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Sword Art Online – 19

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「ルグルー回廊」 (Rugurū Kairou)
“The Lugru Corridor”

I think the aspect of this arc I most enjoy is watching Leafa take every opportunity she can to poke fun at and belittle Kirito. It’s a refreshing change to the blind adoration shown by most of the other characters he comes across and the exaggerated jealousy and hatred felt towards him by antagonists. He can tend towards arrogance quite frequently, so it’s always nice to see someone bring him down a few pegs, whether over his poorly considered choice of race or his tendency to launch himself at obstacles expecting to be able to break through them with his strength alone.

Spriggans specialise in illusion magic, though if Leafa’s ability to create an illusory wall to hide them is anything to go by, they should be able to use other types of magic too. ‘Illusion magic sucks in combat!’ she repeatedly informs us. Kirito’s use of it aside, I don’t really agree with this at all. Illusion is an incredibly powerful tool. Invisibility and stealth definitely exist in ALO – we see Recon use it, so logically speaking illusion magic should have some variation on that too. Many games have existed in the past where illusion is a powerful tool – clones to deceive enemies can keep you alive longer while causing confusion, you can inflict blindness upon foes, and a variety of other extremely handy crowd control abilities are usually at your disposal. Heck, if you’ve ever played Guild Wars 2 you might know that Mesmer, a class specialising almost entirely in illusion, is one of the most irritating classes to fight against. If ALO has none of this – as Leafa’s claims of uselessness seem to imply – then what on earth does illusion magic do? Surely there must be more than merely lighting dark places and transforming your appearance – that seems like quite the meagre offering.

So the party out to get Kirito and Leafa appears, and things begin to look a little shaky for our would-be heroes. But I wasn’t worried. They’re just a specialised, high-level, well trained and organised squad out to get Kirito after all. But maybe this would actually be an ideal opportunity to show that Kirito isn’t just a godlike Gary Stu! Perhaps this could be the long-awaited opportunity to show that he could be beaten by other players, albeit only in a twelve-on-one battle! Oh wait of course, he’s Kirito. He can just turn into a giant monster that looks suspiciously like Gleam-Eyes and one-shot everything in sight!

You could argue that he only won against them because of the fear generated by his appearance, and fair enough, such is the purpose of illusion magic and breaking during combat generally leads to losing. But you can’t argue that his ability to one-shot everything, move at ridiculous speeds, and leap several stories high isn’t completely broken. It wasn’t so much the appearance that terrified the Salamanders – it was how ridiculously overpowered he was. And he enjoyed it. You’d think after spending over two years in a game where players actually died he’d feel at least a little conflicted about the idea of massacring them. Heck, he even got all serious and stated that he would never let party members die, which would seem support that notion. But nope. No hesitation whatsoever.

It’s funny really, only a few minutes after this he begins to preach to Leafa, essentially claiming that committing crimes in a video game changes one’s personality irrevocably – that by killing or stealing in a game, you’ve permanently screwed yourself up. This is an argument that has been all over the place for years with claims that violence in video games turns people into psychopathic killers and the like. But putting that topic aside because it’s largely irrelevant anyway, I find this extremely hard to take from Kirito. His sermon on how you should always be true to yourself, be honest and act as you would in the real world, is coming from a guy who’s using glitched stats, buying equipment with glitched money, and has already fought and killed multiple other players with no sign of remorse whatsoever.

tl;dr: @MoombaDS – ‘Illusion magic is terrible!’ they said. Hah. #SAO

Random thoughts:

  • It’s good to see that Kirito understands the value of bribery over force in an MMORPG. In many other situations too actually!
  • What is this? What happened to Asuna?
  • Wasn’t Recon still in the Sylph city? Shouldn’t it be impossible for players of other races to attack him? Or do the sewers not count as part of city for some reason?
  • The Cait Sith leader is d’awww.
  • Pillaging towns is certainly an interesting mechanic, but surely that must make it suck to be a leader. You’d have to remain somewhere safe under guard for most of your time in-game just so that some opportunist didn’t decide to kill you. So much for playing the game and having fun.

Full-length images: 04, 12, 41.

 

Preview

Sword Art Online   19   Preview 01

End Card

Sword Art Online   19   End Card
November 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm
220 comments »
  • November 10, 2012 at 2:02 pminferno

    It was a good fight, I’m satisfied

    • November 10, 2012 at 2:06 pmPinnochio

      It was interesting watching Kirito turn into the thing he killed on episode 9

      • November 10, 2012 at 2:24 pmhaseo0408

        The Gleameyes.

      • November 10, 2012 at 2:34 pmMasterDragonKnight

        A pity he does not have the same enormous sword as The Gleam Eyes. Would have loved to see Kirito swing that thing around.

      • November 10, 2012 at 9:14 pmestron

        Makes me wonder if that spell is a transformation into the strongest monster you got last hit. Either way I liked watching him transform into that and go on a rampage.

      • November 11, 2012 at 9:00 aminferno

        lol if that’s the case he’d probably become that skeleton thingy or even Heathcliff if he counts as a mob (technically, he’s the 100th floor boss). But that’ll be funny haha

  • November 10, 2012 at 2:07 pmPinnochio

    Kirito my man…pulling all the online hoes

    • November 10, 2012 at 2:49 pmMasterDragonKnight

      Whoa! Lyfa!

      Getting a little bold there, aren’t you?

  • November 10, 2012 at 2:12 pmSaturo

    Don’t bite the hand that.. well, is the hand of your cousin who’s all lecherous for you

  • November 10, 2012 at 2:16 pmUnknownVoid

    I enjoyed this episode, but things seems to be getting more and more inconsistent as this show progresses. We just finish talking about how Spriggans specialize in illusion magic, but then why Leafa is the one who makes the illusory wall? I suppose you could say all races can use all magic types, but Spriggans are just better at it in some way. Still, then we have Leafa saying how crappy illusion is in battle every episode but Kirito uses it to turn into a giant monster and owns. Not to mention, Kirito got all of his skill levels from SAO which did not have magic (i.e. his illusion should be at a low level, unless a sword skill or something transferred to illusion, but that seems unlikely). So what then, is giant monster illusion your weakest spell? Anyway, nice episode just need to ignore the inconsistencies.

    • November 10, 2012 at 2:42 pmDualash

      Well to clarify, the illusion magic Kirito used bases the appearance on the user’s stats (according to the light novel), so because of the glitch that transferred Kirito’s SAO stats to his ALO avatar, the high level of his avatar gave his ilusive appearance to be like that. Not really a inconsistency, but maybe if that little detail was added, it would make sense. Hope this helps.

      • November 10, 2012 at 2:45 pmUnknownVoid

        Those are two explanations I thought of. Since Kirito said Yui told him the spell, moridin84′s concept makes sense. Similarly, if it a weak illusion spell but one that gets stronger with the players combat attributes, that also makes sense. I just wanted this explanation in the episode, so I had an epic fight that made sense rather than one that did not.

      • November 10, 2012 at 5:33 pmSuppa Tenko

        Basically he used a level based transformation spell which resulted in him transforming into a lvl 98 monster.

    • November 10, 2012 at 2:43 pmmoridin84

      Hmm, I thought that ALO wasn’t level based? So technically you can do any kind spell (restricted by race) provided you know all the words?

      • November 10, 2012 at 2:52 pmMasterDragonKnight

        There is a level system in ALO. It’s just that the individual stats do not contribute as much to the damage output as they normally would.

        Also, you would presumably have to master the spells just like any other skills before they have any significant effect. Even if you have a high level spell, if your mastery of it is low, it would probably not do very much.

      • November 12, 2012 at 4:05 amThe Moondoggie

        Isn’t ALO’s level system basically like the skill system of SAO? A real life match would be something like RF Online, which uses “mastery” like “One-hand melee mastery” or “Force mastery” which levels as you use them.

  • November 10, 2012 at 2:19 pmBio D

    If Kirito and Leefa save the day because of all the monsters they aggrivated on the way there I will laugh so hard.

    • November 10, 2012 at 4:04 pmmugi

      haha… they dont seem to suffer from field transfer zones so theres no escape!

      seriously mob aggro in ff11 was my bane… >_<

    • November 10, 2012 at 5:33 pmSuppa Tenko

      That was Kirito’s plan but they end up not needing it.

      • November 12, 2012 at 11:55 pmSpacyRicochet

        This probably deserves a massive spoiler tag. Laughed out loud at he comment above this, though.

  • November 10, 2012 at 2:22 pmTranquin

    I’m still wondering why Cait Sith leader has bell on her neck.

    • November 10, 2012 at 2:30 pmMasterDragonKnight

      Rule of cute. If it’s adorable, it does not have to make sense. ^^

    • November 10, 2012 at 2:34 pmMoomba

      She’s a catlike creature! Unwritten rule of anime no. 352: All feline characters must wear a bell.

  • November 10, 2012 at 2:23 pmhaseo0408

    I was thinking in the Bridge of Kzhad Dur the entire time I watched the battle in the corridor, I was half expecting monster Kirito to start using a flame whip against a grey wizard, log live the Lord of the Rings.

    • November 10, 2012 at 2:40 pmMasterDragonKnight

      Unnamed Salamander shield warriors: Kirito! You shall not pass!

      So we are rooting for the Balrog this time?

      • November 10, 2012 at 3:40 pmhaseo0408

        Well, Reki-sensei has an odd sense of humor about this sort thing but yeah,Go Balrog Go!.

      • November 10, 2012 at 8:12 pmEuzio

        Would have been cooler if Kirito took the form of the Balrog from LoTR. But I guess its also fitting he took The Gleameyes form :P.

        I got a good laugh when Kirito made the deal with the last salamander guy. It was already funny enough when I read it in the novel, but seeing it animated and with the rather comedic music added in…. was just hilarious :D

  • November 10, 2012 at 2:24 pmAccess

    Illusion magic is either terribly implemented in this game, or the players are clearly retards. Alas, it’s probably both.

    All the resources put into this show continue to be wasted because of the, quite frankly, bad source material. Same with Accel World, really, which incidentally is from the same author. Though at least there you can see that his writing has marginally improved.

    If only more people would make use of this setting. It’s something that is brutally underused, and never really correctly portrayed.
    To me .hack//SIGN remains the by far best attempt at a show of its kind, and that’s not a 100% compliment.

    • November 10, 2012 at 5:24 pmRasen

      I figure illusion magic is implemented in the same way as drug-induced hallucinations. Even if you KNOW it can’t exist, well….*shrugs*

      I figure the “useless” part of it is that it doesn’t change your stats so it’s a realistic bluff. It’s just that Kirito was already capable of one-shotting other players, so…

    • November 13, 2012 at 12:03 amSpacyRicochet

      People! The author wrote this when he was in high school! Exactly during mostly everyone’s Gary Stu period! Of course the source material isn’t going to be up to par to experienced writer’s material. Seriously, every time someone complains about the source material being bad, a floating sky-fairy kills a dozen kittens, to spite them for stating the obvious.

      As for me, I just set my mind at zero and back to what I was expecting back then. It’s great to relive some of the game experiences I had while I was a kid :)

  • November 10, 2012 at 2:27 pmMasterDragonKnight

    I’m curious as to how Recon was able to log out in this state. He probably could not move his hand to summon the command window.

    Also, would his avatar not die after drowning in water for almost an hour?

    • November 10, 2012 at 2:47 pmRichfeet

      I don’t man, I don’t know… Just trying to figure it out hurts my head.

    • November 11, 2012 at 3:02 amvrr4141

      “Emergency escape button/ timer?” or something like that? A fail safe protection feature in AmuSphere?

    • November 11, 2012 at 12:25 pmShoe

      Alt + F4

  • November 10, 2012 at 2:28 pmSharingod

    I don’t get why Kirito doesn’t just go around the shields. Those 3 guys certainly don’t block the whole bridge.

