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Sword Art Online – 11

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「朝露の少女」 (Asatsuyu no Shoujo)
“The Girl of the Morning Dew”

This week we follow Kirito and Asuna as they take a break from the chaos of frontline combat. Heathcliff is completely right – they’ll be back, how could they not? If they were to up and leave the battlefield now and never look back, why then have they been fighting for so long? They may have each other now, but Asuna at the very least is not an overly selfish person. I doubt she’d be able to bear the idea that others were fighting while she spent all her time having fun with Kirito. Heck, we can actually see a little bit of discontent from Kirito at points during the episode – he’s probably itching to get back to fighting solo – and Asuna’s attack on the child-molesting Army members doesn’t feel like it was entirely because of her distaste for them. With all they’ve invested in clearing the game so far and the prospect of getting together on the outside, there’s even more reason for them to get back out there and continue pushing forwards with the other clearers.

Speaking of getting together on the outside, I find it strange that Asuna would feel the need to ‘fall in love with [Kirito] again’ outside the game – given that their artificial avatar appearances are long gone (and much of the feeling of anonymity with it) and they’ve been in this world for two years already, it feels hard to believe that they’d be drastically different people outside the game. Surely the Kirito she’s fallen in love with here is also the real Kirito? Unless she’s secretly afraid that he’s some horrible lecher in real life and this game world was his chance to start afresh with a new life! But no, it’s hard to imagine people acting so differently from their true selves in such a reality. At least I find it that way. Especially when they managed to feel strongly enough to consider Yui (Itou Kanae) a surrogate daughter.

Asuna derives amusement from Kirito’s sometimes childish naiveté, but it’s pretty evident she has a childish side of her own. Her constant desire to go out and have fun with Kirito and wanting to ride on his shoulders to be higher up both seem a little out of character for someone of her age. Or maybe it’s just relieving some of the stress from spending two years fighting (that doesn’t make it less childish though)! But Kirito’s idea of a ‘fun outing‘ is rather twisted, especially in comparison to hers. Ghost hunting? In a dark, creepy forest? Sure sounds like the perfect date! It does give us a chance to see a side of Asuna we’ve not seen much of though – a side I’m not particularly fond of if I’m perfectly honest. Since early in the series, she’s always been portrayed as strong and independent, always capable of standing up for herself. But the moment Kirito appears, her default becomes to hide behind him when faced with any real or perceived danger. Sure, she usually ends up fighting her own battles, but that initial reaction just doesn’t sit right with me.

SAO has one of those concepts that make very little sense from a design standpoint – it’s physically possible to pick up NPCs, but doing so will give you a harassment warning which could potentially lead to jailing the player. If you’re not allowed to do something in a game, why make it possible in the first place? Why not just disable it altogether? It’s like one of those honeytraps where they try to tempt you into doing something because there’s nothing stopping you, only to lash out at you for actually doing it. It’s a little like banning people for looting chests. Well, not actually quite as bad as that, but still not exactly right.

Once again, we get to see the despotic actions of The Army. Just as when they appeared the previous two times, they’re up to no good, demanding what they believe is rightfully theirs from players. This time it’s taxes. Sort of. Well actually it basically comes down to forcing young children to strip. Can you paint these guys as worse people? Probably not. Had Asuna and Kirito (mostly Asuna) not arrived in time, things would likely have ended up much worse for Sasha (Fujii Miyako), and the trio of children, Mina (Akari~n! Ahem, sorry Mikami Shiori), Gin (Muranaka Tomo), and Kain (Mori Yuko). Heck, maybe it would have cumulated in them being dragged outside the barriers of the safe zone. Would they have gone that far? Maybe. Quite possibly.

tl;dr: @MoombaDS – A week of romance as the lucky couple go off on their honeymoon. Wait what? #SAO

Random thoughts:

  • I’ll leave speculation as to what happened towards the end of the episode up to those who haven’t already read the novels. In a way, I envy you guys!
  • Plenty of great scenes for Yui fans out there!
  • Oh god I’ve been sleeping with someone who’s a fourteen year old in body!’
  • Asuna can be pretty scary huh?
  • Not related to this episode specifically, but check out the editorial I wrote (with some collaboration from Stilts) on what might change if SAO were written today!

Full-length images: 05, 10, 19, 21, 28, 30, 35, 36.

 

Preview

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Sword Art Online   11   End Card
September 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm
189 comments »
  • September 15, 2012 at 3:18 pmMasterDragonKnight

    Yui: Papa~ Hug~

    I…I think my heart just exploded… *death by moe*

    • September 15, 2012 at 4:00 pmPIGLET

      is this real lyfe?

      • September 15, 2012 at 4:09 pmAnanas

        SAO is quite the opposite.

      • September 15, 2012 at 5:42 pmAvar

        SAO is quite possible….some day.

        Bring on the death game, future! For a real life Asuna, my body is willing!

      • September 15, 2012 at 11:27 pmTez

        Don’t worry, I got the reference. Well done, sir!

      • September 16, 2012 at 10:30 amPietro

        Is this just fantasy?

      • September 17, 2012 at 4:20 amzeon

        .hack//Sign

    • September 15, 2012 at 6:58 pmhaseo0408

      Yes guys, Kirito has a beautiful wife, awsome unique skill and now a daugther. What more could a man possibly ask? kirito, please leave a little happiness for the rest of us!.

      • September 15, 2012 at 7:35 pmSuppa Tenko

        A loving imouto, a cool computer loving mom, a nice black bartender friend, access to prototype full dive systems, 6 more people that will become part of his harem that I shall not disclose the identity of.

      • September 15, 2012 at 8:50 pmhaseo0408

        Don´t forget his best pal Cline. Yes Kirito, we understand that you have the entire happy life package. Jelous anyone?, because I´m crying blood out of pure envy here.

      • September 15, 2012 at 8:56 pmAvar

        Asuna: If we ever make it back to the real world, I’ll find you and I’ll fall in love with you again.

        …anyone else kind of tear up after this part?

        -raises hand- I did.

      • September 15, 2012 at 10:38 pmhaseo0408

        I rise both of my hands, Kirito and Asuna´s relationship is by far the most adorable I´ve seen in light novels, manga and anime, throw Yui into the mix and you have a true family full of love.

      • September 16, 2012 at 1:13 amEuzio

        I kinda lost count of the number of times my eyes teared up while reading this series already…

      • September 16, 2012 at 5:29 pmewok40k

        Surprisingly enough, I’ve got some of coolest family too: cool computer-loving mom (she plays MMO!), and an otaku imouto. And I have some awesome but unpractical combat skills in RL. They are unpractical mostly because there is no full scale war going on and therefore I’m happy to not have to use them.
        So I won’t make show of envy towards Kirito. But, still I could use some of DAT WAKE-UP! SS# 06

    • September 15, 2012 at 10:39 pmhaseo0408

      Moe levels rising to critic levels!.

    • September 16, 2012 at 1:15 amEuzio

      I wonder if there is such thing as “Death by moe” in the Monument of Life….

      Yui can give those girls in Papa no Iu Koto o Kikinasai! a serious run for their money :P

    • September 16, 2012 at 7:07 amMasterDragonKnight

      I shall leave these animated versions of Yui here. Beware of moe overload.

      “I want the same as papa~”

      *chomp* “It’s good…”

  • September 15, 2012 at 3:20 pmLuzek

    Great episode does anyone know if they will show the ALfheim Online arc?

    • September 15, 2012 at 3:29 pmMasterDragonKnight

      At the rate they are going, most likely.

      Now we can only hope for a second season, to cover GGO and Mother’s Rosario.

      • September 16, 2012 at 10:22 amacolyte

        Why do I have a feeling that GGO and Rosario are gonna be OVAs?

      • September 19, 2012 at 3:23 amMatt_D

        I gave up on Rosario
        Show Spoiler ▼

    • September 15, 2012 at 4:07 pmU Doh

      There should be no way an ALO characterShow Spoiler ▼

      comes the 3rd(just after Kirito and Asuna) on the official homepage’s CAST list if we won’t have the arc.

  • September 15, 2012 at 3:24 pmSpinning

    Never actually thought this would have any relevance.

  • September 15, 2012 at 3:25 pmPassingBy

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

    • September 15, 2012 at 4:02 pmPIGLET

      to summ the above comment up….. Is this real lyfe???????????

      • September 15, 2012 at 4:08 pmchelsfofo

        i think he/she is trying out to be a randomc writer? :3

    • September 15, 2012 at 4:14 pmvanessa.

      Almost everything you said is true, but you see, SAO is the new hype, so depreciate this anime is a mortal sin … then you was unhappy in trying.

      • September 15, 2012 at 4:27 pmPassingBy

        I’m not unhappy. It’s actually fun to take it apart. :)

      • September 15, 2012 at 9:05 pma20020000

        What does the new hype mean (Is it a new needle, alternate definition)? That statement is highly confusing shouldn’t it be the new thing or something along those lines. Also I never heard of Sword Art Online until I read about it here and it sounded interesting so I read the light novel so to me there wasn’t any hype for me but the concept was intriguing.

    • September 15, 2012 at 4:14 pmAnanas

      You should do that more often.

    • September 15, 2012 at 4:27 pmKamui04

      Not gonna discuss most of your points, for each their own tastes.

      But as for why there are old men in the game?

      Just search for some mmorpg demographics you’d find some interesting info like in this two links:
      http://blog.rjmetrics.com/Who-Plays-MMOs-An-Analysis-of-MMORPG-Player-Demographics-and-MMORPG-Player-Stereotypes/
      http://www.nickyee.com/daedalus/gateway_demographics.html
      If you play one, start knowing people and start asking how old are them or what they do in real life, it pretty much comes down to this:

      The truth is that the average age of MMORPG players is around 26. In fact, only 25% of MMORPG players are teenagers. About 50% of MMORPG players work full-time. About 36% of players are married, and 22% have children.

      • September 15, 2012 at 5:19 pmPassingBy

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

      • September 15, 2012 at 5:31 pmRasen

        Your eloquently worded arguments make me feel like an old man smacked you around as a child.

        I dunno about the old people you hang around with, but some of the craftiest people I know are senior citizens. If their brains were deteriorating as badly as you seem to think they should have, it’s a miracle they didn’t take over the world when they were younger.

      • September 15, 2012 at 7:37 pmSuppa Tenko

        According to the light novels, there are about 50 or so old men in SAO because they were executives or customer service reps from Argos who decided to log in to see the world created by their company.

      • September 15, 2012 at 11:20 pma20020000

        @PassingBy

        Did you see them? They look like they are at retirement age. I don’t think their slowly-deteriorating brain would be able to handled SAO. Not too mention getting a heart attack from all the excitements. Old people needs a lot of maintenance in their bodies.

        Given the game reproduces a simulated reality and doesn’t actually require physical strength many old/sick/bedridden people will likely feel liberated in such a virtual reality. A slowly deteriorating brain might not respond as quickly to stimulus but they can still live and if they could function in reality a game that simulates it should not be impossible to operate. This is an active area of medical research as a brain to computer interface is very useful for various non-gaming applications.
        Fishing isn’t exactly the most heart racing activity (depending on what type of fishing you are doing). They are in a hospital or medical long term care facility so that maintenance is not much of an issue nor do they need to actually be concerned about it while in game as they are mostly decoupled from reality.

    • September 15, 2012 at 4:37 pmvanessa.

      Glad you are so brave, isn’t anyone who puts his point of view about an popular anime like this… and just to remember I agree with “almost” everything you said… SAO is good, but it’s not ALL THAT… but when you say what you thinking, people generally don’t like it, especially when an anime is hype. (I predict more dislikes here LOL)

      • September 15, 2012 at 4:53 pmRasen

        Nothing wrong with a person expressing their opinion, but I think the generally faceless nature of the internet has taken the “brave” out of the equation.

