I really understood the concept of party and cooperation on hard bosses. Unlike WoW wear you die constantly trying to beat a boss though, there are no second chances. It feels sad that every day you fight a video game boss it might be your last.

    That Beta Tester hater is an idiot though. If my life is on the line I wouldn’t waste my time whining about what other people do. What were they supposed to do if they are just as much a victim as the others and are not omnipresent? Its like blaming a cop for not stopping a mugging when he wasn’t on his shift and THEN demanding for his gun and badge.

    • July 14, 2012 at 11:37 pmgandalf8

      As a reader of the LN, I’d like to give my two cents worth on this issue. As Kibaou said, after Kayaba made that announcement, most of the beta testers (as exemplified by Kirito) left behind all the other (at that time) new players at the Beginning city to immediately start hunting for resources and leveling up.

      As exemplified by Kline in the first episode, the game play in SAO is a different ball game compared to all the previous games that have been released for the Nerve Gear, and even Kline, who claims to have been a guild leader in an older game, had difficulty mastering the battle mechanics in SAO. Coupled with the fact that you will die if your HP reaches 0, new players were at a significant disadvantage compared to the beta testers who were already familiar with the game, knowing where to find all the good quests or hunting spots to level up, and are already comfortable with the combat in the game. Therefore, the hate for the beta players was not totally unjustified, as I think there might be more than a few of the new players who died because they lacked a deep knowledge of the game.

      • July 15, 2012 at 12:53 pmBenz

        So they can just expect all the beta player should hold their hands and kill stuff until they are all comfortable with the game? If all the noob expect beta player must help them in beginning does it mean that when other noob who doesn’t risk their lives outside and now run out of gold then everyone else should share their gold then. Is just the same reason why ppl will not share their gold the same with why beta player should not share their info.
        So if somehow the game changes like the attack pattern of certain mob changes and then they got the noob kill they gonna blame the beta player agan saying why they didn’t warn them and got their friends kill.
        In the end if a beta player gonna be blame either way then I rather be selfish and go my own merry way. Is not that I am heartless but it just I don’t have any responsibility for your lives, unless you are a friend or family then yea I help you.

      • July 15, 2012 at 1:56 pma20020000

        Intersting thoughts you have there Benz,

        Certainly not what many in story characters do,
        Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 15, 2012 at 4:10 pmBenz

      Don’t get me wrong I am not saying everyone should be heartless and selfish and only care about themselves, all I am saying is just don’t expect beta player [b]must[/b] help just because of what they are beta player?
      when I play an mmo or any game if ppl need help and stuff I will help them when I have time but there is no such thing as saying ” you are a beta player or you are a high lvl player u [b]must[/b] help a lower lvl player. so basically all I am saying is we help ppl because we want to not because we have to or being force into which is why Kayaba sound such a moron that I can’t help but want to beat the shit outta him, if I was Kirito I would probably just wanna pk his ass so his mental retardation doesn’t spread any further.

  • July 14, 2012 at 10:19 pmSouloa

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the one voicing Kibaou is Kazuya Nakai right? Why the hell does he voice a lot of prominent irritating and asshole characters? (E.g. Break Blade’s Borcuse, Ao No Exorcist’s Ryuji Sugurou)

  • July 14, 2012 at 10:24 pmSlushiZ

    I’m confused as to why he wouldn’t accept that red potion kirito was offering AS HE WAS DYING!??!

    • July 14, 2012 at 10:28 pmbelatkuro

      His HP bar was dropping down too fast. The potions available there aren’t instant heal but HoT or heals over time. Even if he administered the potion, Diabel’s HP would still have gone down to 0. Plus he realized his mistake for trying to attack Ilfang by himself so he resigned to his fate and entrusted defeating the boss to Kirito.

    • July 14, 2012 at 11:34 pmTOKWA

      It’s Full Restore, That’s why always go to a pokemon center before a gym battle…

  • July 14, 2012 at 10:59 pmD-LaN

    SAO = f/z = Comment churner. Enzo (I think) was right tis f/z of the season.
    I can’t help but lol at all those comments. But hey, ppl hv freedom to voice their comment ryte?

    Well I am not so far in w/h the LN so I will let those “expert” LN readers handle this. Thk 4 the hard work dudes. And wow, ep constraint is a constraint.

    So tht red vial is a HoT potion eh?? Solve most of my qtn. Is Diabel a beta tester too?
    Can’t help but lol again at those mob mentality and beta tester is cheating mentality.

    • July 14, 2012 at 11:08 pma20020000

      Even though it doesn’t make sense even in real world games someone who is too knowledgeable or powerful is often considered cheating, aimbotting, hacking, etc… even if they aren’t.

      Factor in the life and death aspect of this game world and that sort of animosity can get out of hand easily.

  • July 14, 2012 at 11:12 pmFT5Havok

    This episode was SAO good ! get it? haha! I haven’t read the novel so I don’t know what are you guys complaining about but for me who is only seeing the anime, its a 10/10 episode .

  • July 14, 2012 at 11:23 pmTOKWA

    For some reason, the fight scene became like gurren lagann animation… Seems like they’re gonna animate ONLY sao and not the others. BUMMER

    • July 15, 2012 at 2:15 amShiden

      They’re going chronologically. Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Black Swordsman, Warmth of the Heart, most of volume 1, Morning Dew Girl, end of volume 1. That’s season 1. The next season (eps 13-26ish) will be Show Spoiler ▼

      .

  • July 14, 2012 at 11:32 pmMike F.

    Another great episode. So far this is the best anime of the season to me.

  • July 15, 2012 at 12:06 amBearpelt

    I choked on my drink after seeing ‘Kobold’ spelt out in sure accuracy. And to think I just logged out of WoW too.

  • July 15, 2012 at 12:18 amMrRei

    Here’s the real plot of SAO. Inspired by some IRC discussion last this week…

    • July 15, 2012 at 12:26 ama20020000

      For some reason I thought of this in relation to that picture,

      *Stuck in an elevator after trying to leave for a quite break (41 hours)
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_bMhNI_TY8

      Real life spoiler,

      I think he tried to sue his employer and building, but then lost his job and life was basically ruined.
      Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 15, 2012 at 3:56 amricz

      The only useful post here >.<

  • July 15, 2012 at 12:21 amMutare

    Being a reader of the LN, I expected some cuts with the anime adaptation. Nonetheless it was still a good watch, but I am slightly peeved that we aren’t looking at this through flashbacks, as this just makes the anime feel a bit linear. Regardless, hope they make me cry with this next arc, cus I could use a good cry.

  • July 15, 2012 at 12:47 amdisappointed

    Given all the pre-season hype and and recent glowing commentary, I eagerly looked forward to SAO as this season’s “Fate Zero.” While Ep 01 left me with some doubts about the absolute impregnability of the game system, it was good enough for me to decide to just go with the premise and move on. So with much anticipation, I began to watch the 2nd Ep, hoping that it would surpass EP 01. Instead, I end up quite disappointed for a lot of reasons.

    1) I still know next to nothing about the characters. Nothing of significance was learned in Ep 02 about Kirito’s personality or background. Of the two “major” new characters – one dies stupidly, and all I know about Asuna is that she likes cream bread and is a competent fighter. I play ARPGs, RPGs, & SRPGS, so when I see it’s a month later, my first thought is how much has Kirito leveled up and what gear did he grind? Other than pastry cream and a couple of minor healing potions, I didn’t see anything to show Kirito (or anyone else) got stronger. Did Kirito do ANYTHING worthwhile during that time?

    Rather than go “it’s a month later & 2000 people died”, take one minute and visually SHOW a brief summary of what happened. EX. “A month has passed. While Kirito and other players hone their skills and gather equipment in preparation to advance up the tower (show some screen shots or even a short clip of Kirito/others gaining level/skills/items), 2000 players other players were unable to survive the harsh conditions of the game and perished (show some screen shots or short of people dying – preferably some who where shown in Ep 01). Simply stating time passes and a bunch of random people died in a brief, passing statement does nothing to heighten the suspense. Actually, it lessened it for me.

    2) Whether the beta testers had an obligation to help others was a thoughtful topic to present, but despite Kirito’s moments of silent guilt, it would have been much more powerful if there was a short flash-back scene where Kirito recalls turning down the opportunity to help a new player, and then discovers that person was killed because they don’t even know how to use basic skills (could even be tied into the summary screen shots).

    3) A magic jar of pastry cream as a QUEST reward in what’s supposed to literally be a life & death struggle!? WTF!? I shudder to think of the trash you get when you simply kill some monster. [Kobold Defeated - You have gained 4 small paper clips]. Give me some deadly weapon or strong magic armor – SOMETHING that might let me actually survive the game as a quest reward! I wonder how many of the 2000 who died perished trying to complete that pointless quest. Are most quest rewards that ridiculous? If so, it’s no wonder so many died the first month. LMAO at that scene. Offering to show Asuna how to complete that quest just makes it even worse. It’s hard to take the show as a serious struggle to survive with ridiculous crap like that.

    I understand that they were trying to show Kirito’s attempt to befriend an aloof/shy Asuna. That’s fine. It would have been MUCH better for Kirito get a “normal” jar of cream out of his backpack, and then later offer to show Asuna the STORE where he bought it.

    @Chloesong – thanks for your post. I though Kirito looked like an ass during the “beater” scene. It was certainly a change of attitude, but since I couldn’t think of a reason why he would fake that attitude, I figured he just got fed up with all the bitching about beta players. Seriously considering reading the LN now.

    @Moomba – given the choice, I’d MUCH rather be a beta tester. Knowing how to fight, use your skills (see Ep 01) as well as knowing which skills are trash/worthwhile, where to avoid pointless fights, and the ability to quickly level up both player stats & gear is a HUGE advantage. Diabel is a greedy idiot. If he had played that fight as a beta tester, he should have realized, as did Kirito, that the Boss Kobold’s sword had changed and waited to see how powerful the new one was before attacking. Poor gaming on his part. Also, Kirito CHOOSES to be a solo player. Any disadvantage from playing solo is completely created by his own decision.

    Sorry for the wall of text, but this Ep was a big let down for me. I’m not saying SAO is bad but, I’m getting the feeling that despite SAO almost assuredly being one of the better animes this season, it very well might turn out to be the most disappointing. I hope the remaining 10 Eps prove me wrong.

    • July 15, 2012 at 1:14 ama20020000

      Given all the pre-season hype and and recent glowing commentary, I eagerly looked forward to SAO as this season’s “Fate Zero.” While Ep 01 left me with some doubts about the absolute impregnability of the game system, it was good enough for me to decide to just go with the premise and move on. So with much anticipation, I began to watch the 2nd Ep, hoping that it would surpass EP 01. Instead, I end up quite disappointed for a lot of reasons.

      For a systems engineer in the real world their hypothetical situation although hard to achieve with “ethical” designers is pretty airtight in it’s fail deadly proposal. (Such fail secure systems do exist in faclities where a power failure or fire sorta locks the doors, normally people are not suppose to be on the secure side though but most of the time the people watching aren’t trying to trap you inside)

      2) Whether the beta testers had an obligation to help others was a thoughtful topic to present, but despite Kirito’s moments of silent guilt, it would have been much more powerful if there was a short flash-back scene where Kirito recalls turning down the opportunity to help a new player, and then discovers that person was killed because they don’t even know how to use basic skills (could even be tied into the summary screen shots).

      Not sure if that’s really in character when at the start he does help a new player learn the basics. Also,
      Show Spoiler ▼

      3) A magic jar of pastry cream as a QUEST reward in what’s supposed to literally be a life & death struggle!? WTF!? I shudder to think of the trash you get when you simply kill some monster. [Kobold Defeated - You have gained 4 small paper clips]. Give me some deadly weapon or strong magic armor – SOMETHING that might let me actually survive the game as a quest reward! I wonder how many of the 2000 who died perished trying to complete that pointless quest. Are most quest rewards that ridiculous? If so, it’s no wonder so many died the first month. LMAO at that scene. Offering to show Asuna how to complete that quest just makes it even worse. It’s hard to take the show as a serious struggle to survive with ridiculous crap like that.