    • November 11, 2012 at 3:50 amvrr4141

      just curiousity : when will Suguha find out Kazuto is using nervgear again? What will be her reaction? Well , he is in the room next to her, how come it take so long time….

      • November 11, 2012 at 4:23 amEduardo

        Show Spoiler ▼

  • November 10, 2012 at 2:32 pmXumbra

    • November 11, 2012 at 6:07 amewok40k

      Well Recon did his job better than any “pro intelligence” guys Sylph faction does have…
      I respect him more now, he doesnt fear to risk his virtual hide, and was smart enough to get the info on the Salamanders plot…
      Actually I’d like Leafa to acknowledge him at least a bit more, even if Kirito has her heart… (damned chick magnet… btw, Klein nailed him on that in Sword art offline omake!)
      Kirito vs Salamanders actually was less onesided than I expected, so long as they kept their shield wall and fireball spam, they were evidently winning… as in real life, coordinated unit > hero 99% of time.
      Kirito getting all preachy was a bit jarring, but lookat this other way: He was fighting in self-defence, and when he got a captive enemy, instead of threatening him Leafa way, he offered him a big compensation, and praised his enemies fighting skills.
      One thing that got me lolwut, was Kirito chomping on Leafas fingers, only to have a pixelated palmsign on his face next we see him…
      Last but not least, does Cat Sidhe leader go by the name of Nekoko?

  • November 10, 2012 at 2:41 pminferno

    LOL Kirito is indeed a cheater, he has the Yui radar, you can never ambush Kirito. Psh who needs scanning abilities when u hv Yui

    • November 10, 2012 at 2:58 pmMasterDragonKnight

      Compared to conventional radars, Yui is 50% more capable, 50% more reliable, and 200% more adorable! ^^

      Not to mention, unimaginably more dangerous if she gets her hands on the Object Eraser.

  • November 10, 2012 at 2:51 pmephemeral

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

    • November 10, 2012 at 6:43 pmtheunknown

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

      • November 10, 2012 at 6:56 pmRasen

        You people still keep coming to this board?

      • November 10, 2012 at 9:21 pmricz

        Why you guyz are still here then?

  • November 10, 2012 at 2:55 pmEmD

    Kirito: Master Mage.

    THIS MAN CAN DO IT ALL

    • November 12, 2012 at 4:07 amThe Moondoggie

      More like he can only do anything that the game allows him to do. His character specialize in illusion magic, so…..

  • November 10, 2012 at 2:57 pmmoridin84

    It funny how Recon managed to sneak in his “Suguru-chan”‘s in the conversation on the phone, since she wasn’t paying attention.

    “His sermon on how you should always be true to yourself, be honest and act as you would in the real world, is coming from a guy who’s using glitched stats, buying equipment with glitched money, and has already fought and killed multiple other players with no sign of remorse whatsoever.”

    I think you didn’t quite get him point. Him killing those players is his “part of the game”, what he is saying is bad is treating the “moral choices” (e.g. him betraying Leafa at that point) as just “part of the game” is wrong.

    • November 10, 2012 at 4:24 pmSmith

      Also keep in mind, the Salamanders were attacking him head on, so the moral choice would have been ‘to defend yourself and your comrades’. To reiterate what moridin said, if he was mass murdering unprovoked players and stealing, THEN he would have gone against his words.

    • November 10, 2012 at 8:23 pmEuzio

      Lets not forget that Kirito started playing this game not because he was out to have fun. He primary reason playing was to confirm Asuna was in it and to rescue her. Hence he had no hesitation in using the glitch carried over from SAO into ALO since it would essentially save up on a huge amount of time training and farming to ensure he would be at a capable level.

      Moridin makes a very good point in that what Kirito was referring to was morale choice. He has after all, indeed met a many people in SAO who were like that. The good ones (Asuna, Klein, Agil, etc) and bad (Kuradeel, Laughing Coffin, Titan’s Hand, etc). Especially when the lines can be so easily blurred between reality and virtual in a VRMMO.

      In the future….
      Show Spoiler ▼

  • November 10, 2012 at 2:58 pmAkiRan

    Is it just me or the battle a little resemble upon Zack vs Genesis

  • November 10, 2012 at 3:04 pmKwin

    Kirito’s hair?????? == Raigake’s Hair?
    Kirito are cute but the new hair are ugly

  • November 10, 2012 at 3:32 pmrandom viewer

    If it was just illusion, then Kirito would have slashed the Salamander guys 4 or 5 times to make it look like the monster clawed their sorry bodies.

  • November 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm3749

    Kirito cast Wabbajack onself for 120 second :p

  • November 10, 2012 at 3:57 pmMagoiichi

    Just hope that Kirito doesn’t start trolling like Aizen.

  • November 10, 2012 at 4:15 pmFrog

    Oh, you, Kirito :)

  • November 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm†Croos†

    10/10

  • November 10, 2012 at 5:00 pmFlanders

    Did you see that? Healers healing the frontliners, and Kirito being healed by Lyfa. Gosh, brings me back to the RPG days. I really enjoyed this aspect in the fighting of this episode.

  • November 10, 2012 at 5:05 pmJames

    OMG THERE IS SOME SERIOUS SHIT GOING ON IN MY MMO LIFE
    MUST MAKE SEVERAL PHONE CALLS
    THIS IS SO IMPORTANT

    • November 10, 2012 at 5:09 pmmoridin84

      Well he’s kinda a clingy person.

      Gah, I hate people who just ring and ring and ring.

  • November 10, 2012 at 5:29 pmRasen

    Recon, the Clay Aiken of Alfheim Online.

    Be scared, Suguha. Very scared.

  • November 10, 2012 at 5:34 pmgreenT

    “Wasn’t Recon still in the Sylph city? Shouldn’t it be impossible for players of other races to attack him? Or do the sewers not count as part of city for some reason?”
    to answer your question Moomba, in the light novel it is explained that those in positions of power(sigurd), can award “traders tokens”(status) to other races. this would give them the ability to attack in other races cities

  • November 10, 2012 at 5:42 pmSuppa Tenko

    Here’s to clear up a couple of things.

    1. in the novel, there were more than just 3 people at the front and they had tower shields that linked together.
    2. Spriggan magic considered weak because it’s not very combat oriented. The illusion spell was a random chance spell that would turn most players into a low level monster instead of a boss level monster.
    3. In the LN, the battle was much longer in terms of them trading blows and such but that would be a waste of time in the animator’s eyes.

    I feel like the Fairy Dance arc is very dependent on Kazuto and Suguha’s monologues because without them the scenes feel weird and out of place.

    Kinda like playing Metal Gear Solid without those monologues.

    • November 10, 2012 at 9:30 pmbelatkuro

      1. Nope. There are only 3 tanks in front. Quote from LN:
      Show Spoiler ▼

      2. I would add that it’s randomly based on the player’s combat skills. But the magic usually don’t work because the players will already be expecting a monster that they know and won’t be frightened by it. Surprise, surprise, it’s a monster from another game. Quote from LN:
      Show Spoiler ▼

      3. Nah, it only looked long in the novel because of the explanations and monologue but it’s essentially the same thing. Kirito attacked the tanks twice, the healers and LeefaLeafa healed him twice, the spellcasters hit him twice, he tried budging the shields open, he cast the illusion spell while LeefaLeafa protected him, he turns into a monster, all hell breaks lose.

  • November 10, 2012 at 6:06 pmMCPhatman

    I hate how it feels like there is nothing at stake here…I mean basically the guy is playing the game instead of saving his girlfriend…I liked how in SAO it was about survival, choices with real consequences. Now its just a game but they expect us to care as much as we did during the SAO arc.

    • November 10, 2012 at 6:14 pmznail

      It’s just that Kirito are a private person so he doesn’t show how stressed he are. Remember that he has the experience of living a couple of years under constant threat for his life and tried to still be able to enjoy life some what during that time. So it is hardly strange that he can enjoy the game while still keeping his focus on what his main goal are.

      The current sidetrack is just a short one, but it also has pretty good potential of earning him allies on his quest, so it is well worth it for him to help his new friend out.

    • November 12, 2012 at 4:56 amThe Moondoggie

      He isn’t sure if it is Asuna, he discussed that with baldy before he tries ALO. And won’t playing the game, trying to finish it, already amounts to saving her? It’s basically SAO without the danger of dying, but a huge serving of rape, mindbreak and NTR to replace it instead.

      And nobody wants that… Except Sugou.

  • November 10, 2012 at 6:12 pmhaseo0408

    Exacly which part of that magic was “illusion” magic, that was more like tranformation magic or summoning magic. Also, Kirito´s magical status should be very low because it did not existed in SAO so it can´t be transfer by the error in the save data, meaning how the hell was he able to use such a powerful spell in the first place?.

    • November 10, 2012 at 6:19 pmznail

      The spell didn’t actually make him stronger, but rather it gave him a scary apperance and longer reach. The longer reach was what made most of the difference. When he hit the guys with the shields at first so did he bring down to half health all of them in one hit, despite them blocking. Thus when he got the reach to bypass the shields so were they toast.

  • November 10, 2012 at 6:36 pmO-T-A-K-U

    the part that kirito transform into a monster looks like gleam eyes the blue eyed demon

  • November 10, 2012 at 7:12 pmSamuel

    Moomba, every time i read your review make me thinking that you don’t like Sword Art Online.

    • November 10, 2012 at 8:24 pmSol

      Ya think? I don’t blame the guy.

    • November 10, 2012 at 9:16 pmGhostalker

      That’s what I think also, seems he doesn’t like the show. If only there is actually some other else blogging SAO that actually like it (or points out the more positive side of the show than the negatives) with a big following I would actually prefer going there. Also I’ve been in RC for more than 4 years now so I cannot really break that habit.

      I just have to keep up with the negative views and I’m fine.

      • November 10, 2012 at 9:50 pmSol

        There are positives?

      • November 10, 2012 at 10:18 pmGhostalker

        Of course there is, that is the different between someone who like the show vs. someone who does not. Right?

      • November 11, 2012 at 2:31 amJin

        More power to Moomba for actually pointing out the flaws (and there are many) instead of giving in and just writing fanboy reviews like you’re asking for. It would be easy to fall prey to pressure like that but instead he’s actually offering honest critiques of the show. It’s not like Moomba’s been hating on the show from the start, so it’s not any sort of bias. Perhaps you should consider that this arc might just have more negatives than positives.

      • November 11, 2012 at 3:05 amGhostalker

        Who’s pressuring who?

      • November 11, 2012 at 4:04 amMoomba

        @Ghostalker
        It’s funny you should bring this up. I will admit straight off the bat that I vastly preferred the SAO arc to the ALO arc. In every one of my posts so far, I’ve made sure to bring up the positive points that come across to me – I genuinely enjoy the Leafa/Kirito dynamic as I stated in this post for example. But that doesn’t mean I can just ignore the flaws – I tried that once and decided there was no point doing so again. If you think that I’m being harsh, you should see what some of the others have to say.

      • November 11, 2012 at 4:51 amGhostalker

        I cannot really say, for one I’m not a regular reader of SAO blogs until the last few episodes because I don’t want something to spoil the fun I am having with the show or so that’s what I hope. But then I’m starting to really like this shows and I can’t help but wonder how other people think about it and alas I start reading blogs, to my disappointment it’s not really the same to what I hope.

        As for your blog, I think you are doing fine with it, despite what I’ve written I actually glad that someone is pointing out what they think its flaws, it gives something new and different to what I think of it.