      • September 15, 2012 at 5:22 pmPassingBy

        I would prefer if you elaborate on your “almost”. I am just interested. Maybe it’s some plot points in the novel that the anime skips over and thus I missed it. It’s always nice to have a civilized debate.

      • September 15, 2012 at 5:26 pmRasen

        Civilized debates are nice, but your “rage against the machine” means the other side is going to have to take the high road, and where’s the fun in that?

      • September 15, 2012 at 6:05 pmPassingBy

        Rage? I am not. Just being overly-dramatic while failing at being funny. Where there are praises, there would also be criticisms. It’s part of life.

        Criticisms are valid unless they are simply out of blind hate and don’t have any evidences to back them up.

      • September 15, 2012 at 8:52 pma20020000

        @PassingBy

        Criticisms are valid unless they are simply out of blind hate and don’t have any evidences to back them up.

        In other words your trying to say your not just being a troll. But normally civilized discussions don’t start with such emotive all caps and repeats. Which many people would downvote you just on the presumption of trolling given the way the post was written bring attention to things like,

        CHEESINESS… YOU SHOULD AT LEAST TRY TO BE UNIQUE AND STOP COPYING SHANA… IT GETS OLD, ANNOYING AND STUPID… YOU HAD SEX WITH HIM!!!!!(2x)… WHY THE HELL ARE OLD MEN PLAYING MMO?… A FRIGGING VIRTUAL REALITY!!!!… WTF WRITERS AGAIN????……

        If one where to just read the all caps text it doesn’t sound like your trying to initiate a civil discussion but are the later point of the first sentence of this post. Also using language like ” ’nuff said ” is another telling sign.

      • September 15, 2012 at 9:25 pmPassingBy

        Part of it was me failing to be funny, and part of it was to call attention to the point. And did you see that my all posts afterwards have NO CAPS (oh shoot I just did it again.) How does “nuff said” indicate anything? It’s the internet, not my English exam, ’nuff said. Grammar Nazi is not cool!

        How am I a troll? Just because I point out the flaws in everybody’s favorite anime? Nothing is flawless, you can go ahead and pick out all the flaws from my favorite shows, there is nothing wrong with that. Learn to accept different opinions. A forum is a place of discussion, not exclusively to praises. Where there are praises, there are criticisms and flaws. As for me, SAO could have been so much better with its potential as a story, and they messed it up. I don’t know if it’s the fault of the anime or the original novel. But going strictly by the anime, it does have a lot of things that can be improved.

        If you want to make a case for yourself, give good reasonable counterarguments to mine.

      • September 15, 2012 at 11:12 pma20020000

        @PassingBy

        Part of it was me failing to be funny, and part of it was to call attention to the point. And did you see that my all posts afterwards have NO CAPS (oh shoot I just did it again.) How does “nuff said” indicate anything? It’s the internet, not my English exam, ’nuff said. Grammar Nazi is not cool!

        This isn’t your English exam but if you want to get into the logic of your statements then we shall examine things closer. You stated before that evidence is required but ” ’nuff said” is normally used when further explanation or evidence is not felt to be important and only the stub is apparently required. My reference to indications has nothing to do with English or grammar rather your personality. A grammar Nazi would point out your double negatives which I don’t feel like that means anything it is more about the context and content your posting that is significant not the syntax.
        And in more detail you say,

        The army….. Their characterization is stupid, ’nuff said. Just weak faceless mooks. Why would the Army bother with the Town of Beginning? And why do they even try to rule over other players for senseless drama? Makes no sense. Again, SAO is trying to hard to be intellectually deep. Well, it’s not!

        Your first sentence says that they are stupid and that is it pretty much. Then you say they are weak and faceless and why would they rule over a town of the weak and starter players. Well, light novel spoiler time,
        Show Spoiler ▼

        How am I a troll? Just because I point out the flaws in everybody’s favorite anime? Nothing is flawless, you can go ahead and pick out all the flaws from my favorite shows, there is nothing wrong with that. Learn to accept different opinions. A forum is a place of discussion, not exclusively to praises. Where there are praises, there are criticisms and flaws. As for me, SAO could have been so much better with its potential as a story, and they messed it up. I don’t know if it’s the fault of the anime or the original novel. But going strictly by the anime, it does have a lot of things that can be improved.

        Funny thing is I never said you were a troll just you are not making a good case for making civil discussion with the virtual yelling and random highlighted points with emphasis repeats on the sex. Usually trolls do go highly on the defense on even the passing mention but I never actually said you are a troll just you might appear to people as one even though you do claim to be promoting civil discussion.

        My post from before is a civil suggestion that initiating a civil discussion should not look like a troll like post and I’m assuming you’re not being a troll unless you are one? (The negative votes could have been avoided if your critique were more well formatted, as I don’t think Rasen was down voted into oblivion for his sticking points even if I did go on for about 10k+ words in counter)

        If you want to make a case for yourself, give good reasonable counterarguments to mine.

        Already did and I don’t feel the need to respond on all points as Rasen already covered a number of them. Posting two walls of text in response might be a bit excessive. So I just added my two cents and said a generally agreed with Rasen (this time, if you look at early episodes we didn’t agree about a number of things) But if you want I will consider producing walls of text time permitting, this being the first wall of text in earnest.

        (Definitely not an English test)

    • September 15, 2012 at 4:52 pmQwert

      “- Those fishermen at the lake, are they NPC’s? If not then WHY THE HELL ARE OLD MEN PLAYING MMO? And Kayaba, you heartless bastard trapping these old men in your full of crap game!”

      Assuming they don’t include it as an episode after Yui’s arc go read chapter 18 of the LN.

      Not all of the players in SAO were kids or young adults logged in with the intent of playing the game. You have some much older people who worked for companies connected to the game developer there to test connections and other technical aspects as the game was going into full release.

    • September 15, 2012 at 5:06 pmLissa

      Amen, my friend, and screw all the downvoters. :) Just because a show is super shiny and has shiny tsunderes, doesn’t mean it’s impervious to criticism.

    • September 15, 2012 at 5:24 pmRasen

      - Asuna, I said this before, and I am going to say this again. If Asuna was replaced with Shana, SAO is going to be more or less the same. Asuna-chan, if you want to be a real tsundere, YOU SHOULD AT LEAST TRY TO BE UNIQUE AND STOP COPYING SHANA!!!! I like Shana and all, but if every tsundere is gonna be like that, IT GETS OLD, ANNOYING AND STUPID. It’s called a cliche! I think I might shoot myself. Good job Asuna, good job!

      How would a tsundere NOT be like Shana? By not being a tsundere? And you’re going to shoot yourself? Be still my heart!

      Why are you too embarrassed to say “I love you” straight to Kirito’s dorky, womanizing, punchable ugly face? YOU HAD SEX WITH HIM!!!!!! Why are you embarrassed if he accidentally gets a peek at your panties? Totally stupid…..

      Someone sounds jealous~ At any rate, find a girl who will sleep with you. Then stick your head up her skirt in public. Tell me how she reacts.

      - The scene where Kirito carries Asuna on his neck…. It looks ridiculous. Let me remind you Asuna, you are a big woman now, it’s unsightly. Hanging on his back is okay, that’s really cute. But the neck? No, just no…..

      What are you, the fashion police?

      - Those fishermen at the lake, are they NPC’s? If not then WHY THE HELL ARE OLD MEN PLAYING MMO?

      I imagine they’re playing for the same reason as I’ll be playing when I’m wrinkled and old. Because my grandchildren won’t have time for me and I love videogames. And the Breath of Fire series had fun little fishing sidegames that I wasted far too much time on.

      Let me remind you my cute Asuna-chan, that you are inside A FRIGGING VIRTUAL REALITY!!!! It’s a word of 0′s and 1′s, no ghosts.

      A virtual reality that kills people. Also Griselda would like to have a word with you.

      - Asuna, why were you freaking out like a baby? Then you proceed to hiding behind Kirito’s back. I thought you were a high level badass babe, unlike the other crybaby girls that Kirito met so far!!!

      Everyone has things they don’t like or are afraid of. If there’s ever a giant-sized boss clown, you better believe I’m going to freak out regardless of my level. Or a roach. Or anything Silent Hill.

      One more thing, they were on the 22nd floor, what is there to be afraid of? Low level stuffs. Endless stupidity and humor! I might have laughed if SAO was a comedy…..

      Have you ever played a game, and encountered a special boss/battle that was just too hard for the area? And that you could only beat it after massively leveling up and getting the right items? (Similar to the trap area that got the Black Cat guild) Now imagine that’s in a game that could kill you, and doesn’t allow saves. Just saying.

      If I was Kirito I would say: “Weak, next babe please!”

      And you call HIM womanizing?

      What’s more? Yui acts like Mayushii, innocent, air-head and child-like. Isn’t that the most cliched freaking thing ever? What’s that? Family? Mama and Papa? Wait a minute, is SAO trying to be CLANNAD? SAO failed at trying to create depth….

      How dare a child character act like a child!

      - The army….. Their characterization is stupid, ’nuff said. Just weak faceless mooks. Why would the Army bother with the Town of Beginning? And why do they even try to rule over other players for senseless drama? Makes no sense. Again, SAO is trying to hard to be intellectually deep. Well, it’s not!

      Putting aside your question about the Town of Beginning because you’d have to have read the LN to know why, the answer to your other question is that because people can be jerks. Especially in a group. And that makes a LOT of sense.

      Hey, you’re right! It IS fun to take things apart!

      • September 15, 2012 at 6:02 pmPassingBy

        Sorry that I don’t know how to quote.

        1. Tsundere that are not similar to Shana? Makise Kurisu, Kuroneko or Kallen Stadfield, those are good examples of non-Shana tsundere.

        2. He did almost stick his head up her skirt, somewhat in public. Look at those fishermen! Though the place seems pretty secluded that it’s not really a problem.

        3. Your mileage may vary, for me it still looks pretty weird though. Asuna is huge xD

        4. About the fishermen, I was joking, it’s possible. Just fun to point it out.

        5. Grisela’s ghost is a problem of its own in terms of plausibility.

        6. Good point. However, Asuna must be used to facing death by now. Why is she freaking out? To be one of the commanders in KoB, one would expect her to have a little bit more composure.

        7. Another good point, okay.

        8. That was sarcasm. If you have not realized, did you see how every single girl that Kirito has met all fell for him. He doesn’t return any of their feelings except Asuna. This is because he cannot bear to have his friends/guilds die on him hence he goes solo. Kirito even told Lizbeth straight to her face to “Get back in the kitchen.” Then he ended up having Asuna accompanying him and it seems like she is desirable to him because “she can’t die on him” and isn’t a burden to him (like Liz, Silica and Sachi were). To be honest, Asuna has nothing that sets herself apart from the rest of the girls Kirito has met so far, rather than being a badass. What does that imply about the other girls? Is it bad for girls to be terrible fighters? That is very sexist. I think that’s a pretty shallow way to get Asuna and Kirito together, they need much more development rather than Asuna being an empty shell of a badass, a good virtual cook and a tsundere. Read here for more (do note that the article is messed up as of today because it has recently been overhauled, at least it got the definition down, somewhat): http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RealWomenDontWearDresses?from=Main.RealWomenNeverWearDresses

        Hence the reason why “Weak, next babe please!” because Kirito’s characterization seems to shape him to be that way. I think it is more suitable to have more romantic developments between Kirito and Asuna (that means more than just episode 8 and 9) or give Kirito a male companion like Klein.

        9. Nope, she is just another piece of moe. Yeah she acts like a child and nothing is wrong with, but she is too excessively moe about it. It is clearly away to reel in cheap reactions.

