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Post Reply Anime Criticism & Sword Art Online
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19 / F / Scotland
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Posted 7/20/13
I don't dislike the show because it had good animation, gorgeous backgrounds, great music (nobody insults Yuki Kajiura,she is aaaaaamazing!!) besides I really like the 1st opening and as a former MMORPG player, I do enjoy when they introduce little game mechanics such as forming your own guild and having different basic skills etc (gives the whole world a nice touch) plus I was never once bored of this show and the ending could have ended a whole lot worse.

However, the flaws I have with the show is they took away the "life or death" scenario of the plot after the 3rd episode, the characterization is awful,like, I really wanted to like Asuna after her good intro from the 2nd episode, however she was just a typical tsundere, then became princess peach for the second half, such a shame , to be completely honest, I preferred Suguha, but as much as I liked her, she gets side-lined just as much as Asuna did, for her fanservice avatar and her love for kirito (though I didn't mind really the whole incest,just doesn't sound that disturbing to me )

So it is a solid watch and I still recommend it, but just make sure you turn off your brain while watching this.
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26 / F / Seattle
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Posted 7/20/13
Didn't we go through all this already with Guilty Crown?
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18 / M / USA
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Posted 7/20/13
+1
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25 / M / USA
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Posted 7/20/13 , edited 7/20/13

iblessall wrote:

1. Tough for me to justify classifying episodes using those side-stories for character development for the MC as a "harem." Each encounter added to Kirito's development. Really, there's no where else to go, because all development is a result of human interaction. If it had been 3 guys, people would be shouting yaoi, but it was 3 girls so they shout harem. You can't win apparently.

This is something that's bugged me ever since someone drew my attention to it, so I'll pass it forward.

If I'm being annoying just ignore me, no worries. Anyway.

Events during a plot are not sacrosanct because of what they achieve. There are an infinite number of ways to achieve anything in a story, and in this case the author chose to build Kirito a harem. There is absolutely zero reason for that harem to exist outside wanting the harem to exist. Everything it achieved could've been done by other means.

Secondly, Kirito did not develop as a character at all in the episodes with the loli or the blacksmith, they were just side stories. We learned more about Kirito (mostly that he was a complete Gary Sue), but he didn't develop at all. And there was no reason for there to be a love interest in the guild episode, although it wasn't terribly out of left field either.

(I mean, he is a high schooler - first crushes happen).

Thirdly, these are technicalities and I'm not arguing for or against liking or disliking SAO because of them.

But it's just not possible to defend the harem in SAO beyond "the author wanted Kirito to have a harem so he does." Which is fine. If someone's going to criticize something that fundamental to the author's intentions it probably means they should just find stories by somebody else since nothing can cater to each individual's whims.

PS: Kirito not developing during those episodes isn't necessarily a negative either; I found SAO really fun to watch in a "sit back and relax" kind of way. SAO rarely demanded to be taken seriously, so as long as each episode let me sit back and relax I was quite happy. And then episode 15 happened, but that's another, different topic.


Kazz5005 wrote:

(nobody insults Yuki Kajiura,she is aaaaaamazing!!)

Hell yeah.
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18 / M / bloomington, IL
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Posted 7/20/13
its the internet, there will always be a TON of assholes on it. no matter where you go. even crunchyroll has a few of them. a while back my profile pic was of kirito and i posted on a blog. and some one responded to me and said "can you please change that gay picture". and of course i told him off. i hate assholes. but people who are mature about it im fine with. like someone saying "in my opinion i didn't like so and so". but sadly most people on the internet are assholes because nobody can really do anything about it sadly.
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46 / M / Reston, Virginia
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Posted 7/20/13
I was surprised when I started visiting the forum and saw all the hate for SAO as my wife and I really enjoyed watching it. The show did have its flaws, but most shows do. It was an entertaining anime with likable characters and some touching moments. However, from the hate that seems to be heaped on SAO, you'd think it was the worst piece of animation to every be created.

In the end, what does it matter. I still enjoyed watching SAO even though a bunch of people hate it. I still think it was a good anime despite what they say. After a while, you learn to just ignore the hate you see on the Internet.
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26 / M
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Posted 7/20/13

SpiralPower1337 wrote:

1.Turned into a harem (Every girl wants that virtual D)


A bit, yeah. I can also agree that it can be grating at times, but it really isn't a traditional harem since Kirito pretty much decided on who he wants to be with relatively early on. :/ It has more to do with hero worship for most of the girls and not really what I would call a relationship. Also, pretty much all of the girls are mostly one-shot characters that d not really play a role in the series.