      • November 11, 2012 at 8:21 amSuppa Tenko

        As a super SAO fanboy, I must say that the Fairy Dance arc is a relative disappointment overall as a story. Sure it had some awesome moments, but it was blogged down in unnecessary experimental writing and situations that would be really really out of place anywhere near reality. It’s a shame we won’t be seeing Phantom Bullet animated seeing how gun fights are usually easier to animate that midair sword fights.

    • November 11, 2012 at 2:18 pmshadowalker

      “Moomba, every time i read your review make me thinking that you don’t like Sword Art Online.”

      yea, i thought tht in like ep12/13 but by now i’m pretty sure he/she dislikes SAO and hates Kirito(or strong male characters for tht matter, although tht seems to be native to this site).
      of course SAO isn’t flawless(and i haven’t seen any show tht is either) but from my point of view ur just putting SAO under a microscope and complaining about things tht u can complain about in any anime.
      i’m not a expert but wen ur writing a review shouldn’t it impartial and fair to the content.

      • November 11, 2012 at 6:35 pmZephyr

        I don’t usually bother butting in, but had to do so at this point because you’re just pointing out things that just aren’t true or jumping to some ridiculous conclusions.

        For one,

        “by now i’m pretty sure he/she dislikes SAO and hates Kirito(or strong male characters for tht matter, although tht seems to be native to this site)”

        Really? While Moomba did said he prefers the SAO arc to the ALO arc, he never actually has mentioned that he explicitly dislikes the series in its entirety from what I’ve read. He explains that he does prefer the SAO arc to the ALO arc, but that shouldn’t be misconstrued as a dislike for the entire series. From there, I also don’t understand how the heck you suddenly jump into the conclusion that he potentially hates strong male characters and that the site itself is filled with writers that do so. Not to mention, even if this has happened as often as you seem to say, I’m quite sure each writer has spent time explaining exactly why they did not like a particular character with those characteristics. It’s not because the writers dislike all characters with that characteristic in general when they dislike someone with that characteristic, but rather that character alone.

        of course SAO isn’t flawless(and i haven’t seen any show tht is either) but from my point of view ur just putting SAO under a microscope and complaining about things tht u can complain about in any anime.
        i’m not a expert but wen ur writing a review shouldn’t it impartial and fair to the content.

        And this also astounds me too, because from everything I’ve read, Moomba is in no way differing his writing style just because it’s SAO (in other words, putting it under a microscope). He points out flaws and positives when he sees them (and does so with every series) which is exactly what an impartial review should be.

        In addition, like Ghostalker mentions above, the fact that he even points out flaws is much more than many other sites seem to be doing, which is just pointing out the positives. You say you want an impartial review, but from what I’m seeing, the way Moomba phrases things, it’s way more impartial than most of the other discussions regarding SAO. What exactly is it that you want?

      • November 12, 2012 at 4:15 am

        there are a lot of people who don’t watch the shows for entertainment, but instead, watch it to critique it, except they use logic as a criteria not enjoyment value. It’s like, if someone were to rate the Mona Lisa as a “flawed” painting, because the proportions are off.

      • November 12, 2012 at 11:58 amshadowalker

        First of all i didn’t ‘jump’ to any conclusion my conclusions are based on wat read in the posts here.

        “Really? While Moomba did said he prefers the SAO arc to the ALO arc, he never actually has mentioned that he explicitly dislikes the series in its entirety from what I’ve read. He explains that he does prefer the SAO arc to the ALO arc, but that shouldn’t be misconstrued as a dislike for the entire series.”

        while i also think SAO arc is better than ALO arc(not tht this arc is bad), there’s a clear difference between wat he says and the impression i got from reading his posts, even in the SAO arc.

        “From there, I also don’t understand how the heck you suddenly jump into the conclusion that he potentially hates strong male characters and that the site itself is filled with writers that do so. Not to mention, even if this has happened as often as you seem to say, I’m quite sure each writer has spent time explaining exactly why they did not like a particular character with those characteristics. It’s not because the writers dislike all characters with that characteristic in general when they dislike someone with that characteristic, but rather that character alone.”

        again, didn’t jump to conclusions just something i noticed after reading posts here on various anime shows.wen i consistently see characters with similar characteristics or in similar situations treated differently while the only significant difference between them is their gender, wat else am i to conclude?
        for a instance, i found it odd tht with all the criticism for Kirito being overpowered or too good, even though he’s a veteran gamer and a beta tester, there was no criticism ever about Asuna being the second best player in SAO despite the fact it was the first game she ever played.
        to be fair this doesn’t happen every single time, just most of the time.

        “And this also astounds me too, because from everything I’ve read, Moomba is in no way differing his writing style just because it’s SAO (in other words, putting it under a microscope). He points out flaws and positives when he sees them (and does so with every series) which is exactly what an impartial review should be.
        In addition, like Ghostalker mentions above, the fact that he even points out flaws is much more than many other sites seem to be doing, which is just pointing out the positives. You say you want an impartial review, but from what I’m seeing, the way Moomba phrases things, it’s way more impartial than most of the other discussions regarding SAO.”

        really? just reading this review gives the impression of Kirito being too overpowered, capable of one-shot anything while the show definitely pointed out tht he couldn’t hav succeeded without the help of Leafa and Yui.Or missing the fact tht maybe the reason Kirito didn’t want see any party members die(even though thy don’t actually die) was because he still suffers from trauma of losing his entire guild in ep3.Or the fact tht Kirito who can supposedly one-shot anything is really bad at using spells.

      • November 12, 2012 at 12:29 pmZephyr

        again, didn’t jump to conclusions just something i noticed after reading posts here on various anime shows.wen i consistently see characters with similar characteristics or in similar situations treated differently while the only significant difference between them is their gender, wat else am i to conclude?
        for a instance, i found it odd tht with all the criticism for Kirito being overpowered or too good, even though he’s a veteran gamer and a beta tester, there was no criticism ever about Asuna being the second best player in SAO despite the fact it was the first game she ever played. to be fair this doesn’t happen every single time, just most of the time.

        I go back to what I said before regarding this. Just because people had the similar characteristics, does not mean that they were criticized purely because of those characteristics. Each writer had their own reason for doing so and most of it was due to the development of the character. Do not misunderstand a critique of the specific character as a critique of ALL characters with those traits.

        And as for criticism for Asuna, I believe you’ll find it around too. It’s just that Kirito has many more examples from which to discuss, not to mention he (as the main character) is analyzed more naturally as a result.

        really? just reading this review gives the impression of Kirito being too overpowered, capable of one-shot anything while the show definitely pointed out tht he couldn’t hav succeeded without the help of Leafa and Yui.Or missing the fact tht maybe the reason Kirito didn’t want see any party members die(even though thy don’t actually die) was because he still suffers from trauma of losing his entire guild in ep3.Or the fact tht Kirito who can supposedly one-shot anything is really bad at using spells.

        Stop. Are you trying to tell me at this point that Kirito is NOT overpowered? Because I don’t care whether you are pro or anti-SAO, that’s one factor that cannot be denied.

        You say that he couldn’t have succeeded without the help of Leafa and Yui, but in actuality, he could have. The only reason he even needed healing was because of he chose to make things harder on himself by attacking head on. If he had used any semblance of proper tactics, he would’ve easily defeated his foes alone, so he’s still miles overpowered compared to the average character. Thus, because he chose to make it virtually impossible to succeed without help, it automatically makes that not a good example to argue because it’s not a natural scenario. It’s something he artificially made in an attempt to include Leafa, rather than a necessity.

        In addition, you have to realize also that Yui isn’t even supposed to be a component in ALO. The fact he even has her and her abilities actually contributes even more toward his overpowered nature, rather than the opposite, because it gives Kirito additional abilities that he wouldn’t have otherwise.

        - – -

        And also, if you must continue in attempting to argue that Kirito is not overpowered and reason his development, I point you to this article:
        http://leetneet.com/anime/item/1005-a-discussion-on-anime-mediocrity-pt-i

        Let’s see what your arguments are after that.

      • November 12, 2012 at 1:37 pmshadowalker

        “I go back to what I said before regarding this. Just because people had the similar characteristics, does not mean that they were criticized purely because of those characteristics. Each writer had their own reason for doing so and most of it was due to the development of the character. Do not misunderstand a critique of the specific character as a critique of ALL characters with those traits.

        And as for criticism for Asuna, I believe you’ll find it around too. It’s just that Kirito has many more examples from which to discuss, not to mention he (as the main character) is analyzed more naturally as a result.”

        i feel like you missed my point, i didn’t take one character’s one trait and how tht character was treated to form my opinion, i took multiple characters(with different traits) from different shows and compared with them each other to form my opinion.

        “Stop. Are you trying to tell me at this point that Kirito is NOT overpowered? Because I don’t care whether you are pro or anti-SAO, that’s one factor that cannot be denied.”

        can’t i argue tht if Kirito was overpowered he could hav smashed through tht wall or took out the guys with the shields in one shot?
        and even if Kirito is overpowered i think thts entirely justified.

        “You say that he couldn’t have succeeded without the help of Leafa and Yui, but in actuality, he could have. The only reason he even needed healing was because of he chose to make things harder on himself by attacking head on. If he had used any semblance of proper tactics, he would’ve easily defeated his foes alone, so he’s still miles overpowered compared to the average character. Thus, because he chose to make it virtually impossible to succeed without help, it automatically makes that not a good example to argue because it’s not a natural scenario. It’s something he artificially made in an attempt to include Leafa, rather than a necessity. ”

        this part is filled with assumptions on you’re part and there was no reason given in the show to assume tht Kirito artificially created the situation.

        “In addition, you have to realize also that Yui isn’t even supposed to be a component in ALO. The fact he even has her and her abilities actually contributes even more toward his overpowered nature, rather than the opposite, because it gives Kirito additional abilities that he wouldn’t have otherwise.”

        so now Kirito is overpowered with the help of people around him? in tht context any anime character who received help from people around him/her, regardless of the character’s own strength, would be a overpowered character.

      • November 12, 2012 at 2:14 pmZephyr

        i feel like you missed my point, i didn’t take one character’s one trait and how tht character was treated to form my opinion, i took multiple characters(with different traits) from different shows and compared with them each other to form my opinion.

        Uhh, hello? You just said multiple times previously that you think this site in general dislikes strong characters because of the many instances we’re discussed things we disliked about strong characters. And I’m saying that you’re wrong in assuming that we hate all strong characters in general, just because the guy has that trait. We don’t hate characters in general for ANY trait either. And you’ll find that we back up our assertions with reasons.

        this part is filled with assumptions on you’re part and there was no reason given in the show to assume tht Kirito artificially created the situation.

        Hello? It’s called common sense. Many other viewers other than myself have also questioned why he needed to charge at the shields in a frontal assault, when there was enough room to side step and/or jump over. You’re telling me there was nothing he could’ve done aside from a frontal charge? Not to mention he explicitly requested that Leafa stay back and heal, rather than assist in his attack.

        And you seem to also be misconstruing overpowered to mean invincible, which is not the case.

        so now Kirito is overpowered with the help of people around him? in tht context any anime character who received help from people around him/her, regardless of the character’s own strength, would be a overpowered character.

        Yui is not part of the game normally and imparts skills and support no one else gets. Kirito just so happens to have this. Are you telling me that when you consider how much stronger he is compared to everyone else ALREADY, this doesn’t make him even more overpowered? Hello? This isn’t related to scenario you just put up at all. And really, if you want to argue, in ways, if someone who was weak, but had the strongest party ever supporting him, yes, that could fit under the description of overpowered too.

        - – -

        Just stop it. He’s someone with more abilities and skills than any other person in the game. His stuff imported over from SAO, where he was already the most powerful player. Thus he is overpowered compared to the typical character. No matter how you argue it, this remains true no matter what. Don’t confuse it for immortality/invincibility however, although, this brings up another thing of how he might as well also be invincible because something always works in his favor (also poor writing by the way).

