Love it or hate it, Sword Art Online has become one of the biggest hits in Japan in recent years with the light novel breaking sales records and the anime regularly registering at the top of the charts in terms of video sales and popularity rankings. It comes as no surprise that the author of the series would be interviewed by Japanese media in order to figure out exactly why the light novel has been so successful since its humble origins as an online novel.
Recently, a Japanese magazine interviewed the author and tried to get his viewpoint on why SAO was so popular. While he danced around the success of the sales numbers in an attempt to be modest, what caught most people off guard was his response to the mounting criticism of his most popular work as being poor in comparison to other light novels.
Since the criticism he addresses is coming from the part of the Chinese internet (and even attempted to demonstrate the criticism based off of a previous J-Cast article) that is surprised that SAO is as popular as Haruki Murakami, does his indifference to the Chinese reception to the light novels reflect his own confidence in his work or does the sales=popularity argument come into play?
Correction: This article has been corrected with the prior statement removed and subsequent paragraphs corrected for context.