      It’s still a game and one you still have the desire to eat/drink/sleep in the virtual world so its not to hard to believe people would still seek out food. People would probably go insane if they had the desire to eat but had nothing to eat… Imagine if the game had sleep mechanics but no place to sleep. And paper clips can be useful if you can mcguver something.

      @Chloesong – thanks for your post. I though Kirito looked like an ass during the “beater” scene. It was certainly a change of attitude, but since I couldn’t think of a reason why he would fake that attitude, I figured he just got fed up with all the bitching about beta players. Seriously considering reading the LN now.

      I think you missed the point of the episode being that the new players had animosity towards the beta players and with things improving not taking the blame would have jeopardize that and possibly even cause open PvP between player groups which would have bad. The light novel is basically the same with more content given its written nature.

      If he had played that fight as a beta tester, he should have realized, as did Kirito, that the Boss Kobold’s sword had changed and waited to see how powerful the new one was before attacking. Poor gaming on his part. Also, Kirito CHOOSES to be a solo player. Any disadvantage from playing solo is completely created by his own decision.

      At the end Kirito states that he progressed further than most in the beta that is why he knows how to react to the change as he saw it on a later floor than most during the beta. Diabel was also going for the killing blow bonus so a wait and see approach might have compromised his chances at that.

      • July 16, 2012 at 3:12 pmdisappointed

        It’s still a game and one you still have the desire to eat/drink/sleep in the virtual world so its not to hard to believe people would still seek out food. People would probably go insane if they had the desire to eat but had nothing to eat… Imagine if the game had sleep mechanics but no place to sleep. And paper clips can be useful if you can mcguver something.

        I understand your point, but it didn’t seem like anyone was starving. Sure eating nothing but bread would get tiresome, but that’s a very small concern vs. how do I get out of here alive! LOL at McGuyver reference. I thought about that after I posted :D

        I think you missed the point of the episode being that the new players had animosity towards the beta players and with things improving not taking the blame would have jeopardize that and possibly even cause open PvP between player groups which would have bad. The light novel is basically the same with more content given its written nature.

        I didn’t miss the point of the Ep (impossible to miss really). To me, all Kirito did was arrogantly say (paraphrasing) “Beta tester? – Don’t insult me! I’m far better than those people. I got much further than anyone else.” What I couldn’t understand at the time was WHY he did that. Before he was quiet and unassuming. Via LN reader comments, my understanding is that Kirito’s reason was to attempt to draw other player’s anger/frustration on him rather than other beta players. Theoretically, it could back-fire as other players avoid him in search for easier PVP prey since clearly it would be very dangerous to attack him. Also, I didn’t see any “drops” when Diabel died so is PvP even possible?

      • July 16, 2012 at 9:10 pma20020000

        Theoretically, it could back-fire as other players avoid him in search for easier PVP prey since clearly it would be very dangerous to attack him. Also, I didn’t see any “drops” when Diabel died so is PvP even possible?

        Yes that theoretically could happen, but it also provides other beta testers a route to blame a mostly non-existent class of “upper” beta testers to differentiate themselves and make themselves seem more like new players. He basically created a scapegoat of himself and anyone with a little bit of intelligence wouldn’t label themselves as such afterwards.

        Also spoilers from light novel,
        Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 15, 2012 at 1:29 amRickyMack

      Simply stating time passes and a bunch of random people died in a brief, passing statement does nothing to heighten the suspense. Actually, it lessened it for me.

      well good thing you don’t read novels, because that’s pretty much how a good amount of stories narrate things. some authors tend to have the character make passing reflections when the character is narrating in the first person perspective.

      I play ARPGs, RPGs, & SRPGS, so when I see it’s a month later, my first thought is how much has Kirito leveled up and what gear did he grind? Other than pastry cream and a couple of minor healing potions, I didn’t see anything to show Kirito (or anyone else) got stronger. Did Kirito do ANYTHING worthwhile during that time?

      you do realize that given people actually DIE, most of the players are fairly hesitant about trying to power level, even Kirito. it’s explained in the novel, but his sword is actually quite stronger than people he’s partying with and he refrains from doing anything recklessly even IF it would make him level faster.

      A magic jar of pastry cream as a QUEST reward in what’s supposed to literally be a life & death struggle!? WTF!?

      in listing your experience i see you didn’t list that you played any MMORPGs. in most MMO games you can be level 30 and still get garbage items for quest rewards. the fact that they’re on the first floor and such an item is a quest reward makes sense. what you’re expecting is like being lvl 3 in FF4 and expecting to make 1k+ gold in the Mist Cave. also, the game wasn’t supposed to be a life and death struggle, if you remember from the first episode (seriously you couldn’t have forgotten it was last week) the game creator decided to flip the script on the players.

      • July 16, 2012 at 2:29 pmdisappointed

        1) I read a LOT of novels actually (mostly murder mystery), but this is VIDEO. As the saying goes “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Would you be satisfied if the boss fight scene nothing more than a three or four sentence narration? JMO, but I think it is much more powerful in terms of effect to SEE the deaths. Even in EP 01, there was a short scene where Kirito imagined dying after learning that death in the game = death in life.

        2) You’re right – I don’t play MMOs, but I’ve done a lot of grinding to farm items in others. CLEARLY, I’m not expecting an uber item at first level or maybe even a magic one, but certain I would expect something more than a condiment as a quest reward. Maybe you get a HQ long sword to replace your short short, or a piece of armor. I’ve played games where there was no set quest reward, but you got something of value during playthrough. Frankly, I can’t recall an RPG type game video game that requires a player to actively feed the PC & any NPCs. REST- yes, and maybe buy “supplies,” but that’s it. Perhaps MMOs are different.

        My point is that in such a serious situation where a a month has passed, 22% have already died (incl. those dead from attempts to remove them from the game), and they can’t even get past level 1 when there’s 100 levels, a scene like that just trivialized the situation IMO.

      • July 16, 2012 at 3:43 pmdisappointed

        Gah…forgot this. Sorry for the extra post

        You do realize that given people actually DIE, most of the players are fairly hesitant about trying to power level, even Kirito. it’s explained in the novel, but his sword is actually quite stronger than people he’s partying with and he refrains from doing anything recklessly even IF it would make him level faster.

        I realize that people can literally die, but I also realize that doing nothing won’t help you escape the game either. Since there are limited amounts (very limited if any for level 1 evidently) of decent gear and possibly easy monsters for leveling up (not sure how if areas re-spawn or not), I would expect Kirito, as the best beta player, as well as some of the better beta players or even braver new players to do something towards achieving there goal of escaping the game. Obviously players (incl. Kirito) need to be extra cautious, but that’s different from essentially inactive (pastry cream quests aside) as shown. A month passed and I learned virtually NOTHING about what anyone did during that time.

        Explained in the novel says everything. One of the difficulties of putting a lengthy LN to anime is that you can’t include everything give the limited number of episodes. However, IMO a great anime will stand one it’s own without the viewer needing to refer to the LN to fill in plot gaps. I thought Fate Zero did a very good job with that. Also, now I wonder whether you could carry forward some of your beta play gear. How did Kirito get that sword? Definitely going to read the LN now.

    • July 15, 2012 at 1:32 amdene323

      “I hope the remaining 10 Eps prove me wrong.” You meant the remaining 23-24 episodes?

    • July 15, 2012 at 1:52 amShiden

      1: This episode was adapted from a side story that came out after the original SAO arc novels, so there is some assumption in it that you know a bit about the characters. That said, what do you want? Time spent (read: wasted) on detailed weapon and armor specs? (FYI, his weapon is already pretty much the top gear available from the first floor, a +6 Anneal Blade) Time passed. You can assume that they got stronger, and that careless or overconfident people died. Real-world background also doesn’t matter, since it’s irrelevant to what happens within SAO. And for Asuna, you know exactly as much as Kirito right now: she’s an antisocial newbie with a ton of potential. You’ll learn more as the story progresses. That’s how these things work.

      2: Kirito is a solo player. Aside from one other side-story (day 1), where Show Spoiler ▼

      , he’s been grinding solo ever since he left Cline behind. He simply hasn’t had much interaction with other players. Personally, I think his “guilt” in that scene felt misplaced, especially given some of the additional details in the LN Show Spoiler ▼

      . But let’s set that aside for now. Imagine that you’re in a game that suddenly became life and death, and chose to prioritize yourself over everything else, then someone calls you out on it and blames you for people dying. It’s not unreasonable (especially for a, IIRC, 13 year old player) to be somewhat shaken by the thought that you could have saved some lives.

      3: SAO was not meant to be a life and death struggle. Remember, it was originally supposed to be a fully immersive VRMMORPG, with normal respawn rules, that was then kicked into ultra-hard mode. A quest which gives an item that makes food taste better makes sense in the game’s original context. Players doing a quest that allows them to get an item that makes cheap, lousy food taste good also makes sense. Or would you prefer that they spend considerably more money on food, or eat stuff that tastes like crap? Or spend lots of skill points raising an otherwise useless cooking skill?

      4: About the “Beater” scene. The players are pissed and about ready to go about lynching the beta players. As a solo player, it doesn’t matter much if people don’t like him, so he says that to draw the hate of the players toward the super-elite Beaters (i.e. just him). It works. The other people decide that he’s the jackass and stop infighting, although Asuna, at least figured out what he was trying to do.

      5: Kirito had played upper floors and recognized the nodachi as a katana-type. It’s not unreasonable to think that many of the beta players preferred to stay in safer areas, or had simply not leveled to the point where they could handle the front lines where some enemies used that type of weapon. Also, overconfidence and greed. Diabel wanted that rare drop, thought he knew what would happen, and recklessly rushed in.

      5a: You’re simply incorrect that “Any disadvantage from playing solo is completely created by his [Kirito's] own decision.” (i.e. he doesn’t cause the disadvantages, they’re simple facts about his play style). Solo play has clear advantages (no sharing exp, so faster leveling, faster item collection, no need for collective decision making within the party, etc), especially if you have enough skill to grind effectively. However, it also has disadvantages (no support, paralysis or other incapacitating effects can lead to a quick death). In his mind, the advantages outweigh the negatives. For the vast majority of other players, the increased safety of a party is a much better option.

    • July 15, 2012 at 2:00 amNadi

      As RickyMack has pointed out, you must not play a lot of MMORPGs because quests, most of the time, don’t give you “amazing/useful” stuff.
      The bread scene also shows an important thing about Kirito.
      Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 15, 2012 at 9:16 amRasen

        I disagree that Kirito is in denial about his situation. If anything, he has a very healthy approach to his situation.

        The players in SAO are in a very lousy situation, but you can’t rush things with your life at stake. Taking a break helps keep stress from building up, and doing little sidequests still provides EXP while giving himself a little sensory treat on the side. Two birds, one stone.

        As for how he builds his character Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 15, 2012 at 1:49 pmChloesong

        Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 15, 2012 at 7:18 pmChloesong

      @dissapointed:

      I definitely recommend you to read the LN. Although the anime is awesome in it’s own right, there is a lot skipped over that would build better appreciation of the characters and setting. It’s like watching a super condensed plot summary vs. experiencing the novel.

      I’m glad my comment was helpful to you! There is a lot of subtle assumptions and hints in the anime rather than pure tells, so it’s hard to pick up on everything if you haven’t read the novel.

      Especially Asuna when Kirito first meets her, rather than being shy/aloof, is:
      Show Spoiler ▼

      Plz excuse my tldr; point is, Asuna has a lot of different issues going on under that hood, and isn’t just a sterotype.

    • July 16, 2012 at 7:32 pmSuppa Tenko

      The reason why you felt disappointed is that episode 2 is actually Aria of the Starless Night and not part of the main story. In the original story, the concept of beaters introduced in a much better fashion and Aria is suppose to tell the story of how Asuna and Kirito met. And perhaps the time he got this badass longcoat.