      • November 12, 2012 at 3:25 pmshadowalker

        “Uhh, hello? You just said multiple times previously that you think this site in general dislikes strong characters because of the many instances we’re discussed things we disliked about strong characters. And I’m saying that you’re wrong in assuming that we hate all strong characters in general, just because the guy has that trait. We don’t hate characters in general for ANY trait either. And you’ll find that we back up our assertions with reasons.”

        while my point still stands ‘hate’ might hav be too strong a word, a generally negative attitude towards strong male characters would more accurately describe my impression.

        As for the rest, lets agree to disagree since, even though i can continue arguing ur points, i don’t see it being productive for either of us(since u don’t seem to get my points anymore than i can understand yours) and honestly, it’s too time consuming for me keep replying to these posts(even though it might sound like a excuse it’s not).

  • November 10, 2012 at 7:16 pmTopboy

    Look like Kirito got some special spell in Alfheim game (he got special unique skill in SAO too). Maybe he could transforms into high level unique monster.

    And so now Imouto play healer role.Must be good,have cute healer elf with u.

  • November 10, 2012 at 7:24 pmMashiro

    Kiritooooo Don’t go saying casually to every girl that you like her!!
    I wish there were more other couples in SAO instead of giving Kirito a harem when he already has Asuna.

  • November 10, 2012 at 7:27 pmSinsI

    >Illusion is an incredibly powerful tool.

    It is a powerful tool in PVP, but it doesn’t help at all in grinding or clearing bosses. This might mean that Alfhelm is primarily a PVE game, despite overabundance of PVP situations that we’ve already seen…
    Or that different races cater to different styles of play.

  • November 10, 2012 at 8:24 pmEntrav

    Yep yep yep, focus on Sugu’s boobs instead of her facial expression. Better than last episode.

  • November 10, 2012 at 8:29 pmWuz

  • November 10, 2012 at 8:51 pmGhostalker

    I’m really really LIKE this show, I have woken up at 5am just to see if the episode is already available. The fight certainly is interesting and doesn’t disappoint, I know because my heart is beating very fast and I cannot sit I have to stand up watching and had a huge grin in my pace alas I love this show, awesome!

    Now, why it cannot be next week already!!! I need MORE Sword Art Online!

    Guess I have to settle with repeating this episode several times until I’m satisfied.

    • November 10, 2012 at 8:52 pmGhostalker

      err…I mean face (instead of pace)

    • November 11, 2012 at 8:22 amSuppa Tenko

      Horrible Subs releases it every Saturday at 3pm EST

    • November 12, 2012 at 7:24 amMrBrownSound

      I wonder why the fight in this episode was so awkward. Kirito’s level up’s from the previous game should make him practically unstoppable, but he almost died dealing with some guys holding shields. I’m guess they are just going to use “magic” as an excuse to give some struggle for Kirito’s journey, can’t be too easy I guess.

  • November 10, 2012 at 8:58 pmKynte

    I saw the penguin in Penguindrum at suguha’s room . xD

  • November 10, 2012 at 9:44 pmGhostalker

    In this episode, Kirito is like a Barbarian (in Diablo III) who uses the “Threatening shout” and “War Cry” skills to demoralize the enemies and boost his defense, then in maximum Fury he unleashes the “Wrath of the Berserker” skill transforming himself into a really powerful and intimidating beast and ravage on any enemies in his path :)

    • November 10, 2012 at 10:13 pmGhostalker

      A continuation to my post above…

      Kirito as an uber powerful character is not far fetch. I played games like Diablo II and III (at some point I also tried MMOs like Flyff), but it’s very evident in Diablo III that a very high level character with the highest stats and best weapons is literally “very powerful.” even with enemies the same or a notch higher level than that said character. Playing with the likes of them makes the game so easy I don’t have to do anything, plus they are always ahead, every monsters are dead as soon as they appear on screen.

      That’s why I don’t understand why some people doesn’t like how Kirito is very powerful because it’s not without backing, in SAO he is a very high level character in a game where losing all your HP points means permanent death of course the tactics he used are very different compare to a game the just re-spawn you when you died, it’s been explained already that reason behind his strength in ALO and it’s natural for him to use it to his advantage.

  • November 10, 2012 at 10:50 pmColentas

    We need more kitty-cat leader…

  • November 10, 2012 at 11:09 pmRuly

    Truly the best series airing right now :)

  • November 10, 2012 at 11:33 pmBenigmatica

    No Asuna on this episode, it’s so sad!

    But hey, at least I’m not gonna rage again for being molested by the Fairy King…

  • November 11, 2012 at 12:18 amevil713

    I think it could be debated that although kirito is in the technical sence of the word “cheating”, he is not truely playing the game. he is here to save his wife from a psycopath, not fly forever.

  • November 11, 2012 at 12:39 amJhacks

    Wow the bridge that they are in fighting is huge. And if you can sprint so fast like in the ending, ignoring and slipping through the front line tanks, slaughtering the back line mages is the more logical way in dealing with it. I guess if you are Kirito, one must have to follow the rule of cool and spearhead the enemy tanks and wait for your plot armor to activate.

  • November 11, 2012 at 12:40 amWalaoa

    I have read the translation for light novel before . The transformation scene was not as diabolical or intimidating as i imagine . Hopefully the next fight scene will be better . ALO arc felt like filler to me , it lack of tension compare to other arc in light novel . Hopefully they do better in animating the coming fight scene as those are the only redeeming point of this arc for me .

    I wish they would change the soundtrack as well instead of reusing . I feel the soundtrack they used in kirito transformation vs salamander doesn’t really fit the scene.

  • November 11, 2012 at 1:08 amRickyMack

    “Heck, if you’ve ever played Guild Wars 2 you might know that Mesmer, a class specialising almost entirely in illusion, is one of the most irritating classes to fight against.”

    Reminds me of Loki in Thor/The Avengers.

    “Are you ever going to not fall for that?”

  • November 11, 2012 at 1:13 amgsharp

    Good ep, I can’t wait for next ep. I’ll cheer on his cousin even though I’m on Asuna ship.

  • November 11, 2012 at 1:23 amfragb85

    “Hey Leafa, I know you’re a veteran but since you’re a WOMAN, you’ll have to take a support role so that the MAN can actually get things done. Afterall, my blandness is tailored to upstage the better and more interesting characters! In fact I’m so awesome I can pull a move OUT OF MY ASS, and one shot everything! I mean real MMO players can only wish to take out an entire raid party but I’m Kirito, I defy conventions of good storytelling like, tension or excitement!”

    In all seriousness, I enjoyed most of the episode. The fact there’s no useless damsel Asuna or Douchey McRapey is not a coincidence. In fact, I care more about this B-plot since its actually interesting, as opposed to the dull A-plot that I will eventually have to deal with later. Oh joy.

    • November 11, 2012 at 9:25 amD-LaN

      If you think about it, its just Yui pulling a powerfull spell out of her GM power so if you want, blame it on her??

      Kirito needs a healer since he, well. can’t heal himself. Plus, in the LN: Lyfa looked at Kirito’s huge double-edged sword. Indeed on this narrow bridge, friendly fire would be possible and avoiding that would be hard.

      • November 12, 2012 at 4:41 amThe Moondoggie

        What people tend to forget here is that Leafa played the game longer than Kirito. Putting Kirito in front, because he can fight better, and Leafa as support because she better at that, and the only one who can heal at the moment, was the right thing to do.

        It would be totally absurd if Kirito starts healing himself when:

        1. He doesn’t know much about the skills in the game
        2. His kind specialize in illusion magic
        3. Most of all his inherited stats would be in melee since SAO has no magic

    • November 11, 2012 at 1:38 pmshadowalker

      so u missed the facts, tht Kirito is better swordsman than Leafa while Leafa is better at spells than Kirito or the fact tht Kirito himself said tht he would be hav been dead if he was alone or the fact tht the illusion magic he used was actually Yui’s idea and only saw tht Leafa was a woman(sexist much?) and Kirito was good at games?

    • November 11, 2012 at 3:52 pm3749

      I think what Kirito meant to say is “Hey I can’t heal, can you heal and support me while I’m fighting the enemy because you are better at it”
      Anyone who suggest that healer or support type player become DPS is a retard.

    • November 11, 2012 at 3:52 pm3749

      I think what Kirito meant to say is “Hey I can’t heal, can you heal and support me while I’m fighting the enemy because you are better at it”
      Anyone who suggest that healer or support type player become DPS is a newbie.

    • November 11, 2012 at 7:50 pmfragb85

      That’s nice. But all the details and explanations you can give me mean nothing. All they do is treat symptoms on the problem of the story and how its told. The supporting cast (ALL OF THEM) are far more interesting than Kirito, but are forced to play second fiddle to gawk at Kirito, their studly Lord and Savior. This is worse for the feamle ones, because they are reduced to gushing harem members.

      The very basic idea of rooting for a protagonist is to see him struggle and triumph. But of course Kirito is always right and results in no tension or struggle. I can’t feel anything or care about anything. Why should I?

      And yes he did pull that out of his ass, there’s absolutely no foreshadowing, just him charging in and me rolling my eyes as he just curbstomps everyone with no effort and everyone just wets their pants.

      • November 12, 2012 at 1:44 pmshadowalker

        ur just looking at the show selectively and creating reasons to complain, there were plenty of moments in the show tht would conflict with ur claims.

  • November 11, 2012 at 2:18 amLemona

    how many episodes are there?
    is the story gonna wrap up soon? or will there be a season 2?

    • November 11, 2012 at 4:44 amEduardo

      considering just SAO and ALO, there will be 24 episodes. But there are 2 other arcs in the novel (one of them is still running) and a giant side-story to ALO. It would take at least 3 seasons to cover every volume of the novel, when it ends

    • November 11, 2012 at 5:50 amMukyuu

      It’s been confirmed to be 25 episodes.

  • November 11, 2012 at 3:30 amTerrorhunt

    Somehow, I’m reminded of a scene in Marvel’s The Avengers when Kirito went Beast Mode.

    Leafa: Kirito, now might be a good time to get angry.
    Kirito: That’s my secret, Leafa. I’m always angry.

  • November 11, 2012 at 3:54 amvrr4141

    Just curiousity : if I were Kazuto’s foster parents, the first thing I do after Kazuto wake up from SAO is smashing nervgear into pieces or give it to the police/ authorities….why Kazuto still have it?

    • November 11, 2012 at 5:53 amMukyuu

      You must have missed it in an earlier episode in ALO. He bargained with government to keep it in exchange for giving them info on SAO events and other things.

      Plus Yui is stored in his nervgear. So unless he stopped caring about her I don’t think he’s going to get rid of it. (imagine the drama if Suguha had destroyed it completely without knowing the consequences lol….)

    • November 11, 2012 at 6:10 amRenegade_Saber

      And besides , some things you just dont forget. With all the sacrifice the Nerv Gear entailed , I dont think one can just throw it away. And as Mukyuu explained , Yui’s stored in there.

  • November 11, 2012 at 5:51 amArika Impact !

    w-w-where’s Asuna ? (Q.Q|||)

  • November 11, 2012 at 6:07 amRenegade_Saber

    I was looking forward to the Demon Kirito Scene , and I can say that they depicted it just like in the novel.
    This scene would be one of the show’s highlights for me , next to the Dual Blades Kirito scene.
    Funny how the Gleam Eyes was in both scenes , though under very different circumstances .

    Sometimes with all the drudgery that the real world throws at you , I wish I could let loose and turn into a 50 foot Gleam Eyes . . . perhaps in the near future we could all at least do it in Virtual reality.