        10. We anime-only people never really get an insight on how the Army operates, thus it doesn’t make a hell lot of sense. They say they are the liberators, but they are forceful and go at it in a stupid way (episode 9). That is all I know about the Army.

      • September 15, 2012 at 6:41 pmRasen

        1. Tsundere that are not similar to Shana? Makise Kurisu, Kuroneko or Kallen Stadfield, those are good examples of non-Shana tsundere.

        I dunno about Makise, but who is Kuroneko supposed to be tsundere with? Kirino? And I’m not sure Kallen has a ~dere side. She never really had a soft and marshmallowy-center.

        2. He did almost stick his head up her skirt, somewhat in public. Look at those fishermen! Though the place seems pretty secluded that it’s not really a problem.

        Exactly my point.

        3. Your mileage may vary, for me it still looks pretty weird though. Asuna is huge xD

        Fair enough, but as a point of criticism it was entirely based on personal preference.

        4. About the fishermen, I was joking, it’s possible. Just fun to point it out.

        But then you doubled down on it by saying old people’s brains were melting out their ears.

        5. Grisela’s ghost is a problem of its own in terms of plausibility.

        This is a game that digitizes people’s minds and represents them with data. That there would still be remaining bits of that data isn’t that odd-seeming.

        6. Good point. However, Asuna must be used to facing death by now. Why is she freaking out? To be one of the commanders in KoB, one would expect her to have a little bit more composure.

        At the end of the day, she’s still just a teenager. One doesn’t get over one’s personal fears that easily. Regarding her being the vice-commander, I like the explanation the 4-koma had: in the middle of the elections she served everyone food and then won by a landslide as a write-in candidate.

        8. That was sarcasm. If you have not realized, did you see how every single girl that Kirito has met all fell for him.

        As a criticism of the series, this one is fair. The author has admitted this is a problem he has.

        He doesn’t return any of their feelings except Asuna. This is because he cannot bear to have his friends/guilds die on him hence he goes solo. Kirito even told Lizbeth straight to her face to “Get back in the kitchen.” Then he ended up having Asuna accompanying him and it seems like she is desirable to him because “she can’t die on him” and isn’t a burden to him (like Liz, Silica and Sachi were). To be honest, Asuna has nothing that sets herself apart from the rest of the girls Kirito has met so far, rather than being a badass. What does that imply about the other girls? Is it bad for girls to be terrible fighters? That is very sexist.

        You’re oversimplifying. The reason the other girls are “burdens” on him is because they aren’t frontliners. They aren’t terrible fighters, they’re just underleveled compared to him. I guarantee there are even more boys in the game that are underleveled compared to him.

        9. Nope, she is just another piece of moe. Yeah she acts like a child and nothing is wrong with, but she is too excessively moe about it. It is clearly away to reel in cheap reactions.

        Well, she could also go full-on brat, but then the cheap reaction is to smack her up and down the 100 floors of Aincrad. Given a choice of cheap reactions, I’d like the one that makes me feel all fuzzy.

        10. We anime-only people never really get an insight on how the Army operates, thus it doesn’t make a hell lot of sense. They say they are the liberators, but they are forceful and go at it in a stupid way (episode 9). That is all I know about the Army.

        Have you seen TV’s portrayal of street gangs and the mafia? That claim they collect “protection fees”? There’s nothing deep about the Army’s portrayal, but there’s nothing odd about it either.

      • September 15, 2012 at 8:21 pmPassingBy

        1. Kuroneko is tsundere to Kyousuke. Watch the OVA. Kallen has a dere side, in R2.

        4. Eh, I am a young adult and looking at a computer screen for the whole day already hurts. I can’t imagine how having that thing stuck on your head would be physically and psychologically taxing as an old man. But we can agree to disagree.

        5. Fair enough, makes sense. Though highly improbable, I’ll take that as a valid counterargument.

        6. I am not convinced. I guess whatever.

        8. Not quite a good excuse for all the sexist undertone. Who cares about the underleveled males who don’t show up at all in the story. There is no real evidence to back that up, neither is it a valid counterargument. Sachi, Silica and Liz all gave Kirito troubles in some ways. A very negative portrayal of non-combat women.

        Look, imagine what the game would be like without the support of the merchants and blacksmiths. Without people like the bald guy who sells potions, weapons and crafting materials, or Lizbeth, everyone would be stuck doing weapons crafting/enhancements and farming for items without being able to focus entirely on clearing the game. Thanks to Liz’s sword (and plot armor), Kirito was able to survive gleam eyes. Almost nobody seems to appreciate her for what she did. Everyone remembers the frontliners as the special people rather than the one who silently supports them and take parts in making it possible in the first place. So almost indirectly, Liz saved Kirito’s life. This is also similar in real life MMORPG’s. On any difficult boss runs, the credits always go to the attackers with the best equips. Not many remember about the healers, the buffers who made the whole thing possible in the first place. Not to mention many treat them like slaves. Being a healer in any game is not easy, some games require healers to be experienced to keep the party alive. If a run fails, people usually blame the supports. Same for sports. If the team wins, fans will say it is because of the awesome players. If they lose, it’s because the coach sucks. Pretty fair isn’t it?

        How is Asuna anymore special than Liz (who sort of saved his life), or Silica, or Sachi for that matter? A good love interest in a harem should be convincing and stand out from the male lead’s supporting harem. The writing for the romantic build up is insufficient. Asuna doesn’t have enough of what it takes.

        9. Your mileage may vary. I agree to disagree.

        10. I can’t differentiate between the Army and the Guilds. They are weaklings but they have gigantic egos. I read parts of the novel where they explained the solo, the guilds, the beaters, the suicides and etc…. They describe the Army as weak, which I don’t really understand. I only got to chapter 8-ish. Don’t have time. Though you do make a valid point, I think the portrayal of the Army can be better.

      • September 15, 2012 at 8:26 pma20020000

        @Rasen Re: Point 5, Also later (Super duper light novel spoilers)Show Spoiler ▼

        Otherwise I concur in general with Rasen’s responses here. And @PassingBy your use of all caps yelling is a telling sign. (Blockquotes can be done by looking at the blob of text directly below the comment box the end tag for a HTML tag is the same just with “</" instead of "<")

      • September 15, 2012 at 8:35 pmPassingBy

        Thanks for the helpful info.

        All caps =/= yelling. It is to attract attention to those particular arguments that I was trying to make.

      • September 15, 2012 at 8:42 pma20020000

        @PassingBy

        4. Eh, I am a young adult and looking at a computer screen for the whole day already hurts. I can’t imagine how having that thing stuck on your head would be physically and psychologically taxing as an old man. But we can agree to disagree.

        Try using Flux (Adjusts the color temp over the day to make things more “natural”, not for color accuracy though) and adjusting your screens brightness or backlight level. You will get headaches if you stare at an extremely bright white screen all day against a highly contrasting background. (It is called eye strain). Also the brain to computer interface shown in sword art online is not a regular display technology. Technically speaking those people are in an artificially induced dream which is sword art online and as such you are actually there from your brain’s perspective. Nervegear != Head Mounted Display, Nervegear = Direct brain to computer interface.

        10. I can’t differentiate between the Army and the Guilds. They are weaklings but they have gigantic egos. I read parts of the novel where they explained the solo, the guilds, the beaters, the suicides and etc…. They describe the Army as weak, which I don’t really understand. I only got to chapter 8-ish. Don’t have time. Though you do make a valid point, I think the portrayal of the Army can be better.

        Weaklings in real life can have gigantic egos it isn’t unreasonable. Even more so when you make huge groups of them. The Army is basically something that got too big for its own good which can happen a lot in life and game societies without good and effective management.

        Also all caps is used from getting attention in the same vain as yelling is used for getting attention in speech. A particular point should stand on its own without requiring highlighting.

      • September 15, 2012 at 11:35 pma20020000

        Just to join Rasen’s response this link leads to his reply down there somewhere. A link back is also located down there.

        http://randomc.net/2012/09/15/sword-art-online-11/comment-page-1/#comment-871519

      • September 16, 2012 at 5:01 ama20020000

        @PassingBy
        Spoilers compress text and contain spoilers abound as well as a wall of text.
        Re: #comment-871464
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Re: #comment-871501
        Show Spoiler ▼

    • September 15, 2012 at 6:09 pmmoridin84

      Hmm, I don’t think that Asuna is a tsundere.

      Especially at this point, where the both of them are being pretty open and honest with their feelings.

      • September 15, 2012 at 7:40 pmSuppa Tenko

        The reason why Asuna was hiding behind Kirito’s back was not because she was afraid of ghosts but more like playing around with him.

      • September 15, 2012 at 7:52 pmRasen

        There’s no indication in either the anime or the LN that she was faking her nervousness.

    • September 15, 2012 at 9:44 pmacolyte

      Hey PassingBy, another set of critiques again? :D
      - Do you think the dialogue are cliche? I thought it was fitting for the moments :) The on the bed one for example.. That was unique
      - Asuna is not a tsundere, unfortunately, and throughout the series she’s not. She’s really loving actually, and I think she loves Kirito more than he loves her, and that says a lot because they often show Kirito’s love for Asuna. That said, she doesn’t have any ‘urusai’ trademark as well ;) So yeah, I don’t agree of any similarity between Asuna and Shana :) I mean, she’s the one who basically pushed herself onto Kirito since early o.o From floor 1!
      - Btw, she never had sex with him :) Just so you know~ The novel, until the end, never mentioned intercourse :p
      - On the back is piggyback. Regarding on the shoulders, it’s actually a play on the ‘STR’ stat. And this episode forces contrast between Asuna’s maturity and childish side. Maturity being the housewife, taking care of Yui, defending the kids at the end, her bed talk at early scenes, and the childish scenes I assume are obvious for you.
      - The fishermen are an important aspect, though they do play little role. If you read around ch18 in the novel it will be explained, and also it signifies Show Spoiler ▼

      - Nope, Asuna is meant to be scared. The reason that’s is scary is exactly that. There SHOULD NOT BE any ghosts, but in the LN they tell you the complete info on the ‘ghost’ that they mention – it’s not a mob, it’s not an NPC, it’s not a PC, it’s not a quest – so what is it? Is it simply the game’s environment? It’s this unknown factor that scares people. And yes, as I mentioned earlier, it’s part of Asuna’s childishness. It is meant to force that Asuna can appear to be weak, even though in a way she’s stronger than Kirito (leadership etc)
      - I’m sorry you don’t like Yui, but Yui is central to the next story. Show Spoiler ▼

      - The Army is meant to be faceless. They are meant to be mobs. Stuck up mobs. Not only in animation, the novel illustrations depicts them like that also. You will see more why the Army bother with the Town of Beginning, and you can read the novel for more. Show Spoiler ▼

      Unfortunately, yes, they do

      • September 16, 2012 at 12:47 amPassingBy

        - Asuna is not a tsundere? I mean, with all the physical abuse that she did on Kirito, it seems pretty tsundere to me o.o Then she made lunch for him and they get married. Did I miss anything?

        - I heard about the infamous chapter 16.5 and the GLOP meme, are those just rumors? Besides, Asuna got naked last episode. Anyway, I think you missed the point. What I meant was, Kirito and Asuna went the furthest in their relationship as any couple can go with the kissing and sleeping. I pretty much expect Asuna to be more comfortable with expressing her love for him. It was weird that she still kept her tsuntsun act going (or red-faced embarrassment, since you don’t think she is a tsundere).

        - Um, I still find it jarring considering how Asuna promised to protect him in the previous episode. Did she really mean it? Even if she was scared, she needs to keep her promise.

        - lol everyone is telling me to read the novel, wish I had time xD I’ll get to it eventually. Kind of uninteresting how the Army doesn’t even pose a real threat because they are all low levels.

        - To be continued in your next comment.