  • July 15, 2012 at 1:14 amShiden

    That said, comparing the original strategy (happened in the LN side story) to what ended up happening here (Diabel’s solo attack)…
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Also, the anime did incorporate a large number of changes, mostly removing a ton of (mostly irrelevant in the long term) subplot, but for a quick intro to the actual “game”, this worked pretty well.

  • July 15, 2012 at 2:09 amTopboy

    I’ve known where to read novel (baka-tsuki) but I will not read it before watch episode cause It’s make me feel more fun,involve in story than spoiled it before watch.

    My thoughts for ep2 :
    -Asuna don’t known how where to look for your party-mate name,cool even from first time play party in MMORPG.
    -Boss room seem so like Dragon Quest I or II ,old school RPG more than MMORPG.
    -That leader guy just tried to get MVP but no luck,then Kirito go for MVP too(assumed SAO is last-hit get MVP item),cool move.
    -That leader don’t let Kirito use potion to him.Hey,are you nut? You known that If u die in game,you will die for real too,don’t u ?
    -Animation for this week is good (but in ep.1 is great)

    I still expect SAO be best anime of 2012 (like steins;gate be 2011). Waiting for next ep.

    • July 15, 2012 at 2:22 amShiden

      3: It’s not MVP, but last attack. Whoever makes the kill gets the bonus item.
      4: Potions are heal-over-time. The damage from the combo was massive, plus multiple DOT effects. Even if he took the potion, he was dead, and he knew it.

    • July 15, 2012 at 11:12 amSilentCid

      Reason why Asuna doesn’t know about the party health bars is because Show Spoiler ▼

  • July 15, 2012 at 2:29 amargee

    All anime has it’s up and down, it’s a bit of unfair to judge an anime with just 2 episodes that has been aired.

    • July 15, 2012 at 4:07 amricz

      Agree to you there
      people can hate or love something and they dun need to be like “oh god it’s shit” “wahhh it’s freaking epic” when it’s just 2 episode

  • July 15, 2012 at 2:44 amaimless

    i think they had a choice on what path to take. either animate it in semi-chronological order or go by the light novel and let the sides appear as flashbacks. in terms of a show the way they are currently progressing is the most logical choice. People often criticize how one thing is not exactly like the book, like how a lot of people criticize that movies are not like their book counterparts or the comics. there’s only so much you can do.
    Also if they intend to go with ALO and go further, they need to introduce the other side characters so people who do not read the novel don’t get confused. Suffice to say that theyre assuming you have not read the novel, and so theyre introducing it in a way to get the show moving.
    Another thing is that i read some comments about how they changed how asuna and kirito first met. I too, like the way they met but i’m also considering that they’re trying not to fluff the show too much. I’m sure they could drag it out completely and make like a 100 episode thing out of this series but I’m sure theyre keeping it down to the point to get the story across.
    So i kinda urge people to be a little more receptive of this show to be a stand alone instead of always comparing it to the light novel. Just try to watch it as it’s own thing instead of an adaptation. (sorry bout the long note. I’m probably repeating things people say in my post above, but it’s hard not to stress since movies, shows, animes etcc get a lot of flak for not going BY THE BOOK)

  • July 15, 2012 at 3:40 amThe Moondoggie

    OFFTOPIC:

    I got this crazy idea:

    LET’S PLAY AN MMORPG!

    Here’s the thing:
    1. Should be a free-to-play so everyone can play
    2. Must be Open Beta or a new released game
    3. We make a guild :)

    Finally, this is something for fun and no obligation stuff. God knows a lot of us are busy and only have a few hours to waste every week.

    Anyone up to it?

    • July 16, 2012 at 1:49 amRickyMack

      haha the game honestly made me feel like playing an MMORPG again also. I’d love to get into Phantasy Star Online 2, but that’s coming out next year. I did start a character in Dungeon Fighter Online, but that’s more of an arcade beat em up with levels/classes/equipment than a free roaming MMO. here’s a list of top F2P mmo’s http://www.mmobomb.com/top-10-free-mmorpg. Dragon’s Nest looks promising, the characters are anime inspired.

      “Dragon Nest features four cute classes that can be directed down various paths of customization. Play as the melee ranged Cleric, the blunt and forceful warrior, the dodgy and powerful sorceress, or the deadly and speedy archer.”

      • July 16, 2012 at 7:41 pmSuppa Tenko

        Dragon’s nest gets boring really quickly. I kinda lost motivation after getting to lvl 24. The only motivation I had in the beginning was to learn Infinity Blade.

      • July 16, 2012 at 7:57 pmRickyMack

        thanks for the input! the only game i played from that list was D&D, i’ve never actually played the pen and paper version, but apparently D&D online uses the rule set that some players don’t necessarily like? Age of Conan didn’t get very good reviews when it was pay to play so I don’t know if that one got any better.

        i don’t think i’ve encountered a F2P game yet that was really engaging for me to be honest, i’m not a fan of microtransactions so i don’t like how a lot are set up as f2p but pay 2 win.

      • July 17, 2012 at 4:22 amThe Moondoggie

        Guess Dragon Nest is out. Any other suggestions? I’m a bit nervous suggesting my game Cosmic Break since it’s a robotic FPS/TPS MMORPG with bad meta and lag(if you have a very plain internet connection).

  • July 15, 2012 at 4:19 aml3reezer

    I’m very impressed with how well this is evoking nostalgia from playing mmos. The whole banding together to defeat the dungeon’s boss was so reminiscent of guilds, clans, and party quests with online friends. And at the same time, the series is able to build something so simple such as beta testers and newbies into a whole social status diplomatic battle. I feel like it might be getting a bit too melodramatic in that area, but it’s a definitely interesting establishment.

  • July 15, 2012 at 6:35 amecho

    there is suppose to be another character in this story too, an information dealer if you have read the novel or the web. I kinda like that character so its a little sad shes not here…

    -yeah, they cut off alot interaction between asuna and kirito and the newbie side of Asuna is hardly shown too
    -the quarrel between normal players and beta are toned down so much and kinda makes the last part which Kirito takes all blame not that emotional or reasoning…

  • July 15, 2012 at 6:54 amNiriel

    Those who are up-to-date with the LN, I’ve heard that the side story “There is but One Ultimate Way” contains spoilers for Alicization, can anyone confirm if that means only the ninth volume or the tenth as well? I haven’t read the latter yet, so I don’t know if I should read the side story or not…

    • July 15, 2012 at 7:01 amMike

      It’s a non-canon harem ending troll by the author, personally I don’t see what’s the big deal with it, it’s so obvious that the story would never end that way.

      • July 15, 2012 at 8:10 amNiriel

        Oh, I thought it’d be a side story like Aria in the Starless Night or Sound of Water, Sound of Hammer, but if that’s the case, I’ll skip it then… Thanks anyway! ^^

      • July 15, 2012 at 11:18 amSilentCid

        It’s not a non-cannon harem troll by the author that’s actually cannon. It came originally from his website.

      • July 15, 2012 at 12:55 pmMike

        It IS a non-canon harem troll ending by the author, because that’s what the author said so himself, he pretty much wrote it for the lulz.

      • July 15, 2012 at 2:58 pmShiden

        Non-canon ≠ troll.
        The author wanted to have a bit of fun, so he wrote something that was clearly stated to be non-canon. I don’t see how that’s even remotely “trolling”.

      • July 15, 2012 at 3:09 pmMike

        Not all trolling have to be evil and mean spirited :P

        Kawahara wrote it to “troll” his readers for some lulz, and judging from the reactions I’ve seen from some people, I’d say he was very successful :)

      • July 16, 2012 at 7:44 pmSuppa Tenko

        It’s just like Chapter 16.5 fanservice to please the readers and gather some more readers. And to have some fun.

    • July 15, 2012 at 7:24 pmChloesong

      Don’t read it if you don’t want Alice spoilers!!!!!!!!!! I was really sad when I realized “oh shoot this is alternate end game” :(

  • July 15, 2012 at 7:24 amTingster013

    although it is stupid to combine beta and cheater tgt,the term ‘Beater’ sound cool thought … All in all, it’s good, that’s all. Period.

  • July 15, 2012 at 7:36 amSinsI

    > Obviously they’ll want to test it out to make sure it’s a viable method, so they’ll need to risk a single player’s life

    Why? It’s not like there’s a lack of NervGear – you can test it all you want on i.e. dogs, and only after perfecting your method would you want to test it on actual player.

    • July 15, 2012 at 8:30 ama20020000

      Not quote sure how a dog would be able to say link start or even connect to the game after it opened. I’m pretty sure new players were not allowed to connect after he took over. Or there would be a way of importing information from the outside world via new entrants. The game had a fixed number of copies released for a reason (limit the number of people trapped to around 10k)

      • July 16, 2012 at 1:39 amKamui04

        And even the dog as guinea pig is kinda dubious, since the NerveGear was designed for the Human brain, how much time would they spend to re-engineer the hardware or software to accommodate a non-human brain? Even a simple chimps brain is different enough. And even if you got your non-human guinea pig to get into the test how can you be sure it got into the game and how would you know that they were able to introduce a logout method, or the guinea pig be able to use it?

    • July 16, 2012 at 10:40 ama20020000

      There is one way to get everyone out but the out of the box thinking required makes it a bit far fetched and potentially dangerous.

      Just get all the players and dip their heads into liquid gallium (Melts at 29C so it won’t freeze when their heads are submersed). Blocks microwaves, shorts out helmet, everyone saved. Only problem is you have one chance to do it and if you mess up you have 10k dead people and a lot of liability. Also would cost hundreds of millions of dollars as gallium isn’t normally used in such large volumes. It would also still have to be done simultaneously as well which is another problem as well.

      If I were the government in that universe I would just wait things out the Argus company is already is such deep water the government can just blame the crazy man. If they tried to save the day and it all went wrong it would cost much more than a couple hundred million to settle with victims.

  • July 15, 2012 at 8:50 amlivevoid

    I couldn’t wait for this episode so I read volumes 1-3 of the light novel over the week. Even though I knew what was going to happen I was still amazed by this episode.

    • July 16, 2012 at 10:14 pmhwighting

      i was in the same position. the LN was bomb and the anime only helps fill in the gaps where my imagination is lacking.

  • July 15, 2012 at 9:03 amrasone0104

    wait its already Red-nosed Reindeer next week? is’nt that a little to soon.
    and any opinions if this ll Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 15, 2012 at 11:19 amSilentCid

      It’s going in chronological order of events that happened during Sword Art Online.

      • July 15, 2012 at 12:18 pmecho

        And next might be Silica’s story i guess

    • July 15, 2012 at 3:22 pmznail

      Red nosed deer means we will most likely get to see Black Cats of the Full Moon and what happens with them as that story doesn’t make sense else.

    • July 16, 2012 at 7:50 pmSuppa Tenko

      Phantom Bullet isn’t really part of the main SAO story which ends after
      Show Spoiler ▼

      It’s just Kawahara dabblying in FPS vr

  • July 15, 2012 at 9:14 amKinny Riddle

    We know that Kayaba has basically swindled 10,000 people into becoming virtual prisoners within a Matrix-like VR framework created by him for his own “mad scientist” experiments purposes.

    Is there any chance of the game company and authorities etc in sending any “commandos” in what is basically a suicide mission to try and assist the “hostages” in clearing the game? Or has Kayaba ensured that this is a “closed world” which prevents any new players besides the 10,000 from getting in?

    • July 15, 2012 at 9:22 ama20020000

      Given the limited number of copies sold (10k) it is highly likely that even if you had a unofficial copy you wouldn’t be able to connect. Not to mention are they going to send in game expert commandos because I don’t think those exist.

      • July 15, 2012 at 9:56 amKinny Riddle

        Leaving aside the possibility of whether any “game expert commando” would risk their life for such a mission, surely the game company must have their own master copies if any attempt to enter were to be made? Or perhaps Kayaba ensured that he alone possesses the source code which cannot be copied without his consent?

      • July 15, 2012 at 10:28 ama20020000

        I think the main protection is that he is in control of the game and any attempt to interfere carries the risk of 10k dead in an instant.