2.If I remember, the character development and lines were really cheesy.


Eh, this has more to do with the transition from light novel to anime. The character development is MUCH more pronounced in each subsequent light novel. It was completely gimped in an anime that tried to shove four novel volumes into a single anime. Heck, you don;t even get most of the inner monologue in the anime.


3.The story had great potential, but it turned into some generic hero saves the bullshit that only people who just got into anime would enjoy, or people that don't need much then girls and action.


Again, this also was kind of lost in translation from page to screen. There is a bit more depth in the light novels, especially the later volumes. If anything, the anime itself should have JUST been Aincrad. All 25 episodes should have been there with more detail to help explain everything that was glossed over in the anime because of time restraints.

Anyway, I liked the anime enough to get into the light novels. After reading the light novels, I still have to say that while the anime is okay, the fans got jipped somewhat. There is so much more detail and little things that happen in the light novels for each character that is pretty significant that kinda just gets glossed over by the anime.
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27 / M
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Posted 7/20/13
I haven't read everyone else's response to this, but in the end I have to ask a question that someone else has probably already asked.

Does it really even matter?

I enjoyed SAO, my wife and I both watched it. I felt the second season was absolutely needed. Not sure about a third however, but my wife and I both will end up watching and probably enjoying it as much as the first two seasons. Does it matter to us that nobody else seemed to like it? Not at all, a lot of people don't even like anime, and that doesn't both us one bit. So while I don't like seeing the things that I enjoy being bashed, in the end do I still like it? Heck yes, I do!

Sure, all of the girls are after Kirito, but at least he isn't stringing along 5 pseudo girlfriends the entire time. We know where his heart lies, and while he may have a devout following, I think that in its self sets SAO apart from other Harem type series. Besides, everyone loves the hero, if they don't they are probably the bad guy, or a tsunder and secretly loves him anyways. The sister/cousin likes him, but she knows its wrong, they move on. Lets not linger, because they didn't, and neither then should we.

Thats my opinion on the matter, anyways.
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36 / M / Reno, NV
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Posted 7/20/13
Well, if you specifically have a problem with SAO-haters, and don't care more broadly about the motivations behind hating something, I don't have much to say. I watched the show a couple months ago, and generally enjoyed it, though I'm not about to argue the greater flaws in the pacing or character development of the show.

To fans of the books, I can relate a bit more, having experienced the same sentiments with my fandom of Type Moon in general and Fate/Stay Night specifically; Nasu's stories are very slow-moving, and, unfortunately, the anime renditions of F/SN and Tsukihime spend too much time on the slow, early parts and rush/ignore the good parts set up in these early parts. That said, it doesn't excuse the flaws in the anime based on those works, anymore than it should with SAO.

To the greater point of the thread (people's willingness after the fact to hate on something popular)...well, as others have said, it isn't really unique to SAO, or even anime. It also isn't really for a single reason, either. Yes, a certain element is the old "haters gonna hate", but there are other things involved.

Part of it is people's difficulty accepting something that exists only at face value. Most of the things you tend to see the rabid fan-backlash directed toward are youth-oriented programs, devised as entertainment, without any real social comment or meaning buried within them. In the case of Sword Art Online, this is true. The characters aren't deep or complex, and they aren't intended to be. Their motivations are simple, and their conflicts, obvious. In a broad sense, the story really is simple fantasy wish fulfillment. And you know what? There isn't anything wrong with that. However, not everybody feels that way. And, in the sense of literary/film critique, they aren't really wrong either.

Another factor is over-hype. I personally avoided Sword Art Online until after it was over, specifically because it was so popular. When you constantly hear how awesome something is, and you happen to find it mediocre, and you voice this opinion online, people on the side that love it tend to...not react favorably to "eh, it was okay". A lot of times, this leads to a feedback loop where the person's ambivalent or even slightly negative opinion is retroactively increased due to fans' response. The best example of this is not from anime, but the Twilight novels. While I personally didn't care that much for the novels, I (and expect many others) grew to dislike the franchise because of fan response to any criticism.