      • September 16, 2012 at 1:22 amPassingBy

        Oh I forgot one thing. It’s not that I don’t like Yui, but there has been enough female characters. The series is so blatant with using moe as its selling point that another moe girl no longer works her magic.

      • September 16, 2012 at 1:26 ama20020000

        @PassingBy

        Um, I still find it jarring considering how Asuna promised to protect him in the previous episode. Did she really mean it? Even if she was scared, she needs to keep her promise.

        I think it was said because she promises to protect him when it actually matters not in any situation no matter how minor. They are many floors below the front lines and the probability of a life threatening incident occurring is low.

        Kind of uninteresting how the Army doesn’t even pose a real threat because they are all low levels.

        I don’t think they are all low level just not a lot of high level members nor the skill, strategy, and organization to effectively operate on the front lines. It is interesting the variety of guilds that exist, as the Army is just one that caters to the people from the starter town.

      • September 16, 2012 at 9:50 amacolyte

        - I don’t know.. I don’t know why I can’t view Asuna as a tsundere.
        She’s simply a girl who’s not completely honest with her feelings, but she is much more honest than most female characters across animes.. She doesn’t deny her feelings for Kirito, which is what tsunderes usually do.
        - No, 16.5 is not canon. There was never a statement that they did more than just sleeping together. The (normal) LN does not have mature content. I don’t see any tsuntsun act that you usually see in other animes. The reason they don’t go further is these two:
        1. Psychological pressure due to being in the game, and them being in the foremost of the front lines.
        2. The author wants to make this age-friendly, so no mention of such advances in relationship are there even until Volume 10.
        - Asuna does protect him, you will see at the end of the SAO arc (before ALO)
        - Don’t worry, the anime covers the LN quite well, albeit taking out some details, but still leaving the important ones. I’ll help cover questions about the LN parts too. But yes, Army doesn’t pose a real threat to Kirito, BUT remember! 30% of players are in the first floor! A lot of the army can subdue them! Not everyone are as strong as Kirito! Kirito’s, let’s say, top 1% or so, at least the novel makes it sound like so (that Kirito is – literally – at the front lines – e.g. Gleameyes – he’s the first one who opened the door)

    • September 15, 2012 at 9:53 pmacolyte

      (NOTE: My post got cut off. I think I accidentally pressed tab+space) the Army’s role in the LN is to try to rule over the beginners/people who are scared to leave the first floor, and for the drama.

      SAO does NOT try to be intellectually deep. It’s to be something that viewers may enjoy, and it tries to bring the psychological aspect in, showing what WILL happen, when you leave thousands of people trapped in an isolated area over 2 years.

      Actually, this is a modern version of these stories:
      - Lord of the Flies
      - Infinite Ryvius
      - Uninhabited Planet Survive
      - maybe Lost?
      In those stories, there are two elements. Protagonist getting out of the situation, and changes to the environment as people are driven to the brink of sanity.

      There are two issues with your comments this time that I see. The first being, you’re comparing these to less appropriate animes, such as Shana. This is a different creature, in fact they share minimal elements. The other, you are trying to view everything as cliche – as if on purpose. There are differences between cliche and plot tools. If you think they are cliche – it’s because that’s the only way the author can incite a certain image/emotion/expression from your mind. That is the most appropriate method of relaying the information. And that is more of a plot tool than a cliche.

      I’ve read quite a number of novels – novels from back in the 50s (e.g. Lord of the Flies) and recent novels still share same elements – these are plot tools. Some things never change, after all, the English language didn’t evolve much since then, and Japanese has only so many characters, a number of puns, and expressions that has been used repeatedly.

      I suggest rather than purposely finding faults, try to enjoy the story. I like your comments back when the main story just started, but this time I don’t see any critical views from you. It’s more as if you’re trying to pick on the story.

      But if you have further questions, I’ll be glad to answer and maybe quote some of the LN stuff for you. I sincerely hope my answers makes you like the story more :)

      • September 16, 2012 at 1:20 amPassingBy

        - I was not comparing SAO to Shana as a series. I was comparing Asuna to Shana as characters. They are very similar, and there are plenty of Shana clones exist already. As I have mentioned for the past few weeks, lack of romantic development makes this worse.

        - I don’t see the plot tools. And you can be very creative with cliches. SAO does not have that.

        In a nutshell, I will describe the cliches:
        Everything goes so smoothly for Kirito and Asuna. Kirito is presented as a powerful character and gets a unique ability that everybody is jealous of (this is played so straight like any folktales heroes, therefore it did not subvert the cliches). If Kirito has been SHOWN (not grinding) to worked hard to get to where he is right now, that would have been good. He also needs to overcome adversities, none so far were a challenge except for the God of the SAO world itself (I have been spoiled T.T). The GleamEye battle doesn’t count due to plot armor.
        Then he is loved by many females, and ended up with one of the most beautiful girl in SAO, with a talent in virtual cooking and a very competent fighter. The development is bare bones, he needs to be shown to have worked hard to get the best girl and not take her for granted. Then he was forced to battle the guild leader in order to get together with Asuna. Girl being fought over like a prize, TWICE. Where have I seen that before? Can’t Asuna just ditch the guild? That is another sexist undertone. When they start living together, a girl shows up and they adopted her. Too many “coincidences”.
        I am not purposely picking at the negative. I only speak of the negatives because I simply cannot find many good things to talk about SAO, except episode 10. Nothing can be absolutely original. Everything is a source of inspiration for everything else. Many mecha anime copied Evangelion in some way or another, but are they really similar to NGE? Most mecha anime are legitimate original works (saves Guilty Crown, which is way too much of a mash-up between Code Geass, Evangelion and somewhat Macross). That is my point. Madoka Magica deconstructs the magical girl genre, using the cliches from the genre itself. SAO is cliched, but does nothing to hide the fact that it is. Cliches can be entertaining if they are executed well, even if they are nothing revolutionary. I do not want to take things for granted. There are many ways for an idiotic shounen hero to growth, hence the shounen genre has not fallen out of favor of anime fans. A competent hero always has room for more growth, Kirito has not grown from episode 3 following the death of Sachi.

      • September 16, 2012 at 2:28 ama20020000

        @PassingBy

        - I was not comparing SAO to Shana as a series. I was comparing Asuna to Shana as characters. They are very similar, and there are plenty of Shana clones exist already. As I have mentioned for the past few weeks, lack of romantic development makes this worse.

        Not sure how there is a lack of romantic development.

        - I don’t see the plot tools. And you can be very creative with cliches. SAO does not have that.

        Given that you use the term “your mileage may vary” or YMMV and refer to TV tropes which is basically a storm of tropes for all media in general. You should refer to that definition which is much clearer on the subjectivity of what a cliché is. Given that many people do not see SAO as a Cliché Storm and judging by the circular nature of the articles around tropes themselves we can say.

        http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TropesAreTools?from=Main.TropesAreNotBad

        Everything goes so smoothly for Kirito and Asuna. Kirito is presented as a powerful character and gets a unique ability that everybody is jealous of (this is played so straight like any folktales heroes, therefore it did not subvert the cliches). If Kirito has been SHOWN (not grinding) to worked hard to get to where he is right now, that would have been good. He also needs to overcome adversities, none so far were a challenge except for the God of the SAO world itself (I have been spoiled T.T). The GleamEye battle doesn’t count due to plot armor.

        Everything does not go smoothly, otherwise they would never be in life-threatening situations (Which isn’t a good definition of a smooth carefree life). Plus if you want to get all troperific you should be referencing tropes directly and saying why it’s written badly, overused, not good.

        It is a bit unreasonable to not expect the main character to survive the story in most cases so I’m not sure why you think all the battles don’t matter because they are done fairly well in general and build the required tension even if you know he is likely going to make it. It would be another whole series of tropes which are used often if countless characters started dropping like flies including the protagonists.

        Then he is loved by many females, and ended up with one of the most beautiful girl in SAO, with a talent in virtual cooking and a very competent fighter. The development is bare bones, he needs to be shown to have worked hard to get the best girl and not take her for granted. Then he was forced to battle the guild leader in order to get together with Asuna. Girl being fought over like a prize, TWICE. Where have I seen that before? Can’t Asuna just ditch the guild? That is another sexist undertone. When they start living together, a girl shows up and they adopted her. Too many “coincidences”.

        Things gets subverted too later technically speaking but that is spoilerific!
        He did show that he worked hard to get where he is unless we wanted to watch months of solo play grinding his way up that would be a bit boring and unrealistic to expect the viewer to sit through. It was said in the first episode that he wanted to get a head start on the grind.

        He does help a lot of them and isn’t like a lot of other people in the game and it isn’t unreasonable to expect there not to be many people like him.
        They cannot show everything as there is something called time and money limitations and given what they have shown and the time frames between episodes it is pretty clear what needed to happen for his level to be so high and him to discover his unique skill. Remember that this is happening over months not hours.

        Not to mention the duel had more to do with Heathcliff wanting to have Kirito under his guild than fighting over Asuna as I highly doubt Heathcliff is competing with Kirito for Asuna’s affection. Not to mention the guild is the top front line guild out there and both of them are committed to clearing the game leaving the guild on bad terms might make it difficult to work with the same people you pissed off. Taking a break is much more logical and amenable.

        I am not purposely picking at the negative. I only speak of the negatives because I simply cannot find many good things to talk about SAO, except episode 10. Nothing can be absolutely original. Everything is a source of inspiration for everything else. Many mecha anime copied Evangelion in some way or another, but are they really similar to NGE? Most mecha anime are legitimate original works (saves Guilty Crown, which is way too much of a mash-up between Code Geass, Evangelion and somewhat Macross). That is my point. Madoka Magica deconstructs the magical girl genre, using the cliches from the genre itself. SAO is cliched, but does nothing to hide the fact that it is. Cliches can be entertaining if they are executed well, even if they are nothing revolutionary. I do not want to take things for granted. There are many ways for an idiotic shounen hero to growth, hence the shounen genre has not fallen out of favor of anime fans. A competent hero always has room for more growth, Kirito has not grown from episode 3 following the death of Sachi.

        And then were on into your mileage may vary zone of your own which is all just opinion and conjecture which we obviously don’t agree upon as it doesn’t seem clichéd or poorly executed to me personally and probably many others.

        You may argue that Sword Art Online is a big mess of poorly written clichés but how many shows have old people fishing in an online virtual reality mass multiplayer online game that were trapped their because they just wanted to make sure the network they designed worked well. Or the good application of the sci-fi technology and how it is actually plausible the way the people are trapped and why they can’t get out. (Without resorting to pure fantastical magic) Liquid gallium is the a way but I digress.

        Even with the strangely high concentration of females around the male lead, the emotions and his dedication to Asuna are present and the other characters don’t just vanish from existence either.

        Also I don’t think SAO is a Shonen like work as it skips fights, cuts filler, and generally has more to deal with the world and people than the fighting and action. Otherwise it would be a bit jarring to not have any action in a game with combat.
        You may not be purposely picking out only negatives but that doesn’t change the fact that you already think there is nothing good to come out of Sword Art Online which could easily prevent you from seeing anything good of it.

        Also it is not a cliché if it is well executed as I believe your actually using the word good use of a trope and bad use of a trope. And Kirito definitely isn’t an idiot he is probably more of a justifiably Mary Sue which is on the opposite end of idiot.

      • September 16, 2012 at 10:06 amacolyte

        Ha! You expected too much in that sense then :D
        SAO is actually a pretty easygoing story. Here are the worst/rage-inducing parts so far of the 10 volumes of the LN:
        1. Kuradeel’s PK attempt
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Pretty much that. Not much, eh? It’s pretty smooth sailing nearly all the time. Not crazy up and downs like Shana, or even Zero no Tsukaima. ZnT has tons, tons more drama than SAO.
        Regarding Asuna and Silica, there are not many competent female gamers in the game, which is pretty much what MMOs these days are like too. Asuna can’t ditch the guild, unfortunately, because everyone’s eyes are on her. The same like the psychological pressure by the Army on the beginners, they can put pressure on Asuna and Kirito. It can be as simple as blocking portal gates, luring mobs while they’re training, starving Asuna/Kirito when they’re gathering materials, or even blocking the gate when they’re running away from boss battle. There are many things that can go wrong if the official procedures are not followed.