  • July 15, 2012 at 9:43 amHutch Hutchenson

    Did I ever tell you about the time my buddy Keith got rolled by a gator?

  • July 15, 2012 at 10:00 amRasen

    Like so many other people have commented, I think this episode was rushed. Granted, this is from the perspective of someone who has read the light novels, but the side story covering these events just had so much more.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    I’m all for the progression of the story, but I think that given the characters involved, the events were worth at least 1.5 eps.

    It’s just my opinion, but I think the events that happened in SAO were best when they were covering the human-interest side of the story rather than the battles themselves. How people adapted to their new situation.

  • July 15, 2012 at 10:09 amHungryKoala

    The LN readers are complaining about the anime adaption way too much.

    • July 15, 2012 at 10:38 ammistress_kisara

      Agree.

    • July 15, 2012 at 10:50 amRasen

      Actually, it seems to me that the LN readers are being fairly civil about the whole thing. Putting myself aside, I believe the others are also saying “thought it was a bit rushed, but still a good episode.”

      And they’re also the ones defending/explaining why Diabel refuses the potion, whereas those not in the know go “aaaahh….plothole…..RAGE!”

    • July 15, 2012 at 1:02 pmBenz

      Can’t help it when the LN have such an amazing storyline but once it come to anime they butcher part of it, is still good just not 10/10 good anymore maybe an 8 now, it just feel they didn’t do the LN justice and kind of insulting it( not that it went this far but u get the idea).

      • July 15, 2012 at 1:19 pmMike

        butcher? they did a decent job within the time constrains, hardly what I’d call “butcher”.

        I seriously don’t get the emphasis some people seems to place on Aria, while it was an enjoyable read, it really isn’t that important to the overall story.

      • July 15, 2012 at 1:56 pmRasen

        To say that Aria is not that important to the story would be like saying that the 2nd volume was not that important to the story. (In terms of word count, Aria is longer than the first two stories of the 2nd volume combined.) Aria provided a lot of character development for the character of Asuna and a view of how people had started to adapt to SAO, as well as the difference knowledge could make in one’s living conditions as well as battle strategies.

        In fact, I would argue that it provided a very nice transitional story between the beginning when everyone is still confused to when everyone is settling into their chosen roles, which I think is a very necessary thing to have when the story is proceeding in chronological order.

      • July 15, 2012 at 2:04 pmSamhiuy

        Yeah, it might not be of much importance, but it still adds to the story build up. I believe that they should have spend 2 episodes on this side-story.

        You know what, I’m not a LN reader. I have not even read 1 chapter of it, however I did look through the spoilers. Before I even know about Argo, Asuna and Kirito supposed meeting, I already felt it was a bit rushed.

        Here is a complain from a non-LN reader :PP

        There is just not as much interaction and they went too quickly with the details. Yes, they did a decent job as there is only a handful of episodes for them to create and they need to cover Volume 1 and 2 with 26 episodes.

        I seriously hate whoever set those rules that anime like this should be either 1 cour or 2 cour. Can’t we have like 30+ episodes? I mean seriously, why must you give them a limit and degrade the quality of adaption? It’s like what happened with Zetman, totally rushed through.

        Asuna and Kirito’s interactions were like Hanako and Jin’s interactions. Jin and Hanako’s love was so forced that I can’t bear to watch it. However, Asuna and Kirito’s are acceptable, although I wonder how will they flesh out their relationship and make it more natural instead of a forced one.

        To be honest, I actually wish that they would scrap the ALO arc and just use this 26 episodes to fully cover SAO only. That way, they can fully adapt the side-stories and by the time we reach the end, the character development would be great.

        I would give it an 8/10 at most as well. It’s a decent job, but not one that reached the expectations of many.

        I mean it’s popular, they could at least give it a 2nd season so it can cover ALO and GGO, but Japan…seriously why do you need to ruin the anime adaptions by setting limits .v.

        SAO is damn popular, you could’ve given more episodes dedicated to this series.

      • July 15, 2012 at 2:15 pmMike

        The issue with Aria(and some of the side stories), is that they don’t really mesh with SAO proper, with plenty of conflicting elements and contradictions with the main story. This is part of a larger issue with the entire Aincrad arc due to the patchwork style Kawahara used to put it together. There is little doubt that’s the main reason why Kawahara is starting the whole Progressive series, so he can fix the cluster**** that is the Aincrad arc.\

        Much of the plot points that began in Aria are simply never seen again in the main story, or even directly contradicts it. While that bit of exposition on Asuna’s beginning is nice, it really isn’t what I’d consider essential to her character, and again, it is not something that’s ever touched on or mentioned again.

        As for serving as a transition, I think the anime version did a decent enough job at that, but all the other stuff? not really needed my book. I wouldn’t have minded if they skipped Aria all together so they can spend two episodes doing RNR, a plot that carries far more significance to the actual main character.

      • July 15, 2012 at 2:37 pmRasen

        Actually, the events of Aria mesh quite well with the rest of SAO, the one “exception” being being how Asuna met Kirito, and even that isn’t a direct contradiction. It clashed with the assumptions that the readers made, but doesn’t go so far as to actually be wrong. On top of that Asuna’s relationship with Kirito makes so much more sense in light of the events of Aria.

        Argo certainly doesn’t show up in the main story, but she does show up in other side-stories. But Kibaou actually comes up again (or for the first time) in volume 2, and his actions influenced events in volume 1

        As for the transition between “lost bunnies” to “dungeon clearers”, I think the anime is skipping over it entirely.

      • July 15, 2012 at 3:06 pmMike

        We’ll just have to agree to disagree then. Aria substantially moved up the time table of Kirito and Asuna’s “relationship”, and IMO made some adjustments to the dynamics between the two that just don’t quite click with how it is in the original novel. Nor does it make their relationship “make more sense at all in my book, too much of it is still in the abyss that is the huge gaps of Aincrad story that has yet to be covered, something I hope would be addressed in Progressive.

        Argo and maybe even Kibaou may have more prominent roles in Progressive, but atm they matter so little you can delete them outright and it wouldn’t change anything outside of the side stories they’re in.

      • July 15, 2012 at 3:17 pmRasen

        And this is what I mean by “doesn’t directly contradict”

        Show Spoiler ▼

        I look forward to Progressive, but I also expect it would take the events of the sidestories over any of the previous volumes, since the sidestories were written later.

      • July 15, 2012 at 4:19 pmBenz

        I don’t care about the rat informer or side character but what I mean by butcher is how Kirito and Asuna first met, they did not met inside the arena they met inside a dungeon and then a few other event took place before they went to the arena. I don’t care about other stuff but changing the storyline of how two of the most important main character inside a story of how they first met is nothing but butcher to me.

      • July 15, 2012 at 5:11 pmMike

        /shrug

        While you can get pissed at that if you want, I fail to see even the slightest relevancy that particular change has on… well, anything.

      • July 15, 2012 at 5:58 pmRasen

        Actually, how they met makes a difference, take it how you will. For instance, in the anime, why does Kirito decide to approach Asuna and break bread with her? Decide to teach her about the cream? From what the anime has shown so far, it’s a little strange because Kirito has already decided to solo his way through the game and ignore others for the most part. Why does he suddenly take interest in this non-social character and immediately assume he knows more than her?

        This is in contrast to the LN, where Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 16, 2012 at 6:18 amD-LaN

      High 5!! Even non LN reader are b*tching abt it.

  • July 15, 2012 at 11:30 amThe Story You Don’t Know

    I’m not trying to be Mr.Know-it-all, having read the Light Novel way way before it was actually “famous”, but I really believe that Asuna and Kirito’s first meeting in the LN was a lot better, cuter, and quite more “romantic” than this one.

    But still, I love how they animated it. I just hope they keep loyal to the LN

  • July 15, 2012 at 1:39 pmminarge

    The nit picker in me, especially as they have covered why people would be reluctant to interfere from the outside wonders something though… How have all the rest lasted a month without eating? Unless they’ve all been put on drips or something

    • July 15, 2012 at 1:45 pma20020000

      There are clinically essentially in a coma and are treated as such. See comments for episode 1 for more explanation.

  • July 15, 2012 at 2:03 pmRasen

    Just for fun, I decided to provide another point of view to why people who have read the LN feel that the second episode was rushed, when no such comments occurred for the first episode.

    The events of the first episode, based on 3 chapters in the first novel: described in ~9,500 words

    The events of the second episode, based on the side-story Aria: described in ~35,000 words

    • July 15, 2012 at 2:38 pma20020000

      I’ve read and watched both formats but even though it would be nice to give every side story at least two episodes that would probably well exceed the time limitations the series has. The pacing and amount of content you can put into a 20 minute block of video is limited. Still I wonder how they are going to handle the next episode in one chunk as well.

    • July 15, 2012 at 2:57 pmRasen

      Actually, I take it back. There were comments about the first episode that indicated that it was a little bit rushed, in particular what happened to the players’ real bodies. It’s a fairly important plot point, all things considered, since the food they eat in-game doesn’t actually contribute to their nutrition intake.

    • July 15, 2012 at 4:18 pmMike

      That’s the nature with adaptations, someone will always be unhappy if you take out anything. If they tried to make everyone happy, you’d probably need at least twice the amount of episodes, if not more.

      Imagine if they adapted LOTR exactly like how it went in the books – instead of a 13hr affair, you’d probably need 13 days to watch the whole thing :P

      • July 15, 2012 at 4:26 pmRasen

        I know what you mean, but what I’m trying to say is that I still think they cut too much. At the rate they paced things, they’ll do Scillica and Lizbet’s story in a single episode, so about ~10 minutes each. Cliff notes take longer than that.

      • July 15, 2012 at 5:04 pmMike

        Naw, I’m pretty sure those two will get an episode to themselves.

        The one I’m most worried about is RNR… that one is really hard to do in 1 episode, especially when placed right after Aria.

      • July 15, 2012 at 5:41 pmRasen

        Yeah, I think they’ll get their own episodes too. But RNR is actually much easier to fit into a single ep than Aria. Present day events don’t require much dialogue because he’s soloing a quest and some quick cuts for the flashbacks mid-quest. The quest boss fight can be quick and dirty because it’s really not central to the story.

    • July 15, 2012 at 4:40 pmRasen

      Some more word counts from the light novels:

      If we just wanted to focus on Kirito/Asuna interactions in Aria for episode 2, and thus cut out the side characters and the Anneal Blade related points: ~31,000 words

      Events for Red-nosed reindeer: 12,000 words.

      • July 15, 2012 at 4:59 pma20020000

        Word counts won’t translate directly into frames as there is a ratio between descriptive language which is easily visually done and the plot complexity. That being said a complex story can be told in very few words that could take hours to animate. Conversely you could just take hundreds of thousands of words and boil it down to a single picture if you so desired.

        Or if you really wanted to distort things you can get a computer to generate a paper that’s 50+ pages and get it auto-graded for perfect grammar and zero meaning if a human read it.

      • July 15, 2012 at 5:33 pmRasen

        Why would I really want to distort something in a totally meaningless fashion?

        I agree that word-count doesn’t translated directly to frame count, but on the other hand, unless the author’s writing style changes drastically, or he does something like “there was a fight, which I leave to the power of your imagination!” and the anime decides to show it, things should be fairly consistent.

        So on one hand, you have a story which the author felt needed 30,000+ words to tell, almost half a novel, fit into a 20+ minute episode. And on the other, you have a 10,000+ word story fit into a 20+ minute episode. Things get cut when that happens, sometimes fairly critical things. For example, in episode 1, it’s what happens to players’ bodies. In episode 2, Show Spoiler ▼

        To be fair, good story telling doesn’t have to walk the reader through every step, and can leave things open to assumption. But on the other hand, if the adaption for (let’s say Romeo and Juliet) goes “Romeo!” “Juliet!” “Forbidden love!” “War with the Capulets!” “Poison!” “Priest on donkey!” “Ack!” “The end. Sucks to be you.” that’s not good either.

