First  Prev  1  2  Next  Last
My personal opinions of Sword Art Online after watching out of curiosity
27273 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
39 / Inside your compu...
Online
Posted 1/1/14
I'll start with an explanation of this post.

I have read on another forum of people claiming Sword Art Online being overrated. Now, I know people claim things all the time- I am fairly curious about the show myself since it is a very popular show and I wanted to find out for myself why it was so popular.

I went ahead and watched it. The following are some of my observations.

I'm just another fan with no real qualifications. However, I've been watching anime since the 1980s and have seen quite a bit of different anime over the decades. SAO is one of the shows that really stands out in my mind.

I don't think it's at all overrated. I've found it to be very popular for good reasons (Discounting the use of tropes- Tropes alone do not make good hooks, but their execution does- more on that later). I will use 3 anime series in comparison to illustrate my thinking: (I don't have any "points" to make, since SAO is so popular I'd just be preaching to the choir; This is only my thoughts on the series in contrast of some of the other shows I've seen)

Magic Knight Rayearth (particularly Season 2)
Fushigi Yuugi
Vision of Escaflowne

I think one of the biggest if not the biggest reason for the popularity of SAO is the deep emotional involvement demanded from the audience. If you're not emotionally invested while watching, I pretty much doubt you'd enjoy SAO even a fraction as much. Even though there are themes (and there are ALWAYS themes), thinking is probably not what SAO is set out to make its viewers do. It wants and expects you to feel. Happiness when the characters are happy, sad when they're sad, and angry / heartbroken when they're mistreated. This is emotional manipulation, but if done well people either wouldn't notice or wouldn't care. Compare this to what must be the most angst-ridden anime of all time, Fushigi Yuugi. If you think watching those few Asuna scenes got you riled up, just wait till you get a load of the full-on emotional abuse that was Fushigi Yuugi, which I would describe as an attempt to make you die on the inside bit by bit. If you love to feel just awful and sick to the stomach (saying "oh no... no..." at the screen episode after episode while Miaka infuriates you with her love-stricken stupidity and the Seiryu disgusts you with their venomous evil), that serie's for you. SAO played it much more gently, having enough of a affect for effect without making me ill. For those who wants to feel sick but not feel too sick, this could actually be a plus.

Another reason for SAO's success I put on execution. The series not only had cool ideas but it executed those ideas very well. The inclusion of MMO menus is a clever way to keep the attention of gamers. SAO is what I would call a high concept romantic survival fantasy, where you have love that is forged in life and death situations under an epic environment. Another series that had executed on cool ideas well was Magic Knight Rayearth, where the spellsword trope was used effectively ("Magic Knight") and the three invading countries had their very unique flavors and capabilities (no spoilers, it has to be seen to be appreciated). The world-building of SAO was done nicely- Sure, it couldn't be as epic as the world of Ghea was in Vision of Escaflowne (which was so epic as to be at times hair-raising) but in the context of what it was- a limited "virtual environment" in the form of a controlled and tiered island world, it was pretty much done as well as it could reasonably be done.

SAO, though perhaps not the highest epitome of examples in any particular category, manages to be great by skillfully combining its elements, all of which are pretty good to very good. There are so many series that only manages to be good in maybe a few things but not all, so SAO is, as I've stated before, a relatively rare standout as far as I'm concerned. SAO really has it together, and I hope it continues to be so in SAO II.
4193 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
34 / M
Offline
Posted 1/1/14 , edited 1/1/14
I found SAO to be ok... it's not as bad as the haters say it is but it's also nowhere as good as the fans claim it to be.

IMO the biggest problem with SAO is well... Kirito... he's just too much of a Gary Stu that it gets on some people's nerves. Also the writing has issues as well. When the show manages to back itself into a corner to Deus Ex Machina it's way out of it's predicament you know there's a problem... and the sad thing is it managed to do it twice(end of Aincrad and end of ALO)... There's also the fact that SAO squandered a bunch of episodes to highlight Kirito saving damsels in distress left and right...

And I've just watched the Extra Edition... and well... TBH a few minutes in and I just stopped. Sorry but it's just a recap and an excuse to sprinkle more fanservice to the show. It's not like I dislike fanservice in anime in general(in fact I watch a lot of fanservice heavy shows) but I just don't feel I want to use almost 2 hours just to watch a recap of SAO and well some fanservice...
xxJing 
37193 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
30 / M / Duckburg
Offline
Posted 1/1/14
I enjoy the show, but it is just sooo damn corny at times. There are some(most) scenes where I really cringe at just how corny it gets... I actually feel like shoving myself in a locker and giving myself a wedgie, that is how cringeworthy I find this show. Log Horizon gets somewhat corny too but it isn't nearly as bad. I'm sorry to say this, but this is honestly the Twilight of anime. It is. You can enjoy watching it, but you feel like so dirty afterward.
27273 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
39 / Inside your compu...
Online
Posted 1/1/14 , edited 1/1/14

MartianMage wrote:

IMO the biggest problem with SAO is well... Kirito... he's just too much of a Gary Stu


(I haven't watched the Extra Edition)

I think the Gary Stu is kind of typical coming from a shonen show. It's also somewhat of a plot necessity in terms of emotional investment of the characters since some of them wouldn't be as motivated to do certain things otherwise (well, they could, but this is a shonen show and could be forgiven as such). Some people find it annoying and eye-roll inducing, but this is fantasy.


xxJing wrote:

I enjoy the show, but it is just sooo damn corny at times. ... I'm sorry to say this, but this is honestly the Twilight of anime. It is. You can enjoy watching it, but you feel like so dirty afterward.