        Or even simpler – Kuradeel wants to kill Kirito and exploit Asuna after. Things can go wrong.

        I think what I can say in conclusion is – don’t read too deep into the story. It was written back in 2002. That was when I was playing iRO (international ragnarok online), and I think the beta was ending at that time. The light novel was first published in 2009, and the anime in 2012, but there are old concepts. I think the fans are not impressed by each detail, each anime episode, but the concept of the whole SAO. Back then, MMORPGs were not as creative as now, and it takes imagination to detail a world like SAO (and the later worlds). The author is relaying the story, not each one in detail. However, contrary to the stories nowadays which has so many twists and turns, each detail in SAO is subtle. It may be cliche for you, but each of these actions, connect to a future occurrence. So things starts interlinking together. I think that’s the charm in SAO. Make sure you remember each of these cliche elements and add them up to character developments in future events.

        Oh, on the topic in Shana, Shana was from 2002 too ;)

      • September 16, 2012 at 12:14 pmPassingBy

        @Acolyte

        I like the way you look at it! Anyway, once again, I acknowledge that your points are perfect and I have nothing to come back at you. I guess it is just the different ways that we view the world. You’re a good debater!

      • September 16, 2012 at 1:13 pmPassingBy

        @

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 16, 2012 at 3:26 pmRasen

        @PassingBy

        Well, it is way too convenient that Kirito pulled Dual Wield out of no where! Talk about Deux Ex Machina! It is also too convenient that he barely survive, while soloing most of the healthbar. And Asuna pulling a BigDamnedHeroine just in time before he dies (again!)
        I am not saying that Kirito should die in one third of the way into the series. But they abuse the plot armor way two times too many, effectively breaking my willing suspension of disbelief.

        I think you misunderstand the meaning of plot armor. Being shot by a cannon between the eyes and still living, THAT’s plot armor. If his life bar goes down to zero and he still lives, THAT’s plot armor. Surviving because he dealt enough damage in time, or because someone saved him is NOT plot armor.

        Pulling a Dual Wielding out of no where is not working hard. Why is he the only unique one? Gary Stu! What about the other frontliners who worked as hard as he does, but doesn’t have any visible unique ability of their own?

        Pulling the dual wielding from no where (and it’s actually not, because it’s hinted at in Lizbeth’s story) is not working hard. However did you consider what he might have had to go through in order to EARN the dual wielding? Games generally reward you by making you work your butt off for them.

        And by what measure do you assume that other players work as hard as he does? Kirito is largely unique in that he is a soloist on the frontlines. For safety reasons, everyone else has been forming teams and guilds so that they have other people to cover their mistakes. In short, that means he’s risking his life more than pretty much anyone else in the game.

        Asuna mentioned that Healthcliff has that absolute defense thing, that’s not even unique. That may be because he has good skill and equipment (plus hax as God power). Informed Ability much?

        I’m confused. First you’re upset that Kirito is getting special treatment, now you’re upset that said special treatment can apparently be negated by a regular hard-working player?

        Asuna is a grown woman,

        No. No she’s not. Every one of her actions when she’s not fighting comes across as a teenager, which is the age at which people EXPECT you to do stupid things. Many times.

        And I never called Kirito an idiot. I said he was a “competent protagonist who has room to growth” instead of just being a Gary Stu.

        You called him a Gary Stu at the very beginning of the above post. In fact, I just quoted you on it.

      • September 16, 2012 at 8:16 pma20020000

        @PassingBy Re: #comment-871821
        Contains spoilers, Very Long
        Show Spoiler ▼

    • September 15, 2012 at 9:57 pmacolyte

      P.S. Nevermind my last point – I contradicted myself – of course if you can’t understand the purpose of the actions then it’s justified that you pick on those.. And that was the point of me replying to you.. Apologies if I came off as rude -.-

      • September 16, 2012 at 12:21 amPassingBy

        No apologies! I enjoy your replies, I wasn’t offended in any way. I respect you for giving appropriate and thoughtful counterarguments with plenty of evidences to back them up. I like your consistency and how every time you are able to bring up the good points and enjoy them, which honestly, I couldn’t. You are kind of correct, I pick out all the bad things because honestly I cannot find many good things to say about it, saves for episode 10 which was really well-done. So kudos for you! Granted that I can be too harsh on SAO sometimes. Though I think I am somewhat justified, as this anime has been praised to hell and back, skepticism kicks in, hence raising the bars. But again, you were great! :)

      • September 16, 2012 at 8:33 pmKamui04

        Though I think I am somewhat justified, as this anime has been praised to hell and back, skepticism kicks in, hence raising the bars. But again, you were great! :)

        And that’s what happens when anything is overhyped and you fall victim to it. You go in with the bar set too high and end up disappointed. And instead of trying to enjoy it, you try to dissect it and find all it’s fault to justify your dissapointment.

    • September 15, 2012 at 11:56 pmWhatsht

      In the novel, Kazuto sees the shadows of “Kirito” and “Asuna” in the real world, ghosts in the game is quite tame compared to that.

    • September 16, 2012 at 1:53 amJin

      I dont think SAO is that great but your posts are fucking retarded and full of faggotry. Raging about cliche lines is stupid when the anime is mostly following what was said in the light novel verbatim. I cannot believe the old age of MMO players in SAO bothers your peanut sized brain that much. Its a fucking anime, sometimes things dont have to make perfect logical sense to sit down and enjoy. Also if you want more boy on boy action than go watch Naruto and shoot ropes faggot.

    • September 16, 2012 at 4:12 ama20020000

      @PassingBy Re: #comment-871395 (Top Level Post)

      Note: This spoiler may contain spoilers and may also be redundant, but PassingBy asked for a direct response about evidence so here it is. This may or may not directly repeat already discussed points.

      To try and not duplicate things the initial response will address the claim that I am not pointing out a lack of evidence.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      If you want to reply please use blockquotes or it will get really messy really fast. Also please contain your response within spoiler tags so this first comment page doesn’t explode into some insanely long page.

      • September 16, 2012 at 12:01 pmPassingBy

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 16, 2012 at 3:41 pmRasen

        @PassingBy

        “The sex ratio changed drastically”. Yet, we only see girls showing up in Kirito’s life, save Klein

        Putting aside the notion that you seem to think people have no choice in who they interact with or make friends with, you are also forgetting Egil and the other members of the Black Cat guild. That’s six male friends and 5 female friends (6 if you count Yui).

        And then there are the non-friends in Kirito’s life: Heathcliff, Kuradeel, Godfree, Kleine’s friends, the Army, Silica’s fans, Kains, Grimlock, the Laughing Coffin, Rosalia’s underlings, etc., etc.

      • September 16, 2012 at 7:23 pma20020000

        @PassingBy Re: #comment-871807
        Contains spoilers! + Is very very long
        Show Spoiler ▼

    • September 16, 2012 at 10:09 amChurnedRainbow

      Forgot to mention that the main characters (Kirito and Asuna) are basically two Mary Sues. It seems pretty apparent that this author’s stories are just some kind of wish fulfillment. His main characters in Accel World and SAO are social outcasts (or at least socially awkward) and can only really shine in video games. Therefore, they get put into a convoluted situation that forces the reader to suspend their disbelief (Seriously, 10000 people around the world trapped in a video game and not one government, army, or programmer is seen working on a fix?)to show themselves off and become the most super special awesome character ever.

      • September 16, 2012 at 5:09 pma20020000

        Even if they are very observant characters it not like it isn’t explained or reasonable in the situations that are setup. And I’m not sure how Asuna counts as a Mary Sue. Not going to deny the appeal of the circumstances you set out but to address the realism issue.

        All works require some level of suspension of disbelief or nothing of significance could occur and it would have to be a work of non-fiction to not require any suspension of disbelief.

        10k patients is about <0.5% the total beds (2002 estimate) available in Japan for care so it is easily feasible to care for that many people (coupled with the public health care and ease of care for basically healthy individuals)

        If one government, army, or programmer attempted a fix to the problem then they risk the legal liability of accidentally killing ~10k people at once. No government or company is going to take that risk lightly. If anything the slow progression and rate of deaths that when spread out over the course of the game would lull the public's response. If they failed the news story would be government kills ~10k people accidentally which could result in massive unrest and extreme civil lawsuits.

        Consider it this way. The terms were that if the players in the game beat it then everyone left lives. Given that the game should be possible to beat, attempting to interfere and risk killing everyone is a highly undesirable path to take. Sure the government probably would be monitoring the situation of the game and seeing if there are any opportunities but they don't know how the game was modified by the lead programmer and you can't recompile the game while it’s running. Nor could the tamper with the servers or user terminals.

        Show Spoiler ▼

        The only real way to get everyone out would be to simultaneously disconnect every player and somehow shield them from the consequences of doing so. The only thing I could think of is the use of liquid Gallium but its quite farfetched, astronomically expensive, and a logistics nightmare. So my suspension of disbelief is intact with that as my only solution to not high an extremely high chance of everyone being dead afterwards. (Gallium is a liquid at body temperature and is also a good conductor so it would block microwaves and short out any electronics while creating a liquid metal RFI/EMI shield around the persons head, provided they are dipped head first)

        Other non starter alternative I considered,
        Show Spoiler ▼

        The main problem is that because the death game is a centrally managed system and is bent towards failing deadly tampering becomes difficult without the risk of a fail deadly trap occurring.

    • September 16, 2012 at 1:37 pmPassingBy

      Anyway, I’m done here. Not gonna spend another hours to reply to everybody though I would really like to address your arguments. Just read:

      http://thecartdriver.com/sword-art-online-episode-10-the-plot-could-certainly-use-a-hand/#more-20088

      • September 16, 2012 at 4:34 pma20020000

        It was nice discussing and I’m sure you’ll still be reading the responses. Interesting how you cut things off just when things are getting interesting.

        I’ll get some more walls of text for your responses.

  • September 15, 2012 at 3:27 pmRDF2050

    and the Saimoe winner of 2013 is Yui-chan.
    Congratulation!

  • September 15, 2012 at 3:28 pmSIlivious

    Dat Asuna riding…XD
    Just a great episode, with all the cuteness factor.
    Can’t wait for what’s to come.

  • September 15, 2012 at 3:30 pmdestinyflower

    I’d like to have Kirito and Asuna as parents.

    And Asuna IS older than Kirito.. right?

    • September 15, 2012 at 3:43 pmMasterDragonKnight

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 15, 2012 at 7:43 pmSuppa Tenko

        I think Kuroyukihime from Accel World is possibly a relative of Kazuto Kirigaya due to their obvious similarities and Black Lotus using Vorpal Strike in this week’s AW.

      • September 15, 2012 at 7:47 pmRasen

        Still no confirmed connection between the two series.

      • September 15, 2012 at 8:27 pmXen

        Actually SAO IS related to Accel World. Go check out the last few episodes of AW, where they showed the old NerveGear setups which was used much earlier than the current Neuro-Linker. And if u read the LNs, you’ll find out even more =)

      • September 15, 2012 at 8:45 pmRasen

        Until I see that mentioned in the LN, that’s fanservice. If you watch Ookami-san, you can see Misaka Mikoto and Shirai Kuroko.

      • September 15, 2012 at 8:49 pmRasen

        Also, if you’re referring to the sidestory in Accel World, I was in the middle of an epic argument where I advocated the two series might be connected, and I was more or less told that said sidestory is not considered canon.