      • July 15, 2012 at 6:01 pma20020000

        Well my point is that they are different mediums and all exist for their own purposes. The robo-generator paper was an actual satire done by actual researchers against a major journal publisher to show how defects in the review process allowed a long non-nonsensical scientific paper to be published to a peer reviewed journal (words didn’t mean anything). That being said word counts don’t always mean anything, when writing something effectively does. As such word count does not cause a long story, while a story may take many words to describe it doesn’t mean a long worded story is actually a long story.

        Not to mention assuming everyone’s real body just waste away and die is a bit odd thing to think when we have modern medicine everywhere right now. And the way they are trapped basically makes them coma patients.

        I would have liked it more if they gave the animated adaptation all the time they needed to adapt the books but that would probably be fiscally untenable for the animation company. They could have either just dropped the side story content entirely or adapted as they have. So far in my opinion the cuts are acceptable.

      • July 15, 2012 at 6:22 pmRasen

        I think they way they’re going, they’re rushing too much. It feels like their goal is to get through SAO in the first cour, and do at least the first ALO in the second cour. However, I think it would have worked out better if they spent say, 2/3 of the episodes on SAO and the last third on Fairy Dance.

        Again, I agree that word counts aren’t everything. But when it’s the same author, his performance is fairly consistent. What percentage he devotes to exposition, internal monologues, battles, etc.

        While I agree that it’s a strange thing to assume that everyone’s bodies would just be left to waste and die, given modern day’s medicine, what is the reader left to assume? That everyone is left at home and their bodies are being taken care of by their families? What about people who live by themselves? What if their families don’t know how to change IV drips? What if the families are poor and can’t afford the costs? Etc., etc.. The first episode could have devoted 12 seconds for “The government has made arrangements for your bodies to be transported to hospitals, so you can just focus on beating the game.”

        I’ll concede the cuts are acceptable, but I think they are very regrettable. Not just for purity’s sake, but for the sake of storytelling. In the case of Aria, these are the two central characters and their relationship has a large role in much of the story. In Aria it turns out that this is a fairly significant meeting between the two (especially for Asuna), and it is a shame that it gets less attention than the Kobold fight and Kibaou.

      • July 15, 2012 at 7:12 pma20020000

        Not sure about the ratio they should use but if they had more time/episodes it would definitely have room to include much of the content from the novels but that isn’t the case with the current episode setup.

        Even with the same author their density of writing could vary and some things translate easier to a visual format better/easier than other sections.

        Also Japan has a universal health care system currently, so everyone has to have insurance and those who cannot afford the payments have their fees subsidized by the government. All hospitals are also non-profit by law. Although this might not be common knowledge outside Japan it would be a bit wasteful to go on explaining how the medical system would deal with these effectively comatose patients as it technically is quite a standard treatment plan. (They lie in beds in a hospital till they wake up or die)

        Obviously the animated version is going fast and possibly a bit too fast but they have to deal with the limitations they are given with and so far it hasn’t dropped anything absolutely critical to the story. (This part is a side story after all and they did drop the smaller side story about first day second town)

      • July 15, 2012 at 7:29 pmMike

        Personally, I think much of the problem is that Show Spoiler ▼

        I guess we’ll find out next week.

      • July 15, 2012 at 8:34 pmRasen

        @a20020000

        I know that Japan has universal healthcare, but after Kabaya tells the players if they’re disconnected they’ll die, hospitals are out of the question and at-home-treatments are questionable. The novels explain how they work around this, but the anime doesn’t which leaves things confusing.

        @Mike

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 15, 2012 at 8:49 pma20020000

        Not quite so sure why moving to hospitals is out of the question. They have batteries and the internet in Japan is fairly robust everywhere. Also technically speaking treating a comatose patient in house isn’t that hard either as none of the players are in any actual medical predicament their treatment is fairly simple. (Feeding tube, bedside monitoring, they don’t need a respirator or any advance life support systems to stay alive)

        Japan also has internet everywhere (Broadband Sat, “4G/WiMax”, Municipal Wifi, Etc…) and the system has to tolerate some degree of time delay so its not going to kill them for a microsecond loss of contact. (More like an always on DRM once you disconnect you get kicked after a certain period of time from the auth server) Most MMO’s have netcode that is highly tolerant up to seconds delay for even normal play.

      • July 15, 2012 at 9:02 pma20020000

        Also universal health care doesn’t typical have issue like you described as a potential problem.

        What if the families are poor and can’t afford the costs?

        Which is why I assumed you didn’t know about Japan’s public health care system. Also giving people instructions for at home care is actually normal all prescription drugs come with a instructions and any manual tasks are typically demonstrated at the hospital or with a nurse for the first few times to prepare the family for in home care. Using a feeding tube isn’t really that hard nor is moving their body around to prevent bedsores. Total Parenteral Nutrition would only be needed if their digestive tract was completely damaged, otherwise you can just pour the a similar solution down the “proper” pipe, solid wastes are minimal and a catheter deals with the liquid wastes. (TPN has a number of long term side affects that makes the feeding tube the preferred option where possible, the feeding tube is also a lot cheaper and safer in terms of risk of infection/liver damage etc…) Of course none of this really matters for the story because it’s all normal stuff that happens right now in reality.

        In their case the hospital is probably a safer option for this situation though.

      • July 15, 2012 at 9:03 pmMike

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 15, 2012 at 9:04 pmRasen

        It’s not that moving to hospitals is out of the question, it is that whether Kabaya would have allowed it. The helmets have batteries, but as far as the anime has explained, their sole purpose is to fry brains.

        And while it is not technologically difficult, who’s going to provide the equipment, the supplies? Universal healthcare doesn’t cover all costs, medical institutions will try to gouge you regardless, and long term care even at cheap prices is still very expensive. And again, what happens to the people who live alone?

        And while regular MMOs are tolerant of disconnects and lags, I doubt Kabaya would allow it. First, because they’re playing a game where those milliseconds could be very crucial to their survival. Second, because it doesn’t take long to remove a nervgear. A system that would allow for even a moment’s disconnect is one that is not going to effectively trap its players.

      • July 15, 2012 at 9:33 pma20020000

        Unless he wants everyone to be dead in three days in real life I’m pretty sure it’s safe to assume that the battery also allows them to be moved as long as the battery doesn’t run critically low. It would make even less sense if he didn’t allow them to be temporarily moved as his whole plan would then just be murdering 10k people by starvation. (Clearly not his intention)

        Did you miss the part about all hospitals and clinics in Japan being non-profits? The government will have to foot the bill for any extreme cases like this but that always the case for any disaster of this kind of scale. Also because their on the network it isn’t that hard to find people connected to Argus servers (ISP trace, Store purchasing records, Argus customer database, etc…). Sure it might be hard to find some people in a day but in three days it should be easy to find a person sleeping attached to a network connected point.

        One would think killing them for a microsecond of lag would be a little bit stupid as the internet works on milliseconds of lag ranging from 1-300ms for non-perceptible delays (Some are more sensitive 300 is a bit on the high side) The world they are in is still a simulation so it doesn’t actually have to run in lock step with real time. (Typically an MMO’s netcode will synchronize the AI and players as best it can while averaging the delays to make it appear smooth to the user within a map cell) obviously the more lag the high chance you’ll make mistakes or get tripped up but there’s no such thing as <1ms nationwide MMO unless your using some FTL comm system)

        Also don't forget this isn't an OnLive game streamed game the helm still has the client side code (The disc) which likely has a number of fail deadly traps of it's own to deal with the security when they are temporarily disconnected. The client side also allows for the server to cheat and reduce latency by locally simulating the local game area and using deferred verification of the position to prevent hacking. Thats why rubberbanding can occur in D3 and stuff or people teleporting/walking backwards/etc… during massive lagspikes.

        Again all of this stuff is just part of the normal medical system and existing games/MMOs and would be more confusing to explain in detail on a 20 minute show. Although they could have thrown in the your all in a hospital now at least. But there isn't really much to be confused about.

      • July 15, 2012 at 9:58 pma20020000

        Also interesting side note is that even if the network using point to point lasers with no routing/processing delays the maximum speed round trip for japan is roughly 10ms of lag from the tips. Normally network connections take a much more non-linear route and have to pass through multiple routers/switches/exchanges before arriving at a server so a realistic lag tolerance would have to be at least 100-200ms which is typical of most fps’s nowadays. If your playing near the company’s servers than your lag would be much improved.

        This is how high frequency trading works with stock exchanges they can’t tolerate even microseconds of delay so they literally pay to sit their trading servers physically beside the stock exchange servers.

      • July 16, 2012 at 5:21 amRasen

        I wouldn’t say that assumption is safe to make. Even geniuses sometimes overlook details. Again, all this would have been solved with a ten-second explanation. Without it, who knows how many of the first 2000 came from starvation? Granted, Kabaya wouldn’t want people to have died from starvation, but similarily, he’d probably be annoyed if people died because of something like a 3/10 of a second time lag, ie., it’s the system/infrastructure’s fault the players died, not the players themselves.

        No, I heard about hospitals and clinics being non-profits. I simply don’t believe in the concept of “non-profit.” I used to work for one, and there are all sorts of ways you can claim that you’re not turning a profit, that it all goes towards “costs.” Now, this is a bit off-topic, but I know Japan’s University hospitals can charge patient’s families for major operations. Insurance may cover the vast majority of the cost, but if the hospital can find a way to charge the families, they will.

        I can’t speak to the network lag or how MMOs keep the lag to a minimum, so those are interesting points. But as long as the anime is having us make assumptions, the world they live in has technology that allows them to interfere with peoples’ brains. Why not assume that a lag-less internet, or at least one without bandwidth limitations has been invented?

      • July 16, 2012 at 10:09 ama20020000

        I wouldn’t say that assumption is safe to make. Even geniuses sometimes overlook details. Again, all this would have been solved with a ten-second explanation. Without it, who knows how many of the first 2000 came from starvation? Granted, Kabaya wouldn’t want people to have died from starvation, but similarly, he’d probably be annoyed if people died because of something like a 3/10 of a second time lag, ie., it’s the system/infrastructure’s fault the players died, not the players themselves.

        It is not an assumption its sortof like the physical reality of things. He says he wants you to just play the game and clear it and he doesn’t say anything about you needing to somehow magically feed your real bodies so you can assume in the panic the government rounded up all the players and put them into hospitals for long term care. Otherwise everyone would be dead by the second episode. (Circularly the fact that they are still around after two months obviously means the people outside still exist and act like normal humans would)

        The nice thing about fiction is that you don’t need to go into details all the time and as long as you’re internally consistent things are fine. Geniuses sometimes overlook things but he clearly has not so that’s a moot point. Japan’s network infrastructure is much more reliable and high speed than most areas so latency problems would not likely to be an issue.

        No, I heard about hospitals and clinics being non-profits. I simply don’t believe in the concept of “non-profit.” I used to work for one, and there are all sorts of ways you can claim that you’re not turning a profit, that it all goes towards “costs.” Now, this is a bit off-topic, but I know Japan’s University hospitals can charge patient’s families for major operations. Insurance may cover the vast majority of the cost, but if the hospital can find a way to charge the families, they will.

        One can believe a non-profit is for-profit but that doesn’t change the fact that they are legally and financially a non-profit. I think your misunderstanding what universal and public healthcare means (If you can’t pay the government pays, that’s why taxes are generally higher in such countries, higher GDP devoted to healthcare usually as well). Also if your non-profit was committing tax fraud that is a serious offense that you should have reported to the regulator agencies of your country. (This isn’t legal advice and you should not use any of this content as a guide for whistleblowing or litigation, IE I’m not responsible for your actions or any consequences resulting from this, also these types of boiler plate disclaimers typically don’t mean anything legally but it gets the point across that it all on your plate)

        I can’t speak to the network lag or how MMOs keep the lag to a minimum, so those are interesting points. But as long as the anime is having us make assumptions, the world they live in has technology that allows them to interfere with peoples’ brains. Why not assume that a lag-less internet, or at least one without bandwidth limitations has been invented?

