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Post Reply Anime Criticism & Sword Art Online
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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.


Yay someone hit the nail on the head!

The Anime was great but it cut quite a lot of stuff from the LN. The second arc was way too rushed, it actually had a lot more content in it.
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Posted 7/20/13
For me, SAO is the anime I "hate to love". Basically, I adore it, yet I can't stand it, but I'd keep watching if they did more...
I loved the SAO worlds, game mechanics, and plot. Well, the plot in the first arc I enjoyed, the "Bowser's got the princess and some toads" wasn't overly wonderful, but it still worked I guess. (Though still wish we could have seen more areas in both SAO and ALO.)
Yet I'm not really a big fan of Kirito himself. He felt too much like the "I'm cool because I rarely talk, and I don't show emotions in public" (Sasuke-esque?) teenager to me. Which... Is really hard to get attached to.

I think, if the story followed Klein (and eventually his guild), it would have been one of my favorite anime of all time. Just because Klein felt like a character you would actually be able to understand, and potentially relate to, and feel bad for, etc. But then they left him like that... In the first episode... I mean, he comes back... Briefly... But his journey would have been more interesting than Kiritos. Klein just acts a lot more human.
I just never really felt any connection with Kirito or his actions, so maybe that's the main reason for my discord in watching it. Also the harem... (Plus, with Klein, there wouldn't be a harem.)

Here's hoping the games and consoles get developed though. Just without the whole "stuck in the game and killing people" bit. That would really ruin the sales.
zesire 
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Posted 7/20/13
Can we all have a moment of respect for the Blind Love you had for the show when it ended.

Then like a day later you finally came back like oh wait...that was actually pretty sucky.

but that feel right after had you thinking this was the new DBZ...I will admit it...;]
Meyvol 
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Posted 7/20/13 , edited 7/20/13
When the first episode aired I was hooked. I yearned for more the second that it was over. I knew nothing of the history of the series, other than that I needed more. It was mesmerizing. The same day that the first episode came out was the day I began reading the light novels. I read, and read, and read. I read like I would die if I stopped. I read everything there was, and then watched the second episode when it came out and so on.
Having experienced the light novels, the anime was more of a treat from that point on. The anime in it's entirety is inferior to the light novels. While still enjoyable, it was flawed. But practically speaking, it was the change from text to anime that made it imperfect. The entire Aincrad Arc was originally split between the first two books. The first one focused solely on Kirito conquering the game and on his relationship with Asuna. The second novel was where all of the side stories were told. When brought into anime form, putting the events in the order that they happened brought an entirely different feeling into the story. It split the actual emotion Kirito had for Asuna between multiple heroines, making Kirito seem more fickle than he actually was. For the sake of the success of the anime, it had to have been done this way though. Telling the side stories later was impractical, and having more heroines means more product possibilities to ensure income. Another flaw is quite simply the restrictions of anime itself. Everything they wanted had to fit into the time frame of two quarters of the anime airing schedule. They had to rush certain parts, since epic battles are expensive to animate and the drama of the series is its hook, they rushed the battles.
Then they finished with Aincrad and went onto ALO, which took place over books three and four. Omitting a large part of the story there, as it pertained to future events that they were not likely to animate. They crammed quite a bit into this arc as well, but yet it was still rushed and left many plot holes that were easily non-existent in the novels.
I enjoy the anime, I do not dislike it. But what most people who legitimately complain about is likely due to these issues. Of course, there are always the ones without reason.

SAO is definitely one of my favorite series, but it is not without flaw in anime form.
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Posted 7/21/13 , edited 7/21/13

iblessall wrote:


Gotcha. And yeah, at least personally I think of development as: In a hypothetical situation, before development the character will choose option A) and after development they would chose option B). Which is technically an after-effect of development, but I think it's a reasonable test. In this case Kirito joining Asuna's guild reflects development.

As for the harem thing, it's not really necessary for the guy to have designs on multiple girls to make it a harem. To Love-Ru is a harem, but Rito is only after Haruna (although he's conflicted over Lala I think). Otherwise he just tries to treat everyone else nicely. Araragi in Bakemonogatari is another (better) example, as he's devoted to Senjougahara.