  • November 11, 2012 at 6:25 amHayate

    some of the thing not mentioned in the light novel

    the spell Kirito used is an Illusion spell where it will randomly change the player into monster based on his skill stats. As Kirito did solo the Gleam Eyes, so i guess i can be considered that he’s on par with him

    another note is when a race is considered hostile by the guild leader, that race cannot enter the town anymore. And as for the reason why the 2 salamander can enter the Sylvain’s sewer, the exception for that when they are given the medallion that allows them to enter Sylvain freely. The catch is that medallion can only be given by the territory’s leader(Sakuya) or vice-leader(Sigurd)

    hope this helps

  • November 11, 2012 at 6:40 amGekokujou

    I LOLed when I saw Kirito getting all buddy-buddy with the last Salamander guy as he bribed him. It was pretty adorable.

    • November 11, 2012 at 9:36 amZnail

      I found the funny thing with that scene was how the girls reacted :)

      • November 12, 2012 at 7:34 amGekokujou

        That too, although I don’t see why the girls should be complaining if they got what they wanted out of the poor guy, unless the girls wanted the items and money for themselves.

  • November 11, 2012 at 6:44 amGermanguy

    Well, i see the “problem” here. What will happen to Asuna, when She get out of Her Birdcage Prison? Well, She still has the “Log Out” Problem or not? She was She needs is a “Bug” Patching, to get her “log Out” Button back. Thats the Core Problem here, even if Kirito beats the Big Boss. She needs this “freaking” Log Out

    • November 11, 2012 at 6:49 amGermanguy

      or someone should just unplug the nervgear. Since it dont kill Peoples anymore…

      • November 11, 2012 at 7:17 amRasen

        First, who is going to apply the “bug patching”? Sugou?

        Second, how does anyone else know that removing the nervgear won’t kill her? For all anyone knows, Asuna and the other 300 players are still stuck where if someone tries to remove the equipment, the nervgear will fry their brains.

      • November 11, 2012 at 7:26 amGermanguy

        Well, this is now a other Game. How they get caught there in the First Place. Or Did they got “Force Transfer” to the New Game? I wonder since this New MMO Began, how Asuna got caught there anyway and Kirito not. So all waht Kirito is now knowing, why is that not Asuna, too? Because She has never “log Out” since then? So Kirito can Beat the Boss an runs to Asuna and Unplug her. If they cant get rid of the “log Out” problem.

      • November 11, 2012 at 8:08 amRasen

        Well, this is now a other Game. How they get caught there in the First Place. Or Did they got “Force Transfer” to the New Game? I wonder since this New MMO Began, how Asuna got caught there anyway and Kirito not.

        See, this tells me you’re not actually watching the show. Sugou explained in episode 17 that when people were being logged out of SAO, he managed to intercept several hundred of them and have their minds transferred to ALO.

        So all waht Kirito is now knowing, why is that not Asuna, too? Because She has never “log Out” since then?

        Exactly.

        So Kirito can Beat the Boss an runs to Asuna and Unplug her. If they cant get rid of the “log Out” problem.

        By that logic, Kirito should have just unplugged her when he was at the hospital. Except that Sugou already said “he was the one keeping her alive.” For all Kirito knows, Sugou kept the same instructions that Kayaba had for killing players if someone tries to remove the Nervgear.

      • November 11, 2012 at 1:56 pmGermanguy

        Then i better not starting to Watch it. There are to many “cheap” Loopholes. Well perhaps i am to Mature for this Kind of Anime.

        Enjoy it anyway.

      • November 11, 2012 at 2:32 pmRasen

        Then i better not starting to Watch it. There are to many “cheap” Loopholes. Well perhaps i am to Mature for this Kind of Anime.

        Again, they’re not “cheap” loopholes if they’re explained, or if they’re logical. Put another way, they’re not loopholes just because YOU think they are. Moomba, for instance, doesn’t appear to like the handling of this series. If your points were actual loopholes, Moomba would not have hesitated to write about them.

        So mature you complain about things you have no idea about. You invent points of criticism because you didn’t bother looking for an actual problem.

        Enjoy it anyway.

        Thank you, I will.

      • November 11, 2012 at 2:39 pmshadowalker

        @Germanguy
        rather than saying a “cheap” loophole it’s more like something tht hasn’t been explained yet because Kirito has yet to meet Asuna.
        Note: all Kirito has is a blurred picture as proof of Asuna is in ALO, it maybe tht he needs to know himself tht Asuna is actually there.

      • November 11, 2012 at 2:54 pmRasen

        @shadowalker:

        It’s one thing if he were complaining about things that weren’t explained yet. But he’s complaining about things that were ALREADY explained.

        His arguments can be summed up as “If I didn’t see it, it does not exist. And even though I didn’t see it because I wasn’t looking, it’s the author’s fault.”

      • November 11, 2012 at 3:07 pmSol

        @Rasen

        >See, this tells me you’re not actually watching the show. Sugou explained in episode 17 that when people were being logged out of SAO, he managed to intercept several hundred of them and have their minds transferred to ALO.
        >Again, they’re not “cheap” loopholes if they’re explained, or if they’re logical. Put another way, they’re not loopholes just because YOU think they are.

        They’re certainly explained, but it’s not logical at all. If you’ve been playing ANY sort of online game, you’ll realize it’s much easier to log out than it is to log in. Logging out a few thousand players is pretty much instantaneous. How they’re intercepted and prevented from logging out is a stupid explanation for how they’re still trapped because it goes against what we know from basic networking in online games.

        Also, one can forcefully disconnect themselves from the game by just yanking the NervGear off assuming it intercepts and feeds nerve signals back into the brain to simulate a real environment with feedback (pain, pleasure, etc.). It’ll stop interfering with your natural brain signals, but you’ll still be logged in because you didn’t log off via the game’s UI.

        You can try reasoning this using in-universe explanations all you want, but it doesn’t stop it from being stupid.

        Also, Kawahara Reki can’t write for his life. Why are you defending his drivel?

      • November 11, 2012 at 3:22 pmRasen

      • November 11, 2012 at 3:37 pmshadowalker

        @Sol
        all ur arguments are based on wat YOU know about MMO games and networking but this isn’t a MMO you hav played so how would u know?(how many times hav u tried the NervGear?)
        hell, you aren’t even in the same timeline as the anime to be talking about how networking or games or other technological aspects should be working in tht time.

      • November 11, 2012 at 3:54 pmSol

        @shadowalker

        Don’t even get me started on the implausibility of the NervGear. Suddenly it can now trap people (or if you will, souls) inside a different game (that is suddenly overwritten completely without needing to be logged out, how jealous our game developers would be).

        C’mon guise, suspension of disbelief only goes so far for bad writing.

      • November 11, 2012 at 4:05 pmRasen

        @Sol

        There’s a mistake in your statement. SAO was not overwritten. ALO was created using an older version of the system used to create SAO.

        How else would you explain Suguha having been playing ALO for a year(?) before Kirito woke up?

      • November 11, 2012 at 4:35 pmshadowalker

        @Sol

        “Don’t even get me started on the implausibility of the NervGear. Suddenly it can now trap people (or if you will, souls) inside a different game (that is suddenly overwritten completely without needing to be logged out, how jealous our game developers would be).

        C’mon guise, suspension of disbelief only goes so far for bad writing.”

        First take note of Rasen’s comment and it’s not unbelievable tht Sugou managed to intercept people logging out and reroute them to a different game/server, it’s just a matter of altering instructions of logging out and adding instructions to logging in to a different server.

      • November 12, 2012 at 4:45 amThe Moondoggie

        @Ransen

        I think they mentioned that already when Kirito asked Yui if ALO is SAO. Yui said that ALO is modeled after the older version of SAO, probably a prototype, and that it has an older version of the Cardinal System.

    • November 11, 2012 at 4:23 pmshadowalker

      @Rasen

      “It’s one thing if he were complaining about things that weren’t explained yet. But he’s complaining about things that were ALREADY explained.

      His arguments can be summed up as “If I didn’t see it, it does not exist. And even though I didn’t see it because I wasn’t looking, it’s the author’s fault.””

      reply here:
      http://randomc.net/2012/11/10/sword-art-online-19/comment-page-1/#comment-894149

  • November 11, 2012 at 7:41 amSeedStriker

    This week on SAO: roll will or DIE!
    Terror in combat is a way too powerful weapon. The shield wall crumbled as only one of them missed the will roll (Roll 20 on 6 straight rolls with d20, give or take) and without cover, the magicians were easy prey of killing machine Kirito.

  • November 11, 2012 at 7:58 amKinny Riddle

    LOL at Kirito saying the players he ate during monster form tasted like grilled beef, and then proceeds to “taste” Leafa’s hand as well, and deservedly receives a slap from her. XD

    For some reason, Kirito going into his monster form reminded me of Vincent Valentine. I don’t know why. lol

    • November 11, 2012 at 11:09 amZnail

      Dunno, I found his joke pretty funny :)

    • November 11, 2012 at 7:39 pmVaan

      He thought how Lyfa would taste? lol

      That scene made me laugh.

      • November 11, 2012 at 7:42 pmVaan

        dat CHOMP scene! XD

  • November 11, 2012 at 9:41 amDorian

    I enjoy SAO, but I’m glad I read the light novels, because this anime keeps skipping out the small details that definitely should be in there to explain things so you understand what’s all going on.

  • November 11, 2012 at 10:26 amD-LaN

    @Moomba, Kirito is a patient of what we call “Blood Knight” who is out of control when they fight but totally reasonable when they aren’t busy fighting. ‘sides, he said “While I live, I won’t let my party member die. I will definitely not allow that!” but he didn’t said non-party members :P

    • November 12, 2012 at 4:27 amThe Moondoggie

      Rather than Blood Knight, I consider him more like the Big Guy, which is usually a part of a Five-Man band, because Blood Knights fight… all the time. Mountain climbers climbs mountains because they’re there. Blood knights take the step further with fights: they most of the time go look for trouble when they’re not fighting, just so they can fight.

  • November 11, 2012 at 12:53 pmbearzerger

    @Moomba Kirito doesn’t have any problems with killing and stealing if it’s part of the game. He was talking about how even in a game you are still the real you. It’s this half-assed “It’s just a game” attitude he doesn’t like. He likes Lyfa so he won’t betray her even if it might be better for his goals. And he won’t give up fighting until the last moment either.

    As for how ridiculously overpowered he is, with ALO gameplay that’s simply because of his overwhelming experience and not because of any stats. He is well aware that using the money he had in SAO does constitute cheating, but that doesn’t matter to him because right now his goal is to reach Asuna and her life is much more important to him than playing by the rules.

    No one doubts that Kirito is pretty much the definition of Gary Stu. If one really looks at him one can’t help but notice that he’s the walking cliche most 14 to 16 year old gamers think up. I mean really a badass loner who wears only black with overwhelming skills and an irresistable appeal to girls. He’s even an orphan. He’s straight out of your generic bad fanfic.

    SAO is shallow entertainment. The type you shouldn’t really think about. Sometimes it’s enough to simply enjoy the world and ignore the glaringly obvious faults as long as the story is interesting.

  • November 11, 2012 at 1:10 pmgrey

    hmm i guess Kirito is really just killing for the great good. these guys attacked him and he had to defend Lyra and Yui. i think that’s pretty justified. i don’t think he’s as hypocritical as you make him out to be, but whatever. he just wants to get to asuna within a week!

  • November 11, 2012 at 2:13 pmKylone

    IMO, what Kirito was trying to express with his semi-arrogant soliloquy is that how you play the game will affect you: betraying your friends for personal gain is something he will never do in a game because he never wants to do that in real life.

  • November 11, 2012 at 3:17 pmRockmanshii

    I can’t wait for more of Sakuya’s boobs next week.

  • November 11, 2012 at 3:21 pmRasen

    @Sol

    They’re certainly explained, but it’s not logical at all. If you’ve been playing ANY sort of online game, you’ll realize it’s much easier to log out than it is to log in.