        I didn’t come to watch an anime about network latency management and how the speed of light defines the minimum tolerable latency bounds. I go to read a textbook and industry guides for that stuff. These assumptions are not anywhere near critical to the story itself and are best left out even if I am technically inclined towards it as many people would just be confused.

        Also bandwidth does not have anything to do with latency and as already stated without FTL communications a lag-less internet is physically impossible. They don’t mention any FTL communications and it isn’t really necessary so it would be a stretch to assume that they cracked that bit. Although if there wasn’t enough bandwidth the game wouldn’t work from the start so one can assume if they connected they have enough bandwidth to be connected. (It’s like trying to drain a tank with a tiny pipe but a river flowing into it the tank will overflow in short order and you’ll get a buffer overflow and a slideshow will ensue as the system drops packets, tank overflows)

        Again I nitpick a lot on technical things but I don’t feel that they need to explain or have run into any impossible physics. (With it being set in a game there aren’t many restrictions in game)

      • July 16, 2012 at 11:45 amRasen

        Agreed, obviously arrangements were made. But my point was that by not taking 10 seconds to reassure the players of SAO, there were a multitude of viewers going “RAAAARGH PLOTHOLE.” In fact, there still are, even on this board.

        One can be legally be a non-profit and still say “such and such isn’t covered. You’re going to have to pay the remainder.” It’s one thing for the government to cover a portion of medical costs across the board, but it’s not 100% because like I said, I know Japanese university hospitals will charge the family for at least some of the costs of a major operation. Granted, an IV drip and some basic care isn’t a major operation, but it come down to that I believe in the tendency of large organizations and companies to try and squeeze every dollar they can be it from the government or the patient’s family.

        Regarding “tax fraud,” the point is that it’s not tax fraud unless a company does something stupid, like falsify numbers. Not-for-profits are allowed to generate surplus revenue, as long as surplus goes towards self-preservation, expansion, and plans. And that’s where the wiggle room is.

        Debating the realism of FTL communications, Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 16, 2012 at 12:28 pma20020000

        One can be legally be a non-profit and still say “such and such isn’t covered. You’re going to have to pay the remainder.” It’s one thing for the government to cover a portion of medical costs across the board, but it’s not 100% because like I said, I know Japanese university hospitals will charge the family for at least some of the costs of a major operation. Granted, an IV drip and some basic care isn’t a major operation, but it come down to that I believe in the tendency of large organizations and companies to try and squeeze every dollar they can be it from the government or the patient’s family.

        People who can afford to pay will but those who cannot are covered (Such is the nature of public health care) espcially for critical care. Not to mention this isn’t exactly a normal medical condition it’s more of a criminal attack and the government is sort of obligated to step in to help those affected. (It’s not like they charge people when to be rescued during a natural disaster or charge fees for distributing water in a emergency)

        Regarding “tax fraud,” the point is that it’s not tax fraud unless a company does something stupid, like falsify numbers. Not-for-profits are allowed to generate surplus revenue, as long as surplus goes towards self-preservation, expansion, and plans. And that’s where the wiggle room is.

        Claiming to be a non-profit while profiting is most likely going to be classified as fraud as you’re declaring yourself as a non-profit and getting tax benefits while not actually reporting earnings. Obviously non-profits are allowed to build up cash but there is a difference between for-profit and non-profit groups. (Both legally and accounting wise)

        Debating the realism of FTL communications,

        Show Spoiler ▼

        FTL is a lot harder of a problem than BCI (Brain Computer Interface)

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 16, 2012 at 1:44 pmRasen

        ’m curious as to how it is determined someone can’t pay. Can someone make the argument that
        even though they have a good salary, most of it goes towards living costs so they can’t afford to pay? Who checks to make sure this is accurate?

        No, you report your earnings. The wiggle room comes into your estimates of how much is actually necessary or used for plans, development, and self-preservation. From a purely practical point of view, it’s better to overestimate because what happens if things get worse than you expect, or if inflation occurs? And if the worst case scenario doesn’t come to pass? All the better. My (perhaps cynical) view of companies is that they obey the letter, if not the spirit of the law. And the letter is where lawyers and accountants earn their pay. To bring up the Japanese university hospital system, they can (and will) hold patients in critical condition for as long as possible to squeeze out as much money (from whoever) as they can, before transferring the patient to another hospital to die so that death is not part of their patient statistics. In a truly non-profit organization, holding onto a patient would be a zero-sum game, so such things wouldn’t happen.

        Did you just say that FTL is what would enable time travel, then say that it would be easier to time-travel than it is to do FTL communication? Isn’t that like saying it’s easier to build a car instead of an internal combustion engine?

        Normally crossovers are just that, but since it was actually published in vol 10 of Accel World and not just something posted on Kawahara’s webpage like his harem ending to SAO Alicization, I think that lends it an air of canon.

      • July 16, 2012 at 2:15 pma20020000

        Sorry, it appears I missed your redirection back to this thread and my response is below in

        http://randomc.net/2012/07/14/sword-art-online-02/comment-page-1/#comment-841867

      • July 16, 2012 at 2:43 pmMike

        @Rasen

        I would assume he meant to write “than” instead of “or” there. But yea, there is definitely NO FTL communication in SAO’s world, don’t even go there.

        As far as Versus goes, it would help if you also read the author’s note in the same volume of AW, where Kawahara explicitly states that there is currently no link between AW and SAO.

      • July 16, 2012 at 3:12 pmRasen

        @Mike

        That’s interesting. Does Kawahara specifically mention that there is no FTL communication, or describe something that illustrates this? I’m just curious as to where you get the confidence to say there is “DEFINITELY no FTL.”

        It’s disappointing to hear that there is no connection between the two stories, but at least now I can go back to those people arguing the two stories were part of the same timeline and point and laugh.

      • July 16, 2012 at 4:06 pmMike

        …not sure if serious….

        SAO’s setting, by all reasonable accounts, is a near-future world with slightly more advanced technology than present day world, it is certainly not a sci-fi setting whereby extremely advanced technology such as FTL communications exist.

        There’s a difference between making reasonable assumptions based on available information and making outright ridiculous claims, and claiming there could be FTL communication in SAO is jet-packing straight into the latter.

        Kawahara also did not specifically mention that Kayaba was not actually a shape-shifting magic pony from the planet Space Bronies V in the Rainbow galaxy who created SAO because he was hungry, and that space magic ponies can only eat the despair and rage of VRMMO players.

      • July 16, 2012 at 9:30 pma20020000

        Let’s go in depth if you so desire click on the spoiler,

        Quick summary is that author describes a world that doesn’t require FTL or excessive bandwidth to work. (Still made of polygons, emulated sensory feedback)

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 17, 2012 at 8:29 amMike

        It’s the Unobtainium man, the Unobtainium!

      • July 17, 2012 at 11:45 ama20020000

        Unobtainium…

        That actually is an engineering term not suppose to be an actual specific material. Also technically their “unobtainium” was some sort of room-temperature superconductor which we don’t know if that is currently possible but people are researching how to make it or at least how some other “high” (LN2) temperature superconductors work.

        Those floating mountains on the other hand are something special
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Another way to put it is that strong of a magnetic field would rip the entire planet apart. Room temp superconductors are still unknown unknowns. All little details really nitpicking little things (Obviously done for the CGI cool factor though).

  • July 15, 2012 at 2:57 pmNymphetamine2791

    Lol, towards the end this is what I was thinking,

    Asuna: “but what about you!?”
    Kirito: “Me?”
    Kirito: *lights a cigarette in mouth*
    Kirito: “I’m the lone beater….”

  • July 15, 2012 at 3:34 pmznail

    One thing for non-novel readers to consider is that this is fairly condensed so even minor details you see have a deeper reason behind them.

    • July 15, 2012 at 7:27 pmChloesong

      THIS.. I’m actually really impressed that the anime does this, so I’m a really happy viewer. :D

    • July 16, 2012 at 10:21 amNoname

      I can’t really appreciate that since although there is a lot hidden meaning there is no point if it is hidden for the non readers. In the end I have to ask on this blog or some other anime blogs about the details or bigger plot points that make no sense to me just to begin to understand the “deeper meaning” without which the anime becomes dull and far less interesting then I suspect it should be.

      I went through a lot of which people who read the light novels of SAO are going through now with Harry Potter movies. There was a top of subtlety and details omitted in the films that made the whole viewing experience far less enjoyable then it should have been and now I am on the opposite side of things and it sucks even more.

  • July 15, 2012 at 5:26 pmMichael Chandra

    An important sidenote not adressed by cutting this into 1 episode, thus without Argo and Kibaou/Diabel intrigue: Show Spoiler ▼

    And as for Kirito saving the lives of the other betatesters by making himself hated, it was what I was looking forward to the most when I saw the episode title at the end of episode 1. ^_^

    • July 15, 2012 at 7:24 pma20020000

      The exact numbers from the book are:

      Show Spoiler ▼

  • July 15, 2012 at 10:11 pmOtaku Dump

    It felt rushed to be honest. But still, awesome episode.

  • July 16, 2012 at 12:03 amSalbazier

    Pretty boring episode for me. What’s it called? Scene flow? Direction? Whatever, it just doesn’t flow as good as the first episode. Mostly because many things that help build Aria’s story. Like the various Kirito-Asuna interaction that build teh relationship or teh build up to the revelation about Diabel. And those statics in battle too. Some people above said they should animate this arc and I’m inclined to agree. Rather animate this arc half-heartedly it better just to skip it. Though, they may not do it because it out them in hard position regarding the other side stories, especially since those other SS are more important to the story.

    Well, this episode still have its moments. The battle is still quite good, especially the latter half. I love Egil’s moment and Kajiura’s music.

  • July 16, 2012 at 1:40 amRyner

    A little late in watching the episode and this review, but can anyone explain to me why they think Kirito is a cheater? Is it simply because he “pretended” that he knows a lot of the boss info, stages, etc. that everyone seem to think he is cheating? I do understand that he did that in order to avert everyone’s animosity towards beta testers to him, whom he labels himself far better (in others view would be far worse) than beta testers. A very bold move and would really cement him as a solo player where no one except Asuna would probably join with him in a party.

    • July 16, 2012 at 1:52 ama20020000

      It is fairly common for someone who knows a lot more and has progressed “unnaturally” ahead of the rest to be considered a cheater regardless of actual cheating occurring. Typical real world case can occur in FPS games where some players have unusually high kill ratios and are labeled cheaters even if the others where just actually that bad.

    • July 16, 2012 at 8:40 amChloesong

      It seems to me that you might have missed out that Kirito is a beta tester himself. He isn’t pretending that he knows a lot of exclusive info, he actually does.

      Not only is he a beta tester, he really did go farther than anyone else. The only part that he’s lying about is his attitude. As evidenced by how he treats newbie Asuna, he doesn’t think that he’s any better than beginner/lowel lvl players nor does he look down on them. He is simply acting arrogant for the reason you stated.

      The reason he alone was able to defeat the boss and take the LA was because he dealt with katana-wielding monsters somwhere between floor 2-8ish? that he told Klein about. Using his previous experience, he didn’t panic like the rest of the boss raid party, and tried to counterattack. Even that didn’t go so perfectly though, b/c in the end the boss wasn’t perfectly the same as the easier katana mobs. He miscalculated and was hit by an upswing he didn’t expect.

      Ps. while newer players needed to seek and complete a quest to find out the reward, Kirito had the benefit of knowing generally what all the good quests were on floor 1 and how to get them and how long they took. Not only that, he’s several levels higher than the average boss raid player because he knew exactly where to train. Hence, a cheater to the new players.

      I hope that helps. :)

  • July 16, 2012 at 7:43 amAnonAkarin

    Would be funny if PSP exist in their MMO world.
    http://i.imgur.com/lO1Tt.jpg

    • July 16, 2012 at 8:11 amChloesong

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 16, 2012 at 10:14 pmpenguin

        the game developer should have thought up a mini game for his MMO :P

  • July 16, 2012 at 1:43 pmRasen

    I’m curious as to how it is determined someone can’t pay. Can someone make the argument that
    even though they have a good salary, most of it goes towards living costs so they can’t afford to pay? Who checks to make sure this is accurate?