I understand. There were moments where the two were at their
that made me eyeroll slightly inside. However, I have learned "suspension of discomfort" in addition to suspension of disbelief

23631 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
35 / M / Canada
Offline
Posted 1/1/14
I agree with OP on your points. They do a fantastic job of combining an assortment of emotional elements in first half season 1. The characters have a depth that a person can relate to. Season 1.5 they go a bit overboard and break that a bit with the fanservice and a very fake presented antagonist, but I found it to be a nice watch specifically for the depth of character.

Flipside compare to Log Horizon. A much lighter version of a similar core story, but instead it draws the person in more on a third person viewer level instead of bringing the audience into the role of one of the characters.
4193 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
34 / M
Offline
Posted 1/1/14

nanikore2 wrote:


MartianMage wrote:

IMO the biggest problem with SAO is well... Kirito... he's just too much of a Gary Stu


(I haven't watched the Extra Edition)

I think the Gary Stu is kind of typical coming from a shonen show. It's also somewhat of a plot necessity in terms of emotional investment of the characters since some of them wouldn't be as motivated to do certain things otherwise (well, they could, but this is a shonen show and could be forgiven as such). Some people find it annoying and eye-roll inducing, but this is fantasy.

No, not really. A lot of shounen male leads are nowhere as Gary Stu'ish as Kirito. Just take for example the big three shounen(ok it's actually just the big two now since Bleach has pretty much declined in popularity for the past years)... Naruto, Luffy, and Ichigo are nowhere close to Kirito when it comes to being a Gary Stu.
27273 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
39 / Inside your compu...
Online
Posted 1/1/14 , edited 1/1/14
(Hm don't know why my post was reported... I can try editing the post if someone tells me what's wrong- Perhaps it was the Miaka remark. I actually liked Miaka, if that counts for anything)


Vaporisor wrote:

Season 1.5 they go a bit overboard and break that a bit with the fanservice and a very fake presented antagonist, but I found it to be a nice watch specifically for the depth of character.

Flipside compare to Log Horizon.


Yes, when they overdo things it does break the suspension of disbelief a bit. I haven't seen Log Horizon yet... Actually, I haven't seen any of the .hack series all those years ago either; The virtual world premise does not particularly appeal to me and I would not have seen SAO if not for the popularity making me curious.


MartianMage wrote:
No, not really. A lot of shounen male leads are nowhere as Gary Stu'ish as Kirito. Just take for example the big three shounen(ok it's actually just the big two now since Bleach has pretty much declined in popularity for the past years)... Naruto, Luffy, and Ichigo are nowhere close to Kirito when it comes to being a Gary Stu.


...Then again there are a whole lot of shonen shows with guys that are even more Gary Stu (assuming we're talking about the harem element, which is what make them harem or harem-ish shows; It's what they are). I think it may come down to what shows people watch, since I kind of didn't get too far into the three shows you've mentioned before getting tired of them. You may not like the following shows that I've liked:

Kimagure Orange Road - Kyousuke would drive you nuts, guarenteed.
Maison Ikkoku - Godai isn't nearly as bad as Kyousuke. I suppose he was actually worthy of female attention
Ah! My Goddess! OVA - lol. Self-explanatory.
Love Hina- Ditto

4193 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
34 / M
Offline
Posted 1/1/14 , edited 1/1/14

nanikore2 wrote:
...Then again there are a whole lot of shonen shows with guys that are even more Gary Stu (assuming we're talking about the harem element, which is what make them harem or harem-ish shows; It's what they are). I think it may come down to what shows people watch, since I kind of didn't get too far into the three shows you've mentioned before getting tired of them. You may not like the following shows that I've liked:

Kimagure Orange Road - Kyousuke would drive you nuts, guarenteed.
Maison Ikkoku - Godai isn't nearly as bad as Kyousuke. I suppose he was actually worthy of female attention
Ah! My Goddess! OVA - lol. Self-explanatory.
Love Hina- Ditto


Not really. Loads of women flocking to the same character is just 1 aspect of being a Gary Stu but that's not the end all(if that was the case then all harem leads are Gary Stus by your definition but that isn't really the case). Kirito is more Gary Stu'ish than the characters you've mentioned. I've never watched completed Kimagure and I've never watched Maison Ikkoku but as for Ah! My Goddess and Love Hina! No, not really.
23631 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
35 / M / Canada
Offline
Posted 1/1/14
.Hack is pretty unique in its story. Both SAO and Log essentially are more like fantasy thst some core fundamentals are replaced with some mmo points. Example SAO death is no different than a fantasy except blood is a red texture map and a person poofs when they die. .hack is about the system alot more. The out of game is as important as the in game. Then throw in the games (tons of coin if you can find the sets) and the side series, .hack end up being more than a casual show.