    While what you’re saying is true, none of that takes into account a game where it is controlled by intercepting and sending signals to and from your brain. And what does logging in have to do with anything in this argument?

    Logging out a few thousand players is pretty much instantaneous. How they’re intercepted and prevented from logging out is a stupid explanation for how they’re still trapped because it goes against what we know from basic networking in online games.

    Speed of the logout has has nothing to do with this. Sugou was monitoring the network, and he set up something to intercept in the event they were ever released.

    Also, one can forcefully disconnect themselves from the game by just yanking the NervGear off assuming it intercepts and feeds nerve signals back into the brain to simulate a real environment with feedback (pain, pleasure, etc.). It’ll stop interfering with your natural brain signals, but you’ll still be logged in because you didn’t log off via the game’s UI.

    I’m not sure what the point of this statement was, except that it was established that by trying to remove the helmets, their brains were fried. And that was established at the very beginning.

    You can try reasoning this using in-universe explanations all you want, but it doesn’t stop it from being stupid.

    A high-powered, directed microwave.

    Also, Kawahara Reki can’t write for his life. Why are you defending his drivel?

    Because I’m more offended by poor logic and made-up arguments. If someone hates something fine. If they can justify it, even better. But don’t just make up stuff.

    • November 11, 2012 at 3:41 pmSol

      >And what does logging in have to do with anything in this argument?

      http://i.imgur.com/y4qnl.jpg

      I stopped here. It’s a waste of time talking with a person who can’t seem to understand that I put in a comparison that’s not necessarily the main point of the argument.

      • November 11, 2012 at 3:52 pmRasen

        So in other words, you threw in a point that has absolutely no relevance to the argument at all, and you’re surprised that I questioned your use of it at all?

      • November 11, 2012 at 3:56 pmSol

        Nice strawman. Shame if it got burnt down.

      • November 11, 2012 at 3:57 pmRasen

        No seriously.

        If they are prevented from logging out, what difference does log-in speed have to do with anything.

    • November 11, 2012 at 5:13 pmshadowalker

      “Because I’m more offended by poor logic and made-up arguments. If someone hates something fine. If they can justify it, even better. But don’t just make up stuff.”

      totally agree with you on tht, i have seen too many people here make complains about SAO by ignoring facts or by making bad assumptions or driven by prejudice just because thy don’t like the show.
      Seriously, if u dislike the show and still can’t stop watching it or commenting about it, at least make valid arguments.
      And just to be clear liking or disliking a anime is a matter of personal preference and does not necessarily reflect on a anime being good or bad.

  • November 11, 2012 at 4:20 pmshadowalker

    @Rasen
    i was thinking along the lines tht even if Kirito finds Asuna she still has no way of logging out(if she could she would already hav done tht already, right?) and even if Sugou is beaten in-game there’s no guarantee tht he will let her go and there was no explanation as how to get Asuna out of the game thts why i said ‘unexplained’ since i assumed Germanguy was talking about tht.

    • November 11, 2012 at 4:26 pmRasen

      Those are fair points, and I think it comes down to “Kirito hasn’t thought things through, he just wants to see if that’s really Asuna.”

      And if he can confirm that, maybe he can tell Asuna’s father about Sugou, and force Sugou to back down. (Right now, it’s just his word against Sugou’s.)

      • November 11, 2012 at 4:40 pmshadowalker

        no arguments here.

        “Note: all Kirito has is a blurred picture as proof of Asuna is in ALO, it maybe tht he needs to know himself tht Asuna is actually there.”

        “Kirito hasn’t thought things through, he just wants to see if that’s really Asuna.”

        seem similar? :)

      • November 12, 2012 at 4:16 amThe Moondoggie

        Well he did just come out of a death game. So if he puts “Asuna didn’t wake up from the game” and “There is a character who looks like Asuna somewhere in another online game”, his conclusion is expected.

    • November 12, 2012 at 2:23 pmGermanguy

      Yes, i was.

      • November 12, 2012 at 2:27 pmGermanguy

        ..and if the “writes” cant come with a conclusion to get Her “Log Out” button back, then they should “log Out” kirito and run to the “Real Body” and just “Disconnect” her. Because he is now Sure that this is the “real” Asuna he knows, and there is no more Harm from the Nervgear

        But, lets see. What the Screen posts will show us, when it comes to that “little” important Keystone

      • November 12, 2012 at 2:29 pmGermanguy

        ..or they make it like in SAO. End Boss beaten? Shut Down Server, See you in Next “Capture” Game :)

  • November 11, 2012 at 5:03 pmshadowalker

    just testing how to use tags, feel free to delete this post

    aaa aaaaa aa aa aa

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • November 11, 2012 at 5:05 pmRasen

      For future reference, you could have accomplished the same by hitting the “preview comment” button” instead, and then by scrolling down a little bit to see it.

  • November 11, 2012 at 6:00 pmshadowalker

    “How about this: I don’t like it BECAUSE it’s bad.”

    while it’s entirely possible to dislike a show because it’s bad, i don’t think thts the case here, after reading ur earlier posts and considering the fact tht SAO isn’t actually a bad show i think it’s more likely tht u view this show as bad because u dislike it.

    • November 11, 2012 at 6:04 pmSol

      Thanks for telling me what I think isn’t what I think. You have done me a great service and deserve a cookie.

    • November 11, 2012 at 6:53 pmZephyr

      Alright. Just gotta butt in here at this point, because it’s just getting to a point where it’s just exchanging insults and what not and overall unproductive.

      So here’s an article (yes, an actual, civilized, coherant, logical argument including one) discussing some of the reasons many people dislike SAO (and Kirito in general). Sol was one of the many people who were involved in this article, but because it wasn’t released yet, he did not have the chance to actually refer to it in his discussion as to why he believes SAO is not a great series.

      http://leetneet.com/anime/item/1005-a-discussion-on-anime-mediocrity-pt-i

      • November 11, 2012 at 7:33 pmRasen

        Now that was a well-reasoned argument. Here’re my two cents:

        It reads as though you’re blaming the anime and it’s director when their only fault has been to be faithful to the source material (i.e., not just inventing new material). (Eg., “the biggest failure of an anime,” as opposed to “the source material cashes in by appealing to the masses”)Anime original material in an adaptation has a less than stellar record.

        Next, I think you’re exaggerating when you say that there is NO reason for this show or book series to exist. The books were a commercial success, and that is reason enough. It appealed to enough people that it was worth investing in animating it. The fans of the source material would be entertained and it could reach others as well.

        It is unfortunate that not every show or book or manga can be a work of art, but it is a sad truth that not enough people are interested in fine art for that to be a viable strategy for businesses. On the whole, the masses are just interested in quick entertainment and wish fulfillment. That’s why there are so many harem light novels and shows based off them. Campione!, Highschool DxD, Hidan no Aria, To Aru Majutsu no Index, Kampfer, Chrome Shelled Regios, Infinite Stratos, etc. And this isn’t even counting the shows based on hentai games….

        Also, I’m curious as to your take on the following (Putting aside the “aggressive mediocrity” of the characters):

        I once posited that I found SAO to be more enjoyable in the novels, because they started at the end and then worked backwards.
        -It let the short stories feel more natural rather than disconnected and jumpy in the anime.
        -If they had gone through every floor, they would probably still be in SAO right now, and it would feel endless and depressing. And I would have dropped the series after probably the third volume. By putting the ending first, it also allowed me to enjoy the story without the specter of death hanging over every word.

      • November 11, 2012 at 7:58 pmRasen

        One more thing just occurred to me: you criticize SAO for not giving Kayaba a grand reason for trapping all the players (because he actually did give one, “I forgot why I wanted to travel to a castle in the sky” aside), but that’s unfortunately realistic.

        People don’t always have grand reasons for terrible things, and it’s because we understand that, that we accept it in the media. Dexter is a show about a serial killer who is driven solely because his mother was killed in front of him as a child. Criminal Minds is a series filled with serial killers who 7 out of 9 times do it because there’s something about the act that gives them a woody.

      • November 11, 2012 at 8:12 pmZephyr

        Regarding the first part, yeah I guess I could’ve phrased it better eh. For the most part, I blame the writer more than anything, but at the same time, it feels like to me that the director does at least share some of the blame. There are aspects that could easily be tweaked to make them flow better and the choice of putting so many side stories at the beginning was also a choice on part of the studio/director for instance.

        As for the non-existent part, I’m borrowing somewhat from what Stilts’ post on “Does This Need To Exist”? from a little bit back. It’s a bit on the extreme side in terms of saying that this series doesn’t need to exist admittedly, but I feel that when you believe a series doesn’t do anything new and includes such instances of just, plain lazy writing, one should at least question the necessity of a series that does this. Of course, it’ll vary and a vast majority wouldn’t go to say it definitely shouldn’t exist, but as I phrased it, I’d like to say it was more of a bringing the thing up, rather than actually saying it shouldn’t eh.

        And yeah, the thing about Sword Art Online is I do understand why people do like this series. As I mentioned, it’s logical to like characters with idealized traits, and it makes you want to project yourself on to them as well. I understand that to a degree, but just because it has these aspects… it should not be misunderstood as something that suddenly makes the series actually, objectively great. And it’s this respect that perhaps irks me more than the poor writing itself, that people seem to associate the fact they like a particular idealized aspect (and one intentionally placed just to sell) to the concept that the series is thus amazing/great (and some even claim it’s the best series EVER, which is just insane). Furthermore, much of the fanbase refuses to admit there are any notable flaws with the series at all, which is just not true.

        As for my take on the aspects you mentioned…

        I’m not quite sure about starting it from the end, but at the very least, they probably could’ve done better if they just started with the main story (around… episode 8 I believe) and visited back some of the side stories as flashbacks. It would be more coherent as a whole and make it less prone to the side stories seeming like it’s just there for the sake of it being there. It would also eliminate any of the discontent on the time skips, because everything would be already in the past.

        Either that, or have less side stories and/or some original modifications from the director.

        In regards to the floors part… I agree that covering all 100 floors would’ve been too immense and too long to fit in properly. With something like this, there’s bound to be time skips and floor skips… but I just can’t accept the fact that the side stories skip some 10+ floors every episode and that the main story didn’t start until what, the 70th floor? I understand not doing all 100, but skipping nearly 60% of the content before then is just way too much for my tastes and makes it difficult to properly develop anything (especially when you do it the way they did it with the side stories). The story would’ve been much better given more episodes to develop, in other words. Not saying give it a gazillion more, but SAO easily could’ve been a nearly two arc series, and a decent one at that.

        EDIT: As for the criticizing on the reasons, I did mention that at that point any old explanation could have sufficed. I didn’t need a grand explanation, just something concrete. The way it ended up, it was just like some abstract thing about a castle floating in the sky, and there just wasn’t a real connection to it at all… nor to the reason why he would trap the people inside.

      • November 11, 2012 at 8:28 pmRasen

      • November 12, 2012 at 12:21 pmshadowalker

        @Zephyr
        “Alright. Just gotta butt in here at this point, because it’s just getting to a point where it’s just exchanging insults and what not and overall unproductive.”

        agreed, it is getting to tht point and i apologize if my posts came off as insulting or offensive but i have to emphasize tht i didn’t mean them to be.