    No, you report your earnings. The wiggle room comes into your estimates of how much is actually necessary or used for plans, development, and self-preservation. From a purely practical point of view, it’s better to overestimate because what happens if things get worse than you expect, or if inflation occurs? And if the worst case scenario doesn’t come to pass? All the better. My (perhaps cynical) view of companies is that they obey the letter, if not the spirit of the law. And the letter is where lawyers and accountants earn their pay. To bring up the Japanese university hospital system, they can (and will) hold patients in critical condition for as long as possible to squeeze out as much money (from whoever) as they can, before transferring the patient to another hospital to die so that death is not part of their patient statistics. In a truly non-profit organization, holding onto a patient would be a zero-sum game, so such things wouldn’t happen.

    Did you just say that FTL is what would enable time travel, then say that it would be easier to time-travel than it is to do FTL communication? Isn’t that like saying it’s easier to build a car instead of an internal combustion engine?

    Normally crossovers are just that, but since it was actually published in vol 10 of Accel World and not just something posted on Kawahara’s webpage like his harem ending to SAO Alicization, I think that lends it an air of canon.

    • July 16, 2012 at 1:46 pmRasen

      @a2002000

      Sorry, meant to post this after your message in
      http://randomc.net/2012/07/14/sword-art-online-02/comment-page-1/#comment-841808

    • July 16, 2012 at 1:49 pmRasen

      Apologies to the board. It denied me posting my message a second time in the place I wanted, so I’m a little confused as to why the message is now showing up there….

    • July 16, 2012 at 2:12 pma20020000

      First off you’re posting off the comment chain but that doesn’t really matter. Your spoiler tags are also missing, I added them as needed.

      I’m curious as to how it is determined someone can’t pay. Can someone make the argument that even though they have a good salary, most of it goes towards living costs so they can’t afford to pay? Who checks to make sure this is accurate?

      You pay taxes and they know how much you earn unless you’re not reporting that properly either which is illegal in most countries. If you live in a country with public health care it’s pretty easy for them to figure out who pays what (If you’re paying for insurance you have enough money, if not your either too poor or against the law. One they will find out and make you pay the other they will treat you as you don’t earn anything. The insurance is mandatory as it’s basically government regulated.)

      Obviously public health care is not without its flaws but these really isn’t the point of this story. Some might evade the system and get the government to cover them while others have to pay and cut back on their own expenses.

      No, you report your earnings. The wiggle room comes into your estimates of how much is actually necessary or used for plans, development, and self-preservation. From a purely practical point of view, it’s better to overestimate because what happens if things get worse than you expect, or if inflation occurs? And if the worst case scenario doesn’t come to pass? All the better. My (perhaps cynical) view of companies is that they obey the letter, if not the spirit of the law. And the letter is where lawyers and accountants earn their pay. To bring up the Japanese university hospital system, they can (and will) hold patients in critical condition for as long as possible to squeeze out as much money (from whoever) as they can, before transferring the patient to another hospital to die so that death is not part of their patient statistics. In a truly non-profit organization, holding onto a patient would be a zero-sum game, so such things wouldn’t happen.

      Public health care system charge the government for services when the patients are not paying there is no issue in keeping victims of a criminal act alive. I highly doubt the government would just let 10k taxpayers starve to death.

      Also what you’re saying here is contradictory if they wanted to milk the government holding these low risk patients (medically they never died as a result of the hospital treatment but from a mass murderer) they would clamber for the job of keeping these patients as they will get money for such a simple monitoring job. (High patient numbers, consistent government payouts, low risk).

      I still do not see the need for the animated adaptation to go on about non-profit hospital corruption, the mechanics of universal healthcare, and who pays what. It can be assumed that the universal healthcare system takes care of the patients and it isn’t some special 100 million dollar drug treatment or anything it’s just keeping people in a bed for a while.

      Did you just say that FTL is what would enable time travel, then say that it would be easier to time-travel than it is to do FTL communication? Isn’t that like saying it’s easier to build a car instead of an internal combustion engine?
      Show Spoiler ▼

      No, FTL communication breaks causality if you think about (Google can help as well) it you wouldn’t be able to travel arbitrarily in time but the regular rules of causality would be wrong allowing which then time travel might be possible in some sense. (Time travel itself might not even break causality as there is more than one way for it to work, one of which is all quantum magic whereby you never actual time travel at least from the perspective of the original existence you start in)

      By the way the first car didn’t have an ICE (internal combustion engine). It was steam powered (That was a bulky thing for sure). Again there isn’t really any need for FTL mechanics in this story as of yet so it is a bit unreasonable to assume it exists where not ever mentioned or needed. (FTL is a hard problem to solve in reality while BCI is a problem that is already being worked on with success in reality)

      • July 16, 2012 at 3:02 pmRasen

        Thanks for adding the spoiler tags. I didn’t think it was needed, but better safe than sorry.

        Before I start responding, I just wanted to say that I think we’ve gotten wildly off track. The core of our disagreement is in how we feel about the SAO anime cutting out information. Your stance was that the cuts were acceptable because nothing of importance was lost. My position is also that the cuts so far are acceptable in the same way a “C” on a report card is acceptable, and that the story and storytelling has suffered as a result.

        I agree that there is absolutely no reason for the anime to go into Japan’s medical system. But my point was that by not taking a few seconds to address the issue, the viewers are left to make assumptions of their own, and that the assumptions are not all going to be the same. This is obviously true because right after the first episode, there were cries of “plotholes.” Good storytelling on the part of the anime shouldn’t require that the light novels be read in order to make sense of something.

        From there, out argument went into whether the government taking direct action and moving the patients to hospitals was the obvious and first assumption readers would jump to. My stance was “no.” Perhaps its the result of growing up in the US, but I have a dim view of the generosity and competence of the government and hospitals. While I am aware that there is a difference in the two countries’ systems, my point about the non-profits was simply that obeying the letter of the law still allows for the non-profit entities to behave in a greedy manner. While the hospitals might be willing to take in the patients at first, they may also be just as willing to kick them out if they lack space and a more profitable patient comes in. Again, by taking the few seconds to say that “the government made arrangements,” then it becomes a straightforward assumption that the SAO victims are untouchable, as opposed to being subject to the hospitals Board of Directors’ whims.

      • July 16, 2012 at 3:29 pma20020000

        Before I start responding, I just wanted to say that I think we’ve gotten wildly off track. The core of our disagreement is in how we feel about the SAO anime cutting out information. Your stance was that the cuts were acceptable because nothing of importance was lost. My position is also that the cuts so far are acceptable in the same way a “C” on a report card is acceptable, and that the story and storytelling has suffered as a result.

        We will see in the future how they streamline the content from the light novels. You can’t exactly give them a C on a report card because they have a faction of the time to explain a lot of content. So far although rushed they still have the critical sections maintained.

        I agree that there is absolutely no reason for the anime to go into Japan’s medical system. But my point was that by not taking a few seconds to address the issue, the viewers are left to make assumptions of their own, and that the assumptions are not all going to be the same. This is obviously true because right after the first episode, there were cries of “plotholes.” Good storytelling on the part of the anime shouldn’t require that the light novels be read in order to make sense of something.

        It would be a slippery slope to explain everything with little few second blurbs when much of it is best left to google or here to discuss. Things that are new like the way the helmet works are important as that doesn’t exist on google but how medical systems work is another story. Good story telling doesn’t have plotholes, a perception of one where there isn’t actually one is not the fault of the author rather the viewer themselves for not thinking things through before jumping to conclusions like (How do people eat if they can’t wake up, they must all be dead).

        From there, out argument went into whether the government taking direct action and moving the patients to hospitals was the obvious and first assumption readers would jump to. My stance was “no.” Perhaps its the result of growing up in the US, but I have a dim view of the generosity and competence of the government and hospitals.

        There is actually a huge difference between how for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals work but even in the US hospitals will keep patients their families lives fiscally afterwards might not be in such good shape though. There is always the suing option as in the US you can sue for more than just damages. The government also could opt to treat the people using the many other organizations like FEMA (not sure if it will be ready in time).

        While I am aware that there is a difference in the two countries’ systems, my point about the non-profits was simply that obeying the letter of the law still allows for the non-profit entities to behave in a greedy manner. While the hospitals might be willing to take in the patients at first, they may also be just as willing to kick them out if they lack space and a more profitable patient comes in.

        Not sure you understand what non-profit has to do with the whole not focused on (profitable patients). It is illegal to differentiate a “profitable” patient from a non-profitable one and this hyper equality does come with consequences but that’s not really relevant here.

        Again, by taking the few seconds to say that “the government made arrangements,” then it becomes a straightforward assumption that the SAO victims are untouchable, as opposed to being subject to the hospital’s Board of Directors’ whims.

        Not sure why your so against hospitals in general there are many different systems in the world none of which are perfect but there isn’t any death councils going to be going on when dealing with something as simple as keeping 10k people in bed on liquid food. Maybe if they all required 6*10000L of liquid gallium to save them all it would be another story but I digress.

        Also hospitals and clinics in japan are run by doctors.

  • July 16, 2012 at 3:58 pmRasen

    I can’t rate the series as a hole based off two episodes, but I can rate the two episodes so far. First episode, good but unfortunately 10-12 seconds too short. Second episode…about 20 minutes too short. Obviously these are just my opinions, but I’m only judging what’s been done so far.

    To say it’s a slippery slope may be true, but the anime did take the time to explain that the helmets had batteries in them. Why not just leave that up to the assumption of the viewers as well? My view is that at least in the early episodes when you’re laying the groundwork for the story, it’s better to have more information than less.

    It is illegal to differentiate, but how does one prove it happened? They can argue they had to take in a patient who required more immediate care and/or there was nothing further they could do for their current patient, and that the SAO patient and their family have what, 3 days, to find care at another facility that isn’t as full.

    Well, I personally feel that you only go to hospitals when you have no other choice and that you should at least be half-resigned to the idea that you may not leave. But that’s not the point I’ve been trying to get across. For this particular argument, my only position is that hospitals are like any other organization that has to make money. No worse, but no better either.

    I don’t see what your point is about Japanese hospitals and clinics being run by doctors. They are still people, not saints, and more to the point, the ones on the Board of Directors had to navigate some serious politics to get where they are. They may have sworn the Hippocratic Oath, but find a hospital participating in clinical trials and you may see how they navigate around that. I’m not saying that they all violate the oath, I’m just saying it’s not the oath that keeps them from harming people, its their individual characters.

    • July 16, 2012 at 4:13 pmMike

      You guys have gone so far off-topic it’s not even funny, would you like know which doctor would’ve cared for which player at which location, and whether his wife pissed him off the day before or not since it can potentially affect his decision?

      Going the way you guys are going at it, they’d need to make an entire separate series called SAO: The Hospitals with 200 episodes allocated just to cover their bases.

      There’s a limit to how much exposition can and should be included, deal with it.

      • July 16, 2012 at 4:53 pma20020000

        I dunno I was arguing that we don’t need any such in depth explanation because its not relevant to the story especially in such a time constrained format.

        There are hospitals.
        There is the internet.
        There is a game.
        You die in game you die in real life.

        Simple really all that extended stuff isn’t needed (FTL definitely isn’t needed either).

      • July 16, 2012 at 5:12 pmRasen

        Sure why not?

        But in all seriousness, our argument wasn’t that it needed to go in-depth. It was whether or not even a little exposition would have been better. All the further arguments and details are essentially him hammering at me with “this is why it’s so obvious,” and me responding with a “this is why it isn’t.”

        I agree that there’s a limit to how much exposition should be included, it’s just that my position that 10-12 seconds about what happens to their bodies is within those limits. Putting aside the viewers, Kabaya SHOULD have said as much to the players.

        Imagine you’re in the same position as the SAO players: it doesn’t matter how many obvious assumptions you can make, wouldn’t you want to hear confirmation that your body isn’t going to be one of your concerns in the middle of this death game?