SAO i found 1.5 definitely broke down with character/audience separation. For 1.0, it was one character's story. 1.5 combined side adventures with three main characters. Then side character stories plus the fan service. It is no surprize most call 1.5 season 2. The director definitely has work cut out for season 2. Continue with fan service and genre norms (as suspect with 2.0trailer) or go back to a more first person story to make something timeless?
27273 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
39 / Inside your compu...
Online
Posted 1/1/14 , edited 1/1/14

MartianMage wrote:
Not really. Loads of women flocking to the same character is just 1 aspect of being a Gary Stu but that's not the end all(if that was the case then all harem leads are Gary Stus by your definition but that isn't really the case). Kirito is more Gary Stu'ish than the characters you've mentioned. I've never watched completed Kimagure and I've never watched Maison Ikkoku but as for Ah! My Goddess and Love Hina! No, not really.


Then you would have to give me your particular definition of Gary Stu, because the term itself is pretty vague.


Vaporisor wrote:
SAO i found 1.5 definitely broke down with character/audience separation. For 1.0, it was one character's story. 1.5 combined side adventures with three main characters. Then side character stories plus the fan service. It is no surprize most call 1.5 season 2. The director definitely has work cut out for season 2. Continue with fan service and genre norms (as suspect with 2.0trailer) or go back to a more first person story to make something timeless?


One thing that I did not appreciate about season 1.5 is that
Though I suppose that what happens when they had to find some way to continue the story.

From the premise, I do agree that SAO II would take more work. This is because when they change the backdrop to something earthly like guns, a lot of the high fantasy elements go away unless they find some way to add them back in.
3614 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
47 / M / Rochester, NY
Offline
Posted 1/1/14
Ok, the OP is totally out there on his SAO evaluation, but

WHO reported him and for what?!!!

Everyone is entitled to their opinion (no matter how bad it is)
4193 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
34 / M
Offline
Posted 1/1/14 , edited 1/1/14

nanikore2 wrote:Then you would have to give me your particular definition of Gary Stu, because the term itself is pretty vague.

"Marty Stu is devastatingly handsome (or if not, possessed of a strange, saturnine magnetism) and desired by all significant women, yes, but romance is not likely to be the main dish. He's an unstoppable fighter, a rogue agent, a fearless freedom fighter, a master of disguise. However, as times have changed, just as Mary's acquired a bratty temper, Marty's had the occasional opportunity to show his softer side."

More at http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MartyStu
27273 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
39 / Inside your compu...
Online
Posted 1/1/14 , edited 1/1/14

eightcar wrote:

Ok, the OP is totally out there on his SAO evaluation, but

WHO reported him and for what?!!!

Everyone is entitled to their opinion (no matter how bad it is)


LOL

It is my metaopinion that there is no such thing as a bad opinion unless it is a malicious opinion (which was why I was guessing that someone didn't like my Miaka remark)



MartianMage wrote:
"Marty Stu is devastatingly handsome (or if not, possessed of a strange, saturnine magnetism) and desired by all significant women, yes, but romance is not likely to be the main dish. He's an unstoppable fighter, a rogue agent, a fearless freedom fighter, a master of disguise. However, as times have changed, just as Mary's acquired a bratty temper, Marty's had the occasional opportunity to show his softer side."
More at http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MartyStu

(accidental doublepost, deleted and copy-paste here)
In other words he's the center of a harem. Well, it's a harem-type anime.

He's really not all that overpowering once he ran into "that person".

I don't think of him as bratty.

I don't find him annoying at all, really. I liked it when he pulled those cool sword "skills".

He's a decent guy. It's personal taste.


4193 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
34 / M
Offline
Posted 1/2/14 , edited 1/2/14

nanikore2 wrote:
In other words he's the center of a harem. Well, it's a harem-type anime.

He's really not all that overpowering once he ran into "that person".

I don't think of him as bratty.

I don't find him annoying at all, really. I liked it when he pulled those cool sword "skills".

He's a decent guy. It's personal taste.

errr... no as the desciption I've posted says... it's not just about being a harem lead. It's about being almost perfect in any field.

Also that "bratty" part is a reference to Mary Sue.

8121 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
21 / F / qtπ
Offline
Posted 1/2/14
MartianMage has the right idea. I was going to give my input, but he's taken the words right out of my mouth.
First  Prev  1  2  Next  Last
You must be logged in to post.