The more telling factor is just whether or not there's a collection of girls who all inexplicably surround one guy.

Here we have Asuna (who loves him romantically), Suguha (who loves him romantically), Lisbeth (who loves him romantically), Sachi (who loves him romantically), Yui (who loves him as a father), Silica (who loves him as a brother), Sakuya and Cait Sith (who were sizing him up) and Klein (who's at least hinted at enough to be fujoshi bait).

In the end this makes a lot of sense in SAO, because SAO is quite literally self-insert fan fiction where Kirito is a surrogate for the author's adolescent-reminiscent fantasies. Which, functionally, makes SAO very similar to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series (this is not an intentionally negative association, they are simply similar at a basic level).

(I should probably mention I'm not much of a Twilight hater either, although I gave up on trying to finish it).

(This is also just me treating stories like no-longer-important household appliances in a garage while wielding a screwdriver; I'm not trying to insult whoever made this coffeemaker or malign anyone who likes the brand, I just like taking things apart and spreading out the pieces to see how they fit and what similarities there are to other appliances).

Anyway, that's just my take on the whole harem side of things.

From here out I can agree to disagree.

Edit: The heck. I edited and lost half my post. Fuck my life. Pieced it back together from what I could remember.
Posted 7/21/13
So I as an avid anime watcher would have to say that SAO wasn't shit, but it did in fact pull a 180.

I can never drop an anime that I genuinely enjoy, SAO being one of them, and as a big romance fan, SAO kind of took a piss on the idea of romance. The character development & event pacing was terrible for one. It was very blatant in the first half & they dedicated many bad paced episodes to showcasing every stereotypical personality portrayed or labeled on a female. Whether it be the loli, tsundere, whatever. It butchered the very story it was working towards explaining/ending. Oh you need new gear? Ok, we'll throw you into a pit so you can learn about a girls feelings for you, ignore her, then move onto the next part of the story progression to act like it never even happened.

With that being said, I still did enjoy it. But the 2nd half did in fact make me want to rip my hair out. Anyone who watched it & doesn't glorify it like the new Fate/Zero series, can understand where I'm coming from. They took every predictable, overdone, and bland archetypes from the first half & boosted it to 200% for the second half. The sister? Are you series? And then like nobody could figure out who she was before they actually revealed it ?

SAO hit that level of predictable and overdone progression & character development ( if you can even find some decent development in it.. ) where it was just on par with watching a 12 week filler arc of Naruto. Like Naruto, SAO turned into an anime where I watched it because it had a really promising start, but couldn't drop it due to the fact that I had hopes it'd cut the filler/bad pacing & develop the characters and advance the story.

I did enjoy SAO, but I cannot see how an avid anime watcher can give the anime any rating above a 6. If you take your time and evaluate it, the only really strong points SAO had were its premise, start, and animation/music. The development and pacing was bad, the romance was cheesy and very archetypal, and then throw in very poorly done time skips/story-telling; and that's SAO. I enjoyed it & couldn't drop it due to it being much more tolerable than most of the seasons anime- but it does irritate me that something of great quality like Kokoro Connect was thrown into the shadow of this very choppy/disappointing show.

As a side-note: I have no idea as to how a really well paced drama/romance/slice of life anime with an AMAZING ova arc, which wrapped up the series perfectly in comparison to the normal season, hasn't gotten the attention it honestly deserves.
Meyvol 
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Posted 7/21/13 , edited 7/21/13

sylvmatic wrote:

So I as an avid anime watcher would have to say that SAO wasn't shit, but it did in fact pull a 180.

I can never drop an anime that I genuinely enjoy, SAO being one of them, and as a big romance fan, SAO kind of took a piss on the idea of romance. The character development & event pacing was terrible for one. It was very blatant in the first half & they dedicated many bad paced episodes to showcasing every stereotypical personality portrayed or labeled on a female. Whether it be the loli, tsundere, whatever. It butchered the very story it was working towards explaining/ending. Oh you need new gear? Ok, we'll throw you into a pit so you can learn about a girls feelings for you, ignore her, then move onto the next part of the story progression to act like it never even happened.