      • November 12, 2012 at 1:05 pmshadowalker

        As for most of ur arguments here i differ to Rasen, since i agree with most of his points and it would be stupid if i argued the same points and as for,

        http://leetneet.com/anime/item/1005-a-discussion-on-anime-mediocrity-pt-i

        Znail’s comment on tht seems pretty accurate.Seriously, for all the criticism about Kirito being a Gary Stu he’s only good at VRMMO and electronics in general.

        just want to add tht i don’t agree with Kirito being a self-insert character, mainly because his character is completely different from wat i would want to be in a MMO but i still think his character is great(even though i definitely don’t want to be him).

        and as for Kayabe’s motives, like he said he wanted to create a fantasy world he dreamt of as a child and live there, you can argue tht he could hav done tht with SAO without trapping players, but then it would just be a game, where u can just die and re-spawn, by adding the fact of real death to the game he tried to make the game real and enjoy it as reality(of course he couldn’t hav done tht without turning into a villain).

      • November 12, 2012 at 2:02 pmZephyr

        Replied to his post.

        His arguments aren’t even refuting my points. It’s just walking around them and saying things that seem related but aren’t. And not to mention, he mis-understood what I wrote.

      • November 12, 2012 at 2:04 pmSol

      • November 12, 2012 at 3:26 pmshadowalker

        “His arguments aren’t even refuting my points. It’s just walking around them and saying things that seem related but aren’t. And not to mention, he mis-understood what I wrote.”

        misunderstanding? tht seems to be going both ways.i suggest we agree to disagree since we seem to hav issues getting through to each other because our PoVs are completely different and honestly, it’s too time consuming for me keep replying to these posts(even though it might sound like a excuse it’s not).

  • November 11, 2012 at 8:18 pmZephyr

    Sol had some issues posting, so…

    @Rasen

    Next, I think you’re exaggerating when you say that there is NO reason for this show or book series to exist. The books were a commercial success, and that is reason enough. It appealed to enough people that it was worth investing in animating it. The fans of the source material would be entertained and it could reach others as well.

    If you want an analogy, I would say that SAO is the FFXIII of the animu industry right now. It has extraordinary sales for its LN and BD; FFXIII has sold 6.5 million copies worldwide, FFXIII-2 selling 1.8 million. SAO has a polarizing fanbase with people actually calling it animu of the year or even, shudder, best animu this season. Meanwhile, FFXIII is universally-panned for its story, characters and general game design, yet you have people who swear by it and even say it’s one of the best JRPGs released this console generation. Square-Enix, much to chagrin of players who don’t have bad taste, continue making sequels that no one wants (nor does it need). Also, I would dare say FFXIII has no purpose in existing and I would say the same for SAO.

    My point is, if you use sales as a measure of quality, the video game industry seriously wants to have a word with you. If commercial success is enough, then it just proves how shallow everything about this series is. Created to pander to people who love self-projection, while maintaining a consistent sense of, at the very least, mediocre writing.In fact, the less exposure SAO gets, the less pain and suffering we can inflict unto other people.

    One more thing just occurred to me: you criticize SAO for not giving Kayaba a grand reason for trapping all the players (because he actually did give one, “I forgot why I wanted to travel to a castle in the sky” aside), but that’s unfortunately realistic.

    That’s *a* reason that provides no emotional payoff for all the crap the characters had to go through. At least go the Fallout universe route of having it being a social experiment. I would even take Batman explanation of “Some men just want to see the world burn,” but we didn’t get that either.

    • November 11, 2012 at 8:42 pmRasen

      If you want an analogy, I would say that SAO is the FFXIII of the animu industry right now. It has extraordinary sales for its LN and BD; FFXIII has sold 6.5 million copies worldwide, FFXIII-2 selling 1.8 million. SAO has a polarizing fanbase with people actually calling it animu of the year or even, shudder, best animu this season. Meanwhile, FFXIII is universally-panned for its story, characters and general game design, yet you have people who swear by it and even say it’s one of the best JRPGs released this console generation. Square-Enix, much to chagrin of players who don’t have bad taste, continue making sequels that no one wants (nor does it need). Also, I would dare say FFXIII has no purpose in existing and I would say the same for SAO.

      Interesting that you would choose FFXIII. I won’t say that it’s GOTY material, but at the end of the day, I had a fun time and that’s all I ask of it. Similarly, all I ask of anime is that it entertain me. It’s nice when games and shows push the envelope and innovate, but those that don’t can be nice too. Like candy. I like candy.

      On a separate note about FFXIII, I actually would say there is purpose to be found in its existing. I believe it was Squeenix’s first foray into the PS3 hardware, and Square learns from experiences. (XIII-2 is pure cashing in, but hear me out) Like Square’s unfortunate foray into movie-making, Spirits Within, the technology they used and what they learned from the experience went directly into making FFX, which was generally well-received. If from the failures of FFXIII, Versus benefits, then that’s a good thing. Also, XIII’s battle system was another experiment, which was generally well-received.

      My point is, if you use sales as a measure of quality, the video game industry seriously wants to have a word with you. If commercial success is enough, then it just proves how shallow everything about this series is.

      Rather than the series, it’s more a reflection of the average consumer, don’t you think? Sales is not a measure of quality, but of what people want and their tastes. Thus, look at all the sports games that are cranked out each year.

      That’s *a* reason that provides no emotional payoff for all the crap the characters had to go through. At least go the Fallout universe route of having it being a social experiment. I would even take Batman explanation of “Some men just want to see the world burn,” but we didn’t get that either.

      See my response in
      http://randomc.net/2012/11/10/sword-art-online-19/comment-page-1/#comment-894257

  • November 11, 2012 at 8:26 pmRasen

    I’m not quite sure about starting it from the end, but at the very least, they probably could’ve done better if they just started with the main story (around… episode 8 I believe) and visited back some of the side stories as flashbacks. It would be more coherent as a whole and make it less prone to the side stories seeming like it’s just there for the sake of it being there. It would also eliminate any of the discontent on the time skips, because everything would be already in the past.

    Ok, so it sounds that like myself, you would have enjoyed the novel’s execution more. (Cheap appeal to our baser instincts aside). The side stories were written after the main story, and were packaged in volume 2, after SAO finished in volume 1.

    EDIT: As for the criticizing on the reasons, I did mention that at that point any old explanation could have sufficed. I didn’t need a grand explanation, just something concrete. The way it ended up, it turned out to be some abstract thing that just circled around “I forgot” and never gave concrete credence to it all. Subsequently, it gave off the vibe that the writer never just really tried.

    Kayaba’s reasons for building a castle in the sky is basically “I forgot,” but his reasons for trapping the players in it is present in the subtext of the series. It was to make people LIVE the game, for Aincrad to actually be another reality for them and not just a game. It’s hinted at in the way he tells the players to focus on clearing the game, and in the ways the players (mainly through Kirito’s eyes) live their lives. They worry about creature comforts, they experiment with cooking, they take care of children, they run shops, they fall in love, etc. It’s finally confirmed, though not stated outright, when Kirito and Asuna both admit they don’t regret their time in SAO, and when Kayaba says “people can’t be revived in real life.”

    • November 11, 2012 at 8:35 pmSol

      >It reads as though you’re blaming the anime and it’s director when their only fault has been to be faithful to the source material (i.e., not just inventing new material). (Eg., “the biggest failure of an anime,” as opposed to “the source material cashes in by appealing to the masses”)Anime original material in an adaptation has a less than stellar record.

      The writing is so subpar that anime original content can only improve upon the original source material. Heck, I bet you someone out there is rewriting SAO so it doesn’t, you know, suck. What a waste of a premise. I thought it was something like .hack + Gantz at first, but nope.

      >Kayaba’s reasons for building a castle in the sky is basically “I forgot,” but his reasons for trapping the players in it is present in the subtext of the series. It was to make people LIVE the game, for Aincrad to actually be another reality for them and not just a game. It’s hinted at in the way he tells the players to focus on clearing the game, and in the ways the players (mainly through Kirito’s eyes) live their lives. They worry about creature comforts, they experiment with cooking, they take care of children, they run shops, they fall in love, etc. It’s finally confirmed, though not stated outright, when Kirito and Asuna both admit they don’t regret their time in SAO, and when Kayaba says “people can’t be revived in real life.”

      This would’ve provided a great subplot or at least an internal struggle for Kirito. Should he praise the man that more or less killed four thousand people for allowing him to meet the woman of his dreams? Or should he hate him with all his soul for playing with the lives of human beings like that, considering the white knight he is? What was up with his indifference when finally meeting Kayaba in his likeness?

      • November 11, 2012 at 8:50 pmRasen

        The writing is so subpar that anime original content can only improve upon the original source material.

        Bleach and Dragon Ball Z would like to have a word with you.

        Heck, I bet you someone out there is rewriting SAO so it doesn’t, you know, suck. What a waste of a premise. I thought it was something like .hack + Gantz at first, but nope.

        Is this a dig at Kawahara Reki redoing SAO to be more consistent, and (possibly) add more material?

        This would’ve provided a great subplot or at least an internal struggle for Kirito. Should he praise the man that more or less killed four thousand people for allowing him to meet the woman of his dreams? Or should he hate him with all his soul for playing with the lives of human beings like that, considering the white knight he is? What was up with his indifference when finally meeting Kayaba in his likeness?

        Y’know how some people manage to come to terms with their death? And how they seem so peaceful and accepting at the end? That’s basically what happened. He’s already gone through the “anger” stage, so to speak, when he was trying to kill Heathcliff.

    • November 11, 2012 at 9:02 pmZephyr

      Kayaba’s reasons for building a castle in the sky is basically “I forgot,” but his reasons for trapping the players in it is present in the subtext of the series. It was to make people LIVE the game, for Aincrad to actually be another reality for them and not just a game. It’s hinted at in the way he tells the players to focus on clearing the game, and in the ways the players (mainly through Kirito’s eyes) live their lives. They worry about creature comforts, they experiment with cooking, they take care of children, they run shops, they fall in love, etc. It’s finally confirmed, though not stated outright, when Kirito and Asuna both admit they don’t regret their time in SAO, and when Kayaba says “people can’t be revived in real life.”

      I get where you’re going with this and the whole subtext, but at the same time, it makes it all the more strange that he never voiced it in the first place in a coherent manner. Instead, he answers the question with an answer that doesn’t really… well, answer the question.

      In addition, I feel that there could’ve been so much extra here too, ranging from a discussion on potential alternatives like is the cost of so many deaths worth it? Why couldn’t you just make it so dead people merely disappear from the main world but don’t actually die? etc. etc. Yes, I would’ve been satisfied with a regular whatever explanation, but you also have to say there was another missed opportunity here too.

      • November 11, 2012 at 9:27 pmRasen

        I get where you’re going with this and the whole subtext, but at the same time, it makes it all the more strange that he never voiced it in the first place in a coherent manner. Instead, he answers the question with an answer that doesn’t really… well, answer the question.

        I know this is going to sound like an excuse, but Kayaba isn’t like most villains. He’s not a big fan of talking or exposition.

        In addition, I feel that there could’ve been so much extra here too, ranging from a discussion on potential alternatives like is the cost of so many deaths worth it?

        As a discussion between reasonable people it would be interesting. But from the perspective of Kayaba, the fact that he did something like this already means he thinks it’s worth it. It’d be a short, ugly, and frustrating conversation.

        Why couldn’t you just make it so dead people merely disappear from the main world but don’t actually die? etc. etc.

        I’ve thought about this question, and I think it boils down to “preventing interference.” Obviously, the first few people had to die when their families tried to remove the Nervgear.

        Now obviously, they can’t be allowed to wake up when they die, because then first, there would be multiple attempts to try and get messages into the game to tell people to suicide, and second I can imagine some very resentful families and hospital administrators having to take care of someone who could (potentially) leave at any time. Especially when the longer they’re in SAO, the closer to death they get (As Asuna pointed out, there probably is a time-limit to how long they can live in a coma, bed-ridden).