      • September 15, 2012 at 10:26 pmKamui04

        Actually SAO IS related to Accel World. Go check out the last few episodes of AW, where they showed the old NerveGear setups which was used much earlier than the current Neuro-Linker. And if u read the LNs, you’ll find out even more =)

        Oh wait Final Fantasy games are from the same company, most have chocobos and summons and crystals and attack names, they must be connected they are continuations of each other! /sarcasm.

        The author hasn’t confirmed that AW and SAO are connected, so far! That some elements or names are shared could be just the author’s “trademark” just like in Hollywood some directors just like to cast the same actor again and again, or insert the same fictitious brand or the same basset hound in all their movies no matter if they’re completely unrelated.

        As for crossover, they aren’t any proof that they’re in the same universe. Most of the time is just for fun or marketing. Just because there was a DBZ x One Piece or One Piece x Toriko or Street Fighter x Tekken crossover doesn’t mean they’re in the same universe.

  • September 15, 2012 at 3:43 pmJustin

    does anyone know how old Asuna is compared to Kirito (who is I think 16 years old)

    • September 15, 2012 at 3:48 pmdestinyflower

    • September 15, 2012 at 4:10 pmvanessa.

      To me both seem to be 14, the truth is the character designer of them is childish.

      • September 15, 2012 at 4:37 pmKamui04

        Well that would be correct for when they started playing SAO and they got their faces scanned and the initial calibration, but 2 years later…

      • September 15, 2012 at 5:35 pmRasen

        As Asians, we age MAGNIFICENTLY.

      • September 15, 2012 at 10:34 pmacolyte

        Proof: In To Aru Majutsu no Index, Stiyl and Kanzaki are ~18 yrs old.

  • September 15, 2012 at 4:07 pmchelsfofo

    maybe a silly question, but how ARE there kids in SAO? if Kirito & Asuna are baffled at Yui’s age, then why not at the trio of misfits? they look to be drawn about the same age… Even if they are a bit older, then what kind of “kids” are younger than Kirito’s ripe ol’ 16 years such that they have a sensei?

    • September 15, 2012 at 4:19 pmAlectai

      It wasn’t that it’s unheard of for kids to be there, it’s that it’s unheard of for them to be outside the City of Beginning being taken care of by the people who aren’t clearing.

      Yui was on the 22nd floor, that’s a pretty non trivial distance for a kid to reach alone.

    • September 16, 2012 at 12:20 pmnobody

      There are some things that got a little condensed this episode. By simple length of chapters, they could have used 3 episodes for this arc which is probably going to be wrapped up here with 2, so some things got condensed, like the the explanation of how events were shaping in the starting town (they noted the missing people but mentioned nothing of it) and the explanation of the children. Also the explanation of the army’s mentality which lead to part of an interesting discussion up above will probably get cut as well from next episode,

      Children explanation
      Show Spoiler ▼

      Kirito has always seemed to be drawn older to me than what his outward appearance is supposed to give off. But conversely, they drew these characters younger for what was likely some form of emotional response from the audience towards “the army”

  • September 15, 2012 at 4:26 pmJhacks

    Well, I guess…”You can’t never have enough lolis”
    KC and SAO just filled my Sunday morning with moe, good lord that was bad for my heart.
    But sadly for SAO (even though I ❤ Itou Kanae), KC’s handle their moe-fied loli story much better.

  • September 15, 2012 at 4:38 pmFlanders

    Ah,

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Anyways, I enjoyed my fill of SAO and KC at Crunchyroll. KC was hilariously funny this ep!

    • September 15, 2012 at 6:02 pmmoridin84

      I think the fishing story will happen afterwards, since they return to the main plot just after that.

  • September 15, 2012 at 4:50 pmflCer

    I thought they’d be done this arc within 1 episode. I wonder how they’re going to fit in ALO in the 24-26 eps they get.

    • September 15, 2012 at 5:03 pmSkurai

      Actually I believe that alo will get about 10 eps or so.

    • September 16, 2012 at 12:23 pmnobody

      They will probably be able to wrap up SAO here by 16 with their current rate, if not earlier. That will leave the remaining 8-10 episodes for ALO.

  • September 15, 2012 at 5:01 pmLissa

    Oh, Asuna… *facepalm

    And this is why Sinon is the girl character I’m most looking forward to seeing in this show. I only hope the anime gets that far in the story, though. It’d be a shame to not see her animated!

    • September 15, 2012 at 5:38 pmRasen

      Not unless there’s a second season.

    • September 15, 2012 at 9:10 pmMutare

      GGO will likely be turned into an ova series… or if they plan for ALICE, 2nd season would be up for grabs

      • September 16, 2012 at 5:42 amWhatsht

        Don’t forget Mother’s Rosario.

  • September 15, 2012 at 5:05 pmDdadain

    Glad they did The Army story as it will really show how bad it has gotten in The Starting City after 2 years in “captivity”. And it essential for Yui to get some expounding.

    Hopefully, we get to see the fishing episode XD Heh

    Besides, the next arc isn’t as long as the other arcs since most of its side stories are post-you-know-what.

  • September 15, 2012 at 5:36 pmMutare

    They took out Kirito’s fishing, FISHING IS FOR REAL MEN (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

    • September 15, 2012 at 5:38 pmMutare

      ┬─┬ノ(º_ºノ) now i have calmed down, YUUUUUUUUUUUIIIIIIII <3 <3 <3

    • September 15, 2012 at 5:39 pmRasen

      If you consider the timeline of events, they didn’t take it out.

      • September 15, 2012 at 5:50 pmMutare

        oh wait… woops, i jumbled up the events, a table was flipped out of ignorance. ><

      • September 15, 2012 at 7:28 pmragez

        so that mean, the fishing is after this episode. i thought it is before they found Yui.

      • September 16, 2012 at 12:26 pmnobody

        Remember

        Show Spoiler ▼

        Therefore fishing -> after this

      • September 16, 2012 at 9:40 pmSortedevaras

        Its kinda confusing to be sure. The fishing was in the original book and Yui wasn’t retconned into the plot until the side stories so I just assumed they found her after the fishing. :/

  • September 15, 2012 at 5:46 pmWyrm

    Just a quick note: At this point Kiirito is not 14, he’s 16. They’ve been in the game for over two years, and the time passing is 1:1. Thus, his body is of a 16 year old as is his mind, not as bad as it seems!

    • September 15, 2012 at 6:11 pmmoridin84

      They only have their ‘data’ from when they did the body scan, so his body -in game- is still that of a 14 year old.

  • September 15, 2012 at 6:11 pm†Croos†

    Why do I get the feeling, after this arc, we get to see a new OP and END?

    • September 15, 2012 at 7:12 pmhaseo0408

      The second ending will be sung by Luna Haruna, the theme is called “Overfly”. In the regard of the new opening, it is belived that LISA will also be incharged of it. There are way to many diferences between the arcs, they had to use new videos no matter what, that´s all I say without any spoilers.

      • September 15, 2012 at 8:32 pmSwordhack4

        You got ending 2 right, but Opening 2 will not be LISA this time. It will be Eir Aoi with her single “INNOCENCE” for Opening 2

  • September 15, 2012 at 6:29 pmRickyMack

    “Since early in the series, she’s always been portrayed as strong and independent, always capable of standing up for herself. But the moment Kirito appears, her default becomes to hide behind him when faced with any real or perceived danger. Sure, she usually ends up fighting her own battles, but that initial reaction just doesn’t sit right with me.”

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • September 15, 2012 at 6:48 pmMasterDragonKnight

      The thing is…

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 15, 2012 at 7:03 pmhaseo0408

        You said it, Asuna is not the usual push over that falls into despair or sel-sacrifice, she´s the queen of female leads in my eyes.

      • September 15, 2012 at 8:30 pmPassingBy

        Why can’t Kirito get the damsel in distress treatment for once, or twice, or thrice? Why does it have to be girls who get saved?

      • September 15, 2012 at 10:07 pmSyaoran

        He is the “damsel in distress” so to speak Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 16, 2012 at 10:56 amBio D

        He was the damsel in distress last episode…

  • September 15, 2012 at 6:47 pmRichfeet

    Well, this episode was Boooorrriinnnggg!!!! Augh!!!! Cliched to a “T”!!!! Kirito’s sooo boooringg!!! Yui’s a maggufin man. she’s the key to this whole thing. I know it. She’s the Server in player form. Calling it!!! Asuna pokes more people!!! poke poke poke poke poke!!!
    Kayaba’s going down in three episodes!!!! Klein will land the final blow on Kayaba!!!! Go Klein!!!! Wooooo!!!!

    • September 15, 2012 at 8:09 pma20020000

      Actually sort of no.

      If you really want to know (Light novel spoilers),
      Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 15, 2012 at 10:08 pmacolyte

        Next time I suggest not explaining those stuff early (even in spoilers) – I don’t think he cares about your explanation :s After all the anime will explain it to him a few episodes later and he’d forget his comment :)

      • September 15, 2012 at 10:37 pma20020000

        Not sure exactly why you can’t post spoilers in a spoiler block. A prediction was made with great confidence and I am saying if the poster wants to know if the prediction is correct he can read the spoiler.

        I am not going to presume that a person will not read anything or not remember even posting here. If you read something that you rather not have please don’t open spoiler tags that specifically mention they are from the light novel.

      • September 15, 2012 at 10:54 pmacolyte

        Nah was just being sarcastic – was thinking it’s better to wait until it’s explained in the anime, so that the story’s progression is nicer :)
        There’s a reason some stuff are explained later in the story – for easier appreciation of the facts :)

      • September 15, 2012 at 11:30 pma20020000

        @acolyte

        Your high face concentration is a little unnerving for some reason \:):(:):(:):| don’t mind the punctuation not sure what it is for but it seems to have balanced things out with the semi-duality it has.

        Usually it is better to just see the story as it is shown but some people want spoilers and thrives on predictions. In either case I think its covered now (:)

      • September 16, 2012 at 12:51 amKamui04

        Nah was just being sarcastic – was thinking it’s better to wait until it’s explained in the anime, so that the story’s progression is nicer :)
        There’s a reason some stuff are explained later in the story – for easier appreciation of the facts :)

        The problem that I’ve found with SAO is that a lot of people are not appreciating or undertanding those facts before or after even if they’re spoon-fed.

      • September 16, 2012 at 10:08 amacolyte

        What Kamui said. Well that proves how sucky my English is, so hard trying to relay my point.

  • September 15, 2012 at 6:52 pmKyon12

    damn they skipped a chapter of the side story’s but oh well who cares it that important lets see what happen to Yui-chan I did not read this part on the LN since i wanted so it animated it first so hope next week ep is at good as this one or better

    • September 15, 2012 at 10:55 pmacolyte

      Which one did you think they skipped? If it’s the fishermen, I think it might be one or two more episodes.

  • September 15, 2012 at 7:10 pma42

    I know it was supposed to be more laid back given it was their honeymoon, but yikes the first 15 minutes were boring. And even the ‘twist’ at the end was telegraphed from the start. After finally trudging through the world building episodes (that lasted too long) I was hopeful the show was getting to the real plot. Yui might be part of that, but the execution was just terribly boring. As an anime adaptation this has been really mediocre. I guess I’ll have to get around to reading the novels since the story has so much potential but it’s not really being realized in the anime.

    • September 15, 2012 at 10:09 pmacolyte

      Actually, I really love the laidbackness. I don’t think you can rate how well an anime adaptation is if you didn’t even know how was it adapted from. I think it’s pretty well executed, that said, if you’re disappointed in this part of the anime, then you’ll be disappointed in the LN.

      That said.. It is considered an LN. The first volume went wayyy fast, no slowing down yo.