It for these reasons that the author separated the side stories from the main story, because the anime jumped forward to each arc making it seem like everything was happening all at once. Everything took place over two years, and each side story only took a few days a piece spread out over those two years. The anime presents Kirito as a person hopping from female to female rescuing them constantly, while in actuality for the majority of those two years he mostly spent the majority of his time leveling alone.

Kirito's first involvement with being in a guild was roughly around June of 2023 and the Christmas boss he took on by himself was December of 2023, Scilica was Febuary of 2024, Lizbet was June of 2024, and Yui was October of 2024. Everything not included in those was considered the main story.
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Posted 7/21/13

I fully support a nice guy actually getting some credit instead of being ignored like irl, just wanted to toss that bit in Just because you're per se surrounded by females doesn't make a harem as long as you don't lead any of them on. The reason I say this is because in the mmo I play most of the people I associate with are females, this doesn't per se make it a harem since there's no leading on or anything of the sort. If you're a nice guy and do nice things, its only fitting for people to take a liking to you, however for me anyway Kirito's lack of indulging it is what tosses away the 'harem' aspect.
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Posted 7/21/13

sylvmatic wrote:

So I as an avid anime watcher would have to say that SAO wasn't shit, but it did in fact pull a 180.

I can never drop an anime that I genuinely enjoy, SAO being one of them, and as a big romance fan, SAO kind of took a piss on the idea of romance. The character development & event pacing was terrible for one. It was very blatant in the first half & they dedicated many bad paced episodes to showcasing every stereotypical personality portrayed or labeled on a female. Whether it be the loli, tsundere, whatever. It butchered the very story it was working towards explaining/ending. Oh you need new gear? Ok, we'll throw you into a pit so you can learn about a girls feelings for you, ignore her, then move onto the next part of the story progression to act like it never even happened.

With that being said, I still did enjoy it. But the 2nd half did in fact make me want to rip my hair out. Anyone who watched it & doesn't glorify it like the new Fate/Zero series, can understand where I'm coming from. They took every predictable, overdone, and bland archetypes from the first half & boosted it to 200% for the second half. The sister? Are you series? And then like nobody could figure out who she was before they actually revealed it ?

SAO hit that level of predictable and overdone progression & character development ( if you can even find some decent development in it.. ) where it was just on par with watching a 12 week filler arc of Naruto. Like Naruto, SAO turned into an anime where I watched it because it had a really promising start, but couldn't drop it due to the fact that I had hopes it'd cut the filler/bad pacing & develop the characters and advance the story.

I did enjoy SAO, but I cannot see how an avid anime watcher can give the anime any rating above a 6. If you take your time and evaluate it, the only really strong points SAO had were its premise, start, and animation/music. The development and pacing was bad, the romance was cheesy and very archetypal, and then throw in very poorly done time skips/story-telling; and that's SAO. I enjoyed it & couldn't drop it due to it being much more tolerable than most of the seasons anime- but it does irritate me that something of great quality like Kokoro Connect was thrown into the shadow of this very choppy/disappointing show.

As a side-note: I have no idea as to how a really well paced drama/romance/slice of life anime with an AMAZING ova arc, which wrapped up the series perfectly in comparison to the normal season, hasn't gotten the attention it honestly deserves.


Well said. I agree 100%.
Posted 7/21/13
The thing about SAO is that because it's so popular, it's prone to attract more criticism than the average show. Of course in human nature, when something is popular or well known, we'd want to prove to others and ourselves that it's not as great as others claim it to be. Shows like Guilty Crown suffered as a result of this, the most anticipated anime of 2011.
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Posted 7/21/13 , edited 7/21/13
It had potential, it just didn't live up to it as well as it could have.
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Posted 7/21/13

Nioos wrote:

The thing about SAO is that because it's so popular, it's prone to attract more criticism than the average show. Of course in human nature, when something is popular or well known, we'd want to prove to others and ourselves that it's not as great as others claim it to be. Shows like Guilty Crown suffered as a result of this, the most anticipated anime of 2011.


