Sword Art Online 01

Sword Art Online

Wow. Just wow. First episode already and I’m seriously budgeting to get the blu-rays. I hope we do have an AotY candidate here, but this already won best opening episode of the season, not including Kokoro Connect and Horizon II yet though… scratch that, Horizon and SAO tie for now.

Just seriously. A-1 Pictures took everything from the light novel and jazzed it up to 15. Little details matter and A-1 truly delivered on that part. Seriously. Like that login sequence.

Sword Art Online

Oh-ho, I see Klein in there. Guess that’s his guildmates too. Never really got to see them properly in the LN.

Sword Art Online

Is that you, Kirito?! ( ゚∀゚)アハハ八八ノヽノヽノヽノ \ / \/ \

… oh god, he really has chuunibyou tastes.

Sword Art Online

I’ve been listening to this line so many times in the PV, but I still felt a real shiver when he said that because of the accompanying BGM. This scene really illustrated the greatness that is Yuki Kajiura for me.

>can’t logout
>pizza arriving in 5 mins, start panicking
>”Ya got anyone else at home?”
>”yeah.. mom, little siste-“

Sword Art Online

oh you, Klein.

Sword Art Online

As I said, little details DO matter. This part was kinda glossed over in the LN using three lines or so, so I had to imagine the shock and outrage, but A-1 really put in effort to make it come alive. Awesome. Heck they even put in a little subplot thingy between two “role-players”…

Sword Art Online

ヽ( >∀< )ノ AHAHA AHAHA AHAHAHAHA

Sword Art Online

Aw shit, it’s Lizbet! In her original look! Yeahhhhhhh!

And Klein…

Sword Art Online

>dat reaction face w

Yeah, thanks for ruining that farewell BGM www (oh noes the fujoshi baiiiiiit)

Also, the OP sequence was full of win and awesome and d’awwww. Shit, how much are the blu-rays gonna cost me?!!

61 Comments

  1. Dakkar Said,

    July 11, 2012 @ 7:38 am

    …and vol. 9 barely has Kirito’s interactions with his, erm, other characters.
    It’s like SAO was flawed, but entertaining until vol. 9, then it’s become just flawed. If it’s just one volume, that’s not a big deal, but it looks like he’s planning to drag this arc for some time. Frankly, I’d rather see more ME’s than something like this, but it might also be due to the fact that I liked Aincrad’s parts the best.

  2. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    July 11, 2012 @ 7:45 am

    I’m not going to lay down judgement on Alicization arc this early, especially since it’s planned for at least 2 more volumes.

    While I won’t say I like the developments of vol 9, but I don’t hate it either and Reki’s also thrown in drama of Kirito’s real body vs his virtual presence in Underworld.

    And yes, I do like the Aincrad parts the most, and I think even Reki recognises that and Underworld is an attempt to recapture that ‘living fully in an fantasy world’ feel. Though I must say I wish he wrote more about the adventures of Kirito x Asuna on the early floors hahaha.

  3. Roarke Said,

    July 11, 2012 @ 10:16 am

    @Dakkar

    I get your point, especially about just rehashing some boring cliches. It’s not like I don’t see the obvious padding when he tries going into this centuries-old history of a tree and crap. It’s not like I’ve re-read the entire volume, minus the parts where stuff actually happens. I’m just saying that, when you recognize that the author is filling up space with stuff that he doesn’t understand, you should cut him some slack and let your eyes glaze over until he’s done.

    This entire volume screamed “prologue” to something that might actually be good, and I could see the set-up for more interesting parts. Kirito’s first fight in that world especially raises a lot of questions about what might happen in the future, considering the Pain Absorption is non-existent in that world.

    @Kuro

    I honestly wouldn’t mind if the guy wrote stories about floors 2-72. He’s obviously a lot better at writing Aincrad than anything else.

  4. Dakkar Said,

    July 11, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

    @Kuro
    As Kirito states himself in the said vol. 9, the point of virtual reality was to remove at least a part of suffering and difficulties of the real world. Plus, in virtual reality it’s all about mental challenge and limitations of physical ability are ignored. The combination of the two was actually what allowed Kirito to do so well, while Underworld breaks away from this concept.
    Now, going this way allows for a content with a deeper meaning, but, first, is the writer actually capable of writing a good (not-so-light) novel, and, more importantly, is that what the audience is actually looking for?

    If in the following volumes he’s going to bounce back into light entertainment with Kirito kicking ass left and right, then what was vol. 9 about? And if he keeps trying to converge real and virtual worlds, I wonder what’s going to happen with the entertainment factor. Well, time shows if it’s a one time flop or the change in where the development of the franchise is going.

    @Roarke
    If I wasn’t able to ignore the flaws and focus on what’s fun, I wouldn’t make it to vol. 9 in the first place :) I’m not saying that vol. 9 is not readable either, just that it’s boring and brings the question of where the entire thing is going. Now, if that’s the result of the pressure from the publishing company, it’s one thing, but if that’s the writer’s best effort and he honestly wants to adopt this writing style from now on, I’m not sure things are going to go well.

    Well, even in the previous volumes there were references to how the virtual reality can be used for military training or social engineering, and that was once again mentioned in GGO context in vol 9 itself, which is likely not a coincidence. Plus all the implications of how RATH and that government friend of Kirito aren’t whom they seem to be. On the technical side, there are also sword skills implemented in the Underworld for whatever reason, and so on, and so forth.
    Overall, if the plan is to further merge real and virtual, throw in the government conspiracies, etc., etc., then the background is pretty much established already, but, personally, I’m not sure I want see things getting serious for real.

  5. Aen Said,

    July 11, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

    @Dakkar

    I guess my take on it is that I’m not expecting SAO to be some sort of literary masterpiece, it’s a light novel for crying out loud. There are endless holes you can poke at those kind of stories if you want to, but then why bother reading LNs in the first place? It’d be akin of me going to an action flick and complain about how the weapons don’t work and sound like they do in real life, or that the tactics and maneuvers used by the police or characters in the movie are totally unrealistic and would never work.

    @Kuro and Roarke

    Rejoice then, Kawaraha just announced that he’s starting a new series – SAO: Progressive, which is a rewrite of the Aincrad arc that would integrate the side stories and the main plot, and presumably detail more of what happened during that two year period.

  6. Dakkar Said,

    July 11, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

    @Aen
    Notice, I’m not complaining about the franchise in general, I take it for what it is. I’m complaining about vol.9 as it appears to be something different from the volumes before it, and not in a good way if the consider just the entertainment factor.

    Well, hearing about Progressive I no longer mind him doing whatever he wants with the main novels branch…

  7. Roarke Said,

    July 11, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

    Then it’s settled! We will make like Shirou and rejoice.

  8. Aen Said,

    July 11, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

    Fair enough, but screw Shirou, I’m taking Saber for myself!

  9. Roarke Said,

    July 11, 2012 @ 5:43 pm

    … Dibs on Rin.

  10. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    July 11, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

    SAO: Progressive sounds like a great idea! I would really love to see the Aincrad arc done “properly” since Reki pretty much retconned the entire thing starting with Aria.

    And I really want to read the floor 2 and floor 3 stories too… ahhh, guess we’ll see when it’s out.

  11. Semmeh Said,

    July 17, 2012 @ 7:44 pm

    Lol :D the last 2 episodes where awesome :3 i like tha part where they are eating that bread thingy or w/e it was with cream ;3

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