      • September 15, 2012 at 11:22 pma42

        “I don’t think you can rate how well an anime adaptation is if you didn’t even know how was it adapted from.”

        I would argue that as an anime only viewer with no preconceptions or foreknowledge I am actually MORE capable of judging the anime as its OWN ENTITY, which was the point of my post. Any adaptation not only should remain true to the essence of the original, but also has to stand on its own within the confines of the new medium and the inherent strengths and weaknesses that exist.

        For example, I feel that many of the characters (even Kirito and Asuna) don’t really have truly compelling characterizations that have made me feel attached to them. I’ve seen many comments about how certain scenes make more sense in the novels because you see the inner thought processes and can fully grasp the motives for certain actions. But again as an anime viewer, if those aren’t somehow otherwise expressed on screen I can only judge the characters given what I see and hear. So to that effect the writers and producers have not done a good job of creating an adaptation that can stand on its own for me as a new viewer. Of course it’s all going to change for each viewer. I’m simply expressing my stance as someone who came into this with no expectations, got really excited by the first episode, and subsequently have only been mostly disappointed in the execution thereafter. Again my opinion might change if I read the novels, but as an anime SAO has been rather mediocre.

      • September 16, 2012 at 10:21 amacolyte

        Yeah you can judge the anime as its own entity, not as an adaptation. You sounded like you were saying that the anime wasn’t adapted well from the original source. In fact, it is the original source that is like so.
        Regarding about delving the ‘main story’, the animators has some issues to face:
        - They want to keep the story chronological
        - They want to keep as many details as possible. The main LN uses partial flashbacks to support argments
        - The first volume of the LN is really fast. It might as well become Naruto style, all action and limited character development (sorry fans)

        So they countered this by stretching it out.
        And yes, they kept the story, so they kept the essence. The weakness of the LN was the pace. So they try to slow it down in the anime. One of the strengths was the side stories, so they made sure to include the stories.

        I think the animators answered your expectations.. With regards to LN -> anime adaptation.
        Try to read the LN, and see if you like it. If the original material is not to your liking, I think you don’t like the story, not the adaptation.

        I don’t feel as strong attachment to Asuna/Kirito as characters in other animes. I feel like Asuna/Kirito’s characters are quite generic. So I agree with you. It may be a weakness, but I like it the way it is. That way, you don’t expect too much from the characters. I feel like this is in contrast to works such as Naruto, One Piece, Bleach, which pulls the readers to the charas.

        Lastly, the challenge wrt to adaptation for charas:
        - There are tons, tons of details in SAO, quite a number of monologues. It’s impossible to animate them all. The same can be said for Zero no Tsukaima and Campione, for example. I think those shows falls short of the quality of the original source. Shakugan no Shana went really fast, in that sense I feel that it’s similar to SAO. The animators are challenged to pick out the important parts to keep the story going. They are not bogged down to have to worship the characters, and focus on the story instead.

        In conclusion, as usual, seems like the greatest enemy of adapting SAO to an anime is, thr lack of time to allow explanation of the details.
        - I agree that SAO as an anime may not expose the full potential of the novel.
        - The novel itself, while I think it’s great, I think if you don’t like the anime, you may not like the LN as much. It’s not a mainstream story, less twists and turns than the mainstreams these days.
        - Finally, I think the animators adapted the story from LN into anime well – disregarding the LN/anime’s quality. I think they picked up the correct important points, for character and story development. When I watch the anime, these are what I keep in my mind ‘Could they cut this part out?’ ‘Why didn’t they include that part?’ ‘Why didn’t they explain this part?’ ‘Could it be done better?’ ‘Did they spend too much time on these?’ ‘Why didn’t they spend more time on these?’ – so far, I’ve been satisfied with the results o_O

    • September 15, 2012 at 10:10 pmacolyte

      *excuse me, considered a side story – so it’s meant to be slower

  • September 15, 2012 at 8:07 pmTopboy

    All 10 episodes before moved story too fast with high pace.So one slow pace episode is cool for me.
    Anyways,Kirito get number 1 for male character of August from Newtype while asuna get number 5 for female character of August(this is first time she standing in top 10).Hope next month both got number 1. Banzai!

  • September 15, 2012 at 8:11 pmRasen

    Well, might as well toss in my beef with this episode. In the LN, Asuna spends three minutes smacking around the Army. I wouldn’t have wanted to see all three minutes animated, but I still think at least a quick abstraction(pan camera angle away, commence sounds of violence and screams of agony) of it would have been nice (and funny) to illustrate that under certain circumstances, Asuna can go absolutely berserk.

    • September 16, 2012 at 1:03 amKamui04

      Agree with you, Asuna just by whipping one Army thug’s ass would scare the rest of them felt kinda ridiculous. I wouldn’t have minded the rest rushing at Asuna and her just showing why she’s the Flash. Just a few extra seconds of her quickly poking them into oblivion would have made the scene more believable.

  • September 15, 2012 at 8:20 pm7godeohs

    I agree with Moomba regarding Asuna’s current reactions and how they are contrary to how she was portrayed. It just felt a bit off and was very easy to notice. However, I have to temper that by remembering that she has been in a ‘fighting mode’ 99% the entire time. Her mindset was that of a fighter, not one of a normal girl so although it struck me as out of character, we really don’t know what her character is and it is only starting to be shown to the viewer.

  • September 15, 2012 at 8:31 pmMrRei

    • September 15, 2012 at 9:14 pmMutare

      MrRei does it again, but OH SNAP. 0_0

    • September 15, 2012 at 11:25 pmThe Moondoggie

      That’s a good “what if”. Nice one MrRei.

    • September 17, 2012 at 4:55 amD-LaN

      Now tht you bring it up, Yui does look a lot like Sachi….. Coincidence or unintentional??

      Or does Kirito take a liking to Yui cuz she reminded him of Sachi?? The mystery deepens…

  • September 15, 2012 at 8:57 pmfragb85

    This episode is is just meh. This whole honeymoon thing is supposed to be sweet and romantic but I just don’t buy it. The whole relationship between the leads is just too rushed to make me believe they’re all labu-rabu already. It once again feels manufactured, like its deliberately trying to squeeze some emotion from me. (Look Asuna is scared of ghosts! Please go HNNNNNNGGGGGGG!). Just to make it more manufactured add a moeblob girl as their surrogate daughter (Please go HNNNNNNNNG!)

    SAO is a seems to come so close to being great by concept alone. But it’s constantly being undermined by resorting to the broadest cliches and pandering.

  • September 15, 2012 at 9:06 pmRasen

    1. Kuroneko is tsundere to Kyousuke. Watch the OVA. Kallen has a dere side, in R2.

    I’ll cede Kuroneko, but as for Kallen? That’s like calling a pitbull that hated you and you gradually bribed over to your side a “tsundere.”

    8. Not quite a good excuse for all the sexist undertone. Who cares about the underleveled males who don’t show up at all in the story. There is no real evidence to back that up, neither is it a valid counterargument. Sachi, Silica and Liz all gave Kirito troubles in some ways. A very negative portrayal of non-combat women.

    There is a fair amount of evidence for it, actually. The ratio of boy to girl gamers in SAO is not even close to 1:1. And as evidenced by the Black Cat guild, the male members gave Kirito troubles too. If there’s anything sexist about Kirito, it’s that he is apparently willing to put aside his “no party” rule to play with girls occasionally over the years. And that’s what we call being a healthy young heterosexual male.

    Look, imagine what the game would be like without the support of the merchants and blacksmiths…If they lose, it’s because the coach sucks. Pretty fair isn’t it?

    First, Kirito as much as says outright that he appreciates what the merchants and blacksmiths do. Second, I’m not sure where you were going with that whole block of text except it sounds like you’re criticizing SAO for realistically portraying that there are celebrities and stars and there are under-appreciated people.

    Also, this was a central part to that epic argument so long ago: Asuna and Kirito actually have had a good, long-standing relationship, ever since the second episode (you couldn’t tell because it was cut out of the anime). It was only recently romantic, but his relationship with Asuna predates his relationship with other girls by quite a large margin. Like it or not, she is the most realistic romance option for Kirito.

    • September 15, 2012 at 9:08 pmRasen

      aw nuts….exhaustion strikes again.

      PassingBy, the above is for you.

      • September 15, 2012 at 9:14 pma20020000

        I tried to post a link to the referenced comment but it didn’t work. And then I got strange errors pages.

      • September 15, 2012 at 9:15 pma20020000

      • September 15, 2012 at 9:16 pma20020000

        Ok I guess I didn’t format the HTML tag properly but the link above is what Rasen is talking to.

      • September 15, 2012 at 9:21 pmRasen

        oh hey, a2002000, as long as you’re here, were you the one who told me that the SAO/Accel World crossover story was non-canon?

      • September 15, 2012 at 9:27 pma20020000

        I think someone else from back then said it not sure though I don’t remember or feel like searching through the hundreds of comments from the first few episodes. But I think the cross over between the two worlds is just that a crossover not an actual solid link.

        And a quick Google search seems to say that the author says the crossover is non-canonical (Just for fun). Haven’t found the authors words directly though.

    • September 16, 2012 at 5:15 ama20020000

      Also, this was a central part to that epic argument so long ago: Asuna and Kirito actually have had a good, long-standing relationship, ever since the second episode (you couldn’t tell because it was cut out of the anime). It was only recently romantic, but his relationship with Asuna predates his relationship with other girls by quite a large margin. Like it or not, she is the most realistic romance option for Kirito.

      You mean that long civil discussion. I only remember that as being a part of it with a lot of it about the feasibility of the medical system accommodating a SAO like incident. (Further Googling resulted in I think a result that SAO adds a patient load sub 0.5% (2002) of the beds in japan which isn’t a large enough to cause major problems so the author either did his research or just was lucky 10k people fits easily into the system)

      Technically it was a side story so the first book never had that content to begin with but each unto our own at this point. I think the author actually did make Asuna the clear choice even without using the content from that side story.

      Basically a carbon copy from my wall reponses to PassingBy but
      1) Sachi is dead which unfortunately makes her a poor love intrest
      2) Liz is Asuna’s good friend and Asuna introduced Kirito to her and that would be beyond awkward at that point
      3) Silica is 13 years old and in the game is basically considered a very young player. Definitely not the right age direction for Kirato who is 16 years old.

      I agree mostly, plus this makes Asuna a pretty clear choice as well possibly depending on your point of view.

    • September 19, 2012 at 5:33 amDa5id

      “I’ll cede Kuroneko, but as for Kallen? That’s like calling a pitbull that hated you and you gradually bribed over to your side a “tsundere.””

      http://randomc.net/image/CODE%20GEASS/CODE%20GEASS%20R2%20-%2022%20-%20Large%2025.jpg

      You should probably cede this one too.

  • September 15, 2012 at 9:13 pmTakuma

    damn now i want to start a family. congrats asuna…kirito…with yui here your life feels complete

  • September 15, 2012 at 9:32 pmacolyte

    I guess people don’t like this episode as much~
    I’m quite happy with how the Yui episode is animated, and I’m glad that it’s being stretched over two episodes. It’s worth it, really.

    Now two things I noticed strongly in this episode:
    1. They emphasized the wedding rings over and over again in the first few minutes of this episode. It’s one part that they didn’t repeatedly mentioned in the novel, which I think is lovely.
    2. They also emphasized Asuna’s height over Kirito for some reason in the early parts. It’s most noticable in this episode, and that bed scene, even compared to the novel, impressed strongly on Asuna’s maturity. (shoulder-carry aside! That was one cool backflip though!)