This is similar to my theory. When the show was new I only ever read and heard great things about it. Everyone enjoyed it and was loving it. Then it became popular and the hate rolled in. If the ratio of negative to positive posts is 50/50 you can bet that more people enjoy it then hate it because it's a lot more fun for people to troll on the internet then go around being a fanboy. If you enjoy it you're more likely to just watch it and tell others how much you enjoy it and leave it at that. If you hated it and it's wildly popular you're more apt to go out on the internet and write posts trying to understand why people like it and bash it when they don't give a reason you deem fit enough. Because c'mon when is the last time an internet post on a forum actually changed your opinion of something?
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Posted 7/21/13

Nioos wrote:

The thing about SAO is that because it's so popular, it's prone to attract more criticism than the average show. Of course in human nature, when something is popular or well known, we'd want to prove to others and ourselves that it's not as great as others claim it to be. Shows like Guilty Crown suffered as a result of this, the most anticipated anime of 2011.


I agree. The fact is that when I watched it for the first time I was like "wow that's really amazing. I wish there was more ". . .
SAO is really something because of its idea to get trapped in virtual world which is something that really attracted my attention. I mean who doesn't want to play games like that (really hope that in future will be possible even for me to try it). I must admit that there should be more about the game and clearing the floors and raiding bosses. There should be more episodes. The only thing that I didn't really like is the strange development between Kirito and his cousin. I can't ignore the magnificent art though. However I agree with you that just the same happened to Guilty Crown which is besides SAO and some others one of my favorite anime.
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Posted 7/21/13

Insomnist wrote:


iblessall wrote:


Gotcha. And yeah, at least personally I think of development as: In a hypothetical situation, before development the character will choose option A) and after development they would chose option B). Which is technically an after-effect of development, but I think it's a reasonable test. In this case Kirito joining Asuna's guild reflects development.

As for the harem thing, it's not really necessary for the guy to have designs on multiple girls to make it a harem. To Love-Ru is a harem, but Rito is only after Haruna (although he's conflicted over Lala I think). Otherwise he just tries to treat everyone else nicely. Araragi in Bakemonogatari is another (better) example, as he's devoted to Senjougahara.

The more telling factor is just whether or not there's a collection of girls who all inexplicably surround one guy.

Here we have Asuna (who loves him romantically), Suguha (who loves him romantically), Lisbeth (who loves him romantically), Sachi (who loves him romantically), Yui (who loves him as a father), Silica (who loves him as a brother), Sakuya and Cait Sith (who were sizing him up) and Klein (who's at least hinted at enough to be fujoshi bait).

In the end this makes a lot of sense in SAO, because SAO is quite literally self-insert fan fiction where Kirito is a surrogate for the author's adolescent-reminiscent fantasies. Which, functionally, makes SAO very similar to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series (this is not an intentionally negative association, they are simply similar at a basic level).

(I should probably mention I'm not much of a Twilight hater either, although I gave up on trying to finish it).

(This is also just me treating stories like no-longer-important household appliances in a garage while wielding a screwdriver; I'm not trying to insult whoever made this coffeemaker or malign anyone who likes the brand, I just like taking things apart and spreading out the pieces to see how they fit and what similarities there are to other appliances).

Anyway, that's just my take on the whole harem side of things.

From here out I can agree to disagree.

Edit: The heck. I edited and lost half my post. Fuck my life. Pieced it back together from what I could remember.



Fair enough. I should say how much I appreciate having a discussion with a rational, polite person. So thanks for that.
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Posted 7/21/13
I liked the first half better than the second half (however i loved it when Kirito transformed into that beast thing, so cool ^_^) but I did think it was a typical shounen anime were the main character was somehow stronger than everyone else all the time! I thought it was entertaining as a whole but i have seen better animes so i'm not a hardcore fan. I probably would have liked it more if it had more blood and gore
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