End of the day, though, it doesn't really matter. I've done writing on film before (reviews and the like), and, ultimately, the point of effective criticism is to: a) make your opinion known, and b) explain why you have that opinion. It is not actually to convince people you are "right". After all, it is just an opinion, and nobody has to agree with you for your opinion to be "good". You just need to make your feelings clear.

TL;DR: like what you like, hate what you hate. Just think for a second about why you feel that way, and why others think the way they do, and you'll have a better experience. At least, that's my opinion.
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21 / M / Ohio
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Posted 7/20/13

Mikey435 wrote:

People that watch Sword Art Online are split down the middle of two polar opposite sides. On one side, the fans of this show overlook everything that's bad about this show. All they see is the enjoyment that this show provides. Haters of this show overlook all of the good this show holds in it. My opinion lies in the middle of the two vices.

The characters are awful. Kirito is a boring static character. The rest of the cast has no character development (unless you count Asuna's character regression into becoming completely reliant on the only character of the show). The final villain was absolutely pitiful and the motives of the villains were absolutely petty. There isn't a single good thing you can say about the characters. This story is also a harem in disguise. The romance is poorly contrived.

The plot is wonderful. But the story deviates from the plot and it prevents itself from being as good as it possibly could. Still, better than average. Maybe worthy of being called good.

The personal enjoyment I got from this show made me blindly rate this show a 9 on MAL when it finished. This show is absolutely enjoyable and you won't be bored for a single second throughout the entire time you


and there are also people in the middle not everyone is a blind fan or a blind hater
yoriea 
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20 / M
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Posted 7/20/13
I enjoyed Sword Art Online because of the concept behind it. And lets be honest. .Hack took too long and was boring until the third season..... Sword Art Online jumped right into the action of being trapped in a game, even if the plot development and dialogue was ok at best. Now, the animation is gorgeous, and the music is a gem in itself!!!! But the main reason i enjoyed this anime, was because I really enjoy RPG style games. Tales of Vesperia is something I picked up right after I watched SAO. And I always wanted to find an RPG that didnt have overly rape-tastic magic.......I enjoy using swords and melee weapons more than anything. That concept of no magic for noobs to use really was a selling point for me when watching SAO.

In short, I stand by this anime for partially personal, and logical reasons. And praying for the continuation in Gun Gale Online.
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19 / M / New Jersey
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Posted 7/20/13
Ah, I apologize. There are people in the middle.
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21 / M
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Posted 7/20/13


Well, I don't necessarily agree with your conclusions, but I appreciate the totally not annoying way you presented them. (<--- not sarcastic) I still don't think it is a harem, because really it is just a series of girls that have interaction with Kirito, Sachi and Silica aren't, in my estimation, presented as really having crushes on him, and, most importantly, Asuna is Kirito's only love interest. It just doesn't seem to fit the definition of a harem. A series of girls, yes. A harem? Ehhh, not to me.

As far character development goes, I guess I was thinking character development in terms of developing the presentation of the character (what you call learning about him), not changes in his character. But that's merely a confusion of terms (and probably a misuse on my part ). It does seem to me that you agree with my point that the series of girls DOES have meaning in the telling of the story. You can't, as a writer, unveil everything about your character at once and then start changing them. It would mean nothing to the viewers. Instead, the show takes its time showing who Kirito is and then begins to work at changing him.
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M / San Francisco Bay...
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Posted 7/20/13
This is what generally happens with any sort of show that gets hyped to death. People go into it with far too high expectations, and when it doesn't meet them they hate on it. When one sees so many people loving a show while you see it's problems, it gives you a sense of smug superiority. When people feel superior to someone else, they act like arrogant jerks, especially on the internet.

Now, I think Sword Art Online was a disappointment and fell off the edge of the earth in the second cour. That said, I honestly hate the people who go after it so much more than the show itself. Yeah, it had many problems, but that doesn't give you license to personally attack anyone who likes the show as a bunch of idiots. Honestly, it's to the point where it's one of those shows I don't want to talk about anymore, because it just leads to so much hate. Same is true of shows like Gundam Seed Destiny and Evangelion, since the number one thing you're going to hear is about how the characters are whiny bitches and and anyone who likes them is a faggot. Admittedly, I'm exaggerating a bit when it comes to Evangelion, but those are sure to be the first things you see with Destiny.
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24 / M / SoCal, HB
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Posted 7/20/13
I enjoyed the show, it's fun to watch

That's enough for me to say it's awesome, and for all the haters and hipsters

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