        That just leaves letting the dead players stay in an actual coma, since if they were just in a separate area, they will no longer treat Aincrad like a “life.” For this, I’ve got nothing too concrete. My personal take is that with them dying in the real world, it’s a reminder to their families and outside observers that this is a serious situation and that they are fighting desperately for their lives, that they aren’t just stuck in a extended vacation having the time of their lives, which can tie back into resentment and interference. It is human nature to be suspicious of things that are TOO perfect, and if no one died after the initial batch, I can guess the direction the outside public’s thoughts would take.

        I haven’t fully fleshed the idea out, but that’s what I got so far.

      • November 11, 2012 at 9:39 pmRasen

        Also, going back to why dead players have to die in the real world as well, and about human nature to be suspicious and/or resentful of things too perfect, if someone in the real world ever got the impression the danger was over or upset enough to just yank the helmet off the heads of just ONE player, it would be a disaster if it happened in front of any other players. Part of what lets them live their lives in Aincrad the way they do is comfort in the knowledge that the outside world doesn’t interfere.

        If a player were to die suddenly from forced logoff, you can bet that information would get passed along like wildfire among all the remaining players and there would very likely be a mass (suicidal) rush to clear the game. This not only goes against Kayaba’s design to have them LIVE in Aincrad, but also what happens if everyone dies? They just stay in a coma for the rest of time, or does Kayaba release them all? In which case, see my previous comments about families, hospital administrators, and resentment.

      • November 12, 2012 at 12:38 pmZephyr

        I don’t disagree with the possibilities that you mentioned above. But the thing that it seems to keep coming down to is that they’re just hypothetical scenarios and solutions. They’re things that could’ve easily been solved with only a mere few sentences of dialogue, which regardless of the personality of the person involved, would have been a viable addition. Not to mention, one could argue that because the game’s over and he’s seeing the world he created crumble before his eyes, that would be the one moment he actually does open up, even if he isn’t a big talker.

        In any case, I mean, we could go into hypotheticals all day… but I really just feel there’s a lot of lazy writing here that could’ve been fixed with just the small of tweaks that could in turn avoid ANY (or most hypotheticals) or at least provide some proper semblance of closure where we wouldn’t even need to bother with them even if they existed. The way SAO’s first arc ended just doesn’t provide enough concrete material (imo) to provide that, even when very, very small additions/changes could’ve made a tremendous difference. And it’s that aspect that I want to point out.

        There’s always going to be disagreements regarding exactly what or how, but I believe at the very least it should be seen that extra effort could’ve been put in that just wasn’t. And I mean, when you got the writer himself apologizing in some of his Author’s Notes… it just doesn’t help the cause at all ya know? The experience is just incomplete and ends up praying on aspects the masses will like in some respect.

      • November 12, 2012 at 1:06 pmshadowalker

      • November 12, 2012 at 2:52 pmRasen

        @Zephyr:

        Agreed, these are all just hypotheticals. But think about how much detail I had to go into, to even debate the points. Now imagine if there were two people arguing about it: Kirito and Kayaba. It would be a long and largely ignored argument, that really wouldn’t add anything to the story. (Or at least that’s how I feel, after having written all those justifications.)

        On top of which is that in the end, it’s all basically summed up by “Kayaba doesn’t care enough about the average person to spare their lives. He doesn’t hate them, he just doesn’t really see them either.” And that sort of person is the kind who would throw 10,000 players into a deathgame, and wouldn’t really bother explaining anything beyond the bare minimum like he did “you can’t resurrect people in real life.”

      • November 12, 2012 at 3:44 pmZephyr

        Yes, you’ve gone through a lot to even get to the points you did, true. But the thing I wanted to point out was that when Kirito asked the question, it was all Kayaba. He had his chance to answer and theoretically, all he needed to do was say something along the lines of:

        “Look, I did it because I wanted people to see how living in a virtual world could be special, something akin to a real world.”

        It’s something that he could’ve easily said in the time segment given. A simple, yet elegant explanation. Doesn’t even need a counterargument or philosophical debate from Kirito and can just stand alone. It would’ve been like, well, damn I disagree with your methods, but at the very least, viewers could easily understand his concrete motivations and then have no need to pick at it, despite some hanging threads ya know?

      • November 12, 2012 at 5:47 pmRasen

        I understand why you wanted at least a concrete statement from Kayaba, but I think given the nature of the act, any quick and clean statement would still have left readers dissatisfied and searching for what he missed.

        Instead of being angry at “why did he do what he did,” it would be anger at “for a genius, why didn’t he come up with a better method?” or “Why did he overlook something so obvious?”

  • November 11, 2012 at 11:33 pmLaughingMan

  • November 12, 2012 at 4:15 amFlanders

    For a while there, I thought cait sith was this character. And considering that Kirito looks like Zack with the Buster Sword… coincidence huh?

  • November 12, 2012 at 7:18 amMrBrownSound

    I know it’s a odd time to notice this, but I’m starting to find it weird that they haven’t addressed Kirito’s sisters feelings about pretending to be someone else in front of Kirito.

    I don’t follow this series in any other way than the anime, so- so far it feels like they are leaving out a big part of the equation not addressing in the least bit, how it is sort of weird that Kirito’s sis is pretending to be someone else entirely in the game world, I’m guessing to get close to Kirito in a way she cannot in the real world.

    Does anyone have any insight into this beyond what I know?

    • November 12, 2012 at 7:42 amboingman

      First of all, she’s his cousin and she actually does NOT know that it’s him in the game.

      • November 12, 2012 at 8:17 amMrBrownSound

        sorry cousin, I remember. And lol I saw a scene that showed she didn’t know, but than I disregarded it, because, well in the game his name is Kirito, and he talks like him, and looks like him. lol that is hilarious.

      • November 12, 2012 at 2:53 pmRasen

        Because his name isn’t Kirito. That’s his character’s name. His name is Kazuto Kirigaya.

  • November 12, 2012 at 7:53 amboingman

    To me Leafa doesn’t feel as useless as Asuna was in the previous arc. At least she is doing some healing and doesn’t need to be rescued all the time.
    I wonder how much higher the budget is compared to Muv-Luve Alternative Eclipse. Must be at least double or triple the budget. This has been a very good looking show every single episode.

  • November 12, 2012 at 10:07 amrizalp

    I’m curious, why didn’t kirito attack the healer first ? That way, he can finish the the tanker in the front, and then attack the magician in the back. I think it’s a basic move in battle, kill the healer first, otherwise you’re wasting your time..

  • November 12, 2012 at 2:04 pmSol

    @shadowalker

    What’s up with everyone strawmanning our arguments. We never said he’s a Gary Stu BECAUSE he’s good at VRMMOs or electronics, as that is besides the point and you guys are too fixated on very tangential minutae (or if you want an analogy, missing the forest for the trees). He’s a Gary Stu because (taking a Wikipedia definition…) he is “a character whose positive aspects overwhelm their other traits until they become one-dimensional”. There is not much to Kirito’s character aside from him acting as a white knight whenever there’s a girl involved, always shoving characters to the background as he takes center stage, succeeding at pretty much everything (of course there are exceptions, Sachi’s guild being an obvious one) via plot armor. The mentality for Kawahara when writing Kirito is “he’s the main character after all; he can’t fail in normal situations.” He’ll fail when the author deems it necessary for FORCED DRAMA and PLOT.

    And for those arguing he’s not a self-insert character, the proof of burden is on you. We said what we wanted for that idea, and we can’t understand how people see otherwise.

    >i still think his character is great

    Why?

    • November 12, 2012 at 3:09 pmshadowalker

      “What’s up with everyone strawmanning our arguments. We never said he’s a Gary Stu BECAUSE he’s good at VRMMOs or electronics, as that is besides the point and you guys are too fixated on very tangential minutae (or if you want an analogy, missing the forest for the trees). He’s a Gary Stu because (taking a Wikipedia definition…) he is “a character whose positive aspects overwhelm their other traits until they become one-dimensional”. There is not much to Kirito’s character aside from him acting as a white knight whenever there’s a girl involved, always shoving characters to the background as he takes center stage, succeeding at pretty much everything (of course there are exceptions, Sachi’s guild being an obvious one) via plot armor. The mentality for Kawahara when writing Kirito is “he’s the main character after all; he can’t fail in normal situations.” He’ll fail when the author deems it necessary for FORCED DRAMA and PLOT.”

      now ur just basically telling me wat material i should use to argue with ur points and if i go by ur definition of Gary Stu, tht would make every MC i hav seen a Gary Stu.

      “And for those arguing he’s not a self-insert character, the proof of burden is on you. We said what we wanted for that idea, and we can’t understand how people see otherwise”

      while u can’t understand how he is not self-insert character i can’t understand how he is.

      • November 12, 2012 at 3:55 pmZephyr

        The question I’m wondering at this point is:

        What exactly do you consider a Gary Stu? Because there’s a real set definition for it already and it’s what we’ve been using for the sake of this discussion.

        See here: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MartyStu
        tl;dr – Gary Stu = character with idealized traits with no discernible reason for it.

        No matter how you look at it, that’s the definition people go by, and our argument is based on this definition. It seems like you’re going along some kind of alternative definition that really isn’t what it is and trying to refute our argument because it doesn’t fit your definition instead of the actual one.

        - – -
        As a side note, the notion of self-insert is also a different thing, in that it means a character which people want to be, a character that people want to project themselves onto because he symbolizes things they want to be or people that do what they want to do.

        And last I checked, virtually everything he does corresponds to some idealized aspect that most people want, such as getting all the girls, beating up all the bad guys, being flawless etc. etc.

      • November 12, 2012 at 4:56 pmSol

        >now ur just basically telling me wat material i should use to argue with ur points and if i go by ur definition of Gary Stu, tht would make every MC i hav seen a Gary Stu.

        Here we again, missing the point of the discussion. The discussion is about whether or not Kirito a Gary Stu, not what the perceived definition of Gary Stu should be, as that is already defined. I put in the definition there so you can refer to it, so you don’t think I’m bsing you. I dunno what definition you use for Gary Stu (or Mary Sue for that matter), but it has been defined for posterity.

        >while u can’t understand how he is not self-insert character i can’t understand how he is.

        So you’re telling me he doesn’t possess most of the traits males would want? The ability to get all the girls he can by just making a cool speech about protecting? The ability to overcome everything with ease and finesse?

  • November 14, 2012 at 9:04 pmZaku Fan

    The power of the monster is not because of the illusion spell but because of this broken stats. The monster only served to stop the enemies from using their strategy, which required very rigid teamwork. Such a strategy is brittle and breaks if even 1 of the team does not do his/her part

  • November 15, 2012 at 12:05 amai namikaze

    Kirito learn Devil bats ghost from sena… LOL!!!

  • November 15, 2012 at 3:34 pmevilcleo

    I think it was good Kirito was thinking about how the whole video game changes you argument. I mean, he was stuck in a virtual reality game for 2 years and when he came out, he found out he wasn’t the same person. Which brings us to his current situation, where he is dealing with changes, like how Sugha has grown up. Yet at the same time, he knows ALO isn’t SAO and when he “kills” someone in game, they’re still alive.

  • November 19, 2012 at 3:00 pmAshen

    I agree on this episode’s comflicting “message.” I think it would’ve been vastly more interesting to see Kirito be conflicted about killing other players in ALO, given how much time he spent in SAO. The idea that his newfound respect for players’ lives could hinder him in this non-lethal game would’ve been an excellent avenue to explore imo.

    Instead we get Gary Stu leveling and one-shotting a dozen foes. Why? Pfft! Because the plot demands it, of course!

    The ridiculousness of our hero aside, I continue to take joy in the game mechanics of ALO, particularly those of magic and Recon’s use of stealth/invisibility (“recon” as in– get it? Get it?).

    • November 19, 2012 at 3:18 pmshadowalker

      i too agree on this ep’s conflicting ‘message’ but i think it makes Kirito’s character much more realistic and human.