      • July 16, 2012 at 8:57 pma20020000

        @ Rasen, Response is in the spoiler (Spoilers may exist within),

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 17, 2012 at 5:05 amRasen

        @a2002000

        Rebuttal within.

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 17, 2012 at 11:49 ama20020000

        Response within (Definitly spoilers within),
        Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 16, 2012 at 8:39 pma20020000

      To keep things compact im putting my responses in a spoiler block and they might sometimes contain spoilers as well. Also please stop starting new top level entries as it clutters the comments and makes it hard for people to skip over this if they don’t want to be reading it.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 17, 2012 at 5:47 amRasen

        It’s not my intent to start more top-level entries, and I apologize for that. It’s just that even I get tired when arguing and then mistakes happen.

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 17, 2012 at 9:45 amMike

        @Rasen

        The US medical system is in a league of its own, so I would hardly use it as a standard to judge other nation’s (nor is it fair to lump the every hospitals and doctors in the US together and cast them under such negative light, the issue is far more complicated than that).

        As far as SAO goes, I think you’re missing something rather important – SAO is a totally unprecedented and highly publicized event. This means that SAO players are automatically “VIP” patients so to speak, especially considering the large numbers of children that are likely involved. The hospitals have far more to gain from the good PR(and government money)from simply keeping the patients healthy, than risking highly damaging negative PR and public outcry for trying to squeeze out some extra dough from the individual families.

      • July 17, 2012 at 10:44 ama20020000

        Response Within (Light spoilers as well),
        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 17, 2012 at 10:50 ama20020000

        @Mike
        This is also including the fact that by default most/all fees are normally covered anyways. It’s really hard to price gouge people when they are not paying directly. (It is a lot more complex in practice though, not perfect in any sense)

      • July 17, 2012 at 10:51 amRasen

        @Mike

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 17, 2012 at 11:28 amRasen

        @a2002000

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 17, 2012 at 12:23 pma20020000

        Response within, (spoilers as well)
        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 17, 2012 at 1:16 pmRasen

        @a2002000

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 17, 2012 at 1:32 pma20020000

        Also (re: Rasen @ mike response)(No spoilers),
        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 17, 2012 at 2:08 pmRasen

        @a20020000
        re:re: Rasen @ mike response)

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 17, 2012 at 2:15 pma20020000

        Response within (Spoilers as well),
        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 17, 2012 at 2:29 pma20020000

        @rasen re: mike’s chain,
        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 17, 2012 at 2:48 pmRasen

        @a20020000

        spoiler inside
        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 17, 2012 at 3:08 pmRasen

        Dangit. Started another new chain in response to the “re:Mike”chain” by accident. I’m going to take that as a sign I should stop arguing. At least for today.

      • July 17, 2012 at 3:26 pma20020000

        Response within (+spoilers),
        Show Spoiler ▼

  • July 16, 2012 at 7:21 pm†Croos†

    If beta tester + cheater = beater.
    then
    Light novel reader + spoiler = Lighter.

  • July 16, 2012 at 7:34 pmFiShar

    http://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2039.jpg
    This is what happens when he ate someone’s dish with a lv 1 cooking skill.

  • July 16, 2012 at 10:01 pmhwighting

    I decided to read the light novels after seeing the first two episodes of SAO and i highly HIGHLY recommend reading the light novel for anyone who has even a small interest in the show so far. The anime cuts out details here and there due to time and editing constraints but the spirit of the novel in this adaptation is conveyed with high fidelity. Dont listen to these LN fanboy criticism.

    • July 17, 2012 at 2:25 amNadi

      Listening to criticism is fine, as long as it’s a well formulated one.
      From what I’ve read on this site, We all, by “ALL” I mean the LN readers, agree that they crammed a pretty long SS into a single episode, so the pacing was a little… off, to say the least. Now, is this good/acceptable? Who knows, IMO only time will tell whether the episode they sacrificed for Aria will be put to better use at some other episode down the line.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      As I have said in my previous posts,
      Show Spoiler ▼

      Again, you can’t expect the same level of depth/story/lore/characterization that you get from an anime, that you would have from the original source material.

  • July 17, 2012 at 2:06 pmdisappointed

    Read LN volume one and Ch 4 answered pretty much everything I had an issue with in this Ep. It’s not a long chapter and gave a wealth of information that was sorely lacking in Ep. 02. JMO, but it would have been a much better idea to include Ch 04′s info rather than than try to cram in a SS into one episode. It wouldn’t take long – maybe five minutes if that. T

    Thank you LN readers for your the comments. I might not have read the LN otherwise, and I think I’ll enjoy SOA anime more by doing so.

  • July 17, 2012 at 3:05 pmRasen

    @a2002000 re: mike’s chain,
    Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 17, 2012 at 5:09 pma20020000

      From: http://randomc.net/2012/07/14/sword-art-online-02/comment-page-1/#comment-842604
      @ Rasen, Response within (0 Spoilers),
      Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 17, 2012 at 5:45 pmMike

        sigh, @Rasen

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 17, 2012 at 7:54 pma20020000

        @mike’s @ Rasen, Just in case (Let me disclaimer that none of these explanations matter in the slightest, its just for fun)
        (Spoilers within)
        Show Spoiler ▼

        The way I see it is the animated adaptation is a chronological light version of the light novels. Which makes sense given the constraints and medium they are using. We will see with the coming episodes how they handle their time budget but so far in my opinion there are no major issues.

      • July 17, 2012 at 8:34 pmMike

        SAO’s server control is a sort of AI system that needs very little intervention to work so that could happen although you would probably have to give it a lot of mythos about Terminator and how AIs can break out of their systems and stuff and it would probably do it for the game.

        lol, like Waver’s(from Fate/Zero) Volumen Hydragyrum that goes berserk because it watched Terminator 2 XD

  • July 17, 2012 at 7:15 pmTopboy

    This is comment no.300 for ep2. This mean one thing, SAO is one of the most anticipate anime.

    Hurray! Banzai!

  • July 17, 2012 at 8:50 pmMitsuki

    I’ve played MMORPGs before and I really enjoyed watching SAO so these are questions of curiosity (I’m enjoying the show so I’m thinking about it) I’m not in any way dissatisfied with the show.

    - I don’t get the beta hate because only 2 months in advance knowledge about the game doesn’t mean anything.. new people start playing the game months or years after others don’t hate the players that started before them do they? Most monsters respawn quests reset themselves. It’s usually a human nature that veterans of the game will have a forum somewhere where they share their secrets (website or in SAO’s case handbook), if a newbie didn’t find that information, it’s his own ignorance. And having zero knowledge doesn’t mean you’ll immediately die/can’t learn for yourself. Isn’t the starting city supposed to be full of safe beginner quests which also function as tutorials? Even if you exchange hits with a monster appropriate for your level, you don’t die that easily especially if you keep some healing items & stay close to town. Monsters in beginner fields aren’t even supposed to be aggressive.

    -Well let’s assume SAO is super hard mode and all monsters are aggressive + there are no tutorials + quests are limited. There’s still pretty little reason to hate beta players because they didn’t share information that led to another’s death. How is one supposed to know what information they had to tell beforehand anyway? Who would’ve known that a skill found in level xx in the dungeon would be added as a new skill for Boss no. x? Kirito accepted on some unreasonable blame of cowards, surprisingly there is a large number of players without proper brains. If everyone who got the game before it sold out were hardcore gamers was probably Kirito’s misunderstanding and most are rich non gamers who got the game to sightsee. Even beta players in groups didn’t manage to find the boss room. Did no beta players make guilds of beta players? When Kirito said most of the beta players were really bad even the group fighting the boss now are better.. I thought it was a lie to protect the beta players or is it the truth??

    I also find it pretty weird only 32 players fought the first boss. If there were anyone to blame, it would be Diabel himself for being confident, rushing in by himself and purposely gathering such a small group (in which his level was likely to be relatively high) all in hopes of increasing his chances of getting the rare drop.

    That aside, it’s still really fun to watch Kirito and Asuna that I ran off to read the light novels. They’re an adorable couple.

    • July 17, 2012 at 11:20 pma20020000

      A lot of the beta player hate is unfounded even more with the novel’s exposition but people sometimes do behave irrationally and all it takes is some careful prodding to cause two groups to segregate.

      Creating the “beater” term helps create a virtual group of people that no one wants to be labeled and a easy excuse for any beta player to use. Because he is a solo player it doesn’t affect him as much. Also he isn’t lying that he went far in the beta although no where near clearing the entire thing. (Its more of a half truth as there were probably a number of other beta players at that cleared to around the same level as him, he is just isolating the hate so it’s more manageable)

      Sometimes people just come up with or make poor reasons to justify/satisfy their own problems and it can quickly get out of hand. Especially when there are no moderators/GMs/forums to vent on and its a game of death.

    • July 18, 2012 at 1:22 amNadi

      Since you’ve played mmos, I hope you can get my explanation.
      -In WoW, they do beta tests for content patches. New bosses, new fights. A lot of guilds that go into the PTRs(Public test realms), have an advantage over those that don’t know the fights, and would like to keep that information to themselves, because why not right? If any of those guilds gets world firsts on the fights, you WILL have sour-grapes trying to belittle their achievement by saying, “Doesn’t count cus they were in the Beta” and “If they release the information to everyone, I bet someone else would have gotten it faster.” etc. etc.
      Now amplify this attitude by X because now, their lives are on the line.
      Some beta testers don’t want to lead people because they might be a burden or don’t want to be responsible for a person’s death.
      And some regular people want the experienced Beta testers to hold their hands.

      -Beta testers don’t really want to join together into a guild because, all it takes is for one person to rat them all out for them to be ambushed and PKed.

      -Now concerning the 32 people. That’s all they had, if I’m not mistaken. Majority of the people are either still in the beginning city waiting for the outside world to rescue them, or leveling up at a slow rate because: “safety first”.

  • July 18, 2012 at 11:35 pmBy popular demand

    Haha. They caved in and added Argo to episode 3 after cutting her from Aria. You can check out the preview on the official website under “Story”.

    • July 19, 2012 at 1:34 amRickyMack

      i’m not sure how they can “cave in” and add a character unless they’re drawing the cells and hiring an extra voice actor within the week of airing.

  • July 19, 2012 at 8:48 amBy popular demand

    I can see hints that they added her on short notice/to the feedback.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 19, 2012 at 10:05 ama20020000

      Seems like they can logically use that character given,
      Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 19, 2012 at 11:55 amRickyMack

      but seriously think about it:
      1)you need to hire the voice actor, which requires agents negotiating and drafting up contracts.
      2)you need to write them into the script.
      3)you need to do recording sessions
      4)the animators need to create the scenes.

      sure Dearka got more screen time in Gundam Seed based on fan feedback in order to boost sales of his model kit, but that was by episode 30 or 40.

      if by a stretch maybe by episode 4 sure, but it’s highly unlikely they’ll include someone based on fan input the very NEXT week.

      this discussion reminds me of the Poochy the dog episode in the Simpsons where Homer asks if he was going to be voicing the cartoon live and then the voice of Itchy and Scratchy said: no we used to do that, but it put a terrible strain on the animator’s hands.

      • July 21, 2012 at 2:06 amBy popular demand

        The first 10 minutes of episode 2 was also pre-aired. It was much more than one week if you consider the feedback from the pre-airing. It was too late for episode 2, but episode 3 had enough time to be modified.

        Though really, we should see how much effort they put into the episode 3 scene before we can judge and guess at how they’ll handle it.

  • July 21, 2012 at 11:46 amtendo

    I have not watched this series yet but in this picture, all I see is Zero no Tsukaima. The girls even though has a sword seems like she doesn’t and is going to cast a spell like louis. And the guy looks like saito.
    http://randomc.net/image/Sword%20Art%20Online/Sword%20Art%20Online%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2037.jpg

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    There could be some thing wrong with your site links. You should have a web designer have a look at the web site.

  • November 21, 2012 at 5:41 amBeatris Manteuffel

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