    Ehehe.. there’s also a squirrel.. I’m a sucker for squirrels..
    Also, the noise effect at the end was nice, kinda like .hack :D

  • September 15, 2012 at 10:06 pmacolyte

    @Moomba btw, the Army isn’t as bad as you made it sound. First, they won’t strip the kids down of their normal clothing. Just their armor. In fact, they might force them to work but not like a sexual predator. I can’t say the same for the nun though >.>
    And yeah, the weakness of a safe zone is psychological pressure, but that’s what Asuna did pretty much on them too.

    You make an interesting point regarding NPC harassment. In fact it reminds me of the manhwa 1/2 Prince where Yureka pulled out an NPC from their ‘area’. Rather than saying ‘honeytrap’, I think the author’s purpose (Kawahara Reki, not Kayaba Akihiko) is to give an environment that is as ‘real’ as possible. Maybe the reality’s parallel is, if you’re harassing someone, a law enforcer could come at you, but it doesn’t stop you from initiating the action.

    Regarding the ‘falling in love again’, there are some points that can be used to validate Asuna’s feelings:
    - SAO is a game
    - Loss of memory
    - Physical/Time distance that may make them impossible to meet
    - Kirito & Asuna’s post-game rehabilitation and how it changes them viewing the world

    And don’t forget. The in-town PK setup where the husband planned his wife’s death.
    There’re lots to worry about. It is not real world inside. They’re living their days hoping to get out of that hell. For some, they might feel that ‘I want to get rid of anything that reminds me of that hell.’ I could think up of other reasons, but then it would take too many logic leaps. It’s an interesting view, actually.

    • September 16, 2012 at 11:38 pmColentas

      I agree with your NPC deal. Is it just me, or did Moomba say that he likes more invisible walls in his video games? In real life, you can pick somebody up, it’s not allowed, but still altogether possible. That’s not really a trap.. otherwise you could commit any stupid act and use the defense “It’s possible! You’re just tricking me into doing it by making it possible!”. A little over the top, I know. Still hilarious.

      • September 17, 2012 at 6:40 amMoomba

        What you’re advocating is essentially an invisible wall, only worse. Instead of stopping you before you can proceed, it lets you continue onwards only to say ‘Oh by the way you’re not allowed to be here, bye!’ and then forces you out anyway.

      • September 18, 2012 at 12:34 ama20020000

        @Moomba

        In terms of preventing players from interacting with things they should not or being places they should not there are a number of implementation methods I’ve seen in games.

        Invisible walls, immovable NPCs, clipping through non-player non-interaction objects. (Sometimes the walls are implemented with real obstacles to make things look normal or abnormal as the world/stages usually have strangely high or cliff like walls)

        Out of bounds warnings (insta-kill walls, damage over time, automatic teleport, automatic direction control, NPC infraction in SAO would probably fall under this category)

        In terms of why games use different methods would have something to do with realism I guess. For games that use the warnings and eventual reactions it sort of does trick you into thinking you can go wherever upto a point. I think Fable and fallout series you can lead NPCs away from their intended places in many cases or sometimes they just randomly fall through the ground (In Fallout 3+).

        Technically your right in that invisible walls and warnings are not good things but necessary evils in games when the developer doesn’t think of absolutely every possibility. What would happen if a game didn’t want you to pick up an NPC but you tried?

        Of the things I can think of it would be (In context of the VR thing),

        Infinite mass NPCs, could be dangerous as they could cause physics glitches if they collide with you. (Read infinite mass pool ball hits ~0 mass person, resulting velocity approaches infinity) Havok physics would be a poor choice for SAO as I’ve stepped on loose debris in games that use it and fly off at infinite velocity while in a insane death ragdoll animation cycle.

        Ghost NPCs, you attempt to do anything but you would just phase through them. Downside in the VR simulation is you can’t actually interact with them normally either. Plus it might be a bit unnerving when you get to a town and the NPCs walk through you.

        Rubber-banding, Teleporting NPCs, you can move them / trick them but they will just run back or if too far teleport back to their original path. Might be a bit strange and would allow for some location based exploits. Often used to steal stuff. (Or just put baskets on their heads and the chickens…)

        Red card people, let you move them but make it basically illegal if the game has NPC guards then they would aggro you or something else. If properly implemented this would actually make a lot of sense. And depending on how it works you may or may not get notice that displacing NPCs is not allowed.

        There may be more alternatives and the above is not an exhaustive list. I’m also not in the game development profession so this might not be accurate.

  • September 15, 2012 at 10:31 pmKurisu Vi Britannia

    Didn’t they miss out a big part of the plot in this ep? Which is important for later?

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • September 15, 2012 at 10:57 pmacolyte

      Nope, this episode is a side story, so they haven’t skipped anything yet. Which old man are you talking about?

  • September 15, 2012 at 10:34 pmKinny Riddle

    Asuna is just as cute as ever, but OMFG Yui is HNNNG. While I would’ve preferred new loli-expert seiyuu Ogura Yui to voice her, Itou Kanae was just as good in the role.

    Must have been tough for the low-level players like Sasha, who only intended to play SAO with her young relatives/friends on a casual basis, but ended up being swindled into participating in a death game. It’s understandable that they would opt to camp out in the Town of Beginning until someone clears the game. But these people are also equally vulnerable to exploitation by ill-willed stronger players like the Front members as their levels would be too low to resist them.

    In a nutshell, it’s better to level up a bit and camp out in the middle-levels: You won’t have to worry about risking your life in the front lines, but you’d still be strong and fairly wealthy enough to resist harassment and bullying.

    Off topic: For some reason, I totally dig Sasha in her priestess-like costume. Reminds me of Ragnarok Online’s priestesses. <3

    • September 16, 2012 at 1:13 amKamui04

      The risk in the middle levels are the PKs, since they would logically avoid the lower floors because of the Army and the high level guys in the frontlines.

  • September 15, 2012 at 11:14 pmFrontier

    As Kirito and Asuna’s honeymoon gets fully underway, Sword Art Online dishes out a nice breather episode.

    While I concede that Heathcliff has a point, that the pair will eventually return to the frontlines, I believe that it’s for the best that they leave and take some time off and be with each other. Considering the roller coaster ride that was the last few episodes, taking a break is probably the best thing for maintaining their mental stability in Sword Art Online.

    I can’t right well fault Asuna for acting a little childish in this episode. After spending so much time towards a singular goal, with little time to relax or focus on anything else, Asuna finally has some well deserved R&R so she can let loose and at least make an attempt to get back the teenage years she lost in the game. She finally has Kirito all to herself and is enjoying it to the fullest, to the point of even making Kirito exhausted. Away from quests, planning for the bosses, and the craziness that seems to be her Guild, Asuna can let herself go and have the time of her life with the man she loves and experience the joy of being a newlywed. A newlywed who only now questions the age of her spouse, to hilarious effect, though considering how Kirito goes from acting his age to being mature enough times, I could see how anyone would have trouble telling how old he really is. Though in the end she truly loves him, which in my opinion is far more important than age in a relationship. Most of the time anyways.

    But even though she’s taking the time to enjoy herself and her marriage, when needed Asuna can revert back to the “Flash” and dish out some high speed attacks with her rapier. When she gets serious, she has no need to stand behind Kirito when she can very well take care of herself against a bunch of lowlifes. Sword Art Online has forged Kirito and Asuna into warriors, and that’s something that won’t go away, and something that will inevitably draw the two back to the frontlines.

    Asuna’s reaction to the ghost is a typical teenage girl reaction to the concept. Considering how a ghost is not as easily rationalized as monsters in a video game, I can see where Asuna would feel afraid. Kirito probably would’ve been scared to, if he wasn’t just messing with her at the time.

    As cute as Yui and her interactions with the lovely couple were, it didn’t deter from the fact that something about her is off. From her baby like personality to the game world seemingly coming apart during her small breakdown, Yui is definitely not just another player in the game. Going off what’s been shown so far, I’d say she’s intrinsically connected to the world of Sword Art Online but not in the way an NPC is. Yui being an A.I. would make sense, though I question why Kayaba would even bother putting such a thing in the game if he did so at all. I can only hope nothing bad happens to the couple and their “daughter” as a result.

    We finally get a glimpse at the conditions of those stayed behind, as they’re mooched off of by the Army. It looks like Cobert wasn’t the only bad egg among their ranks. Considering how the Town of Beginnings seems to be made up of the youngest and oldest in the game, people who have no place living in a death game like Sword Art Online, I can’t help but emphasize with what they must be going through as being of the weaker breed in Sword Art Online, they are abused by the so called “Liberators” of the game.

    All in all, a good way to slow things down for a bit, with plenty of cute moments abound.

  • September 15, 2012 at 11:24 pmThe Moondoggie

    Yui’s here! Yay! Even though she isn’t really Kirito’s kid that ash black hair makes it looks like she is.

  • September 16, 2012 at 12:26 amRakkyo

    Yui episode and a ChanxCo end card…

    My life is complete.

  • September 16, 2012 at 1:12 amTingster013

    They can just exchange home address right? They make it sound like it is gonna be impossible to find each other…

    • September 16, 2012 at 1:26 amKamui04

      Well they could, but addresses in Japan are kinda a bitch to remember. Except for major regional divisions and avenues or important streets, the rest of their divisions and streets are a fuster cluck of numbers. But on the other hand they would exchange phone numbers, but so far the future is uncertain and we don’t know what would happen to them after they escape from the game.

    • September 16, 2012 at 10:24 amacolyte

      Also remember some of these:
      - It’s been 2 years.
      - They’ve been exposed to intense psychological pressure.
      - They might not remember their home address
      - Their real bodies are currently in hospitals
      - They might have moved
      - Their phone service (e-mail address) may have been disconnected
      - They are afraid of meeting each other in real life
      - They have to go through rehabilitation after the game is over
      - Finally.. They don’t know if they can ever escape the game

  • September 16, 2012 at 2:50 amBakaro

    This episode feel like great arc in the making!
    Yui join the cast to increase moe power of SAO. Now all we missing is to bring back Silica the dragon tamer, and we shall have the moe-overwhelming pair. =P

    BTW Yui having one of the most imbalanced team in the game as her parents, imagine what will become of her if she stay on with them and tutored into a fighter…

    Lightning-Fast-Dual-Swordsman ?(o.O)

    • September 16, 2012 at 4:48 amCybersteel

      And the result is this

  • September 16, 2012 at 5:48 amRedy

    YUUUUUIIIIIIIII!!!

    Loved this episode :D

  • September 16, 2012 at 11:39 amdefunktbots

    your strength parameter should be able to deal with it!

  • September 16, 2012 at 5:34 pmewok40k

    Is it me or is that lodge over waterfall in the Grizzly Hills in Northrend given cameo?

  • September 17, 2012 at 3:55 amD-LaN

    Btw, did any1 noticed the circles surrounding the pillar in the ED has increased compare to previous episode?? Is it like completion rate??

    Kirito+Asuna+Yui = HAPPY FAMILY!!!

    Well it was a nice change of pace and our newly wed couple rly need a vacation. After all they have been clearing levels for two years… Also kinda interested to see more of SAO and I too wonder wht has happened to the starting town.

    Abt ALA…. they really are an @$$… First force others to share the map, now taxes!!?? And I don want to know wht will they do to the kids and the Nun if Kirito and Asuna arrive late…..
    (Speaking of guild base, how do they get one again?? Do they just hog the available location or do they need $$$ to buy it?)

    Also, dat chanxco end card.

    • September 18, 2012 at 12:41 ama20020000

      If SAO implements death there must be taxes.

    • September 20, 2012 at 9:14 amKrono

      Guilds need money to buy a guild hall.

  • September 19, 2012 at 4:08 amMatt_D

    Man SAO brings out the Trolls almost as hard as AKB0048

    A good episode, well handled, and a nice run into more story behind the Army and the Yui arch.

    To the haters, stop watching it, I’m not in your bed room with an axe shouting “watch SAO now or I cut off your legs!”